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Monday, 2 August 2010
Hello Out In Cyberspace!
Mood: don't ask
If you can read this you are a lucky one! I am having problems with my blog platform and can't see my blog. I can write a post and hope that it appears somewhere but I can't see it myself. Most of my blogging friends have posted that they can't see my blog either. I have a request out to my blog platform to see if they can fix it. Don't know what I've done! I'm just a bit irritated at the moment! Hope to get it fixed and be back on soon.
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Money...What IS it really all about?
Mood: not sure
Topic: The Purple Files
Perhaps it's because we work with low income families and support kids through Compassion International. I have seen what it's like to live with little money here in the United States and I've read about and corresponded with children who have next to nothing in life. But, I've never seen or experienced extreme poverty before. My wife and I were talking about this just today. She made the comment that perhaps one of the reason God sends us on mission's trips is to jolt us back into reality when we get back. To make us realize what is really important in life.
A blogging acquaintance of mine, Kristen, from We are THAT Family has experienced just that. A few months ago Kristen was on the blogging team that went to Kenya with Compassion International to write about what they saw and post it on their blogs. You can read their amazing posts by clicking here. I could never verbalize it in the excellent way that Kristen did, but her Kenya trip had a profound impact on her. She came back a totally different person. So much so that her husband commented that he wasn't sure that he knew her anymore. To which Kristen commented back that she wasn't sure she even knew herself. Things just seemed so empty when she got back...so odd.
On her trip Kristen experienced traveling through one of the worst slums in the world. So bad was this slum that they had to split up into groups of three or four and have a personal body guard. They were told not to stare and to refrain from taking pictures while traveling on foot to get to the Compassion project in the middle of the slum. One lady, a professional photographer did take pictures however. She took them from her hip from under a jacket. Those photographs are amazing to look at but disgusting as well. You can find them by clicking on the posts of the bloggers that traveled through this filth called Mathare Valley. Read more of Kristen's story appropriately titled "Today, I Went to Hell" by clicking here.
Kristen had experienced extreme poverty. This isn't the government housing area that Sarah and I work in, or the one in your town...this is EXTREME POVERTY! When she got home Kristen felt lost. She made the comment that she wanted to sell everything and live in her garage. She struggled with coming to terms with what she had seen in Kenya and what she came home to in America. She is still dealing with this and it has had a profound impact on how she and her family now live. I encourage you to click here and go to her blog to see what she and her family are doing now. It's amazing.
The stories that these bloggers told really had an impact on me. Since experiencing the poverty in Kenya through their blogs, I've been contemplating money a lot. I've been contemplating a lot of things a lot. And, no, it's not my depression this time. As some of you know, I've suffered from depression in the past. This time, however, it's God. God has been talking to me lately. I mean really talking to me. About a lot of things. This is just one of them. The other day I posted about another. I'll post more of my thoughts on this and other things that God is revealing to me in the future as well.
Money is just one thing that God has been dealing with me on. Don't get me wrong. I don't begrudge people that have money. Many great Christian people have had money. It's what people do with their money that frustrates me. It's what I do with my money that frustrates me.
I Timothy 6:10 says:
For the love of money is the root of all evil...
Notice it doesn't say that "Money is the root of all evil". It's not money that is evil, it's what you do with your money. Are you frivolous with what God has given you? A dear friend of ours who tragically died in an auto accident used to say "Hold on to things loosely". Don't allow things to get in the way of what is right and what is true in life. Contrary to what some people think, money cannot buy you happiness. In fact, most of the time it is just the opposite. Hold on to what you have loosely. Use your money and your talents to help others. Use them for the Lord.
Lord, although you haven't given my family much, thank you for what you have given us. Thank you for providing for all of our needs. Lord, please help us to "hold on to things loosely" as Betsy used to say. Help us to use what you have given us to further your kingdom. Not just the money that you give us, but everything that you give us. Out talents, our home, our ministry, our time, everything, Lord. Help us to use it for your glory. In your name I pray. Amen
The following is a video of a group of Mathare children singing at the compassion project. Below the video are the lyrics.
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
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Act now and receive the Turning Points E-book ($12.45 value) with one-year new and renewal subscriptions (U.S. and Canada only), and the Turning Points E-Book and the Expo to Go ($19.99 value) with any two-year subscription (U.S. and Canada only).
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Whether you're trying to get your bearings as you consider homeschooling or looking for encouragement to stay the course, you'll find both in this new E-Book from The .
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Thursday, 29 July 2010
A Letter from One of My Kids - Thursday's Child
Topic: Compassion International
Can you believe it? I actually posted something on the day it's supposed to be posted on! Usually my Men's Monday Meme is posted on any day but Monday, and Thursday's Child is normally Wednesday's or Friday's Child. Finally I get it right!
So, why am I choosing to post one of the letters today? Well, because Somi is very young, just turned 10 to be exact. He doesn't even write his own letters yet. Someone from the Compassion project that he attends helps him write them. And, the letter that I'm about to share just gives you enough of an idea of what sponsoring and corresponding with a child is like. Enjoy!
Remember, Somi is from Indonesia and lives in a home that has a dirt floor, wood walls and a thatched roof made of grass or leaves. This letter has been translated for us. Therefore, some of the language may seem awkward, but that is often the fun of getting the letters. Remember also that some of these kids, including Somi, have never received or written a letter in there lives.
Have you ever thought of sponsoring a child with Compassion International. Please pray about it. For the price of a meal out with you family you could be helping a child like Somi. It is a joy to sponsor. Just click here to get to Compassion's web page to find out more.
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
How Long is Long Enough When You Grieve?
Mood: not sure
I just read a post from a blogging friend of mine on a forum that we both belong to. She lost her mother about a month ago. It was a rough loss. Her mother had made some wrong choices. Now she's stuck with trying to sort through her mothers things, help her dad move, and dealing with her dad's and her own grief. She's going through a rough time. She just wants to sleep and eat all of the time. She forces herself to "put on a happy face" for herself and those around her. She's lost all interest in things. She wonders if she should still be feeling this way after a month. The other folks on the forum gave her some good advice and assured her that one month was not too long to grieve.
But I wonder. How long is too long. Her post conjured up many memories of the past ten years or so. It seems like since we became missionaries 13 years ago, Satan has constantly attacked. Deaths in our family. Deaths of close friends. Untrue accusations. Misunderstood actions. A stillborn child. A child with cancer. A child with autism. A child with genetic problems. I could go on and on.
Some of the problems have been our fault, some not. All I can say is that we have always tried to serve the Lord. Have we made mistakes? Yes. But we've always tried to do our best.
All of these things cause pain. Grief. Some more than others. Some less. If I allowed myself to, I could grieve forever. At one time I thought that I would grieve forever.
That's where the Lord stepped in. He always knows. He's always there. He knows my comings and goings. He knows what has happened in the past. He knows what will happen tomorrow. He knows how long I need to grieve.
Grieving isn't bad. Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He mourned for his people. He pleaded for God to take away the cup that He was about to bear.
Grieving is often good. Allowing our emotions to come out is good. Releasing our tears is good.
How long is it okay to grieve? It is different for everyone. Different for every situation. Only God knows what is right for you. Our responsibility is to give it to God. Allow God to work. Listen to God's still small voice. Allow God to bear your burdens. He will, you know. He takes everything that is placed at His feet. Those beautiful feet. Those nail scarred feet. Yes, He knows about grief and He knows about us. Give it all to Him. He may tell us to grieve some more. He may heal our hurts. But, whatever He does tell us to do, it will be His perfect will for our lives.
Thank you, Lord, for grief. It's not usually what we want, but often it is what we need. We need it for so many ways. We need it for You to show us your miracles and Your ways. We need it so that we can help others in the same situation someday. We need it so that You can show us You. Help us to seek Your face when it comes to grief. Help us to seek your will. Help us to lay it all at your feet and to accept the answer that you give us. Thank you, Lord, for knowing what is best for us. Thank you for guiding us. Thank you, Lord, for grief. Amen