Have a little Compassion….

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away

What if, we were born in a place without clean water. Limited options. Dirt floors. Would we still be able to do as the song says and throw cares away this Christmas season? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I know that many of us, myself included, sometimes need to stop and reevaluate our cares. Maybe we need to throw away our petty cares and cling to what Christ told us to care about. It’s our call to care for one another and there should never be fear of going without access to food, water, shelter, and some kind of opportunity. That’s what Compassion has made sure happens for children around the globe. They took a need and have literally made a difference around the world by simply doing what we’re called to do. Maybe you do this everyday or maybe you give locally. But this Christmas season please pray and consider sponsoring a child, please consider Teh.

Name: Petcharayut Jaipueak (TH9260176)

Birthday: September 6, 1995    Age: 15

Gender: Male

Region: Asia

Country: Thailand

Program: New Life for Needy Children

Personal and Family Information:
Teh lives with his father and his mother. His duties at home include carrying water, washing clothes and running errands. There are 2 children in the family. His father is sometimes employed as a laborer and his mother is sometimes employed as a laborer.

Soccer, singing and walking are Teh’s favorite activities. In middle school his performance is average and he also regularly attends Bible class and camp.

Your love and support will help Teh to receive the assistance he needs to develop his potential. Please pray for him. Click HERE if you would like to sponsor Teh.

IMPORTANT: A CREDIT CARD IS REQUIRED as payment because this child has been classified “HIGH PRIORITY”. This child has been waiting more than 6 months for a sponsor. Help make a difference in the life of this child, who is anxiously waiting for a sponsor.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Merry Christmas

Meditation. Reflection. Moments of Silence. These seem to me be growingly absent from the celebration of Christmas every year. It’s hard for me to stop and focus on the season of Advent and what the coming of Christ really means and how it should be celebrated when I’m living in a constant whirl of consumer chaos. And honestly, sometimes, trying to keep my imprint to a minimum is a challenge. I feel sorry for the frazzled employees, chewed out by customers, for the shoppers who feel they have to fulfill every item on that wishlist and that without it Christmas won’t be complete. And most of all, I feel sorry that some really don’t feel the meaning of the season, anywhere in their lives- relationships, workplace, or even spiritual dwelling places. So, I guess what I’m saying is, that not only do I need to slow down and give time to truly celebrate Advent- “son of God, love’s pure light,” I need to make sure that wherever I go and whatever I am doing people get that sense of joy from me. Not the joy that comes from a new video game or that knock-off designer sweater, but the joy of knowing that a Savior arrived- the most perfect gift in the world arrived so that I could be perfectly loved, forgiven, and invited into an unconditional love relationship with Him.

Popularity: 9% [?]

Have a little Compassion….

Please take a moment to check out Christian. Christian is 10 years old, from Guatemala, and could use your sponsorship to help enrich his life.

Think about it, pray for Christian, and put his heart and the hearts of all the children who might need a little compassion on your heart.

 

Name:

Christian Marcos Felipe Torres Cruz (GU9540371)

Birthday: November 12, 1999    Age: 10

Gender: Male

Region:  Central America and Caribbean

Country:  Guatemala

Program:  Nazareno-Poptún Student Center

 

Personal and Family Information:
Christian lives with his father and his mother. At home, duties include gathering firewood, running errands and cleaning. His father is sometimes employed as a farmer and his mother maintains the home. There are 4 children in the family.

Playing with cars, playing with marbles and playing ball games are Christian’s favorite activities. In primary school his performance is average and he also regularly attends church activities and Bible class.

Because of your sponsorship, Christian will have new opportunities to learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Thank you for your concern and prayers.

Popularity: 19% [?]

Loving the sinner

I hate the expression “love the sinner, hate the sin.” It implies that you can cast blame and hatred towards an inanimate thing that the person is doing without acting like you are casting hatred towards the person. Jesus’s great message was NOT to love sinners and hate sin. It was simply to love sinners. Leaving the “hate sin” part out of the expression is not hurting anyone. In fact, it probably makes it easier to just think about and focus on the loving part. This doesn’t mean that we should be jumping for joy for sin or validating it in others lives. Rather, just validate others. Why do people sin? Most people sin because they are trying to make up for something that has been lost. A piece of self worth, a wholeness they lack. Jesus gives us this freely. So I think that in days and in moments when we truly believe this we are probably a lot less likely to sin. So what if we told of this grace and love to others and handed it out for free like popsicles on a hot day? I think we might get along a lot better than if we just keep saying “I love you, I really do, but I hate what you’re doing.” Jesus sat and dined with Zacchaeus in his home. Do you think he asked him to evaluate his sins whilst telling him how disappointing they were? I doubt it. I think Z came away feeling so loved and so whole in who he was IN Christ that he wanted to turn from his sin. Jesus didn’t have to tell him. Jesus just completed him. And in the completion he was compelled to give up his “collecting” and actually give back what he had stolen. When you are the whole that you were created to be in Christ, there isn’t the need for propping ourselves up on material desires or personal gain that hurts others. “God is love.” NOT God is love with religious indignation. He doesn’t desire sin for our life because He knows what we are and what we can be without it, but he doesn’t strike us down with lightening when we mess up either. Let’s take a lesson here from God and stop using rhetorical lightening bolts.

Popularity: 13% [?]

Another school day

For me… In one week I will begin my Master’s program in Social Work. I am excited, scared, nervous, but most of all hope and pray I can continue to be the kind of mother and caregiver God has so blessedly let me.

Following in a path to care for people is one of the greatest peaces I have experienced thus far in my life.

We’re all called to a purpose and that purpose is giving a glory and name to a Savior who is so loving, so full of grace, that I could never be worthy. But still, we live and strive because we love Him. I hope that I am doing that, and today I hope you do the same.

More later…

Popularity: 14% [?]

Sinners and Saints

My prayer at this moment: Search me Oh Lord, make me what you will. Renew my spirit, my soul, and make me aware of what you would like to do through me.

This morning I attended a service and the pastor spoke about the names God calls us. He taught with a LOT of scripture references, and while sometimes that can make for a jumbled mess of confusion, I thought this time it was nice because he was just using the different affirmations that Christ has for us and his followers from scripture. The repetition in the Word here is one of those things that not many a follower can take out of context. God “names us” time and time again. For instance, we are loved, we are his family, his children, his lights in the darkness, his witness. One thing that particularly grabbed me was when he talked about Jesus referring to his followers as a temple. A dwelling place for his glory and SATURATION in him. A few years ago I got a tattoo on my back that means temple, literal translation dwelling place, in ancient Greek. I got it because I wanted a tattoo. Yes, I thought the meaning was beautiful and artsy in a spiritual sense, but I don’t know if I actual believed it. Lately I have wanted to. I haven’t wanted to just live my life day in and day out but rather be saturated in Him so that I can give him glory and show his light in darkness.

I will never be perfect, nor am I defeated by that. Because who He created me to be was not a broken, lying, hurting, angry sinner. But rather a healed, truthful, compassionate, kind soul. A saint. Someone made right with God existing to be all those things that He says I am. It’s hard to believe, but I am spending time in faith and conversation, both with God and with others, to move in that direction.

Popularity: 13% [?]

An Email and Response

Dear Ken Huber,

It is my belief that since Americans are comprised of humans, that in some way it has always been the land of the special interest and double standard. In fact, I believe it was in the Euro-descendents special interest to drive the Native Americans out. Today we would say there is quite a double standard when the “Bible Belt” upheld slavery as a good Christian establishment. These are only two examples put in the simplest of terms, I could go no but I will not.

Let’s see… people lie. We’re broken. We are all created in this wonderful image of God, having the potential to do great things, perform miracles really, yet many of us can’t view ourselves the way we’re seen by God, so we lie, cheat, steal and act out of a greediness that can only stem from our horrible guilt and low self worth. People who dislike people because of skin color are racist, I think any other rational person would agree that there are many other valid reasons for disliking someone. Sometimes there might be a special need to look beyond one’s reasons for disliking and delve further into cultural differences and why they might exist. Often we are born into things and taught ways of living that seem to never be able to escape us. Do we have that power? Yes, but some people simply cannot believe in themselves enough to tap into it.

While we might spend money to rehabilitate criminals, we also spend millions keeping them criminals. If you have ever met a drug addict who desperately needs help yet has been released and recommended to participate in the government’s version of rehabilitation, i.e. methadone addiction, you might know what I’m talking about. While victims of crime might see little government help there are many non-profits that exist to serve them, most being beneficiaries of government funding for that very reason.

As a former public school teacher myself I know no one, not a single person, who taught homosexuality in the classroom. I am certain there are some out there, but I am also certain as many also talk about God. I must agree that killing an unborn child is wrong, however it is also wrong to execute a mass murderer. Not only is the cost of the death penalty astronomical, my personal reasons for disliking it is that I am not equipped to cast judgment on another’s soul, and that time sitting in a cell forever might be just what he or she needs to meet God and truly seek repentance. I wish that everyone who sins could meet this end (of meeting God), but to take away the chance from anyone is its own tragedy. Burning books or rewriting them is not something I am familiar with, although I am sure that at some point you have read something that you thought should be rewritten. Should we rewrite facts? No. But sadly for many years our history books of “facts” have been slanted to teach children only the facts and parts of facts that we either could not hide or wanted them to know.

 Our threat is much bigger than capitalism, socialism, communism, any of the –isms. Our threat is a lion who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. I promise you that Mr. Obama, whatever you may think of him, is a human and cares a lot more for you than this lion does. If you are religious I pray that you see that thorough reading of the scriptures (not a one or even several line reading without context) will not lead you to believe he is part of Satan’s plan.

Our border with Mexico isn’t closed and it’s killing Americans and Mexicans (excuse me while I step away from the “fact” that it’s costing Americans money). Mexico and the U.S. must work together, the U.S. to tighten up our gun control and Mexico put together a plan for the drugs that are pouring into this country. Reasons why Mexicans are here: to escape a dangerous environment full of (the U.S.’s) guns that flow freely to drug lords because of OUR lack of gun control, OUR money that purchases the drugs, and OUR people that hire illegal immigrants for cheap labor. Are there reasons that the Mexican government needs to take care of as well? Of course, and I excuse none of the corrupt behavior that has led their people here. But your article was not directed at the Mexicans. Google child slavery in the U.S. and I bet you won’t find pictures of little white kids. The financial benefit we reap from that alone is probably more than you or I could ever imagine. It’s a tragedy what we’ve done in that situation and to desire to push out families without a solution is cruel and far away from any of the morals that I hold dear.

American lives have no more value than Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Sudanese, Nigerian…. Our land is God’s land. The Bible says to welcome the alien. Hebrews were long considered aliens in lands they inhabited. Protesting against policies is an individual’s choice, rights are God given and if burning a flag makes you feel better (although I do not know why it would), but I don’t think any of that makes you a terrorist or anything else, most likely just a person with anger issues.

If I can have a nativity scene on my front lawn I am still freer than many Christians living in this world. Why would I want to force my decoration on someone rather than being able to share the story with them in love and joy? It’s such a small thing, a plastic Jesus in a barn, out of the many things we are blessed with. Pornography is a sad problem, and I hope more leaders out there speak out and offer support for such a sad addiction that has affected so many.

However there are many issues that have exploded with the invent of the world wide web, each one another tragedy to lay on the shoulders of the world.   There is money taken from those who work hard, but I believe many of the recipients of those moneys probably do want to work. If not, have you thought about volunteering in a local non-profit to educate in resume, computer and typing skills? Many people just lack the skill building and opportunity that you and I have had.

Parenting exists and in fact I see great strides. Once upon a time fathers had very little responsibility (have you seen those magazine ads from the 50s?!?!) but more and more are stepping in to be part of their kid’s lives. The green movement is motivating people to be healthy and while demise in this area has been grave, there is hope ahead. Sadly many factors contribute to the high diagnosis and medication of the social, mental and emotional disorders we are seeing today.

If you take me to mean I want to give everyone a handout you take me wrong. I want to give everyone a chance to see a different future for them self. Will some take advantage? Of course, we’re human. Some always will. As for the ever increasing disasters we are faced with, I don’t think any man would know how to handle those situations. Now, I am not saying either reaction was right, only that until we hold the office of President we will never know the amount of red tape, strategic planners, etc. etc. that have to be gone through.  I pray that the best that can be done is done.

Government is corrupt and will probably always be so. Think of Jesus living under the Roman Empire. However much he hated it, he did not concern himself with it. He concerned himself with making disciples who could spread God’s love to the ends of the earth. For the first time ever he purported that people were equal. The best we can do is to support those around us, as equals, and answer to a higher authority. Walk like Jesus. Open your arms and bring as much of heaven here to earth as possible. Because that is what the light of Jesus in your life has the opportunity to do.

Lastly, I don’t think the land of the free and the home of the brave ever truly existed. Since our inception someone has been held in slavery, whether for the cheap import of our goods or services we felt was somehow beneath us, and while yes, there are indeed brave men and women here, so there are everywhere. We, a world, were created in the beautiful image of God. Now try to open your eyes and see the good, help a brother and lean not on your empire to take care of you but the mercy, grace and love of a Father.

*I apologize if this is ineloquent or offensive in any way. It is only a reflection of my personal convictions and experiences.

Popularity: 13% [?]

There’s only so much I can take…so I have to give it away.

Here is my plea to God:

Please help me to give up my dissatisfaction with the things around me that I cannot control, that I cannot make any better by trying, that I cannot even touch with my own two hands.

Relinquish all this fear and sorrow to you and help me to delight in the blessings that you have given me and to rely solely on you whenever I want to throw pity on myself.

Help me to love others completely and share your love whenever and wherever it is needed.

Thank you for loving me and for being there for me in my lowest times. I hope to never repeat them, but to always remember your hand guiding me out and making a way for me when I saw none. I sometimes forget. Yet I am who I am today because you saw me out of complete darkness and restored a piece of me that I thought may never be restored.

I am a mother, wife, child of God, and the best at these things is all I hope to be, hopefully living and breathing all these things out of the latter.

In your name Jesus, Amen.

Popularity: 12% [?]

Mommyhood according to Sex and the City

There was one part of the Sex and the City sequel movie that I could really relate to. This won’t be a huge spoiler but there is a point where Charlotte goes in the pantry to cry. Just cry, because both of her girls need her attention, one is constantly crying and the other just ruined one of her favorite skirts. Motherhood was all she ever wanted and when faced with it day in and day out, she finds it completely overwhelming.

Let me say, I have been there this past week. Something, the universe maybe, has morphed us into this teething, constantly hungry, fussy, runny nose, I only want my mommy phase that is wearing me down.

The thing about Sex and the City? I felt how it related to me in my core, but these (2) women have nannies and full-time help for their housework. I have me. And while it doesn’t seem like a lot, no, I KNOW it really doesn’t, there are days when the dishes and dinner really just don’t want to get done because on top of all the entertaining I didn’t get to wake up when I wanted to and whatever I do, be it leisurely or not, everything stops when she wants to eat.

I love her more than life itself. I would give anything for her. My husband is wonderful. He gives me breaks, let’s me sleep when I need to, girls’ nights, whatever I need. But my mind is constantly taken with motherhood and I feel that even in these times there is a tenseness in my bones because I know that as soon as I’m home I’m needed or as soon as she cries it’s over.

No one tells you this. Maybe they do but I didn’t hear it. It’s culture shock. My life is full and her smile lights up my world. But right now I’m tired. And I feel like I have been holding it all together, and that as a SAHM (stay at home mom) certain things are expected. Being happy being with your child all day everyday is one of them. It’s not like that. It’s rewarding yes, and at this time I honestly wouldn’t want anyone else stepping in to assume childcare, but it is work and just like EVERYONE that gets to complain about their jobs being hard, sometimes moms feel the same way. This isn’t a new revelation really, I just never really knew it to be true in the way that I know now. I look forward to the pieces of me that will emerge as mommyhood evolves, but I also look forward to just piecing back together who I am and what makes me, me. Mommy or not.

Dedicated to all the moms everywhere….and to all the moms who do this without any help, you are my heroes.

Popularity: 14% [?]

Negativity

Expressing your views isn’t wrong. Believing in something with all your heart isn’t wrong. Giving someone an ear to hear them isn’t wrong. Listening while putting yourself in their shoes isn’t wrong.

Could we all do this? Is it even possible? The divisions in our church, in our politics, in our daily lives have become so that- divisive- that cheap comments, demeaning accusations and sick jokes seem to be the norm. How is it that we can so freely put down others and their beliefs? It is one thing to stand for what you stand for and let it be known. Quite another when you use that as a stepping stone to bash, commit slander, cast judgment and generalize entire groups of people.

As Christ followers, are even half of our fights following Christ? Would he bash? Commit slander? Cast judgment? Generalize? I would like to say no.

When did we get so negative….in the name of Jesus?

Popularity: 14% [?]

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