Forget About It

“You’re not bitter about that are you?” My husband can be very poignant when he senses an area where I might be a little shady. So his question last night, in the middle of our discussion about some of my high school experiences, was a “nice” depth charge, sort of. In my guts, I know he’s right & I appreciate his help because I know he loves me, even though I don’t always relish these chats. 
Paul tells us in Philippians 3 that he forgets the past so he can press on toward the future. While I know that we can’t ignore or deny the past, there’s still heaps of wisdom & value in letting the past fade to grey & focus forward to God’s plans & purposes for our lives 🙂

Sometimes you just gotta forget about it & move on!

hot topic: April Fools

Happy April 1st!  When I was younger, I looked forward to this day because I thoroughly enjoyed pulling pranks on unsuspecting victims and April Fools gave me the perfect excuse & opportunity.  Now that I’m a little older, I’m hopefully a little less foolish & I’m definitely less of a prankster.  But here are a few things that Proverbs has to say about fools and being foolish:

  • a fool always loses his temper – Prov 29:11
  • a fool returns to his folly as a dog returns to his vomit – Prov 26:11
  • fools are arrogant and careless – Prov 14:16
  • fools often think their way is always right – Prov 12:15

While it’s April Fools Day, lets consistently decide not to be foolish 🙂

What about the future?

It seems that this question often lurks in the back of our minds. Thankfully, God has the future already well-scooped. Think about how God developed Moses to be the deliverer of God’s people from being slaves in Egypt. Basically, God spent 80 years getting Moses ready for 40years of liberation work. Furthermore, consider that God put lots of investment in Joshua to be Moses’ successor, the man who would lead the Israelites to possess the promised land.
In the grand scheme of things, let’s trust & rest in the truth that God knows the future & is working in our world today, for tomorrow’s needs & opportunities 🙂

hot topic: get ready!

It seems like I spend a massive amount of energy, focus & time for Christmas:  food, parties, gifts, cleaning, prep, wrapping, cooking, concerts, etc all squeezed into 2-3 weeks of seemingly frenzied activities.  By the time Christmas is over, I’m ready to sing Handel Messiah’s “Hallelujah” chorus, kind of 🙂

Having come through another Christmas season, on the other side, I find myself in recovery mode:  less food, less activities, no wrapping, less cooking & lots of delightful cold, snow, quiet & still.  But in my own way, I’m also in prep mode because I’m praying for 2015 and continuing to listen and be attentive with what God has for the upcoming year.  We are on the cusp of turning the page on 2014 to begin a new chapter for 2015.  Let’s not enter 2015 as a leftover, wrung out rag from 2014.  Let’s seize the time, space and pause to not only nourish our souls but also to prepare us for the adventures that God has for us in 2015 🙂

Some prep ideas:

  • make a list of gratitudes from 2014 – reflecting on God’s amazing work & presence in your life over 2014
  • consider some places, situations, experiences that need some active forgiveness work (shortcomings, failures, idols, disobedience, etc)
  • take some time to maybe take a walk & listen to God – not only for what God has in store for 2015, but more importantly to be together
  • ask for the Holy Spirit to help you know the Helper better in 2015 than you have known in 2014 🙂

Happy New Year prep! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

hot topic: Mars Hill Church closing

Recently, the controversial pastor Mark Driscoll resigned from being the lead pastor for Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  Yesterday, the church announced that it was disbanding and dissolving all of its satellite campuses, giving each location freedom to chart it’s own path for the future.  Being a pastor’s kid and having lived in church for most of my life, this announcement saddens me for various reasons:

  • as humans, we often fall into the trap of following people more than we follow Jesus
  • oftentimes the people we think are leading us closer to Christ are made of the same flawed flesh in which we live and breath
  • we struggle with how to keep each other accountable without being judgmental, intolerant or divisive
  • we are susceptible to many internal deceptions that stroke our flesh and poison our passion for Jesus
  • somewhere it talks about striking the shepherd and scattering the sheep

So here’s my point:  there are lots of hurt, confused and disillusioned people from all of this fallout with Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll, many of whom have followed Jesus because of Pastor Mark’s leadership and influence, as well as the communities that had formed around the satellite churches connected with Mars Hill.  In 1Cor 12, Paul talks about the how the body of Christ functions together, diverse parts and pieces working together in complementary more than competitive ways, promoting Jesus in all ways and opportunities.  In Galatians 6, Paul talks about how we should bear each other’s burdens, restoring, assisting and being part of Jesus’ redemptive work.

So as members of the body of Christ, let’s be devoted to pray for this situation and moreso for the people who may find themselves floundering from all of these changes.  Let’s pray:

  • that the enemy does not make progress with this opportunity for strife, dissension and conflict
  • for the body of Christ that has been a part of the Mars Hill fellowship – let’s pray for their hearts
  • that God redeems this hardship and struggle

 

God Goes B4 Us

Sometimes I can get jittery about the future – lots if uncertainty, some fears, concerns & more. But as I was praying this morning, God reminded me that God goes before me & is waiting for me in the future. So friend, lets trust God in these truths:
*God loves us more than we can comprehend
*God is working in our lives to create good outcomes as we stay in love w God
*God is in control #fullstop 🙂

Now is good :)

We are having a very nice Christmas break with our kids & I’ve noticed that they haven’t once said, “I can’t wait until . . . ” This says to me that they are enjoying now, this present moment & this is a great lesson for me!
Sometimes I get stressed out about the future or discouraged looking at the past. Whenever I get I these weeds, I neglect to see the beautiful flowers of today. Even worse, my awareness of Jesus’ presence seems to deteriorate & I can easily become stressed & depressed. So lets decide to let the past be over & relax that when SE get to the future, Jesus will be there, just as much as He is with us in this moment 🙂

When dreams come true!!

Yesterday was an absolutely amazing day! I was able to visit our nightcare facility & to see it operational & blessing infants & toddlers in massive ways! God put this dream in my heart for almost 2 yrs & I’ve been trying to make this dream into reality with much effort, prayer, travel & persistence. Yesterday, I got to see the dream come true! I had the privilege of meeting several moms who are using our nightcare to provide a safe place with care, love & nurture for their babies. These women work through the night in various clubs & in professions that no woman would even remotely want.
I met a little boy, we’ll call him Sam, and his mom had no one to care for him while she worked through the night, so she used to leave him all alone, locked in an empty room. Now, with nightcare, she brings him to our shelter where he gets a nice dinner, love, care a comfortable bed & a safe place with loving moms who look our for him as he peacefully sleeps.
What an absolutely astounding honor that we get to express genuine love in such tangible ways.
Jesus says, ” When you do this for the least of these, you do this for / to Me.”.
Genuine love – nothing changes us more powerfully than genuine love 🙂

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wisdom from my husband

 My husband & I are somewhat different.  While we agree upon our goals & values, we don’t always see things in the same way, nor do we always take the same path to our goals.  Early in our marriage, when he was still an engineer, we were talking about my efforts to hang wallpaper (which were “sketchy”).  He was unhappy about how my wallpaper project had turned out because the pattern was slanted rather than perpendicular as it should have been.  He began to ask my about the process I went through to hang the wallpaper & what I had done to properly prepare for a successful project.  He gave me this quote, “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.”  I didn’t really care for the the cliche approach & it took me awhile to think through what he was trying to say – even though I didn’t like to admit it, I knew that he was right.  This lesson is still being worked through my life even after almost 20 years of marriage.

What is even more breathtaking to me is when I consider that God is the Master Designer & Planner.  God is working in our lives to prepare & refine us, growing & challenging us not only for today’s necessities but also for tomorrow’s successes 🙂

Hello from Angola!

YAHOOO!!! We visited our first malnutrition clinic today & I saw LOTS of encouraging things!! I saw about 40 babies & toddlers drinking our therapeutic milk. I saw moms getting help for their babies. I saw some of the milk supply for this malnutrition clinic & I saw hope!!
To add onto all of this excitement, we were able to follow up with 2 families that we met last year: Manushe & Celestina (Augustino died last year) and we saw Angelina & Desorae! Both of these moms & their babies are doing GREAT & it was totally heartwarming to get to see them again this year 🙂
Thanks LOADS for all of your prayers & support – we are making a difference & changing the future today!! The attached picture is of Angelina & Desorae, who we were able to see today!! 😀

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nightcare!

So what’s nightcare?  Nightcare is similar to the American idea of daycare, but with a bit of a twist.  Nightcare is the next project that Saving Moses is working on & this weekend I get to be a part of making a dream into a reality.  Here’s the scoop:  Saving Moses is all about helping little people 5 and  under.  Last year, I became aware that the infants of prostitutes and sex trafficking victims are often in the same room (even under the bed) where their mom is working, or they get left in the hovel where they live with no care or supervision.  In some situations, their mom even drugs them & puts them under the bed or chains them to the bed on which she’s working.  So it’s been in my heart for more than a year to begin nightcare programs throughout Asia to provide a nurturing and safe place for these infants and toddlers.   And this weekend, I’m excited to explore and establish our first nightcare ever, starting in Cambodia!!

Please be sure to keep your eyes peeled on this blog as well as twitter & facebook for the latest updates & pictures.  If you’re inclined, I’d love some prayer on the following items:

  • wisdom for me to make prudent decisions,
  • favor with strategic leaders and organizations,
  • abundant finances for these tiny treasures 🙂

Muchos gracias!!

celebrate the past :)

 Now that we’ve come through the Christmas season, it seems like its common to reflect on the various events of 2011 & with this reflection, you might find yourself taking a longer trip down memory lane.  Maybe you remember some of your failures & shortcomings (times when you hurt someone or tried something new that turned out awful).  Or better, maybe you remember some of your past victories & successes (like seeing John Elway on the Bronco’s sideline watching Tim Tebow).  Perhaps you remember some of the pains that have happened to you from the past (letting that forgiveness exercise continue to work through you).  Whatever our past has been, with failures, pains & successes, its good to celebrate the past.  Such celebration is important so that we don’t get trapped in thinking that our past is better than our future, nor quagmired in the error that our past controls our present.  Furthermore, celebrating our past is a great way to acknowledge that we all change, grow & get better.  While I may not be where I want to be in my life, at least I’m not where I was ,)

What if . . . . . ?

When you have something looming in front of you, something that you are almost dreading, it can be a challenging time. For me, I have a few things like this in my life right now, but thankfully God is reminding me about His encouragement in Is 64:4 & how that as I wait on Him, He will give me strength & help me w my focus & heart.
When you’re concerned about something(s) in your future, be sure to keep your eyes on God & to trust Him to walk you through the challenge, one step at a time because He’s very faithful & capable to bring us through 🙂

my 999 plan

 Someone told me about a new tax plan – something about proportional taxation.  Seems like an interesting idea & I can see that our economy has some challenges & we need to make some changes.  From these 2 sentences, please don’t project that I’m advocating any political position, party or platform.  Rather, my point is that we need to always be learning, growing & adapting – this is my 999 plan:  to continue growing.

I want to always be growing, learning & maturing.  Along this line, I want to always be growing in my relationship with God and truthfully, I never want to say “no” to God.  I don’t want my intellect to be a limit to God.  I don’t want my desires or will to be a hindrance to God moving in my life.  I don’t want my past failures or successes to impede God’s presence in my current daily living.  I don’t want my pride to cause a separation from God.  I just don’t want to say “no” to God in any way or context.  I don’t want to say no to God in my marriage, finances, relationships, with Saving Moses, my values, perspective, thinking,  or in any area.  Simply put, my 999 plan is this:  Yes, God 🙂

More thoughts about Cambodia

We are finishing our time in Cambodia & this has been a really amazing trip. It is absolutely fantastic to watch God’s hands move, organize, facilitate & connect. I’ve met some very incredible people, being used by God in many different, life-changing ways. I have to say that whenever I leave this country, I’m always captivated by the people here – such grace, poise, warmth, care & love.
In relation to saving Moses, it looks like we have some really good relationships with whom we can move forward over the course of the next few months to begin implementing the plans for nightcare. I’m leaving here feeling very encouraged about the future of nightcare w saving Moses in Cambodia. I’ll keep you posted on our progress here as I anticipate to seeing nightcare getting launched possibly by the end of this year 🙂
God takes the definition of “good” and puts His “infinite & extreme” stamp on the human expression of “good”.
I’m awestruck.

keep your eyes & ears open

We’ve been on a family vacation this week & its been really refreshing.  Since we live in Denver, its very convenient to pop up to the mountains & go skiing / snowboarding as a family – a really nice interruption to the normal routine.  As I’ve been up here, I’ve been talking w God about some different frustrations, seeking Him about direction & absorbing, w His help, some of His grandeur in this spectacular scenery.  During one of my morning times w God, I read this verse that has SUPER encouraged me & I think it might just encourage you as well:

1 Cor 2:9-10,  eye has not see nor ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man all that God has prepared for those who love Him.  For to us God revealed them  through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

So, keep your eyes & ears open, keep your heart tender & stay in love w God.  He will show you things to come that you could never dream of on your own! 🙂

friends

Ok, really crazy, lively & interesting dialogue from my facebook page about friendships.  In a recent status update, i said, “who you pick as friends can reflect your future.”  A sentence w less than 10 words but has generated lots of feedback!!

So, i want your opinion:  agree, disagree & why

“who you pick as friends can reflect your future.”

 

investment strategies

This is a crazy time for investments, of particular interest is the stock market over the last 6-9 months! Yowzer!!  The stock market can be very unsettling if you’ve invested in it over the years & were relying on it to provide finances for you now!  OUCH!

heaven1Investment is deciding to not consume something now but rather to set it aside, so that it will be available to be useful in the future (hopefully, to have grown).  Investment kind of flies in the thinking of modern conventional thinking – to our own demise.  From a macro-scopic viewpoint, I think that we rarely consider investments from an eternal point of view, even though Jesus encouraged us to do this in Matt 6:1-21.  In these verses, Jesus basically identifies 3 resources all of us have at least a little bit of – money, relationships & appetites / desires (energy).  Some personal questions He asks us to consider:

  • what are we doing with these resources?
  • have we considered these resources from the viewpoint of eternity?
  • will we have any resources / investments set aside & ready for us when we cross over into eternity? 

In Matt 6:21, Jesus says that where our treasure is, you’ll find our heart there.  Something interesting to consider in connection with not only our finances, but our relationship w God & our appetites & energy.

Can you pls leave a comment w some ideas on how you can use your money, relationship w God & energy (appetites) for investments in eternity?

hope

Hope is essential to life.  We all need hope – hope that today will have good things in it, hope that our hearts will stay connected to Christ, hope that the price of gas will stop rising, hope that my son David will stop trying to get me to like snakes, hope that I’m doing a good job as a wife & mom, hope that God is bigger than my doubts, hope that they’ll have decaffeinated coffee in Ethiopia, . . . .  hope. 

Obama wrote a book called, “The Audacity of Hope” – I have the audacity of hope that God is alive & working in every moment of each day through the good, medium & yucky.  Ps 146:5,  “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God.”
What are your hopes?