Sunday, October 19, 2008


Sitting before a hot cup of coffee. Exhausted, as usual. But...

I am so proud of my church. We worked today, another ImpACT project. See the paint on my hands? I was privileged to work all afternoon.

We went in two waves - one after 9:30 service, one after 11:00.

We blanketed Bell Road and the Powhatan Lakes neighborhood.

Twelve houses had agreed to participate.

We put all new windows in a home that had nothing but tarps over cracked and broken glass.

We painted entire houses.

We rebuilt decks.

Replaced toilets.

Pressure washed siding.


Spread mulch.

Removed trees and stumps.

Among other things....

And we met some awesome people.

At the house where I worked all day, the homeowner - Freddy - was a great and friendly guy. He told me that some of his neighbors scoffed at him. "Nobody does something for nothin' ", they said.

He hugged me. "But I'm going back to tell them it's true. Thank you so much."

We helped people who could not help themselves with tasks that seemed insurrmountable in their eyes.

But nothing is impossible with God.

I feel a little like Michelle Obama, when she said, "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country." I have been part of church after church since I became a Christ-follower. For the first time in my life, I'm part of a church that puts its money - and its sweat and blood and time and effort - where its mouth is. I'm part of a movement - a community - that values and honors the basic human dignity in every man and woman more than it does church attendance and offerings.

I am so proud of my church. I am so honored to be part of God's kingdom. I am so thankful for my friends and fellow believers.

I am filled with gratitude.


Kelley said...

well said, Friend, well said. PROUD. Just so proud.

Anonymous said...

I just love you Beth Brawley. I agree with all that you said about our church. I can't get over the community that God has placed me in...your post made me cry. I get it, and I am so grateful for it. Have an awesome week!

Love you,
Mary Elizabeth

Jayne said...

What a great difference we all can make if we choose to. Kudos to you and to PCC!

Patty P said...

... Michelle Obama quote.... out of context... two pennies

Patty P said...

"For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not because Barrack is doing well, but because I think the people of this country are hungry for change." - MO

But what kind of change are they talking about...

Both Obama and McCain claim change, but they're voting records reflect much more of the same.

Scott said...

Wow, you've picked some tough churches if this is the first one you've been a part of that is active in it's community.

Best part is that we have the free choice to give back to the community as Christ-followers or not. We're not forced at the point of a gun to 'spread the wealth' to whom some other crackpot thinks we should. Free will is a wonderful thing. Stealing our freedom (and treasure) steals our ability to follow Christ through our own hearts and consciences.

As for Michelle Obama -- please. She's finally proud that she can be both a black activist and a mainstream liberal, and that a reasonable slice of American society (fickle as it is) is validating it right now. Her pride is the kind that is selfish and is warned about in the Bible. Read the context of her comments and you will realize that I am not wrong.

Beth, you are way better a person than Michelle Obama could ever hope to be. Your pride is humble and real, not puffery in being told you are the one we've been waiting for.

beth said...

Yikes. Didn't mean to open a can of liberal worms here.

I only mentioned Michelle Obama because I could relate to the statement she made in terms of her feeling that she could finally express her pride in something. She and I both could probably be taken to task in terms of context; undoubtedly, some of my former churches HAVE been involved in community efforts that went unnoticed by me due to the context of my situation at the time. To that end, there is some similarity.

This was, by no means, intended as a political statement; just a piece of culturally relevant commentary. We see what we see, when we are able to see and understand it. Certainly we all have that in common.

Point being, I'm thrilled that I see and recognize and am able to participate in a project like this, an effort to impact our community for good, particularly in light of what I perceive as the unwillingness of many religious institutions to live out their faith in such a tangible way.

just a girl said...

oh, and on the political issue...thought Christians didn't speak ill of each other, no matter who they are.

just a girl said...

apparently my first comment didn't post...I too am proud to belong to a group that gives freely. I felt like it was Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It always brings a smile to my face when a community works together to benefit each other.

Scott said...

"oh, and on the political issue...thought Christians didn't speak ill of each other, no matter who they are."

You have to be very careful here. Politics is politics. Faith is faith. Confusing the two is a dangerous thing, indeed.

Michelle Obama's political statements are to be interpreted in the realm of political arena. She made on-the-record comments in a political spectrum that were intended to be expressly political. I'm sure she's an excellent wife and mother, but I have only interpreted her public comments as they relate to her politics.

I know little about her faith other than her family recently quit a Christian church they had attended for twenty years where the pastor was a known black liberation theologian (a legitimate term I did not invent). I make no spiritual judgement on this. Politically, the timing of the exodus is suspect.

I am quite aware of her political positions that go back all the way to documents she wrote in college, and she is actively intent on having her husband be elected to the highest executive office in the land -- a position that affects all of us.

To attempt to stifle vigorous political scrutiny in America by attempting to shame good folks into silence through "I thought Christians didn't speak ill of each other, no matter who they are" is at best misplaced and at worst offensive.

In short, you are mistaken. I think a number of us were thrown that Beth used a patently political statement to highlight her very non-political feelings.

Patty P said...

Political discourse aside, your still the most rockin church lady in town!

Angela said...

yes.. most rockin' indeed.
and PCC is the most awesome.
let's leave it at that.