Thursday, January 28, 2010


Do you ever stop and think about the things you take for granted? How many times do you turn the faucet on and enjoy a cold drink of clean water or a hot bath without blinking? As you sit in traffic complaining about the wait, are you thinking how blessed you are to have a car that’s stuck in traffic? Did you know that only 8% of the world’s population owns a car? When you open your fridge to pull out something to eat, do you ever think about how many people in the world have NO access to food? When you down a few Advil to get rid of your headache do you think about the people in the world who’ve never known pain relief? When you pick out one of your many pairs of shoes in the morning and slip them on, do you ever think about these feet that have never known a pair of shoes?

In September I saw the faces that belong to these feet in Africa. They are faces I will never forget. They were faces with big smiles, sad eyes and haunting stories I could hardly handle. Unfortunately, their stories are reflective of the millions of orphans living in Africa alone.

This Valentine’s Day we have an opportunity to do something tangible for these sweethearts! Children’s HopeChest will provide an orphan in Ethiopia with a much needed pair of shoes when you purchase a “Simply Love” t-shirt.

While we have the luxury of buying chocolates and flowers this Valentine’s Day, these orphans don’t have any luxuries period. The truth is, having a pair of shoes is a luxury to them. Can you believe that many of them have gone their entire lives barefoot? I've seen personally how harsh the hot ground, sharp rocks and glass can be on these sweet little bare feet. So, how about we toss the flowers and the chocolate out the door this Valentine’s Day and give a gift that will make a meaningful difference for these kids! Are you in? Click here if so! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

But...Do You Trust Me??

Wow...quite a bit has happened since my last post almost three weeks ago when I started praying the "Disturb me, O God" prayer!  You won't be surprised to know I have indeed been disturbed! :)  For the past three weeks (interesting timing) my business has been completely jeopardized by something that's totally out of my hands.  I have had to face the fact that I may be unemployed very soon.  There is literally nothing I can do to save it - my business is at the mercy of an outside entity.  So, the rubber has met the road and God has brought me face to face with the question "Do you trust Me"?  I seem to be really good at talking about trust, but let me tell you the past three weeks have been an exercise in walking that trust out.  God and I have had quite a bit of face time lately and I've come to realize something: when I lay my everything down at His feet and recognize that it was never mine to begin with there is a peace that covers me.  The more I have been enabled to "let go" of my business and the financial security it brings and surrender it to Him, the more I have been able to praise Him in the midst of the storm.  His plans are good - perfect, actually. 

There has been something strangely freeing about truly facing the future (which seems rather bleak!) and saying, "Ok, God - bring it!".  Whatever "it" is.  Bring it.  Unemployment?? Bring it. Watching you outstretch your arm and save my business?? Bring it.  WHATEVER YOU WANT, GOD.  What I have discovered over the past three weeks is that there is no other place I want to be than where God wants me.  To be able to honestly say that and mean it regardless of the implications is where it's at!  This past year I've been scratching the surface of saying that and meaning it, but God has taken me deeper these past weeks.  He's taken me further into the knowledge that HE IS GOOD and my security lies in Him only.  And so I can smile at the future in all its uncertainty.  I can smile at tomorrow when I'll find out if I'm unemployed or not.  One thing I know: tomorrow is a good day regardless of the outcome because God is on His throne and is at work in my life. 

I have had so many reminders of my time in Uganda the past few weeks as I've been processing through all of this.  But most frequently, I have thought about young James Ocen (you can read more here) who when asked to write anything he wanted (and most of the kids his age wrote down things they need), simply wrote:

My heart still breaks every time I read that. It breaks for James' circumstances and it breaks over the fact that this young orphan boy gets "it" so much better than I do. I'm begging the Lord for a little bit more of the kind of trust James has in His very big, very loving God.

The Message version interprets Matthew 6:34 this way: "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

May my attention be ever turned to what God is doing RIGHT NOW - in this moment. Man, I so don't want to miss it. He has GOOD things in the middle of difficult circumstances if I will just press in further.