Saturday, December 18, 2010

Be bold!!

"Live a life worthy of the calling you have received"

This project started as a way to bless others but I cannot tell you the blessing it is for me. Dylan and I check the blog stats, donation pages and read the emails and responses I have gotten in the past 6 weeks. He is so excited! Watching my 7 year old's eyes get huge, along with that precious smile (with 2 front teeth missing!), is incredible. Don't tell me a kid needs a DSi and new XBox at Christmas to get stoked. This kid is stoked! And in 15 years, this will impact his heart and walk far greater than any toy (ok, off the soapbox now) ;-)

I almost did not start this project. The book lit a fire under me and I jotted down these ideas on the back of an envelope but I put that envelope to the side. Over the next few weeks, I would hear all the ways this would never work, ringing in my head. "This is too bold." "People won't respond." "You can't really cut Christmas back for your kids- they're too young." On and on...and I started to think, "I will just do something else". But I couldn't shake this. I am starting to ask myself one question when I face decisions:  "Will I look back and say 'Wow! I am so glad I did that?' or will I say 'I really wish I would have...."?  When I thought about not starting this project, I thought about that moment. And it would fit into that second statement...."Why didn't I just run with it? Even if it failed, why didn't I try? I really wish I would have...." 

So here we are. Project started. Letters mailed. Blog begun. Donation site up. In 6 weeks, we are almost 1/5th of the way to our one year goal. I have received emails from complete strangers in Texas, Oklahoma, Birmingham, Panama City, North Carolina... People who have been inspired to start their own projects or donate to this one. In the past 2 days, the First Giving donation site has received $200 in donations and gifts!

That brings the project total to $660.00 right now. Considering it takes only $10.00 to give someone clean water for life, that's 66 people who will be saved. This is such a preventable death and something we can do in such a little way. 

I look forward to the new friendships I am starting and the gathering over a central cause and call on all of our lives: In John, Chapter 21 the Lord is talking to Simon Peter and asked "Simon Peter, do you love me?" The bible says Simon Peter was hurt by this question, "Of course I love you!" To which the Lord responded, "Then feed my sheep." That's the call. To make His name known and to feed his sheep. In Matthew, the Lord says that whatever we do for the least of these, we are actually doing for Christ himself. It makes you start to look at the beggers, friendless, hungry, thirsty, jobless, widows, struggling families, hurting children and outcasts, a whole lot differently.

Finally, I want to share about the picture below. My prayer the past year or so, has been "Lord, let me see what You see." and "Bless me so that I can bless others". He is slowly peeling away the layers of selfishness that blind my sight to His world and the hurting people in it. I believe this picture is a testament that if we are faithful with the little, he will bless us with more. Not so that we can have more but so that we can give more! I am thankful for this anonymous letter and check beyond words! "This seed I've received, I will sow"

So be bold. Don't dismiss radical love and ideas. Run with them! 

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." ~ Ephesians 3:20

Monday, December 13, 2010

Eric Ludy - Depraved Indifference

(You can pause the music player at the bottom of the blog so you can hear this video better)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A different kind of gift....

As you're thinking about your Christmas shopping list, consider giving a gift in someone's name to Water Missions International. I have created Christmas gift cards and at your request, I will mail out as many as you would like. No charge. All you have to do is fill in your gift amount on the card, make the donation online and present the gift card to someone at Christmas. Very simple and it means much more than a new sweater, bag, scarf, candle, etc...this gift will literally last a lifetime.

Every card you give will have information about the Water Missions project on the back so that whoever you give your gift of water to, can continue the giving as well and share the project with others! 

Contact me with your mailing address and number of gift cards you would like @

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

[AC] Advent Conspiracy 2009 Promo Video

(You can pause the playlist music at the bottom of the blog to listen to this video better)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Here we go!

Okay! Here it goes. I went "public" with the blog and fundraising page 2 days ago. We are now $355 into reaching the goal.....excuse me, exceeding the goal; which I believe we will! 

I also received an email from the Media Director at the Church at Brookhill's where David Platt is the pastor. They saw our radical experiment and are "encourage by it!" ...and I am encouraged by their encouragement!

Did you know that just a $10.00 donation will provide clean water for life for one person???? That means, as of now, help is on it's way to 35 people for life! How exciting!

I am speaking to myself as well as whoever may come across this... but let's think about the things we spend our money on. I will confess right now that last weekend I went to Shoe Station and bought some really pretty boots. I will also confess that this week I went into Starbucks and bought a nice, warm, sweet and comforting White Chocolate Mocha. (it was delicious by the way) .....I don't do either of those things often but it made me think this week. What if every time I was about to make an unnecessary purchase, I, instead, put that same amount of money into this project? It would certainly add up. 

I am blessed beyond measure. It's time to share the blessings with a grateful, cheerful and sacrificial heart.Someone has to help alleviate the suffering in this world. It's time we stop putting that task off on "missionaries" and it's time we start being the missionaries.

Join me! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Water Missions International Haiti Video

You can pause the music player at the bottom of this page to listen to the video better :)

The Experiment

Our family will take a one year journey. I have no idea how this will all pan out but I have the big picture in mind and that's where I am starting. 

It isn't enough to simply see a need and not do whatever we can to fill it. Jesus never walked by someone who was in need of His touch, and simply passed right by. I don't think we should either. I am  trying to show my children that there is more to life than things, occasions and activities. I can't just tell  them though, I have to show them, and I have to do it myself. 

At the end of David Platt's book, Radical, he gives each reader 5 challenges: 

1. Pray for the entire world. Yes, the entire world. Wow...
2. Read through the entire Word. Yes, the entire Word. Double wow...
3. Spend time in another context/culture
4. Sacrifice money for a specific purpose
5. Commit to being part of a local community of believers

This specific post will introduce how we will implement #4. 

Several years ago I was watching PBS (those who know me well, know that I tend to prefer documentaries over dramas) ;-) ...I was watching a special on something called a "Play Pump". It's a water pump system installed in extremely poor villages to provide clean water to communities. I never forgot that show. It touched me forever. So several years later, as I am thinking about what our sacrifice will be, I started doing research into different organizations that help with the specific need for clean water around the world. There are so many wonderful ways to spend money to help people. Trying to choose one, without feeling guilty for not choosing another, can be hard in and of itself. But, through some research and prayer, I feel led to go with a group called "Water Missions International".

 I will post a link to their website if you would like to learn more but here is what our "Radical Experiment" will be: For one year, we will sacrifice gifts and "extras" and the money that would usually go toward these things, will go into a fundraising account for this organization. We have set a goal of $3,000 by the end of September 2011. If we reach our goal before that time, we will extend the goal! I am really excited about this and have explained to my children what we're doing and what it means at Christmastime, birthdays and throughout the year. It won't feel great all the time, as our flesh is so against the feeling of sacrifice, but what another great lesson as well!

I'll be keeping this blog updated and connected to the online giving page for Water Missions International and you can journey with me and watch us meet (and surpass!) our goal. You can also give secured donations throughout this time, on that website as well.

I am nervous and excited all in one! Please pray for our family and more importantly, the ministry we will be supporting and the people they will be serving as a result of having this money. 

"Embrace His Grace, Extend His Glory"

Water Missions International-Online Giving Page


Radical: adj.  Departing markedly from the usual or customary

The word "Radical" conjures up various and likely extreme images. I chose the definition above though because in our families case, the "radical" journey we are taking is definitely departing from the usual. It isn't violent like the images we may think of when someone says the word, but it is against tradition and culture and it takes wrapping our minds around something vastly different than the world around us. 

On a daily basis, we run from job to store to sports to home, we rush dinner in there somewhere and plan for the next events. We make lists, get things done, make more lists and get more things done. We are a blessed nation, and I am thankful to live in America. So thankful. However, there has been an uneasiness growing in my spirit about the cycle of chaos and "stuff" we fill our lives with here, while others go without so, so much. The more in love with Christ I become, the more He seems to be giving me a glimpse into seeing what He sees, and who He sees. I think we all catch these glimpses at some point, but maybe the more we turn our eyes, the easier it is to forget them. 

We justify our selfishness at the cost of others. We "deserve" vacations, new clothes, new cars, bigger homes, etc. I am included in that "we" so upon any examination of my life, you will find the same flaws in myself that I write about being in our culture. That is why it takes a radical move, a radical commitment and a radical love to change us so we can change others. 

This uneasiness in my spirit was reinforced by a great book I read recently called "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream" by David Platt. It's tough. It's convicting. And as he states, those who have a hard time reading it are usually the same ones that the Lord would ask to "give everything they have". (this does not mean that we are all called to sell everything and go live in a 3rd world country. Nor does it mean we shouldn't.) It would be nearly impossible to summarize this book so just go get it ;-) ...but I will post a few paragraphs that sum up a lot:

"...And this is where we need to pause. Because we are starting to redefine Christianity. We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with.
   A nice, middle-class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that he receives all our affection. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all, he loves us just the way we are. A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream. 
   But do you and I realize what we are doing at this point? We are molding Jesus into our image. He is beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is whom we are most comfortable with. And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead we may be worshiping ourselves.

 Consider the cost when Christians ignore Jesus’ commands to sell their possessions and give to the poor and instead choose to spend their resources on better comforts, larger homes, nicer cars, and more stuff. Consider the cost when these Christians gather in churches and choose to spend millions of dollars on nice buildings to drive up to, cushioned chairs to sit in, and endless programs to enjoy for themselves. Consider the cost for the starving multitudes who sit outside the gate of contemporary Christian affluence.

When Jesus looked at the harassed and helpless multitudes, apparently his concern was not that the lost would not come to the Father. Instead his concern was that his followers would not go to the lost."