Thursday, April 19, 2007

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County has two upcoming events that your whole family will enjoy. On April 28th they are celebrating Earth Day at the ReStore. Then, on May 3rd, 4th and 5th come celebrate BirdFest with food, an art sale and demonstraitons from local artists. You can find all of the details at

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Second Harvest Food Bank

Can you believe that a $1.00 donation to the Second Harvest Foos Bank provides $15.00 worth of food for the hungry in our community. I spent over $4.00 on a coffee at Starbucks this weekend. That could have provided $60.00 worth of foood. Now, that's an investment!!

Here are some ways you can get involved. For more info visit

Feed Your Soul at Empty Bowls
April 25, 2007

Administrative Professional's Day
11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
(Drop In Anytime)
Downtown Winston-Salem Fire Station
651 N. Marshall Street
Admission $25 — includes lunch & a handcrafted pottery bowl.
Bowls contributed by artists at Seagrove, The Sawtooth School for Visual Art, The Enrichment Center, Winston-Salem State University and UNCG Ceramics Programs, Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools and many others

Triad Community Kitchen
is a unique program that impacts our work to help feed hungry people on many levels. It makes good use of increasing donations of perishable food to our organization, using these and other ingredients to prepare ready-to-heat meals in a bag. These meals are cook-chilled, a process that ensures an extended shelf life of 30 days or longer if frozen, and distributed to our partner agencies, like soup kitchens and group homes, serving those in need. And the program operates as a free job training program for unemployed, under-employed (earning under the NC self sufficiency standard) and homeless individuals, preparing participants for sustainable, gainful employment in the under staffed food service and hospitality industries.

Jeff Bacon, a certified executive chef, directs and teaches the ten-week curriculum which offers training and certification in ServSafe® sanitation, basic culinary skills, knife skills, kitchen safety, mass food production and cook chill technology. Real world job experience is gained through a one-week internship with a local food service organization or restaurant.

Overcoming the barriers to employment that many Triad Community Kitchen students have faced is an important key to their ultimate success. For this reason, the program will incorporate instruction and activities designed to help them improve their level of workplace readiness.

A national program of America’s Second Harvest, The Nation’s Food Bank Network, there are currently 36 network members operating Community Kitchens across the nation, and an additional 50 independently operated programs.

Class Schedule Through December 2007

Class of 2007-1
Starts: 2-12
Internships Begin: 4-16
Graduation: 4-23-07
Class of 2007-2
Starts: 4-30
Internships Begin:7-2
Graduation: 7-9 Class of 2007-3
Starts: 7-30
Internships Begin:9-24
Graduation: 10-01 Class of 2007-4
Starts: 10-08
Internships Begin: 12-10

The class is offered at no charge to the student and bus passes are available.

For general questions about the program, contact Program Director Executive Chef Jeff Bacon at (336) 784-5770 or

To apply to enter the program, download and complete the application. For assistance regarding the application process, contact Ms. Rosa Williams at Goodwill Industries at (336) 724-3625.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gardening Info From Toby Bost

Do you need answers about your garden and yard? Here's how to contact today's guest Toby Bost with the NC Cooperative Extension Service:
(336) 703-2850

Here are the details for some upcoming events sponsored by the NC Cooperative Extension Service:

Meet Joe Lamp'l on April 30th!

Meet nationally recognized garden writer and television personality, Joe Lamp’l of the GardenSMART PBS TV Show. Mr Lamp’l will present a seminar and do a book signing at the Cooperative Extension Center on April 30th at 7:00 p.m.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Tanglewood Arboretum; the cost is $8 per person. Please register by mail and include a check payable to the “Friends of the Arboretum”.

For more information, call 703-2850.

------------------------Plant sale------------------------

The fourth annual greenhouse plant sale will be from 9 a.m. to noon April 6, April 11, April 14, April 18 and April 21 at the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park, which is behind the manor house. On each day of the sale, there will be free programs on a variety of horticulture topics. The programs will begin at 11 a.m.

The programs will include:

• Flower Arranging with Lois Price of the Garden Club Council on April 6.

• Heirloom Tomatoes with David Bare, garden columnist for the Winston-Salem Journal on April 11.

• Rain Gardens with Wendi Hartup, an extension agent, on April 14.

• Growing Roses with master gardener Nancy Harper on April 18.

• N.C. Perennial Flowers with master gardener Vic Armstrong on April 21.

• A program on propagating wildflowers with master gardener Rosemary Wheeler will be held at the arboretum greenhouse on April 25. Wildflowers will be for sale.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Matthew 25:45

Matthew 25:45 "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'"

Your help is needed this Wednesday at the LJVM in Winston-Salem for Project Homeless Connect. If you can help, there is a volunteer training tonight(Monday, 4/16).

Here are the details about the event and the contact information:

Project Homeless Connect to Serve Community’s Homeless

Winston-Salem, NC … On Wednesday, April 18, Project Homeless Connect, a one-day outreach program, will offer in one location information about employment, housing, job training, education, substance abuse, emergency assistance, Social Security, veterans benefits, legal assistance, and more to assist the homeless, and those facing the loss of their home, in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

In addition, Project Homeless Connect will offer the homeless help with immediate needs, including showers, haircuts and food. Transportation will be available to the event from sites around the city.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the LJVM Coliseum Annex, 414 Deacon Blvd.

Project Homeless Connect is being sponsored by the United Way of Forsyth County, the N.C. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Kilpatrick Stockton LLC, and the City of Winston-Salem. It is being coordinated by the Ten-Year Plan Commission to End Chronic Homelessness and the Winston-Salem Council on Services to the Homeless.
The commission is modeling Project Homeless Connect on similar programs elsewhere, said Andrea Kurtz, the director of the Ten-Year Plan. “In other cities, Project Homeless Connect has connected a significant number of the homeless to housing, employment, health and other necessary services.”

For more information about the event, volunteering or for transportation, call 721-9378.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lessons From a Fig Tree

Lesson #1-Miracles happen outside of your comfort zone!

Russ Lee, a long time Christian artist, once said the coolest thing about miracles. He said, “You know that boundary you set around yourself called your comfort zone? Just over that line is where all of the miracles happen.” It’s so true! I’m a big fan of comfort…believe me. If I could spend all day wearing pajamas, I would. But, I see time after time in the Bible where people accept God’s invitation outside of their comfort zone and into the place where He does the most glorious things.

Take, for example, the calling of one of Jesus’ first disciples, Nathanael…

John 1:43 (NKJV) The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me." 44Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. 47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." 48"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." 49Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." 50Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man
In the Old Testament, being “under the fig tree” often refers to being safe, at leisure, secure, comfortable, at peace, taken care of…

Micah 4:4 (NKJV) But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree,
And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken

1 Kings 4:25 (NKJV) And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

Jesus tells Nathaniel that he saw him while he was under the fig tree. We can assume that Jesus saw him in a supernatural way…Nathanael must have been alone at the time. And, this event is enough to convince Nathanael that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus’ response to Nathanael is something like…“That’s why you believe??? Because I saw you under the fig tree? Just wait till you see what’s in store!! You ain’t seen nothing yet!!”

Jesus sees us in our safe, comfortable places. But imagine the possibilities when we step out of that comfort zone and follow him just like Nathanael did!

Lesson #2- Jesus wants us to bear fruit!! He is a patient and loving master gardener, but our time will eventually run out!

Matthew 21:18 (NKJV) Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.

Luke 13:6 (NKJV) Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' 8" 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'

In both of these passages Israel is represented by the fig tree. In the parable in Luke, God is the owner of the vineyard and Jesus is the caretaker asking for more time to care for the tree in hopes that it will eventually bear fruit. And, I believe, these verses also have many implications in our own life…

*Jesus longs for, hungers for, our lives and our faith to bear fruit. He is disappointed when we don’t.

*What is fruit? It is evidence of a healthy, growing faith!

Gal 5:22 (NKJV)But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

*Notice in both passages the trees bore NO fruit. Don’t get caught up in the guilt trap believing that what you have to offer isn’t good enough for God. If your fruit is produced as a result of sincerely seeking and knowing God, and living in accordance with his will…it is acceptable to Him.

*He’s regularly checking us out to look for fruit.

*We’re not left on our own to produce this fruit…we have an expert gardener watering , weeding and feeding us to help us bear this fruit. We must stay in His care by reading the bible, going to church, praying, etc.

*(Bear with me on this one…I know it’s kind of gross, but the point is valid) Fertilizer is poop. And we all know what it’s like to have manure dropped into our lives. I think the expression “Poop Happens” is true. It just does. Matthew 5:45 (NKJV) 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. The important thing to note is that when manure is used in gardening, the gardener uses animal waste for fertilizer…not his own (except maybe in Chinese rice paddies…eeewww). It’s true in our lives too, may times that trials we face are not caused by God, but allowed by Him and used to help us grow.

*The tree does not bear fruit to please the gardener or to be allowed to stay in the garden, the tree bears fruit because in a gardener’s care that’s just what trees do. Likewise, we should not force ourselves to be fruitful so that God will be happy with us or so that we can go to heaven. The fruit in our lives should be a natural outcome of DAILY watering and care (prayer and bible study).

*Jesus is not fooled by a bunch of shiny green leaves….we can fill our lives with all kinds of nice looking Christian adornments (12 different bibles, fish on your car, Christian music, being at church every time the door is open, etc). If real fruit is not there…he knows it!

*We don’t have forever to bear this fruit. A withered up tree is a great visual reminder of what a life that never gets to the point of fruit bearing looks like.

Lesson 3. Don’t lose your fruit every time you’re shaken!

Nahum 12 (NKJV) All your strongholds are fig trees with ripened figs: If they are shaken, They fall into the mouth of the eater.

In this verse Nahum is describing how easily Ninevah will be defeated. Like shaking fruit from a tree.

How easily are you shaken? How much shaking does it take before your fruit is dropping from your branches and you start to wither up? In other words, when trials come, do you stand firm in the faith, trusting God as you weather the storm, or do you shake your fist at heaven and begin to withdraw from Him? God wants our fruit to be used for good, for his Glory. Moreover, our fruit should be available to feed those that are hungry for God's love. Not the enemy who shook us up to start with or opportunistic scavengers ready to take advantage of us when we’re vulnerable. There will be storms, we will be shaken, but we must hold fast to the faith and the fruit that the Master gardener has been so carefully cultivating us to produce.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Memorial Fund

Kyle Thomas Bowlsby, 19, of 824 Church St., died Monday, April 9, 2007, at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center after a sudden accident.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at Christian Bible Fellowship by the Rev. Bruce Readling. Interment will follow at Gibsonville City Cemetery.

A native of Fairfax, Va., he was employed by Swissport at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and was a member of The Boy Scouts of America. He was a volunteer at Loaves and Fishes Christian Food Ministry and the Gibsonville Library.

Kyle's dad is a soldier currently serving in Iraq. He is now faced with the expenses of the funeral and hospital bills...Kyle had no insurance. If you'd like to help out a memorial fund has been established. Here's the info:

Kyle Bowlsby Memorial Fund
Wachovia Bank
200 North Main Street
High Point, NC 27260

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Let Me Talk You Out of Your Dress!

OK, so you know that old prom dress hanging in the back of your closet? How about those bridesmaids dresses? Do you really think you're ever going to wear them again? Do you honestly believe that your daughter will want to wear them someday? And, in the unlikely event that you are invited to a formal event, you know that you'll want to buy a new dress, right?!?!?

Now that I have you is a great place to donate your gently used formal dresses. Winston-Salem Rehabilitation and Health Care Center hosts a prom for their residents each year. Many of their clients are unable to afford a new dress for this event and would welcome your donation! They espacially need plus sizes. Men, your gently used suits, suit coats and dress pants are also needed. The event is April 27th, so they need your donations ASAP. If you can help, call Beth Salmons at 336-724-2821.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Be a Child Advocate

Do you long to make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child? I can think of no better way to do so than to volunteer as a child advocate with the Guardian ad Litem program. Here is some info about the program:

Mission Statement:
The mission of the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program is to provide trained independent advocates to represent and promote the best interests of abused, neglected, and dependent children in the state court system and to work towards a plan that ensures that these children are in a safe permanent home.

Every year more than half a million abused and neglected children are in need of safe, permanent, nurturing homes. Volunteers are needed in every NC county to help judges make the best decisions in court about what is in the best interests of the children who come before them. The objectivity and thorough advocacy of our volunteer Guardians ad Litem help children navigate the many facets of out of home placement and ensure that their voices are heard in courtrooms across the state. Training , support and supervision are offered to assist volunteers in our programs. We make a difference for children, one child at a time, keeping a child's sense of time our focus.

For more information, you can call Catherine McDonald with the High Point Guardian ad Litem office at 336-574-4315 or 336-801-5388. Annie Cahoon is the director of the Forsyth County Guardian ad Litem program. Her number is 336-761-2384 ext. 5. You can also visit the NC Guardian ad Litem website.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Signs Would Say, “Completely Self-Centered” and “Trying to Put Others First”

One of my favorite new songs is “I’m Not Who I Was” by Brandon Heath. In the song, Heath describes finding an old picture of someone whom he’s had some type of falling out with. Upon seeing the picture, he is reminded of the anger and bitterness this relationship left him with. However, he comes to the realization that he is no longer the same person that he was and he has forgiven his old friend. Heath wishes this person from his past could see the person that he has become. The song’s message is beautifully summarized in this verse, “Well, the thing I find most amazing in amazing grace is the chance to give it out. Maybe that's what love is all about.”

In the video for this song, which you can watch below, a variety of people are pictured holding up signs. In the first picture of each person the sign they hold describes the kind of person they used to be. The second picture shows the same person with a sign describing the new person they have become in Christ.

This video made me think about what my “Before and After” signs would say. What about yours? As we approach Easter Sunday, what a perfect time to reflect upon how Jesus has changed us individually and how he has changed the whole world with his redeeming love.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)