Coming Home


It’s time to come home. I’m in Cambodia w Saving Moses & a totally incredible team, but I’m ready to come home. I’m ready to see my husband & kids, sleep in my own bed, eat some peaches, drive my car, wear clean clothes & speak English really fast. 
Sometimes I think we feel this way about our earthly living. It’s definitely an adventure to live the human experience with lots of learning, some challenges & many bright spots. But we are made for heaven & it’s ok to get homesick from time to time. Let’s remember, however, that there are heaps of peeps in our lives who need to have heaven as their home. Let’s remember to share Jesus’ love & truth with the people in our lives so heaven’s population grows. Let’s be sure to take lots of people home with us!

Bad News


Nobody likes bad news, including me. I don’t want to hear things that disrupt my bliss & when I’m super honest, I don’t want to face stuff that’s uncomfortable or disturbing. It’s ok to watch an occasional YouTube video that’s not good or to see a FB post that’s distressing, but I get to choose when, how & in what quantities I see / hear stuff that I don’t like. Just because I choose to ignore something bad doesn’t mean it’s not there – indeed I think bad stuff gets all the worse when we pretend it’s not there. 
Sometimes, however, we need a wake up call – the proverbial 2X4 to the head. Yesterday I had one of these experiences here in Cambodia w Saving Moses. I saw something that wasn’t merely deflating but it was borderline demoralizing. As I woke up this morning, I still had a pit in my stomach from what I experienced yesterday & maybe that’s good. I think it’s good, from time to time, to have a wake up call about our lives. Otherwise, it can be too easy to live in distractions or denials about what’s happening not only around us but also what’s happening inside us. Sometimes it takes some bad news to shake us up, stir us to action & compel us to compassion. Let bad news be a catalyst!

Heart of Gold

I have a friend in Cambodia & he has a heart of gold. Vimean is his name & he always provokes me to love well. He lives on the outskirts of a massive garbage dump & he’s always generous, super encouraging, positive & eager to share about Jesus. Vimean’s heart is golden. I was thinking about him in contrast to some other folk who have gold in their hands. Sometimes wealth in our hands can be really helpful but let’s always be sure that our hearts are full of gold no matter if our hands have money or not. Money in the hands doesn’t guarantee that a person has a heart of gold. 

Pick & Shovel

It seems to me that much of life is about doing stuff that’s not always super exciting. Even though we may like exciting stuff, our days are more often about driving kids to their various events, going to work, washing dishes, changing the oil in our car, folding laundry, etc. As much as I like adventure & exciting stuff, it’s most important that we look for the Holy Spirit in what can seem to be the daily mundane. Let’s not allow ourselves to get dulled into a zombie existence by what can seem so familiar & common. 
Indeed, we can experience the Holy Spirit in: 

  • random conversations, 
  • various songs, 
  • revelation moments, 
  • quiet communion. 

Let’s stay alert to the Holy Spirit in our daily living!

Big Changes

Do you need some big changes in your life? Do you know anyone who needs some big changes? This quick blog could be super helpful!
Sometimes, it’s the “small” things that create big changes. For example, I read this morning in Acts 13 about how there was a prayer meeting where the Holy Spirit prompted the participants to lay hands on 2 guys & send them out. The 2 guys were Paul & Barnabas & this prayer meeting was the beginning of their missions ministry. Out of this prayer meeting, thousands of people were reached for Jesus, two continents heard the Gospel & numerous churches were planted. I’d say that from this prayer meeting, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit monumental changes were launched. 

Never belittle the power of prayer nor the leading of the Holy Spirit to affect big changes in your life!

To help you know the Holy Spirit better, grab a copy of my book Heavenly Help!

Why is March Important?

Lots of great things happen in March:  Spring Break, NCAA basketball tournament, my brother’s birthday, Spring Equinox & lots more!  So here’s something super fun for everyone who has a birthday in March!  Please check out the link here to see how your birthday could give genuine love & even life without making a giant dent in your time or budget:  heaps of fun!

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Hot Topic:  Snow-zilla, Super Bowl & Zika

We live in interesting times with the recent monster snow storm on the East Coast & with the Denver Broncos going to the Super Bowl (I live in Denver so for us Colorado folks, that’s a big deal). Obviously, these things are newsworthy. 
But here’s something to watch & pray about that’s really important: medical professionals have began to spread an alert about a new disease, Zika. This disease affects the brain development of infants & is a very big concern. In my work with Saving Moses, we are always alert to the most urgent needs of babies & toddlers where the care is least available. Let’s be sure to pray for this important challenge, for God’s intervention & wisdom for these innocent babies!

Steep & Deep

  

Sometimes life feels steep & deep. When I snowboard sometimes I feel like this – the run is too steep & the snow is too deep so I get intimidated & I want to change my mind. But more often than not, I’m already committed & I have to make the best way I can. And truth be known, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

This is also true for me with God. I want my relationship to be supremely deep & steep:

  • Deep in that I want to know God’s presence in depths & contexts that exceed any human relationship
  • Steep in the sense of vertical awareness – God’s presence spanning any level of my thinking & attention. 

Who’s with me in the adventure of having a deep & steep relationship with God? Let’s commit such that there’s no turning back!!!

Being Hungry

When I come home from an Int’l trip, I’m often hungry for a hamburger or a salad – familiar food that are in my home culture. This isn’t to say that I don’t like ethnic food. I TOTALLY love to try new foods in various cultures. Some of the foods I’ve tried were not that tasty when I first tried them, but the more I ate them, the more I liked these different foods. 
Sometimes I think spiritual food can be similar. I find that there are some spiritual foods that are tasty & appealing. For example, we like where the Bible says that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us in Phil 4:13. But some verses aren’t quite as appealing. For example, James 1:4 says that we should let endurance have its perfect work so that we can be perfect & complete, not lacking anything. 

Let’s be certain that we let the Holy Spirit cultivate our appetites so that we eat spiritual food that helps us grow & become mature followers of Jesus 🙂

Remote Control

  
When my husband & I watch tv together, it’s an interesting adventure. If he drives, it seems that we wind up watching nothing to a conclusion. If I drive, we see too many commercials. Thankfully, we both enjoy watching sports & this helps us find some middle ground that we both enjoy 🙂
But before there were remote controls for changing the volume & channels on TV, we used to physically get up & turn the knob to adjust the volume or watch something different – a more tactile & active exercise than the modern remote control evolution. 

Let’s be sure, however, that we give Jesus “remote control” in our lives. Indeed, let’s allow Jesus to work in our lives so that we watch & focus on the things that are most pleasing to Him. Let’s allow Jesus to drive ,)

hot topic: loving Muslims

If you’ve kept up on the news, you’re probably aware of the ISIS attacks in Paris over the weekend, leaving almost 130 dead, along with massive numbers injured, a city badly shaken & many of us outraged.  Truthfully, I find myself very conflicted with topic.  Not only have there been attacks in Paris, but recently, a Russian plane crashed in Egypt from a terrorist attack & there’s also been an attack in Beirut leaving 43 dead & 239 injured.  To make these atrocities even more barbaric, the ISIS propaganda machinery applauds these attacks and wants a bloodbath across the world, taking aim & great pleasure in particular against “Christian” nations.

My initial reaction to this crazy is to support equal if not escalated retribution & I can make a really reasonable case to neutralize this kind of crazy, with whatever means necessary.  And revenge, according to Alfred Hitchcock, is sweet and not fattening.  But revenge is not the path of following Jesus.  Indeed, Jesus told us to turn the other cheek to our enemies, to repay evil with good and to bless when we receive cursing.  Revenge is the level playing field, but as a follower of Jesus, we get to walk in a higher plane and make choices that are grounded in genuine love.  Let’s pray for, bless and love well, with the help of the Holy Spirit 🙂

pre-prayer

Today is an important day for Saving Moses, as we are praying, planning & strategizing for what God wants to do with Saving Moses in 2016. Days like this are important & they are have very massive impact for what we do in 2016, as well as how we do those significant goals.

We have this annual meeting at my house, so there are things that I do to prepare: clean the house, get coffee / tea ready, my husband made fresh biscuits this morning for everyone, I’ve made some good plans for lunch & some other things. Suffice it to say that I’ve prepared for this meeting with logistical foresight, mostly. But the most important thing I can do for this meeting is pre-prayer.

Let’s always remember that prayer is foundation for all of our preparation, so let’s always pre-prayer for each day J

honoring Veterans

220px-Joshua-chamberlain I recently read a story about Joshua Chamberlain, a commander of 80 Union soldiers who were the defining force that captured 4,000 Confederate troops at the Civil War battle in Gettysburg.  Despite being outmanned, out gunned and out of time, Chamberlain’s troops were victorious, against all odds.  When Chamberlain was later interviewed about how could continue to face such impossibility and find the wherewithal to continue fighting.  He replied,

“I had deep within me the inability to do nothing.”

When I read this story, I was deeply inspired not to let external opposition & hardship overcome the guts inside of me.  Many of the Veterans that live among us today & have valiantly sacrificed their lives for our freedom found within themselves the same as Joshua Chamberlain, the inability to do nothing.

Let’s be as inspired to make a difference in our world!

Celebrating Ordinary

   
 
I’m on the long journey home today, flying from Singapore & landing a mere 5hours after the departure of my first flight (it’s the time change thing that turns today into a 37hour day). I have seriously enjoyed my time in Singapore, making new friends, ministering in new churches, exploring & learning – all things I enjoy. 
But I have an ache in my heart for home, what’s familiar & ordinary. I’m looking forward to opening my refrigerator to make a grocery list for the week. I want to be with my church friends on Wed night, worshipping with them & nestling into God’s Word together. I’m eager to be with my family, hold hands, make goofy faces & hear about their weekend. I’m looking forward to finding my car in the airport parking lot & hoping the alarm doesn’t inadvertently go off when I open the door. And a hamburger with double pickles, no onions would be nice as well ,)

Jesus, the Son of God, came into our ordinary living, did the skin thing with us & didn’t just live for the next surge, thrill or rush. Seems like Jesus probably liked the ordinary in human living & not just the exciting 🙂

Hot Topic: Ala Carte

“Extra pickles & no onions” – my burger, my way ala Burger King’s mantra: have it your way. So much of our daily living is structured around being a satisfied customer. This is true to the point that we can almost be conditioned to believe that we get to have everything our own way, including our spirituality. 
But alas, such a perspective in relation to following Jesus is inherently dysfunctional. Jesus said that whoever would follow Him must lay down their life & take up their cross. While there is tremendous satisfaction in following Jesus, walking with Jesus is also the path of total sacrifice. Maybe we can start our relationship with Jesus in ala carte mode, getting to pick & choose what we like, but becoming increasingly mature in Jesus is more about being consumed than being a consumer 🙂  

#selah

Puke Bags

On my flight from Taiwan yesterday, my seat mate who didn’t speak any English, started puking after we landed in Los Angeles. She filled up her first bag, pronto & I quietly slipped her my bag, trying not to squirm out of my skin. Truth be known, I was super sympathetic because of an AWFUL experience I had earlier this year on a flight out of Africa. 
It seems to me that it’s much easier to be sympathetic when we’ve walked a similar road. I could’ve easily chosen to be repelled & revolted by this lady’s condition or I could choose to do my best to help her. 

What I thoroughly love about Jesus is that He chose to come into the human experience & walk among us, passing out puke bags & more importantly healing our broken condition. Let’s actively choose to be compassionate & helpful rather than revolted & repelled with the people around us 🙂

secrets for making progress

I like progress, improvement and growing.  I like being better today than I was a few months ago – and this is in every area of my life:  physical health, intimacy with God, quality relationships, effectiveness with Saving Moses and LOTS more!  I don’t like to be stagnant or stationary and I totaly LOATHE going backwards.  So here are a few things I’m learning of late about progress:

  • sometimes progress is incremental and gradual rather than gigantic and massive
  • progress can happen in different contexts:  doing PT with a recent shoulder surgery, I’m learning that progress happens in several ways (getting stronger, more flexible, getter ability to use, etc)
  • progress requires committment to change – if you don’t want to change, don’t expect to make progress
  • celebrate progress no matter the size or context:  acknowledging progress breeds more progress
  • sometimes what seems like a step backwards is actually progress moving forward – don’t get discouraged
  • encourage others who are trying to get better
  • keep going:  sometimes progress seems to be stagnant, but often these seasons of pause are nothing more than plateau set ups for greater progress if you’ll just keep going
  • progress requires truth;  deception is the enemy of genuine growth & development 🙂

A Zombie or Lazarus?

The story of Lazarus has a lot to do with resurrection. Lazarus was a really sick dude  (infirm as opposed to cool) who had an inside track with Jesus. Despite being a person whom Jesus loved, Lazarus died largely because Jesus procrastinated, if that’s ever really possible in a divine context. So when Jesus finally showed up, Lazarus was already dead for 4days & his body was very ripe – ripe for resurrection rather than decay. 

Long story short, Jesus called Lazarus back to life & told them to remove the grave clothes that bound Lazarus’ hands & feet & covered his face. 
I believe that Jesus has resurrection for each of us, but sometimes we let our hands, feet & face stay bound in the clothing of death. Let Jesus set free: 
*your hands free to do His work
*your feet with walk in His steps 
*your face so you can reflect Jesus’ life in our decaying world, desperate for resurrection
Let’s be alive in this day with Jesus’ presence wherever we go & in whatever we do!

A really cool miracle!

I’ve just been in Cambodia with Saving Moses & heard this extremely powerful testimony that will be super encouraging. A mom who was coming out of the prostitution industry had contracted gonerea (or however you spell it) & became pregnant. Instead of delivering her baby by c-section to protect him from the gonerea, she delivered him normally. From the birthing process, he also caught the disease in his eyes, for which there’s no cure in Cambodia. The prognosis for this baby boy was that he would be blind & the disease would likely spread to his brain with severe consequences. My friend went to pray healing for this little boy & over the course of time, he is totally healed, can see normally & is developing at a normal & healthy rate without any health concerns – how cool is that?!?!!!
I love that God is our healer, including healing for the babies of prostitutes. No one is too small, insignificant nor trivial for God to touch, heal & transform 🙂