Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pray for Daniel

I go to church with a wonderful family and their precious miracle baby (who is no longer a baby) will be having brain surgery on Friday, February 1 at 7am Eastern time. Daniel was born very pre-maturely at 22 weeks and has struggled with several disabilities one of which is the seizures he deals with quite frequently. Daniel couldn't have been born into a more loving family. Each family member has a special kindness they show to him. Daniel and his family are blessings to each other and everyone they meet.

Daniel's mom shared:
The surgery is called corpus callosotomy. This procedure is being perfomed in the hopes that it will help control seizures. There is no guarantee that this procedure will stop the seizures, but this is Daniel's best chance at helping him right now. If we do not help him, his condition can become worse.

This past Sunday his mom, Laura sang Bring the Rain as pictures of Daniel played on the screen. Many difficult situations have come their way, but they continue to stand firm in Jesus and encourage others to do the same.

Please join with me to pray for little Daniel and his family!

Thank You!

Bring the Rain by Mercy Me

I can count a million times People asking me how I Can praise You with all that I've gone through The question just amazes me Can circumstances possibly Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed Long before these rainy days It's never really ever crossed my mind To turn my back on you, oh Lord My only shelter from the storm But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace Bring the chance to be free Bring me anything that brings You glory And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of The dark clouds that may loom above Because You are much greater than my pain You who made a way for me By suffering Your destiny So tell me what's a little rain

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace Bring the chance to be free Bring me anything that brings You glory And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain

Holy, holy, holy Holy, holy, holy Is the Lord God Almighty Is the Lord God Almighty

For surgery and recovery updates please go to the main page of the blog at Actions Speak Loudest or do a search from any page within this blog with the keywords Daniel and surgery. The search button is located on the upper left side of this page. Thanks again for your prayers and concern!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Who do you want to be like?

Yesterday in church we talked about people that we often imitate. We imitate those we want to be like whether it be a professional athlete, a celebrity, or maybe even Jesus. Do we truly want to be like Jesus? What did He have to show for His time on earth? Not much by worldly standards. But worldly standards won't mean much when we stand before Jesus. Let's encourage each other to be like Jesus...
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:" Philippians 2:5

Our service closed with this beautiful hymn written by Thomas O. Chisholm in 1897 and his words still speak to those who listen.

O To Be Like Thee

O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

O to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.


O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.


O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming
Now to receive anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing,
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.


O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Make a difference...

My heart is breaking as I think of those in need and I'm asking God to show me where HE wants me to make a difference. As a friend advised, I don't want to go fishing for "results" as I can measure, just obedience to the Father. In Philippians 2:4 it says, "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." I want to hear God's voice and serve when and where HE calls. This hymn below speaks of my heart's cry.

Let Your Heart Be Broken
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them. Matthew 9:36

Let your heart be broken
For a world in need:
Feed the mouths that hunger,
Soothe the wounds that bleed,
Give the cup of water
And the loaf of bread--
Be the hands of Jesus,
Serving in His stead.

Here on earth applying
Principles of love,
Visible expression--
God still rules above--
Living illustration
Of the Living Word
To the minds of all who've
Never seen or heard.

Blest to be a blessing,
Privileged to care,
Challenged by the need
Apparent everywhere.
Where mankind is wanting,
Fill the vacant place.
Be the means through which the
Lord reveals His grace.

Add to your believing
Deeds that prove it true,
Knowing Christ as Savior,
Make Him Master, too.
Follow in His footsteps,
Go where He has trod;
In the world's great trouble
Risk yourself for God.

Let your heart be tender
And your vision clear;
See mankind as God sees,
Serve Him far and near.

Let your heart be broken
By a brother's pain;
Share your rich resources,
Give and give again.

Words by Bryan Jeffery Leech, 1975

Friday, January 25, 2008

Testimony of a Guatemalan Teenage Boy

I just read the story of a 15 year old boy that is an inspiration to me. I want to want to be more like him... What a moving testimony! What a challenge!

Sacrifice: A testimony from the MAC Region Guatemala City, Guatemala Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mexico and Central America Region Missionary Scott Armstrong gives his account of a recent Maxima Mission event in Guatemala City:

A few days ago I had the privilege to experience firsthand what obedience and sacrifice look like. Even as a missionary who has experienced the hand of God in many miraculous situations, I was awed at how he works in the life of his followers. Let me set this up first.

Two weeks ago my wife, Emily, and I welcomed nearly 200 youth and adults to Guatemala City, Guatemala for a week-long Maxima Mission event. Maxima Mission seeks to reach communities for Christ using evangelism, compassionate ministries, work projects, and children’s ministries. In this particular event, the youth were divided into groups of 20 and then partnered with a church planter and a mother church to plant 10 churches in needy communities here in Guatemala. After much prayer, training, and a week of hard work, the participants returned rejoicing at seeing 869 new converts and 10 churches planted for the glory of the Lord.

During this event, the participants also were able to hear many wonderful speakers who challenged them to follow the call of God on their lives, surrender everything to him in abandon, and serve as Jesus’ ambassadors in their communities and around the world.

On one occasion, Vanessa Cruz, a volunteer missionary from Nicaragua sent to plant churches in Spain, shared her testimony of how God had called her and prepared her as a child and young adult for his missionary service. She humbly admitted that, although her church and many churches around the region had been faithful in giving beyond their means so that she could be sent to Spain, she had still not been able to raise the total amount for her trip and her ministry in Europe. She shared that she would be leaving by faith Christmas Eve and spending Christmas Day 2007 on the plane.

After hearing her testimony, the entire congregation immediately laid hands on her and prayed for God’s provision and protection in her forthcoming cross-cultural ministry. Later in the service, the group showed their support by giving an offering of almost $300.00—a phenomenal total for these young people who had already sacrificed a fortune just to participate in this event.

One day after the Maxima Mission event ended, I received a call. *Danilo, a 15 year-old who had participated in the event, began to explain to me how God had changed his heart during the previous week. The phone connection was poor and I struggled to grasp what this young man was telling me, but I gathered that he also wanted to donate his computer so that Vanessa Cruz would be able to use the funds earned from the sale of the computer for her ministry in Spain. I was astonished at this, but told him that I would come by his house to chat with him and his mom the next day, and to pick up the computer.

Now I have to admit a few things. I know this family fairly well; in fact Danilo’s mom, *Maria, is the pastor of one of the 10 new church plants that were launched during the Maxima Mission event. This family has very little. Danilo’s mom and dad separated 11 years ago, and making ends meet has consistently been a struggle for them. They live in one of the more impoverished neighborhoods in Guatemala City and, especially since Maria decided two years ago to follow God’s calling to be a pastor, Danilo and his four brothers and sisters have been living by faith more than ever before. I honestly assumed that the computer that Danilo was going to donate was at least 15 years old and in fairly poor condition.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Emily and I entered their home around 5 P.M. the next day and saw in the living room a beautiful new computer with all the bells and whistles! I looked around. Dilapidated furniture, aging concrete floors, and walls that had not been painted in years surrounded us. And here on a rickety table used for sewing, sat a new computer with speakers, printer, etc. Did this teenager understand what he was doing? This computer represented nearly all that this family owned.

Danilo began to tell me that his father had given him this new computer as a gift for his birthday a year earlier. It was a great sacrifice for his dad to give him the computer and Danilo and his brothers had used it to write papers for school, listen to music, etc. He showed me the receipt from one year earlier and my eyes grew large as I read the amount—$1,350.00.

Maria was crying throughout this entire conversation and kept reiterating that she was so proud of her boy, even though she knew what this would cost their family. I looked Danilo in the eyes and asked him if he understood what he was doing. He looked me straight in the eyes and told me, “I know God is telling me to give you this computer. I want you to sell it and give all the money to the missionary from Nicaragua. I have talked with both my mom and my dad and they are in agreement with me doing this. I know what I am doing and I am very glad that I can help someone who is in need.”

We packed the computer in boxes and I loaded them into my car. Emily and I prayed with the family and I hugged Maria and Danilo good-bye. As I drove home in the rush-hour traffic, I had much time to think. To whom will I sell this computer? Where can I get the most money out of it? How can it meet a ministry need here in the region or somewhere else in the world? Our own ministry has been praying for a new computer for several months, but how does God want this computer used? Emily and I have been praying in the days following this encounter that God would give us wisdom on how to use this tool for ministry in order to benefit his kingdom and also earn the most money possible for our region’s own missionary, Vanessa Cruz.

In that trip home from Danilo’s house and in the days following, I have also considered several other, perhaps more profound, questions. What can this 15 year-old teach our region about sacrifice and obedience? Vanessa is one of seven youth from our region voluntarily giving two years of their lives to minister in Spain and the Middle East through Projects Isaiah and Caleb. Many countries in Mexico and Central America have received missionaries in the past century and now—especially in the past decade—we are seeing missionaries being sent from this region to other countries. But sending our own missionaries requires sacrifice in prayer, time, and yes—in finances. If a 15 year-old can give almost all he has, what can we give? What does God want me to do for the kingdom?

The computer is available if anyone would like to buy it and use it to advance the kingdom. And people like Danilo, Maria, and Vanessa are also available to be used by God to advance his kingdom. What about you? Will you join these three in their great sacrifice and be used by God to do great and improbable things?
--Scott Armstrong for NCN News-MAC

*Note: Because of this family’s desire to remain anonymous in their donation, their names have been changed in this story.


~ All bolding done for emphasis by me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Somewhere in the Middle

When we know we need to change, but aren't quite ready to let go of our false sense of security we realize that we are caught somewhere in the middle. If you are caught in the middle today - reach out to Jesus and trust in HIM and rely on HIS wisdom as you step out of your comfort zone and into HIS perfect will for your life maybe even outside of your control.

I've been a Christian since I was a young child and have dealt with many issues in my life through the years. God has proved HIS love over and over. Now I'm beginning to understand that for me, following Jesus isn't just about reading my Bible, tithing, serving in the church, and going to church each time the doors are open. Not that I plan to stop any of those things, but I need to love people as if they were Jesus. Those people can be anyone I meet in any place. I need to listen to HIS voice. I'm far from where I want to be caught somewhere in the middle...Pray for me as I take steps with Jesus out of what is comfortable into HIS dreams...

Somewhere In The Middle by Casting Crowns

Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You're making me
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You're by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle

~ Casting Crowns
Album: The Altar And The Door
Track: Somewhere In The Middle

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Little Missionary

Friday night, while I was typing up information about Work and Witness my seven year old daughter, B was telling her little friend about Jesus. The two little ladies came into my bedroom and my daughter had the biggest smile on her face and she told her friend to tell me her exciting news. B led her friend in a prayer of salvation. After they shared the news B told me to find some Scriptures on heaven so she could share them with her friend. Then a few minutes later I heard B reading the Bible to her friend. Later, B rushed in and quietly asked if she could give her old Bible (Gideon) to her friend. I assured her that we could do that. Unfortunately we couldn't locate it, but we are going to see if we can get her a Bible that will be easy for her to read. Pray for B and her friend as they both grow in the knowledge of the Lord and their faith.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Work and Witness

My church is very active in missions. We have missionaries living all over the world to share God's love. We also participate in short term missions - Work & Witness trips Concerned individuals travel to a specific location (in or out of the country) to construct churches, schools and medical facilities. They donate their time and technical or other specialized services. Team members are also involved in evangelistic outreach (such as showing the Jesus film or running a VBS program) and various compassionate ministries projects.

Youth and adults from our church helped with the Hurricane Katrina Relief work (Disaster Relief). This spring four members (Mark, David, Lorraine, and Roz) of our congregation are traveling to Ethiopia to work on a construction project and to show the Jesus Film. A second trip is planned in Guatemala for early this summer. A third trip is planned for Alaska in July. The last trip is the one I'm about to learn a lot more about because this past Sunday, my husband said he felt God leading him to go on that trip. He will need to raise approximately $2,000 for the trip. About $1,500 will go towards airfare, food and lodging while the remaining $500 will be for construction costs.

Please be in prayer for all the volunteers who will be donating their time, services and money to these worthy projects. I have heard from many people who go on Work & Witness trips that their lives are forever changed.


Just wanted to take a moment to say sorry to anyone who may have clicked on my link for one of my blogs (Think on This) listed on the right sidebar below. I incorrectly linked to the WRONG site. It should have been linked to http://www.thinkonthisquotes.blogspot.com The error has been corrected. I'm not even sure what the other site is, but a friend told me about it today. Sorry for any confusion!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

AIDS Crisis

Sunday night at church we had our monthly mission emphasis meeting and we learned more about the AIDS crisis in Africa and India specifically and AIDS in general. What a terrible disease! A while back I read Jenna Bush's book on AIDS that was written for young adults. She had some useful information. For more information, check out the post here.

We had a worksheet at church with the following information:


40+ - Weekly work hours for many AIDS orphans

5 million - People infected with AIDS annually

330 - Number of self-help groups begun in India

8,000 - Children are orphaned each day

15 million - Number of AIDS orphans worldwide

240,000 - Number of deaths from AIDS per month

1 - Number of people necessary to make a difference

Some problems require more than a band-aid...

~ Pray for those dying with AIDS that they find Christ before it is too late.

~ Pray for the millions of children who have lost their parents and who are struggling to survive; pray for people to invest in their lives so they may learn Jesus loves them.

~ Pray for the physical, emotional, and educational needs of AIDS orphans.

~ Pray that God opens you heart to whatever HE would have you to do to help in the AIDS crisis.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Why are people hungry, abused and homeless?

Yesterday I was contemplating the questions I frequently hear when the topics of hungry, abused and homeless people come up. We ask why God hasn’t met their basic needs and then we are thankful that we live in America the land of plenty. But there are people even here in America who wake up hungry or who live in fear of an abuser or who have no homes all no fault of their own – many are children – invisible children who long to know love and security.

We read Scriptures that assure us that God loves His children and will provide for their needs (Philippians 4:19) and Scripture informs us that we are more valuable that the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. We read in God’s Word to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” in Matthew 6:25-34. But as we look around us, we see want. We see pain in a mother’s eyes as she watches her children slowly starve to death in third world countries all from the comfort of our living rooms.

As some watch heartbreaking promotions for World Vision or similar organizations they ask why God failed those innocent children. But in reality God hasn’t failed them, His children (Christians) have. As a song (lyrics) by Casting Crowns asks - If we are the body why aren’t His hands reaching…? (See video and hear song)


But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way

If we spend our excess on the finer things in life while we watch our brothers and sisters want for what we consider basic necessities, we are failing them and God. We think we deserve incredible vacations to exotic places, concerts, massages, manicures, tickets to professional sporting events, nice clothes, expensive cars and houses, cable TV, internet hook up, and so much more. What is our rational? We work hard, so we should play hard. Is that what Jesus, our example, did while He walked on this earth?

The early Christians set an incredible example for us. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” Acts 2:42-45….”And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:47b

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.” Acts 4:34-35

“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:3-4

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 12:16

“Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18

How do we love the least of these?

The Scriptures above surely make it seem that giving to others should be a lifestyle, not something we do at Christmas and or Thanksgiving. If we (including me) truly followed Scripture there would be no need for government-subsidized programs to help the poor because the church would already be busy doing it. Of course we might be driving older cars and entertaining ourselves less…are we willing to pay that price?

If those Scriptures above are God’s will for me, then I am falling short. I don’t do enough for those less fortunate than me because we live in a high cost of living area without the benefit of the average income of our area. We are viewed as the less fortunate by many. I don’t really want those “amazing” things I mentioned above that some view as luxuries and others view as necessities. I really want to have treasure in heaven instead of here on earth, but I ask myself with great sadness, will I have treasure in heaven?

Who do you support for the 2008 Presidential Election?

There are many factors to consider when deciding who to support for the President of the United States. This quiz may assist you in making your decision.

For a quiz that gives you information about various issues before you select an answer try this candidate calculator to find out which politician agrees with your opinions.

Here is a shorter quiz that doesn't give you as many options, but still gives interesting results.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Entertainment and the Christian

What is proper entertainment for Christians?
When should we be entertained?

Years ago I found a couple short articles that impacted the way I think about entertainment...

Jeremy Archer wrote an article about some Unruly Houseguests that gives us reason to pause before partaking in an American pastime.

Brownies with a Difference by Rich Deem gives us a fresh spin on a little bit of violence or sex on movies or TV as our entertainment.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Donate Bibles to Persecuted Christians

You Can Donate Bibles
to Persecuted Christians Worldwide.
It's Quick Easy and Free!

There are many internet sites out there that donate items to people in need. Today I came across one that donates Bibles to persecuted Christians. "The success of The Bible Site depends upon as many Christians as possible visiting this site and clicking on the donation button to enable a scripture portion to be sent to a persecuted Christian. As more people visit and make these donations, awareness will be raised for this urgent need and thousands of Bibles will be provided to our suffering brothers and sisters worldwide."

"Right now, 200 million Christians are living under restriction for their faith in Jesus Christ. Most do not even have their own copy of the Bible, the one weapon they must have in order to be victorious in the spiritual battles they face every day. You can provide your suffering brothers and sisters with a portion of God's Word at no cost to you."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Feed the Hungry

The Hunger Site

~ info below is taken from The Hunger Site

The Hunger Site provides a feel-good way to help promote awareness and prevent hunger deaths every day — through easy and quick online activities.

With a simple, daily click of the yellow "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Hunger Site, visitors help provide food to those in need. Visitors pay nothing. Food is paid for by the site's sponsors and distributed by Mercy Corps worldwide and by America's Second Harvest to food banks throughout the United States.

Funds are split between the two beneficiaries, with 70% going to fight hunger internationally, and the remaining 30% going to support hunger relief efforts in the United States. Mercy Corps works to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. America's Second Harvest is the largest food distribution organization in the United States and serves more than 26 million people.

Please remember to click every day to give help and hope to those most in need. Every click counts in the life of a hungry person.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Prayer Request

A friend shared a prayer request for a young couple dealing with uncertain times. I went to the husband's blog and was encouraged by his faith and perseverance. Tricia has cystic fibrosis and was hoping to be put on the list for a double lung transplant. However, when she found out she was pregnant she couldn't be put on the list. She is currently five months pregnant and in the hospital now. Their faith is simply beautiful. Please keep Nathan, Tricia and their unborn child in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Year: 2008

"A new year – a book of blank pages waiting to be filled. It is easy to fall prey to doubts and questions about unknown days before me. But maybe God’s will for my life is far greater than knowing what path my life will take, what career choice I will make or what job change will occur. Maybe God’s will is simply for me to service Him and love Him and share His love with others. So simple, yet so complete. There is no need for lofty resolutions, no need for fear – I will begin my days with prayer; I will listen, and God and I will walk together. he will help me through the rest, one day at a time."

~ Author Unknown

New Internet Addiction??

I just came across a website that has the potential to do good and increase your vocabulary. For each word you choose the correct definition for 20 grains of rice are donated to help end world hunger. Since the Free Rice website started on October 7, 2007 - 12,139,325,970 grains of rice have been donated. Click here to join in the fun, help others and improve your vocabulary!