Walking with God

I’m presently in Cambodia with a magnificent team expressing Jesus’ love
To the babies & toddlers of prostitutes. This is a really powerful experience for everyone & me in particular. For starters, getting to love on babies is thoroughly glorious. Their bright eyes, curiosity, trust & acceptance are unparalleled in our adult relationships. There’s a simplicity & purity with babies that we seem to lose as adults. This experience is also powerful for me in getting to watch my team come together as individuals & join in cohesion, complementing each other rather than competitive division & exclusivity. Finally, this year is unique for me from the previous years. Last year when I was here, I was recovering from a concussion & that was extremely difficult, blech. The year before that, I was doing physical therapy to recover from shoulder surgery.
Going through hardships helps us appreciate the non-hardship times! Walking with God is truly the adventure of a lifetime!

I’m extremely excited for the next week or so & I want to stay connected with you!! I’m excited because we have our largest ever team trip with Saving Moses in Cambodia, working with our five nightcare centers, loving on babies & experiencing the MARVELOUS people of Cambodia!! I’ll be posting pictures, telling stories & bringing you along with me, hoping you will feel God’s lavish love for you through seeing & reading about these experiences!
And on top of all that excitement, I’m also popping into Bangledesh for a few days to continue working to set up nightcare there!! I’m giddy excited for God’s love to pour through me in these days & I’m praying that you’ll also sense God’s love for you, as you keep up with my blog 🙂
Feel free to subscribe to my blog so it will be easy to keep up! Thanks & let’s have a really fun adventure together for the next week or so!!

Crazy Ideas

I have heaps of crazy ideas & what’s really interesting is that I’m not afraid to try out lots of these ideas. Sometimes it works out well & sometimes it’s a disaster. Over the course of time, I’ve grown accustomed to the raised eyebrows & quizzical looks that people give me, but there are few friends who give me the thumbs up & seem to enjoy these grand adventures.

Sometimes, I think the Holy Spirit has some crazy ideas as well. I’ve had the Holy Spirit direct my steps to do some really incredible things, like starting nightcare with Saving Moses, teaching German in China & learning some fun languages! Let’s be careful that we don’t automatically dismiss something crazy & miss an opportunity to follow the Holy Spirit on a fun adventure!!

Mix It Up!

What are you planning for your vacation this year? Are you going to do the regular stuff: pools, driving, sunburns, etc? Why not try something new?
Here’s a cool idea: come with me to Cambodia & make a vacation that you’ll never FORGET! I’m taking a small group with Saving Moses to help with our nightcare work in Phnom Penh. The cool stuff you’ll get to do includes:

  • experiencing a new & incredible culture,
  • meet babies & toddlers who will steal you heart,
  • do some cleaning, painting & renovating with our centers,
  • meet Jesus in the faces of desperate people

Let’s make your vacation this year something fresh, unique & possibly life changing!!

Here’s how to get started: LETS GO!!

Space is really limited, so apply fast before we fill up!

Changing Things

Changing Things

Normally, the day before Thanksgiving our family goes skiing since we live fairly close to some epic vertical. But alas, today we are electing for the flatland because there’s almost no snow & the few runs that are open don’t tempt us enough to take the plunge.
Seems to me that change can be challenging to navigate but we need to change for lots of reasons:

  • Change indicates that we’re alive & not moribund in static rigamortis
  • We don’t grow if we’re unwilling to change
  • Change affords new adventures, delights, joys & discoveries
  • Our souls stay supple when we are willing to change, letting God love through us more thoroughly

Cheers to change & happy Thanksgiving!

Try It!!

One of the things from my parents that I deeply cherish, is the “try it!” attitude. So when I was growing up, I tried heaps of stuff: lacrosse, blue corn tortillas, clarinet, softball, Perry Mason tv mysteries, eating crawdads, swimming in canals, classical music, basketball, viola & loads more! Of course I wasn’t proficient in most of these things but my parents were always super encouraging, even when I miserably flopped. So to this day, I’m a “try it” kind of person & I love this mindset!
Indeed, I’d rather try & fail, then not try & succeed at not trying. Peter was like this with Jesus when he walked on the water. He tried it & had some failure, but it seems to me that he was the first human water walker just because he tried!

Say Yes!!

“I need to think about that.” This is my classic answer to the majority of the things my kids ask from me. If I impulsively say yes or no, I’m likely going to get into some hot water rather quickly.

But with Jesus, I always want to say “yes!” When we say yes to Jesus, it can be saying yes to

  • being kind to a stranger,
  • loving our kids when they get under our skin,
  • being generous with our finances,
  • helping a prostitute look after her baby or toddler,
  • praying for someone who’s sick
  • and lots of other things!

Let’s decide before Jesus asks that we’ll say “Yes!”

Loving to Learn!

One of the things I greatly admire about my mom is that she is continually learning & her learning isn’t limited to just small pockets of interest. She’s recently started using emojis in her text messages & she’s more than excited about using periscope in her latest social media adventure. Learning is a BLAST, particularly when you have a good teacher – my first major at college was physics because my high school physics teacher was so amazing! Having a good teacher is half the battle in getting to enjoy learning & Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher. Truth be known, there’s no one in our lives who can teach us better than the Helper. 
The other half of learning is the determination to be a good learner. You can have the best teacher on the world & learn virtually nothing if you decide not to learn or grow, full stop. 
So let’s decide to be awesome learners! Here are a few suggestions about how to be a good learner:

  • Be flexible – decide to learn regardless of the “classroom” or the lesson 🙂
  • Don’t let shame or discouragement color your learning
  • Buy my book, Heavenly Help, and learn about the Holy Spirit, your Teacher, Comforter & Helper 🙂

   

 

One of the things I greatly admire about my mom is that she is continually learning & her learning isn’t limited to just small pockets of interest. She’s recently started using emojis in her text messages & she’s more than excited about using periscope in her latest social media adventure. Learning is a BLAST, particularly when you have a good teacher – my first major at college was physics because my high school physics teacher was so amazing! Having a good teacher is half the battle in getting to enjoy learning & Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher. Truth be known, there’s no one in our lives who can teach us better than the Helper. 
The other half of learning is the determination to be a good learner. You can have the best teacher on the world & learn virtually nothing if you decide not to learn or grow, full stop. 
So let’s decide to be awesome learners! Here are a few suggestions about how to be a good learner:

  • Be flexible – decide to learn regardless of the “classroom” or the lesson 🙂
  • Don’t let shame or discouragement color your learning
  • Buy my book, Heavenly Help, and learn about the Holy Spirit, your Teacher, Comforter & Helper 🙂

   

 

Are You Coming??

  

Let’s GO!!!! Let’s go do something amazing! Let’s join God’s redemptive plan for humanity! Let’s join a divine revolution & JUMP!  
Sometimes we can get stuck in our routines, responsibilities & even ruts. But sometimes, God wants to upset the apple cart & is merely waiting for us to give a small nod, “yes” & that’s when the adventure starts! To be sure, following Jesus has its fair share of thrills, disappointments & shockers. But in my experience, nothing satisfies the core of who I am more than walking with Jesus, whenever He leads, be that in brothels, slums, palaces, prisons, churches, crosswalks & carpools. So when Jesus beckons, may our default answer always me, “Let’s GO!!”

hot topic: transformation

I like Autumn because all the transformations and changes that happen:  leaves turning colors, weather cooling off, schedules getting more routine & lots more.  Autumn reminds me that life is continually changing, even if slowly.  Autumn also encourages me that change is possible because sometimes I can get discouraged with myself when I don’t see the changes that I want in my thinking, etc.  If you’re like me, we like to be involved in changes that are improvements, so here’s an opportunity for you to bring transformation and be transformed at the same time:

Saving Moses is hosting a severely space limited team trip to Cambodia in July 2015 & I’m inviting you to check out this transformational possibility for your schedule:  Saving Moses Team Trip 2015

 

Don’t Freak Out!!

“LET GO!!!!!”  When I was younger, I went paragliding in China & had virtually no instruction for the paragliding adventure.  Whatever training the paragliding “company” did was in Mandarin & my Mandarin skills don’t have any paragliding vocabulary.  Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for this undertaking, which of course didn’t stop me – smile.  I strapped into the harness thing, proceeded to jump off the mountain and I had this TOTALLY SHOCKING experience, which I later learned was a thermal.  I caught a wind gust that was like rocket thrusting me straight up!  My mind said, “LET GO!!” and then I thought about my options: let go & fall or hold on & keep going up.  I decided that I preferred the lifting experience over the falling experience, so I held on.  Let’s make the same kind of decision about Jesus when we get in a crisis.  Hold on to Jesus & He will lift us up!

ps – I had an amazing ride with my paragliding experience 🙂

Each day has new adventures

Thank you heaps for reading this blog today! I’m in Cambodia w Saving Moses & we are in our first day here, already seeing incredible things happening! I was just able to visit a possible 2nd location for our nightcare work here & to say I’m excited might be te understatement of the century! ,)
Seriously, I’m so excited about getting to open a 2nd nightcare facility here & I feel God’s hand on us to give us direction & wisdom – what an amazing experience!! Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement & support, helping us to express genuine love to babies everyday where the need is most urgent & the care is least available. I’m attaching a pix of a baby that we might get to care for at our second facility. His name is Sopi & he’s 7months old. A beautiful baby, full of life, hope & possibly a bright future.
Saving Moses = saving babies everyday!

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a word of caution

Generally, I don’t consider myself to be overly cautious.  I like to race my grocery cart in the parking lots, I like to snowboard super fast, I like to travel to remote places, and I like to take on challenges, usually.  But here’s something to be careful about, that’s been rolling around in my mind of late:

Be careful that you don’t limit God based on your understanding

I know that God has given us a brain & that we’re supposed to use it to bring maximum glory to God.  I know that many of us have amazing talents and abilities with our brainpower, analysis skills and learning abilities.  There can be, however, a down side to relying solely on our brains for interacting with God.  I believe that our brains are designed to function and excel in a finite and concrete world.  When we try to use our brains to understand God, I think this is when we can get fuzzy and murky.  Of course we must use our brains as much as possible, but connecting with God can’t be limited solely to our brains.  It’s been my experience that most of the deepest connections I have with God go beyond my brain & begin to explore the regions of the heart.  To me, that’s the greatest adventure of my life 🙂

Want an adventure???

I love adventures!! I’m adventurous w my food, with trying new things, going to new places & in lots of different ways. But I’ve also noticed some areas where I’m not adventurous & it seems to me that it is these exact areas where God is beckoning me to follow His lead more fully. Of course, I’m not very comfortable in these areas but I think that my discomfort is part of God’s plan, so I rely on Him more fully. Indeed, it has been my experience that when I grow in my reliance on God, this is one of the ways that the Trinity increases my closeness with them. So the greatest adventure that we can ever experience is to walk closer & closer w God 😀
Let’s Go!!

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Opportunities to be thankful

I’ve been in Albania now for about 4 days & I’m simply amazed at how wonderful this country is – truth be known, I’ve wanted to come to Albania for more than 20 yrs. Now that I’m here, I’m finding myself becoming more & more connected w the Albanian people. They are very strong in their hearts & relationships. They’re rich on love & community – simply amazing!
We’ve made some fantastic connections w wonderful opportunities for saving Moses. Like Moses, many babies have been abandoned & like Moses they have tremendous potential but just need some help to have a better future than present day.
We’ve seen God do some completely miraculous things that take your breath away – a 10 year old boy whose hearing was compromised was totally healed after his mom prayed for him. We’ve also been able to provide essential humanitarian support for some very impoverished Muslim communities – such warm & gracious people!!
Thanks so much for praying, your encouragment & support. We live to be part of Jesus’ love revolution!

whooops!

I’ve never been too afraid of adventures – my normal way of living goes as follows:  if i’ve never done something before, let’s give it a try & see what happens!  Because of this strategy, i’ve tried my hand at making bread, generally learned to bake a chix (yes, I’ve made progress from my last blog),  paragliding in China, picked up snowboarding in my late 30s, learned some basic NT Greek, honed my crossing guard skills, spoken in more than 30 different countries & I even enjoy eating durian (google for more info), among many other things. 

Some of these things may sound pretty cool to you, but let me tell you the mistakes that went with these adventures:

  • burned countless bread attempts
  • more than 10 yrs of baked chix attempts,
  • dislocated my shoulder while paragliding,
  • got a concussion through my helmet while learning to snowboard
  • Greek – lets just say i’m still learning
  • i didn’t tell you about the parents who have almost hit me while doing traffic, despite wearing my bright orange safety vest  😉
  • learning to speak w a translator has had more than a few comical & embarassing moments
  • durian – that’s altogether its own topic

Here’s my point:  take some risks, make mistakes, learn & grow.  Life can be full of “whoops”, but they usually precede some really cool things if you just stick w it!!! 

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passport

Today, we’re taking Benji to get his passport renewed.  As a kid, they only last 5 yrs before expiring & he’s about due for his new one.  His old one has a pic of him when he was about 4months old – extremely cute & almost all of the pages are filled w stamps from various countries.  I looked at the passport yesterday & was extremely amazed that this little guy, who is not even 5, has been around the world – AMAZING!! 

Anyways, the passport renewal / application process for kids is pretty extensive because there have been instances of divorced parents “stealing” their kids & moving them overseas.  All that is to say that both Reece & I get to go to the postoffice with Benji & all of the documentation & a check for $70 to renew his passport.  It will probably take about 2months to get his new one.  We do lots of interesting things for our kids & this starts the minute you find out your pregnant (including giving up coffee).  I wonder what other interesting things we’ll be doing for and with them as they grow up. 

preparation

As I’m writing, my kids are getting ready for their swim lessons today:  swim suits, goggles, flip flops, towels, sun screen etc.  Reece always says, “proper prior planning prevents poor performance.”  This is extremely true for swim lessons.  When I don’t prepare well, they get sunburns, have stingy eyes and ride home grumpy – an all around bad experience that could have been good, if I had prepared better. 

This is a great lesson in life – preparing for what’s ahead.  Now my kids don’t always know what’s going to be happening & its my responsibility as their mom to do my best to make sure they’re ready for what’s around the bend.  They need to be adept at various skills before they can move onto to the next challenge (even if they don’t know what the challenge is).  Same with God.  I think He’s always preparing us for what’s next.  Thankfully, we can trust Him even more than ourselves, that He will keep us prepared for what’s coming – even swim lessons.  😉