Light Gives Heat – A Winning Opportunity!

Over the last few weeks I have had a number of conversations about mercy ministries vs. development ministries.  Questions have been asked like… “When is ok to give money to a ‘homeless person’ who is flying a sign ‘will work for _____’?” As Christians, is it really all that radical or weird to hand out money, buy food, or  give things away for free?

With the Superstorm Sandy rolling through, yes…there are needs to be met.  And it’s a perfect opportunity to give what is needed and asked for.  The LA Times recently had an op-ed The donations Sandy’s victims don’t need which speaks perfectly to this topic.  We saw and heard about items that went to waste in Haiti, because it’s not what is needed or it’s not useful.  Our friends and missionaries, The Salvants, at New Hope Haiti Mission recently blogged about similar ‘giving’ in non-emergency times – The Ministry of Stuff.

Dr John M. Perkins once said “The best welfare program is a job”.  Last year, I even wrote more about it here >  “The Best Welfare Program is a Job”  Dr. John M. Perkins and here > PART 2 ~ “The Best Welfare Program is a Job”  Dr. John M. Perkins

That’s what I love about this organization…they partner with Ugandan artisans to “provide consistent incomes where there were none.” Please keep reading to learn about them…how they help provide winning opportunities to the Ugandan people.  You, too, will have a chance to win!

Light Gives Heat (LGH): A 501c(3) Non-Profit, based in Grand Junction, CO (with a second location in Jinja, Uganda and surrounding areas).

  • Mission: Empowering Africans through the encouragement of economic sustainability and creative endeavors. Motivating people in the west to “be the change they want to see in the world.”
  • Vision: To See Africa rebuilt and renewed from the inside out and to see people in the West living with Hope

Your Winning Opportunity!

As you prepare to purchase Christmas gifts or something to treat yourself, please consider supporting LGH.  Support providing someone a job versus providing handouts.  To encourage you to buy and support LGH, you have a chance to win a $25 LGH gift card!  Complete at least one of the following.  The more you do, the more chances you have to win. Just remember to comment when you do!

1.  Buy something from LGH! Comment below what item you bought.

2. Donate to LGH!  Comment below that you made a donation.  You don’t have to share how much, but I am hoping it will be more than the $25 gift card prize!

3.  Share the great work that LGH is doing in Uganda by sharing this post on FB or Twitter!  Comment below how you shared it.

Deadline:  Friday, November 9 at 12noon eastern time.  Go ahead and do it now.  Don’t wait!  🙂

Thanks!

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“Running to the Scene of the Crime”

I am honored that Austin Stone Community Church, located in Austin, Texas chose to tell my God-story.  Louis and I were at the Verge Conference this past Spring, and they had an opportunity to tell your story.  I had no intentions of telling mine, until April Salvant – friend and missionary to Haiti – made me do it by signing me up!  I was actually the very last person they interviewed!  And….then to hear that my story was one of the first to be released was a huge surprise!  Praise God for the work He has done, is doing and will continue to do in my heart and mind, and in the community and city that I love!  I am honored to be His servant and remain vigilant and steadfast in my attempts to be obedient.  To check it out…click the picture below.  It should take you there!  In addition….you can hear April’s story as well….about how God took them on quite an adventure…leading them to now live in Haiti, working with New Hope Haiti Mission.  Check it out here > April’s God Story

Thanks to all our friends and our churches who continue to pray for and love us!  I know we have been absent from the blogosphere for a while, but will write soon on our adventures!  Peace.  To God be the glory!


The Wait

You know…there is nothing better than doing what you were called to do….what you were made to do.  Sometimes this is a life-time calling.  Sometimes it comes in seasons.  I admire people who are led by the Spirit to shift from one calling and into another….even when they don’t know exactly what the new calling is…for sure.  But, they walk away in faith trusting God.  To some people…that sounds like craziness.  To us as human flesh…it does sound foolish!  Take 2 recent examples who were at the top of their game (based on American standards)…popular, huge, well-known, probably wealthy, and successful.  To me…they are encouraging!  2 examples of leaving “success” behind and headed out in trust and faith for the “unknown”.

April 18, 2010, Francis Chan announced that he was leaving Cornerstone Church during his sermon “Surrender”.  Chan started this church years ago…and has been at it his entire married life…and so,he left that behind and now he and his family are off and doing something new.  During his sermon (listen to it here), he talks about this restless feeling that he had before moving into that decision.  In the video announcement, after reading part of Luke 14, his wife says…

I do want to lay down my life….in my flesh I don’t.  I want to cling to what I know…but God is calling us out and we can’t deny that….Pray for us…as we take a step of faith….but the Holy Spirit has said differently.

Then, today….the David Crowder*Band announced that this would be their last album and last tour.  You can read their announcement here.  In this announcement, they tell what led them to this decision.  They aren’t breaking up.  There isn’t a feud.  It’s just time. In following the leading the Holy Spirit, it’s time for them to do something else.  A new thing.  Their letter states…

None of us is sure what’s next, but we’re not afraid. We’re, in fact, really, really excited!

But, there is nothing better than being right where you are supposed to be…and how desperately we want to be there…NOW.  I think of our friends and heroes, April and Scott Salvant (link:  Salvant Seven). The Salvant family wants nothing more than to be in Haiti working in the orphanage – New Hope Haiti Mission.  Although they have already acquired a new home in Haiti, they are waiting desperately for their house here in the Richmond area to sell, so they can be on their way. (If interested in a beautiful home, check out this link.)   The wait has been painful for them at times, as they desperately long to be “home” in Haiti.

Why is it that we have such difficulty in the “wait”?  Waiting is doing something, right?  I am often reminded of the Exodus scriptures when the Israelites followed the fire by night and the cloud by day.  The fire and clouds weren’t always moving.  Sometimes they were still.  The scriptures also refer to them camping out.  Sometimes, that is what we do….we camp out and wait for the cloud or fire to move.  I need to learn to find joy in the waiting.  But, what is it that we should be doing while we wait?  We could sit…and look up at the cloud/fire….and say “It hasn’t moved yet.” or we can spend time in preparation.  What does it look like to prepare?  For Chan and his family, it was traveling and exploring.  It was spending time in prayer and the Bible.

Louis and I also I feel like we have been called to do something new.  I know some people think it’s foolish for me to leave the bank, but it is what we have been called to do.  We have been in a waiting period for quite some time.  Waiting for the burning bush…the writing on the wall…the cloud/fire to move.  It can be so frustrating!!!  I have to remind myself that in the waiting God has been preparing for what is next.  We also have taken practical steps..

  • by strengthening our marriage and our lives together.
  • by praying together and individually and seeking prayers from our prayer warriors.
  • by investing time and resources in reading and learning more about what we feel God has called us to do.  This includes reading the Bible, although I confess I have often let reading books replace reading the Bible.  I need to fix that!!!
  • by learning to say “no” to things that aren’t God’s best.  Good is the enemy of the best.  I still struggle with this one!!!
  • by getting our finances in order.  God has blessed us in so many ways!!!  We continue to look for ways to trim our spending.
  • by learning to relax and recreate.  We need to schedule more downtime in our lives for rejuvenation.  Our lives are so full of ministry, that we don’t get a lot of time to kick back.
  • We also need to learn to live a “simpler” life.  Not exactly sure how to do that!  Luke 10 tells the disciples to travel lightly and simply.  He also basically says don’t get distracted. These are 2 areas we still are working on…making things more complex than they need to be and allowing distractions get in the way.  We need to wage war against those 2!
So, for those of us who are restless and waiting, let us be encouraged by others who are “crazy enough” to also step out in faith and trust.  People like Francis Chan and his family, David Crowder Band, and the Salvant’s!  (Lord…I pray their house sells SOOON!!!!)  But, in the wait….may we remember….

Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

But in the end…on the real judgement day….(not this crazy doomsday 5.21.2011 mess…don’t EVEN get me started!!!)….I just want to hear,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”   Jesus in Matthew 25:23.
In honor of DC*B, this is my prayer…take a listen.