Upper Room Daily Reflections

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Come support Furniture Bank's fundraiser this Saturday and Sunday! Miss Tami Jackson, Miss Mindy Myron, and the Furniture Bank angels are selling crafts and "fancified what-nots"! All proceeds go to the Furniture Bank! Help us continue to help families and individuals escaping homelessness and back into homes and jobs! www.FurnitureBank.us


October 25-26, 2014

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

ACC Community Park

41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway

Phoenix, AZ 85086

want more info? www.FaithThroughWorksFellowship.org

Friday, October 17, 2014

No matter if others are poor in spirit, health, or circumstance, POUR blessings and support over them!... “The only thing they asked us was to remember to help the poor -- something I really wanted to do.” Galatians 2:10   Lord let our hears drive us to willingly reach out to offer the poor and hand up, AMEN. “Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others,” Big Book pg 102 Have a blessed day y’all! Furniture Bank continues to be blessed to serve families as they escape homelessness back into homes and jobs. We can’t do it alone!! We need your help folks!! www.furniturebank.us

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pastor Mark's Journey begins...

I can't...HE can (and does!)... I think I will let HIM

22 plus years ago on December 17, 1991 I finally took the first 3 steps that saved my life…I finally admitted that …I can’t,… He can, (AND DOES!)… Thanks God for letting me! 22 years of blessed sobriety. “You will lose the old life to find one much better.” Big Book pg 120 “everything connected with that old way of life has to go. And then take on an entirely new way of life a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” Ephesians 4:-24 Thank you God, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Salvation Army for showing me a new freedom and way of living based upon a spiritual tool kit freely given.

22 years ago I was a broken man, addicted to methamphetamines and hopelessly alcoholic. In jail again for my 12th DUI I was to be sent to prison. I was 30 years old and had estranged everyone from me in my life. As I stared into the piece of tin that serves as a jail house mirror I suddenly realized that I no longer knew this person staring back at me. I got on my knees, and said the only prayer I could at the time, “God help me.”

Things began to change immediately. My cellmate kept inviting me to the AA meetings and until that day I never wanted to attend. The meeting started with a very short man who was not in jail jumping up on a table and shouting, “If you guys keep on doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting!” It was the shortest AA meeting I have ever attended because that was all I heard. I began reading the AA Big Book, and attending the meetings along with the Christian Overcomers Outreach program.

After a few weeks, I went for my prison sentencing, but my Public Defender did not show up. 2 weeks later I went again to be sentenced and the Prosecutor did not show up. It would be 6 more weeks in the jail before I would be sentenced to prison. I stayed active in AA and in the Christian fellowship Overcomers Outreach. My heart changed because Jesus was my Savior and I finally accepted the fact that I had to change and that my behaviors had gotten me here and I must pay the consequences.

When I finally went to court to be sentenced, there was a different judge on the bench and he shared a letter that was written on my behalf by an anonymous member of AA telling him I was changing and asking him to give me a chance at a rehab program instead of prison. The judge stopped the sentencing and asked me if I would like to spend 6 months at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Sacramento. I knew that God had heard my cry for help and that I needed to keep following Him!

I willingly went to the Salvation Army. They loved me until I could learn to love myself. I threw myself into learning about God and became active in AA and in serving the homeless and addicted. I was awarded a scholarship to go back to college and got my Human Services as well as my CADC counseling certificates for drugs and alcohol. I began running the Phase 1 recovery programs for Salvation Army and helped to manage the homeless shelter.

Through my quest for lasting sobriety in AA I met my beautiful angel Tami, who allowed this strange man with a pony tail who worked at the homeless shelter and rode a bicycle to fall in love with her and eventually marry her. God gave us His gift in Kai 16 years ago. We have traveled this journey together now for 20 years and have had ups and downs like we all do, but NO MATTER WHAT we have loved God and one another without a drink or a drug.

For the past 22 years the Lord has placed homeless, hopeless, addicted, and spiritually hurting people in my path. I have found my passion for serving others through working with those who struggle with the very things I have faced and overcome in my life.

In my walk with the Lord, trying to be the best example of Jesus that I can be, I have started many groups based on the 12 spiritually based steps that AA uses that came from the Bible. I have also worked with many individuals to help them overcome the hurts, hurdles, and hang-ups that keep them in emotional and spiritual pain, blocking off the healing spirit of the Lord.

I have learned in my journey that we can only truly heal when we share our gifts and help others. “Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God's various gifts of grace.” 1 Peter 4:10

Over the years I have helped others as a part of their healing and helping journey to learn to work with the homeless, hurting, and helpless by sharing God’s grace through humble and helpful service projects.

I have formed solid and productive relationships with many organizations in the greater Phoenix area in my quest to serve others. Over the years this has developed into a ministry that I have built with my wife and daughter, along with many friends who share our passion to serve and help those who are not as blessed as we are right now.

For the past 22 years I have lived one day at a time looking to serve and help. God saved me from alcoholism and addiction and taught me to be free through serving others. I believe in and truly try to live what the Bible promises that it is through giving to others that we receive. God has given me more than I ever deserved. The Big Book has taught me that Faith without works is dead. The least I can do is to try daily to pay Him back through serving others. Thank you Jesus for saving me! Thank God for the Salvation Army, my church families over the years that have helped me to realize my role in God’s story, and Alcoholics Anonymous!

Today I am an Ordained Pastor for the Church of God Anderson. I have founded Faith Through Works Fellowship. www.FaithThroughWorksFellowship.org

Through this nonprofit ministry I will continue my mission and further God’s work to help those in need.

Please come and join me as we seek to share our gifts from God through serving and helping others.

Let the blessings roll!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Please check out Miss Tami on 12 News Arizona Midday yesterday!

Furniture Bank overwhelmed with requests for assistance and short on storage space!

Furniture Bank is now a qualified Arizona Charity and can receive your Working Poor Tax Credit donations. It’s a dollar for dollar tax credit for the donations you make!! Details at our website www.furniturebank.us 

We need access to a warehouse and a logistics company to step up and help us help many others who are not as blessed as we are right now. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Furniture Bank is taking it to the streets looking for items to reclaim, repurpose or recycle in hopes to create unique items and Christmas decor for a fundraiser during the Holiday Boutique season. Also volunteers with the following helping skills needed: a painter, someone comfortable with light sewing, and a handy person with tools… (please know Miss Tami has her own reserved parking place at Home Depot!)
Here are the list of materials she is looking for; scrap wood-the uglier the better! picture frames, rusted metal, costume jewelry, fabric trim or ribbon, embellishments, building materials, Christmas decorations (no lights please) and small pieces of furniture. Items can be dropped off at Miss Tami’s house without an appointment. Please leave by the front door. Please email Tami@FurnitureBank.us if you need the address and / or are interested in helping! Help Furniture Bank help families emerging from homelessness into homes! Let the blessings roll! www.FurnitureBank.us

Monday, June 30, 2014

Furniture Bank needs your help!!

Do you have a few hours a month?
Need community service hours for school?
Can your vehicle hold a small household item or a few?

We need your help picking up local donations for our families emerging from homelessness and back into homes. One part of one day a month is all it takes! You, your family and friends can play a vital part helping others who are not as blessed as we are right now! Please share this with your family and friends and consider helping Miss Tami and Furniture Bank! Please contact us info@furniturebank.us

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Furniture Bank needs your gently used furniture and household items!

Furniture Bank needs your gently used furniture and household item

Currently we have 7 families on the waiting list and we are out of furniture and furnishings to bless them as they move into their new homes. Furniture Bank serves many families that will be blessed by your donation. We need Sofas, love seats, dining room tables and chairs, coffee table, end tables, lamps, new mattresses, bed frames, dressers, night stands, dishes, glasses, linens, coffee pots, counter-top microwave ovens, etc.

We are looking for items that you would be comfortable giving to family or a close friend to use in their home. Miss Tami would like to ask you to email a photo of your donation toTami@FurnitureBank.us

It is appreciated if you are able to arrange for delivery to our storage unit on 40th and Chandler Blvd or we can hire a mover.

We look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you for helping us to help others! Tami@FurnitureBank.us