Saturday, January 10, 2009

coffee with a purpose

In addition to joining the Mocha Club, I just found out about two wonderful organizations that sell coffee with a purpose. How can you say "no" to that? :-)

Gobena Coffee offers a subscription (just like Geval*a) where you can have 1,3 or 5 pounds of coffee (whole bean or ground) shipped to you on a regular basis. You choose the frequency and the type of coffee. On their website, they have a video of some of the beautiful children who are blessed by the coffee. Oh, did I mention that 100% of the proceeds benefits orphans???

Saint's Coffee also offers amazing coffee to be purchased online. By purchasing a 1lb. bag of delicious, organic (and fair trade) coffee, you are helping to feed an orphan for a whole month! They also have some nice gift packages available for purchase as well. Saint's Coffee also partners with Children's Hope Chest and Five for 50 that I blogged about earlier this week.

On a side note, I purchased a copy of Tom Davis' book (featured on Five for 50) and it is absolutely phenomenal. Convicting? Yes. Inspiring? Definitely. Don't we all need to be reminded about what Jesus taught when He walked the earth? The world's problems are incredibly different today and yet His words are just as applicable now as they were back then.

I'm so humbled by Tom and the work he is doing through his organizations on behalf of the children suffering throughout the world. If you feel stagnant in your walk with the Lord or would like to do something powerful with your life, but just aren't sure where to begin, I strongly urge you to buy a copy of Red Letters (and hey, how about some coffee, too?)

Let's make a difference in our world and start living the words of our Savior.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'"
Matthew 25:34-36 (NIV)

I encourage you to keep looking (& praying) for ways to embrace LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

With grace & JOY,

Friday, January 9, 2009

life changing words

"When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a hill and sat down.
His followers came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:
'Those people who know they have great spiritual needs are happy,
because the kingdom of heaven belongs them.
Those who are sad now are happy,
because God will comfort them.
Those who are humble are happy,
because the earth will belong to them.
Those who want to do right more than anything else are happy,
because God will fully satisfy them.
Those who are pure in their thinking are happy,
because they will be with their God.
Those who work to bring peace are happy,
because God will call them his children.
Those who are treated badly for doing good are happy,
because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.'"

Matthew 5:1-10
(NCV, Max Lucado Study Bible)

Did you happen to notice that verse 3 and verse 10 are connected? Just noticed that today for the first time. I love it when God opens my eyes and teaches my heart. :-)

LIVING A BLESSED LIFE,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

abundantly blessed

This morning I woke up with a deep pain in my heart and a need to love on my kids as much as possible.

Before I went to bed last night, I read "Facing the Lion: The Ethiopian Famine" by Michelle Gardner. She runs two incredible ministries (Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries and The African Widows and Orphans Project.) For those of you in the adoption world, you have most likely been blessed by one or both of her books (Adoption as a Ministry, Adoption as a Blessing and After the Dream Comes True.)

Anyhow, I read Michelle's personal account of her recent trip to Ethiopia and began to feel God doing an even deeper work within my heart. For the past few years, my prayer has been that God would give me a heart like His and eyes to see the world the way He does. Wow. He has most definitely been answering my prayer.

I can't imagine having to choose between giving up one or all of my children to an orphanage or watch them die from poverty or disease.

I can't imagine my children foraging through garbage cans looking for food.

I can't imagine the strength and love it must take a woman to walk away from her child, knowing that in doing so she may never see them again in this lifetime.

Even more important, I can't imagine knowing these are the realities that countless mothers face daily and then turn a blind eye.

I can't solve all of the world's problems, nor does God expect me to.

But, I can allow Him to remove the blinders from my eyes and allow my heart to be broken along with His.

I can be grateful that I have a refrigerator, two freezers and pantry stocked full of food.

I can be grateful for the opportunity to refill my daughter's cup with fresh, cold water.

I can be grateful for the ability to drive to my doctor's office and get a prescription for something as simple as a sinus infection.

I can be grateful for the stacks of freshly washed clothing I just folded that are waiting for me to put them away.

I can be grateful for the hot baths and showers all five of us took today.

The list goes on and on. I am abundantly blessed, but not just with "things."

I am blessed that I have a God who loved me even when I saw these things and chose to look away.

I'm thankful that He forgives me for my complacency and selfishness.

I'm thankful that He is patient in waiting for me to wake up and choose to live fully alive (acknowledging the suffering, rejoicing in the blessings and choosing to be a part of His solutions.)

Today, I am also grateful for an amazing group of women who understand my heart and encourage me to act upon the convictions God is working within me.

Today, more than ever, I am humbled and thankful to be LIVING A BLESSED LIFE.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

5for50


If you've read any of my posts during the past few months, you've probably figured out that I have a heart for Africa. Bringing Sara home from China has transformed my heart and my family so profoundly. I am humbled by the opportunity that God has given us and am so excited to see what He has in store for our family in 2009.

On that note, I just found this website and plan to read Tom's book in the very near future.

There are so many opportunities for us as Christians to make a difference in this world. Whether it be within our own families, within our own neighborhoods and communities or halfway across the world. The time is NOW. Let's spur each other on to greatness for God's Kingdom.

If God is stirring something in your heart, I would love to hear from you and encourage you in your efforts. May you have the courage and the faith to take the next step - whether it be big or small. Every effort, every prayer DOES make a difference.

LIVING A BLESSED LIFE inspires me to live a life of love.

Joyfully,

watering the weeds

I am forever in awe when the Lord drops something "new" on me. I've been trying to find the words to describe how it happens, however, it always seems so miraculous, words just don't do it justice.

The best I can say is that whenever He speaks a word into my spirit, it immediately takes root and begins to grow. The light bulb goes on, and I "get it." I know that it is from Him and not myself simply because of the way it happens. If you've had this happen, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, this probably sounds incredibly odd. ;-) In which case, my prayer is that God will drop an incredible insight into your spirit in the very near future. When that happens, you'll say, "Ah-ha, now I get it!"

So, a couple of weeks ago I had been consistently praying about some different challenges in the area of parenting (what else?!?) and the Lord spoke these words into my spirit. "Child, stop watering the weeds."

There it was, clear as day and completely out of the blue. The minute I heard the words, I knew exactly what He meant.

So many times in my parenting (and in my thought life), I'm watering the weeds! I put far too much attention and focus on the attitudes, actions and words that I don't like rather than helping to grow the things I want to see more of. In doing so, I'm helping the negative things grow (and SPREAD!) Ugh.

It's important to address the weeds in the garden, but it's the flowers that need to be nurtured, watered and cared for.

When God drops something big like that on me, it's a word that I cherish and meditate on frequently. I find that He will continually bring it to mind. He also shows me specific instances when His truth will help bring victory and breakthrough in my life.

Lately, He's been helping me to bite my tongue when I'm on the verge of "watering a weed." He also shines the light on situations when I can instead speak words of love and encouragement to my kids. By doing so, I am watering the flowers and planting new seeds for the future. Oh, how lovely it is when I see the I see tiny flowers beginning to break through the soil! :-)

I love that my God is personal and speaks in a language I can easily understand. I am so thankful for His patience with me when I forget His words and find myself surrounded by a patch of prickly weeds! It's a definitely a process and His grace and mercy keep me going day after day.

Having an intimate relationship with the Master Gardener keeps me LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!