Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Great Book


Micah and I have been reading this book, "The Hole In our Gospel," written by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision. As many of you know, who know us personally, we have become deeply burdened in the past year to care for those who are poor and vulnerable in this world. It's become apparent to us in recent months how "invisible" the Church (of America) us when it really comes to reaching out to "the least of these," and it's our desire to advocate for this to change. This statistic astonished me:

"American Christians, who make up about 5% of the Church worldwide, control about half of global Christian wealth...the commitment that American Christians, the wealthiest Christians in all history, are making to the world is just about 2% of 2%, about five ten-thousdandths of our income (ie - 6 pennies per person per day)." (Stearns)

I encourage you to read this book. It's a great story about Richard Stearns own journey to becoming the President of World Vision, and will compel you to think deeply about the hurting world we live in, and what role each us might play in that. Micah and I are praying about these things now, we are asking God to show us what kinds of things we can do, both on a small-scale, and maybe eventually on a larger-scale. The idea is not for anybody to feel guilty that poverty exists, but the idea is instead that we might not ignore those living in deep poverty simply because they live on another continent. In this day and age, the world is so connected... no longer can we say, "I just didn't know it was that bad."

Just imagine if you were born in Africa, instead of here in America, and due to no fault of your own, you and your children are haven't eaten in days and do not have clean water to drink. Your children are sick - with diseases that will eventually take their lives. No, not cancer, I'm talking about an illness such as diarreah. Your only hope is to cling to God and daily pray that He will send help, that He will save your family. I believe many of us here in America, ARE the help. We are the answers to so many prayers, and yet most often we just don't take the time to really consider what is happening on the other side of our globe, much less consider that we could actually make a difference.

Are we listening? Are we willing? Lives are at stake... "15,000 Africans are dying each day of preventable treatable diseases... if we're honest there's no way we could conclude that such mass death day after day would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else. Certainly not in North America, Europe, or Japan. An entire continent bursting into flames? Deep down, if we really accept that their lives - African lives - are equal to ours, we would all be doing more to put the fire out. It's an uncomfortable truth." (Stearns)

"If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the drakness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." (Isaiah 58:10-11)

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)

Please join us in praying and considering what all of us can do to make a difference and help our brothers and sisters around the world. Remember the Starfish story? Never fail to take action because you don't think you can make a difference. :) The problems may seem big, but we serve a God who is bigger.





Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Broken "Stuff"

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and theives break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven..." (Matthew 6:19-20)I guess I am supposed to learn a lesson concerning this, because it seems that things around me (things I RELY on for my sanity - "treasures") are breaking down. First, the vaccuum suddenly decides it no longer wants to push forward in the setting that I need it to. Lovely. Who needs clean floors anyway? I guess now I have a good excuse :) However, I just about had a heart attack last night when I started the washing machine and water began leaking all over the laundry room floor. Micah and I mopped like crazy, and I tried not to cry... imagining myself with a basin and washboard out in the backyard. Seriously folks... no funds to fix it, it may very well have come to that.


Well, Micah became the hero of the day (week, month, year, etc.) when he emailed me a picture at work of our washing machine in pieces and him announcing he knew what was wrong and was off to buy the part to repair it. Trust me, I had my doubts... but he did it!!! What a handy man! Thank you honey for saving us all that money we would have had to spend having a repairman come out to the house. (Or worse - thank you for sparing us from having to wash the clothes in the backyard with a basin and scrub board)



And the vaccuum?? Well, that one is at the repair shop as we speak. It's funny how God provides sometimes... we just got our tax refund and the amount we got back this year was pretty minimal. But, it just might be enough to pay for that vaccuum repair :) Not the way I would have chosen to spend the money, but hey, can't complain!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

High/Low

"Low" for the Week
We have been sicky sick in our house over the past FEW weeks! I contracted a never-ending cold about 3-4 weeks ago, was on antibiotics for a sinus infection AND ear infection, and yet some of the cold still remains :( Micah hasn't been feeling well in general the past few weeks, and of course Eli had to join the crowd last Sunday when he woke up running a fever and had to be taken to urgent care that night because it spiked over 104! Lovely. I hate being sick, but it's even worse when the whole family is sick with you.

"High" for the Week
I have three of them:
  1. Although we have been sick, we are all pretty much better now... and that is a VERY good thing!
  2. I love my husband, who took extra time off this week to be home with sick Eli, since I had already taken so much time off this month. Thank you babe!
  3. I was able to spend time with my long-long-time friend Melissa today!! We haven't seen each other in FOREVER, but when we get together it's as if no time has passed. Our boys, Eli and Aaron, were able to play together for the first time today, while us mommies had plenty of time to chat and catch up. (Melissa - we have to do that again!!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do you hear us now??

Rally March for Education!!! 10-12,000 people estimated in attendance!!!! Brewer is proposing tax increase to cover budget shortfall!!! All GOOD signs for AZ kids and public education!!!! Woo Hoo!

*Disclaimer: This is the news clip from Fox10, so a short advertisement plays first, sorry!
**If you are having trouble viewing the video, press the "pause" button and give it about 60 seconds to load, then press "play" again.