Monday, December 17, 2012

Life as a teenager

I think we as adults tend to forget how tough it can be to be a teenager. I have been reminded of this lately watching Cole make decisions about his future. Huge, life changing decisions. This year he has been so focused and concentrated on grades, scholarships, college decisions, and others.

We can forget that the words in which we speak into their lives can make an impact so deep that if they aren't mentally mature enough to decipher the words it can be detrimental to their emotional state.

We have always held our kids to a high standard. I am very proud of the people they have become, not because of anything we have done but because they have worked hard to be where they are at.

I was talking to Cole this weekend and he made a statement to me that I've pondered over. He said "Mom, life isn't all about basketball. I'm trying to decide where to go to college and focused on my grades". I will admit I was asking him why he wasn't having as good a year playing as he had in previous years. He is overwhelmed and focused on his future. I reassured him that now he needs to just play the game and enjoy it since its his senior year, I told him when he is on the court focus on that and when the game is over he can go back to focusing on the other aspects in his life.

I think all too often as parents, fans and coaches we think things are all about the season we are in athletically when what we need to do is step back and realize that kids don't have it as easy as we think.

Therefore, as adults we can be the people they turn to or the people they run from. I have learned from the many years that Ed has coached that it is more than just a game. It is teaching them about life through it and if you get the respect and admiration of the kids they will work their tails off to not let you down.

It is a different world we live in even from 10 years ago. I for one would not want to go back and be a teenager again!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Overwhelmed by the saints

I've learned that I can get out of my comfort zone on my own but how much more strength & confidence to do the work God has called me to do when the saints have gathered behind me in prayer.

I am continually in awe of the people that rally behind the one thing that God has put as a call on my life. The ones that write on my Facebook, the unexpected text, the amount of people that work endlessly on fundraising for an unexpected trip.

It's in those times that I know that if my friends would go to the efforts they have for little me, just what they will do for the least of these.

There are times I look around and extreme guilt sets in at our abundance but God reminds me to not feel bad for what He has blessed us with. He has given us resources to help, even if it is just one.

So, I thank you my friends for the unconditional love you have poured out on me and this mission. It's hard to show exactly what me heart feels for each and every one of you. No matter how small you might think your efforts are.

There is no small sacrifice. While I am blessed when finances come in, it's the prayers of the saints that will do the work that God has planned. It's in those prayers that I know He will provide just what we need.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Step away from the computer!

There are times when I wish I had one of those trunk monkey's. You remember them right? Something happens and you push your handy "trunk monkey" button and out comes your little furry friend to handle the situation.

Only in my case usually I am the one needing dealt with. Sigh...

There are days when throwing in the towel would be all too easy. Turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to what really is going on in the world around us. Just pretend everything in this dark world is a-ok. There are days when I ask "why me God", "why did You choose me to carry out this work, this is BIG and I am so small and flawed".

Then He reminds me.

When I look into those eyes I am haunted.

He says "whatever you did for the least of these, you did it to me"

Oh there are days when I still want to throw it all in. There are moments when I want to spout off at that person that says that one little comment that burns right through me. Usually Ed knows it is coming and he says "step away from the computer, nothing is solved over facebook or emails". That's what I love about him. He keeps me grounded.

But then in that moment when that dear friend looks over the table at Mi Pueblo and says "We believe in you", it's at that moment that I am thankful for friends that rally behind the call that has been given. That will do whatever it takes to see it through.

We weren't promised easy, we were promised He would be with us every step of the way.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fair Trade... Every dollar makes a difference

Since I am trying to be very proactive about Fair Trade products I decided to list a few "big" ones just to educate in case you too would like to be more conscience of what we are buying. I tend to stick with products that rate C or better and try to avoid the D's and F's so I will list good and bad based on that and if you want to know more specific just let me know!

The Issues that the source I use tackles:
Human Rights
The Environment
Animal Protection
Community Involvement
Social Justice

Body Care

Good - Dr. Bronner's, Method, Body Shop, Colgate, Speed Stick, Lubriderm, Aveeno, Neutrogena, Purell, St. Ives, Curel, Blistex, Ban, Jergens, Burt Bee's

Bad - L'Oreal, Arrid, Arm & Hammer, Dove, Suave, Vaseline, Degree, Axe, Chapstick, Schick, Noxema, Dial, Old Spice, Secret, Sure, Gillette, Olay, Right Guard, Dry Idea,


Bad - Wonder, Home Pride, Nature's Pride, Kraft, Stove Top

Candy, Gum, Mints

Good - Reed's, Glee Gum, Sencha Natural, Newman's Own, Jolly Ranchers, Good & Plenty, Andes, Heath, Twizzlers, Kit Kat, Werthers, Mentos, Tic Tacs,

Bad - Casbury, Certs, Dentyne, Trident, Starburst, Skittles, M & M's, LLifesavers, Extra, Orbit, Kraft, Nerds, Laffy Taffy, Nestle, Butterfinger, Wonka (always knew he used slaves), SweetTarts,


Bad - Cadbury, Swiss Miss, Nestle, Toblerone, Crunch, Hershey is a C-

Cleaning Products

Good - Simple Green, Ajax, Colgate, Palmolive, Murphy Oil, Pledge, SC Johnson, Windex, Glade, Hefty, Comet

Bad - Clorox, Green Works, Pine Sol, SOS, Glad, Liquid Plumr, 409, Lysol, Easy-Off, Soft Scrub, Joy, Proctor & Gamble, Ivory, Swiffer, Dial, Mr. Clean, Dawn


Bad - International Delight, Maxwell House, Sanka, General Foods, Nescafe, Nestle, CoffeeMate

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Good - Smart Balance, Welch's, Smuckers, Knott's

Bad - Skippy, Peter Pan


Good - Sierra Mist, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sunkist, Dr. Pepper, Crush, RC

Bad - Lipton, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Mr. Pibb, Barq's, Minute Maid, Tab


Good - Crystal Geyser, Propel, Aquafina, SoBe, Deja Blue, Dannon, Evian, Snapple, Crystal Springs, Fiji

Bad - Vitamin Water, Smart Water, Dasani, Perrier, Deer Park, Ice Mountain

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Candy... But at what price.

I recently told my son that we would no longer be buying anything Hershey manufactured. Including many yummy chocolate candy bars. He said "but mom I like all that". To which I responded "do you like kids enslaved so you can eat something that really isn't too good for you anyway?"

He was shocked and has since taken on fair trade as another cause he is willing to stand up for. You see we can all sit back with our willful ignorance and pretend like it doesn't matter. Out of sight, out of mind mentality. But the harsh truth is that around 284,000 children working the cocoa farms in Africa according to a report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.

Many US companies say that cannot be responsible for what is happening. Really? And just why can't they?

We aren't willing to spend just a little more or educate ourselves so that the cycle will stop. Am I saying to boycott everything? No, what I am saying is that in order for change to happen it is up to us, the consumers, to take a stand.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Don't you want to turn around and shake yourself sometimes? Especially those times when you just let that flesh control a little bit of you...

Yep, I've been there. I hate to admit it but far to often it seems. There is that one word that we sometimes let control every action...


Boy do I hate feelings sometimes.Either they are dormant or they are clawing at everything close. I do not want to be led by feelings. I want to be led by the Spirit in all things, in all times.

Today, I am thankful for friends that went the extra mile to "talk me off the ledge".

Friday, August 31, 2012

He said He would do it...

There it was again...


It came thundering down, questions went up, no answers came

But He is faithful

A few weeks ago the let down came in a big way. I am constantly amazed how over and over God shows us that He is here and how over and over we doubt. (smack your forehead here).

The passion that he deeply embedded in my heart at a young age for Africa is stronger even as an adult. If you even know who I am you know this because it seems I am obsessed at times.

When God tells you His plans, He isn't playing

Tuesday there was a text sent that said something like "I am sitting in Kansas City having lunch with a man who has had a heart for Ghana for 20 years. He has land there but no one to run it. I mentioned about your mission and he wants to meet".

One week earlier and one week later Craig would NOT have been in Kansas City... Divine appointment

We scheduled a meeting for Saturday evening. However, God knew I would drive myself and everyone around me crazy until that time so He changed it to Thursday.

Laszlo has led many crusades. He was on TBN twelve years ago when an man approached him and told him he needs to go to Ghana. He went, he led a crusade and many miracles happened there. He gained favor with the King's and business men. They gave him 10 acres of land. He promised to build an orphanage. He searched for partners in this mission.... nothing happened. So he quit praying about it. Hasn't been back for seven years. He has kept in contact with the people he met but that is it.

So here we are meeting with him and he said "I thank God that he dropped this in my lap". I want to give you the land... GIVE us 10 acres that we have been searching for! He wants us to travel with him to make sure it is suitable for our mission. There was no hesitation, the plans were made.

There are many more confirmations made as I threw out the fleece. I am amazed, in awe, and just SO thankful that a BIG God would think of this meeting ten years earlier when he gave the land to Laszlo. I think of where I was ten years ago and I never dreamed anything like this would happen.

We covet your prayers as we plan and raise money quickly for this trip. So many have already gone out of their way to help and take this passion of ours into their hearts and homes. For that I am greatful.

"When you fall asleep tonight
In your warm and cozy room
Know that I'm awake
And I've got no shelter and no food

I am not alone
My friends are broke and lost
Looking for someone to lead them to my cross
I need your help, I need your help

Won't you be My voice calling
Won't you be My hands healing
Won't you be My feet walking into a broken world
Won't you be My chain-breaker
Won't you be My peacemaker
Won't you be My hope and joy
Won't you be My Love

The other side of the world
She is just a few days old
A helpless little girl
With no family of her own

She is not to blame for the journey she is on
Her life is no mistake
Won't you lead her to My cross?

To those I call My own
To those I've set aside
As spotless without blame
The chosen ones My bride

We will be Your voice calling
We will be Your hands healing
We will be Your feet walking into a broken world
We will be Your chain-breaker
We will be Your peacemaker
We will be Your hope and joy
We will be Your love"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Community pride...

I want to tell you a story. A story of a little girl that had much adversity in her life, she wasn't the smartest girl and she wasn't the most athletic girl but she had one thing...determination. This stubborn, strong willed girl started playing basketball in the 4th grade. It was a horrible season, they barely knew how to dribble a basketball but this team had a coach who knew that to be successful you had to teach the kids how to win. The first season wasn't a good one until they found a team they could beat and they scheduled them for AAU games as much a possible so that the girls knew what it felt like to win. The 5th grade season rolled around and the team went undefeated. AAU continued in the spring and summer. The 6th grade season they had a new coach but still only lost one game that year. Jr. High years, they had their old coach and went undefeated in 7th grade, and lost two games in the 8th grade. This team was a family, the parents encouraged the team & coaches even through the losses. They made it to AAU state tournament every year but one.

Then high school rolled around and a lot of changes happened, the athletic side of it was disappointing a lot but that little girl continued to work hard because you see talent didn't come natural for her. She had to work to get anywhere. Her parents knew that the school couldn't be responsible for her total success so they spent a lot of time and money in travel sports, it wasn't always easy and it was very tiring but they were committed to seeing it through. Coaches don't do it for the money, they do it because they love the game and they care about the kids.

This little girl went on to play NCAA Division 2 softball. Her school didn't get her looked at, her travel sports did and her parents making the effort to get recurring forms filled out did.

That little girl is my daughter, Aimee. The coach... Her dad.

You see I tell you that story because that team that became family made a lot of people believe in them and the sense of pride for Shoals improved because of that. Aimee is a junior at OCU still playing softball and she came from Shoals and didn't have to move to get where she is.

I was born & raised in Bedford. I went to high school during the Damon Bailey era. I know what pride is about. I have lived in Shoals for 15 years and I am proud to say I am from here. It saddens me when I see others trash our small community and to see people that live here do it devastates me.

Shoals is a wonderful place to raise a family. My kids have thrived living here. Community pride goes way beyond athletics. It's about how we treat others, how we rally around people when the storms of life overtake them, I have seen some amazing things done out of the love that people in Shoals have for each other.

So, I challenge you to do one thing. Find something in your community that you can be proud of and celebrate it.

I am proud to live in Shoals, Indiana. I hope you can say the same.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Taking a stand, tolerance, hate...

Before I even start let me say that I believe Chick-fil-A (CFA) is a great company & I admire their taking a stand however my issue comes in the fact that the response it has caused from some people is less than appealing. As a matter of fact it is downright disgusting how some have turned this into hate.

 Now I don't believe in same sex marriage and I believe what the Bible says about it. 

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV)

I am all for Christians taking a stand but what I'm not for is the hate this whole CFA thing has brought about by some NOT all. Jesus ate with sinners and the last time I checked I am a sinner. Stealing an ink pen knowingly from the bank is no less a sin than murder, adultery, or homosexuality. 

To quote a movie that most Emmaus people know "Jesus loves just about everyone". 

The other irony is there are people standing behind a $5.00 sandwich but will not stand up to the church conforming to the world. There are denominations approving things that re clearly against what the Bible teaches and even some that say the Bible isn't 100% true. 

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3, 4 NKJV)

Kudos to you Chick-Fil-A for taking a stand. Shame on you that have taken what they have done and turned it into something I am sure they never intended it to be.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The churches biggest obstacle... Apathy

I don't watch the news, I skim the paper. I take in enough to seem informed.

I don't get my heart involved...

I stay in a state of willing ignorance. I read the statistics but they are just numbers. I see the faces of starving children on tv, but they are just faces. My human mind cannot keep processing the state of the world. I know what will happen if I let go and find out what really is going on. I will break, my heart will cry out "why".

But there are times when I do let go, I become broken for the faces I saw, the children I held in my arms. It comes in waves... I see a brown baby and I am captivated. I smell something that reminds me of Africa and it takes me back there. I pick up a book on justice and my heart strings tug. "Helping the poor isn't undeserved charity. It's justice" Bono said that. He has taken up the cause of so many living with Aids. He is being proactive.

Apathy- 1.absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. 2.lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting. 3.Also, ap·a·thei·a, ap·a·thi·a Stoicism.  freedom from emotion of any kind.

I see Christians suffering from this and I do to at times. It's when we see those images that are harsh that we let guilt take over and we whip out the checkbook and write a check to the first organization we find and we breathe a sigh of relief, guilt taken care of, charity met.

 I feel a sense of doing something above the call of duty.

BUT... God continually calls us to help the needy it's all throughout scripture. God's grace and love transform and maybe that comes from guilt. God will transform us through the Holy Spirit. He will break our hearts for what breaks His. I pray often that He gives me His eyes to see with and the courage to step out in action.

You see God doesn't care about numbers ad statistics. Numbers create guilt. William, Mary, Christina, Bernard, Benidicta, Raul, Cornelious. THAT'S what God cares about. That's who God wants me to love.

Monday, June 4, 2012

When my religious activities have seemed to be a little too much about me

 "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart I have overcome the world." John 16:33

How many times have you read that verse and thought "boy that's the truth! So and so did this to me; my kids won't mind; I can't catch up on my bills.... And the list goes on and on. If we are really honest with ourselves we will find that we tend to focus a little too much on "me".  If you think about that verse it's hard not to think that it's an understatement. 

There are 1.2 billion people in the world living in extreme poverty on less than one dollar a day. 

There are nearly 30,000 children under the age of 5 dying each day of hunger and preventable diseases. 

This is a harsh and messed up world in which we live and yet we sit on our couches and think it's a great injustice when the cable goes out or the Internet isn't working.  We have MORE material wealth than any other generation in history. We are prospering. But I wonder if God is pleased with what I am doing? I'm afraid I know the answer! 

 "Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?" Isaiah 58

Feeding the poor, caring for the oppressed can be messy, hard stuff. But what if what God wants is messy not our neat, got it all together religion. God is calling His people to do something.

He is a God of hope to bring restoration to me and you and a world full of hurt. 

"You can't comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable" Princess Diana

If God is stirring in you a desire to do more, to do something my prayer is that you will seek Him for what he has for your life. 

 "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Body is About Him

by Max Lucado

“Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT). Paul wrote these words to counter the Corinthian sex obsession. “Run away from sexual sin!” reads the prior sentence. “No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (v.18 NLT).

What a salmon scripture! No message swims more up-stream than this one. You know the sexual anthem of our day: “I’ll do what I want. It’s my body.” God’s firm response? “No, it’s not. It’s mine.”

Be quick to understand, God is not anti-sex. Dismiss any notion that God is anti-affection and anti-intercourse. After all, he developed the whole package. Sex was his idea. From his perspective, sex is nothing short of holy.

He views sexual intimacy the way I view our family Bible. Passed down from my father’s side, the volume is one hundred years old and twelve inches thick. Replete with lithographs, scribblings, and a family tree, it is, in my estimation, beyond value. Hence, I use it carefully.
When I need a stepstool, I don’t reach for the Bible. If the foot of my bed breaks, I don’t use the family Bible as a prop. When we need old paper for wrapping, we don’t rip a sheet out of this book. We reserve the heirloom for special times and keep it in a chosen place.

Regard sex the same way—as a holy gift to be opened in a special place at special times. The special place is marriage, and the time is with your spouse.

Casual sex, intimacy outside of marriage, pulls the Corinthian ploy. It pretends we can give the body and not affect the soul. We can’t. We humans are so intricately psychosomatic that whatever touches the soma impacts the phyche as well. The me-centered phrase “as long as no one gets hurt” sounds noble, but the truth is, we don’t know who gets hurt. God-centered thinking rescues us from the sex we thought would make us happy. You may think your dalliances are harmless, and years may pass before the x-rays reveal the internal damage, but don’t be fooled. Casual sex is a diet of chocolate—it tastes good for a while, but the imbalance can ruin you. Sex apart from God’s plan wounds the soul.

Your body, God’s temple. Respect it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The last couple weeks have been SO busy. You would think with Cole not doing a spring sport it would slow down but think again! Then this week is Prom decorating, Post Prom chaperoning etc... I am tired just thinking about it.

Yesterday after a great church service at Victory Temple in Jasper, Ed told me I could stay home to rest while he went and got Cole. So, I put my jammies on and got in the recliner and watched a "Undercover Boss" marathon. That shows gets me everytime! I just kept watching though. I like to see those kind of shows where people that don't usually get recognized or appreciated for their work are shown just how much what they do means when someone takes the time to put themselves in their shoes. What if we all gave everyone that same consideration?

Instead of jumping to conclusions, or thinking someone is intentionally trying to aggravate you why not take a step back and really try to see the big picture?

That is what my goal is this week, to meet people right where they are at and to put away the judgement. Join me?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Murder begins in your heart

Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

I have been thinking on this a lot lately and actually made mention of it to David Myers this weekend. We tend to categorize sins on a list from the BIG ones to the little ones, as silly as it sounds we all do it. We look at someone who murders another as someone we wouldn't associate with but it clearly says in scripture that when we harbor anger in our hearts toward others we are guilty of murder.

WHOA now! I am not a murderer.... or am I? The answer to that would have to be yes because I do harbor anger toward people. The main goal for me this year has been to see people how Jesus sees them and while this isn't always easy if we can get in that practice it makes people more attractive to us. I have been guilty in the past of keeping people at arms length so that I don't get hurt because let's be honest we are human, and as much as we don't want to hurt people or get hurt it is inevitable that it will happen. That is one reason that forgiveness is essential to our daily lives.

We can't hold people at arm's length forever. We are called to reach out and GO, that involves risk but the risk is so worth it.