Revisiting Beautiful Feet — Again!


*Update: A change of plans. Found out late Thursday I would be unable to go due to an unexpected family situation. Will be praying for the team and would appreciate your prayers for them as well!

Even though my feet are pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself!), this post is not about my tootsies. Some of you may be disappointed with that news while others of you are, I’m sure, extremely relieved :)

No, this post is about so much more than pedicures or foot scrubs. It’s about a beacon of hope where one is desperately needed. Beautiful Feet is a church that ministers to the homeless and inner city population in Ft. Worth, TX, and if you’ve been following my blog for a couple of years or more, you may remember me telling you about it before.

Once again, I will be joining others from our region on a weekend mission trip to Beautiful Feet. I feel blessed to be a part of their ministry occasionally, but I also feel challenged.

Little fears and personal worries about traveling with a group, the less than stellar sleeping conditions, and what I might encounter or how I might fall short during ministry opportunities all try to steal my joy and enthusiasm about going. I’ve had similar concerns before, and the Lord has always seen me through. In fact, my hymn for the day a few days ago was “God Will Take Care of You”. Isn’t God good to give assurance just when we need it? You’d think I’d learn not to worry, huh?

Please pray for me and the many others who will be ministering at Beautiful Feet this weekend. We’ll arrive Friday afternoon and go practically non-stop until we leave around noon on Sunday. I’ve posted it several times before, but in case you’ve missed it, here’s what Beautiful Feet is all about. Enjoy!

Beautiful Feet

There’s a place in Ft. Worth called Beautiful Feet
A place known by all who live on the street,
A hot lunch for free can be found there each day
After food for the soul is served up some way.
You see it’s not just a place, instead it’s a church
Where many find themselves beginning their search
For some shred of hope, a way out of their pain,
For love and acceptance instead of disdain.
Beautiful Feet is a light in a dark lonely world
A beacon of hope like a flag unfurled
For God’s people show love to one and all,
For Jesus is the One upon whom they call.
There are those who serve faithfully day after day,
And those who come yearly to work, share, and pray.
Each one sees God’s power heal and redeem,
The lost and the hurting become part of the team.
Each year Kansas comes the talk is who is blessed more
Those in Ft. Worth or the Kansans galore.
They truly feel like family, the bond is oh so sweet
For God is the Father at Beautiful Feet.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Isaiah 52:7

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Looking Ahead to Angel Tree

I know we’re not even halfway through September yet, but as our church’s Angel Tree coordinator, it’s time for me to start looking ahead. Not only did I receive my first box of materials from Angel Tree headquarters this week, our missions committee spent considerable time Wednesday afternoon discussing this important Christmas outreach to prisoners’ children.

In all honesty, on the heels of a nearly year-long wedding planning marathon and three lengthy hospital stays of my mother-in-law since Memorial Day, I don’t feel quite ready to tackle another huge project. But ready or not, the time to begin planning has arrived, and you know what? God is faithfully igniting a spark of excitement in me — though I have to admit it does ebb and flow at this point. The Lord knows I’m weary, though, and I firmly believe He’ll give the strength, enthusiasm, and help I need to coordinate this special ministry.

Already, members of our missions committee have offered help by brainstorming ideas for a different approach to the gift distribution this year, by gathering info and providing links to possible evangelism resources, and by offering to make some needed contacts. As I said last year, Angel Tree offers the perfect opportunity for the church to be the church, working together to show and share the love of God with hurting people.

Is your church involved in Angel Tree? Let me know in a comment — I would love to hear about it. If not, would you consider suggesting it as a Christmas outreach this year? According to a recent email I got from the Angel Tree home office, there is still a need for many more church partners. (You can register on their website.)

Maybe you and your church family can be the ones to put smiles on the faces of some very special kids this year. And more importantly, maybe you can be the ones to share the Hope of Christmas with them. Look ahead with me, won’t you?

“…’Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'” Luke 2:10-11

*Flickr photo by Erik Charlton

I’ll Do It!

Ever need someone to volunteer to help out with a task or project you can’t accomplish on your own? I’ve been in just such a position the past several weeks and am happy to report God has provided the volunteers. (No, the baby above is not my volunteer, but she’s sure a cute example, isn’t she? :) )

Many of you will remember that I became our church’s Angel Tree coordinator about a year ago. Most folks associate Angel Tree with Christmas, but many Angel Tree programs offer outreaches and ministry to prisoners’ families at other times during the year as well. For example, we sent Mother’s Day/Father’s Day cards to the prisoners last year and also offered Angel Tree Camping and Back to School ministries for the children. This year a few ladies are also sending birthday cards to the kids throughout the year.

Since right now I’m in the thick of helping my daughter plan her wedding, I needed volunteers to step up and take care of this year’s Angel Tree summer outreaches. I knew if I tried to stuff any more organizational details or tasks into my mind and life, I just might burst. Definitely not a good idea. After all, the mother of the bride needs to be able to hold it all together come what may.

So…several weeks ago, I asked my friend Lisa if she’d be willing to be in charge of the Mother’s Day cards, and she said “yes” right away (thanks, Lisa!). Early this year, I began praying for someone to volunteer to do Angel Tree Camping and have been making the need known in our church for the past couple of months as well. The weeks went by with no one offering to take it on (it’s a big commitment, by the way).

With the time growing ever shorter to be able to pull it off, I felt awful (and guilty!) to think we might not be able to offer camping to our Angel Tree kids this year. Just this past week, however, Melissa, one of our missions committee members, stepped up to organize this vital ministry to the hurting kids of prisoners in our area. Thank you, Melissa! An eternal difference might be made in the lives of some of these precious kids because of your willingness to serve!

I wonder — is God calling you to step up and fill a needed ministry position or perhaps lighten the load of a friend? Are you ready to say, “I’ll do it!”? Believe me, you might be just the one who helps someone hold it all together. You might be just the one who makes an eternal difference.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

*Flickr photo by superhua

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Small Touches

Sometimes one amazing story after another unfolds during a mission trip. Other times the tale is one of an encouraging pat on the shoulder, God’s Word handed out in a fleeting encounter, or simply a cup of coffee offered with a smile. Such is my Beautiful Feet mission trip tale this year. It’s a story of small touches.

Of course, the trip held many of the big blessings it always holds — things like renewed relationships with other area long-time team members, new friendships with first-timers, and sweet reunions with those who minister at Beautiful Feet week in and week out. Also standard were the reminders of just exactly where we were and what life is like in the inner city. This year it was a drug deal going down in the middle of the street right in front of our vehicle as we headed out to the projects to pass out fliers for our backyard Bible club. A few minutes later, it was the bullet holes we saw in one of the front doors we knocked on. This brings us back to another big blessing — our safety during each trip.

The biggest blessings, however, are the ministry opportunities themselves, even when they’re just a series of small touches like mine were this year. I spent the first half of Saturday morning sorting clothes for the homeless before going with a team to nearby neighborhoods to personally invite children to the backyard Bible club. I helped with the 3rd-4th graders that afternoon and then rode the bus with them back to the projects so I could tell them goodbye by name as they got off the bus. Sunday morning I helped serve breakfast in the soup kitchen, and my job was to simply pour milk with a kind word and loving touch into the cups of those who wanted cream with their coffee.

I also got the chance to plant the Word of God into the lives of a few homeless women. I had taken several years worth of Journey magazines (a daily devotional magazine for women by LifeWay) for the Beautiful Feet staff to use however they wished. Mike, the pastor at the Feet, suggested I try to hand out some myself while I was there. So in between my various jobs, I dashed to my stash of Journeys every time I saw a woman I could approach. What a thrill when I saw one young woman pouring over her Journey as I ran to grab a few more to take to a woman waiting out front for me. How I pray that those magazines will make a life-changing difference in the lives of those women whom God loves so much.

I’ll probably never know how God will use my brief encounters and small touches from this past weekend. But use them He will. Many times it takes many touches of His love to lead someone to faith or recommitment. Others times, God uses small touches to encourage hurting souls at just the right moment.

And the neat thing? We don’t have to go on a mission trip to give these small touches. We can offer them day in and day out, right where we are. We just need to open our eyes and be alert to the opportunities He places in our paths because sometimes small touches make life-changing differences…

“…serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13b

Flickr photo by journeyscoffee, Creative Commons License

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Beautiful Feet Revisited

Since we just got back home from our weekend mission trip to Beautiful Feet, I thought I’d just share a photo and re-run the poem I wrote a few years ago about the Feet (as the locals call it). I didn’t take my camera along because I didn’t want to risk losing it, but someone took this shot on the trip a couple of years ago.

If you look closely, you can see members of the construction team working on the outside of the building, but on the inside you might see meals being served, clothes being sorted, worship services in progress, people praying together — in other words, the body of Christ at work.

As you read the poem, I think you’ll get an even better picture of what Beautiful Feet is like. Enjoy — and praise God with me for this beacon of hope in inner city Ft. Worth!

Beautiful Feet

There’s a place in Ft. Worth called Beautiful Feet
A place known by all who live on the street,
A hot lunch for free can be found there each day
After food for the soul is served up some way.
You see it’s not just a place, instead it’s a church
Where many find themselves beginning their search
For some shred of hope, a way out of their pain,
For love and acceptance instead of disdain.
Beautiful Feet is a light in a dark lonely world
A beacon of hope like a flag unfurled
For God’s people show love to one and all,
For Jesus is the One upon whom they call.
There are those who serve faithfully day after day,
And those who come yearly to work, share, and pray.
Each one sees God’s power heal and redeem,
The lost and the hurting become part of the team.
Each year Kansas comes the talk is who is blessed more
Those in Ft. Worth or the Kansans galore.
They truly feel like family, the bond is oh so sweet
For God is the Father at Beautiful Feet.

“As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” Romans 10:15b