Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Searching for nourishment

Like the bird in this photo, we're all searching for nourishment in one form or another.  We search for it in relationships, challenges, knowledge and more.  Tonight we'll embark on another search for nourishment as we launch a new small group.  At our church, we call them Fusion Groups but they go by many different names. Whatever you call them, they're an effective place to grow in relationship with others and with God.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ready . . . set . . . GO!

Remember what it was like to run a race when you were a kid?  Do you remember how exciting it was to WIN? 

Meet Emilda Soriano.  She's a mentally challenged 18 year old Filipino girl who functions at the level of a 3 year old.  And one more thing . . . she's fast, really fast!  In fact, she won a gold medal, 2 silver medals and a bronze medal in the track & field competition at the 2009 Special Olympics in the Philippines and has qualified for the International Special Olympics.

Did I mention that she's fast, really fast?

 Her parents do their best to support her in every way.  Her dad makes just $6.25/week as a tombstone engraver and her mother takes in laundry to supplement the family income.  The Philippine government has supported her at the national level but she needs people like you and me to support her if she's to go to the International competition.  

Emilda is also a Compassion International sponsored child, an organization that's close to my heart.  Julia and I sponsor a young boy in Haiti  through Compassion (you can read about him here.) If you're unfamiliar with Compassion, you can read more about this fine organization here.   

Why should you and I invest in sending a mentally challenged girl from an impoverished family to the International Special Olympics?  I don't know, maybe we shouldn't. Maybe our money would be better invested in other charitable ways.  Maybe the opportunity to compete on an international level will not make any real difference in her life?  But then  . . . maybe it will send a message to Emilda and her family that they are objects of great worth?  Maybe it will say to her and other Compassion International sponsored kids, that they are really special in God's eyes and in the eyes of his followers?  Maybe it will bring hope? Only you can answer that question for yourself.

If you want to learn more about Emilda's story, click here.  If you want to help her go to the International Special Olympics, click here.

Whatever you do, pray for Emilda and her family.  That's something all of us can do. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Exactly how do I use this?

I believe the Bible is true and all scripture is useful (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT) although some of it can be tough to understand and apply.  I'm reading through the Bible from the beginning this year and am about finished with the book of Deuteronomy.

I ran across a particular passage that caused me to ask, "Exactly how  is it that I am to apply this one?"   Take a look at Deuteronomy 25:11-12 NLT (you can hover over this reference with your cursor and the scripture should pop up on your screen.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A wick in a stick of dynamite

A wick in a stick of dynamite  . . . secretly, that's something that many of us want to be.  We want to be that person who ignites something major in our lifetime.  We want to be Orville and Wilbur Wright, Henry Ford, Rosa Parks, Walt Disney, the Beatles, Mother Teresa, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. The truth is that few of us will ever be famous but that doesn't preclude us from being world-changers, too. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How NOT to find a job when you're looking for one

I've gotten pretty good at NOT finding a job since we closed Crossroads Books and Gifts in August of '09.  OK, it's true that I have worked as a freelance writer since that time but too much of my work has been closely associated with the word free to count as a real career.  I've written for and been published in several publications that do pay for submissions but too many that don't.  Whether paid or not, I enjoy the experience every time but only the paid ones actually account for a deposit into my bank account and help pay the bills.  I decided that since I've become very successful at NOT finding a steady job, I should share my secrets with others who might be looking for the same outcome.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The lights are growing dim

On a recent visit to my 89 year old mother, I noticed a note she had written to herself on an index card.  It read, "Today is Wednesday."  Those are the things that break your heart. It's never easy to watch the lights grow dim in someone's mind.