September 2013 Posts

Rachel’s Lens // What will our legacy be?

Written by, Rachel Greiman, Writer/Photographer

Written by, Rachel Greiman, Writer/Photographer

The reason I didn’t have a blog for you all last Friday was because I was in Austin, celebrating my two year anniversary with my husband! We chose Austin because there was a conference being held that both of us really wanted to go to, Idea Camp: Human Care. (We also went to Austin for BBQ. And Tex-Mex. And Donuts.)

It was a great time to reflect on the last two years and where we’ve come from, what we’ve learned. But Idea Camp, for us, was to help clarify the future. Where do we go from here? We met in Africa in 2009, and were both working for non-profits. We have a very fun story, great for parties. But sometimes, I feel a little embarrassed to tell it because people look at us expectantly, their eyes saying, “So…what are you doing now?” And I’m always afraid that our answer to that question isn’t enough – it doesn’t quite live up to the way our marriage began.

We went to Idea Camp hoping to get a little direction about the next steps for us here in Denver. Our church provides so many different ministries to be involved with, as does my work, and we are trying to figure out where to focus our attention as a couple. Adoptive families? Foster parents? Single moms? Refugee families? Addiction? Homelessness? What will our legacy be? Where do our giftings lie? (P.S. “Giftings” is such a Christian word that spell check doesn’t even recognize it.)

Anyway, I thought I would share with you some big takeaways from the conference. There was SO MUCH good discussion, follow the hashtag to see more of it. But it was inspiring to listen to people ask difficult questions and enter into difficult conversation. I saw someone sum it up by saying, “Idea Camp was about little egos and big burdens.” And it’s true. Caring for one another means thinking about ourselves less and carrying the load for our neighbors when they can no longer handle the weight.

Below are my favorite comments from other people that I tweeted. I’m not organized enough for notes, but I sure can tweet, :). If you want more detail about any of them, leave me a comment and I would be happy to respond!

ichc

 

New Series // Conversations About Anything

Written by, Rachel Greiman, Writer/Photographer

Written by, Rachel Greiman, Writer/Photographer

I read a book this summer: Anything by Jennie Allen. I had never read her blog and didn’t know much about her, but a coworker recommended it to me. I read a lot, usually no less than four books at a time.

But.seriously.

This book rocked me. Maybe it just took me off-guard; I wasn’t expecting radical life change from it. Maybe it caught me on an emotional week. Or maybe it was just a really good book that I needed at this point in my life. You see, I’ve been struggling lately with plans. 

I’m not much of a planner in my day-to-day life. I’m not super organized and I don’t even use a calendar outside of work. I’m the sticky note gal, you know, the one that jots notes down and miraculously shows up to things on time. That said, I’m extremely goal-oriented…ok, and competitive. If I’m not accomplishing a task, crossing something off or achieving success at any given moment, I can feel that the end is near. This doesn’t necessarily make me overly productive, but it does rack up some impressive guilt and self-deprecation.

And lately, I’ve wondered what the goal is in this life of mine. Is there really a grand plan here or am I just treading water? Why am I in Denver, thousands of miles from my family? Should I be invested here or am I about to be “called” elsewhere? Am I volunteering enough? Am I making a great enough impact? In conversations with close friends, I’m constantly referencing my willingness to say, “God, send me.” But sometimes I think I’m masking selfishness and pride as willingness. I feel myself looking up at God saying: “Hey! You! This life you’ve given me? NOT BIG ENOUGH. Try again!” And that isn’t servitude. That is just me, me, me.

Jennie’s book challenged me to be willing, truly willing, to live out God’s plan for my life, however ordinary it may seem to me at first. Then I realized that I am surrounded by people who are doing exactly that: living in God’s will, diving into it, and being content with what He’s given them. The people I go to church with, my family, my friends, and my coworkers – there are so many people who seem to have this figured out.

So I’m going to talk to them. I’m a relational learner. My own story is only inspired when I hear someone else share theirs. I decided that there is no sense in me figuring this out on my own when I have so many wise people in my life. I also decided that I wanted to bring you all along for the ride. I’m going to interview people who seem to have this nailed down and I hope that their stories will stretch you like Jennie’s did me.

I hope you will follow along with me over the coming months as we discover what Anything means to each of us.

#AnythingSeries

Join the conversation: #AnythingSeries

A Letter from Mark // New Program Graduate

Written by Mark Soucek, New Life Program Graduate

Written by Mark Soucek, New Life Program Graduate

When I came to Denver Rescue Mission in June 2011 I was a broken man; physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually—I was in ruin. As a result of a lifelong addiction to alcohol and drugs, I suffered a medical condition that left me disabled with a very bleak prognosis. My previous behavior and actions had left me without the luxury of friends and completely cut off from my family. Without any means of support, I was lost and without any place to go. At the time, winding up at the Lawrence Street Shelter seemed a fate worse than death and only reinforced my feelings of hopelessness.

Looking back I realize that finding the shelter and then the New Life Program saved my life. I had never before had much use for God and quite frankly, I thought that crossing certain thresholds throughout the course of my life had left me permanently distanced from Him. I thought that what was happening to me was punishment. I had been an angry, self-centered, dishonest person who only thought about what was good for myself. Self-forgiveness seemed impossible and concern for others was foreign to me.

While at the shelter, I struggled with feelings of self-loathing, and I wondered how things got so out of control. Because of guidance I received from the chaplains there, I began seriously looking at the Bible for the first time. I studied the Book of John and I accepted Jesus’s authority over all things. I took to heart God’s words about loving me unconditionally and how His Son died so I could live. I felt so relieved; I had received the priceless gift of a second chance.

I can’t take any personal credit for completing the program. God’s will guided me and all glory is His. I humbly thank everyone involved with Denver Rescue Mission and specifically the New Life Program for saving my life. The people there who make it their life work to change lives are truly amazing. It’s because of their patience, guidance and love that I have a shot at a new beginning. During my time at The Crossing, the most crucial thing I learned was the importance of a relational intimacy with God; realizing that I am loved no matter what is something I never had before. Daily prayer is key, and for me, simply having conversations with God is really important. Sometimes I don’t know what I need but I put my faith in Him and He always provides.

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Thank you for donating and supporting the Mission. It’s because of your prayers and donations that people like Mark have a changed life! Thank you for providing a place of hope for your neighbors.

To continue to support stories of change and hope visit this page: www.DenverRescueMission.org

Rachel’s Lens // Rain, Rain Go Away

Written by, Rachel Greiman, Writer/Photographer

Written by, Rachel Greiman, Writer/Photographer

My Facebook feed is full of status updates about the weather here in Colorado this week. Some are about praying for people who are lost in the storm, some about school closures, some are crazy photos, and some are complaints. People’s basements are flooding, cars are stuck, roads are closed, and events cancelled.

My own garage is leaking and my little Honda Civic is struggling through some of the larger puddles. When I find myself ready to complain, I remember my drive through downtown yesterday. I watched a homeless man try to keep his cardboard sign dry. I saw some people just sitting outside, with nothing to protect them from the rain. I thought about families who were living in hotels, or worse, in cars, who had nowhere to go yesterday.

Inclement weather is simply a nuisance to most of us, but this kind of storm can completely derail a person or family who is just barely making it. Our shelters are operating at full capacity. Today, please remember those in our community with nowhere to go.

CO floodMore photos from #COFlood here via Denver Post.

Rachel’s Lens // It was MEGA

We had a MEGA-fellowship yesterday at work. Yep, worshiping at work. I am ooone lucky gal. (And I happen to work with approximately 170 other lucky people too.)

– happy weekend – Rachel