Saturday, June 21, 2008

AIDS Walk Long Beach

Lord have was SO hot today!! I think that I overheard on the tv as I was passing by that we broke a record today. My goodness!

My family and I (all 6 of us!) walked the 5k this morning in order to raise money for the ongoing local fight against the HIV virus. Kingdom Causes has been a part of a collaborative effort here locally (plans are going public next month so stay tuned about how you can get involved - or better yet, email one of us and let us know you are interested now!) and we walked with one of the other collaborating organizations called Global Lifeworks.

Our team of about 45 folks was the #1 fundraising team with cash money of about 10k. They are still tallying up the results. Way to go team! You can check it out for yourself HERE.

It was actually a great event today. It was good to see so many of the folks that we have been dreaming and strategizing with in our monthly HIV/AIDS collaborative meetings. This is truly a collaborative effort and we are excited about how plans are coming together. We are hoping to have a launch meeting on the evening of Tuesday July 29th. If you are interested in learning about what Dr Becky Kuhn (A local HIV/AIDS physician and the leader of Global Lifeworks) calls "the most exciting collaborative project engaging this cause that she is aware of anywhere in the USA" consider joining us!

I also saw and said hi to a few other folks that I recognized - Lance Lefler and his family (including dog), a whole gang of folks from Project Long Beach (aka Rock Harbor Folks).

I did find myself wondering why the only people there at the end of the 5k to congratulate me were two flamboyant drag queens and not representatives of the Church of the City. What a great idea for next year! There I go thinking out loud again...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WOW Jam 2008

Wow Jam was on June 6 at Houghton Park (in North Long Beach) and on June 7 at Poly High School (Downtown Long Beach).  This is the second year WOW Jam has taken place in Long Beach.  The first year there was such a great turn out they decided to have two WOW Jams in Long Beach.  It was my first time being at and participating in a WOW Jam.  I was not sure of what to expect or how I felt about the WOW Jam.  There were 60 churches that participated in WOW Jam.  Many provided volunteers and donated to WOW Jam.  There were many people at the first WOW Jam, but even more people showed up to the WOW Jam at Poly.  I was very impressed by the free gifts they had at the booths like the educational toys and shoes.  I was very tempted to go to the Samaritans Feet booth where they washed people's feet and gave them a pair of shoes.  They had really nice shoes like Jack Parcels and Converses.  But I am glad the neighborhood was blessed by them.  KC also had a booth.  We asked people to draw or write what they would want to make better in their community.  Many kids came to our table and colored.  Then we posted them on a board to show the hopes and dreams of the community.  My favorite was drawn by Josue.  He loves to skate board and has awesome scar stories.  His said "less gang violence" and he drew a drive-by shooting.  He told me these happen a lot in his neighborhood.  It is amazing what kids today are exposed to.  

Monday, June 16, 2008

Second Saturday Prayer

I haven't posted anything for a while, so.....I'm back!!
This Saturday was the second Saturday and thus - our SS Prayer at 6am!!!! People come sleepy, with wet hair, with big cups of coffee, not quite sure what they're doing there and wishing for the sheets and more sleep. And then we pray and I personally haven't heard anyone complain about the time spent in the throne room of the Most High God. We're building a core of faithful people and learning to pray together in spite of different styles and backgrounds and many times differing beliefs about various theological matters. All of that falls to the background as we come together on behalf of our City. This week there were 6 or 7 different churches represented. One guy was on vacation and his day began really early! Some people pray a lot, some a little, some not at all. Some people pray eloquently, some simply, some not at all (except in their hearts). Sometimes we pray according to the web-page prayer guide I put together monthly, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we pray over the local news and sometimes we pray over the churches represented. This week we were praying over the younger generation and their vision for the City. So to continue in that vein, we gathered around the young ones in the room and prayed for them and what it is that Abba has in store for them as they work to make the Kingdom come in Long Beach.
Each month I'm a little more excited about what God is doing. It's been a prayer of mine for many years to see the Church come together to seek God's heart for the city and here it's happening!!!!
Thank you to those who make that special sacrifice!

The Church in Long Beach - WOW!!!!

What a testimony to God at work in the City of Long Beach. Sixty churches worked together to support the WOW jam held at Houghton Park and Poly High on June 6 and 7. Pastors Bonnie and Paul Theimens headed the effort and did so much work to connect with and enroll all the churches and organizations that participated by giving of their time, talents and resources to this Kingdom effort. I let my hurting body talk me out of staying for the best part Friday evening and went home. Here is the story one of my friends told me. She was part of the altar call prayer people and one of the families she prayed with - parents and kids - had all raised their hands to accept Jesus. As she prayed over them she began praying for healing, restoration and protection and the woman was visibly impacted. The husband's response to his wife was to hold her in his arms and let her cry. The next person was a Hispanic woman who didn't speak English except to say, as she held her hands up, "It's a miracle!" over and over. A Spanish speaking worker then came and ministered to her. My friend says, "I don't know what will happen to these people now, but the Holy Spirit has touched them and it's His job now! I know God has impacted the lives of these people for eternity."
I have heard comments about the give-aways, about this not having lasting impact, and many others. Several of my friends were there and all of them report being so aware of the presence of God. I say, if nothing else, for 60 churches to come together in one accord to further the Kingdom, it's a win for God's side!!! My participation for this one was to pray with Pastor Paul over the sites and hearing God's heart for those people in that place was what I wanted. At our Second Saturday prayer meeting last Saturday we bathed everything again in prayer. We asked God to "complete the good work He began until the day of salvation" for each person who was impacted by this year's WOW jam. He's got a lot of work to do because at Poly alone there were 5000 people in attendance.
Kudos to each and every person who gave anything and Pastors Paul and Bonnie worked tirelessly to bring about an eternal impact in the City of Long Beach. Blessings to you!!!
As one of my main functions at Kingdom Causes is prayer, my encouragement to anyone who reads this blog is to continue to pray for this years' jam to begin now to intercede for next years'. Let's also pray for encouragement, support and refreshment for the Theimens.
Love to you all - Judy

Friday, June 13, 2008

Special Olympics in Long Beach

For many of you that know me, you know that I have a daughter 24 who has Cerebral palsy. Danielle has been swimming in Special Olympics for the past 10 years, and just because of who she is, she has gotten more press than all my family combined. Today Friday June 13th in the Press Telegram on page C4 she again was interviewed, quoted and photographed. Special Olympics is this weekend at Long Beach State College with opening ceremonies Friday June 13th at 6:30 at the Pyramid. They are always looking for volunteers to help with all the logistics of hundreds of athletes from around Southern Cal. that come and participate in these events. Come check it out June 13-15th on the CSULB campus. Check out the swimming, track, basketball and other events. Witness these often forgotten individuals as they attempt bravely and give it their all to win the prize.
Jim Schorr