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Archive for the ‘World’ Category

Are You Coming Along?

I’m pretty sure that I’m maxed out this week . . . but I will be following along here:
Compassion-International-Philippines-2011Will you come along too?

Every Compassion trip that I have followed has been an amazing story . . . no, amazing stories, but even better every Compassion trip that I have followed has changed me, made me want to be more of Jesus’ hands and feet to those in foreign lands and in my neighborhood, made me inspect my own priorities, made me long for the end of poverty, and made me aware of what I can do to change the world (and not just through Compassion, though I do firmly believe that is a great place to start)!

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Some Ways To Give

Was thinking about this list in the car the other day.  Please, please add to it!

1.  Eat rice and beans (or rice and vegetables or just rice . . . ) one day a week and give the saved money to a food bank.

2.  Tithe

3.  Thirty Days of Nothing (A few years ago, several bloggers committed to spend thirty days buying only what was really, really needed for their family to survive.  The extra they donated.)

4.  Donate your change.  We don’t use cash much, but we have to sometimes.  We could save the change in the jar and save it then donate it when it was a sizable sum.

5.  Have a garage sale.  Give the money made.

6.  Budget it.  Decide to give, put it in your budget, and give first.

7.  Serve an elderly neighbor by doing yard work or making meals or spending time visiting with him.

8.  Smile at folks.

What are some ways that you try to bless those around you . . . or those a world away?

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I Wonder

I’ve tumbled this over and over in my head.  I’ve wanted to remain silent on account of the fact that this has not been a place for me to take a stand but rather a place to record our days.  Today though, I am going to speak.

It was noon before I heard the news of yesterday, that Osama Bin Laden had been killed and buried.  That our US troops had done this thing that they had been trying to do for so long.

I went right away to the computer and tried to wrap my brain around this new news.

And what I saw made me so, so sad . . . yes, I said, “Sad.”  That is not what I expected, nor do I completely comprehend it . . . but there it is.

I was sad that people were celebrating and cheering.  I was sad at so much jubilation over the death of a man.  I read the accounts of the fire fight and of his funeral.  I read the comments that people were making.

I think of the images that I have seen of crowds standing in the streets, waving posters with Anti-American sentiments, spewing words of hatred and anger in our direction.

I wonder:  Have we become just like them, favoring revenge over peace?

I wonder:  Will he just be replaced by ten more people who hate us, not because of anything we have done to them personally but because we celebrated when a man of their faith was killed?

I wonder:  Does bin Laden’s death really bring healing and relief or does it just provide a distraction from the fact that we live in an unsafe and unpredictable world?

I wonder:  Is this the image that we are leaving of Christ, the very Jesus who told us to love our enemies and to pray for them?  The same God that tells us not to rejoice in others pain?

I don’t actually have any answers – just wondering aloud.

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What Is Really Important

I have a few posts that I have been working on; I have one fun one that I am just dying to share . . . but today I was reading here.  Mid-way thought the post I was reduced to a puddle, and by the end I was crying tears of deep thankfulness to our God and Father.

And I’ve spent time reading here too.

Again, there was crying.

I asked Handsome if I cried through out entire trip to Ethiopia.  He said I didn’t.  I was stunned.  I don’t know how that is possible.  (Just reading about this Compassion trip to Guatemala has reduced me to tears daily!)

Except I do.

I know that our trip to Ethiopia was different kind of trip.  It was the culmination of months of work and years of prayer.  It was the ending of our children being called orphans and the beginning of their being called daughter and son.  While there was deep, deep sorrow for the losses they felt and the pain they have shouldered, our trip to Ethiopia was joyous like the birth of a tiny baby.  We got to bring them home with us.  It was birthday cake with thick icing and candles.  It was ice cream on the side – with all the toppings a girl could hope for.

As I read Ann Voskamp’s story of her meeting her Compassion child, I was absolutely astounded at the emotions I felt.  I was so sad for Ann to only hold her daughter once, yet I rejoiced that her child had the opportunity to live with those two people that she has always called “mom” and “dad.”

The two curly-headed folk that call this house home and call me mom – I wish they had had the same opportunity.  I wish that there were enough sponsors in the world, that there were not children given to orphanages, because they could not be fed.  I wish there were Compassion programs in all the dark corners, to shed light and give educations and share the love of Jesus in tangible ways.

And while I can’t imagine my life without these two blessings, I am always aware that I am blessed out of another mother’s loss, out of the abandonment of hope, out of the lack of basic supply.

Proverbs tell us, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17)

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Our neighbors went on vacation.

They asked us to watch their pets.  I’m guessing that they wanted to give the poor, no-pets, homeschool family the opportunity of a lifetime.

So for the next few days, we are the caretakers for two frogs and two crickets.  If you don’t hear from me, it’s because I’m spending every spare minute praying that they don’t die before their owners get home!  Ack!

While I’m away, be sure to go here and here and here for the latest and for some really cool images, some visual, some made with words!  (I recently told my husband that I wish I had time to re-do this old blog and make it really sparkle, not so I could have a cool, new, nicer-looking blog but so that I might be considered for a Compassion bloggers trip!  Man these trips just amaze me every time!)

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Captivated

This is how I spent my afternoon.

I have been reading this blog for a while, but today I (for some crazy reason – it’s not like I didn’t have a billion other things I could have been doing) decided to go back and read a little in the archives to find out how on earth all this came to be.  I was there for a couple hours, reading everything I could find.  I couldn’t stop reading!

It wasn’t because her stories are so good or because the writing was great (they are and it is), but it was because I was so captivated to see the hand of God at work in someone’s life.  I was/am so amazed to read how God is using this 21 year old to reach so many, to change so many lives.  Not only did it make me want to do crazy things for God, but it also was a great reminder that our God is big…and able.

Read at your own risk!

You can also find out more info here.

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“Other countries are still sending children home to their adoptive families.Why is the US waiting on UNICEF?Ask our ambassador.”  posted here, recently, from Haiti.

And here, a post that should break your heart but will hopefully inspire you.

And here, an article that will probably surprise you.

Read here.

Be informed.

Pray.

(And if you feel so led, do something about it.)

I have a little girl who prays daily, “God, thank you for a mommy and daddy, for my family.”

Every little girl and boy should have the opportunity to pray such a prayer!

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Out of the Ashes

Go read this; it’s the best news I’ve read all week!

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Better Things

Today is World AIDS Day.

And I know, you have a lot better things to think about.

You have shopping to do and cookies to bake and parties to attend.

Maybe this doesn’t apply to you; maybe it does…

Isaiah 1:17 says, “learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Matthew 25:40 tells us, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

and the beginning of Luke 9 (among other passages) tells us that Jesus was deeply interested in healing the sick and having his followers heal the sick, “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

I certainly don’t have all the answers or know what to do to solve the whole problem, but there are many organizations that are working hard to help those who need help (with AIDS and other problems too).  Here are a few of our favorites:

Compassion International – this link is to their World AIDS Day video, it’s good

Samaritan’s Purse – This is the organization that does Operation Christmas Child (the shoebox gifts), but they do so much more; every year they publish a catalog that allows those who wish to donate to pick how their donation will be used – our children love to look through this catalog and work hard to earn extra money to buy little chicks and other sweet gifts for children/families in need.

AHope – just go see

World Vision

And if one of those ideas doesn’t suit you, here is a fantastic post about other things that you can do.

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Some Good News

This morning, Little Man, barely awake wandered down the steps and asked to turn the TV on.  Often I wold say, “No,” but this morning I decided we could both use a little Sesame Street.  When he pressed the magic button, and I saw scenes of Iraq, I practically ran to the TV in an attempt to keep scenes of horrific violence out of his little brain.

But I realized that what I was seeing was much different.  Scenes of families playing in parks, then scenes of a busy main street where all seemed peaceful, and a realtor saying that prices for one square meter have gone from $350 to $700 in the past few months as people move back to Baghdad.  Just before changing the channel, I stopped to watch; it was such a refreshing little piece!

I can’t find that piece online, but here is a BBC article that sums it all up.

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