Posts Tagged With: Neighbors

linvilles in Love with m&ms, the intro

Weight update: oh yeah!

I’ve reached my goal weight!

I thank all those who prayed and supported me!

Tip#1: think first, then eat. Tip#2: embrace the unique pain of muscle soreness. It’s never enjoyable, but it’s a friend.

The past 18 days have been very exciting. We stand in awe of the miraculous power of Christ and his faithfulness in sending to us the Holy Spirit to teach us all things and bring to our remembrance all that Christ has said to us (John 14:26). Time has revealed the purpose for this, and it is because He desires to be loved and worshiped by our neighbors across the hall.

So now without further ado…

The Intro

This beautiful family, the M&Ms, have given me permission to share the following, but to respect their desire for anonymity, their names have been changed:

Mekhi, Melanie, and Kayla found themselves in an entirely new environment as 2011 came to a close. The bright lights of the city of Atlanta had been replaced with the moon’s soft glow; all the buildings they once knew were now swaying trees on every side; and instead of the blaring sound of traffic below they now heard a new-born baby’s cries.

Mekhi needed to get out of Atlanta. He needed a better, safer life for his family, but leaving would be hard. Deep roots held him there: knowledge of the streets, his reputation, easy money–but not fast money. Despite the pressure, Mekhi knew the difference. Unlike many, he could wait for it. Unlike most, he used his brain. But Mekhi enjoyed more than just good common sense. Working numbers was second nature to him and as a teen he was awarded a position in the Future Leaders of America Foundation (the parent foundation of the Washington Scholars Fellowship Program). As a teen, when Mekhi called New York City home, all he wanted to do was ball. Dominating the basketball court was his past time, something that took most by surprise since Mekhi looked more like a lightweight boxer, and to be sure the man could box, but basketball was his first love. In New York he had everything. Life was easy. The future was easy: play ball, get scouted to play for some school, get better and go pro; but that future disappeared overnight. In one day it was all ripped away, but that’s another story. Atlanta was his home now and for him those streets were made of gold.  He could stay and maybe continue to prosper, but then there was death, which was always too close for comfort, and getting closer.

Melanie had to grow up fast. Home was not the easiest place to live, but it was better than being homeless, although sometimes she wondered. If only loyalty and kindness could be cashed in, she’d be rich. Unfortunately, strong character didn’t pay the bills and she had Kayla to care for, so she worked a job like the rest of us, well, maybe not like Mekhi with his streets of gold. It’s likely that Melanie wasn’t fooled by the strut or the swagger when he came waltzing into the gas station while she worked behind the counter. That time she didn’t even notice him, but he noticed her. Eventually, she took a good look and yeah, she liked what she saw. Mekhi wasn’t about to turn down the attention of a woman as beautiful as Melanie, so it probably wasn’t long before they were seeing each other exclusively.

Little Kayla was too young to remember meeting Mekhi, but to his credit he didn’t let the fact that Melanie already had a baby keep him from pursuing her. Mekhi didn’t realize it right away but deep down he was a family man at heart. When he had to make the choice of whether to stay in Atlanta or leave, he left. Melanie and Kayla could survive Atlanta with him, so it was something else that pushed him over the edge, something that meant so much to him that he was willing to give up everything else for it. What was it? It was his baby, Mekhi’s first child: Hope.

It all happened so fast. Life is like that. At first, life just goes on as usual, nothing changes for months, even years, and then everything changes all at once. That’s the way Mekhi’s move to Atlanta was, and the move to Wake Forest, NC was no different. He wanted to be out of the city before Hope arrived and, sure enough, the day he signed the lease for the apartment across the hall from us was the day Hope was born. Mekhi was a family man. His family was safe. He had dodged the bullet, escaped the trap, and put some distance between himself and death, or so he thought.

…To be continued in Act 1

Categories: linvilles in life, linvilles in prayer, linvilles in scripture, linvilles in sharing the gospel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

linvilles in Love with neighbors

We met some amazing people yesterday. Meet the Smith(s):

They are AWESOME! They got married one week ago, but show incredible maturity. The Smith(s) are known separately as Ross and Sarah and have one spectacular life story going. We had them over for ice-cream on Friday night and enjoyed hearing some of their story, which went well into the morning. Stories about people who center on Jesus Christ are like that: captivating.

Ross is inspiring, spiritually and musically. Spiritually, he is a man of great faith, following wherever God leads, even if practical wisdom scorns it. Musically, because he can make magical things happen with a guitar (especially with his Batson guitar. I’ll talk about that momentarily). Sarah is encouraging, spiritually and relationally. Spiritually, because she showed such great trust in God as she waited for Him to work out the second biggest decision of her life (who she’ll marry). Relationally, she also displays incredible faith in following Ross as he braves the course God has set for him, blazing a trail that very few women that I know could follow. I mean, they are both just so awesome!

In addition to the amazing time we had reveling in the beauty and greatness of God, Ross blessed me with one of the greatest musical experiences of my life: getting to play a Batson guitar. This is no overstatement, and I play a Taylor 410-CE daily. I know what playing a good guitar feels like…and I got to play a GREAT guitar yesterday. This guitar is so different, so much better than what you see everywhere else, that a few months ago, Ross traveled to the headquarters of the Batson Guitar Company in Nashville, TN and asked the founders (the Batson brothers themselves) to sell him a franchise! They took him seriously, heard him out, and now Ross is taking steps here in Wake Forest, NC to introduce the South East to the best guitar in the world. Amazing fact: Ross is 20. Yeah, amazing. Nevertheless, ventures of this magnitude come with huge obstacles and the Smith(s) sincerely welcome all the prayers they can get.

Please check out the Batson Guitar Company website: here.

You can also see the Smith’s company, North Wake Nu Acoustic, here. It is totally awesome.

We look forward to seeing what amazing things God is going to do through Ross and Sarah Smith. Stay posted and watch with us!

in Love,

the linvilles

Categories: linvilles in fellowship | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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