A Gift that Tastes Like Chicken

I’ve told y’all all about my good man.

He’s not perfect. And we’ve had our fair share of Potato Soup fights. 
(Our first fight ever was over potato soup. He liked my recipe so much, he kept going back to refill his bowl. I whined about not having any left from the double batch for lunch the next day, so he dumped the whole bowl in the trash. The fight ensued…)
(Yes, I won that fight!)
But fourteen years later, we are still best friends and I deeply respect him.
During the week, he spends a lot of time in his car driving to doctor’s offices. He’s a Pharmaceutical Rep and as a part of his job he provides lunch for the clinics.  
One area of town, about 20 minutes from our house, is a lower-income area. There are homeless people under every overpass.
One day, my hubby rolled down his window and offered his own lunch to a homeless man.
He did it again the next day.
And again the next week. 
He prayed with one desperate lady and encouraged a sad man.
And now on a regular basis, he pauses during his busy day, to make someone else’s. I was so proud.  I told my kids about it.
Do you know what they said?
“Take us, Dad. We want to feed them too.”
And so we did. On Saturday.  It was our One Day to Give for November.
We filled up two sacks with Chick Fil A chicken biscuits and we prayed. (And yes, I did get a sweet tea, just in case you were wondering.)
As one person after another came to our car window, I watched my children’s faces. 

They looked closely. They listened intently. And they understood why their Dad feeds the homeless.
One man in particular touched us deeply. My hubby asked if he was hungry. He smiled and said, ‘yes, this is the first food I’ve had in two days.” His joy was evident. And so was his relief. (My hubby handed him my large cup of sweet tea too.  Now that’s sacrifice! Do you think a cup of cold sweet tea given in Jesus’ name counts the same?)
On our way home, we talked with our kids. I knew this would be a day they would remember. “Do you have any questions?” I asked. 
“Yes,” my son said. “If that one man is homeless, how did he get gold teeth?”
I explained that most people don’t start off homeless and we speculated some about his life. I said, “and for some, gold teeth are a fashion statement.”
My almost 9 year old fashionable daughter said, “Who would want gold teeth?”
My son raised his hand and said, “Me!”
During this wonderful week of Thanksgiving, take a moment to give. You’ll be glad you did.

One Day To Give Celebration

Persecuted Church:

Thank you for taking the time and energy to do something good.

In a world, where bad often gets the attention, I find it exhilarating to be a part of a community where good prevails.
Our family brainstormed ideas for our One Day to Give project. We wanted our kids to help us decide.  And we came up with so many great ideas, we decided to set aside a day every month to give. I can’t wait!
But for this first one, we unanimously decided that since our hearts and attention have been so stirred by The Persecuted Church, that would be our focus.
Our sweet Russian friends are doing amazing things for God.  Our families sat down a couple of weeks ago and they shared the dream God had given them. 
And it included us.
My hubby and I were honored and overwhelmed with their vision. There are many details and exciting things I hope to share in the future.  But during the conversation, we talked about Igor’s next trip to the The Ukraine, which coincidentally is happening right now.  
He is teaching to more than 400 Christians many of whom are Pastors, and many who are risking their lives to attend such a conference. Igor teaches how to use sports to witness about Christ. Using sports as an avenue to lead people to Christ and ultimately into the underground church, is highly effective in these Muslim countries. Many of these people are traveling great distances through dangerous borders with very little money, to learn. About God.
After the conference, Igor is traveling to one of the countries (which borders his home country of Uzbekistan)  to meet with disciples he left behind from the persecuted, underground church in Uzbekistan (the country he was deported from and threatened with death, if he should return). I decided to be vague about details for his protection.
They are meeting together to pray, fellowship, and receive training. It is very dangerous and complicated for these Christians.  And for Igor. He has been arrested for teaching the Book of James by the KGB and was followed the last time he was there.
Please pray for him and these amazing Christians today. There are new laws going into effect right now that make it even more dangerous for Christians in these two countries. You can read about it here and here.
As Katerina was explaining the details of this trip to me, she mentioned that they were collecting items to take to their 40+ disciples that Igor is meeting. Supplies that are hard to come by and personal items that are very costly are at the top of the list: prenatal vitamins, dry erase markers, instant coffee, gum, socks, deodorant and clothes.
And that’s where our One Day to Give comes in. Immediately, I knew what our family could do. We made a list and sent it to some friends and family and our Pastor, and asked them to join with us.  Our church offered to pay for the baggage costs among other things, and we started filling duffle bags. (Sunday, our church took up an offering for supplies for the underground church and to help some pastors travel to Igor’s conference. $5,000 came in!)

As we stuffed the boxes of crayons we purchased and toys from my kid’s room into the bags, we prayed.  We each took a turn and prayed that the simple hygiene items we we tucked into the corner of the bag, would be a blessing. We prayed for the believers who would sip the treasured cups of coffee. And for the children who’s future is uncertain, we prayed safety and peace and joy, as we packed up small toys.
And we asked God to bless them, to protect them and to let them  know that they are heroes to this little family in America.
And Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)
Please pray for them today. And for Igor who is somehow managing to carry six stuffed bags across many borders!

Tie a Ribbon ‘Round Your Typing Finger

One Day to Give is this Friday!  It’s just a few days away, but you still have time to make a difference in someone’s life!

It doesn’t have to be BIG to be important.
Link up your post and share your One Day to Give project.  It will encourage. It will inspire. It will make a difference.  (I will be putting Mr. Linky up late Thursday evening).
One of my readers, Shana, emailed me about something special going on TODAY (Oct. 15): Blog Action Day.  It is an invitation for bloggers to join together and blog about poverty. 
And since our families’ One Day to Give project (that I’ll be sharing on Friday), encompasses some very poor people, I thought I’d share this with you:
In Uzbekistan, where our friends from The Persecuted Church, escaped, poverty is rampant and it touches everyone.  Most families live on $50.00 per month. The rest of the people, survive on less.  Our sweet friends tried to explain just how poor the people are:
“In our country, when you visit neighbors and friends in their homes, you notice that there are switch plates and outlet covers missing. The faucet hardware and shower heads are gone too. Some people have no hardware in their homes at all. This is common. They sell everything ‘extra’. These people have sold bits and pieces of their house in the open market, for food.  To feed their children. They know poverty very well.”
I can’t turn on my lights or plug something in without this image invading my thoughts.
Let’s do something.  
Food for the Soul:Psalm 140:12 “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”


One Day To Give


Do you ever feel like your supposed to do something?

I don’t mean catch up on laundry or cook dinner. (Although that does fit my daily job requirement).

I’m talking about a tug, a quiet voice, a gentle urging to act, to do, to give.

When I was very pregnant with my first child, I went grocery shopping for the last time. My basket was overflowing with everything I thought I might need, you know, in case I died during childbirth or at least was paralyzed from my planned epidural. You could say I was a bit paranoid.

We lived on a Youth Pastor’s salary and seriously stretched every dollar. I’ll never forget that day at the store. I was huge and hungry. I took a pint of chocolate milk from the refrigerated section and drank the entire thing right there in the store.

I wasn’t even embarrassed that I dribbled the milk down my yellow top.

I was all about my dairy needs.

As I pushed my giant cart to the register, the cashier looked at me and said, “Someone offered to buy your entire basket of groceries.”

Excuse me? She pointed to a lady I didn’t know very well, but had seen at our church. She looked at me and said, “I’m supposed to do this.”

Her kind and generous act changed our entire month financially because that basket of groceries cost more than $200.

It also changed my attitude and reminded me that God saw every need.

I was thinking about this when I was reading Bring the Rain. I read about Angie selling her Coach purse on ebay and giving the money to charity. Her unselfishness and love for others touched me.

And so I asked myself, what could I give that means something to me?

Something personal. Something I value, given to someone else.

"color:black;">I’ve had a check sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks, one of my first from blog ads. I hadn’t spent it yet, because I was waiting on the perfect gift to buy. For me. I share everything with my hubby and with the needs of my three kids, so I don’t have undesignated sums of money laying around. Exactly.

So, this money was mine. To do as I pleased and I was going to buy something grand.

During the bloggy giveaway carnival, I was inundated with comments for my giveaway (a Tinkerbell Digital Player) as most blogs were. It was so fun! My laptop pinged like a slot machine with each email that came in.

But there was one comment that made me cry. I mean, call me hormonal, but it really touched me.


Oh. My. We spend hours and hours and hours driving to doctors and  

hospitals for our littlest brother.


My nine year old is bored out of her gourd through out all of this.  

But because she loves her little brother, she never complains.


The TINK would be such a welcome gift!


Thank you for the opportunity!


Okay, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to totally rig the contest. The thought crossed my mind several times, especi
ally after I went to their family blog,
Praying for Parker

And so, I knew what I was supposed to do with that check. I shared the story with my kids and they were very excited about surprising this little girl with something special. So, I emailed her.  

Here’s her response:

I am just now getting to my email.  I read this and almost fell off of my chair!  lol!  My daughter, Kensley, would be absolutely delighted!


It is hard when you are the child just next to the one with special needs.  You go from being the baby…..to having to grow up so, so quickly.  You are asked to try and understand things that really are way beyond your reach of understanding.  


You sacrifice.  A lot.  


But her heart is so good.  I would love for her to have a Tink so that she knows her selflessness hasn’t gone unnoticed nor unappreciated.

I was supposed to do that. I would have regretted it if I hadn’t.

I’m not telling you this to receive praise, actually, please, do not praise me.

One Day to Give was born out of a desire to touch someone. It doesn’t have to be monetary. You can give your time, a service, a meal or something you own.

It’s not about the what.

It’s about the why. You might change someone’s day, even their life.

And giving feels so good.

Our family is taking the challenge and I’ll be sharing what we’re giving on Oct. 17. 

You have 25 days from now to do something for someone. 

Will you accept the challenge?

Come back here and link up your post. (You can link up an older post as long as it is appropriate to giving). And this isn’t just for bloggers, readers can participate too.  You can share your story in the comments.

Your One Day to Give.




Hungry

I don’t know the meaning of hunger.  

Oh, there are moments, when I’m dieting, that I think I will faint without something sweet.
Not exactly the definition of starving.
But at my fingertips, I have a vast array of choices and could satisfy my stomach at my choosing.
I have noticed the rise in food costs and the increase in fuel.  I’ve renewed my membership to The Grocery Game to build up my pantry and we’ve opted to stay closer to home for our summer road trips.  
But, we are still eating as much as we want (and that’s why I need to diet) and we have enough money to purchase gasoline, even though we cringe at the pump.
My home is slightly affected by the changes in our economy.
But when you look at our world and read about the Global Food Crisis, I am in the minority.
Tomorrow, June 25, has been declared a day of fasting and prayer for hungry people around our globe.  
Can you imagine offering your daughter soup made from tree leaves?  Or encouraging your son to sleep during lunch, so his hungry tummy won’t hurt so badly?
I cannot.
Blessings abound in America.  When we see $4 a gallon, we complain, but we continue our life.  
We eat.  
Today, I watched a video clip about an 11 year old boy in Indonesia who was being given to an orphanage because his parents could no longer feed him and his two younger brothers.  How could they? I swallowed the lump in my throat as I heard his mother say, “Be tough.”
Love knows no limits.  
Take a minute to pray for those who are less fortunate.  When you look into the precious face of your child today, picture the mother across the ocean who is asking God for a miracle to feed her child, and pray for her.
The next bite of food you take, pause, whisper a prayer for those without.  Share this with your kids and make a difference.  You can visit Compassion International and give here.