Tag Archives: trust

Compassion.

I made an executive decision.

Instead of showering my children with presents for Christmas we are going to step outside the box. Don’t get me wrong. We will still celebrate Christmas but this year I’m striving to make the meaning of Christmas hit home for my boys, something more than presents under a tree.

We are adding to our family.

This is a HUGE deal.

Many of you may not know that I am a blogger for Compassion International. Now, I will fess up and say I have not blogged consistently over the last year. There are many reasons and excuses I could come up with, all true, but none more true than I just didn’t take the time. I am hoping to change that this month.

You see, this month is being deemed as BLOG MONTH for those at Compassion International. It is a month where I, along with my fellow bloggers, will be encouraging our readers to sponsor a child. Each week will have a new topic related to sponsoring, an act that is life changing. I have noticed, however, it has become increasingly difficult to encourage something I do not participate in myself. We do not currently sponsor a child. 

That is changing.

We will be sitting down over the next couple of weeks, as a family, in order to choose a child we can sponsor and watch grow as my own children grow. As soon as we have chosen a child to sponsor I will post about him or her here – as much as I can anyway. Hopefully one day we will get to meet this, as of yet, unknown child. I wish we could help them all.

This is where YOU come in.

With all of the natural disasters that have hit around the world there is a much greater need than ever before. If you have the desire to help a region but are not sure how please consider being a sponsor. Sponsoring is easy. It only takes a few minutes to get set up and I can promise you it is one of the most meaningful decisions you will ever make.

I’ve heard it said many times over:

You may not be able to change the world

but you can change the world for one person.

That is exactly what sponsoring is; changing a child’s world.

FOREVER.

Like I said, it’s a HUGE deal.

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Since I am in Christ.

I discovered this list several months ago and it’s been sitting on my dresser ever since. I’m going to post it all here and gradually through the next year come back to it for topics to discuss. There’s a lot here but I challenge you to copy/paste this into Word, print it, and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Read it every single day. Especially those days when it seems things cannot get any worse.

Since I am in Christ, by the grace of God:

I have been justified – completely forgiven and made righteous {Romans 5:1}

I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule over my life {Romans 6:1-6}

I am free forever from condemnation {Romans 8:1}

I have been placed into Christ by God’s doing {1 Corinthians 1:30}

I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God {1 Corinthians 2:12}

I have been given the mind of Christ {1 Corinthians 2:16}

I have been bought with a price, I am not my own; I belong to God {1 Corinthians 6:19-20}

I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God in Christ, and I have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge guaranteeing my inheritance to com {2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 1:13-14}

Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ {2 Corinthians 5:14-15}

I have been made righteous {2 Corinthians 5:21}

I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life {Galatians 2:20}

I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing {Ephesians1:3}

I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him {Ephesians 1:5}

I have been redeemed and forgiven, and I am a recipient of His lavish grace {Ephesians 1:7-8}

I have been made alive together with Christ {Ephesians 2:5}

I have been raised up and seated with Christ in Heaven {Ephesians 2:6}

I have direct access to God through the Spirit {Ephesians 2:18}

I may approach God with boldness, freedom, and confidence {Ephesians 3:12}

I have been rescued from the domain of Satan’s rule and transferred to the kingdom of Christ {Colossians 1:13}

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled {Colossians 1:14}

Christ Himself is in me {Colossians 1:27}

I am firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built in Him {Colossians 2:7}

I have been made complete in Christ {Colossians 2:10}

I have been spiritually circumcised {Colossians 2:11}

I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ {Colossians 2:12-13}

I died with Christ and I ahve been raised up with Christ. My life is now hidden with Christ in God. Christ is now my life {Colossians 3:1-4}

I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline {2 Timothy 1:7}

I have been saved and set apart according to God’s doing {2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5}

Because I am sanctified and am one with the Sanctifier, He is not ashamed to call me brother/sister {Hebrews 2:11}

I have the right to come boldly before the throne of God to find mercy and grace in time of need {Hebrews 4:16}

I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I am a partaker of God’s divine nature {2 Peter 1:4}


One Word.

2011 has been an interesting year.

We had some devastatingly crazy weather {possibly an understatement}.

I made some major changes to my degree plan and long term goals.

We hit some serious {sometimes painful} growth spurts

Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually.

I am a Compassion Blogger, in theory. I signed up to be one roughly a year ago. I’ve managed to blog an assignment here and there but I haven’t been as committed to it as I should be. That is changing in 2012. This last week I was reading a mass email sent to all Compassion Bloggers. In the email our coordinator suggested rather than making goals or resolutions for the coming year that we seek God as for the one word her would have us focus on. This idea was originally mentioned to her by her boss a few years ago and it stuck.

Pray.

Seek God.

One Word.

What is the one word that encompasses what God wants you to get in 2012?

I did what was suggested and it seems I was given a letter rather than a word.

My focuses for 2012:

Patience

Priorities

Purge

Passion

 


On Being Famous.

I get that celebrity’s, heir’s & heiress’, members of royalty, athletes, all those Disney chicks, etc., all have to live with the fact their lives are public and there is no privacy. Most of the time they accept this and gracefully endure all that we (commoners) throw at them. But seriously, why can’t we just let them be? Don’t they also deserve some privacy in the more intimate/familial moments such as weddings and childbirth, etc?

Take for instance William & Kate.

I seriously just saw a movie trailer for the “story of their lives”. Um, really?! Their lives have only just begun and really, their life together won’t begin for another few weeks.

Why can’t “we” (or “they” as the case may be) just be satisfied?

Now, there’s a loaded question if I’ve ever asked one.

I get the fascination some people have with the whole royal wedding thing and the girls who’ve wanted to be a princess their entire lives. I truly do. But at the same time …. Why can’t we just let them be? Why must we dig and dig and dig into their lives and try to find out every single detail BEFORE the event (which is being televised) actually happens.

They’re just normal people. I mean really, the lives they lead are their normal everyday lives (well, Kate is being groomed for royalty but that’s a given and she’s already pretty graceful about it all).

Why the desire to know everything?

Let me ask you this. What if you spent that same amount of time you spend pouring over catalogs/magazines, entertainment news channels, the official royal websites, etc., digging through the Bible?

Ouch.

Yes, that hurt even me. I know I’ve not spent the amount of time I need to in the Word. Have you? Or have you been too concerned with what “the beautiful people” of the world are upto to realize that you’re a beautiful person too?

You’re Heavenly Father is the King of Kings. How amazing is that?!

That alone makes YOU a beautiful person – on the inside where it counts.


True to Me.

This is potentially going to sound selfish but I want to talk about me. Keep reading and hear me out. I promise I am not as self-centered as it sounds.

There are things I want to do with my life. Desires I truly believe god has placed in my heart. What I’ve discovered in recent months is that I’ve become discouraged over not being able to fulfill those desires. Herein lies the problem. It’s not my job to fulfill those desires. It’s God’s. I get to listen to Him and follow His plan and in return my heart is happy.

So, what are those desires?

  • To write.
  • To photograph life.
  • To travel.
  • Music.
  • To help orphans.
  • Leadership.
  • To be true to me – the person God created me to be.
  • To raise my children by the standards of the image I have in my head – too difficult to really put into words. Suffice it to say, so they know beyond a shadow of a doubt they are not of this world.
  • To love deeply the life God has given me to live.
  • To trust.
  • To again be living the life I once knew – in the present and not the past.

There are other desires I will not mention here. And I can see how all of these, and others, will potentially intersect in the decently near future. I am excited! And a little bit scared.


Matthew 21:42

42 Jesus replied, “You surely know that the Scriptures say, ‘The stone that the builders tossed aside is now the most important stone of all. This is something the Lord has done, and it is amazing to us.’

Do you ever feel like the stone that has been tossed aside but has yet to become amazing? Have you seen stone statue and given anything to the piece of rock it was before someone took that rock into their hands and created a masterpiece? The amount of time spent getting each detail just right. Seeing the picture of how it will turn out before even getting the dust off. It’s incredible.

What may look like a piece of trash to many is a treasure to some.

People are judgmental. That’s just the way it is. We are always judged on our clothes, where we’re from, how much money we make, the car we drive, the house we live in … and the list goes on. Many times we toss aside something, or someone, without fully seeing the potential there – and frankly not really wanting to.

There’s a process by which a stone becomes a masterpiece. First, the stone is chosen; we are all chosen!! Then large pieces of unnecessary stone are chiseled off and begins to take a very rough shape; when we start to figure out the obvious things that need to go out of our lives. Then other tools are chosen to whittle down the rough edges; the deeper we dig into God’s Word the more we will find about ourselves that we can change. Sometimes chalk or charcoal is used to mark where the lines should go; sort of like knowing how to get from point A to point B but not given the go ahead just yet. The shape of the stone becomes even more refined with smaller tools that require the skill of the masters hand; learning to trust Him and lean on him – not with our own understanding. Until finally a masterpiece is revealed; striving to reach our full potential in Christ – “I cannot be defeated and I will not quit” – pressing on, running the race, finishing in spite of what the world throws at us.


Haiti.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to go to Haiti. It started when I was about 6 years old and we had a family from Haiti come to our church and talk about the different ways God is working there. The family had a daughter close to my age and we got to be good friends in the time we had together. Her name is Rose.

I don’ t know where her and her family are today but the memories we made at such a young age still resonate deep within. The stories of the things Rose and her family survived are some of the most prominent stories I remember from my childhood.

I can’t even begin to tell you all of the stories Rose’s family shared; of one of her brothers being raised from the dead, Rose being intentionally poisoned yet showing no symptoms of being the slightest bit ill, and of her father being told by an angel (I’m thinking via a dream but the memory is a little foggy) to shave his beard in the night and how he avoided prison and sure death by trusting and obeying. Just a few of such awesome stories that show God is still God even in the darkest of times.

Then there’s Eleanor, the founder of Christian Haitian Outreach, and the stories she shared of the children there; of missing limbs growing back, deaf children hearing, and story after story of happiness despite the poverty. I venture to say that while these children have next to nothing by the worlds standards they are indeed among some of the happiest you could ever meet. (Yes, she is safe as are all of the children in the orphanage. There was some structural damage to the building but all are safe.)

I remember being told that one of the worst things you could do to a Haitian child is to give him two pieces of candy. He’ll keep one for himself but then he’ll have to choose amongst his friends who to give the other piece.

And there’s the story of the kid who was given a radio and wanted to share it so he did … by turning it up full blast!

There is a special place in my heart for Haiti. There always has been and there always will be. The devastation wrought upon this little country by the Haiti Earthquake breaks me. I want to be there and to be helping so much it hurts. There are no words to express the pain in my heart for these people.

I have yet to actually make it to Haiti. I was signed up to go when I was 16 but not enough people signed up with me. Instead I went to Mexico. What I saw there is similar to Haiti’s story, though I think Haiti may be worse off. There is wealth to be found, very little of it. The majority of the people live in severe poverty with sewage and garbage running in the streets. Children digging for food in the trash alongside dogs. The beautiful scenery is marred by the small lean-tos built to house large families. Children walking around barefoot on rocks and through garbage. Children working to help take care of the family. Families so large that the older children are pushed out to fend for themselves. Those chosen by sponsors have it better. They get education and shoes and hot meals. But there are families where maybe only one child out of several gets chosen by a sponsor. That child is taken care of but what of the others?

I have been following the Tweets of @RAMhaiti all day today and just reading his minute by minute updates of the destruction brings me to tears. To not know where the people you love are. To not know what you’re going to wake up to in the morning. To not have water, electricity, or heat. To be sleeping outside for fear of buildings falling on you, literally. I don’t know where to go with those thoughts.

People in the US have become so accustomed to having everything just the way we want it that it’s a shock for most of us to see just how little the people of Haiti have materialistically. I think some of the shock is in regards to wondering how a place so close to the US geographically could be so far from the US in every other sense.

I have a feeling though that this earthquake will bring good along with the obvious destruction. While Haiti has gone from having nearly nothing to having even less, I believe their hearts and their spirits will be opened to God and that many will come to know God through this. One of the last tweets I read said something to the effect that “there are people all over saying that the world is ending and that they must find God”. Even with my heart breaking even more with every story or picture that comes out of Haiti, I find comfort in those words. People are coming to know God because of this devastation. He is the only way they will find the strength to go on.

Some facts on Haiti:

Covers only 1/3 of the island it shares with the Dominican Republic which makes it slightly smaller than the US state of Maryland. (27,560 sq km are land while 190 sq km are water)

1,771 km of coastline.

Poorest nation in Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty.

Over 9 million people call Haiti home; 9,035,536 to be exact.

Average age of a Haitian: 20.2 years.

Life expectancy: 60.78 years.

Roughly half of the population practices voodoo while 80% claim to be Roman Catholic.

108,000 people use land lines while another 3.2 million use cell phones … that leaves roughly 5.7 million people without that form of communication.

There are 14 airports but only 4 with paved runways.

4,160 km or roadway but over 3,000km are unpaved.

There are 2 TV broadcast stations and 1 cable station.


I can guarantee you that after reading these facts and others that I’m thanking God for the things I take for granted on a regular basis. Things like clean water, electricity, a job, a home, the numerous opportunities for education, and a vehicle.


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