Garage Sale For Orphans!!!!

Before I get into anything else, it is with much anticipation and joy that I say… FINALLY!!!!!

We have been talking about this for what feels like forever. We had a previous date set. We were ready to roll, then two weeks before happened…and someone (who clearly hates all the orphans in the world) complained that a church was holding a garage sale in a school parking lot. I clearly have some forgiveness issues.

It is here. I cannot wait.

Garage Sale For Orphans. Let’s take our excess and sell it. Imagine for one moment that our stuff can help to lift many out of extreme poverty. Imagine that our stuff can mean a home, hope and help eliminate the risk of that person becoming a victim of human trafficking.

If 59,000 storage facilites fill our hold our stuff. If $22 billion of our dollars go towards keeping it there, something must change. Imagine what this can do for a child. Imagine what God might do in us as we eliminate our excess.


I have sat, stared, cried over and wondered what to do about what stirs in my heart and with the brokeness I see in my own city, nation and around the world. For that moment when I have stared at God’s heart and thought there was nothing I could actually do about a brokeness so big. Even if all it took was one check, I don’t have that. If all it took was a trip overseas, I can’t just pick up and do that today. For every single time I think it would be easier to not know, God won’t let us. They are His heart.

We can start right here. Right now. Fear not your closet, for the Lord is with you.

I’ve recently moved. I’ve recently sat and muttered under my breath at those boxes a few simple words, “I hate you”. It’s kind of funny. It’s kind of not. Nothing like moving to show you what you really want to keep. The rest of it makes me feel like Ecclesiastes. “Meaningless, meaningless, its all meaningless”. All I did was move from 1000 sq ft to about 900.

So…join us!


April 27th is the big day!


Starting April 21st, you can start bringing your stuff up to the church. We will need volunteers. We are gonna have fun. We know how to party.  I’m hoping for a lot of stuff and to raise a lot of money. Nothing better than getting rid of your stuff to raise funds for an anti-trafficking house in Haiti. Every penny we make, goes to this project. Not in our area and still want to donate?  You can do that too.

We are going to enjoy this time, invite those in our community and put our stuff to good use…by getting rid of it.

There will be more info on the church website and on facebook in the next few days. In the mean time, check out Help One Now and the Garage Sale For Orphans website. Let’s do this!







Outreaches and Anger Management

Easter is coming! Easter is coming!

Our church did an outreach on Saturday to get the word out. We did so with bottles of cold water and Easter baskets full of candy and of course, invite cards. The Easter baskets were door to door, the water bottles is what called for a blog post.

Stand at the corner of a really busy intersection, with free water signs, in Austin, and see what happens. It gets interesting, entertaining and kind of awesome.

People don’t like to look at people who are standing on the street corner. We decided to make them uncomfortable by yelling “free water” at anyone who would give us a glance.

We went through about 350 bottles of water in about two hours.

I realized somethings….

1. Some people don’t want free water (looking at you “there is lithium in that” guy).

2. Some people are curious.

3. Some are grateful

4. Some people have a huge stigma that the church is a group of people who just plain like to be offended (looking at you “we smoke pot everyday” guy and “we are on our way to a titty bar” jeep full of college students…who poured out the water to prove…I don’t know).

This is without even giving much mention to the fact that Starbucks hating marriage blew up my facebook feed for approximately 20min yesterday.

The stigma is we like to be mad.

Number 4 is the reason for this post. I shrugged my shoulders at weed boy and made sure all four guys had water. Every body needs water. Probably more so if you are smoking pot. I should have given them extra. Erica told titty bar chick “ok, drink water”. I’m sure there was some slight disappoint at our lack of look of dismay. I was only offended that they thought they were offending me. I didn’t even care that it was on purpose.

I’m not saying don’t have your convictions, standards and choose wisely where you spend your money (drink fair trade…woot). I am saying, if our stigma is “we like to be mad”, somewhere, we have seriously missed it.



Ode to Apartment 918

We just finished one ridiculously exhausting week of moving and unpacking. It was the shortest move we have ever made. You can’t beat keeping your address and moving to the other side of the complex.

Since all is said and almost done…almost. I thought a post was in order. Ignore the fact that I haven’t posted regularly in a little while. I have many posts a brewing this week…and finally have time to sit and do it. I love to write. That is all.

We spent just over two years in one apartment. Since it was us moving back to Austin to launch Revive, you can imagine that much happened in that apartment in two years time. Sophia went from 2 to 5 in that apartment and Cephas from 5 to 7.

We had our first Revive Church core team meeting. The place were some of our launch team met for the first time. A place where many meetings, late night dinners, conversations over coffee, questions were asked, questions answered. A place where we cast vision and dealt with, wrestled with and prayed about the ridiculous amount of stirrings in our heart and realizing that we didn’t yet have a clue what we were getting ourselves into. A place where we faced more unknowns than we had ever faced in our lives up until that point. A place where late nights turned into early mornings, we rejoiced over answered prayers and learned how to trust God more and more with what we couldn’t see. It was what we went home to after our first service as a church. Oh the thrill! Same apartment that we went home to on the night when I asked God for some shoes...and He showed up.

That was two roller coaster filled years in that apartment. I’m not sad to see it go, yet cherish what God did in us in that two years…and we are just getting started.

So now…Yes, another apartment. Smaller, yet brighter and a usable and larger patio. I like it. This is good considering we moved in site unseen. We are Ortiz’s, apparently this is how we roll. I have to commend my husband for doing a great majority of the unpacking, moving furniture and hanging pictures…and doing so just right. He also reassembled furniture and put together Ikea bunk beds for the kids. Ray did an amazing job. Yes, he preached on Sunday…and what a fantastic message it was. I married me a great one folks. I dream of the day where there is no apartment number attached to my address, yet I can trust God with that too.

Looking forward to what memories we will leave this apartment with…


A wedding, a dance floor and community

A couple of weeks ago was wedding day for a fantastic couple in our church. It was an all hands on deck day that ended with a special couple saying “I do”. It was a great day. You have got to love a bride out of her mind happy, not caring about all the decor she had been making by hand for months…cause when it came down to it, this day was her dream and it was going to be perfect.

And it was…

The one thing I decided I couldn’t escape writing is the one thing I don’t have pictures of.

The dance floor.

Please – weep at my failure. It was greatness.

I went to take Sophia to the bathroom (the flower girl who didn’t know what to do with herself in a tu-tu after discovering a near-by playground…the tights had holes before the day was over) and returned to a sight.

We can call it many things, I call it community. It was the dance floor. Some knew the steps, some didn’t care, some tried, some didn’t…we all had fun…even if it was because someone made them.

Ready for the profound…life is like a dance floor. It’s only sad if you are too scared to jump in on the fun.

Here are a few pictures of that precious day. The last one is of Cephas, worn out while his sister was already snoring. This is the face of a long day of being patient. His sister was in the wedding, Ray did the ceremony and I ran around making sure the bride was relaxing and in hiding.