Friday, July 31, 2009

My Treasure

'His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' Matthew 25:23

A few birthdays ago, I really wanted a chunky silver bracelet. My Grandma W asks us to be very specific about what we want for holidays. So I cut out a few pictures of bracelets that I liked and sent them to her as "hints". It wasn't too long after that and I had my own beautiful chunky silver bracelet. The first few months I wore it everyday, I cherished it and admired its proud that it was mine. As time passed; however, I noticed that I stopped wearing it. At this point, I couldn't even tell you were it is.

Something that once meant so much has now lost its place.

As Christians, we sometimes treat our salvation the same way I treated my bracelet. At first, we cherish our salvation, taking it everywhere we go and even showing it off a bit. We thank God for the privilege of knowing Him and we praise Him for who He is. Then as time passes, we take our Christianity for granted and we get comfortable as a Christian.

But what if we lost it?

If salvation is our most precious gift, how are we treating it? It's too valuable to be forgotten, stored away somewhere that you can't even locate it. I don't know about you but when this life is over, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord!”

The good news is we can't lose salvation completely. Sure there are times that we overlook the impact that it has on our every day, even our every minute. I don't give enough credit to the Father that sacrificed His one and only Son that I may have this salvation.

Thank you for sending Jesus to offer salvation to me, I so don't deserve it. Thank you for giving us Your Word, that we may study it and be encouraged in our Faith. I praise you today for your many gifts. I ask that you would be continuously reminding my human heart and mind of your greatness. Give me the patience to stop and recognize your presence in my every breath. I love you God and I thank you and praise you for loving me first. Amen

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things to come

Hello!  I hope you all are having a fabulous day.  My day was great.  I spent it with my sweet little walker and then spent the night with my hubby.  A great day.

I just wanted to give you a heads up on what's coming up in our world.... :)  Stay tuned for more information about...

  • Our Fall Bible Study... Beth Moore, Stepping Up.  We'll post some info about it in the next week.
  • OUR FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY.  I seriously LOVE to try to win things.  Now you can too! :)  You'll need to be able to leave comments so go back to the June archives and read about how to do it if you haven't already.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christmas in July

My children love Christmas. Not only in December do they love Christmas, but the entire year through, they LOVE Christmas. The love to listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas DVD's and read Christmas stories. At first, I was a bit annoyed by the year round Christmas festivities in my household. I mean, listening to Dora's Feliz Navidad in July is a bit of a stretch. And Caillou's Christmas -I have memorized every song. Jason and I have even made up alternate lyrics that keep it interesting.

When we are in the car, we all like to listen to my ipod, which has a wide variety of music. All spring and summer long, we have been listening to Transiberian Orchestra, Linus and Lucy, "Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and "Joy to the World" by Faith Hill. I love all of these songs, mind you, but when I really craving some David Crowder, Caroline asking to hear "It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas" is a bit random.

However, as I was driving down the road one day in July, blaring "Joy to the World" with our windows down (the people at the light next to us thought we were nutballs!) I realized that I had a great teachable moment with my children. How great is it that they want to celebrate the birth of our Savior every day!!! And sing it unabashedly in the middle of summer! In the fast pace of our modern world, the miracle of Jesus' birth gets pushed into a few weeks after Thanksgiving and mixed in with a lot of commercialism. The wonder and awe of God's perfect gift to us should be celebrated every day. I am thankful to my children for showing me my narrowmindedness. We truly should become like little children!!

My prayer for you today is that you wake up every day in awe of God's gift to you and praise Him !
"Joy to the World, the Lord is Come. Let earth receive her King!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm Way Behind

I wanted to write another post because I was really writing last weeks this week and still didn't get it done on my right day. Sorry about that.

I wanted to talk about another one of the devotion topics that I had for last week when we on our mission trip. One of the parables that Jesus shares is about 'The Wise and Foolish Builders' found in Matthew 7:24-27. "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

I want to be like the wise man that built his house on 'The Rock'! I need to have Jesus and His words in my heart so that I can put them into practice, so that I know what he wants from me. I believe Georgia and Everett, the couple we helped, had their 'house' built on 'The Rock'! Even tho, the rain came and the streams rose up, and their physical house was damaged, it did not fall completely and they had the faith to see it rebuilt. Their faith was strong enough to know that those 'things' they lost were not what was important. They are able to tell others and show others where their real strength comes from. It comes from 'The Rock'!! I pray we can all have our lives built on the Rock before a major disaster befalls us so that when things go wrong, as they will in this life, our hearts are ready.

We're back!

We're back!!! Not sure how many of you knew, I guess I hadn't mentioned it much but we were on a mission trip with the Family Workteam from our church. I had planned to blog on my usual day but we had trouble even getting a phone signal many times so I just decided to wait til we got home. We went to Columbus, IN for a week to help with the flood relief work from last summer's flood. We were working thru The United Way. We were a small group this time only 12 at the most. A few people could not be with us the whole week but as it turned out, we had just the right number of people at the right time.

At first, we thought we would be working on two houses along side of another group from York, PA. When the fellow in charge of the work assignments found out we had a plumber and an electrician in our group they gave us a different house. We worked on the house of Everett and Georgia Reeves. They were in their 60's and with the help of their family and friends had done some of the work themselves but had run out of steam. Plus the jobs left were some of the big ones. Our electrician came for just a day but was able to get some major jobs done to situate the electricity to the house and garage. Then a local electrician came the rest of the week and hooked up the plugs, switches, and then the ceiling lights. I believe when we were leaving on Friday most of the electricity work was finished. We had our plumber with us all week. He was able to show my two sons what needed to be done and they were under the house for a couple days working on pipes and duct work. I could never do that!! In addition, with the plumber's direction, our group was able to hook up most of the bathroom and kitchen fixtures, the well and the pump. We also finished the wood flooring in two rooms, doorways and doors, most of the kitchen cabinets, drywalled the mudroom, and painted all the trim and baseboards for the next group to install. It was clearly looking more like a house when we left on Friday.

I try to document everything in photos and everybody is usually tired of getting their picture taken by the second or third day. I say 'we have to have proof that everybody works.' I try to include anybody that we meet too, so we can remember them when we get home. Taking all the pictures is a way to give those back at our church, especially, a view into our week. So many people have donated to our different fundraisers and I want them to see what the money went for. We stayed at The Columbus Youth Camp just outside of Columbus which was very handy and the cabins, kitchen, and restrooms were fairly nice so that made our stay comfortable. It was nice, also, to have such a short drive there and back and to be helping out some 'fellow Hoosiers'! All the people we met were topnotch and easy to work with! As a group, we got along great and enjoyed each other's company on and off the job!

The couple we helped, Georgia and Everett, were the cutest couple. They were very friendly and it was easy to get to know them. Right at the beginning, Georgia brought out some pictures so we could see what the house looked like with all the water around it. It was unbelievable! The next day she brought out more pictures and a book that had been printed showing many scenes from around Columbus after the flood. It was amazing to hear how quickly it came up and all the things that happened then in the next few weeks and months. They had such an amazing attitude about everything and were very grateful for all that we were doing for them. It made you want to do as much as you could to help them. Everett was a big 'kidder' so he fit into our group real well and we all had fun teasing each other, Georgia, too! With my son and his family living so close I'm hoping to be able to visit with Georgia and Everett from time to time.

We try to have devotions on our trips and it was difficult with our schedule this time but one devotion went along with something Georgia had shared with me. She said just before the flood that she was very ill and in the hospital. She said she had prayed that she'd go back to church and all the things we say when we try to make a deal with God if he would help her get better. And altho she still struggles with her health some and then they had the flood and lost so much of their belongings, her attitude was so amazing. She said she realized that things happen for a reason. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." Many things are listed there and verse 3b says, "A time to tear down, and a time to build up" and that's where we were at for them. I pray that if I ever have such a disaster that God will help me to feel just that way and trust in Him. Georgia said they were back to going to church and anyone they meet will see her attitude of trust in God for all that she has and needs. What an awesome testimony they were sharing with us as we were there to share with them. That's just how a mission trip works - you usually get more out of it yourself personally than what you are able to give. I think that's how God has it all planned out for us!

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the opportunity we had to help Georgia and Everett! I praise you for their testimony of trust in you for everything they need. I pray you will use them to show many others as they showed us. I praise you, too, that you know long before we do, what we need and place people in our lives to show us those things. And again I pray you will show us where we can be your hands and feet in your world around us. Amen.


Sorry I have been so MIA lately. I don't have internet at home so it's touch and go with when I can use it! Anyhow I have another incredibly busy today but I didn't want to miss a chance to blog! It's interesting to me to think about how even when we as humans get so busy...God is always one step ahead of us making the way for our steps and guiding our path. It is hard for me to slow down sometimes even though I know I may miss a step that my God is paving for me.

Not a very long post today, but enough to say I might be right now but our God will never be M.I.A!

Love you all!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm behind

Sorry ladies! I'm behind. This week I've been helping out in the camp office in the afternoons. I'm SO good at making my days completely booked! We are also down to just Shane's computer so I am left with posting at night or first thing in the morning.

Last night was the last night I shared with the campers about situational poverty. It was the best night of all I shared. I felt like I had it down, like the kids were receptive and it was just all around good. Now my prayer is that the Lord will take what they heard and move them along in what they can do about it. (MOVE me too Lord!) Then I'm praying that we will all be ready to listen to that still small voice.

A funny story I forgot to share last week..... I was getting ready to talk to the first group. It's a solemn moment you know? We are all ready to talk about these tough situations. Our groups are meeting outside and I have a table down near the lake. I started talking and about 3.5 seconds into it.... a bird pooped on my hand!!!!!!! I'm so not kidding. All the kids starting eewwwing. All I could do was say gross and wipe it off in the grass and then keep going! Seriously. Gross. But thank you God it wasn't my head!

Monday, July 20, 2009

When We Can't, God Can!

Hello ladies! I am writing my post late at night ... again! What is wrong with me? I am so not a late night person. But I several projects going on right now, one really big one. Jason and I and Shannon and her husband are league directors for the UPWARD basketball program at our church. We are new at this role so it is taking a lot of time and preparation to get us going in the right direction. I just came home from a meeting with the four of us and my head is spinning!! We have so much to do. Sometimes I wonder how we are going to accomplish our very long list of things to do. I am sure you all can relate to feeling this way.

I have a habit of taking on the stress of a big project without handing it over to God first thing. I know in my heart that I cannot make this all happen on my own. Neither can just the four of us humans. But I want to take ownership and control of the details and make it all work. I get frustrated if one of the balls drop in my juggling act. The key to our success in making this ministry fabulous is giving it to God every single day..... lifting it up in prayer, asking for guidance, asking for God to place people in our hearts who will lead along with us, and praying for the children who will participate. Only He knows the outcome of labors. I believe he has placed this ministry before us for a reason, and He will guide is in the right direction.

What is the famous song, "Jesus Take the Wheel?" I am really trying to be intentional in letting God guide my efforts right now regarding UPWARD. Naturally, I have doubts about my own abilities to do this project, and in whether the church will receive our leadership and grab on to the vision. But this I do know:

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Phillipians 4:13)
"For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)

I am thankful for this opportunity to serve Him, and I am thankful to my co-leaders for their dedication to the ministry and its purpose. Could you please pray for us in the coming weeks and months as we continue to plan and seek to do God's will in our community? UPWARD's vision is to win as many children over for Christ as possible.
Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Whew! I'm tired! I have had a long day, a good one, but long. I've been so excited that my daughter started walking... but that also means she can choose to walk away from me now. And choose to throw her sweet little self on the floor when her mom tells her not to do things like put her hands in the toilet..... My world has now turned into being a hawk, watching out for what she will do that may hurt her. She doesn't know that stepping off deck without going down the stairs will hurt her, or that ovens are hot or any of those things.

I was asking some girlfirends today.... why do we make it so hard on ourselves? We DO know what is bad for us and what our Father wants from us but we still choose to do things that in the long run will hurt us. Why do we do this? Our selfish nature wants what we want and we choose to not think about the consequences.

But PRAISE the Lord that just like I love my daughter and will teach her over and over, our Father loves us. Even more! (remember Judy's post?) Thank you LORD for loving me and loving me and then loving me still...

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Power of Prayer

If you haven't followed the link on Monica's post to the family with a little girl just diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, please do so. I just read it, and totally changed my post topic. It is horrible and touching at the same time. It is so real and so unreal. It blows my mind that there are thousands of stories similar to this family's, but it also makes me smile because this little girl's family has so much faith and trust in the Lord. And He is there through their terrible journey. The power of brings us into a close relationship with Jesus.

As a parent, I want to teach my children not only to pray and how to pray, but why we pray. It is not just for meal times and bedtime. It is an ongoing conversation with our creator and redeemer. It is for praise and petition. It is for times of joy and times of pain. It is for the big things and the small, seemingly insignificant occurences in our lives. He craves that intimate relationship with us, His children.

My prayer tonight is that I am deliberate and intentional about my prayer time. I need to not only set aside quiet time for reading the Word and praying, but also throughout my day, (while doing housework, driving, playing with the kids), give a word of praise or lift others up in prayer. Sticky notes and notecards work wonders! One of my favorite tools is a book of spiral notecards I keep in the car. I keep it open to a favorite verse, or if I am waiting in the car, I can flip through all of the verses that have spoken to me recently. (actually my spiral notecards are flipped open right next to my laptop to Zephaniah 3:17, one of my favorite verses).

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

What are some of your favorite prayers or prayer tools??

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On my heart...

This week I discovered the story of Kate McRae. It's a heart breaking story but one of hope and much needed prayer. It is her parents wish that as many people as possible are praying for their little girl. Please click on the link below and read her story....then join me on your knees in prayer.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Children are a gift from God. Psalms 127

We had a great weekend celebrating the 4th of July, kinda busy with regular things to do and then lots of things with family. Family is one of the most important things to my husband and I. We both grew up in close families, that would be with brothers, sisters, parents, and grandparents then aunts, uncles and cousins, too. Both of our families even came to Epworth Forest for a week in the summer for many years. You'd think maybe we would have met then, for some reason we didn't but I'm not sure why because I know we were there one time the same week. Funnie, isn't it!!

As most of you know, we have four children. They are all in their twenties now which I can't believe. It seems like just yesterday they were little but sadly they grow up way too fast. Altho, when they grow up and get married, you have the privilege of watching your children have their own children. I got to be a granma alot this last week which is such a pleasure except that little Ava was not feeling well part of the time. And as most of you can imagine, I could go on and on about all the cute things she did! Even about how much fun it was to do her laundry and get to fold even her little sockies! I won't... save that for another day!!

As I shared in the day to day of living with a little one around, I got to see her mommy and daddy in their new roles, ones they have adapted to very well. It gives you such a good feeling that maybe you did something right as a parent. But mostly, it made me think about my son learning to be a dad from watching his dad. ( I need to add that Sara is a very good mommy, too!) I watch the other men in that role around me and am so pleased at the importance they all place on the job that is set before them. We read in Psalms 127, 'Children are a gift from God; they are his reward'.

Then I think if we humans are thrilled with things our own children and grandchildren do. If we are quick to forgive and continue to love them, how much more is our Father in heaven happy for us and with us. It amazes me to think that God loves us even more than we could love our husband, our children or our grandchildren. But He does, so much more!! God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. He will continue to forgive, and come looking for us when we are lost. He wants us close to Him. We are all His children. He loves us no matter what we've done or where we've been. Isn't that the coolest thing?!! Then He challenges us to do that same thing for others with His help. We can love all others with God loving thru us.

Dear God, How AMAZING is your love! We thank you for our families and friends to love and enjoy. We praise you that you would also love us even more, even more than we can imagine. I pray that we can love others this same way. In your precious name we pray, AMEN

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tell me more...

This is a follow up from last week's heavy post.... my post about disease and poverty in our world... It got me thinking after I wrote that. If you read it and were upset, that's an ok feeling to have. It takes people getting riled up about things to make a change... remember the quote?

So here is what I wanted to say this week- there are SO many kids, so many people dying each day. And unfortunately many of them are in other countries, third world countries... we are so blessed to live here in a land where we have insurance, doctors, clean water, even an abundance of food! While I would LOVE to have a plan to go to a country like Haiti set in place to start making a difference, I don't. It's not in the life plan for my family right now. But that doesn't mean I can't do anything! Just because you can't go to Africa, Haiti, or India, or any country we see on t.v. with hungry sick babies doesn't mean that we can't make a difference.

I used to have a little banana leaf wall hanging that hung in my apartment in Haiti for years. It said Bloom Where You are Planted. Think about that for a second... bloom where you are planted. Not where you wish you were planted. Not where you used to be planted. where you ARE planted. I love that.

I bought some plants this past week. I am loving my garden. I am slowly building it up and make it beautiful. Part of this beauty comes from the flowers I am planting. White with yellow insides, orange petals, small delicate pink flowers, they all are so beautiful. I want them to bloom exactly where I plant them. That's my plan. That's what's going to make my garden perfect.

That's what our Father wants from us. He has orchestrated this magnificent beautiful garden of this world and he wants you/me to bloom where he puts us. And by bloom I mean- flourish, be active, involved, live. When we try to do this, it makes his garden so much more they way He intended it to be.

So, if you are blooming right where He has you, what are you doing? What are you doing to make a difference in your neighborhood? city? church? family? I'm not asking from a condemning attitude, but from one of encouragement. I'm working on this- I am working on being intentional about getting to know neighbors. My family has taken on some church commitments this next year. I am sharing at camp this summer. I know there is so much more to think about too... How exciting! We don't have to travel far to make a difference. It's all about being intentional, diligent, and willing to bloom.

Me, Me, and more Me

Hi girlfriends!! I just sat down to write this blog... it's 10 p.m., which is way past my usual blogging window. My brain just doesn't work after 9. But here I am-- I did dig out a small ice cream drumstick from the back of our freezer. I definitely need sweets!! It tastes okay... who knows how long it's been in there.
Anyway, I came really close to rationalizing why I couldn't write my post this week. We just got back from vacation. Most of you can relate to the state of your household when you return from being food, so you have to go grocery shopping, laundry to unpack, sort, wash, dry, fold and put away, a car to clean out, kids fighting like cats and dogs because they are tired from the trip..... plus your regular schedule for the day. Mine included piano lessons, karate, and an actual cat (not a kid) that needs knee surgery.... yes, I said my cat needs knee surgery... AGAIN!! (on the other knee... he had knee surgery a year ago on the right hind leg. Can you believe that? Yeah, Jason couldn't either!)
So by the end of the day, my mind was working something like this......

My day has been horrible.
These kids are driving me crazy!
Why did my husband leave the lunch I packed for him at home?
Why can't I get anything done?
I have done nothing for me all day!!

You all can see the common denominator in those statements, right??? ME!

And you all can see now why I feel convicted to write this post??? I needed to get rid of the ME today. I needed to crucify the "self" and let the Holy Spirit fill me with his love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The idea of living a crucified life was a hard concept to wrap my head around when I first began studying the Bible. Actually, it still is difficult to execute. I don't think I actually understood what it meant to be crucified with Christ until my pal Beth Moore explained it to me in her Bible Study "Living Beyond Yourself." She gave a great example of a practical way to start your day empty of "Me" and full of Christ. Every morning she begins with prayer that does these things:

*Acknowledges His lordship and confesses to Him sins (This empties you.)
*Asks Him to give you a spirit that desires to be full of Him. (inviting in the Holy Spirit)
*Asks to see His glory and power throughout your day.

Now that is a prayer that I need to do every day!!! (No doubt that I didn't start my day with it this morning.)

I know that if I prayed this prayer in earnest, that I would undoubtedly go about my tasks of the day differently. I would do them out of love, instead of out of obligation. And those of you who know me well know that I am a list maker. I pray that my list includes this prayer at the top every day.
How do you all live a crucified life? I would love to hear how you all take the "ME" out and put the "Jesus" in.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the LORD, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
Thank you Lord for the promises you make to us all throughout your Word, especially for those in Psalm 91. I love you for being my constant fortress and refuge. Bless this holiday weekend! Ahmen

Make A Joyful Noise

I listen to a couple Christian radio stations mostly when I'm driving in my car. I usually don't remember the title of a song or hardly even know the artist's name, and my kidds have forever complained that I shouldn't sing - partly because most of the time I don't remember alot of the words but I like to try to 'sing' along. I think I do so much better when no one else is in the car with me. Wouldn't you know it, then they aren't there to hear how well I'm doing!!! Anyways, I don't really care what my kidds say about my singing. Sometimes, the words are just what I need to hear!!

My dad used to always say about my mom's singing that she was making a joyful noise. I guess I get my singing ability from my mom! Oh well?!! It talks in many of the Psalms about singing with joy to the Lord. Psalm 100 says 'Make a joyful noise to the Lord all thee earth.' So I guess that's what my mom and I do. As my girls were growing up, they were always singing in church. I would listen for songs they could sing. Many times they would surprise me with a song that they knew was a favorite and believe it or not, it would make me cry. I can remember when Monica was getting ready to go to college. Her and Lex sang in church toward the end of the summer and Pastor Scott toward me not to worry that that would not be the last time they would sing in church. He was right. What a blessing it has been to myself and I hope, to many!

What I wanted to do was include words that really speak to me from some of the songs I enjoy listening to, some of which my girls might have sung.

* As the deer panteth for the water, So my soul longeth after thee,
You alone are my heart's desire and I long to worship you.
You alone are my strength and shield, to You alone may my spirit yield.

---As The Deer by Martin Nystrom

* Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done,
Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are.
And you've told me who I am, I am Your's...

--- Who Am I? by Casting Crowns

* In the silence of all that you face, God will give you His mercy and grace.
Jesus never said it was an easy road to travel,
He only said that you would never be alone,
So when your last thread of hope begins to come unraveled,
Don't give up, He walks beside you on this journey home,
And he knows, life is hard, the world is cold,
We're barely young and then we're old,
But every falling tear is always understood,
Life is hard but God is good. Yes, Life is hard but God is good!

---God Is Good by Pam Thum

* Jesus paid much too high a price for us to pick and choose who should come,
And we are the body of Christ...

---If We Are The Body by Casting Crowns

* There's no such thing as perfect people, there's no such thing as a perfect life,
So come as you are, broken and scared, lift up your heart and be amazed,
And be changed by a perfect God,
Suddenly it's like a weight is lifted when you hear the words that you are loved...

---Perfect People by Natalie Grant

* O He died, He died to rectify my hopeless situation
And His blood commands my guilt to leave
Now on Calvary I stand, empty pockets, open hands,
Child, you're forgiven and loved,
Child, you're forgiven and Child you're loved,
Child, you're forgiven and loved.

---Not Without Love by Jimmy Needham

* Surrounded by your glory, What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you, Jesus, or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine...

---I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that these words would speak to the hearts of those reading them as they have spoken to me. I praise you that you come to us in so many different ways to touch our lives. Help us to be watching for you in the words of a song or the voice of a friend, in a sunset or a rain storm, in a child's eyes or the hand of a stranger. Help us to be the body of Christ that you would have us to be. All for your Glory!!! Amen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I had the great opportunity to share tonight at the high school camp at Epworth. They were doing different stations, talking about different kind of oppression. My area was preventable oppression, specifically medical and diseases. It was such an honor to share and I felt one of those moments where God was able to use me. When I was living in Haiti and going through some tough experiences, I remember thinking, "why do I have to go through this? I don't like it one bit and it hurts too much God". Well... He created me for such a time as this and I firmly believe that I was supposed to have those experiences in order to be able to share with the kids tonight. I'd like to share a bit with you on what I talked about

When you have a headache what do you do? take some medicine right? How about a fever? the same. Where do you get it? A medicine cabinet right? We all have those with every medicine under the sun that we MAY need some day. And if the meds don't work? You see a doctor. Friends, all of what I just mentioned is a complete luxury. We are a minority in this world that has such great access to medicine, medical assistance, even clean water to wash our pills down with! Do you know how many people are dying TODAY from diseases that are completely preventable?

When I lived in Haiti, one of the things I helped with was medical clinics. I would translate for the doctors and nurses who would come in for a few weeks. I did not enjoy this job. I do not do well around blood, sickness, and the hurt in general was just so hard to bear. But that was where the need was so I went.

On one specific clinic, we had traveled up to the mountains, way up there. It was a three hour walk up a steep mountain. People had waited in line for hours to see the doctor and get some medicine and a little love. One lady came in with her baby who was maybe 2 months old. This lady was probably more of a girl, she looked young. She said her baby had diarrhea and couldn't keep anything in. Oh.. when I looked down at this precious little thing... she was so so tiny, just skin and bones. Listless, almost lifeless. Friends, one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life was to pray/translate with this mother that Jesus would take that lovely little bundle in his arms and take her home. She probably didn't make it home that day.

It's been 9 years since this happened and my eyes still well up with tears when I talk or write about it. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. Babies should NOT die because they don't have clean water, or access to a doctor, or food to eat. NOT OK. But this is happening RIGHT NOW all over the world.

  • in Africa- there are over 11 million orphans from AIDS
  • 9 million people need immediate drugs for HIV/AIDS and only 30% of that number are receiving them
  • Since last August in Zimbabwe 4,000 have died from cholera
  • Over 500 million are affected by Malaria all over.
  • 1 million die from it (I had malaria in Haiti.... awful sickness! but I was able to call in and get some medicine, just like that....)
  • EVERY DAY 34,000 children under the age of 5 die from hunger

  • EVERY DAY 50,000 people die from preventable diseases. Let me make it a bit more real for you. That's like the city of Elkhart- dying. EVERY DAY.

I'm not trying to share this with you, just to make you sad. Just to ruin your night. I want you, I want me, all of us, to be aware. THIS IS HAPPENING friends. We can pretend it isn't or we can know about it and learn how to make a difference. We've all heard the story of the little boy walking along the beach throwing starfish back in the water. There are hundreds and hundreds of them. Someone comes along and tells him he can't save them all. He just looks at that person, picks up a starfish throws it back in the water and says "I made a difference for that one"

Please, please spend a few minutes tonight thinking about this. Pray that the Lord will show you where you can make a difference. There are places everywhere, here in the U.S. and all over the world that you can join with in helping. If you need some ideas, let me know and I can give you some.


"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for a few good men to do nothing"
Edmund Burke