Wednesday, August 21, 2013


WOW, I have been so busy I have neglected my blog for a bit. Fortunately, part of the business has been with my ETSY shop, which has raised over $600 for Compassion so far (thanks to amazing customers who love Compassion and who have supported me!), and writing my fabulous Sponsored kids who continue to amaze me with their insight and beautiful spirits!

My own son has also kept me busy by becoming a PRESCHOOLER this week!  Wow! Time flies so fast.

 This past Sunday our amazing pastor at Calvary Baptist Church spoke about Paul and his message to the church from prison in the book of Philippians. During the course of the message, the pastor talked about four things that we often idolize, or allow to come between us and a full life in Christ. Those four things, he listed, are our desires for Comfort, Approval, Control, and Power.

We want to be comfortable, to be free of stress and have all the "creature comforts" we can accrue. Sometimes we strive for comfort at the expense of following Christ's direction in our lives.

We want the approval of others, often to the point of denying our true nature as children of Christ because we yearn for others to look up to us.

Many of us are afraid to lose control of our environment, our daily schedule...we grab for control and when we can't control a circumstance we are ruled by fear and anxiety.

Finally, power can easily become the sole focus of our lives, striving for more and more at the expense of other people, even those we most love. In our reach for power we can often compromise our ethics and our relationship with Christ.

As I listened to the sermon, it ocurred to me that these are all things our sponsored children lack. Most, if not all, of our sponsored children lack comfortable surroundings, clean running water, soft beds with multiple sets of sheets and downy pillows, air conditioning, plenty of food...  Most of our sponsored children lack the approval of the greater community because of their poverty. Most of our sponsored children have no control over their daily lives-they wake, and they are at the mercy of circumstance. Finally, the most powerless among us are children, and those children in poverty are the least powerful of all.

As I thought about it, I thought--no wonder God loves these children so much. They are the category of blessed spoken of in the Beatitudes. They embody who God would like us to become in spirit--blank slates, unfettered by material possessions and power, open to his true Love.

I am so humbled to be part of the lives of these children. I know that they will bless me in a multitude of ways they will never know. I only hope I can bless them in some small way so that they can move forward in God's will and share his love with their families and communities.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Media. We have so much access to information - more than we've ever had before. We can Google anything, Facebook with friends and family thousands of miles and oceans away, shop online, and read all the latest news on equipment no bigger than the palm of a hand. Access to all this information can be fun, and may seem freeing. I remember having to actually (gasp!) go to a library and look in a card catalog for an encyclopedia for basic all I have to do is flip on my phone and with a few taps I've jumped down the rabbit hole of the internet.

The problem with access to so much information is one of discernment. It's awfully easy to get lost on the information superhighway, or bogged down with the excess of bad news that perpetuates in cyberspace.

Here's a ray of hope... Media thrives on bad news. Regardless of your bias, regardless of where you live, bad news sells. We are a species driven by adrenaline, and bad news gives us a small adrenaline rush governed by fear. With brains that are unable to adapt as quickly as technology progresses, we process information the same way we did when it moved at a snail's pace--traveling via word of mouth or pony express. The kidnapping on channel 10 becomes an iminent threat in our brain; the robbery at the convenience store seems an inevitability.

What impact is all this bad news having? Depression...anxiety people living in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. People who are pampered.

Meanwhile, children halfway around the globe are still receiving news via handwritten letter. Living in dust with tin roofs and thin blankets...playing in polluted water, drinking the same, trying their best to dodge the mosquito that might carry the dreaded malaria, these same children trust God, love freely, pray sincerely, and rejoice easily.

Hope. Here's what the media isn't telling you. Today, crime rates in the United States remain at historically low levels according to the Bureau of Justice. In 2010, violent crimes were 1/3 what they were in 1994. The odds of being murdered or robbed are 1/3 what they were in the early 1990s, and the odds of rape have dropped to 1/6 what they were 20 years ago.

Why aren't we celebrating one of the most peaceful times our planet has ever known? Despite turmoil in some areas of the world, we are still remarkably peaceful. In fact, some analysts suggest the world is more peaceful now than it ever has been before. Don't believe it? Forget the individual news reports you see on TV--remember, the media seeks to grab you and pull you in to increase ratings, and bad news sells.  Instead, think about what we know of history... the plagues, famines, great wars, torture, murder, lack of humanitarianism... and think of today.

Hope. We have it. Now share it... turn off the TV, pick up a pen, and share that hope with your Compassion kids!