Archive for December, 2012

December 27, 2012

Gingerbread House 2012


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Tish, Jessica, Joshua, James, and Ashley all lived in the house. James was in the attic and Tish was in the basement. All the extra rooms were used for guests, games, and one was a boohoo room from the movie Life.  Magic dust covered the roof, and it brought cheer into the house. The walls are held together with love and understanding. The marshmallows are people that come to admire the house. The marshmallow-rock on the roof fell from space, but it doesn’t affect the occupants so they left it there. Gum drops adorned the roof and the east wall as Christmas lights so that the house can be entered into the trail of lights. They even added a snowman on the roof to contribute to the decorations.  They put up a Christmas tree inside that they decorated with handmade dough ornaments, and they placed a shiny gold star on top.The chimney was multicolored, like Joseph’s coat of many colors. It incited jealousy in all the neighbors, so much so that the chimney maker was sold into slavery. 

 

Gingerbread House 2010

 

The occupants played Christmas music on homemade instruments. A leaning tree was planted in the yard by Joshua, so that people would remember him.  The snowman was made into a rabbit-cable antenna so that they could watch TV. Briana built a snowman near the guitar on the front door and he would occasionally play for the occupants. Daniel finished the east wall, started by Tess.

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At the end of Christmas, all the candy decorations were eaten by giants from an unknown place. Dawn enlisted smurfs to defend the house from giants. They took up residence on the roof. The logs on the south end were placed there by a wicked witch to attract Hansel and Gretel. 

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The pattern acts as camouflage so that people outside cannot distinguish the house from the forest, so that they cannot be busted for taking kids. The kids can see the house because their sense of curiosity leads them into the yard.

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Gingerbread House 2012.   Become a volunteer in SYM.

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December 21, 2012

Jail and Prison



 

Bad things happen in jail and even more so in prison. However, lots of good things happen, too. Our clients who end up in jail often respond well to boundaries. They have a (very expensive) roof over their head. They have (very expensive and boring) meals provided. And they have nothing but time. Time to talk with themselves. Time to rediscover talking with God. And time to read Bibles. Oddly, a whole Bible is a rare thing in jail, according to our clients. So they often have to read whatever pages are there.

 

We received a couple of letters this week from jailed clients. One is in prison. We walked with him through self-loathing and fighting all the time, both products of pretty crummy upbringing and circumstances. He’ll be 27 when he can get out. He’s managed to be only in 2 fights this year, which is a pretty low number. He tries to keep to himself but that’s not easy. He has two favors to ask: for people to write to him and for me to find a church that will send him regularly some type of Bible study.

 

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The other is in county jail, but his legal case is going to take a while. He’s been there for months and will likely remain there for many more. We walked with him through addiction. He once was just that close to trusting Jesus at a low point but pulled away. He had this to say: “I have begun life anew in here by the grace of God. I am at peace like I have not known in a long time. I do not have to chase a high that will never satisfy me like knowing God does now.” He went on, “I was in shock when I got here. But I began to attend a Bible study led by my peers and asked Jesus into my heart as you showed me before.” He isn’t able to attend church because of the security level of his facility but he does have a Bible to read. He particularly likes Psalms, Proverbs and James at the moment.

 

Here are some quotes from our jail stationery. If you’d like to join our jail writing team, we’d love to have you. We have 7 people who aren’t getting letters from a pen pal right now!

 

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“Jailhouse conversions” may not seem real. They lives often don’t bear fruit after getting out of jail. I’m not here to say if they are real or not. I asked a client who found Jesus in jail and who was recently baptized. He sure believes they are real. His advice to inmates, “Tell them to walk by faith and not by sight. It’s hard in jail. And getting out is even harder. But it can be done by the grace of God on a daily basis.”

 

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December 11, 2012

Freed


Three or four times in the same day, I was in the position to explain the Gospel to very broken young clients. One grew up Catholic, with a very tough family and life experience. Another was baptized early in life and now uses heroine on the streets of Austin. Another lives on the street and battles depression, in and out of help centers. All are under 24 and all grew up around churches.

 

All know and believe in God. All can tell me many things from the Bible. Most of it has been told them by pastors, friends, and family. “One friend keeps her Bible near because it’s her protection. But I asked if she’s read it and she said no.” “God made everything and Jesus came to show us how to live. If we keep trying, we’ll get it right.” “I was taught the Bible is a rulebook for how we need to live to get into heaven.” 

 

I was able to help them understand the true Gospel secret. Jesus came to free you from judgement. He proved that you could live a good life and that would earn you an eternity with God. But he plead guilty before God for all my crimes and all the crimes of anyone who will believe in Him. Jesus becomes separated from God (“God, my father… why have you abandoned me” were His words on the cross.”) 

 

As a result, you are free from the rules of the Bible. The rules of the Bible are not how you become a Christian. You become a Christian by knowing His son Jesus and accepting with purpose his present of taking the bullet for you. At that point, you are Free! 

 

But what are you freed for? God loved you first and pursued you before you ever come to Jesus. You have been freed so you can live the wonderful life God has already planned for you. And as you get to know Jesus and God, you will find that the good life He has prepared for you involves living in a way that obeys all the rules of the Bible. But you’re not doing it to get into heaven, you’re doing it because you’re headed to heaven and it feels right! You are freed from judgement so that you are free to live according to God’s good plans. And that’s why we read the Bible. That’s why we worship God. That’s why we tell Gospel secret to others. Freed for a purpose!


“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
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I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole

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December 4, 2012

Christmas Meaning


How would you explain Christmas?

 

At a Wash Day, a young client girl, probably about 22, continued to ask for an explanation of Christmas. She had been doing that for about a week now and just wasn’t satisfied with answers she was getting from me and from peers. So I decided to give her the full Gospel answer for Christmas.

 

God is good and made everything. Every man or woman knows what is right and yet we do something else. As a result God, who is good and just, has to judge us bad. He didn’t want to but it’s who God is…. good, just and judge. Since he is also loving, he sent His son to live here on earth. Jesus was born on a day we commemorate with Christmas. And Jesus lived a good live on earth showing us what God intended. But then Jesus took the bullet for us all, plead guilty even though He’s innocent to all our crimes and took into himself the sins of all who would believe in Him. As a result, we are free from needing to live a good live to avoid God’s judgement if we call on Jesus to take the bullet for us and want to do better. That’s what we celebrate on Christmas! It may not have been Dec 25, but it could be, because if God is who we think He is, He could have allowed us to pick the right date. It’s not because he was born then. The Bible tells us he always existed with God as long as there was creation. It’s because of why He was born. To free from judgement those who would believe in Jesus! Merry Christmas!

 

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“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
Who We Serve   What We Do   Get Involved  Support Us   News  Publications  Ministry Needs   Speaking   Service Projects   Sign-up


Become a fan on Facebook!
Mobile? No problem: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole

Follow SYM: Facebook LinkedIn Blog RSS Twitter Plaxo Etsy Etsy Blogger Google Buzz Tungle.me YouTube Google Plus

 

 

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