Monday, July 30, 2012

Out of doors

  "Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors.  Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of the wind among the trees. "
-Edwin Way Teale

Friday, July 27, 2012

Give Me Faith

There are times in my life when it is so easy to believe the lies from satan instead of believing God and his truth. I am so thankful that in those times God not only uses his Spirit, his word but also a simple song to point me back to him.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
     whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1


Monday, July 23, 2012

not just what we do...

I was reading in my devotional book, It's over, this morning and I came across this quote.

"It's not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are held accountable."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Half the Church

One hundred years from now may it never be said of this generation of ezers (warriors) that we folded our hands and left God's kingdom work to others. May it never be said that we ignored the cries of the helpless and focused on ourselves.
-Carolyn Custis James

For the last month I have been reading a book, Half the Church : Recapturing God's Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James.  The book only has 8 chapters but it is one of those books where I read a chapter and have to think about it for a couple of days. She challenges us as God's daughters to be more, to look at ourselves the way God does and to realize that God has a purpose and global vision for his daughters. Carolyn James was propelled to write the book Half the Church because of what she read about in the book Half the Sky:Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. 

Half the Sky is a disturbing expose of the world's dark and largely forgotten underbelly where the misery and abuse of women and girls break the scales of human suffering. But I am at a total loss for words to describe the feeling that swept over me at the end of the book, where, while recognizing that Christian organizations are deployed in this fight, the authors threw down the gauntlet for the rest of the church to step up to the plate.  I was jolted to read, "Americans of faith should try as hard to say the lives of African women as the lives of unborn fetuses."  What troubled me most about this open challenge to the church was that Christians are not the loudest voices to sound the alarm, nor are we the most visible at the forefront in addressing this humaniatarian crisis. - Half the Church, Carolyn James

In the book, she talks about how we are often held back either because of the small vision we have of ourselves or because we listen to the wrong messages today about what women in God's kingdom can and can't do.  James, then moves the discussion to the devastating crisis that is happening to women and girls all over the world.  She lays down the challenge for  women who follow Christ to be on the front line of this war against modern day slavery and the sex trade.  As I have read through this book I am just hit with the thought over and over in the world can I even sleep at night when other women and girls are living hell on this earth? I want to stop worrying about my 1st world problems and focus on the things that matter to Jesus.  The statistics are sickening.

300,000 girls in the US are in prostitution

2 million children worldwide in the sex trade industry (UNICEF)

80% of human trafficking victims are women and up to 50% are minors (US Dept. of State)

1 out every 3 women in the world has been raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise violently abused in her lifetime  (UN Development fund for Women)

But we can do something about it...together.  There are so many ways to help. 

God created his daughters to be kingdom builders-to pay attention to what is happening around us, to take action and contribute.- Carolyn Custis James

Check out Women at Risk International. An incredible ministry and there are so many ways to get involved.

Sponsor a girl through Compassion or World Vision.  Give her the gift of an education and change her life.

Participate in International Justice's campaign of 100 postcards.

Join Care.

Most importantly we can pray and fast for these women, girls,and the people on the front lines rescuing them.  We can pray in our Bible study groups, small groups and in church.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Home again

Court went well this trip!  We are just waiting on the word to go and get J and bring him home.  We are praying it isn't longer than a month or two.

 All dressed up and waiting to be picked up to head to court.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

72 hours

In a few short days we will be getting on one of these and heading to Uganda.  We are just a little bit excited!  Please pray for us!


Monday, July 2, 2012

It's Over

I want to introduce you to my friends, Shanita and Melanie. 

They have just published their first devotional book. The book is named It's Over: Finding Freedom By Breaking Negative Strongholds. Melanie and Shanita are incredible Christ followers, their love for Jesus overflows into the lives of others. They are the  friends who always leave you better off than the way they found you. I count their friendship a  big blessing in my life.  I am so excited that they have written this devotional.  It is a 9 week study on breaking free from strongholds in our lives. 

A negative stronghold can be described as an incorrect thinking pattern that molds itself into your way of belief.  These strongholds have the ability to affect your feelings and control how you respond to situations. Negative strongholds will change who you are and how you behave.  They may also present themselves as an inner child of your past, something in your background, or an episode that occurred that you have locked away in the back of your mind.  Although  put away, these former experiences feed and control certain behaviors today and manifest themselves as worry, depression, discouragement, or failure just to name a few.  It is satan's job to make negative strongholds permanently control your life. God knows your strongholds and He knows that satan uses them to ruin your relationship with Him.  He wants to protect your identity.
-Shanita and Melanie

I know I have strongholds in my life that affect my relationship with Christ. We all have them, but I know for myself it is easy to ignore them because they just become part of who I am.  It doesn't have to be that way.  I am excited to spend the next 9 weeks working through scripture and the questions and thoughts that Melanie and Shanita have shared in this devotional to help me breakthrough to a deeper relationship with Jesus.  You can buy the devotional book at their  website.

You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7, ESV


Sunday, July 1, 2012

some Sunday inspiration...

This beautiful watercolor print hangs in Elyse's room.  It is one of my favorite posters. The artist is Katie Daisy. Go check out her Etsy store and be inspired! I love her work. I love to use watercolors but nothing I paint ever looks like this! :)  This print is a daily reminder for me to be filled with Joy no matter what my circumstances.  I am also reminded every time I look at it that God gave Katie her talent and what a creative God I serve. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13, ESV