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No Rain in HP

The day dawned gray, the forecast was bad…rain, followed by some more rain, then some rain.

We prayed. We went up to Kensington to meet up with Heather and hook up the trailer to her Suburban…still raining.

Heading south on John R, we looked ahead and saw brighter skies. We arrived at Green Acres Park… NO RAIN!!

It didn’t rain a drop. Not one, until we were packing up to head home!

Great day! Awesome God. Thanks to ALL, new faces and old, who braved a miserable forecast and came to be a part of the Hazel Park CommuniD BBQ!! YOU ALL ROCK!!

Shared by Jim Sterner.


Hazel Park and a beer tent

We’d been blessed weather-wise for every BBQ so far…no rain in spite of bad forecasts, warmer than expected temps, very blessed. This Saturday wasn’t looking good though. No problem, God’s taken care of the weather every time. We went ahead and fired up the grill and the skies opened. Harder and harder it came down.  All the pavilions were being used so we were looking hard for a plan B. One of our HP BBQ family came running up and said she’d talked with the people using one of the pavilions and we were welcome to use the end of their pavilion. Plan B had arrived and we took off, lit grill, tables and people scrambling across the park. All eyes were on us as we set up at the end of the music pavilion of the Madison Hts. F.O.E. picnic. God is good…but who is this big dude with the seriously unhappy face coming our way? As we talked (talked=did our best to be able to stay where we were) we found out that the invite didn’t come from anyone in charge of this rather BIG (all three pavilions, beer tent, 200+ people) picnic, but rather from the DJ. After a short conversation, one that went from terse to pleasant, we were given the official OK. God is good!
We talked, mingled, bought raffle tickets, watched horseshoes, got a shout out over the PA from the Madison Hts. F.O.E. president Brian, and had a chance to meet and connect with a group of people we’d have never met without the “unwanted” rain. By the way, the rain stopped as soon as we’d gotten under cover and the sun came out shortly after. Yes, God is good. His plans, not our plans!

Written by: Jim Sterner

Jim & Donna Sterner are the point leaders for the Hazel Park CommuniD BBQs


Being Jesus

“Everyone needs compassion. A love that’s never failing.”

I love this song. It’s one of my favorites.

I’ve probably sung it a hundred times. Maybe more.

This is Friday night though. Normally I may sing it on a Sunday. I may sing it on a Wednesday. But I bet this is the first time on a Friday. Certainly the first time the night before a CommuniD BBQ.

Read those two lines again:
“Everyone needs compassion. A love that’s never failing.”

We all do don’t we? I know I certainly do.

Tomorrow, when we each get together at 2nd & Selden, let’s look at each other and everyone we see throughout the day with those eyes.

“Everyone needs compassion. A love that’s never failing.”

The next line says, “Let mercy fall on me.”

Lord, let mercy fall on us. And let us pour it out as an offering to you. Let each of us experience your mercy and unfailing love through each other’s compassion freely shared amongst every one present at 2nd and Selden.

– Post by Mike Schmitt
Twitter: @mikeschmitt
Blog: http://schmittmike.wordpress.com


Mack and Outreach Love

I spent this afternoon at the CommuniD BBQ in Detroit. It’s August 13th, 2011. Today’s high is 80°F. Mostly sunny. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Today I met a man named Mack. Scratch that… today I met a friend named Mack. I’ve actually met him many times before, but never remembered his name. After today, I will never forget his name.

Mack is 26 years old. He will turn 27 on October 1st. Mack is African-American. He is probably 5′ 10″ tall; a little heavier than average build. He’s a good size to hug. Mack has a sweetness about him. It’s a childlike innocence. To meet Mack is to like him. To talk with him is to love him. I cannot help, but see Christ in his smile. It’s beautiful. He is beautiful.

Mack is currently homeless. Mack stays in a shelter in Cass Corridor. Mack comes to the CommuniD BBQs just about every week. He has for some time.

Today Mack read me a song he wrote. He has chords written out and everything. The song is called Outreach Love. Mack wrote Outreach Love to describe his experiences at CommuniD BBQs at 2nd & Selden.

I hope to be able to post the lyrics to his song soon. For now, I’ll say two things about it:
1. I was in tears after hearing it.
2. The only line I remember goes something like, “No one looks at me like I’m broken.”

To anyone who may read this… success. If the last four plus years of BBQs through winter and summer alike had no other benefit whatsoever, but to give Mack the experience of being seen by God as not being broken… success. Because in Christ, Mack is made whole. In Christ, I am made whole. In Christ, Mack is not broken. In Christ, I am not broken. In Christ, Mack is healed of his brokenness. In Christ, we are all healed of our brokenness.

God,

Thank you for Christ. Thank you for Mack. Thank you for Christ in Mack. And thank you for Christ in me. Thank you for healing our brokenness through Christ and His body… us.

I hope to post full lyrics to Outreach Love soon.

P.S. Get ready for one SERIOUS birthday party on October 1st.

Mack, Heather, Morgyn and friend last summer (8/7/10)

Written by Mike Schmitt
Twitter: @mikeschmitt


What it’s all about

Some of you may have seen the tweet from @lindseymfischer that looked something like this:

@lindseymfischer Little girl accepted Christ into her life today at the #CommuniDBBQ @elevatedetroit http://yfrog.com/klgr3luj

Here’s a picture of brother Fred praying with her. This is what it’s ALL ABOUT! Here’s a homeless friend of ours, a brother in Christ called into ministry by the Spirit, leading a little girl into a relationship with Christ on an August afternoon. We are blessed beyond measure to be a part of the movement of the Spirit of God in our city!!

Thank you, LORD!!

Brother Fred Thompson leading a little girl to Christ today!!


Easter Brunch CommuniD BBQ

Received from Armond on 5/6/11 through a series of @replies on Twitter:

He begins by responding to my general post asking people to define Hell…

Define Hell: Detroit without positive people like you all.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the Least of these my brothers, you did it also to me.’” Matthew 25:35-40

Even though I am a twenty four year old black man, I cried like a baby on Saturday April 23, 2011.  Everything I ever believed changed that day because of some friendly people at a BBQ. I was homeless at that time, but it changed my perception of the possibilities in life. For the longest time I was raised up thinking that ALL Caucasian man hated me, or something, because of my skin color.  Yet the day before Easter, the things I thought I knew suddenly changed due to some friendly folks who were kind to me and my baby son Chad and gave him some toys and food.

But even more importantly they were helping other folks in a currently disadvantaged position.  For the first time ever, AND I DO MEAN EVER, I saw and felt a presence and love energy unlike anything I have ever felt before.  And in less than one hour it shook me to the very roots of my belief system.

Less than two Saturdays later, I now have a temporary place to stay and wash my clothes and keep my body clean, a Gym membership to increase my fitness and a whole box of books to further my studies to become a better vessel for God.  I even have a temp job distributing materials door to door for hospitals and other companies.

Even though none of these gifts came directly from these people at the BBQ, that day sparked a new era in my life because it boosted my faith and love ten-fold as even as the bright sun illuminates the land after a bad storm. I GIVE MY MOST SUPREME THANKS TO THE GOOD LORD FOR GOOD FOLKS LIKE THIS! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

All i know is that I gave my letter to some woman named Amanda and good things started happening.  I know she had to be praying for me and I appreciate every bit of it because I needed it so much.

To follow Armond on Twitter: http://twitter.com/scienceandart23


Christmas CommuniD BBQ

I’m so excited today is finally here!

We’re planning an outdoor family style dinner in late December in Detroit. From a logical perspective, from a rational perspective, it’s a dumb idea at best. From a Kingdom perspective… well I think it’s a Kingdom idea.

The idea is to have a family style sit down dinner. This isn’t us serving them. This is all of God’s family sitting at a common table and sharing a meal together in celebration of Christ. Christmas. It’s what the word truly means… celebration of Christ.

Close your eyes for a moment and just picture the park… The gazebo with holes rusted all over the roof. The light poles with no lights on top. The tags sprawling across the building wall. The dolphin.

It’s a place known in the neighborhood for crack and heroine dealing. It’s a violent place. A vile place. It’s a place I’ve been told that many neighborhood people won’t come unless “you’re here”. It’s a place I’ve been told that, “White people don’t belong here.” It’s a stronghold of a defeated enemy. And it’s being redeemed.

This is Christmas Day. Today there will be strings of lights and Christmas decorations. There will be tables all pushed together into one BIG table. There will be chairs lining all the way around. Hot food aplenty sprawling before our eyes and hungry bellies. Every color of person created (yes, even white people), every income level, every education level, every strength, every weakness, every addiction, every habit, good and bad, all beckoned to come sit together and share a common meal in celebration of our newly born and now risen Lord Jesus.

I don’t know what heaven will be like. I don’t know what God’s Kingdom looks like in its fullness. I hope we’ll be able to fly. That would be fun. But I do know that whatever it looks like… today we shall see a reflection… Yes, we shall see a reflection of Heaven. That reflection won’t be in rusty gazebo roofs, broken lamp posts or cement statues of oceanic mammals. It won’t be in strings of lights or piles of snow or sidewalk salt. It won’t be in decorated cookies or trees and it won’t be in pots of ham or green beans or dinner rolls. The reflection we’ll see will be in the eyes and hearts of every person around that table. Every glint of hope and faith and love in every eye glowing all the brighter as glint sees glint and love flows evermore like a fountain of life. We may not see what Heaven will look like. But in fleeting moments… if we’re paying attention… we’ll know what it feels like.

Grace and peace to each of you. It’s a deep honor to serve, love and celebrate Christ alongside each you. Truly… Merry Christ Mass