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Entries from October 2008

Revolution

I home school my children and recently, we've been studying Martin Luther*, Henry VIII, and the Renaissance.
I love teaching my kids because I always learn something new.

Back in the middle ages, people had to go to priests to 'hear from God.' It was due to the fact that there were no printed books before this time, and people couldn't read for themselves. Books were handwritten by Monks and then chained to the walls of the monastery so that no one could run away with them, and thus no one could really have access to read them either. So people would go to the priest and ask him what God has to say in his holy books, and the priest would try to remember what HIS priest had told him, because not only were the books inaccessible, they were also written in a language that most people didn't know.

So as you may know, the printing press changed things a great deal. People had access to information for the first time. The world was also being explored, and though they were taught it was flat, they found out otherwise! It  was an amazing time. A time when folks stopped just believing what they were told and started figuring it out for themselves.

Then during the age of exploration, along comes Martin Luther*. He did a study on Romans for a class and found out that it didn't really line up with what he was taught. He was taught that he had to work hard to earn God's love, and that he had to do penance for his sins, but the church also allowed people to pay for indulgences so they wouldn't have to do those penances.

But after reading Romans, he realized that he doesn't have to earn God's love. God already loves him and gives him the power to be good because of that love. (paraphrased from The Story of the World, p. 311)

Martin wrote up his Ninety-five Theses and nailed them to the church door. He challenged the authority of the Pope and the Catholic church. He challenged the human race to find out for themselves what is TRUTH instead of just believing blindly what they were told by priests. revolution kate

The invention of the printing press around this time allowed people to print not only Luther's 95 theses, but copies of the Bible as well, in various translations! People became free to decide for themselves what they believed.

I believe we have gone back to following priests (pastors) instead of figuring out the truth for ourselves. The spiritual authority doctrine has been so warped that we fear doing what God puts on our hearts because we might have to 'step out from under the umbrella' that God supposedly put in place. We have gone back to a 'man worship' mentality. Just look at our churches and how they are run! Look at the people who follow blindly whatever the pastor preaches on Sunday. Are you one of those people?

Have we forgotten the cost for our freedom? Not only did God come to Earth from his Heavenly domain and live a simple life among mere mortals, he also was humiliated, betrayed, and abandoned by us. Then he forgave us as he gave up his life on the cross. The veil was torn. WE have direct access to God. He paid for that gift!

Also consider how many people in the years of the Reformation were martyred for their beliefs. They challenged the church and were murdered for it.

Isn't it time for a new revolution?

I think it's time for us to break out of the walls of the church buildings. Spread our wings, and BECOME the CHURCH. How much more could we do if we weren't wasting our funds on multimillion dollar building projects so we could have Sunday services and a few meetings during the week? 

When are we going to reject the lies we are taught concerning salvation: Just one prayer, and BOOM you are going to Heaven. I believe in grace. It is free, but it's a paradox because it WILL cost you something! Embrace the truth about what we read concerning Sheep and Goats, "he who loses his life will save it," salvation, the rich man, and the Good Samaritan.

WE all are priests and kings in God's kingdom, are we not? Do we not ALL have the ability to read the Bible for ourselves and to listen to the voice of our Father because of the reconciliation his wonderful son gave us?

Let's not forget who we are.

It's time for a new revolution.

~Kate

*see Johnny's comment 

Kate cropped smaller  Small Web view~Kate Brooks Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for Orphans in Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa


Baa Baa White Sheep

whitesheepBeing a missionary is fun, but it's not always easy.

I have lived in Kenya for over 5 years now (if you count our year in '97), and still to this day people gawk at me as if I'm a 'freak,' because I have white skin.

People get so excited when they see a white person that they forget, I am JUST THAT, a white PERSON. I have feelings, too!

Just today a lady screamed with a loud shrill pitch while pointing her finger at me, her mouth wide opened as I drove past, "Ooooooh! Mazungu!" (Oh! A Brittish! [which I am not]) I hate being pointed at and shouted at as if I'm an animal or something bazaar to look at.

So I just pointed and shouted right back, "Oh! Mkenya!" (Oh! A Kenyan!)

She just stared at me in shock. Yes folks, white people speak, too.

Thought you ought to know.

Perhaps being the black sheep would actually be easier?

Kate cropped Thumbnail Web view  ~Kate Brooks Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphans in Nakuru, Kenya East Africa


Check it out!

I have been trying to update my A Future and a Hope web site. It's been a long process due to incompatible software, and a very SLOW Internet connection. However, after several weeks of constant effort, I am proud to announce that my web site is now up and running; however....

I need feedback! An issue I am having is that not all browsers are the same. In some browsers, not all of the pictures are loading. Any of you gurus out there now how to fix the problem? It loads perfectly for Johnny, but not for my step-mom.  HELP!

Otherwise, enjoy the changes and check it out!

www.aFutureandaHope.net

kate pointing up  ~Kate Brooks, Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphaned girls in Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa


Out of the archives

Today I thought I'd have a little fun by posting a picture from years ago...

friendsandfamily 0105 (34)

Here's a 'going away' photo taken of my kids with their friends at a neighbors house in the US just before we moved here to Kenya in January of '05.

L to R: Jonah Romero (4 yrs), Makena Brooks (4 yrs), Butterfly Brooks (1 yr), Justin Romero (6 yrs), Andrew Brooks (6 yrs)

It's amazing how much they have all grown! Jonah and Makena are almost 8 years old now, and Butterfly is 5! Justin and Andrew are TEN years old now!

Butterfly was younger than Emma Caite is now when we all moved here. Weird to me.

2008-4-29 034 Thumbnail Web view ~Kate Brooks Co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphaned girls in Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa


If you are in Arizona...

invite2 Johnny will be in Arizona on Thursday the 30th in the Fort Huachuca area.      

Below is an invitation sent out by the Matthews family:

Hi,

I'd like to announce the arrival of a very dear friend and dedicated missionary for the Lord.  Better yet, I want to invite you to come and meet him yourself this Thursday night.  Please prayerfully consider spending a little time getting to know what the Brooks Family is doing for the Lord in Kenya...Here's all the info:

Who:  Johnny Brooks, Co-founder of "A Future and a Hope" orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya.  He's a native Texan who is running an orphanage with his Wife and family in Nakuru, Kenya.
What:  Giving a presentation about what they are doing and their plans to open a second orphanage home as well as a teen pregnancy crisis center.
When:  Thursday night, October 30th from 6 to 7:30pm
Where:  Sun Canyon Inn meeting room, 260 N Garden Ave, Sierra Vista.  (Right by the main gate.  If you are heading on Fry Blvd towards Ft Huachuca, turn right on Garden Ave and then the hotel is on the left.)
Why:  Raise awareness.  Love offering not required but appreciated.  (Non-profit)

Point of Contact:  James and Heather Matthews.  HM PHN:  458-9087.  Walk-In
is fine, however, seating is limited so please call to confirm ahead of time
as much as possible.

A Future and a Hope Website:  http://www.afutureandahope.net/

Love in Him,

James and Heather Matthews Family


Who is bossing whom?

andrew and butterfly argueHere's another lesson from my kids:

This morning, our son Andrew was telling Butterfly, "If you don't wear your petticoat, Mommy will spank you six times!"

Now, I don't think I've EVER spanked Butterfly six times and especially not over a petticoat! Andrew's perception of me was wrong, but it got me to thinkin'. (Texan draw there)

How often have we told people what our parent GOD will do and gotten the perspective wrong?

Do you know how many times I have been told by folks, "God will bless you because of the work you are doing."

(For  your information, I am doing the work because God loved me when I was unlovable, and he still loves me. His love is blessing enough! I am not trying to EARN brownie points with my Father, nor am I trying to BRIBE blessings from him.) Moving more closely to the point...

Often times people will say, "God is going to give you that ____ (such and such). All you have to do is claim it!" or, "You need a new car? Just put it on this seed money here, and God will give it to you!"

What is that all about?!

Here's another one, "Sow a seed, and God will meet the need."makena cropped

Wait a minute! You mean to tell me that all I have to do is give a little money and God WILL meet my need?  That's it?

What really gets me is when people say God HAS to do it because we asked him to... 'in Jesus name,' of course. Ok, perhaps they don't understand asking. Asking is not commanding.

I don't think my Dad (God) HAS to do anything for me no matter how much money I give or how much begging I do.

If my kids go around telling other kids, "Hey, if you come to my house with a handful of sweet, smelling flowers, my mom will give you candy," I will get a little peeved. Especially when all of the kids get angry at me for not giving them sweets as I supposedly PROMISED!

It's one thing to approach God with respect and humility and present your needs and desires to him knowing he has a choice to listen or not to listen.

I think we think too highly of ourselves if we just COMMAND God almighty to do 'this or that!' Obviously, we've forgotten that we are ALL children, and God is our Parent! Who is the boss of whom?

 

Kate cropped Thumbnail Web view ~Kate Brooks, co-founder of A Future and a Hope

Home for orphans in Nakuru, Kenya, East Africa


Economy

I am sitting here in Port Arthur, TX at a friends house.(That is a picture of me taken with my computer's built in camera sitting in his sitting room.) He stays in an upstairs Johnny Brooks apartment on 4th Ave and 13th ST.

Anyway I am sitting here thinking about economics. Mostly thinking about how God's economics are so different than the world's economics. I mean what God values is almost all the time opposite of what the world system's value.

The current world economic system, globalization or whatever it may be called nowadays, simply was not instituted by God. He does not care about markets, stocks, bonds, corporations, or currencies.

What he cares about are people. Hurting people in particular. I mean look at what he was willing to spend to rescue mankind from itself. He sent his only begotten son, Jesus.

Jesus impoverished himself by coming to earth. I mean think about that for a moment, he actually went backwards economically. Can you imagine any sane business person advising that in order to profit you have to give away your product, and never ever never ever expect anyone to pay for it? In fact instead of the customer paying, you the business entrepreneur will pay for the customer, and even give him a bunch of stuff that should not be included in the bargain. Your profit would not be in material gain, but you would gain a relationship with your customer.

Makes no sense economically, but then we don't worship the god of the market, or at least we shouldn't worship that God. We worship the God of the universe, who will sacrifice his son to save you.

We need to be willing to sacrifice as well.

 

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.


Quote of the Week

I majored in Bible in college. I went to the seminary, and I majored in the only thing they teach there:  the professional ministry. When I graduated, I realized that I could speak Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and the only thing on Earth I was qualified for was to be pope. But someone else had the job.

-Anonymous Pastor