I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What breaks your heart?

Just to see their big brown eyes causes me to laugh out loud from the sheer beauty of their faces. Honestly, I have seen so few with frowns on their faces that it is hard to believe they live in the environment they do. I am referring to the multiple pictures I have seen in recent weeks. They are the real faces of Guatemalan children and families.

Most people do not know of the poverty found in this small Central American country of Guatemala. Personally, I would have never known except for the life altering decision my husband and I made seven years ago. We prayerfully and joyfully adopted our youngest son from Guatemala. Actually, October fourteenth will be the anniversary of when we first held him in our arms. I could go on and on about that encounter but I have another purpose for writing.

Recently, I have been led by the Holy Spirit and His Word (Matthew 25:31-46) to pursue ways that our family can be involved in the lives of other children. God has directed us back to Guatemala. I began to pray intentionally and seek out ways for our family to help with this overwhelming need. As I prayed and searched guess what happened? We found a way to help.

There is no question God wants His children to take care of others. He assigns his people in different places. I love that. One way we plan to help is through a ministry in Guatemala called Orphan’s Heart. They are caring for children in a real way at the Guatemalan Malnutrition Center. We hope to go on a mission trip to minister to the children there. In the meantime, we are going to raise money for diapers! They go through approximately 300-400 diapers a day!

In my searching, I was brought to tears by a book called, A Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns (The President of World Vision). I had not experienced a conviction of that kind in a long time! It was overwhelming and overflowing. My husband and kids appeared concerned since I was practically sobbing as I read excerpts from the book during one of our morning devotionals. I assured them I would be OK. If God is directing you and/or your family to have an impact in another country I urge you to read this book.

The clincher for me (and my husband) was a blog post I read on the site A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp. Mike and I both read it and viewed the pictures. THAT WAS IT FOR US!

There are many things throughout my daily life that can break my heart... When my kids argue with each other or when my husband and I argue. The sin in my life that I thought I released is a heart breaker as well. Other issues in the vast world can break my heart because I do not feel equipped to have an impact. Nonetheless, I am encouraged on to a point that I cannot resist any longer. The pain, the pictures, the possibilities are enough for me to move out of my small world. It would break my heart not too.

What breaks your heart?

If you are interested in a mission trip or more information on ways to help in Guatemala please let me know. If you are searching for what God is calling you to do in the larger world check out these websites- World Vision and Orphan’s Heart for many opportunities and ideas. Be ready for the Holy Spirit to lead you forward.

Below are a few statistics on Guatemala:
Guatemala has the highest illiteracy rate in Central America. Eight out of every ten children are undernourished.
Today, 56 percent of Guatemalans live below the poverty line and 32 percent live on less than $2 a day. In rural areas, 78 percent of indigenous children under the age of 18 live in poverty. Guatemala has one of the highest income inequities in the world. The wealthiest 20 percent of the population receives 61 percent of the nation’s income, while the poorest 20 percent receives only 4 percent. (Taken from the World Vision website)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lead Me

If you are reading this blog I would guess you are a woman. Did I get it right? I thought so. I say that because this post is about husbands and fathers. Don’t stop reading…please. It will still apply to you too. I recently purchased a CD and heard the song "Lead Me" and then shared it with Mike (my husband). Unfortunately, we both thought it described many Christian families in our world today. Simply put- It is about husbands and fathers leading their families.
Go to the Sanctus Real website to hear the full song. Watch the video below to hear the story behind the song.

The Story Behind "Lead Me" - Sanctus Real from BrightBulb Entertainment on Vimeo.

Fear (originally written in 2009)

Fear is such a relative emotion. What one person is afraid of may not even cross the mind of someone else. Also, depending on a person’s experience and environment fear can be different for each individual. On top of that, the deceiver (Satan) can lead individuals to fear something that can trap and enslave them.

Mike asked a question the other day of each of our kids… What are you afraid of?

We had a range of answers:

Ethan: I am afraid I could break my foot. (The “smart” answer since he had recently broken his foot.)

Rebecca: I am afraid of dying.

Sarah: I am afraid of lightning and having a baby.

Anderson: I am afraid of getting lost in Goodwill. Yes, that is what he said.

At first, I thought, “How cute?” Then I thought, “How real?”, “How honest?”

We don’t always grasp the truth that God has for us concerning fear. We also are unaware of the enemy trying to trip us up with fear. As a grown-up, I find it so funny how my fears are really no different than a child’s fears. We want to be well liked so we are people pleasers and avoid conflict. We would sometimes cover our fears with words like… “I am just being careful” when it is actually fear. God has called us out of our comforts to a life of trust. So, I speak to myself by saying, “God, I trust you know matter what.” I just need to take my fears to Him. He knows exactly what to do with them.

I Peter 3:13-15- “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”