Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve

In place of Metro Kidz on November 26th we'll be serving our community a proper Thanksgiving meal. For some of these people it's the only Thanksgiving meal they'll partake in. Last year we served close to 300 people! So we need all the hands we can get!

You can serve in the kitchen, man the door, greet people, help carry plates and drinks, sit at tables and mingle or just be crowd control!

This a perfect opportunity to serve with small groups or families!

There are also ways to help before the dinner that day if you're interested in those please contact Colleen Smith (443) 874-2085 or

So you say you can't make it? That's okay, there's other ways to help, you can donate food for the event! We'll need everything from Frozen Turkeys to Pumpkin pies and everything in the middle!

Please pray about how you can help make this Thanksgiving special for some people in need!

Time and Place
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
5:30pm - 9:00pm
Charm City Church
2001 Frederick Ave.
Baltimore, MD

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm praising God for....

Yesterday at Charm City we talked about praise and worship, the morning started off with Pastor Mike leaving the mic open for five minutes and people could go and publicly praise him for whatever they felt led too. It was such a beautiful sight, there was a guy who went forward who admitted it was the first time that he'd talked to God in a long time and the words he spoke were beautiful, others were praising God for their families, for nature and a couple our new friends from Virginia thanked God for letting them be a part of what was happening there yesterday.

The service continued we shared testimonies, we worshiped, we praised him, Pastor Mike gave an awesome sermon. The service went on for 2.5 hours yesterday and it was probably one of the best 2.5 hours of my life. At the end of the service Julia played the piano softly and Pastor Mike started on one side of the room and we all praised God for something. Again, people were praising him for life, people were praising him for friends, for family, for love...someone praised God for not forgetting her, by sending a beautiful part of nature across her path that morning. As you can imagine most of us couldn't contain our tears at this point. Finally we reached the side of the room where the kids were sitting, J thanked God for his mother, N.P. thanked God for the people who loved him, L thanked God for the breath that comes out of his mouth, R thanked God that she got to live another day and for the people who love her, two more boys thanked God for their mother.

As we continued to praise God I realized my kids really are thankful that they wake up another day, they really are thankful that they've been spared another murder, another beating that they've been given another day and another chance. Something that I can't fathom having to worry about on a daily, hourly basis.

While, I won't forget any of these praises there are two that really stick out in my mind, from two teenagers, one of them said, "I am thanking God that I am not on the streets, getting involved in the things the other kids are getting into." This is a kid who's been a part of Charm City and what Pastor Mike has been doing for seven years now, he'll graduate high school this year, I pray and beg God that this child will make it, that he'll continue to see that getting involved in the ways of the street are not the life for him. I pray that he'll make wise choices concerning his future plans and that he'll continue to seek God in everything he does.

The second praise that really got to me and everyone else, was from C.G., she was provided with a wonderful opportunity last week to spend a few days in Ocean City, she was attending a convention that could potentially reward her with a scholarship to college. She was thankful for that opportunity but even more thankful that for the first time in her life she got to experience one of God's beautiful creations, the ocean. She said as she stood there and looked out over the ocean she could not believe that this was something God created, for her, for you, for me, for us. These are things that some of us take for granted for C.G., who knows if she'll ever walk on the beach again, but I too thank God she was given the chance.

It was so amazing to hear people praising God yesterday, but it was also very convicting to realize all of the things that I don't remember to thank God for, like being able to walk, talk, see, hear, having a car to drive, a home to live in. We were challenged yesterday to see if for the rest of November we could wake up and immediately remember to Thank God for something, and make it a habit, I've started off well...are you up for the challenge?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How in the World did I get here?!

Pastor Mike asked me last night to share my testimony at church this morning, it was a little nerve wracking to do it with such short notice, but I feel like God really used it today. I decided I would share it with you guys so here it is:

So we all have a story every single on of us in this room, and the neat thing is that none of our stories are the same, they are similar but NOT the same. I've always thought it is so cool how the Lord knows our stories ever before us, and NO ONE else on this earth shares the same story that I do. So I am going to share MY story with you.

As a little girl I grew up in a home with an addict for a father, imagine all of the things you can be addicted too that can mess up your life and my father dabbled there, sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, you name it. I remember the times my father would come home from a binge and beat my mother, brothers and I until we were black and blue, I remember the times that I looked at my wrong or even asked a question, he would send me flying across the room, I remember the awful ER trips from broken bones and busted ear drums, I remember being held down on a bed as my fathers brother sexually abused me. This might not be the story you expected to hear from me, but it's mine.

My parents were Sunday Christians, meaning that if my dad wasn't hung over my mom would dress us in our Sunday best and off we went to church, when I was seven all of my friends were getting "saved" at my private Christian school and so I thought that was the right thing to do, so I got "saved" too. I went home beaming that day, I was saved, so my life was going to be perfect. WRONG, my home was still a mess, my father was still an addict, my mother, brothers and I were were still getting abused.

As time went on and I got older, I began to question God, God if YOU are so great and my life is supposed to be so perfect, then why isn't my family perfect, why do I keep getting hurt by my dad, why are my parents getting divorced and why is my mother shipping us off to be raised by my grandparents? About the age of 13 I decided I didn't want to be a Christian anymore, I stopped asking to go to church on Sundays, stopped reading my bible and didn't want to even acknowledge that He existed.

I spent the next few years of my life going through the motions, something was missing from my life and I knew but I didn't care. I had a few Christian friends who would invited me to church or youth group activities but I was mad at God and didn't want anything to do with Him. Fast forward a few years, I went off to college still wandering around, lost, missing something. The dorm I lived in was flooded with girls who loved Jesus, girls who would constantly tell me they were praying for me and invite me to church. I finally "caved" one day and went to church with them, but I felt so out of place, I didn't fit in I wasn't ready. I graduated from my two year school and off I went to University, it was a place where I thought all my trouble were going to go away but not in the way that they should. I ended up drunk every night, I stopped going to class and I accepted all the male attention I could get, because I lacked it from my father

Finally in 2001 I woke up, I moved away from Kansas, came to MD and decided it was time to figure out my life, I decided I was ready to give church and God another chance, I found the first church I could and submerged myself, I was being discipled by the pastor's wife, I loved her, I loved the attention and I loved learning about God, however I woke up one day and realized that I didn't fit in, in that church and I set off for the perfect place again. That's when I met my friend Gadget, I will never forget the day I walked in to Grace, he met me at the early service a few days before Christmas and I never looked back. Through him I met amazing friends who became my Christian Family, I began to get involved in children's ministry, began to see that my life had purpose, got even more excited about Jesus and felt truly loved for the first time in a long time.

At this point in my life I was beginning to believe again, and was reguarly attending church, but I hadn't really begun living for the Lord. It wasn't until I began serving in Light Company (a youth ministry) that I really gave it all to the Lord and decided that I needed to not just walk the Christian walk but, I needed to live it. So on a retreat when the kids were praying that prayer of salvation, I found myself praying it as well. I will never forget how my life changed...I began serving with a servants heart, not because I thought it was the “cool” thing to do, I began to pray and ask God to guide me, to take over my life and heart and I began to seek out opportunities to share my testimony, spread God's love and tell people all about how He was life changing.

I went on missions trips and found my calling to work in the inner city. I spent four years praying for God to send me an opportunity to serve in the inner city. Through that time I met Crystal, who’s been my cheerleader, my sister in Christ and my best friend, the one who prayed for this with me, cried with me and finally rejoiced with me when we met Pastor Mike and Company. A year and a half ago, we found Charm City, I found the place where God intends for me to watch the dreams He’s given me become a reality. I’ve found a love for people that I never knew I had and finally, my life has been changed because of many of you.

As I look back on my life, I never thought I would be here, proclaiming publicly my love for Jesus, living my life for Him and serving as a missionary. I know without Him and my relationship with Him I would not be where I am today. And I know that as I continue to walk down the path of life, I am NEVER going at it alone.

Prayer Requests:
Please pray for a wheelchair for Anthony, I am attempting to find one for him tomorrow!
Pray for opportunities this week to Praise Him with others, to share my story and to love on others!
Pray that if my story touched one of my girls today, or struck something in her, that she would reach out and I could help her through the pain.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Several months ago, I received a phone call from Tally Willgis, a church planter in Virginia Beach, who had stumbled across my blog, and my cell phone number that I had accidentally posted, he wasted no time getting in touch with me and then scheduling a visit to come and check out MetroKidz and Charm City. I was intrigued by his heart, his story and his ambition to see changes happen in a city, he'd left behind several years before. I wanted and needed to know more, he had a story, one that he could relate to the people we work with a Charm City, grew up with a single mom in the Baltimore Projects. I was impressed, impressed with his story, impressed with his heart for a ministry he knew little about and impressed with his ambition to do something more for inner city ministries like ours.

Tally spent several hours with us on a Wednesday night and has not stopped encouraging us, providing us with resources, people and love. When he left that night he assured us that he'd be back in some capactiy, a few months later, Tally rallied people from several different ministries and churches to come and hear about what we were doing in Southwest Baltimore, shortly after that I recieved a phone call that he'd found a youth group to come and spend a weekend with us, he showed up this summer to our block party and hasn't stopped pursuing helping inner city churches.

Just a few weeks ago, Tally announced that he would be returning home to Baltimore, he has accepted an invitation by Embrace Baltimore and the SBC to return home to start church. Tally agreed to return home but with the desire to see his hometown transformed. The Baltimore Project is the result of this passion. Tally is concerned with addressing three main areas in our city: Generational Poverty, Generational Apathy and Spiritual Darkness. His very first task is to launch a new church called Captivate Church in Towson. If you're interested in knowing more about Tally's story you can follow him at and he blogs at

It is my prayer that Tally finds partners that see this passion in him, who are willing to give their lives to see this passion in Tally come alive. I pray that God would send people who are willing to help Tally help us! I pray for the right partners to click on the link above and know this is where they are supposed to help out. Finally, I not only pray for Tally and his family during this time, but I praise God for their obedience to step out of something comfortable and into something unknown, new and unique.