October 31, 2010


Sometimes the rubber meets the road. We screech to a halt. Where we face our frailty, ineptness, fears.

We're forced to lay down our arms. Lay down our opinions. Lay down at the foot of the cross.

And hold on to His truths. His security. His hand. We have to choose to hold our grip on peace and know that it will bypass our dim wittedness, shroud our doubts, and face
down our fears.

Yes, when the rubber meets the road, fear meets Faith.
doubt meets Hope.
anxiety meets Truth.
depression meets Joy.
stubborn independence meets Rest.
you, and i, meet our Savior, Jesus.

When your rubber meets your road, may your journey be peace-filled... Godspeed.

*Here I Am, Shawn McDonald
I lay myself at Your feet
Asking You won't You meet
Won't You meet me
I cannot do it on my own
I cannot do it all alone
Here I am, oh, tonight
With my arms open wide
Won't You come inside
Won't You come inside, God
Come and fill this heart of mine
I'm in need of You
Of Your touch, of Your life, of Your love
I need You
I need You

October 29, 2010


Talking about Javier's salvation this week got me thinking about my own. Something he said in the Q&A dug up some dirt in my soul. Particularly this answer he gave--

This was earth shattering to me: that the King of all kings would send His only Son to die for ME and forgive all my sins. I still love thinking about that.

Here's the ugly truth: I don't "still love thinking about that." Not like Jav does. I mulled this over with my friend Wendy.

I said, "Wendy, I rarely contemplate and joy in Jesus' gift of His death and life. Except...except at Christmas. And...well, of course at Easter. {cue light bulb} Wendy! I think I'm a C&E christian!"

You know...the peeps that show up at church only on Christmas & Easter. Realization: I lose the wonder of it all until I celebrate Advent, read the Christmas story, set out my nativity set. Or until I step into Ash Wednesday/Maundy Thursday/Good Friday/Easter Sunday week.

I'm not saying this to be all wowzie-wowzie-woo-woo. That's just the blatant truth that saddens me. It's the homesick kind of sadness that rears this ugly head: I've taken all the goodness of home for granted.

I'm not comfortable with being so comfortable with Jesus. I'm not pleased that I take for granted all He has done/does/will do. It's not fair to Him, me, or others that may be watching my relationship with Him. You see, I grew up in a christian home. I am l-o-a-d-e-d with church, Sunday school, VBS, youth group, Bible studies, prayer groups, conferences. You could say I'm weathered, old hat, been-there/done-that/bought the t-shirt {that's right, I said it!}

When your mom cooks your fav meal for you each time you visit, it's easy to not notice how delicious it is or the hard work it takes. When your dad fills your car up with gas time and again, it's easy to not notice as you cruise out of town. When you curl up safe in the same bed year after year, it's easy to not appreciate the soft warmth. Yes, it's easy to forget the love Christ showed us when He died and resurrected. We {I} need that appreciation and wonder to be restored.

That all came to me in the morning. Later in the day I checked my friend Eileen's blog post. Boy.oh.boy.

The title? "Restore Me."

Her beautiful, simple words of truth beckon my homesick heart. And the song she posted {see below} resonates. I don't want to wait for Christmas to roll around to pray this prayer, Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. ~Psalm 51. I'm going home with a restored perspective, restored appreciation and restored heart.

How about you?

But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. ~Psalm 13:5

October 28, 2010


If you're joining from Proverbs 31 Ministries Daily Devotion, welcome! I asked Javier some questions and am blown away by his answers. I'm inspired to continue planting seeds...hope you are too!!

Journeys cannot always be measured in physical distance. ~Shawn McDonald

Faith is not merely a journey for the feet, but it is a journey for the heart. ~AW Tozer
{Javier and his beautiful wife, Nicole}

Q. Growing up, did you hear about the Lord in your home?
A. I grew up in Costa Rica, where near 100% of the population is Catholic. So, yes, I grew up hearing about the Lord. The difference was that I learned more about traditions and rituals about the church than about God's love for me.

Q. How many people had an impact on you coming to know Christ?
A. Hard to tell, but I am sure there were several. Like I wrote to you in that email, I truly felt God was planting seeds in my life. There were key people that were placed there for a reason. That reason was to learn about our loving God who has known me by name since before I was born.

What things happened along the way that turned your heart to the Lord?
A. I feel that my story is one of a long courtship. God loved me so much and never gave up on me. I knew about Him since I was little, but I didn't know He loved ME this much until my late 20s. He has been there with me along some hard parts of my life when I really doubted Him.

Q.Would you mind sharing about your moment of salvation?
A. I knew about God, but going to church meant standing when everyone else stood, kneeling when everyone else did, and trying to make it through the sermon. I really did not enjoy going. That continued and worsened when I was older and had the choice to attend. College life was hard as I felt so separated from God; I deeply felt sad and empty. I joined a fraternity and that just made me feel worse as we spent a lot of time partying.

I was accepted to Physician Assistant school at a small christian university in 2000 and it was there were I was surrounded even more by God. Our class would pray every day and [I thought] that it was so weird.

Things didn't change much after grad school. [Though] I made some good friends that helped me along my path to becoming a christian.

I started going to a small church with a friend. I could not believe the things Pastor Craig said. It was so apparent then that it wasn't about how good I had been or will be. It wasn't about good deeds or how much money I gave. God loves me for who I am and doesn't care about my past. ALL my sins were forgiven when He sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay for my sins--when what I really deserved was definitely not salvation.

This was earth shattering to me. I'd never heard of these things; that the King of all kings would send His only Son to die for ME and forgive all my sins. I still love thinking about that.

A few weeks later Pastor Craig told me how to accept Christ; I didn't know how. There was no application to fill out. He said to ask God to restore my heart, so that is exactly what I did. I did not have a moment where I spoke to God. My [salvation] was at that sincere moment when I told God I knew I was broken and needed Him to restore my heart. If it was left up to me, I knew I couldn't change.

I almost feel as if God was with me all those years, courting me, but didn't make me His bride until I was ready to accept Him.

Q. Any advice/wisdom for those praying for someone to come to know Christ?
A. When people approached me about God I automatically wanted to run the opposite way. I probably learned more about God by watching how He changed friends' lives. Just being around them and them being casual about it worked for me. I found myself asking questions when I was ready. They waited patiently to share the Good News with me rather than being aggressive. My advice would be to love on your friends that don't know Christ and be patient to share the Gospel. They will eventually want to learn all about His love for us.

Thank you Javier! I really appreciate you sharing your testimony!
Especially the part of how God courted you with His love.

Leave a comment to be entered in the Louie Giglio's How Great is Our God DVD series give-away.

October 27, 2010

Best Email Ever!

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. ~1 Corinthians 3:6

Every story has a beginning, middle and end. The same is true for the story of our life. Our education starts in kindergarten, goes through elementary and middle schools and ends in high school or college. A romantic relationship begins with friendship, passes into dating and culminates in marriage. Meals start with appetizers, lead to a main entrée and finish with dessert.

How about our salvation story? The middle of every believer’s salvation story is a relationship with God, and the end is eternity with Him. What about the beginning? That’s different for everyone. Maybe a salvation-seed is planted while attending church with a neighbor. Perhaps a grandma's prayers are rays of sunshine on a cold heart. Hard, bitter soil may soften through the kindness of a women making room on the pew. Or roots sprout when a stranger in the front of the line buys lunch for those behind her.

Yes, every salvation story has a beginning. Have you considered the possibility that you could be part of someone’s beginning? Unbeknownst to me, I was part of my friend Javier’s!

Javier and I were neighbors in college a decade ago. Our roommates dated, so we hung out often. We cooked dinner. Spent lazy afternoons watching movies. Cheered next to each other at football games. When I took guitar lessons, Javier taught me chords. Despite all this time together, I'm sorry to say I rarely brought the Lord up in conversation. Over the years we’ve kept in touch sporadically. So when Javier sent me this email, I was humbled and amazed.

Just wanted to thank you for being in my life in college. I came to Christ about four years or so ago and when looking back in my life, I think of people that were examples I wanted to follow. Even though we hardly talked about God, I knew you were a Christian and really admired that about you. Talk about planting a seed that didn't bear fruit right away. 10 years in the making. I am glad I am able to tell people who helped me find Christ how important they were.

The day I received Javier’s email was one of the best days of my life! To know I had planted a seed in his salvation-story is an honor. Our key verse teaches we each can play an important role in bringing salvation to others. We may not always be fortunate enough to know the outcome of the seeds we plant, or water, but we can have confidence the Lord will cause growth.

Javier’s story inspires me to plant more seeds by being intentional with my words, deeds and actions. I want to be the neighbor, grandma, woman or stranger... the friend or family member ... church member or coworker ... who plays a role in the salvation stories of others. How about you?

Join Javier and me tomorrow for a Q&A! I learned a lot from his answers on reaching out to those who don't know the Lord! Plus, I'm giving away Louie Giglio's How Great is Our God DVD!!

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. ~John 13:35

October 26, 2010

Never, Never, Never Give In

Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~Winston Churchill, Commencement address at Harrow School, 1941.

In 1913 Jean Giono, a French author, was climbing in the French Alps. Deforestation had striped the mountains, leaving them bare of trees and people. Villages, streams, and forests were devoid of life.

One night, Giono was offered the hospitality of a shepherd. He sat in wonderment as the shepherd sorted through countless acorns. He shared with Giono that for three years he had faithfully planted 100,000 acorns.

Roughly 20,000 had taken root and were growing.

Time went by and after more than 30 years, Giono re-visited the shepherd. New life surrounded him!

A vast forest filled the barren land and bubbling streams curved through the once-again populated village. All thanks to the efforts of one man planting one acorn at a time after time after time. Talk about perseverance and grit! I haven't planted an acorn. But I have gardened. Hot days, bent over, knees digging in the ground...it's hard work people!

How about you? Have you been "planting" for years? Praying for a friend to come to know the Lord? Keep planting those prayers and moments you get to just "be" with them. Maybe you've waited for a job. I know it's discouraging, but send another resume, make that one extra call. Or perhaps you're longing to be married. It may be time to try a new single's group at church or ask a friend if they know anyone. Not every seed we plant will sprout. But some will...yes, some will.

Check out Churchill's address again and imagine he's speaking those words to you: Never, Never, Never Give In!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. ~Psalm 119:148

October 25, 2010

Who Do You Love?

"Give me a place to stand, a lever long enough, and I will move the world." ~Archimedes

Read this today and loved it. You know I'm all about changing the world.

until I change the world of the one in front of me. By my love. My time. My peace. My Jesus.

I just don't. It's not fair to them, and I have a feeling I'll be cheating myself too.

This reality smacked me upside my heart today. With an ache for someone I love to my core. She's hurting. Bad. Real bad.

And I know...I coulda/shoulda/woulda loved her more, deeper, better.

How desperately I want to. I sit here and grieve. Grieve the hours glued to the boob tube; or stuffing my face in a fiction; or clicking on photos ofafriendofafriendofafriend on Facebook. Wasted hours when I coulda/shoulda been loving her.

So here I am...asking humbly, Give me a place to stand again in her life Lord. Help me take hold of the lever. Cause now...now I see the vitalness of moving her world. With love. With time. With peace...With Jesus.

Maybe there's a knock on your heart's door about someone. Maybe that means turning off the tv. Putting down the Kindle. Picking up a ball. And opening your heart to loving, eyes to seeing, arms to hugging, ears to listening and mouth to speaking kind, gentle words.

Remember, conviction to act is different than acting out of guilt. Sit with the Lord and ask...how can I move her/his world today? I bet it'll be sweet and amazing. I'd love to hear about it...

October 24, 2010

Memory Jar

I want to catch certain memories like fireflies in a mason jar. And set them on my night stand, gazing at their flickering joy throughout the dark night. I would poke holes in the tin cap, and let their sweet scent of warmth radiate throughout the room.

Yes, there are certain memories I wish I could capture. But that possibility would negate those bright fleeting times from becoming memories.

So I create more memories to fill my precious jar.

I sing songs.

Pour over photo albums.

Bake sweet treats. Especially in the fall and winter seasons.

My family lived 5 hours from my grandparents. Trekking there after my dad got off work guaranteed an arrival close to midnight. No matter the hour, my Nanny always had a pot of spaghetti, New England clam chowder, baked beans, brown bread, and cookies waiting for us. Walking into my Nanny and Grampy's was walking into a hug. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and even strangers were welcome to sidle up to the table and partake in the bounty all throughout the day.

My mom has carried on the extravagant feasts for the multitudes. We used to set an extra plate at the dinner table for the not officially invited, but always welcome, anticipated guest who would "just happen to show up" at dinner time! (usually a local college student). In autumn, our guests were treated to my mom's scrumptious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert! My memory bank is full of these delicious goodies! Soft and sweet, these babies are dee-vine!

Part of creating new memories to fill our jar is inviting others into our stories; sharing our history and what makes us who we are. Cooking and sharing family recipes is part of my story. So I shared my mom's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe with LeAnn Rice at She Cooks! LeAnn's heart is also to share her story, her life, and her Jesus with others. She does so with the warmth and grace of a true servant and she whips up love and memories to share not only in her kitchen, but every where she goes. Visit her blog, She Cooks, for the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and bake a batch for yourself tonight! While you're there, make sure to check out LeAnn's other recipes.

I'd love to light up my memory jar a bit more with a memory with you! Please leave a comment with your favorite family recipe! It just might make it to my table one night!

October 22, 2010

I Won!

I won! I won! I won a "Lovely Blog Award" from the sweet Stephanie at Journey of Healing! Thanks girl! Reading her blog is like pulling a page out of my own journal. She's real, honest and God is taking her through some similar things as me!

This award comes with some fun 'rules'

1. Accept the award and acknowledge the person who bestowed it. {see above}
2. Pay it forward to 15 blogs you enjoy.

Easy! Here goes...in no particular order:
1. My dearest sweetest bestest sister/friend Joni's blog. A steady, rich relationship with the Lord weaves its way into her words which challenge and encourage me constantly. Plus, she's more fun than the state fair!! Love this girl!

2. You might have heard her on 106.9 FM...if not, 12-3...tune in! Carol can give you a side stitch from laughing till you can't breathe and give you a good cry from pondering the depth of God's mercy all in one conversation.

3. Whether you are a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend...Melissa is your gal to hang with! She's real, honest, relatable, & funny! Say whatever you want...you'll be loved and accepted.

4. Dreamers, Believers and Faith Filled Girls...you won't want to miss Nicki's blog! She knows God is big and able and spurs you on to remember the same!!

5. Okay, I'm not a wife or mom yet, but Sharon is already mentoring me in those areas through her thoughtful, humble, soulful words. I want to be like her when I grow up!

6. When looking for a shot in the arm of Truth (hard as it might be to hear) I look no further than Lisa's blog. She's just keepin' it real and I'm better for it.

7. I'm sorry to say I don't know the name of the writer behind the words on this blog. What I do know is she's a real gal, living real life, with a real God and sees Him in the every day. I appreciate that. Think you will too.

8. This guy's a poet. His words fluid, compelling, picturesque. Though his posts are far and few between, Jacob's writing is worth waiting for.

9. An escape for your spirit & mind, Elizabeth blends heart-changing/wrenching/reviving photos with eye-opening words that mix in a lovelycan'tlookaway collage.

10. Her art tells stories of the soul. Her words do the same. Her heart comes through in both. And it's a thing of beauty. Just like Laura.

11. Tuck your feet up under you, wrap your hands around a hot mug, and chill with Shannon. You're invited into her life...with herself, her hubby, her friends and her God. Her words are comfortable and real.

12. Simply sweet. Simply giving. Simply kind. Simply generous. Simply abundant in love. Lisa at Simply His blog is simply wonderful and elaborately loved by everyone who meets her! Read her blog...you'll see why!

13. LeeBird shares life's journey with grace, wisdom, humbleness and humor. You'll instantly feel at home with her!

14. I just started following Eileen's blog and look forward to her wisdom and funny quips already!

{And because I can't resist promoting these folks who are making a HUGE difference in the world...}

15. This is hard. Gut wrenching. Fall on your knees. Weep till you're spent hard. But we can't turn our backs on the reality that this is reality. LOVE146's blog. Get involved.

15. Do you want a new perspective on the poor? Here you go! Compassion International spreads it's arms across the world and gives you and me the chance to hug kids 1000's of miles away.

15. What if you could round-table it with C.S. Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, and Tozer? Well, that's not possible, but Desiring God's blog comes pretty close!

There's your sneak peek into the lovely blogs whose writer's words challenge, comfort, inspire and entertain me! Hope they speak to you similarly! Adios!

October 21, 2010

Now ... Then

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ~Genesis 50:20

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11

The whole time Joseph was a slave and prisoner...God saw him as second in command over Egypt.

When Ruth was a homeless, barren widow...God saw her settled, a wife, and grandmother to His Son.

When Lazarus was wrapped in grave clothes...God saw him breathing new life.

When David was running for his life...God saw him running Israel.

When Paul crucified Christians...God saw him preaching the crucified Christ.

When Sarai beat Hagar...God saw her beating her jealousy, pride and doubt with the birth of Isaac.

When Esther was an orphaned girl shaking in fear for her life...God saw His daughter shaking the kindgom and saving the lives of His people.

When Rahab welcomed men into the shelter of her bed...God saw her sheltering the spies on her roof.

When Peter lost faith and denied Christ...God saw him bringing many to faith in Christ.

When Moses killed with his own hands...God saw him chiseling the Ten Commandments with those same hands.

When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus die...God saw Him resurrected and seated on His heavenly throne!

Oh what God can't reverse, redeem, restore, revive, renew! Trust Him that He can take any circumstance and use it for your good and His glory.

October 20, 2010


The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' ~Matthew 25

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~Mother Teresa

This week the thought of ONE is still pinging around my insides. Insides of my mind...what can I do? Insides of my heart...who can I serve? love? cherish?

How can I be the ONE to love the one in front of me?

My friend Elizabeth has had moving convictions on this...

Anything pinging around your mind/heart too?

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. ~Edmund Burke

Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him.
~Albert Schweitzer

October 18, 2010

Sam in Real Life

If you're visiting from Rachel Olsen's Blog Carnival, welcome!! If you'd like to know more about linking up on this fun ride, visit Rachel's blog.

Instead, it is you - my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed… ~Psalm 55:13-14

Friendship is a diminishing of distance between people. ~Keith Richards

Text messages, Facebook updates, Twitter tweets, blog posts... they sure can fool you into thinking you know a person. Truth is, anyone is allowed to be, well, anyone on social networking sites! Slap on a few pictures of the kids smiling, add a funny quip, stir, and zippitty-do-da! out comes the illusion of a fairy tale perfect life.

Now, I appreciate social networking. Hours of clicking photo after photo of my best-friend-from-third-grade-but-we-haven’t-talked-in-20-years proves it! If a picture speaks a thousand words, then I’d say a thousand times over she’s happyhappyhappyhappy….

Facebook and Twitter made me believe another friend I grew up with had a life full of sunshine and butterflies too. After reconnecting and talking over email, we got our old gang back together to do a Bible study.

And there is where the walls tumbled down. All the pretty pictures of her kids on the first day of kindergarten didn’t show the ten meltdowns they had that morning. Quips of the romantic get-away with the hubster didn’t tell of the months of marital counseling to save their marriage. And all the status updates could never relay the depth of depression or insignificance she felt.

If not for our Bible study, I would not have known the real story behind the story. I would have missed the opportunity to encourage and cheer her on; to live the daily ups and downs with her.

Now hear me on this. Keep posting your cute pics and funny sayings. I enjoy them as much as the next gal. But please do not start spilling your innermost secrets on Facebook or reveal every emotion you ever felt on Twitter. You want to protect yourself and your family. Living room couches, coffee shop tables, and park benches, not social networking sites, are the places to share!

We were made to do life with others. We need friends who know us and can look us in the eye and read our expressions. Our souls crave to take off the mask, let our guard down, and pour out the depths of who we are to a safe, confidential few. Relationships sustained by status updates and retweets can only go to certain depths. Real life is lived in real conversations had in real time.

It’s been two years since that Bible study. My friend and I continue to live life—real life—together. I hope you have someone(s) you can do that with too. If not, can I encourage you to find a few friends who you can just "be" with? Here are some thoughts to get started:
~ Reconnect with old friends or ask newer friends that you talk with often over Facebook or Twitter who live near you
~Start a group through church, neighborhood, etc. You could do a Bible study {all P31 resources are 31% off this week!!}, dinner club, weekly park outings, coffee over conversation…
~Commit to confidentiality and be willing to open up and trust. My Bible study group has a confidentially agreement, which includes not sharing with husbands, parents or best friends, even if they don’t know us.

If you already have a group of friends you share with, please leave a comment! We’d love to hear about how you became friends and what you do together! Oh, and don't forget to visit Rachel's blog!

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. ~Ecclesiastes 4

October 15, 2010


I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. ~William Penn

We've focused on folks this week who have made a difference. I especially love that ONE person can change the world for hundreds, thousands, even millions.

Today's ONE is very special to me. His name is Lucas Kovasckitz and I have the distinct privilege of not only being one of his youth group leaders, but also his friend. He's like a deep creek, flowing steadily, nourishing those he streams by. He inspires me to do more, love deeper, and linger longer in God's presence. You can get a glimpse of his heart through his music (some of my fav!!) https://noisetrade.com/johnlucas. And should you ever get to worship with him in person, you will leave a different person.

Last year Lucas changed a community of folks by daring to challenge our youth group to something BIG. I asked him a few questions...hope you're inspired by him like I was!!

*Lucas is the 7th guy from the left

1. Why did you want to raise money for Blood:Water?
Blood:Water is my favorite non-profit organization...their heart and vision for those who have almost nothing of earthly value, specifically in Africa, is pretty amazing. I heard about their goal to dig 1,000 wells in African communities, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. One of their fundraising ideas was to drink nothing but water for 40 days, and to give away what you would have spent on coffee or soda. It’s a really simple idea, but it can also have a lasting impact on both the giver as well as the people the well serves. Instead of just writing a check and forgetting about it, you’re daily making a conscious choice to give up a small piece of American comfort. In a way, you’re identifying with those that the final result of your efforts is blessing…a beautiful community of people around the world that you’ll most likely never meet. The main goal, at least for me, wasn't the dollar figure at the end of the fast, but hopefully a small but tangible heart transformation. Too often I’m convicted of my consumerism, and my pursuit of things that will never last. I don’t want to forget about the people that the world has forgotten.

2. What steps did you take to go about raising money?
I really felt like the fast was something that I was supposed to do, but I also wanted to get others involved. I ran it by my homeboy/youth pastor, and soon the youth got behind the fast. This then spread until much of our church community was also participating. The response was a huge blessing, and also extremely humbling.

3. How much $ was raised over what period of time? How many wells does that equate to? We raised about $2500, which is about half of the amount it takes to dig and build a well. It wasn’t a million dollars on a ten-foot check, but it’s pretty amazing what can happen when a group of people makes sacrifices to change the world around them.

4. Would you do it again? or something else like that?
I would definitely do it again, and I want to learn how to better serve those in my own community and around the world that are struggling in poverty. I’m in the process of getting my degree in economics, to hopefully use it in an organization like Blood:Water – one that meets practical needs but also shines the love of Christ.

Click here for more about Blood:Water!

Blood:Water Mission (An Overview) from Blood:Water Mission on Vimeo.

But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,miracles that cannot be counted. He bestows rain on the earth; he sends water upon the countryside. The lowly he sets on high,and those who mourn are lifted to safety. ~Job 5

October 13, 2010


Loose the chains of injustice...untie the cords of the yoke...set the oppressed free...break every yoke...Share your food with the hungry...provide the poor wanderer with shelter...when you see the naked -clothe him... ~Isaiah 58

I purposed to introduce Marta and Demeke only, but their road lead me first to my dear friend Elizabeth Marx. Elizabeth radiates joy and stunning hope. Her heart oozes love for others like warm golden honey drizzling from the comb. She captures the world as she sees it through her business, Almond Leaf Studios. In her words, "I see my camera as a means to reveal the beauty I see in people, objects, and Light that usually go unnoticed...the driving force behind Almond Leaf Studios is a deep desire to see that same freedom and joy realized in the lives of women and children suffering injustice throughout the world." {source: http://almondleafstudios.com}

With that said, it's no wonder she partners with Silent Images, begun by David Johnson (another ONE!). Silent Images "seeks to tell the stories of hope in the midst of persecution, poverty, or oppression through journalistic photography, videography, and writing. The stories and images are provided to non-profit organizations in an effort to educate and be a voice for the voiceless around the world." {source: www.silentimages.org}

Travels with Silent Images took Elizabeth Ethiopia, where she spent time with Project Mercy, an International Emergency Relief and Community Development Ministry established by Marta Gabre-Tsadick and her husband Demeke Tekle-Wold.

"Marta initiated innovative food and sewing programs that enabled Project Mercy to distribute food and clothing to hundreds of thousands of starving, needy refugees from Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Project Mercy has helped create a holistic community development model in Yetebon. With the help of volunteers and the staff of Project Mercy, Marta has directed the construction of a school, state-of-the-art hospital, skills training classes, agricultural development programs, clean water delivery, all-season roads and countless other initiatives." {source: www.projectmercy.org}

Captivating photos are yours to see by clicking any of the links above!!

Elizabeth, David, Marta and Demeke...four ONE(s) changing the world!! Won't you join them today through prayer and/or financial support?

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

October 12, 2010


Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" ~Isaiah 6

The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green. ~Thomas Carlyle

"Compassion's work spans 57 years, from modest beginnings in 1952 when one man felt compelled to help 35 orphaned children in South Korea, to today, where more than 1 million children in 25 countries benefit from that original vision." {Source: www.compassion.com}

Wow, I could stop there and 'nuff said! But I had the awesome privilege of going to El Salvador with Compassion International which instilled in me 1,000,000 words to share! No worries, I won't. But I do want to give a sampling of the world-changing things they do...all because ONE man in 1952 felt compelled to make a difference...

Child Survival Program: "Kanamma came to the meeting with her two newborn granddaughters and laid them on the floor. One baby weighed under two pounds and the other weighed 2 1/4 pounds. Kannamma said very openly to the staff at the Child Survival Program,

'We can’t take care of these two children. If you want to save the children, please help us; otherwise we don’t mind killing them.'

Both babies were enrolled in the Child Survival Program. And now, the girls are in the child sponsorship program." {All rights reserved. Compassion International. Source: http://www.compassion.com/about/programs/childsurvivalprogram.htm}

Courtesy of Compassion International

Child Sponsorship Program: Keely Scott is a CI photographer...on her recent trip to El Salvador she meet three sponsored children and shares their stories and photographs here. This post is a must see/must read! Here is an excerpt:
Hi. . .Mr. Soh in Korea, I met sweet Milagro.

I love that when you heard her story (in her letters) Her story of how she was in a fire as a baby and has had medical needs you didn't just read

You Lept!

Lept into action. Milagro is doing amazing and is gaining strength with her new arm each day!

Did you know her name means Miracle?

Yeah, its okay. . . I cried at that too! Our God is Amazing.
{Kelly Orr Scott. All rights reserved. Source: http://www.keelymariescott.com}

And the Leadership Development Program is where my friend Nixon is flourishing. Thriving. Living a life with dreams and hope. Hope to provide for his sister and mom. A mom who has literally given herself to provide her family with one meal a day. All that changed when Nixon was sponsored.

*Nixon is the first guy on the right, his sister is in front of him, and his mom is the second woman on the left

Want to hear something cool? The original program started back in 1952 was so effective in South Korea, it is no longer needed!!

1,000,000 words I would love to share. 1,000,000 world-changing things Compassion does. 1,000,000 children effected because ONE man committed, Here am I. Send me.


What these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs. ~Elie Wiesel

Hands down, Ten Shekel Shirt {http://tenshekelshirt.com/} and LOVE146 {www.love146.org} are two of my favorite ONE(s)! Ten Shekel Shirt's lead singer, Lamont Hiebert, helped start LOVE146 in 2002, with Co-Founders Rob Morris, Desirea Rodgers and Caroline Hahm. They "went on an exploratory trip to SE Asia to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking." Out of this trip Love146 was birthed. They partner and network with other abolition orgs in Asia, Europe and the U.S. to grow the abolition movement and provide restorative care for survivors. {*all info taken from www.love146.org}

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
~1 Cor. 13

Ten Shekel Shirt's album's, Jubilee, lyrics revolve around freedom and restoration. The title track, Jubilee, has an especially phenomenal, behind the song story. You can take a listen here: {www.facebook.com/pages/Ten-Shekel-Shirt/52267945483?v=app_5179614317} and read the story here:

The origin of the word Jubilee has nothing to do with a wedding anniversary or a schmaltzy Las Vegas show. It has everything to do with the emancipation of slaves and the celebration of freedom and justice. When I wrote the title track, Jubilee, I combined that ancient meaning of the word with this true story of a teenage girl rescued from slavery and her first moments in a safehome.

At the tender age of 12, she was sold to a brothel by her stepfather. After 4 years of unspeakable violence, cruelty and shame she was rescued and brought to a safehome our charity (Love146) supports. The first moment she entered the home she noticed a small picture of Jesus on the wall. When she saw it she fell down and wept in utter relief and astonishment. She then explained that while she was in captivity she would often dream of being in a safe place and that in those dreams she would picture that face.

A strange thing happened while I was writing the song. Although I was writing about a safehome I kept feeling like the song had another layer to it, one that was somehow linked to the hereafter. I told the safehome director about this unintended sense I was getting from my own song. She then told me that after a successful, restorative year in the safehome the girl that had inspired the song had died of AIDS. The caregiver said she past away with a peaceful countenance on her face as she expectantly prepared for her ultimate Jubilee. *Source: www.myspace.com/tenshekelshirt/blog#ixzz129vJwldO

Please, check out Ten Shekel Shirts' CD, Jubilee, and LOVE146. These ONE(s) are literally saving lives by passionately pursing the end of children becoming victims of slavery, rape, and exploitation.

Ten Shekel Shirt {http://tenshekelshirt.com/}
LOVE146 {www.love146.org}

October 11, 2010


Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. ~Nicholas Berdyaev

*My Own Two Hands, Ben Harper & Jack Johnson

ONE person can change another's life. Can change a family-community-country.

Be it the man on the street giving lunch to the homeless - The nurse holding a lonely elderly woman's hand as she passes from here to eternity - The teenager investing his summer job money to rescue a girl trapped in the sex slave trade.

Oh, how I love to hear how ONE person changed a life and made a difference.

So each day this week, I want to highlight those ONE(s) who make a difference. They inspire me. I hope they'll inspire you too.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
~Dr. Seuss
TOMS {www.toms.com}
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Check out these smiles as they give away their 1,000,000th pair of shoes! {taken directly from TOMS website}

Oh to be there putting shoes on these precious feet! Hope you love this video as much as I do!!

October 5, 2010

Lil' Lovelies

~ Mikeschair, My Lovely

I found these lil' lovelies at a thrift store at the bottom of a decrepit box bound by aged, yellowed masking tape. Labeled ".10 cents each," the worn cardboard overflowed with discarded spools of frayed yarn, mangled rainbows of thread, seamstress tools--some rusted, some broken--all attempting to escape.

Digging carefully to avoid needles, I discovered these adorable rulers hidden deep down. It was love at first sight! Immediately I started planning how to re-purpose them, and give them a fresh start.

As far as I was concerned, I'd struck gold!! But the ladies at the register saw my find differently. Throwing their heads back, they hooted and snorted, tickled I would pay money for "trash." My valuable find was so worthless to them they were willing to give me it for free! (I ended up paying .49 cents.)

I gave those ladies a good ol' fashioned "what for," and let them know they didn't have any vision and the problem wasn't the rulers, it was the hands that had used and abused them. No matter these rulers had been tossed out. Labeled as worthless. Forgotten about for years. Only to endure jeering and disdain. In my mind's eye, these sweet babies were better than new and I had big plans for them! They had finally landed in the right hands that would lovingly give them new life. Humph!

I couldn't wait to take my treasures home. Wash them off. Give them a new purpose. A place to display their beauty. Sure, they're chipped, worn, faded, and broken. But they've seen a lot of life. That's part of the reason I love them so. The marks they bear tell a story of character, depth, beauty.

Parts of us are like these dear lil' rulers, aren't they? Hearts that have been tossed out, beat up, broken down by circumstances, people, events. We sit at the bottom of a crumbling pit, surrounded by a whole lotta junk, feeling worthless, ugly, looked down upon, dumb, without purpose.

There is Someone who sees us. Really sees. Beyond the hurt, broken, despair, worn. He sees a rare and beautiful treasure. And no matter what others think, He fights for us and is passionate, not ashamed, to pull us out of the junk. He's already paid the price to take us home and brush us off. He has a vision and plan to give new life where the old is no longer feasible. And He knows the scars, hurts and pains that have broken us, have equally made us beautiful and given our stories depth that display His glory. And that, my friends, in the right hands...His hands...is lovely.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.

They will be...a...display of his splendor. ~Isaiah 61

October 2, 2010

Who Am i?

Just a little something i'm musing over as i find it hard to wrap my head around this:

The God who was before time and who is and who will forever be, sees me. Billions of humans, and He notes me. Noted me long long long ago. Who am i that "before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name" (Isaiah 49:1)?

He wants to hear my voice in prayer and praise. Who am i that the Lord would desire my frog in the throat when for years He's been serenaded when "the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise?" (Job 38:7)

With the same voice that He "counts the stars and calls them all by name," He calls me "by a new name" (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 62:2).

i know my heart, and at times i want to escape it. So who am i that, though He could be anywhere in the world, God would make His home with me (John 14:23)? And there, i have "rest in His presence" (1 John 3:19).

Read Genesis, Job, the Gospels, Revelation. Then tell me if you can wrap your head around who the Lord is. i bet you'll wonder and marvel too, who am i that He would see me, want me, call me and abide with me?

But He does. And I'm pretty sure it's less about who i am, and all about who HE is: "Faithful and True" (Revelation 19:11).