It seems like we are living in a hurting world lately. The things I am seeing in the news and on social media are things that I have never ever seen in my lifetime. It just seems like there is so much more hate and anger with people hurting one another and turning to violence. People want a solution to whatever they feel angry about, but I just don’t see how turning against one another is going to solve anything.
The only real solution to anything that I can see is Jesus. If we don’t turn to him I think things are going to continue to get worse.
Maybe your not a Christian and when you saw what I just wrote you thought to yourself “Ya right! that woman is loony toons!” Believe it or not, I actually understand that because I used to feel the same way when people told me that Jesus could help the world or help me.
I used to think he wasn’t real.
Now I think maybe I knew deep down that he was real but It was easier for me to tell myself he wasn’t real then to risk the rejection that I thought he might give me because I thought I wasn’t good enough for him.
What nobody ever told me or maybe I just somehow missed it, was that Jesus didn’t come just for the good people or the ones who had it all together.
The truth is this….He came for the liars, the cheaters, the thieves, the murderers, the drug addicts, the abusers and the abused.
He came for the broken, the hurting.
Yes it’s true – He came for the good and the bad.
He came for Me and He came for you.
He came for us ALL.
Today’s music Monday song is Chain Breaker by Zach Williams.
This song brings me to tears every time I hear it because the words are so true!
If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost, He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior
If you got chains, He’s a chain breaker (Chain Breaker lyrics by Zach Williams)
Can I get an AMEN?!
He came, He died, He took the blame, He took the pain. He took it all so we could be free!
I know this is true because my own life has changed because of Jesus.
Yes, I still get angry, I still get sad, and I still feel pain. But now I don’t face any of life’s struggles alone anymore.
I take comfort in knowing that when things feel out of control that God is still in control.
I take comfort in his love and I am free from the things that used to weigh me down.
My chains are broken.
Freedom in Christ is a way better life.
We all can have that freedom.
All you have to do is ask and he will remove your chains.
If you’re in need of someone to tell you more about the freedom you can have in Jesus let me know in the comments below or contact me via the contact tab on the top of the blog.
Why is it that whenever God gives me a job to do I always allow myself to get all worked up into a frenzy?
My biggest fear in the world is speaking in public.
Tomorrow is Compassion Sunday at my church and in order to present the kids waiting for sponsors I am going to have to speak in public.
Last week I was feeling excited for the opportunity to share these children with my church and was not feeling nervous at all.
But then Wednesday afternoon the child packets arrived…
Suddenly things felt different.
Suddenly I felt a huge responsibility to those children.
Within a matter of an hour of receiving the packets I began feeling nervous. By that evening, I began rethinking what I had planned to say in church on Sunday. I soon began writing down a plan and I began practicing what I was going to say over and over. Before I realized what was happening I had myself so worked up that each time I practiced, instead of getting better at what I was going to say I began to get worse.
Yesterday I thought about it some more, changed my presentation again, settled on what I thought was my finished product a few more times, and then finally ended up going to bed very late last night feeling sick to my stomach and panicky at the thought of speaking in front of the church on Sunday.
HELLO social anxiety!
Did youforgot that you don’t live here anymore??!
After a restless night, I woke up this morning with God’s voice in my head saying, “stop worrying about what YOU can’t do and instead, remember what I CAN do!”
Suddenly I realized that I just needed to chill out and I needed to give this worry to God! Nothing here has changed except I seemed to have forgotten God is the one who is in charge of all this.
I have already been in this place way too many times in the past so ya think I would have known the drill by now.
So like I have done every time I set out to talk in public, I took out a piece of paper and wrote on it the words, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.‘ I threw all my extra notes in the trash and put it all back into his hands.
Tomorrow instead of a bunch of notes in my hand I will hold his words as a reminder.
From this day forward when it comes to the God stuff, I have to remembernot to spend my time thinking about what I should be spending my time praying about!
Update… Somehow I forgot to push publish on this post last night so figure I may as well finish the story with what happened today.
So I went to bed last night in peace and then woke up this morning with this crazy notion in my head that because we already have so many child sponsors in our church most likely we would not have many kids sponsored today. Yep, you guessed it I was already thinking way too much again! Thankfully I caught myself and went for a drive before church and prayed.
God set me straight and I arrived at church excited and knowing in my heart that God was going to make something big happen today. Sure enough, I soon found myself with a front row seat watching as another one of his amazing stories began being played out before me!
From our worship pastor starting us off speaking his own sponsorship story to our pastor’s Compassion tailored sermon everything went great. It wasn’t about any of us presenting the story today as much as it was about God uniting his children with one another.
27 children received new sponsors today but also at the same time 27 sponsors also received new children.
Many blessings are in the making for all those involved I’m sure.
There was never any need to be nervous or worry.
No need to second guess.
Just show up is all that was required … because just like He always does, God also showed up in a mighty big way in our church today!
If you would like more information about sponsoring a child or Compassion Sunday visit www.compassionsunday.com or contact me through the contact link at the top of this page.
Not only is today Music Monday on the blog, but it’s also Christmas week and we are also on Day 8 of 12 Days of Giving Christmas away. As you know, for the past 7 days I have wrote a whole lot about gift giving and have posted several gifts that are great ways to help someone to know the love of Jesus during the Christmas season and also all year-long. (If you missed any posts you can read them all –> here)
As we move closer to Christmas, more and more Christmas songs are being played on the radio and one of my favorite Christmas songs right now is ‘Mary Did You Know?’ and my favorite version is this one sung by Danny Gokey…
Wasn’t that great?!
The words to this song make me think of my own children when I carried them inside of my body. I used to sit sometimes with my hands on my belly feeling life moving inside of me as I would wonder what the baby would be like. I also knew that I was already in love with the tiny little person inside of me even though I hadn’t met him yet.
A few weeks ago my daughter, who is now pregnant was visiting and she announced, “my baby is kicking.” Suddenly everyone in the room was around her and we all began taking turns putting our hands on her belly to feel the baby as he moved. Just as it had been with my own children I wondered what he will be like, and I also know that I am already in love with my grandson even though I haven’t met him yet.
I often wonder what sort of things did Mary think about as she waited for the birth of her baby. Did she wonder what her child would be like, as love filled her heart for her child she hadn’t met yet? And how would she have felt had she known that her baby was actually a gift of love that God was not only givng to her but he was also giving to the whole world?
Luke 1:26-3826 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee,27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.33 And he will reign over Israel[ forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.37 For the word of God will never fail.”
38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
What I find most interesting about this passage is that when the angel told Mary that she was going to conceive a baby she didn’t argue or say something like, “let me pray on this and get back to you.” She just took the angels word about everything and she answered, “I am the Lord’s servant.”
If she had known the full story in detail what would have her answer have been?
What if she had known that one day when her son became a man, people would follow him and worship him?
What if she had know that one day some of those same people would turn on her son and then ridicule and torture Him until he died a horrible death?
I have a feeling her answer still would have been the same.
I wonder how she would have felt had she have known that one day her son would rise from the dead and be savior to all?
I wonder how would she have felt had she known that for hundreds of years to come people would celebrate her son’s Birthday?
The whole reason we even have Christmas in the first place is to celebrate Jesus.
JESUS – God’s gift to the world. He is the gift that when we accept, he changes everything, from the way we see things to the reason we live. Without Him life has no meaning and believe me when I say that I do know how that feels, because there once was a time that I did not have Jesus in my life.
When you sponsor a child you will be able to write letters back and forth with your sponsored child. In those letters you can share the love of Jesus and bring hope to a child in that will last a lifetime.
I also want to tell you that I have children I sponsor and I have met 2 of them. I have also visited several of Compassion’s projects and have seen them in action. I can promise you that the small amount of money you give to sponsor a child is a very small investment that has a very HUGE return in that child’s life.
Because it is Christmastime and because we are celebrating Jesus’ Birthday this week, I thought maybe you may like to choose a child who has the same Birthday as you, or maybe the birthday of someone else you know. All you have to do is put your birth date into the link below, hit ‘search now’ and a page will pop up with pictures of all the children who are waiting for sponsors.
P.S. It’s another blog hop! Write a Music Monday post or a Christmas post of any kind, add your link up to the inlinkz link up below. Then past the code into your blog to share the link up with your readers and other bloggers who may want to join up.
Hey There! As you probably know by now for the past 5 days I have been talking about giving Christmas away on the blog. Another thing you probably know is that I have said I will be doing this for 12 days in a row and I am not someone who usually writes a blog post every day.
So this post makes post number 6…. that is 6 in a row and for me that may be some some sort of record….but tonight I almost messed that up. I have been busy busy busy since 5:30 am and here in Missouri it’s now 12:00 am and the truth is I had planned to go to bed and read till I slipped off into dreamland, which probably would have came quicky for me tonight.
I had my jammies on and was under the covers snuggling in with my book when suddenly I felt the nudge. You know the nudge you feel when the Holy Spirit says, “Um excuse me, you seem to have forgot something.”
I lay there minute thinking, I am tired andI can do it in the morning. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t turn off the feeling that I needed to write this post now. So here I am writing it even though I really have no words in my brain to write, because my brain is maybe already sleeping.
Also there are so so many gifts to chose from it is hard to decide which gift is most needed but after a little bit of praying and looking over the list of gifts I am planning to share this week I am thinking maybe the best way to give Christmas away today is giving the gift of books….after all, reading is what I was doing when I almost forgot to write this post. And books are needed. BIG time.
Did you know that textbooks are hard for children in poverty to get?
Schools are very crowded and many schools don’t have enough textbooks and many don’t have any textbooks at all. Can you imagine going to school and not having any books? That is a sad reality for many children.
Children really need books!
When you help provide books for a library at a Compassion Project you will give children tools for an education and help strengthen their minds.
Sooooooo without further ado here is the link –>
Now it’s off to bed for me!
Thank you for reading and for shopping for books.
See you tomorrow!
Other Posts in the ‘Twelve Days of Giving Christmas Away’
If you have a little free time today and are looking for something to fill it with I have just the thing!
How about watching the movie that I put together of the trip I went on this past September with Compassion?
I know you just can’t wait to watch it 😀 Right?
Well I am just totally shocked! How could you possibly not want to watch my movie? 😉
I once heard a rumor that not many people get overly excited about watching home movies unless they themselves happen to be in the movie, but just in case that’s not true or if it is true and you just happen to change your mind, I went ahead and put it in this blog post 😀
I also heard that the creator of this movie says it is guaranteed to make you smile and maybe even shed a few tears (happy tears of course). So why not go ahead and give it a try? 🙂
I hope you enjoy the movie 🙂
Whether you watched the movie or not I am so glad you stopped by because today I wanted to share something else with you…
While I was in El Salvador we also had the opportunity to visit several of Compassion’s Child Development Projects. On the last day of our trip we visited a child project in the city of San Salvador.
In the area where this project is located gangs are a really big problem and most gangs recruit new members at a very young age. We met a mother who said she feared sending her son to school for fear that the gangs would recruit him. Something else we we learned is that gangs don’t recruit Christians and also the only way a gang will let a person who is a member of the gang get out is if they become a Christian.
These two children are a part of the Compassion center we visited on our last day.
Both of these children are in need of sponsors.
In the video (another reason to watch 😀 ) you will see some of the children baking, playing music, doing hair and also in a computer lab. At this child center children are learning life and job skills such as cooking, music, computers programs, cosmetology, and most important of all they are learning about Jesus.
After our visit to the Compassion project we visited the homes of some of the children. One child’s parent was a former gang member who had left the gang because they were led to Christ due to their child sharing with them what they had learned at the child center about Jesus. Can you believe that?! What an amazing story of how Jesus can change a life!
When you sponsor a child you not only have the opportunity to help change the life of the child you sponsor, but your sponsorship will also affect his or her whole family!
Pretty amazing, huh?
Here is a little information about Luis and Nahomy:
Luis Antonio Ventura Rodriguez – Luis’ birthday is February 7, 2008. He is 7 years old. Luis lives with his mother. His duties at home include helping in the kitchen, running errands and cleaning. There are 2 children in the family. His mother is employed as a farmer. Luis participates in church activities and Bible class. He is also in kindergarten where his performance is average. Soccer, playing with cars and running are his favorite activities.
Nahomy Michelle Garcia Duenas – Her birthday is December 16, 2008. Nahomy makes her home with her father and her mother. Washing clothes, helping in the kitchen and cleaning are her household duties. Her father is employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home. There are 2 children in the family. Nahomy participates in church activities and Bible class. She is also in kindergarten where her performance is average. Playing with dolls and running are her favorite activities.
Please consider what your sponsorship could mean for Luis or Nahomy and also for their families. It could mean a world of difference and also have an eternal impact.
If you would like more information about sponsoring either of these children you can leave me a message in the comment section below or email me at email@example.com
I got a really cool email a couple of weeks ago from Compassion telling me they are opening a brand new Child Development Center In El Salvador named “Casa del Pan” or “House of Bread” and they have invited me to come with them this September on a on a Women of Compassion Vision Trip & Retreat..
Our trip will introduce us to every facet of Compassion’s work in the field and will also include a day with our sponsored children. I am so excited because I will get to meet my Ericka in person! 🙂 🙂
Another cool thing that is happening is we are also advocating for the children who will be a part of this new center and we will also get to visit the center and and meet the children we are advocating for! I am so excited for these children who will now have the opportunity to learn and grow physically, mentally and spiritually!
Here are 3 of the children from Casa del Pan who are waiting for sponsors:
Alisson Nayeli Villanueva
Osmin Edgardo Martinez Nunez
Darlyn Yesenia Sosa Guerrero
Could it be that maybe you are the sponsor that one of these children have been praying for?
I have seen first hand that sponsorship works. I have also been on a trip with Compassion and seen how and where they work and I have also met some of the children and families who’s lives have been changed. If you would like more information about how you can help change the life of one of these children, leave me a comment or send me and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before I go today I would also like to ask if you will please say a prayer for each of these children to receive sponsors quickly and that their lives will be blessed and that each of them will know the love of Jesus.
Thank you for your prayers and have a wonderful evening,
Today is an exciting day! Today on this blog we are going to be a part of something big and brand new that has never been tried before. Today Compassion International along with it’s family of friends, sponsors, and bloggers from all over the world are coming together to help fund and launch a brand a new Child Survival program to help moms and babies in Gujarat, India! Did I mention… the plan is to do it….ALL IN ONE DAY?! Today is ‘Giving Tuesday’ and I am inviting YOU to be part of it. Why are we doing this? Because these are the facts….
In the small community of Gujarat most of the mothers are just teenagers.
Over 70 percent of the babies born here are born in their homes.
Most are surrounded by, illiteracy, alcoholism, abuse, child labor, and child marriage,
They are malnourished.
1 in 3 newborn deaths in the world occur in India.
Every year over 2 million children under the age of 5 dies in India, and half of those 2 million children die before their 1st birthday.
I am saddened when I read those facts. It is just so hard to believe that children are living in those conditions and that they are dying from preventable and treatable causes. Children under the age of 5 should not be dying from things such as dehydration and malnutrition and today we are going to help change this! Because WE can change this! Funding this new child survival program will:
help prepare moms with training to help them care for their babies.
help mothers learn to read and write.
help by giving children a safe place to learn and grow.
help by ensuring lifesaving medical care for babies and their moms.
and most of all proclaim the hope of Jesus to families living in poverty.
In March of 2013 I visited a small village in Haiti which has a Compassion child survival program in place and it was working very well. I saw moms and babies who where healthy, thriving in their community and most of all I saw whole families who were filled with the joy and the knowledge that they are loved by others and most of all loved by Jesus. Child Survival programs help to save lives and they help to give hope. They work. Today I am asking you to join us as we band together to help the moms and babies of Gujarat to have a fighting chance by helping to fund this new Child survival program. Will you help rescue babies in poverty in India? Your first step could be their first step…. Click any picture in this blog post and it will take you to more information about how you can help rescue moms and babies. You can also help the moms and babies of Gujarat by sharing this post today or any other link in this post with your friends. I also ask if you would please pray today for this program and all of the lives it will affect. Thank you so much for your help,
Have a blessed Tuesday,
Here is a video I took of the moms and babies singing to us while visiting a Compassion Child Survival Program In Haiti.
It’s almost Compassion Sunday again and today I want to share a story I found about a cute little boy named Juda. Juda was born with a serious heart condition. Because of where he was born he was able to have immediate medical treatment and today he is a happy and healthy little boy. Not all children live in countries where this sort of medical treatment is available. Thanks to Compassion International’s ministry and their child sponsorship program, children all over the world who are sick and may not have lived with this sort of condition now have the opportunity for medical care and a chance at life. Watch the video below to see Juda’s story and then if you find yourself moved to sponsor a child or just find out more information you can click the picture below the video.
Dirt stained hands reach up. High up. Clumsily colliding with ours, the bloggers in Uganda this week. So many of them. Hungry for just the touch of a hand.I remember this. I did this. Stretching out and up with my small hands. Standing with great conviction on tiptoes. Grasping for my father’s hand. It was warmth. It was protection. His hands were always there to catch mine. They still are.
A father’s hands keep a little girl’s world steady. They keep the ghosts away.
She leans over, a Compassion center worker, and whispers in my ear,
“Holding a hand is a miracle for them.”
With that I close my hands around theirs a little tighter. I walk a bit slower. And I let this miracle fully bloom and live.
I thank God that I could always, always find my father’s hand.
Yesterday, we visited the most feared slum in Uganda. We returned today. We returned to those hands. And they came at us waiting to be filled.
We moved forward.
Skipping over sewage soaked, dirt crevices.
Ducking in and out of laundry hung out to dry. Hanging inches away from the dirt and trash. And I think,
“Are they ever truly clean?”
This slum is what nightmares are made of. Filled with what gifts are made of.
I know it’s a nightmare because a child thinks the presence of my hand cupping hers is a miracle. And a miracle is something that is out of the ordinary. Unimaginable.
I know it is what nightmares are made of because toddlers are running around naked. All day long. Rolling around in the dirt. A little girl is carrying around a baby just a few months old, and where is her mother?
Where are any of the mothers in this sea of children? Where are their fathers’ hands?
But the moment I truly realize that we walked straight into a nightmare is when I meet Esther*. She is in the Compassion program. Her presence, strong. She’s bright, lighting up the room with her essence.
She’s smart, carrying on conversations with us in English. She is a leader, standing up during the church service to speak.
But when I duck into her house, I learn that she has, on and off, taken to the streets. Which I come to understand means prostitution.
Her dad is not present. Men are reaching for her hand. But they’re taking her to the street and they’re using her in every way.
So, it’s a nightmare. And how is a young lady so well put together, so confident and beaming being led into the street?
And where is her father’s hand?
Sometimes she finds herself there. A street girl. And a few weeks ago a man lured her to the street again.
Her mother works nights and Esther is home alone and there’s dirt and trash everywhere, so of course there are no locks. There is no safety.
Her mother comes home and she enters a new nightmare. The one where her daughter goes missing. Again. And she probably knows that her daughter is in the streets somewhere. And she’s probably trying not to think about what is happening to her daughter right at that very moment.
But inside this dirt-laden slum is a hand. A strong hand. Esther’s mother reaches out, throws her hand out. Looking for help. And it’s caught. By Compassion.
Because in a nightmare, when you wake up screaming and grabbing out past the dark, you need a hand to catch yours and pull you out. And expose the ghosts.
The Compassion center workers start looking for Esther immediately. They involve the police. They talk to people on the street. And they find her.
The man flees and goes into hiding. He’s still there. Because he knows that the Compassion center will work diligently with the police to prosecute as soon as he is caught.
This Compassion center, which is in the most feared slum in Uganda, is a safe place. A light switched on in the midst of a nightmare.
At the end of the day, we file into the center and hear this:
As we leave the center, hands fill our teams’ hands. Tiny hands traveling up our arms, grabbing on for a miracle. We welcome them. Cradle the tiny hands. Let miracle upon miracle come true.We step up and into the van and gently let go. And we let the Compassion center reach out and grab on and turn on the light.
And do you know that if you’re a sponsor, you’re the one allowing the Compassion center to reach out in the very moment of need? Did you know you are a miracle?
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