Chase Fireflies


The Poverty of Our Affluence

“I asked him whether he thought it better for a child to be brought up in the wealth of America or in the poverty of Uganda.”

“Oh Uganda. Uganda. Absolutely,” he said with passion.

“In America, your plentifulness drives you away from God. Here, for the poor, for me, I am grateful for every meal. I am dependent upon God and I know it.”

I have often asked people this question of missionaries, aid workers, and nationals themselves – and have heard this answer repeatedly. As Americans, we don’t know how rich we are, but at the same time we don’t know how poor. Our souls have some confronting to do.

Please read this blog entry. The author is a guy who is touring Compassion International sites in Uganda and journalling his thoughts. It will be well worth your time. I beg you to read it. Please. And if you’ve got the time, read his other entries concerning his Compassion trip also. If they don’t stir you to do something, I’m not sure what will.

Maybe consider sponsoring a child from Compassion – as a family, as a small group, as a classroom. It’s $32/month. That’s a few pennies for some and a sacrifice for others. But if anything is worth a sacrifice, a child is. Your sponsorship provides educational opportunities, health care and supplemental nutrition, opportunities for safe recreation, opportunities to learn about important life skills, and opportunities to hear about Jesus. Compassion is the real deal. We can vouch for it personally. Our letters from our kids are the most endearing we’ve ever read.

If you don’t do this, do something. Please.

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Like a Child


Selah laughed in hysterics because snow was sneaking up her back while making snow angels.

Adden squeeled with delight as snowflakes fell on his face and tongue.

Selah picked up the snow with big armfuls and threw it everywhere, jumping all the while.

Adden’s chubby little cheeks were the rosiest I’ve ever seen. His smile lit up his face.


Our kids were alive in the moment. And they taught me to be too. I have so much to learn from them. The other day I fell upon this quote from Steinbeck’s The Winter of Discontent. I saw its application in this regard.

“I guess we’re all, or most of us, the wards of that nine-teenth-century science which denied existence to anything it could not measure or explain. The things we couldn’t explain went right on but surely not with our blessing. We did not see what we couldn’t explain, and meanwhile a great part of the world was abandoned to children, insane people, fools, and mystics, who were more interested in what is than why it is.”


Broken Hearted

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the people in this world.

If you have ANY money in the bank, some in your wallet, and some spare change laying around, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. 92% have less to live on than you.

If you have never experienced war, imprisonment, torture, or starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

I write these stats not to invoke guilt. For whatever reason, God has allowed us to live in a wealth of resources, freedom, and comfort. We shouldn’t feel guilty that God has given us so much. We should be ever so thankful. However, legitimate guilt is the guilt of ignoring the men, women, and children who do not have what we have – and spending the majority of our time, gifts, and possessions only on ourselves and our families.

If I am being completely honest, I am so guilty of this that it makes me sick. And when all is said and done, I will have no defense in the end. “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.” (Luke 12:48) So I pray that God will break my heart into a million pieces for those crying around the world and those searching for hope right next door. And maybe, just maybe, the breaking of my heart will finally invoke action. Not just here and there action, but an everyday committment to entering into the poverty of others with the riches of grace.

Oswald Chambers said, “If through a broken heart, God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.”

Break, break, away, Jesus. I just can’t keep making excuses.


Vegetable Soup

So, if I had a signature recipe, this would be it. It’s the most amazing soup I’ve ever tasted. Well, maybe it’s just the only soup I’ve ever made. And I didn’t find a way to destroy it, so I am very, very proud of myself – jumping around, singing about the likes of veggie soup proud.

It’s healthy, colorful (greens, reds, oranges, mmm…), relatively inexpensive for how much it makes, and quick and easy. The only thing that would make this recipe phenomenal would be Paul eating it. But, alas, Selah eats it because she has no other option, so I am well pleased. Oh, and Brian and Megan, next time I make it you’re coming over, okay? I think you’re just about the only two who may truly appreciate it:) Maybe the lentils will draw you in.

Anyway, I’m currently on a cooking kick, so if you’ve got a good, simple, and healthy meal, please send it my way. I can use all the help I can get. Thanks!

Oh yeah, and here’s the recipe.

4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 can (14 1/2 oz) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (9 oz) frozen cut green beans

In a 5 qt slow cooker, combine first 8 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the tomatoes and beans. Cover and cook on high for 3o minutes or until beans are heated though.