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As I can I want to offer a fresh word of encouragement sharing from my experience how our Father God meets us in the middle of loving and living out our faith to draw others to freedom. The road to freedom can seem long and hard not unlike the experiences of living as refugees from war torn nations, walking out of years of abuse and pain in broken relationships, facing the reality check that comes with unplanned pregnancy, and the great journey to healing from trauma and adverse childhood experiences. I fully believe we are offered so much more than we ever experience as Christ followers. We settle for a life in bondage to the elemental nature of this world and continue to live as Hagar when in fact we are daughters of Sarah.
Galatians 4:31
31 So, brothers [and sisters], we are children not of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

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-Callie

 

 

 

 

John 12:24 TPT Let me make this clear:[a] A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces[b] a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain[c]died.[d]

c. 12:24 The “one grain” is Jesus Christ, who will within days be offered as the sacrifice for sin on Calvary’s cross. He will “drop” into the ground as “a grain of wheat” and bring forth a great “harvest” of “seeds.” This parable given to Philip and Andrew was meant to be Jesus’ reply to the request by the non-Jewish seekers to see Jesus. Christ’s answer? “They will see me through you. As you follow me, you will also experience the dying and birthing experience.” The harvest among the nations will come when we follow Jesus where he goes.

Three years ago this month I walked through the beginning of a season of dying to the purposes, plans and priorities that I thought were my heading in ministry.  I came to a realization that I needed to humble myself and drop the armor I was carrying to keep up with what I thought I was to do, the people I was to walk it out with, and the efforts to focus on. In a few short months all those plans, purposes and relationships ended.

The Lord graciously opened up an opportunity to serve at our church in a safe place for me to heal, to grow and to learn. Almost daily we declared Luke 4:18-19 NIV

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

This declaration took me back to who I am in Christ as well as the foundations of HoHC, and has since opened up new opportunities of ministry. This season took me from having to work outside of House of His Creation to returning full time this past June. As a ministry we put to rest the larger ministry, FoRM we had created and made the decision to relocate operating solely as House of His Creation. And now, as a family, we have received new vision for our part in the work of House of His Creation...our role as House Family at the maternity home is coming to and end. We moved into Lititz with the purpose of expanding and seeing an extended arm of House of His Creation brought to life following the heart of Psalm 68:5(6a)

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families, 

As the grain of wheat has fallen we have seen multiplication and new fruits after years of labor. It is time for the purposes of HoHC and our family to expand and to provide for another underserved group of women (exploited girls coming out of sex trafficking). This will be an experience of family and home, the context in which we see the most healing. We are going to open a new house known as 685 to specifically serve these women.

To learn more we have a page to keep up to date on this process: The 685 Program

As you think of seasons when relationships, ministry efforts, or purposes came to a close; do you see the new life that has come from that?  

My prayer for you is that you too may experience beauty for ashes, receive the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair. (Isaiah 61).

 

 

 

In 2013 a dear friend wrote and sang a song for a fundraiser banquet.  Eight years later and a year to the day after Matthew's critical illness and 14 days in the ICU I share this again testifying to God's goodness and faithfullness in fulfilling His promises.  The words of this song echo the purposes in our hearts and what we have experienced at work in our lives and the lives of those the Lord has brought to and through House of His Creation.  I share today that God, My God, is faithful, good, righteous and true.  His words and promises are for me, our family, our ministry, our community, our nation...He is God and He is faithful to keep His covenant!

The Promise

 

It’s always been your house, your home.

You’ve been leading, guiding, speaking…

Relying on your provision,            

you’re never late just exactly on time.

 

We’re gonna sing our way into your promises 

Fighting for souls and destinies…

 

“I will go ahead of you leveling the hills,

I will give you treasures

hoarded in the dark,

secret riches hidden away,

so that you will know that I, Adonai,

calling you by your name,

am the God of Israel.” (Isaiah 45:2-3)

 

you have come for destinies to be unleashed,

hope to be restored, and love…

this beautiful struggle of lives redeemed,

old made new, ashes into beauty

 

scars chiseled into grace-filled lives

Surely, He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11a)

 

 

Understand…that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT) 

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 89:1)

 

 

And we are not ashamed of the Gospel, 

for it is the power of God for salvation 

to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

As you go forth, we will sing destiny into your life,

 

 

We will pray for life abundant,

And we will affirm new life! 

 

©Ashley Messersmith (Brusma) & Rod Groff 2013

 

Click the link to listen to the song:  

THE PROMISE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lamentations 3:21-24 CJB

But in my mind I keep returning to something,
something that gives me hope —
22 that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted,
that his compassion has not ended.
23 [On the contrary,] they are new every morning!
How great your faithfulness!
24 “Adonai is all I have,” I say;
“therefore I will put my hope in him.

New every morning! Do I believe that? Do I live that? Can I surrender to the grace, mercy, compassion and love for me today...and in so doing be filled to allow it to flow to those around me?  

Simply, yes...today I give my yes to listen to the voice calling my name, leading me beside the still water, restoring my soul.  The new life source ready to release healing, hope and opportunity to join me in a place of surrender.  The women in and out of my life live in constant cycles of depression and panic the place of crisis, loss and anxiety.  Our neighbors, our friends, our family members can live there too...but I can learn and live a different way.  

If you have seen Kung Fu Panda 2 picture Po in the middle of the river with an enemy attacking and in that moment he "gets it" he sees past the chaos, the noise, the distraction and he allows himself to surrender to a place of peace and rest giving him the focus to not only defend but to move strategically and offensively. In the same way we are called to surrender to the Holy Spirit.  This is where I choose to head today and to breathe in and breathe out, surrendering to the leading of the Holy Spirit operating in His power, His strength, and His mind.  

May you experience this place of surrender today! May you see that the Lord's mercies are new for today! May you be a calm and restful beacon in the midst of the darkness and struggle around you!

Genesis 21:17-18

17 God heard the boy’s voice, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong with you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, because God has heard the voice of the boy in his present situation. 18 Get up, lift the boy up, and hold him tightly in your hand, because I am going to make him a great nation.”

This month my daughter, Aurora age 18, shares her perspective from her life of living with single moms through House of His Creation.

 

Rockabye (feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie) by Clean Bandit

 

When I hear this song, Rockabye by Clean Bandit, I hear a story. One that I know all too well: the story of a young girl who feels abandoned and alone, forced into a life as a single mom because no one else is there to support her.

 

She’s ashamed of her mistakes and feels she can’t go back home. She has a child because either the baby dad left her, or because she was a prostitute or sex slave and it was a “mistake”. But now she has chosen to love this child and pour her life into him.

 

It makes me sad though, too. I am proud of her choice to keep the child rather than abort him--a choice many young pregnant women face, pressured by family or the baby dads or the pimps to give up the child. But I am sad for her. She has no hope for herself and feels trapped, only caring for her child--not herself.

 

She should not be in this position. She should not be forced to choose between her child’s life and her own. She should not feel abandoned, alone.

 

My hope for HOHC is that we can be a home and a different choice for women in these circumstances. A chance for change and new life, for freedom. Rather than being trapped in the same cycles of hurt and pain, feeling abandoned and alone, we can offer God’s love and our own and say, “we see you. We do not misjudge or wrongfully hold you accountable. We see you and your circumstances and choose to love you anyway.” This is something that I feel each and every woman in this situation needs to hear. That no matter how far she has drifted away, there is a way back. Because isn’t that what we all need to hear? Hope that we are never too far gone? That no matter our mistakes, our circumstances, how others have treated us, that we have value and worth?

 

My prayer, my hope, is that every single mom--every girl, every prostitute, every slave--will know she is not alone. This song is not just for her child--it’s for her.

 

It’s a love song.

 

🎵Rockabye, don't bother cry

Lift up your head, lift it up to the sky, yo (Rockabye!)

Rockabye, don't bother cry

Angels around you, just dry your eye 🎵

Rockabye (feat. Sean Paul & Anna-Marie) by Clean Bandit

 

[If you would like to listen to the song here is a link to the lyric version on youtube: https://youtu.be/2VDdP7lYiiI ]

 

 John 8:36  So if the Son frees you, you will really be free!

I recently had the opportunity to save a duckling who was stuck in the Lititz Spring creek.  Maggie, our dog, and I walked by and heard the familiar distress cry of a duckling.  I noticed the mom came to her, but the duckling did not move to follow. She was calm and appeared content, but something was not quite right. I determined that if she was still stuck there on our way back, I would wade into the creek and help.  Sure enough, I heard the cry on our way back and went to the water's edge.  Maggie hesitated, not wanting to leave my side but not wanting to enter the water. Maggie stayed on the creek bank, eyes fixed on me as I waded to the stuck duckling.  I discovered the duckling had a string wrapping around her leg and a low hanging tree branch.  It took a few seconds to decide what to do. In the end I snapped the branch, scooped up ducking, and walked to the bank. Maggie, still vigilant, let me grab her leash and we prepared to walk home to free the duckling.  Fortunately, as I stepped onto the walking path I saw someone had just pulled into a parking spot nearby.

Maggie, duckling, and I walked over as the man got out of his truck and asked if he had something to help us free the duckling.  He obliged and happened to have the perfect tool in his pocket.  As he worked to cut the duckling's leg free we discovered the string was actually some mesh fencing that was not only wrapped around her leg but also her waist.  Once there were no strings attached I walked her back to the creek bank and let her go.  She ran happily back to the water and her waiting mother. Maggie finally relaxed and got excited by the running duckling. Once we saw the duckling was safe and clear we turned and headed home, our job was done.

This was such a meaningful picture of what I have learned about walking with others out of the hurts and the strings that keep them bound.  Often my job is to recognize the need, assess if I can help, and help to cut the strings… but then to keep on going letting each "duckling" find her way and determine how she will use her new found freedom. I am part of her experiencing freedom, but mainly pointing her to the one who can and will bring lasting freedom. However, as we all know from our own stories, being freed from something does not always lead to living in freedom. Regardless, if I pass that way again and the same duckling is stuck in the same place on the same branch… I will offer help to cut her free then continue on my path with no strings attached.