Search Results for: label/The Persecuted Church

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.”


Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-Fall, You Are Such a Tease

It’s that time of the week again! Welcome to Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You.  Are  you tired of this carnival yet?  I hope not. Just when I think my picture barrel is running low, the old digital albums, they do provide.
I love fall. It’s my favorite time of year.  I love the harvest colors found in nature. I love the falling leaves and acorns and the bright orange pumpkins that adorn our world.  I love the crisp, cool weather—
Wow. I really got caught up there for a minute and then remembered, I live in Texas!  We’ve had a crisp morning or two.  But by noon, they are long gone. We’re back up to hot. Plain, old, hot. 
I’ve decided that fall is such a tease.
I’m tricked into it every year.  I decorate the day after Labor Day and try to induce a fall mood. Every store in town is peppered with gourds and pumpkins, Halloween costumes and even Christmas decor, which I find very irritating by the way.  Stop rushing me, k?
I stumbled upon this photo the other day and it took me back to one of the first day’s of fall, last year.  It was mid-November.  I’m telling y’all, Texans play pretend fall for months!
My sweet son is wearing a knit hat I brought him from Washington DC, where I met my precious new niece.
I picked up a couple of knitted items from a little Russian lady at an open market.  She was in her 80′s and her disfigured fingers still aptly worked the needle.   Who knew my fondness for Russians would explode?
On this day, I took dozens of pictures of my children.  I kept this one for one reason:  the snot slipping from my son’s nose. 
Don’t ask me why.  (I’ll tell you anyway, I know it’s cool outside when that boy’s nose begins to run! His nose knows).
I think he’s beautiful, don’t you?
So, c’mon fall, surprise us this year.  


WARNING: Here We Come

The other day I needed to go by the bank and deposit a check.Harmless errand with toddler in tow, right?

Hehe (insert fake laugh here).

When I pulled into the parking lot, 420 other people had the same idea. 
So, I decided to outsmart everyone and do my banking at the ATM machine. I pulled up and reached for the deposit envelopes. There weren’t any.

In my frustration, I pulled away slowly, leaving my ATM card in the machine. 
I think a normal person at this point would have stopped their car, gotten out and retrieved said card. At least that’s what my hubby said a normal person would do.

But I backed up into the narrow ATM aisle since no one was in line behind me.
Now, I won’t go into my backing issues. But lets just say I am not a good backer-upper.

On hearing a crunching noise (and I’m pretty sure laughter), I didn’t look back. I found a place to park and wasted the next 30 minutes begging for a new card.

And that’s when I made a monumental decision.

You know, considering our reputation as THAT family. I’ve been feeling sorry for our local Emergency Room, eating establishments (add bank to the list) and the overall general population. 
I’ve decided to let people know we’re coming…It only seems fair. 
I just consider it a warning. And this is what I’ll be wearing when I go pick up my replacement ATM card this week:





I know many of you are related to me. We’re like family. And that’s why I’m sharing. You can warn people too. But my shirt is occupied. You’ll have to get your own.


And if you are bold enough to wear one, all profits go to
The Persecuted Church.

Once I got home, I noticed the fender of my car. 


Oops.

Do y’all think the glue gun can handle this?


Grace-Based Parenting Tip #3 & Giveaway!

*UPDATED* Congratulations to Ami!  She won the book.  Come back next week for another Grace-Based Giveaway!
I want the best for my kids.
I want them to have a great childhood, a good education, Godly character traits and a bright future.
I want them to pluck the black hairs from my chin when I’m decrepit be successful in life. 
Through the Grace-Based parenting resources, I’ve learned that aiming my children at a future focused on success isn’t the same at aiming them at true greatness.
Doesn’t the phrase true greatness just make something deep within you stand up and say, “YES! That’s it! That’s what I want for my kids!”
The world defines success by these measurements:  wealth, beauty, power and fame.
Okay.  Suddenly, I’m not feeling so successful. 
In Dr. Kimmel’s book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, he defines true greatness as “a passionate love for Jesus Christ that shows itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others.” Directing them towards true greatness helps to focus them upward and outward, rather than inward.
Aiming children at success complicates their lives and contributes to self-absorption. 
How many self absorbed grown up children (a.k.a adults) do we know?
Dr. Kimmel teaches that true greatness is easier to achieve by building four qualities in a child’s heart:
  • A Humble Heart-a reverence for God and respect for others.
This is the last thing our culture is teaching our children. We can’t leave this up to the school system or even the church.  It’s our responsibility as parents to teach our kids how to respect others and revere God.  
What does a humble heart look like?  We are working on developing this in our home: a mutual respect for each other’s ideas and thoughts (as in the oldest child dismissing everything the younger siblings say). I think our kids take cues from us..they are always watching.
  • A Grateful Heart-An appreciation for what they have been given and Who has given it.
I think complaining and grumbling is the direct result of an ungrateful heart.  We all know how it feels for our children to act unthankful!
A friend of mine shared this idea with me: create a ‘blessing box’ and jot down a small note EVERY time a blessing comes your way, from little things like finding a $1 on the sidewalk to big stuff like Dad finding a new job. I think this will teach my kids just how many blessings we have. During Thanksgiving, open the box and read the blessings. I’ll show you our box after we finish making it!
  • A Generous Heart-A great delight in sharing with others what God has entrusted in you.
Perhaps this is the one quality that we have really hammered home. We have had so many opportunities to give lately (Russian friends from The Persecuted Church) that I have planned a special day on my blog to encourage others to give:  One Day to Give.  God has given us so much and we are learning that not only is it fun to give to others, it feels awesome!  
We wanted to take it a step further and teach our children on their level.  We took 3 plastic boxes and had them decorate them with stickers: Spending, Giving, Saving. Every dollar that comes their way, they take a percentage and place it in each box. It has really taught them the value of money and they are having fun watching their pennies grow!

  • A Servant Heart-A willingness to take action in order to help someone else.
On Labor Day, I was very proud of my kids and hubby. They took this principal to heart and spent several hours collecting trash at the pond near our house.  No one noticed or said thank you, but I knew they really ‘got it’ because they weren’t looking for praise.
But I also think this is the weakest area in our home. We are all selfish by nature and it’s easy to slip into the habit of taking care of ourselves first. I think it’s easier for them to serve a stranger than their siblings. So, we’re working on it!
When my last child leaves home, I want to be able to hold my hubby’s hand and look into the mirror and know that we’ve raised truly great kids.
And then it won’t matter if the world calls them a success.
Because they will be.
If you would like this amazing book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, leave me a comment by Thursday noon (CST). Family Matters has been kind enough to donate one!
For more great tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday!