Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Instruments of Love...

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed. We have refused to be instruments of love in the hands of God to give the poor a piece of bread, to offer them a dress with which to ward off the cold. It has happened because we did not recognize Christ when, once more, He appeared under the guise of pain, identified with a man numb from the cold, dying of hunger, when He came in a lonely human being, in a lost child in search of a home.
~ Mother Teresa ~

Friday, June 26, 2009

Experience, See, Touch and Walk Part II...

Yesterday I wrote about giving of our abundance to supply their lack. The lack that is found in the poor, orphaned, widowed & imprisoned. You may be asking yourself How? How can I give of my abundance, or what is my abundance? You may be thinking to yourself, I live paycheck to paycheck, I have nothing to give. There are things that we take for granted that are our abundance, they are just second nature. Not that we want to be greedy and not think of our spending, as believers we know that we are to be good stewards of God's blessings to us. But these are things that take the transforming of our minds. These are things that take a little practice of going without and using it to bless others, then ultimately we are blessed in return and most importantly we bring glory to God.

This post/idea borrowed from Remember the Poor & Childrens Hope Chest with permission.

Ok everyone…it’s the summer! We all know what that means – time for some fun, right? As we enjoy time with friends and family, please remember that there is an urgent food crisis in Uganda and throughout most of Africa right now—remember the boy who hadn’t had an egg in 5 years? Others go without eating for one day, two days, three days… THAT is the epitome of raw hunger—and we can DO something about it!

This is not meant to be a guilt trip of any kind but an opportunity for us to creatively find ways to give food to these families who are hungry and weak as we begin our days full of energy and well-fed.

How about we swap something we have planned this week (or summer) in order to feed these precious, hungry people. Are you in? Here are some ideas:

Who has plans to go out for lunch or dinner this week? Would you consider swapping your meal(s) out to feed the hungry? Get this: The $50 dinner that you swap can provide 1,111 nutritious meals! A $150 dinner, 3,333 meals.

Who is planning on shopping for new summer clothes this weekend? Would you consider swapping your shopping?! Save $75 in shopping, and provide another 1,667 meals for the orphanage in Uganda!

Who has a mani-pedi or any other spa/salon service planned? Would you swap it out to show the love of Jesus? There’s another 888-1,777 meals.

Who is planning on paying a babysitter so you can go out this weekend? How about swapping babysitting services with a friend so that you both can donate the money you saved? A $40 savings in babysitting can provide 888 meals for the orphanage!!

Who is looking forward to that Saturday morning coffee at the coffee shop? How about swapping your $5.00 coffee drink for 111 meals for hungry people? Incredible, huh?!

Who has plans to catch a movie this weekend? How about swapping a movie night out (2 tickets & popcorn) for 667 meals?? Hard to believe that sacrificing one movie can give so many people food!

Planning a road trip or a vacation with a stay at hotels? Stay at cheaper hotels, spend one less night, skip a road trip…and with a savings of $200, swap out for 4,440 meals.
Who is planning a trip to the local ice cream shop? How about swapping your $10 ice cream visit to fill provide 222 meals?

For $0.14, we can (and WILL) feed someone a meal of posho and beans. (posho is cornmeal, which is filling and beans are protein). Take that in for a moment. . .

$0.14 a meal

$2.86 for 20 days

$1 per FAMILY

$20 feeds a family for 20 days.

You can donate your swap online to Remember the Poor. They are working with John, Seggy & Mark and the other leaders at Nkumba Orphanage in Uganda to grow food that will feed the children for a lifetime.
They are raising $100,000 (2.2 million meals) that will provide another 20 acres of farm land, irrigation for all 50 acres, (last crop of maize died), a tractor, a small used car to get to the land, 700 avocado and mango trees, 700 fig, citrus and nut trees, 1000 chickens, 8 milking cows, 4 milking goats, a BIG kitchen (has to be big to cook for 2000 kiddos!), and, oh yes, a home—stables and coops—for the chickens, cows and goats.
When they feed 2000 children 3 meals a day for an entire year, it breaks down to 4.5 cents a meal. The cool thing is, this will feed them not just for a year, but for a lifetime.
I came that they may have LIFE and have it ABUNDANTLY! John 10:10

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Experience, See, Touch & Walk - Part I

2 Corinthians 13-15 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack-that there may be equality. As it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack."

What powerful words. I am moved by the true abundance I have. I don't believe that the Lord wants us to feel guilty for having much, but I also don't believe the lie that we Americans have fallen prey to either. So many times, including me, have fallen prey to the justification that God has blessed us as Americans so therefore we don't have to be concerned with our spending. He has blessed us to have big houses, and big cars, and to be able to spend as we feel the need, or should I say want. I am guilty of that. But if we take the scripture above and use it in context, God spells out the way we should live.

It says our abundance should supply their lack. We don't need to lower our selves to poverty, but the abundance which has come from the Lord is NOT for the bigger better car, it is not for the bigger better house, it is not so we can eat out 3 days a week instead of 1 day, it is not for our MORE, but for their lack. God did not give us these guidelines to punish us, but to free us.

This is the time, NOW is the time to rise up and give of our abundance before we have nothing left to give. I believe that Jesus is calling Americans to step up...too long have we lived for ourselves and the American dream...NOW is the time we need to abandon self and live for Jesus.

I read this article in a National Geographic Magazine May 2009:

It is the simplest, most natural of acts, akin to breathing & waking up right. We sit down at the dinner table, pick up a fork and take a juicy bite oblivious to the double helping of global ramifications on our plates. Our beef comes from Iowa, fed by Nebraska corn. Our grapes come from Chile, our bananas from Honduras, our olive oil from Sicily, our apple juice - not from Washington State but all the way from China. Modern society has relieved us of the burden of growing, harvesting, even preparing our daily bread, in exchange for the burden of simply paying for it. Only when prices rise do we take notice. And the consequences of our inattention are profound.

The countries that are starving to death are providing our abundance of food. Granted their governments are corrupt, but what are we believers doing about it?

"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:26

In a devotion book called Hope for the Journey put out by Shaohannah's Hope, a ministry for orphans that Steven Curtis Chapman directs I read this by Kerry Hasenbalg:

In much of the American church today there is a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of fulfillment, particularly among the youth, and I believe this is due in large part to how many of us have missed a major ingredient of Biblical Christianity: caring for the Least.
Throughout Scripture and throughout the history of His people, God has called His chosen ones to spend themselves on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, the orphan, the widow, the prisoner and the stranger in the land....Much of the evangelical church is longing for a deeper experience of God, and the irony is that it is among those we too often ignore and avoid - the orphans, widows, poor, sick and oppressed - where God said He would be. There we will experience Him, see Him, touch Him and walk with Him.

The truth is that our obedience to God is the treasure map to untold riches!! I want to experience, see, touch and walk with God the way He intended me too, don't you??

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Random Ramblings Last Part...

Cyilea turned 4 as I told you in a earlier post "P is for Princess"..This is the Princess Party,
This is the Princess...

This is the Princess Cake, made by Tara

These are the other princess', princes and the Queen

These are Gods little girls

These are Gods big girls...

Pocahontas & Aladdin the street rat (not the prince)

Cousin Princesses
Street Rat the cutest one ever...look out Aladdin

Pocahontas, Tinker Bell, Princess & Cinderella

Cinderella and Snow White

So my question...who had more fun? The little girls or the big girls, or the boys??

Random Ramblings Part II...

We went camping in May with three families. We had 14 children at the Grand Canyon CRAZY! I took my 6 plus my niece and nephew! Yikes! Great fun was had by all.

My man and Chris taking in the view


The kids teamed up for games, they did rock sculptures, rock toss, and a kind of obstacle course

We watched a Native American dance...beautiful I love God's Nations

Me and some of my kids..niece and nephew

Me, Lisa and Amy...Where are you Zona??

Together Chloe and I are almost as big as an endangered condor.

The hiking group, I white knuckled it the whole time, not relaxing at all.

Dirt, the best entertainment

My boy, Mr. Pat and Troy peeking up in back, I love these guys

The local beauty salon...ME!!

There you are Zona...

Coral and Tara relaxing

Our camp visitor, his family came later

Random Ramblings...

Today I am blessed for innocent fun had by my children and their friends. Here are some random highlights for the month past that I just didn't have time to post. I hope you enjoy!

The girls wanted to do a cake contest. They made their own cakes, fondant and what ever else they needed. Then the adults voted, I don't remember which won! I think they all did a great job, but it is much harder than it looks on TV.

Chef Pancake
Chef Tahoe
Chef Celebrian

Chef Paulo

THE CAKES: Caterpillar

Flower Garden
Lady Bug

Saguaro Catus

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

By Spirit & Water...

On Sunday, June 14th our daughter Cailee was baptized. Baptism is one of those things you don't want to ask your kids if they want to do, you would rather they approach you and ask you if they can do it. That is exactly what happened. The Lord has been doing a HUGE work in our little Cailee. She has been courageous throughout her life and learning first hand that the Lord has made her way and that she can trust in Him. Sunday, Cailee decided that she was going to make an outward profession of Her inward belief in Jesus Christ!

She asked her daddy if He would be the one to baptize her, which of course he felt so honored to do so. Pastor Todd, Bryan and Cailee got into the pool and Cailee answered the questions of faith Pastor Todd asked her and she was baptized. When she came up they prayed together and my little girl started to weep. Just a few months ago, I posted that the Lord had revealed to her how He had the perfect plan for her life and how she knew that she was exactly where the Lord wanted her and she couldn't be happier. Today, I could see, while her head was bowed, the look of true gratitude. She was completely grateful to God for being her Savior.

I can't explain to you how I felt watching my daughter profess Jesus. One of my biggest concerns was if we would convey Jesus to our children in the right way. I want all of our kids to really know the love of their Father in heaven. Sure, for our biological children it would be easier (I thought) because they have a picture of that heavenly love in an earthly father. But what about those who came so wounded, so hurt, so broken, without that example of a loving father or mother for that matter. How would they know, that they know, that they can trust Jesus and give themselves to Him whole-hearted. Only by God's Grace!

I am so thankful for our children. I am thankful for the things that they teach me. Like, how to persevere, how to be courageous, how to love, how to forgive, how to trust, & how to come to the Lord with child like faith.

Faithful Friends

Bryan also assisted with Tara (like a niece and one of our Best Friends daughters.)

Gramie & Cailee

Mom, Cailee & Dad...We couldn't have asked for more!

Project Playlist