Here’s a short video to give hope – feel free to share with your friends!
Here’s a short video to give hope – feel free to share with your friends!
Hope is super important! Indeed, it’s listed along with faith & love as being vital, at the end of 1Corinthians 13, the love chapter!
So here’s something quick to encourage you & anyone you know to share this with, for hope!!
The day after Easter is always an interesting experience. It’s tempting to go back to “normal”, the regular routines & business as usual.
But this Easter is different for me.
It’s different for lots of reasons:
What areas in your life need resurrection?
Take a minute to watch this really heart-warming & very encouraging video 🙂
Memories are important ingredients for learning & sometimes the lessons we apply from various memories aren’t very helpful. For example, I remember an occasion as a kid when my dad came home from a later afternoon walk with our new puppy & my dad was sobbing & totally busted up. I could barely figure out through his broken words & tears that our new puppy had been run over by a car & was dead. My dad explained that our puppy had darted in front of a car into a busy street during rush hour traffic and was run over.
To this day, the place where my dog was hit still has negative associations for me & I find myself subconsciously avoiding that intersection. That negative memory has shaped my behavior & I’d venture to guess that you may have some similar memories that shape your current behaviors & values.
I think it’s super important that our experiences and memories teach us valuable take aways, but let’s be sure that we choose the right lessons.
Some important memory lessons could include:
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:
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:
I hate the word “fail” – it almost makes me have a visceral gagging reaction, borderline puking. Thankfully, if I take a minute to pause, evaluate and collect myself, I don’t puke. But if I’m not careful, I can easily throw things into the “failure” column and in a nanosecond find myself back to mental wrestling mat, almost down for the count. As God & I were talking about this whole failure thing this morning, I was reminded about how Jesus looked hanging on the cross, beat to a bloody pulp and possibly personifying the ultimate failure. He was betrayed by his friends, completely helpless, physcially obliterated and even yelling at God, “Why have You forsaken Me?!??”
Hanging on the cross, Jesus looked more like a failure than anything I’ve ever experienced & yet from God’s perspective, perhaps Jesus had never been more successful in His earthly existence, up to that point. Let’s be careful that we don’t frame failure in the context of defeat, permanent or hopeless. Jesus rose from the dead and living in our hearts, we have resurrection potential every day.
Be sure to pass this along to anyone you know who is struggling with seeming defeat or failure 🙂
Today, we walked through a few red light districts in India, doing some research for our nightcare program with Saving Moses. We’re coming to the end of our day & I find myself having some very mixed emotions. The women in these red light districts ranged in age from very young to very old, some with a seemingly sweet innocence & some very hardened, detached & icy cold. We happened upon a preschool community centre that looks after toddlers & preschoolers for a few hours a day – sweet, rambunctious & vivacious kids.
Exploring these red light areas is a very eye opening experience & I find myself needing to process some of the days sights, experiences & feelings. More to follow
I just returned last night from Cambodia, celebrating the grand opening of our second nightcare – so much goodness! Nightcare is our initiative with www.savingmoses.org
where we take care of the babies & toddlers of prostitutes while they work. Without nightcare, these babies & toddlers are at work with their moms – every horror you can imagine & more. The hopeless part is that I can get overwhelmed by the needs, atrocities & unimaginable devastation occurring every night in these neighborhoods without nightcare.
Hopeless happens in our lives when we stop moving forward, when we fixate on what is dark & evil. Hope is taking a step, doing something positive & loving genuinely. Love rescues us from being hopeless. Genuine love gives the escape
Sometimes we can be in really dark situations or seasons in our lives. Darkness can be lots of different things: bad environments, yucky people, wicked things that happen to or around us & lots of other things ( I’m reminded of one of the neighborhoods that I walked in for a possible new nightcare location in Cambodia with www.savingmoses.org – a totally evil & wicked place that was overwhelmingly dark even during the day).
With that being said, lets be mindful to keep Jesus as the Light in our hearts – dont let the darkness seep into your thoughts or emotions no matter how strong it may seem. Darkness never overcomes Light so lets stay full of Jesus in our hearts so that we can bring light, hope & genuine love to any darkness that could be in our lives 🙂
When I was recently in Angola with Saving Moses I had an experience that has really been haunting me. If I understood the situation correctly, I met a mom who had seemed to give up hope on her baby surviving and I’m deeply affected by this – so much that this experience is really starting to challenge some of my thinking. I think that there are situations where I quit too easily for various reasons (disappointment, discouragement, lack of progress, bad reports, setbacks, etc). Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that I should quit or give up. And even if I’m only making microscopic progress, I’m challenging myself not to quit.
So my encouragement to you is don’t quit!
In Angola with Saving Moses, I met a 3yr old little boy who was severely malnourished. His mom, Lucia, is a beautiful, engaged and very concerned mom who has a beautiful little baby girl, Josephine, who is about 2months old – bright, cheery & zesty! Segunda is very emaciated but I have really high hopes that he’s going to make some rapid improvement & be released within the next few weeks. Please be praying for Segunda & his mom, Lucia!
I think that it’s really important from time to time to get some fresh perspective on life & the world in which we live. Today has been a day of fresh perspective for me. I’ve met heroic & legendary moms & dads who are doing everything in their power to keep their babies alive. But I also met a mom today who was extremely discouraged & I’m deeply concerned that she may have given up hope. Her baby, Josephine, is only 10 months old but is extremely sick & close to dying. Her mom, Miciah, brought her to our malnutrition clinic to receive milk & medical help but was herself not feeling well. We took a short break for lunch & upon returning to the clinic, I started looking for Miciah & Josephine but couldn’t find them. As I asked around, the nurse said that Miciah had left the clinic w Josephine & the nurse strongly encouraged mom to stay. Miciah left, regardless of the nurse’s appeals & we don’t have a way to track them down – no address or phone number. I have tremendous concern for Josephine because she was not doing well at all. Please remember to pray for her – I’ve attached her picture so you can please remember her. The lesson for all of us is to never surrender hope.
Friday, my husband & I were taking our son & his friend to ski for the day to celebrate my son’s bday. Unfortunately, we hit a really icey spot on the road & proceeded to lose control at 35-40mph. As we were slipping around the road, we missed an 18 wheeler semi, dodged all of the oncoming traffic as we slid perpendicular to the road, slipped into a ditch on the opposite side of the road & almost flipped into a mini-forest. When the car finally stopped, we checked & no one was injured and we could all climb out of the car. After the very amazing extraction of our car, we checked over the car & the only damage was that the front license plate was dinged up. We drove away from this crazy experience and went skiing for the rest of the day, even though my legs were still rather shakey during the day.
I’m crazy thankful to God for protection, miracles and care. Hopefully, our story encourages your faith and confidence that God is very engaged with our daily living, even when things don’t quite turn out as we had planned or hoped.
I was reading this morning about how Jacob in the bible married Leah & Rachel. The Bible says that Leah was hated but Rachel was loved. There’s lots to be said about these marriages, but I love that Leah looked to God for strength & help – naming her 1st 4 sons: Reuben (God sees me), Simeon (God hears me), Levi (attached) & Judah (I praise God).
Regardless of what’s happening in your life:
*God sees you & has compassion on you
*God is listening with ears of lovingkindness
*attached – let yourself be completely attached to God
*never neglect to praise & give honor to God 🙂
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 🙂
I had a really nice chat with some friends this morning over breakfast & we were talking about how our moms are totally for us & want us to succeed & do well. It was a fun to think & talk about that in both the roles of being a mom & being a daughter. This has started me to think about how much God is for us.
God is for you!!
Do you need a makeover?
I’m currently in Johannesburg South Africa doing something with Saving Moses that is beyond cool: daycare makeovers! We are doing 3 makeovers in a shanty town on the outskirts of J’burg. In this shanty town, the houses are made of corrugated metal sheets or former shopping containers. What is totally amazing is watching the daycare owners take nothing & make it into a functional daycare. They use old tires, shipping containers, metal scrape sheets, etc to create warm, inviting & safe environments for their kids to learn. They take the American concept of “modular education” into 3rd world living to provide education & care.
Today, our team is painting, “de-rusting”, cleaning, organizing & supplying these 3 daycares with upgrades that are essential for the future for these small people, 5 and younger. Saving Moses is about giving little people 5 & younger love, resources & survival essentials so they can have a bright future!
Here are a few thoughts that I really hope will be helpful & encouraging:
If you’re going through:
I hope you’re well encouraged today!! 😀
I made a comment this morning on my fb page about how it helps to hear God when we are still & quiet. I wanted to follow up on this comment because I think that for many of us, it’s difficult to be still & quiet. We live in a really busy, loud, active & demanding world. Between our smart phones, the internet, twitter, conventional media, family schedules & demands, etc, it can be seemingly impossible to find quiet & still. Furthermore, when we do get a moment to catch our breath, our mind is usually racing trying to organize schedules, figure out what we need to do next, hum a favorite tune, etc. Still & quiet seem like elusive & ethereal ideals for people that have lived in a different era or even a different planet.
But for me, still & quiet is essential and it takes some intentionality. For me, I’ve found it super helpful to get up early before everyone else to acquire some stillness before the demands of the day hit the fan. Furthermore, I am also intentional about when & how much music & external stuff I listen to, focus being the operative word.
When I’m still & quiet, with God’s help, I focus my attention toward God with the intent of giving the Trinity my undivided attention (without distraction, interruption or competition). I need to wholly be with my Creator & yes, this requires discipline, some failures & some successes. But the rewards of greater intimacy & fellowship with God are indescribably worth the efforts & discipline – indeed, living water, breath of life & more.