Saturday, March 30, 2013

We Are One

Sitting there, with my back to a thousand people behind me and even more thousands flooding the risers in front of me and on every side, I couldn't help being excited about what God was doing.  Hearing the myriad of voices flowing together like a rushing river, I couldn't help think about all the people who had been at the arena before that day, and how different this gathering was compared to any other that had ever been seen there before.

It was Good Friday Together.  It was amazing.  Over 100 churches gathered at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo, New York, on Good Friday to worship Christ's death, burial and resurrection.  There were at least seven speakers from numerous denominations, races, and regions of Western New York.  We sang as one.  We clapped and cheered as One Body -- because that's what we were.  That is what we are.  One body, yet so diverse, so different, so ready to be on mission for God's glory.

Instead of the crowd roaring at a hockey game, we cheered for the greatest victory ever won.  Because, when Jesus said that, "it is finished," He meant that the He had won.  The victory was His.  The devil was then, forevermore, finished.  And yesterday, we saw the awesome power of this victorious God, who brought us all together under one roof to shout His praises.  

Praise God for His power and might.  Praise Him for His saving grace and everlasting love.  Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Compassion Can Do

Today I would like to share with you a letter from the pastor at Aylin's church.  Aylin is a beautiful little girl from Mexico who would like to be part of the Compassion International program, where she would receive an education, food, and the chance to feel God's love poured out through others.

The pastor of her church says:

Dear Sponsor,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, wishing that the peace and God's love reign in your home. My name is Joel R. Ortigoza Vélez and I am the pastor of the Centro Cristiano Sinai Church and our Igle + Kids Child Development Center in Nogales, Veracruz, México, attended by your Compassion-sponsored child. I am very grateful with God and with you for allowing us to join in a special vision. Thank you for your spiritual support and love that you have showed by helping your sponsored child. May God bless you and reward you greatly.

Allow me to share some characteristics about the situation that we are going through and the great work that we realize with Compassion's help. At present we have registered a whole of 186 children, of which 20 are waiting to be sponsored. 

The people of this community are of scarce resources, a big number of parents are not with a well-paid employment. Many are unemployed, therefore they devote themselves to the ambulant commerce having a minimal revenue, which does not allow them to satisfy needs completely. Some of them live in wooden houses on top of a small hill, exposed to the low temperatures that bring as a result respiratory illness. Rural families devote themselves to the coffee sowing, and set to work their children from very early age, but not go to school. There are some places not provided with water services and drainage, and their situation becomes unhealthy. There is a big percentage of single mothers.

It is necessary to mention the great impact that the Compassion Child Sponsorship Program is causing. The center has turned into a desirable place for the families, the children receive love, respect, comprehension and help in areas of their development. The children are grateful because they know that the work that is realized here is especially for them because we love to them, from having clean facilities, up to providing a nutrient food and medical attention. Spiritual help is the main ingredient so that they grow with a different vision and become good men and women. I want to share with you, like a testimony, the integration of new families to our church, their motivation and example were their children, they told me: "If my children know all that, I also want to know it." We give glory to God and pray that more families would come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Personally, I'm very grateful with God that the church that I shepherd is committed with this work, all of them do it for love, first to God and then to these children. The only thing that they await in return, is to see these children growing with firm convictions to take wise decisions, that they will be part of a generation who grows and develops to Christ's height and to have a success life. Our collaborators show their love and commitment with these children, preparing their lessons and activities thoroughly and with dedication, from the person who does cleanliness to the one who prepares food.

I am aware that the task is not an easy one but neither impossible with God's help and your great support. Our satisfaction will be to see these children yielding fruits that are being seed in them, having the satisfaction of being able to look to an adolescent changing his or her life, mentality and especially serving God. 

Children feel very much valued knowing that a person from far away loves them and cares for them and writes to them, blessing them, to pray for them and for their families. We teach them to pray and they talk to God with their own words, asking Him to take care and bless you. Needless to say when they receive photographs or a gift, since many of them seldom have received gifts, they feel very happy. 

Thanks for being part with us in helping your sponsored child. Without you, it would not be the same. May God bless your life abundantly. I ask you to please pray for us while we work with the children to help them to know Jesus and to grow healthy and better educated. 


Joel R. Ortigoza Vélez

Isn't this such a wonderful letter?  It is amazing to read about the hope and the bright future that Compassion, through God, is bringing to Mexico!  These children are given such a wonderful environment in which to learn and grow up in Christ.  If you'd like to sponsor Aylin, please contact me at, or comment on this post.  She is such a beautiful, little girl and I truly hope she has touched your heart like she has touched mine.  Even if you can't sponsor her, please pray for her health and safety, and that she'll learn to love Jesus with all her heart.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Eye On It

Today is a good day.  It's full of lemon tea and TobyMac's new album, Eye On It -- which just happens to be one of the best CDs in existence.  Well, except for Britt Nicole's Gold.  And Tenth Avenue North's The Struggle.  How could I ever choose a favorite?

Anyway, I love the whole CD, but Forgiveness is the song that really hit home with me.  It's the perfect song.  It has TobyMac AND Lecrae in it, which, all by itself, is a great thing.  Then, there's the lyrics.  They are perfect.  They talk about both sides of forgiveness -- the need to give it and receive it.  Toby talks mostly about guilt and asking for forgiveness, while Lecrae raps about forgiving others.  And that's what makes it perfect.  It catches you exactly where you are.  And it doesn't let you go.

"And God forgave me for it all, Jesus bled forgiveness
So when the stones fly, and they aimed at you
Just say, "Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do..."

Would you like to help a child in poverty?  Go ahead and check out how you can help!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Although I do not have the money to sponsor a child personally, I correspond with a beautiful girl named Rosa from the Dominican Republic. It is awesome to know that I 
am an encouragement in her life! She has shared the most wonderful things with me through her letters. The thing that touched me the most, was when she wrote that 
she would like to meet me because I am her friend and she loves me! I can't believe 
how amazing it is to have a friend in another country, so far away. Compassion has changed Rosa's life in so many, countless ways -- and I like to think that I can be 
even just a little part of that change. 

I found this girl on Compassion's site today -- and her name is Aylin, just like mine! I would SO love to see her get sponsored this month!
You can change another story

Sponsor Aylin Today!


Child ID: ME8960344
Age: 3
DOB: 10/2/2009
Your tax-deductible contribution of just $38 a month connects Aylin with a loving, church-based Child Sponsorship Program. Your support provides:
  • Food and clean water
  • Medical care
  • Educational opportunities
  • Important life-skills training
  • Most important of all, your sponsored child will hear about Jesus Christ and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.
When you sponsor a child, you'll receive his/her photo, personal story and a child sponsorship packet by mail in approximately 15 days.
When children find out they've been sponsored, the joy they feel is indescribable. Just knowing that someone across the globe cares means more than you can imagine. Sponsoring a child will profoundly change the future for them, and will change your own life as well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gasp! An Award?!

It's funny how things work, isn't it?  Like, last month I received the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  And knowing that I inspired someone made me feel inspired myself.  I really couldn't believe that my blog was on Sybil's list of blogs that inspire her!  It really made me think -- this tiny blog floating out among the billions of other, shining blogs in the vast blogosphere, actually matters to someone?  So, thanks, Sybil, for making me day :)

Also, it got me to thinking -- what blogs inspire me?  I don't read very many blogs, and some of the ones I do read are mostly for factual information, but there are several that inspire me greatly.  They are blogs that I enjoy reading daily and am happy to share on G+ all the time.  They make me think, and examine, and pray about things I wouldn't necessarily think of on my own.

The rules for this award are:
1) Thank the person who awarded you (Thanks, Sybil.  And, seriously, everybody, go check out her blog!)
2) Share seven facts about yourself
3) Award seven other bloggers

Ok -- here's some facts...

1) I wear glasses, and I like to wear them -- except when they are broken. (which happens a lot)
2) I love to knit.  I love to knit lots of things, but especially lace.
3) Classical music is awesome.
4) TobyMac's new CD, Eye On It, is also awesome.
5) I have two sisters, Lizzie and Belle.  Sometimes it feels like I have another sister, baby May, because we watch her every day :)
6) My favorite season is probably spring.  I love the smells of spring, the colors of spring, the light, airy-ness of spring.
7) I have decided I do not like writing lists as much as I thought I did ;)

And now, for the truly fun part, here are the blogs that I LOVE, because they chase after Jesus each day, and challenge me through their blog-posts and their lives...

I know that I only have four blogs listed, but I don't read too many blogs, and these are the ones that really inspire me.  I also love reading Sybil's blog as well, but since she just had the award, I figured I wouldn't send it right back to her :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


It had been a while since I last read 2 Timothy, so when I started reading it this month, I struck several beautiful gems that I hadn't seen before.  the verses talk about gossip, temptation, and quarreling.  I think that's something we need to pay attention to.  Why?  Because these verses say that gossip spreads like gangrene.  It's deadly.  It kills.  That's something worth examining in our lives.  Gossip and arguing ruin our witness to the world.  And that's something that should be very important, because if we aren't here to shine Jesus' glory to the world, then what are we here to do?  

 "Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene." 2 Timothy 2:16-17

"Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." 2 Timothy 2:22-24