Friday, October 31, 2008


So says John Piper at his DESIRING GOD blog:

I believe the Lord brought this word to mind in one of our prayer meetings on Friday:

The worst of all times is the best of all times for missions.

We were praying over Lamentations 3. Those were the worst of times for Israel. But in that moment they were given the best of promises,

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (3:22-23)

Today marks the close of Missions Focus at Bethlehem. So we were praying for missions. That is when this word came: The worst of all times is the best of all times for missions.

Such words do not have intrinsic authority the way Scripture does. They must be tested. Here is the truth I hear in those words.

1.During an economic downturn we are more dependent on God. That is the most fertile soil for creating missionaries.

2.During an economic downturn unreached people around the world do not expect you to come, but to look out for yourself. So they may more likely see your risk as love rather than exploitation.

3.During an economic downturn those who need Christ around the world may be less secure in earthly things and more ready to hear about eternal life.

4.During an economic downturn people at home may be wakened to the brevity of life and the fragility of material things, and so may become more generous not less. And when they give under these circumstances, it will make Christ look all the more like the all-satisfying Treasure that he is.

And so it may well prove to be that the worst of all times is the best of all times for missions.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm thankful for living in Graceland with cute kids and copious amounts of kittens.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My dear friend Lisa Samson, beautifully hip chick and uber talented author, is working on yet another word masterpiece, this time it's a book and this book is about something I'm very passionate about...Swaziland and it's people, especially the precious children and their dire situation. Lisa was who God used to get me back to Africa after 18 years. I was there with her as she experienced it for the first time.
Gifted writer that she is, I can't wait to read her account of our African tale and see not only how she communicates about the needs of the Swazi nation, but what God is teaching her about himself through the whole process.
For a sneak peak excerpt from the book and to get a glimpse of how God is drawing Lisa deeper into an understanding of His loving Fatherhood through this process, visit her blog at:
And then put this book on your wishlist!

Monday, October 27, 2008

LEGO INDIANA JONES...the Third Installment
Here's the next part of my 9 year old son's Indiana Jones story:
Where we left Indiana Jones, Willie, and Shortie last, they were being chased by a boulder.
Just then, Shortaround saw a small hole. Amazingly, he crawled through that hole and Willie saw a hole in the roof. She jumped through just in the nick of time. But Indiana Jones slides straight under the door as it closes.
Then, Indiana Jones notices the greatest treasure of all times. It was the Golden City.
Once, Indiana Jones cracked the code of the city, he would know the secret of the War War II treasure.
But then he stepped on one of the booby trap steps and the stairs collapsed.
Then what happened to Shortaround, he was going through a small tunnel, heading through this dark cave. He saw a light of some sort. Instantly he noticed what that light was. It was Indy's flashlight. Then he saw the hole which at the very bottom of the hole was Indiana Jones himself.
Now we go to Willie's side of the story. When she jumped throught that hole in the roof, she noticed that she was on top of the mountain. She looked down the mountain and saw the Nazis breaking the door open. Then she looked at the other side of the mountain and saw Henry Jones and Mary climbing up the mountain. She called for them to hurry up and come quick.
When they got to the top of the mountain, Henry Jones showed her the secret passage way in.
Now to where we left Shortaround. He rescued Indiana Jones from the hole and they made it to the Golden City. Just when they made it in there, Henry Jones, Willie, and Mary opened the secret passageway. And they were in the Golden City, too.
The end....for now.
Just click on the "Indiana Jones" tag below this post to read the first installments of the saga.
I was all set to do a big blog post about our recent trip to Lexington, but the post is supposed to have as it's showcase, photos from our trip. Well, I can't find them. I know they're on my computer somewhere but where?!? We recently bought a new camera and it was by a different maker than our old one. Anyway, to make a long story short, super hubby had to do a lot of reorganizing how our pc works and though I could locate the file a couple of days ago, now I'm clueless.
The story of my life.
Oh well.
I know that many of you will live with a huge gap in your mental stability, be unable to imbibe on even chocolate, and will chew your fingernails down to the knuckle, but it just can't be helped.
If you feel that you really, really, really are in danger of total collapse, turn on some Partridge Family or The Bee Gees and maybe, just maybe, you'll be okay til I can get this all worked out.
Good bye for now.
Your devoted techno-redneck,
Elysa Mac

Saturday, October 25, 2008


This past week, I was blessed to travel with my husband on a business trip to Lexington, Kentucky. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there filled to overflowing with beautiful scenery, scrumptious eats, great people, fun happenings, and ponder-worthy conversations.

I'll post more details in a day or two. We're busy right now just trying to get everybody back into their normal routines.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.

Mother Teresa

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God's true nature. God's heart is more gentle than the Virgin's first kiss upon the Christ. And God's forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being."

St. Catherine of Siena

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Once again, Kimberly Daniels has touched my soul with her writing:

~She sells her body to make money to feed her child.
~4 people in the church of 100 own a Bible.
~She's sick and dying of AIDS. She has been sexually abused more times than she can count. She is 7. And cares for 4 younger siblings.
~He sleeps in the train station. Starving. While there are hundreds of very edible cows wandering on the streets. But he won't dare touch one... because he believes that cow might just be his uncle, father, or friend.
~Her husband was martyred last year, leaving 40 orphans in her care. Somehow, all 41 of them survive on $10 a day.

I've seen their faces.
I've looked into their eyes.
I heard the unique tones of each voice.
I've smelled their homes.
I've slept in their rat infested rooms.
I've held them as they've wept.
I've tasted the sourness of their food.
I've laid on the dirt under the stars, holding sick, dying orphans who don't speak a word of English, falling in love with them as their bright eyes smile up at me through dark skin.

So its real to me.

And over and over again, I try to innovate new ways to help them. Because over and over again, it reverberates in me: "This is not just THEIR problem."

When a part of my body isn't functioning right, it manifests itself, sometimes through a cough, a sneeze, or weakness. When something isn't in sink with the rest of my parts, we'd say that I'm sick, and begin to do what needs to be done to get me healthy. If my lungs, stomach, or head suffer, the rest of me suffers, too....

When a part of the Body of Christ isn't functioning right, the rest of the Body suffers. When we who CAN do something do nothing, it affects everyone, even though you might not see it externally... eventually, what's going on internally will manifest on the surface.

Their conditions are not just their problem. And I'm not just talking about physical conditions. I'm talking about emotional and spiritual as well. Far too often we all walk around in a cloud of self-consumption, saturated in our present level of depression or happiness, the price of gas and the economy, our relationship issues, or any other situation we can keep our minds busy with.

And we miss the big picture. Starving children in Mozambique aren't actors in a Compassion International infomercial. They really do exist. I've held their bony frames. Women enslaved by the sex trade aren't statics. I've seen the emptiness in their eyes, and heard their unspoken cries for a Friend.

You know you're awake because you want to wake everyone else up, too.
If you don't want to, then maybe you're still sleeping.
Maybe you need to walk straight into something uncomfortable. Something you don't understand. Something that even frightens you a bit.
Until you do, the real world keeps passing you by, while you live in the Matrix.
True, waking up requires much more effort. But I promise you, its worth every tear, drop of sweat, and question that keeps you up at night.

Feeding starving orphans is not just the orphan's problem. Loving the love-starved is not just the love-starved's problem.

And waking sleeping people up is not just the sleeping people's problem.
I've decided its mine, too.

To read the entire article, go to Kimberly's blog, .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I have purposely chosen not to include a lot of politics on my blog this presidential election season because ultimately I believe that God is the answer to our nation's woes, not the government and politicians. If we who are followers of Jesus Christ truly lived out his principles of not being greedy, sharing with the poor, living at peace with our neighbors, treating each other the way we want to be treated, and so on, then this nation and the world would be radically changed in amazing ways. Sadly, this is all too often not the case and there are many in our country who don't claim any allegience to God and His ways.
The fact is, we do live in a nation that is ruled by government officials...some of them appointed, some of them elected. And unlike some countries around the world, we can freely and safely participate in the democratic election process.
Because of what I see as a "looking out for the least of these" issue, I have decided to post here a letter sent to our family from Larry Bergeron of A Child's Hope Int'l. Please prayerfully consider it and ponder these things as you decide how to vote in two weeks and what role you should play in getting out the message concerning the presidential candidates.

We have a short time to go before our national elections and the pundits
have already claimed the victor. Their projections may be accurate. There are
many serious issues within our country at the moment and all of the candidates
are doing their best to “scratch the itch” that will get them elected (the
economy, taxes, healthcare, jobs, etc). There is a greater issue though than any
of those listed. It is an issue of profound and eternal implication. It is the
Sanctity of Life – and one candidate – the popular media candidate – the
projected winner – the one many believe is so charismatic - will likely change
the playing field as he appoints liberal Supreme Court justices in his term. And
here is where some of you reading this will vehemently disagree with me – his
election will be a mistake. A huge mistake. And the Church is disturbingly
silent. As a result, many Christians are no different than non-Christians in
their worldviews and their actions.
There is no greater value than
human life and that life from womb to tomb should be treasured and protected.
Our family heard a church pastor say this from his pulpit very clearly last
Sunday. Thank God for his courage. Many pastors and church leaders do not say
anything for they fear the opinion of their people, the backlash from their
community and even the dip in the offering plate.
The divine value of human life transcends anyone’s right to chose
whether an infant lives or dies or for the government to legislate the
“appropriate” end of life. We need men and women who will defend life at all
costs and not give in to the politically correct media or their partisan base of
donors. When life is destroyed at our discretion, we are destroying the
treasures that the Lord has provided to bless us. We are denying God His
sovereignty and taking our place on His throne.
I will give you
treasures hidden in dark and secret places. Then you will know that I, the Lord
God of Israel, have called you by name (Isaiah 45:3)
Our culture has
shifted (sunk) so much that we are willing to destroy the “treasures hidden in
dark and secret places” for reasons that may be personal, financial, convenient,
political or otherwise. And that is both tragic and wrong. In our
“enlightenment”, we believe that we are the author of life. Wrong.
We are not the creator of life, we are only instruments used for the
reproduction of human life. Ask any couple who agonizingly waits for the child
they do not have, and you will know that we have no real control over when life
begins. The Lord does. He alone is the creator of the “treasures hidden in dark
and secret places”. He alone determines when the treasures are hidden in the
secret places of a woman’s body. Life begins and the treasure is formed long
before the woman even knows of it!
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of
the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were
written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:15-16)
To acknowledge this truth about the value of life takes courage in the
face of mocking crowds, laughter and ridicule. The leader who takes this stand
to protect the treasures hidden in secret places will be recognized by the Lord.
The leader who does not will be judged. As a democratic country, we the people
decide who leads. We alone have a choice for what our future will be. Dark and
dreary or full of life.
The one who rules righteously, who rules in the
fear of God, is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a morning without
clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on new grass after rain
(2 Samuel
23:3-4) .
The opposite of 2 Samuel is equally true if our leaders deny God His
throne and permit destruction of His treasures hidden in secret places. The
American people will decide their fate soon.
Comments are welcome at
Larry Bergeron
A Child's Hope International
Liberty Township, OH 45044
A Child's Hope exists because the children are waiting.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"From the beginning of His efforts to change the world, Jesus set His sights on serving those on the outside of society: the poor, the disabled, the oppressed, the forgotten, the untouchables. Jesus calls all of those who follow Him to do the same. When we run to God, He sends us out! As the church, we represent Jesus to the world around us. In fact, Jesus’ invitation was not for what we could get, but what we could give to the world around us."

Eric Bryant, Mosaic Church in L.A.
To read the full article that features this quote, check out Jeff Goins interview at .

Friday, October 17, 2008


...over the next few days. What with the passing of my friend Lisa and her funeral, the visiting with my Colorado friend Kelly, my mom coming to stay for a few days, getting away for some extra time with my hubby, and hanging out with my author pal Lisa Samson and some Five in a Row homeschool mommy pals, I'm not going to have much p.c. time.

But this is a good time to tell refer you to my friend Kelly's blogs. She's got one that is a hoot to visit as she chronicles in her unique way the life of mom and wife. Her tales often leave her readers in tears they are that funny. Her second blog is actually a political one. Yes, things get heated there at times...okay, almost ALL the time, but it's also worth checking out.

Follow these links for some good reading:

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I just found out today that a woman I was friends with during our Jackson Calvary Chapel days has died. She leaves behind two sons. Please remember Lisa Honeycutt-Pope's family and friends during this rough time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


"The greatest cause of atheism is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. "

--- Brennan Manning

Sunday, October 12, 2008

. a blog for Christ followers who are done with the things that get in the way of what Christianity is really supposed to be about.
Check it out. You might not agree with everything, but it'll definitely give you something to ponder if you're seeking to be a true follower of Jesus, not just religious.
Oh! And you might just find you recognize one or two of the contributors. I'm just saying....

Saturday, October 11, 2008


"One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving."
Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

Friday, October 10, 2008

I received this today from my fellow Swazi-tripper Larry Bergeron:

The ground underneath everyone is shaking. Housing values and sales are plummeting. Retirement funds are shrinking fast. Jobs are disappearing. Confidence in our government to make wise decisions is evaporating daily. Every day, a new financial crisis arises. Major corporations have their hands out for help. And, to be honest, the national elections hold little promise for real change. Our nation is leaning towards one candidate who is unprepared for the magnitude of these problems placing their unfounded confidence in his non-experience. Many Americans are thankful however, that the U.S. established the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) to protect our savings in U.S. banks. How secure is the FDIC?

The FDIC has a watch list for an additional 117 "at risk" banks that are in danger of collapse. A recent article stated that by the end of 2009, about 100 U.S. banks with collective assets of more than $800 billion will fail. In the event of a large-scale banking emergency, the FDIC will be unable to cover all the accounts covered, which would require tapping additional Treasury funds, all at taxpayers' expense and amounting to trillions of dollars.

When the FDIC runs dry, instead of millions of dollars or even billions of dollars, the US will need trillions of dollars to help keep our financial system from total collapse. How much is a trillion?

A million seconds is 12 days.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

We are talking about trillions as if we have a good understanding of what a trillion of anything really is. We don’t. A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ. It boggles my mind what a trillion of anything, never mind dollars, must be.

In case you haven’t noticed, we are in serious trouble and we are very vulnerable. Nothing that we have on deposit is safe from this “perfect storm” brought on by unprecedented corporate greed, fraud, morally bankrupt politicians, and flagrant consumerism. Nothing that is but one thing.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) .

What an incredible promise! The Holy Spirit lives within us as a deposit for what is to come – the glory of heaven, peace and unfathomable joy. This is the ultimate FDIC Insurance – the Finest Deposit Insured by Christ – given to us when Jesus Christ paid all of the debt of our sins. Who needs the U.S. FDIC when we have His FDIC? He guaranteed what is to come and nothing can take that deposit away when we are right with Christ. Are you?

Friends, in these days of incredible uncertainty, of unparalleled hopelessness seen in so many, we need to smile and be ready to share the reason for hope that we have.

Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope (1 Peter 3:15)

In times of economic hardship, there is a large, vulnerable segment of the world population that suffers greatly – the children. As people struggle without hope, more children become abused and at risk. Some go hungry, some starve and others suffer physically and emotionally. Foster care placements increase as more children are in peril. We can dwell on our own problems or we can become a channel of hope for these children. After all, we have incredible, eternal and glorified FDIC Insurance!
I invite you to view a short video on A Child's Hope International at this web address . Click on the play button and then let us know what you think. A Child's Hope International exists because the children are waiting. Will you join us in this mission?
Larry Bergeron
A Child's Hope International
Liberty Township, OH 45044
A Child's Hope exists because the children are waiting. .

Thursday, October 09, 2008


The Fumia family is a part of our homeschool group. This article was written back in the spring about their journey to adopt a Ukranian orphan. Because they are still in the process of trying to raise enough funds to adopt their son, and they surely could use prayer about this issue, I wanted to share it here at Graceland.


FOREST, MS -- Forgive Ashley Fumia if she seems a bit preoccupied these days. The Scott County wife and mother recently returned from Odessa, Ukraine where she finally met the boy she hopes will soon become her third son. What makes this adoption highly unusual is that the boy she wants to bring home just turned 12 years old.

“It is not an exaggeration to describe Ukraine’s booming orphan population as a humanitarian crisis,” says the 28 year old Fumia. “Older children have virtually no chance of being adopted, but when I saw his picture I knew instantly this was my son.” But while meeting and having a chance to bond with her son-to-be was a time of joy, Fumia was shaken by the pain and suffering she witnessed daily in a country that has been shattered by alcoholism, resulting in more than one hundred thousand orphans. “And that doesn’t even count the thousands who live on the street and statistically don’t even exist,” says Fumia. “This is not over for me when our adoption is complete. I will be spending the rest of my life spreading the word about these orphans and finding families for them.”
The family that Grisha returns to in Forest is not your typical American family. The Fumias live off the land, growing their own vegetables and hunting for their meat. It was a deliberate lifestyle choice the young couple made after having begun their marriage in the hectic Northeast. “We didn’t really like living where we were and we started thinking about raising our children in the South. “ What seemed like a radical choice two years ago has been a challenge, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. “We are so much happier now than we used to be. God has given us this land - why not use it the way it was intended?” Home schooling allows the Fumias to make their farming and hunting lifestyle a family affair, but while the cupboard is full, they are relying almost completely on donations to finance Grisha’s adoption.
Most fund raising has taken place over the internet where more than three
thousand visitors from 42 different countries have found their way to Ashley’s blogsite .
Many small donations have arrived, but so far only $3, 000 has trickled in toward a goal of $28,000. “We are so grateful for all the help we can get, and ask that anyone whose heart is moved to consider donating to help bring our boy home.”

Above is a video about Grisha. Would you please consider praying for the Fumias, posting this link at your blog, or donating financially to this effort to give a little boy a family of his very own? Thanks so much.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I received this from my friend Dawn:
I'm helping a homeless woman get on her feet. She's working 2 jobs right now and just got into an apt. She needs a car. I've been running her to and from her jobs so far, but she really needs a car. If anyone can help, or knows of something very inexpensive that still runs, please email me.
She also needs things for the apartment. End tables, lamps, vacuum, silverware, cooking things--pans, etc., . . .really anything that could be used in an apt. She already has a bed, couch, t.v., and kitchen table. But no chairs for the table yet, so she could use some kitchen chairs.
She was in the women's shelter in Pearl, and there are other women there trying to get into apartments, so if anyone has these types of household things to give away, the store "Second Chance" in Pearl will take them and then pass them out to the women trying to get back on their feet. Many of these are women w/ children who've been battered by their husbands and are trying to make a new life for themselves.
P.S. People are collecting cleaning supplies to donate to the Battered Women's Shelter in Pearl. When women stay there, they need to wash their clothes, and their children's clothes. They need to wash dishes, clean the bathrooms, mop the floors, etc. If you'd like to pick up something extra the next time you go to the store to donate to them, you can give it to me the next time you see me, and I'll see that it gets to the shelter. [As] I've been involved helping this woman from the shelter get on her feet, the stories she's told me about the others in the shelter have been heart rending. I'm convicted daily of taking all that I have for granted, and not being thankful enough--thankful that I have a home, my health, a family, a car, food in the cabinets, and clothes on my back. I am so blessed, and I want to help others.

So, washing detergent, paper towels, bleach, comet, glass cleaner, pine sol, etc. Anything will be helpful.
If you live in my area and can help with this situation, email me or leave a comment and I'll get Dawn's contact information to you. If you have cleaning supplies to donate and don't know Dawn personally, you can give those to me and I"ll pass them on to her.

Monday, October 06, 2008

(Warning, this might be too hard for you to read if you're dealing with grief right now)


This past week, two little ones had birthdays.

One little girl we call our “princess.” She turned seven, amidst much rejoicing complete with presents, a special breakfast, cards, decorations, plenty of photos and videotaping, love and laughter. This little princess is greatly cherished, and the memories of almost losing her during childbirth make us all the more grateful. She is being given the best that we can give her in life. Most likely, she will have scores and scores of birthdays in her life... a life full of promise and amazing possibilities.

The second little one we don't know. She was born this week on her one and only birthday. There will never be parties thrown for her. She won't open up presents and smile for the camera as her daddy says "cheese" for the umpteenth time. She won't be asked what kind of cake she wants or receive "happy birthday" calls from her grandma. She won't grow up with a gaggle of brothers and sisters teaching her how to jump rope or dance to The Wiggles. She'll never sit on her earthly daddy's lap and be told how much she is loved. Only her Heavenly Father will hold this little girl and let her know that she is His precious one forever. For the day that was her birth day, is the only birthday this little one will ever know.

On Sunday morning, within walking distance of the state capitol building, several churches, ministries, and hospitals, a dear friend made a tragic discovery. This person is one of the homeless people who worships alongside our family at the outdoor worship service we attend on Sunday afternoons. I love her heartfelt hugs and how sweet she is to my baby. But this dear woman is absolutely devastated, because yesterday morning she found a little baby dead beside a dumpster, it's umbilical cord cut with a broken bottle and left lying there to die.

You'd think that something of this nature would be headline news. You'd think that folks would be both outraged and appalled, that our churches would be stirred up out of complacency and worry about trivial matters, saying. "We've got to do something to change the lives and hearts of those in our city!"But there is no widespread grief or outrage, because except for the few that live down in that crime-ridden, impoverished area, no one knows. The police know. And any other involved officials are going to know, but where are the newspaper articles and TV news features? I've been searching the stations and websites, and I can't find that anyone knows about it or finds it newsworthy enough to write about.

A baby--precious, made-in-God's-image baby was found in a trash dumpster, and that's not news that our community needs to know about, be shocked about, be motivated to do something about? We can't save this little one, but what about others like her? What do we as Christians need to be doing to bring about change? It's not stricter laws or more lenient ones. Good laws do help; laws that allow new moms to leave their babies in safe places with no questions asked are good.

But that's not enough.

The basic problem lies in an inner-city culture that has not only been consumed by death and destruction, some of it self-inflicted, but also by a suburban culture that has turned it's back on the inner-city. The majority of folks living in the ‘burbs have either fled Jackson due to crime, high taxes, poor public schools, and a messed-up city government, or they've never lived there and plan on spending as little time there as possible.

Many people are downright afraid of Jackson. They watch the news and hear of all the murders and robberies and rapes. They drive through with locked doors on their way to the zoo or the museums or the concerts and see the crack-houses and gang graffiti.

They can afford to stay away, live someplace safe, and in the process, they can forget about the inner-city and those who desperately need the love of Jesus. They need to know that God loves them. They need to know that there is hope in Jesus. They need to know that they can escape this hell-on-earth. They need to know that they are not forgotten. They need to know the love of a Father that they've never seen on this earth.

I'm not naive. I've been around long enough to know that there are some people that are not going to change no matter what. There are some people that will choose crime and death over redemption and life. But there are others who are willing to change; they just need someone to help show them the way. I've met those who have changed. It can happen. God is the author of beautiful life stories, stories of beauty from ashes.

I can't help but think how different the headlines would be today if that precious little one had been found dead in one of our affluent suburbs. But she wasn't. She was born among those left behind, those who couldn't afford to flee. She was born to "one of those kinds of people.”

We know some folks whom God has called. Amy Lancaster and her family left a big house in an affluent neighborhood in a safe town outside of Jackson and moved back to be among "those kinds of people.” They love their neighbors and do everything they can to point them to God and His good, redemptive plan for their lives. And she hears on a regular basis that what they are doing is crazy and pointless. That "those kinds of people" will never change. That basically, they just need to be walled off from the rest of society until they kill themselves off.

Two little ones. Two different lives.

One is greatly treasured and has a beautiful life ahead of her. One is now with her Heavenly Father because she was born to someone who didn't know the value of life--her life and her baby's life.

And all over our state, our country, our world, there are two kinds of little children--those who are loved and have hope, and those who are living surrounded by death and destruction.

And all over our world are two kinds of people--those who know and do nothing, and those who know and are called to action.

If we bear the name of Christ, if we call ourselves Christians, there should be no doubt in which camp we find ourselves. Not all of us are called to move to the inner-city. God has unique callings on each person’s life. I am not about to sit here and say that we should all be carbon-copy ministers. But we should all be making sure that we are doing what God has called us to do in this world. We should not let fear or laziness or ignorance stop us.

Shane Claiborne says that it's not that American Christians don't care about the poor, but rather that we don't know the poor. I would expand that to say that it's not just the poor that we don't know; we also don't know those in desperate need of spiritual hope and deliverance. We've become isolated from them for a myriad of reasons: busyness, laziness, ignorance, selfishness, fear, insecurity, cynicism, prejudice, fear of failure, and even plain and simple lack of love.

I had a friend one time who told me she didn't want to hear the facts about a hard subject, because then she would have to act. I think that's how many of us in the Christian church think. I can't go down to the inner-city ministries and not get emotionally involved. If I go, I'm going to get to know "those kinds of people." I'm going to hear about the abuse they are experiencing, the closets they sleep in, the fears they have, the addictions they fight, the diseases that are killing them, and I'm going to care.

And once I care, I must act. I can't do it all. But I can do what He has called and equipped me to do. It hurts to care, but it hurts too badly not to care--it hurts them, it hurts me, and it hurts my Lord.

For whatever I do, or don't do, for the least of these, I do it, or don't do it, unto Him.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

In the last 6 days, I've heard of the deaths of 3 people I know and 1 other who will never be known by many....except of course, our God. And my sweet friend Drewe Llyn's husband was hospitalized last night with severe chest pains and is still in as tests are run.
Sometimes life is so good it almost makes me cry...okay...sometimes I do cry because life is so good. But there are times when life can also be pretty harsh...almost unbearable.
I'm praying for those hurting and confused right now. Praying for their comfort, and praying that like my friend Mair reminded me on her blog a few days ago, that when we fall out of God's right hand, He'll always catch us in His left.
Holding on to Him and asking God to hold on extra tight to those who need it so very badly right now.
Pray with me...okay?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Kimberly Daniels is disturbed...

...yep, absolutely, completely disturbed. Here's how a Sir Francis Drake, a guy who lived a whole heck of a long time ago put it...

"Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord."
For the better part of a year, Kimberly, a very modern twenty-something who grew up mainly in Southern California, has been traveling around the world with a team sharing God's love in amazingly radical ways while at the same time having their lives changed in amazingly radical ways. Kimberly's story touched me in a personal way and I wanted to share it with you. Here it is in her words:
Before I came on The World Race, I often found myself in my brown cushiony swirly chair, browsing around on the website, reading the blogs, the FAQ's page, and studying the story-telling pictures. I remember reading this statement by one of the former Racers: "I found out that The World Race really isn't about saving the world. It's more about saving me."
...Interesting... At the time, it honestly sounded a little self-focused, but intriguing. Still, I knew I needed saving, and I also knew that Jesus is pretty clear that in order to find your life, you have to loose it. I had an aching in my core to do more than I was doing, and be more than I was being. College was done, and I had a full time job waiting for me; I thought I was on the road to marriage and though there was a lot of love, there was little peace. I was planning my next steps, but still felt like a giant part of ME was missing.
I had no interest in a white picket fence at the time. I knew I had very little idea about who I was, and though there were a lot of options on the table, I had even less of an idea of what to REALLY do with my life. And if I didn't purposefully figure it out, then I would default into something that I could very well do, probably even be successful at, have a nice, comfortable life and attain all the elements of the American dream... but would it be because that's what I was MADE for? Or would it be because I defaulted into it because it was "the next step"?
I came on The World Race for many, many reasons. I wanted to loose my life to find it. I wanted to be Love to people who had never known Him. I wanted to do the greater things Jesus said I'd do. I wanted to get it through my thick skull that the world does not revolve around me. I wanted to get wrecked, and live the cliché: there is more to life than this. I wanted to go and make disciples of ALL nations, not just converts of all nations. I wanted to understand these abstract terms, like faith, hope, love, truth, community, and The Holy Spirit.
And here I am in month 9 of my Race, thinking back to the day when I used to think it seemed a tad bit selfish... that this Race might be more about saving me than it is about saving the world... but that was at first glance and before I actually got out here. Then you take a closer look into the thing, and it looks like this:
..........A generation is asleep. They are breathing. But few are dreaming.
And even fewer are moving. Their eyes are closed, and they don't know themselves
in an awaken state. They don't know who they are, or who they aren't.
A generation of Christians don't operate in their God-given authority.
They don't know they have it. They don't know what "IT" is. Living in the
Kingdom of God is something distant and far off, attainable only on the day that
we meet St. Peter at the pearly gates.
But then, one by one, they catch wind of a chance to do something out of the box, something that might act as a vehicle to drive them from their slumber. They abandon everything comfortable. They sell their stuff, they leave their jobs indefinitely, they kiss their moms and dads goodbye, and they move their lives away from their friends and malls and movie theaters and they show up in Gainesville, Georgia (of all places) for training on how to effectively live the next 11 months of their lives. And as one of my dearest friends said, "Life now changes".....
They launch out of foreign countries, living with language barriers and cultural hurdles, surviving off of only what they can carry on their backs. They are dropped into a community, forced to get outside of themselves, to serve something other than their own agenda, pride, or fear, and after 11 months, they have rubbed off the sleep from their eyes and are beginning to ask the tough questions. The ones that matter. They are saved of the things that defined them before, and for once, they see life through eyes that believe they can actually change the world.
But before they change the world, they have to be the first to change.
Before they can invade the world with Kingdom, Kingdom has to invade them.
...and then, one by one, they come back. Radicalized. None of this "nice young man" or "nice young lady" mess. They impregnate their communities with the truth they learned. They invade their states with Kingdom. They invite other people into this thing, and then those invite others, and those invite others.... And before we know it, this generation has woken up their own generation.
People begin to taste something that activates every single one of their taste buds, and the dullness they inhaled before is just plain boring and won't cut it anymore. They find something that is more vibrant than they thought possible, and once they live in it, they are willing to give their lives up for it. Except, it's for more than a cause, and for more than a feeling. It's actually for the One who came up with the whole thing... because we are living in the manifestation of His sheer genius.
This year isn't about 11 countries in 11 months. It's not about stamps on a passport. It's not about seeing the world and doing some good deeds along the way. This is not the Peace Corps.
It's not about doing humanitarian stuff.
Its about intentionally planting Kingdom all over the world.
It's about His will being done on earth as it is in Heaven.
It's about raising up people who will stop at nothing to be agents of change, truth and love.
It is about saving me. And saving the 25 others who are here, too.
And then, with 26 wrecked people who will come back to the states in November, its about each of them influencing the next to take one step of faith that could change their lives for forever.
This is a movement.
A movement that will launch over 250 more potential agents of change next year.
Is this God's call for everyone? No, probably not. But I've become really, stinking passionate about expanding this thing, so that those who may be called to it will know that it exists, that it is a vehicle to change, and it is intended to spur a generation to become all they are intended to be.
I want to go where God is manifest and moving....
And from my seat, God is moving this way: Sometimes He takes us out in order to bring us in.


Please pray for Kimberly and her team as they finish up their last bit of their world race and then start the next disturbed chapter of this life that God has planned for them.


To read more about Kimberly and her team's adventures, check out her blog:

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hi all. I'm Elysa's oldest and the guest blogger today. But I'm being required to "interview" my little sister who has a birthday today.

Tell everyone how old you are today Princess.

Princess: *said in a dramatically bored voice* Seven.

Hobbit Baby: No, eight.

Princess: Seven. *pauses* I have the hiccups.

Me: are you going to do today?

Princess: Play at park.

Me: Gee...don't you sound excited.

Princess: *whining now* I have the hiccups.

Me: So!?! Ok, what did you get for your birthday?

Princess: The Littlest Pet Shop Clubhouse.

Me: Is that good?

Princess: Yes!

Me: What do you plan to do this upcoming year of your little life?

Princess: Play with my toys.

Me: All year long!?!

Princess: Not all year.

Me: Just most of it.

Princess: Uh-huh.

Me: Ten years from now (when you're seventeen) what do you think you will be doing?

Princess: Um, painting pictures.

Hobbit Baby: Coloring and playing outside.

Princess: Uh, no.

Mother: Hobbit what does Princess look like.

Hobbit Baby: She looks like me!

Mother: Princess, what does Hobbit look like?

Princess: Uh...herself?

Mother: No! She looks just like you!

Princess: Uh, ok, sure.

Me: Well I guess I should conclude this scintillating interview. See ya later blogettes!

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I'm dedicating this today to a pair of precious, passionate, beloved friends....Christi and Mair.

Melt in His peace, friends. His love is more than we can even comprehend.