Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Hamilton has another thing to celebrate! Hamilton and CSULB received a $900,000 grant from US Department of Health, Human Services for their project called "Youth, Empowerment for Success! (YES!) Si Se Puede!" They will provide academic mentoring, digital media skills, career development, college preparation, and physical fitness activities to promote health and success among local Latino Middle School Youth. The three year grant was one of just 12 community projects awarded nationwide! Congratulations Hamilton!
Monday, November 30, 2009
On Monday, November 23, 12 families received Thanksgiving boxes. Kingdom Causes Long Beach coordinated the donation of 12 turkeys and sides to identified families at Hamilton Middle School. Parent volunteers decorated cardboard boxes and assembled the meals. We are truly thankful to those who contributed to blessing these 12 families in North Long Beach!
To view more pictures visit our Facebook Page.
In Downtown Long Beach, Somatra (another AmeriCorps worker) has been convening a group of neighbors along 9th Street between Atlantic Avenue and Martin L. King Jr Street. Neighbors met, many for the first time, during barbecues at a local church parking lot. From there the neighbors starting a neighborhood meeting. Together they decided to work on neighborhood safety and wanted to become a registered neighborhood watch block. First they had their local beat police officer share about the neighborhood. Just recently, Lisa, coordinator of neighborhood watch for Long Beach, orientated the neighbors on neighborhood watch. The neighborhood is finally an official registered neighborhood watch block!
These are just a few stories from the two neighborhood Somatra and I are working in. There are so many more stories of individuals and relationships developing through our involvement with these neighborhoods. Community development is difficult work. There is no set structure, hours, or boundaries because you work where you live. It takes lots of time, commitment and love. But it is so rewarding! The relationships that I have built with my neighbors is irreplaceable. The growth within my neighbors is encouraging to witness. I get to share life with them and see them take responsibility and ownership of their neighborhood. They have great commitment and care for the community. Sadly my time with AmeriCorps is coming to an end, but my time within my community is just beginning.
Kingdom Causes Long Beach is looking for an individual who would like to work with a neighborhood in North Long Beach as an AmeriCorps worker. If you have a heart for community development, bringing neighbors together to work toward a better community, then please contact us! To learn more please see the job description at the Kingdom Causes Long Beach website.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Because of a partnership with Staples, Kingdom Causes was also able to include a gift certificate in the "fan mail" for all of the teaching staff! We know many of them leverage their personal finances for classroom resources and we wanted to stand with them this way as well. "Thank You" and here are some dollars to help support your important work.
Friday, November 20, 2009
In a season where the Lord particularly stirs the heart of His Church for those who are under-resourced here in our city, we need to be working together as local congregations. Wouldn't you agree? Is it fair to say that duplication of efforts (at "best") and haphazard random efforts (at "worst") seem to not really be getting the job done. In fact, things like congregations continuing to serve meals in the parks (which is actually illegal and is definitely not winning us any friends or partners here in the city...even on Thanksgiving!) or having multiple congregations calling us and asking if we know who they can give their "currently being collected baskets of food for needy families" to are for us confirmation that this might just be a case of best intentions that are needing just a little more coordination and focus.
(Got that off my chest. Whew. Off my soap box now. Brad)This is where Kingdom Causes and our congregational Homeless Hospitality Teams come in! Please don't misunderstand, we are actually excited that people want to make a difference but we just want to make sure that things are done with people's actual empowerment and long term solutions in mind! There are a lot of great organizations and efforts already in motion and there is much more that can be done! The reality is that our homeless (and the almost homeless!) neighbors are facing a year round challenge right here in our city. There are many parts to this puzzle and there might be a specific role for each of us to be playing. Kingdom Causes Long Beach is here to help connect and focus our individual and city wide organizational efforts so that Kingdom resources can be maximized in the areas of serving our homeless neighbors!
For those that are still interested and were not able to make this meeting be sure to contact us if you want to learn more about how you, your small group, your business or your local congregation might get involved too! You can check out the list of needed items at the Kingdom Causes Long Beach website on the Homelessness page. Stay tuned for the next specific update about this exciting LB Connections project!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Following what we believe to be our direction from God to worship publicly in the city, we, the Joshua prayer group, met for a pre-event prayer time to prepare the ground on Friday, the 23rd. We began to pray and get direction to prepare the Park for the next morning's worship time. We felt like we were raising a tent of worship and prayer covering over the park and that we were to start out facing each direction and pray into that direction, starting with the north, the east, the south and the west. We prayed both what we knew and what we felt the Lord revealed concerning each direction into the City.
October 24, 7am at Bixby Park
Intercessors from at least 5 congregations in the Southland, 2 pastors and people from Love HOP met to publicly worship our King and Lord. We believe this is the way the Lord has instructed us to wage warfare. We spoke His praise and worship, we sang to Him, and our hearts were to glorify and please Him and to make His name famous in this city. We also prayed over the two pastors who were present, David and Paul, as representatives for the pastors in the city. Pastor Paul, who spearheads the WOW jam and connects with pastors from all over the city, prayed for the city and the pastors in it when we finished praying for him. Pastor David had had a picture of a white car all rusted representing a picture of the Church as we stand, and then a picture of a white car all clean and shining, representing the Church as He intends us to be.
It turns out that one of the people that came from Whittier leads a weekly Bible study and brought them down to Bixby Park to pray before the Gay Pride parade one year. I keep hearing of people who come from afar to pray over our city.
I know many people are praying now and have prayed in the past. I would love to have a means to connect with the past in order to more effectively pray into the present.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
We did it! We survived playing 100 holes of golf in a single day on Monday. By the 10th hole we were thinking that we really should get out more and work on our 'game'. By the 90th hole our sore back, shoulders and hands were trying to convince our brains that playing this 100 holes would be sufficient until our 6th annual marathon next October!
It actually was not really about golf. For those that were able, know that we greatly appreciate the investment of your resources in us, the organization that we work for and the numerous lives of people who we serve on a daily basis here in Long Beach. We wake up every morning knowing that we get to be part of a team that makes a tangible difference in the lives of people - and we love it! In a challenging season for so many people, where we too have had to lay off some of our staff and each personally take a pay cut for the remainder of the year, we honestly can say that we couldn't continue to do all that we do without key support from people like you - as a part of our yearly golf marathon! Every little bit helps. Thanks!
Here is a picture of most of the 26 golfers who spent the day raising money for a great cause! These people represent Kingdom Causes varioud city staff, board members, key volunteers and other friends - 1/2 of which will not pick up a club for another 12 months :)
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I arrived at the Little Recreation Golf Course at 7 AM with my orange and blue plaid shorts on dressed as a golfer to compensate my lack of golfing skills. I find out I am teamed with two well-experienced golfers Jim Schorr and Frank Fry. I get even more nervous and embarrassed ,but soon those emotions were replaced with excitement. I had my own golf cart. It was my first time driving one. In a perfect world we would all drive around in golf carts. They are so smooth and quiet. I think I worked out more my legs because the parking break was hard to lock and unlock. We started at hole number five, it was a par 4 (one of the more difficult holes out of the nine holes). It was hard to distinguish the flag because it was so far away. All I knew was to hit it straight. I didn’t do as bad as I imagined. Frank Fry said that I actually had a good swing. The only bad thing for me was my contact with the ball. I would always hit the top of the ball. We hit five balls at one time and selected the best ball and lined up our ball next to it. I learned how to chip the ball onto the green with a wedge. Half way through the golf course I got tired and my arms started to get all noodlely. We were thirty holes in out of our 100 holes. But I pushed through. On our second time around the course I started to hit my stride. I was making lovely drives across the fairway that impressed me, my team, and Somatra (who joined me at the hole number one). I even out drove Jim at one hole. One of my balls hit the green and rolled off on the first shot! I made a few pars but mainly averaged around five shots per hole better than the ten shots I imagined I would do. It was finally time to take eat lunch and we were at 82 holes. Some of the golfers were already done! After lunch we push through to the last 18 holes, by that time I was already done with golf. We finished at golf hole number three where last year Jim Howell made a hole in one. He passed away this year so in honor of him we had a sign marking where someone hit the green closest to the hole on his or her first shot. No one had a hole in one but a few were a few inches from it.
Overall, I love my team. They were patient and encouraging. Golfing 100 holes is possible and I could do it! I wouldn’t mind doing it again. It was very encouraging for me personally to see so many people support Kingdom Causes Long Beach and me.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
[from left to right: a local volunteer, Pastor John Teter and his daughter, Principal David Downing, and David Leonard] [Hamilton students delivering backpacks]
What a great morning spent praying for and inspiring leaders of all types here in our great city! If you have not yet been to one of these you really should give it a try. If you have been in the past and haven't been in a while you should revisit it. It is one of the key times of the year that many Christian leaders from various spheres of influence (Church, Business, Political, Medical, etc...) are all in the same room together. It is quite a visible encouragement to see and be part of.
Dr Townsend, our guest speaker for the morning, talked to a mixed faith, but still predominately Christian audience, about the skills needed for any quality leader for challenging times such as these:
1. They need to have 2 teams around them - a technical/craft team and a do-life with team
2. They invest in themselves as an asset - personal and professional development
3. They resolve catastrophic thinking - help people with anxiety by remaining calm
4. They pick the 'low hanging fruit' - provide hope!
5. They remember/revisit their vision often
6. They be the leader that people need them to be.
What a great encouragement for all in attendance. What a great way to intersect how Biblical truths totally gel with with everyday leadership environments and situations. Imagine that! We are fortunate that in our city/county we have a great number of people who consider Godly wisdom and daily Holy Spirit direction something of great worth and value.
Good job to all who worked hard to put this together! Glad that we could help too. Well done.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The picture you see above is from last Sunday's service at Long Beach Christian Fellowship. (sorry for the poor quality - all I had with me was my phone) It was a great privilege for me to take part in the service by sharing as one who knows firsthand the influence these leaders have had on the broader 'Church of the City' and in our city itself. As pastors Doug and Val have now completed their assignment of founding and serving this congregation faithfully for the past 26 years, it was quite a celebration - balloons and all!
In my brief sharing piece I talked about how when we look at impact from God's eternal perspective that each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have come before and how faithfully God's redemptive plans continue to unfold. What I forgot to mention (because I actually started to choke up) was that what Doug heard from the Lord about a united Body of Christ here locally, which he sowed into greatly here in the city, has been shared with other "faithful people who will pass it along to others as well" (Similar to Paul sharing with Timothy in 2 Tim 2:2). I know that this past 26 year window of time will be one that I pass on (Lord willing) to my gandkids one day as I share with them the passion I have for what I do!
If you want to learn more about what they will be doing now you can check out www.reinventministries.org. They have moved now to Northern CA.
Pastor Brandon Cook (and his lovely wife Rebecca) will be taking over as the new senior leader of LBCF after the past year or so of a smooth leadership transition. He is an amazing guy with a great heart or the Lord and I/we look forward to partnering with him and LBCF as they begin to write the next chapter of their congregational story.
I have a confession to make – when I first heard of the Love HOP, I noticed it and pretty much dismissed it, thinking it was a bunch of kids and would burn out their enthusiasm quickly. Please forgive me, I was so wrong. I have had opportunity to pray in several venues with several of the young people involved with this movement and they love the Lord with all their hearts and are passionate to see Him move in this City. They are grounded in Him and rooted in His Word. And they are committed to prayer. If you want your faith stirred and revived, come pray with these kids as they enter the throne-rooms of heaven!
Last night began with acoustic worship, simple and profound, and went into confession and repentance: personal, identificational, generational, racial and gender specific. We confessed for ourselves, we confessed on behalf of that portion of society we represent and blessed and forgave one another. The Lord convicted us of sin and provided the way for us “to confess our sins to one another”. For me personally, there was reconnection with a very special young man I had lost touch with through neglect on my part.
There was a “sound” released calling out for the Presence of Jesus in our midst. I think that if you listen closely, you’ll hear the sound stirring in your belly. “How blessed are the people who hear joyful sound.” Ps.89:15 – it is a reference to the shout of the people to the Lord or the sound of the shofar blowing at the feasts of Israel
I have been attending a church called The Light on Signal Hill where I have been touched by the Lord every week. Kingdom Causes has a monthly prayer meeting on Second Saturdays in Signal Hill. There is a group praying and prayer-walking the City that meets on some Fridays in the Kingdom Causes offices on Signal Hill. That group is putting together a grass-roots worship happening in Bixby Park on October 24 at 7am. And then there is Love HOP meeting in our upstairs offices, again, on Signal Hill.
There is a common thread and as I attend each one I see them woven together in prayer over the City. There are common themes and I see prayers prayed in one venue and answered in another. There are connections being made between pray-ers who have been praying alone for a long time and now are praying in community. From our watchtower on Signal, we are praying blessing over the city of Long Beach and for connection between believers from every walk of life. Is this what Jesus prayed in John 17?
Last night was a convergence of old and young, many ethnicities, many congregations, many “unchurched”, male and female, many of whom had never prayed together before. And the Spirit of the Living God showed up and inhabited the praises of His people and tabernacled among us. Blessings to you from Signal Hill!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Monthly Church Leader Prayer Gathering - Pastor Brian Apodaca (Victory Outreach & member of KC LB local advisory board)
Almost every month of the year Kingdom Causes hosts a gathering of local church leaders. We move around each month to a different host location in the city and have a time of worship/praise together, hear a first hand accounting of the local victories/challenges and then pray for that local church leader, their congregation, each other and the city as a whole. While we spend our days in many meetings of all kinds all around the city, this one remains one of the most special times each month. It is fun to see these "family relationships" of the "Church of the City" being genuinely nurtured. We create this intentional space for these leaders knowing that there are very few other ways for them to connect like this. Many have actually meet each other for the first time at one of these gatherings!
We have been doing this for over 4 years now! It has provided a great context for our city pastors to gather, build relationships and support/pray for each other. Over the years there has been some truly amazing times together - in good seasons and bad ones. Many incredible relationships of trust have been established. We believe that this ongoing work is bearing much foundational Kingdom fruit in these critical days! We can longer afford to simply operate in our ministry silos and rely only what at times seems like a "shot gun" approach to the opportunities and challenges our city and her residents are facing. It starts by simply being in relationship with one another. Don't you agree? (Does your pastor(s) attend these? Ask him/her! We'd love to have them join us.)
We realize that many leaders are unable to make these meetings and/or have not yet attended. We also realize that many other people would be blessed by hearing the hearts of these leaders who represent congregations other than the one that they attend. Each time we walk out the gathering we shake our heads and say "we wish everyone could have heard what we just did. God is too good to us in this city. if they just heard that it would change how they drive down this street forever!"
Good news!! We are now interviewing the host pastor each time and will be posting them up on our web site for the encouragement of all. You will find them on our KC LB Blog page in the right hand column or catalogued monthly here. Pastors that can't make it out can now still be in the loop. Other Christians around the city too can now get a glimpse of all of the amazing work that IS being done in and through local congregations. By having these videos online you can join with us and these pastors as we together pray for God's Kingdom to Come and His will to be done in LONG BEACH as it is in heaven!
Note: While the videos are for anyone, this monthly gathering is open ONLY to church leadership from across our city. We'd love to have your pastor join us if they don't already!
One of the key areas that we focus on locally is prayer for our city - for all of our leaders, all of our neighborhoods, all of our local congregations, all of our residents and so much more!
One event that we have been actively involved with for the past few years is the Greater Long Beach Leadership Prayer Breakfast. This gathering is held each year and is driven by local Christian marketplace leaders. The primary purpose of the gathering is to pray for and offer inspiration to our city leaders and those serving in critical service roles of all kinds in our city/county/country.
One twist this year (that, frankly, we are excited about) is that it will be focusing on ethical leadership in our city. After all, it is a leadership prayer breakfast! We will be giving out awards that will be recognizing both an emerging leader and a broad community leader. The message and theme of the day will reflect this new focus of the LB Leadership Prayer Breakfast committee.
Please consider joining us this year! You might even consider inviting others from your local congregation to be a part of the broad city wide effort to pray for God's best to be realized! Make sure you come say hi to us if so. We will have many of our KC Long Beach advisory board members there as well at our table and we'd love to have you meet them!
Here are the details:
When: October 1st, 2009, 7:00 am
Where: Hyatt Regency (200 South Pine Ave)
Cost: $35/person, $350 for a table of 10
Saturday, August 22, 2009
When things seem to be falling apart, God steps in to demonstrate His gentle sovereignty. When you've prayed the last prayer you have in you....that's a really good thing. I met a young man who felt called to pray in Long Beach. He lives in Rialto and brought 30+ intercessors with him to pray in Bixby Park one morning. Four of us from Kingdom Causes connections were there. Since then we have met regularly for prayer to see what our Father has in mind for our City. Our little group has grown to include other pastors and intercessors who have a church-of-the-city focus. The most important person who shows up every time we meet is the One Who called us together in the first place. He is developing in us a deference to one another. We have felt that worship, authentic worship, is our key strategy and our primary form of spiritual warfare. Yesterday one of the women asked what each of us meant when we use that term. As we went around the room there was much agreement - and there were some differences. Our consensus was to honor and respect our differences and adopt a respectful, learning posture with one another. Our group is made up of several streams of prayer and several different congregations and our great desire is that there would be a greater city-wide representation of people who have a heart to see His Kingdom come in Long Beach. Personally, this seems like at least partial answer to a prayer of mine that's been hanging out there since the mid-80's and I'm excited to watch God at work!
We have set a tentative date to meet once again in the Park, this time to worship the Living God in public. Each time we meet, we come away with another piece of the puzzle and feel like we have prayed "in one accord" with God's heart and with each other for our City.
If this excites you and stirs your heart email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
May the Lord inhabit the praises of His people!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
They have a web-site for you to sign up for a time-slot - go to www.wejoinin.com/sheets/jvoyg and you can commit to pray for Long Beach with them...
An excerpt from the email I got stating their vision...
"Our vision is that it would be a place used to heal our broken generation. Our vision is that the workers who are heavy laden would find themselves restored in their first love with Him..and we pray that it would be used to sustain the revival that God wants to pour out in Long Beach...."
God is moving on the campus and in the hearts of the students He is bringing there. I pray His continued blessing and stirring in the hearts of His Church on that campus...join us will you in praying for/and with them?
Hi Judy... Good Morning.
Here is the info. for our church building rental.
15,00 sq. ft.
air conditioned newly remodeled sanctuary
fellowship hall accommodates 60
kitchen, green room
available Tue. Wed. Thurs. Sat. (6:00 PM- 10:00PM)
for more info. call 562-533-1730
Thank you very much for your help Judy.
Victory Outreach Long Beach
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
As I began to look at the New Testament from a Jewish viewpoint, I discovered that our word for the old testament is law, and from theirs it's guardian. Big difference in how we relate to the same words. Same thing here. I'm seeing that policy governance isn't a bunch of rules and regulations to snuff the life out of Kingdom Causes, rather, it's a guideline for helping us to "achieve appropriate results for appropriate persons at an appropriate cost and avoids unacceptable actions and situations."
On to the world of boards...Brad has gathered such a wonderful group of people to serve on our Long Beach KC board. Seeing God at work in and through these people who love Him and our city makes my heart happy. We had our first official board meeting the first week of the month and hearing from each of them just is such a total faith builder in God's sovereignty. We have people in ministry, business, the pastorate, prayer and even a lawyer and all of them have joined us to help us best serve the City of Long Beach. Most of my life has been spent in prayer rooms and in local congregations and seeing this broader picture is causing me to stretch my heart and mind to receive more of Him and His body.
My mantra for this year of 2009 is "God is good, God is sovereign and I am grateful for whatever is in my life as His good provision." - even policy governance!!!!
Blessings to you all...judy