Every Story Whispers His Name

It’s a colorful book, with bright pictures and engaging stories.

It’s a children’s Bible for ages 4-7.

And I can’t put it down.

I brought it home for my little girl to hold close to her heart. But the words in the The Jesus Storybook Bible have made their way into mine. I am captured.

Every story, from Adam and Eve to Saul, from Noah to the prodigal son, whispers the name of Jesus. The author follows The Author’s lead and every story points back or ties in the work of Jesus Christ. I have learned so much and it’s opened the Word of God up to me.

I cried when I read it the first time. I use it for devotions. I trade gummy bears with my little girl to borrow it.

“The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far counry to win back his lost reasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne–everything–to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is –it’s true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle–the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.”

For me, this is more than a book about The Bible. It’s a reminder that my life, each chapter, every day that creates my story, should whisper His name. When my life is read, I want the pages to point people in the direction of The One who matters most.

Can you hear it? The whispering….

The Crisis: Part I

We are in the midst of one of the greatest tragedies of mankind.

While we sleep under down comforters in warm houses in wintry December, a silent crisis of massive proportions is occurring on the other side of the world.

It probably won’t make the nightly news or even garnish attention from our story-seeking media.

Powerless people living in the death grip of poverty don’t have a voice. For the most part, they only arouse a bit of curiosity and make us uncomfortable in our American Dream.

The global orphan crisis has reached staggering statistics of 163 million orphans (United Nations). The number is so great, it is beyond our comprehension.

And yet it is real. As far as the eye can see, stretching across countless miles, there is a sea of children who live without parents and are in a desperate need of help. Every number is a face, a life created by God, an innocent child whose companion is suffering. Children who have smiles that light up the world, children who play with a ball created from trash. Children much like our own, only born into a gulf of poverty.

When I think of an orphan, I automatically think of adoption.

It has traditionally been the answer in our western minds to this vast need. And while I love adoption and watching the undeniable beauty of an orphaned child rescued and brought to the abundance of our country, I firmly believe that adoption is not the answer to the global orphan crisis.

Is it life changing? Definitely. Does it solve the problem for the orphan adopted? Absolutely.

But for every child that is adopted there are thousands left behind.

What is the answer to the global orphan crisis? I believe it is empowering these destitute nations who lack basic resources with our support through the local church, but even more than that, it is Jesus.

I’m still trying to figure out what this means for me and my family. I believe that giving our finances to Godly organizations like Compassion International is part of the answer. I believe that providing clean water and resources is part of the answer. I believe that it’s God’s desire for Mercy House to empower hopeless girls with the skills and education needed, so they don’t abandon or abort their children. I believe we all need to ask what we are supposed to do-for some that will be adoption, for others it will be something different. But every Christian needs to do something.

I believe a conscious awareness of this global crisis in our every day lives will stir up a resolve to move out of our comfortable lives and do something.

Across our nation, there is a collaborative movement of meaningful conversation rising up to help us think outside of traditional roles of caring for the orphan, one such event is the !dea Camp. I hope you’ll consider joining me in February at this event.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”-Martin Luther King

Close your eyes and listen.

Give them a voice.

Where you find an unfathomable crisis, you find God.

God is with the poor.

WFMW: Gift-Wrapping Center

I’ve got gift wrapping on the brain, so I’m going to show y’all some pictures.

If you want to think that this is my house and my idea, I might let you.

But it’s not, it’s my friend Sandi’s house. I love the gift-wrapping center she created:
You could create this anywhere, but I love that it’s above a counter in her laundry room:

  • She uses paper towel hangers to hold spools of curling ribbon
  • A long towel rack holds tissue paper
  • A wooden hat rack is the perfect place to hang ribbon
  • An unused vase holds bows
  • The double plate stand is a catchall for tape and cards

Isn’t this clever?
It works for her (and me!)
(This is a repost from last Christmas).
Anyone want to come wrap my gifts this year??

The Rusted Chain {Giveaway}

*Updated with Winners: Congrats to random #’s 39 Lindsay of Not to Us and #149 reader Kelly (kellyma01@gmail.com)!

Dear People of the World,

I have the perfect, inexpensive, custom Christmas present for you to consider:

The Rusted Chain Hand Stamped Jewelry.



Seriously: Doesn’t this make you want to SOAR?

And I want to wear this around my neck, even though I’m hardly a photographer (and I’m terrible with a gun, too):

And, sweet Beki, owner of The Rusted Chain has blessed me personally by creating a beautiful design to benefit the word of The Mercy House. $10 from every sale of this necklace goes toward this ministry:

The Rusted Chain is giving away TWO $25 gift certificates to TWO commenters. Tell me what you love and you’ll be entered!

This giveaway ends on Thursday.

Spinning Plates, Tree, What Have You

I survived 48 hours in a hotel room with four girls, five including myself- quite an achievement for this introvert.

It was like a high school sleepover, only we’re our mother’s age, plus there was some snoring going on. I slept with a girl I met on the Internet (if you would have predicted that ten years ago, I would have laughed my head off), but we did line fluffy pillows between us…to prevent any nocturnal spooning or leg crossover.

It was fun and I am tired. I also have no voice. A bonus for my kids. It was good to have a break from my spinning plate routine-juggling The Mercy House, my family of five and looming Christmas. I came home with a lighter burden.

In other news, my tree spins. We decided to simplify our Christmas decorations this year. I invited a couple of newly married girls over to dig thru my SEVEN boxes of decor. I now have two. Lighter. Better.

But since I haven’t reached perfection. I bought a rotating Christmas tree stand. I was really excited to decorate the tree.

Which means I had to decorate the back of my tree. Which means I had to use ALL the ornaments from the last 16 years of marriage. Which means there are a lot of paper handprints on my tree. Which also means we used all my hubby’s childhood ornaments. Which means that he read the date on the bottom of each one. Which made my kids want to touch said special ornaments. Which means three were broken the first day. Which means I may be calling my newly married friends to get some of those Christmas ornaments back.

My kids wanted to decorate it while it was rotating-I had my doubts about the wisdom of this decision…it went pretty well, except for the few times my kids were trying to hang an ornament on a moving branch they ended up stuck behind the tree. That can really frighten a kid.

[Riveting 23 second video] Our Christmas Tree 2010

After thirty minutes, the tree wasn’t the only thing spinning.

I love Christmas, especially with an illuminated oscillating timber.