From the Desk of the Lay Director – Apr. 2017

Rod Smith, Lay Director

This morning I woke up with a song in my heart. It took me back to my childhood in the formal living room of my grandparents’ home on a small farm near McCauley, TX. I could hear the beautiful voice of my grandmother, Jessie Maude Maberry, as she played the piano and sang the chorus to Blessed Assurance.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Grandmother was a music teacher in the public schools and the choir director at First United Methodist Church in Hamlin, TX where I grew up. She taught us to love music, but more importantly she taught us to praise the Lord. She intentionally retired from teaching before my older brother, younger sister and I were old enough to be in her music class. Over the years, I have heard many stories of how she lived out her faith in the classroom. Later in life she began to lose her hearing and did not sing as much because she was afraid she would be off key. She did not realize that the Lord had firmly secured those old beautiful hymns in her heart so that she could continue to praise Him ‘all the day long.’

De Colores Community,

I am Rod Smith, and it brings me great pleasure to continue with you on the Walk to Emmaus as community lay director for this year.

Several years ago, I was invited by my brother-in-law to join a men’s group that met at 6 am on Friday mornings. Reluctantly I showed up for that first meeting with a group of men who I knew mostly through church. I was not sure what to expect, I mean seriously ‘men’ sitting around talking about churchy stuff was way outside of my comfort zone at the time.

My first thought was about how inferior I must be as I had not been in intentional relationships with others regarding spiritual growth, they must be much better than me when it came to eternal matters. Was I ever so wrong. Yes, we were all in different places in our lives, but we were all somewhat in the same place. Later I found out that several of the men in the group had been on a Walk to Emmaus, however; it was pretty clear to me that they were not pushing me at first to go on my walk. Over time the artificial barriers that I had placed around myself began to fall as I learned to trust in the relationships that were forming.

Eventually they figured out that I needed to be walked to the edge of the cliff and pushed off. Two of the men invited me to breakfast one morning and shortly after the coffee was poured a completed application for a walk was pushed across the table along with a pen and I heard the words ‘sign this.’ After going on my walk all I can say is I wish I had done it many years before. Not such a unique story is it after all, I bet many of you felt the same exact way.

Small groups, reunion groups in the case of Emmaus, are the greatest opportunity to remain connected with the community of believers, and the best opportunity to connect others with Christ. Our Lord and Savior set the example with the disciples as He intentionally led them in a new direction, and we should continue to allow Him to lead us as we grow in our spiritual lives. Please consider joining or forming a reunion group if you are not already a part of one, I assure you that you will receive many blessings in the process.

I was blessed to start the year off on the right foot with Candlelight and Closing for Men’s Walk #99 this past weekend. The testimony of the seventeen men who participated in the walk magnified the mighty work that God is doing through our community. Please join me in thanking Ty Askew, Winfield Davenport, the conference room and outside teams for their servanthood and leadership on this walk.

We have several upcoming events / opportunities to serve. Please be in prayer for each of these and be prepared to answer the call to be the hands and feet of Jesus as you are called to serve.

May Community Gathering
Thursday, April 6
Powerhouse Fellowship, 210 E 98th St, Lubbock, TX 79404

Kairos Outside – Kathy Carlisle, Director
April 7-9, 2016

Young Men’s Chrysalis Journey – Justin Smith, Lay Director
May 4-7, 2016

Kairos #37 – Kevin Ivy, Weekend Leader
May 18-21, 2016

In Christ love,

Rod Smith

From the Desk of the Lay Director – Mar. 2017

Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the ROARING of a mighty WINDSTORM, and it filled the house where they were sitting!!! Acts 2:2

Hey Community, it’s the last day of February and that roaring you hear outside is March coming in like a lion. You would think someone born and raised in West Texas would be accustomed to sand storms or haboobs or whatever you call them where you’re from, but I will always be glad when this weather decides to leave. Nevertheless, my prayer this month, as my term as your Lay Director comes to an end, is that the Holy Spirit roars in and continues to cause a rumble in our community like it has never felt before. I have enjoyed serving you all, and will continually praise God for calling me and giving me the opportunity to see what can happen when a body of believers comes together with the purpose of growing closer to Him and following His lead in all we do.

There are several opportunities for us to serve Him and Worship Him in March. First please join us as we come together this Thursday, March 2 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Central Campus, 3708 45th St. for our monthly gathering. If this is your first time to attend be there at 6:00 for the Babe Chick meeting and Sponsorship training. We’ll share a meal together at 6:30, followed by our Worship Service at 7:15. If you haven’t been in a while please come. It’s always such a blessing to get together with our Emmaus Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

This weekend we have a wonderful opportunity to do what the Llano Estacado Emmaus Community is so good at, pray! Epiphany #20 starts Friday, March 3, and continues through Sunday, March 5 at the Garza County Detention Center in Post. Please pray for the Epiphany team, juveniles and the prison staff over this coming weekend. There will be some important God business going on down there that will make a big difference in the lives of some very special youth.

March 9 at 7:00 PM please be on the Holy spirit patio of Mercy Center for send-off of our next Young Men’s Chrysalis Journey. Milton Schober and his team have been waiting a long time to meet the young men God will be sending. Candlelight is at 8:00 PM, Saturday, March 11 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and closing is at 4:00 on Sunday, March 12 back at the church. Please come out and support the guys on this journey. These young men are our future and Chrysalis is such a vital part of our Emmaus family. There is still space available so get your caterpillars signed up just as soon as you can. Remember there is no cost to them or you for them to go.

Men’s Walk #99 is March 30-April 2. Ty Askew is the Lay Director and Winfred Davenport will serve as Spiritual Director. Send-off will be at the Mercy Center around 7:00 on that Thursday with Candlelight at 8:00 on Saturday and Closing at 4:00 on Sunday over at St. Joseph’s. Please come for all the weekend events you can. It’s always special for the pilgrim’s to see people they may or may not know come out and support them.

Now I want to close my year of serving as Lay Director of this awesome community by reminding you as I did when I first wrote that we are strong enough to do whatever God calls us to do. Who could have ever imagined I would have been called to represent such a great group of believers to the Father and represent Christ to you as well. I have loved being a part of our Community since my walk in 1996 and pray that God will continue to use me as He sees fit. I encourage you to do the same. Remember, God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Help keep this revival we are enjoying going and make Jesus smile!

DeColores,

Sheila Kirby

From the Desk of the Lay Director – Feb. 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. What a great month to be reminded of how much each of us is loved. “For God so loved YOU that He gave His one and only Son so if YOU believe in Him, YOU will not perish but have everlasting life!” John 3:16. Put “YOU” or your name in this verse that gives us such a beautiful promise and it takes on a whole new perspective.

This February, as we spend time expressing our love to our Valentines, let’s spend some extra special moments expressing our love to the very creator of love. After all, “Love is of God”, 1 John 4:7. As we look to the cross, we can see exactly what true love is. True love is Christ dying for each and everyone of us.

This is a great month for our Community. First, we come together this Thursday, February 2, at the Dream Center for our monthly Community gathering. Please join us at the beautiful Talkington Center located at 1111 30th St. If this is your first time to attend, be there at 6:00 for the Babe Chick meeting. We’ll share a meal at 6:30 followed by a beautiful worship service at 7:15. Be sure and take time out of your busy schedule to come. It’s always such a blessing to get together with our Emmaus Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

Phone blasts are being made each month before community as a reminder to come. If you get a phone call from Donna Campbell please listen to her message for more information.

Women’s Walk 140 led by Bonnie Jean “BJ” Brooks is February 16-19. Hope to see you all on the Holy Spirit patio of Mercy Center on Thursday February 16 at 7PM for send-off. Then at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 8PM on Saturday, February 18, for Candlelight and again on Sunday, February 19, at 4PM for closing. There is still plenty of room for pilgrims on this walk. Please pray for who you can sponsor. God knows who belongs there. We just have to be His hands and feet and bring them. It’s going to be the “Best Walk Ever”, that’s a promise!

As a board, we have had several questions about how to serve on a team. We know there are lots of folks that have not served in a long time or perhaps never served at all. Be looking for another letter soon. We’ll be explaining this process to you in more detail and give you some information on what we hope will make it a little easier for you to let us know you want and feel called to serve in this capacity.

In the meantime, you’re needed in a lot of other ways. Please be open for God’s calling! He needs you to love on His children. There are many ways to do that right here in our own community. He needs folks to Angel during the Emmaus weekends, serve at the banquets, set-up and tear down for candlelight, make agape, bring food and in many other ways. You can also serve Him by being active in Chrysalis, Kairos, Kairos Outside and Epiphany. There is always a way for you to serve Him, just listen and watch and I promise He’ll show you how.

I sure hope you all have a beautiful month of love, His love! Let Him fill these cold days with His Sunshine and remember to send Him a lot of love right back because He’s the one that true love is all about!

DeColores,
Sheila Kirby

From the Desk of the Lay Director – Jan. 2017

Happy New Year everyone! 2017 is here, and as I reflect back on 2016 I pray this year will be a great one for everyone. We suffered some hard times last year in our homes, in our community, in our country and in the world. Many may say it was the best year ever and that’s my prayer for you all this year. I don’t know what this year holds, but I do know who holds it right in the palm of HIS mighty hand. He promised it and it’s the promise I’ve held on to since my retirement four years ago. “I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This year I will hold on to that promise with all my might and I pray you do too. It’s a great promise for our community as well. Claim it, my brothers and sisters, and I know HE will give us another great year here at the Llano Estacado… a year full of hope and a future of joy as we share a small part in bringing more and more souls into His kingdom.

We’ve got a lot going on this month. First, please join us on the Holy Spirit Patio of Mercy Center this Thursday at 6:30 for the January Young Women’s Journey send-off. Kelli Cool is the Lay Director and Winford Davenport is Spiritual Director. Come bless these beautiful young women. Afterwards, go across the street for our January worship service at St. Joseph’s. We won’t have a meal this month, but please bring your snacks and pillow agape instead to bless the girls and guys on this weekend. I know it makes for a long evening, but please stay for the worship service. It’s always so inspirational to go back to St. Joseph’s and worship in the very Church where so many of us got our first touch of what real community is all about. Be back at 8PM on Saturday for Candlelight at the church and on Sunday at 4PM for closing.

January 12-15th is our next Young Men’s Chrysalis Journey. Please join us at 6:30 on Thursday, January 12 for send-off; Saturday, January 14 at 8PM for candlelight; and Sunday, January 15 at 4PM for closing right back in Slaton at the Mercy Center and St. Joseph’s.

That’s not all folks…Men’s Walk #98 with Ben Kirkpatrick lay director and Mike Cox Spiritual Director is January 19-22. Send-off is Thursday, January 19 at 6:30; Candlelight at 8PM on Saturday, January 21; and closing January 22nd at 4PM. All back at Mercy Center and St. Joseph’s.

There is still lots of room on these Journey’s and walks so please be in prayer and keep a watch out for Pilgrims and Caterpillars to sponsor. So many are hungry and Jesus will send them our way if we just ask Him too!

I’ll end this year’s first letter with the prayer that this year brings our community joy. Jesus, is our joy! Remember that, as well as the promise that no matter what we face in 2017 we can face it with the assurance that the one in charge of this year and every year has it all planned out.

DeColores,
Sheila Kirby

A Special Christmas Message

Merry Christmas everyone! Two letters from me in the same month. I’m sorry but this an important one!!! As an Emmaus Board we voted on 12-1 to make a donation in Darris Linder’s name to Mercy Manna, which is Darris and Jeanette’s ministry in Slaton.

Many of you knew and loved Darris and may be asking what you can do as a memorial to that precious Brother who was the epitome of Emmaus and without whom the Llano Estacado Emmaus Community would not exist as it does today. As you’re making your end of year monetary donations, won’t you please consider making one in Darris’s name?

If this is on your heart, as it is many of ours, send a check payable to Llano Estacado Emmaus Community and on the memo line add “Darris Linder”. Your generous donation in any amount will be added to our community’s contribution and send to Mercy Manna in Darris’s name. You may mail it to:

Llano Estacado Emmaus Community
P.O. Box 65116
Lubbock, Texas 79464-5116

My prayer is that all of you have a beautiful Christmas and most of all that you find time to reflect on what Jesus’ birth truly means to all of our lives here on Earth and eternally. Draw close to Christ this season and always!

DeColores, Sheila