Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas is Ruined!!! - Guest Blogging Day

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:4 NIV

We have watched the movie Good Luck, Charlie-It's Christmas! well over 30 times in the past four years.  It's no wonder that my husband and I have integrated many of the lines from the movie into our daily conversations.
One of our favorite lines comes after the melodramatic mother, Amy, has discovered that she can't find the star for the top of the Duncan's Christmas tree.  She tearfully declares, "Christmas is ruined!"
Continue reading on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos... 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Thank you for SHOUTING!!!

Being her fun, flashy self...
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah  the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
 and Jesse the father of King David.
Matthew 1: 1-6 NIV

I could have gone on here and inserted the genealogy of Christ, after all, God did...and quite honestly, I'm not doing the genealogy any justice by eliminating some of it. 

However, my story today isn't about the genealogy of Christ; it's about the importance of a name.

Sunday, we walked into our church in anticipation of having to locate a friend with whom our daughter could go to the Middle School worship service.  We attend a large church, a mega-church, if you will; so this was going to be difficult. 

However, the minute we walked into church I started to hear shouting coming from the loft area above the foyer:  Evie!  Evie!  Evie!!!
I said, "Evie, someone's calling your name." 

Her smile spread as wide as her face and her eyes twinkled.  She has this little happy "shiver" that runs through her body when she sees her friends...she shivered in delight upon hearing her name being shouted out from the loft.

Yes, a friend of hers had sought HER out and had called HER name.
Do you know what that means to the parent of a child with special needs?  Do you know what it means to the child?
Continue Reading on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos... 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Thankful for the Mystery of God ~ Guest Blogging Day

Can you discover the depths of God?
Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?
Job 11:7 NASB

We moved to Nevada nearly a year and a half ago now, and quickly I adopted Lake Tahoe as my favorite place in the whole wide world. At first I loved the North shore for the ease of access to the water and the picturesque view across to the opposite side. I quickly discovered the beauty of the South shore too. The vast number of restaurants kept us well-fed, and the shallow beaches made it seem like a perfect haven for my daughter to safely swim. I also fell in love with Emerald Bay and it's mysteriously brilliant green waters. We would often have to drive right on through because it was hard to find parking in such a beautiful area, but when we could stop and snap a photo, we always would.

Then, this past weekend, a year and a half later, we finally made our way to Sand Harbor. Oh my goodness. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity. For a year I'd been seeing post cards and photos of Lake Tahoe and many of the images were taken from a shore which had these flat, grayish-tan PERFECT rocks. The blue lake water would compliment the neutral and graceful appearance of the rocky shore. I wondered, "From where is this taken? How have I never found this place?"

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Don't Stop because Tuesday is Over...The Miracles of Giving Happen Everyday

Image Courtesy of pandpstock001/
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?
Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 
1 Chronicles 29:14 NIV

This past Tuesday was #GivingTuesday which was a day to make a donation to a nonprofit organization, or several organizations--basically, it's a collective effort to encourage end-of-the-year giving at the tail end of a weekend of buy, buy, buy.  I was responsible for a big #GivingTuesday event for a nonprofit organization for which I volunteer; and I'm well aware of the hours I spent trying to prepare our donors and members for our largest collective fundraiser of the year. 

Because I know how much time and energy I put into my own organization's fundraiser, I wanted to highlight another organization which is near and dear to my heart. 
Snappin' Ministries. 
I started connecting with Snappin' about 3 years ago when I came across the blog Comfort in the Midst of Chaos (CITMOC).  It DID indeed bring me such comfort to read scripture, prayer, and testimony of how God works in the lives of other families with special needs.  God has instructed us to encourage one another, and who better to encourage my faith than other parents of children with disabilities and health issues?

I've seen Snappin' provide support for families with gift baskets, gift cards, gas cards, weekend retreats, organized family outings, side by side Bible study groups, on-line Bible Study groups, and on-line church (which is really critical to a lot of families who find attending church difficult due to disabilities and health issues).

So, why am I writing all of this?  Well...simple...I know that Snappin' Ministries is a miracle to me...and I hope that it can be a miracle for you.

Did you know that GIVING can open you up to so many of God's miracles?

  • It draws you closer to him as it's an act of worship!  (For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 NIV
  • It helps you battle your own materialism. (Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV) I personally have found that when I'm in the "I want, I want, I want" mode, a simple donation to a worthy organization (like packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child) satisfies my "shopping" need.
  • God blesses those who GIVE!  (Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NIV)
  • It opens doors for a miracle.  (Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  Malachi 3:10 NIV) Our family has seen God make money appear out of no where for time it was in a oil-meter that had run high for years and we had a credit on our heating bill for a few months while our daughter was on chemotherapy.  Did we win the lottery?  NO!  But, did God show us how He is faithful and can do ANYTHING when we are faithful to HIS cause?  YES.
  • It is rewarded in Heaven.  (But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20 NIV) Every time you give to the cause of Christ, you are preparing part of your treasure in Heaven.
So, today I ask you to consider making a donation, whatever feels comfortable in your heat, to help an organization that ministers to families of those with disabilities and health issues.  If you would like to read about some of the things they did in 2015, you can find their most recent newsletter here: Snap Shots Newsletter

And, if you'd like to make a secure, tax-deductible donation to Snappin', you may do so Here:

Pray:  Heavenly Father, I pray that you continue to bless your ministries around the world.  I pray that you continue to raise up leaders to volunteer their time and that you provide abundantly for their finances.  Thank you for all the ways that you bless us when we give.  Amen


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