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Archive for the ‘ministry’ Category

Wow!  Can I just tell you what a joy it was to read, Man Shoes-The Journey To Becoming A Better Man, Husband & Father?  It is my privilege to review this book; I believe that the author, Tom Watson, has some real valuable wisdom to offer his readers.   Tom  was born to parents ill prepared to raise a child in a healthy & life affirming way.  He was placed into 13 different foster homes…some of which were little more than a systemic form of a physical & psychological torture chamber. 

Tom was placed into foster care because his Aunt Donna & Uncle Roy found the courage to report the erratic parental care that infant Tom was experiencing.  His parents would drop him off here and there and neglect to pick him up at the times that they agreed to.  At one year of age, he became a foster child because his aunt and uncle found the strength of character to endure family censure by reporting the situation to the proper authorities.  Tom expresses his gratefulness to them for doing so…even though he suffered greatly in multiple foster homes until he came to the place where his body and soul were nurtured.  His life story actually proceeds with joy and gratefulness.  To read the rest of this review go to:  Book In Review

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People do many things, for the love of God. There are those who feel that they have a specific calling in their lives to live and accomplish a great mission, or purpose. I’d like to underscore that by saying that we each have been born to praise God; and, to do the great commission which is; to bring the “good news” of Jesus, God’s son, to those who do not know him so that they may have an opportunity to accept him as Lord and Savior of their lives. By doing so, and repenting of their sins…committing their days and nights to living according to the word of God and it’s instructions; they will be used by God to accomplish many things in their lifetime.

I believe that just being aware of the world around you and noticing where the acceptance of God is lacking and doing your best to be of service in some way; of bringing a light or help to those who are in need, is a ministry itself. Some have a pull on their hearts to teach, preach, do missions work, or evangelize. There are others who are drawn to a particular effort of outreach which may be to take Bibles into areas of the world which have little or no access to the word. Then again, there are those with an online ministry to edify or build up disciples such as the Live Sticky movement which encourages people to spend a portion of their online time being dedicated to bringing awareness of God to those that they impact. These are all ministries that are needed.  To continue reading click here:  Write Where You Are

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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         I am looking forward to tomorrow on Good Morning America.  Robin Roberts is going to interview the Steven Curtis Chapman family about the loss of their young 5 year old daughter, Maria, in a tragic car accident involving their teenaged son.  Their daughter was adopted from China.  With the Olympics in China in the media, it is a good time to underscore the connections of the human spirit and relationships formed around the world.

         I fully expect there to be anguish…how can you go through something so traumatic as loosing your daughter, at the accidental hands of your teenaged son, and not have anguish?  Then to have the eyes of the world on you as you grieve; it has had to be extremely stressful.  Not to mention the threat of legal proceedings against your teenaged son, hanging over you while you are going through your loss.  There are so many messages that could be presented to the world through this experience, love, loss, safety, spirituality, depression and the list goes on.  God says, he will make good come from all things.   

          This experience would be horrendous for anyone…let alone a Christian family, just because you have the added responsibilities of not wanting to let God down, or fail to encourage others; however, human beings are just that…human…we often fail, even with the best of intentions.  The Chapman family is a family who has brought hope and healing, through music ministry for years; not to mention, opening doors to financial guidance for adoptive parents, creating another avenue for God miracles to impact lives.  Their struggle to find peace in this very difficult time continues…there are things that grief to the surface…questions that demand answers for.  It is as their daughter Emily said… Grief is a very windy road.  It is a struggle to meet all of their children’s emotional needs as they navigate their own ups and downs; but, at least their family is trying to heal together.

          Christians are not immune to tragic circumstances…in fact, i believe that they are given to everyone.  No one is left out of doses of misery, despair, sickness, loss, financial stress etc.  But the Christian bears an extra burden during those times as they are living their lives, as a testimony before others, about God’s grace and mercy.  How to explain the unexplainable?  The old question, why does God let bad things happen?  Oh, King Solomon i am sure, would have an answer to that as he prayed for wisdom and was granted it by God…but truly, only God knows the whys of things.  All we can do is struggle to hang on to our faith and try to grow it through the struggles of life.

        I know that Robin Roberts is a Christian…she has had her own struggles, this past year.  I am most interested in this interview, as i believe that God will impart compassion, grace and understanding in it, to others who are going through their own difficulties.  I pray that hearts will be touched and moved.  Watch tomorrow on good morning america for this moment of heartfelt grief and love and hope.  It will be worth your time!

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          Mike Huckabee who many of you may know ran as a Republican candidate for President of the United States and as the former Governor of Arkansas; but, he is also a Baptist minister.  Yesterday he turned from a soul saver into a life saver.

           Mr. Huckabee was at the North Carolina Republican convention when a fellow Republican Robert Pittenger, who is running for lieutenant Governor, was laughing during dinner and started to choke on some food.

            Robert Pittenger stood up as he choked and Mike Huckabee came to the rescue by performing the Heimlich maneuver which allowed the food to dislodge from Mr. Pittenger’s windpipe.  So, Mr. Huckabee turns from a soul saver to a life saver in my opinion.  Good job, Mike! 

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         It is June and the end of the school season.  That means that there are many more children out and about.  I just want to take a few minutes to remind people about child vehicle safety.

          Last week there was a horrible reminder of how easy it is for an accident to happen, with the loss of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5 year old daughter.  She was killed when she somehow got in the path of a vehicle driven by her teenaged brother.  Our prayers go out to the whole family at their time of loss.  But, the period of grieving is going to be complicated because of their son being the driver of the vehicle.  There are so many emotions to deal with, in addition to loosing their daughter.

          Teen drivers have less experience watching out for the little ones.  They are new to driving and it only takes a second for a distraction to cause an accident.  With cell phones, radios and passengers along for the ride there is much to distract a driver these days.  Also, reminding elderly drivers about taking extra precautions around driving near young children is a good idea.  Every driver needs reminding about such things.   Teaching the little ones to play away from parking areas, away from the curb, or away from the roadways is very important. 

        Educating teens and reminding all other drivers about the extra dangers of the importance of watching out for kids at play…especially when balls, bikes, skates or skateboards are involved.  Quick decisions by young children aren’t based on …is it safe for me to chase my ball that just went out into the road, or is it safe for me to skate across the corner of the road…or am i fast enough to get by on my bike…they just make quick decisions that can put a driver in a bad situation.

         My adult daughter lives in a housing development in a cul -de- sac.  This is a housing development that has alot of young families; as well as a day care, right next door.  I am paranoid when i go to visit because of the parking available.  Whenever i arrive or leave, i take several exta moments to check where all of the little ones are because; they are riding little electric cars that are low to the ground, they are running and chasing each other, they are often riding little bikes and push toys.  It is hard to see them.  I am terrified that i will miss seeing one of them while backing out of the parking space.  Apartment buildings, beaches, parks and school zones are all areas that require extra focus and attention watching for children at play.

          The neighbor who runs the day care, in my daughter’s neighborhood, is very good about keeping an eye on the children and no-one plays out of doors without adult supervision.  However, it only takes a moment to be distracted as parents arrive to pick up, or, drop off their children.  There are other neighbors, who get visitors, who do not always watch their children vigilantly.  It only takes a few extra minutes to make sure where everyone is located; and, to make them aware that a vehicle is coming or going.   It could save a life and alot of legal responsibility.

          As long as we are talking vehicle safety and wee ones…let talk about the electronic windows.  It is so easy for little ones to accidently get trapped in the electronic windows.  Every year we hear of deaths or severe injuries caused by little arms or heads that somehow get rolled up in the electronic windows.  Please, please, please, make sure the children are strapped into their seat belts or their child restraint seats properly.  That way, you can be a little more confident that they are not playing with the buttons on the windows while you are driving.

          Children love playing and hiding in out of the way places.  Cars are a temptation. If there are abandoned cars in your neighborhood…get them removed or locked up.   Please, keep your vehicle locked when you are not using it…even if it is parked in a garage.  Children sometimes get into the vehicles and can’t get back out; or they climb into the trunk and the same thing happens.  Teach children not to play in a vehicle; but still, protect them and yourself by locking the vehicle.

          Communities are becoming much more pro-active about teaching and inspecting child seat restraints.  Often community police or rescue personnel will offer a safety inspection of your child safety seat.  They will make sure that they are properly installed and offer tips on how best to make sure that your child or grandchild is safe.

         Finally, now that summer is here…the warm weather is too.  The air in a closed vehicle quickly heats up and becomes unsafe for little ones to be left in a vehicle; even for just a few minutes.  Always, always take your child into the store or gas station.  For safety’s sake, do not leave them in the vehicle.  Even when the vehicle is empty, crack the windows a bit; or, open the vents in the back of the vehicle to let out excess heat so that the vehicle is not overly warm when you and your child get back into the vehicle.  That blast of heat can damage young lungs and it can be painful to the skin to touch hot seats.

          Every year we hear tragic reports, on the news, of another child that died as a result of being left in a hot vehicle.  When transporting your child to day care on your way to work…place your brief case, lunch bag, purse or some other such reminder in the back so that in your haste you don’t forget that your child is strapped in the back.

           Put a reminder in the front seat near you such as a toy or a bottle, to remind yourself that your child is in the back; especially if you are transporting your child in an out of normal circumstance of your daily routine.  Or, put a post it note in a bright color on your steering wheel; these reminders are important, because forgetting your child is not an option.  If the child falls asleep and is quiet, in your haste to get to work or whatever your routine is, if you normally dont transport your child at that time every day…it can happen that you “forget” that your child is in the vehicle with you. 

             It seems silly to go over these safety issues…but, take the time to remind yourself of them.  It is worth taking a few extra minutes to go over them if it saves one life…and a lifetime of guilt and regrets.  Have a safe and fun summer!

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