Chase Fireflies


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30 Hour Famine

The youth group is participating in a 30 Hour Famine this weekend, proceeds benefiting World Vision. They will be “starving to provide food” for others in need.
The students have raised money through donors and sponsors that will go towards projects in areas like Malawi, Swaziland, North Korea, and the States. They will be fasting to feel the pangs of hunger, felt around the world. There are 26,000 who die from hunger every day.
Included in the weekend will be basketball, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, a late evening message and worship, building cardboard homes to sleep outside in, morning devos, community and church work projects, a scavenger hunt, and a spaghetti dinner to break the fast.
Paul and I would like to thank Heather O. for all of the work she has done to help organize this. We love you, girl. Thanks for having a heart for God, the girls in your small group, and the world at large. Thanks for also being flexible when everything started falling through.
If you would like to donate to the famine, please let me know. If you want to host your own famine, find out more information here.
Please pray that these 30 hours will draw students closer to God, each other, and somehow to that 13 year old in the North. Thanks, guys.
FAMINE UPDATE:
Our incredible students raised $900 for the fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow! Are they amazing or what? And they had a blast while doing it. I’ll post some of the pics this week.
Don’t ever count teenagers out.
Ever.


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Impact

Talk about impact.
William Wilberforce lived it.

He loved his God.
He loved his neighbor.

So much so that he fought unceasingly for his neighbor’s freedom, by means of ending England’s participation in the slave trade.

He often referred to himself as “being feelingly alive.”
Feelingly alive to the joys of this life and the sufferings of his fellow man.

But. How?

What we see on the pages of history was birthed from a knowledge of God. Walking with Him every day, in the quiet, without anyone seeing a thing.

Not so much unlike the root system of a tree. Healthy tree, healthy roots. Beneath the soil, there’s a largely invisible system absorbing water and transporting minerals. Dead tree, dead roots. Possible culprits being soil compaction (no room to breathe), competition between roots, lack of water, stress, toxins, whatever.

Gosh, me and dead roots have a lot in common.
And that stinks.

Cause I want to live a life of impact. A life that is full of life. Seen and unseen.

It is said that Wilberforce walked to and from Parliament every day, where he served in the House of Commons. On these daily commutes, he memorized the word of God. He spoke truth to himself. He listened and meditated. One of his favorite objects of meditation was Psalm 119.

Have you seen that baby? That’s the big one. And he knew it by heart.

Did you know…

There are more slaves today than ever before.
Trafficking is the second largest – and fastest growing – criminal industry in the world.
Over 12 million people worldwide are trafficked for forced labor or sexual exploitation.
Over 200,000 children are at high risk for sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in the United States every year.

I am crying as I am typing these words.
Cause these are children like my own. And women like me. And it can’t continue.

So what can I do? I’m just a mom, a busy mom. Trying to take care of my family.

I can love my God with a foremost passion, above all other passions.
I can live an unseen life.
I can hide Psalm 119 in my heart.
And then live it out in my day.

I can enter into another’s riches.
And another’s poverty.
And learn from both.

I can inform myself on the injustices of this world.
And tell others.
And then do something. Just something, anything.

I can partner with organizations like
International Justice Mission
Love 146
Polaris Project
or Compassion International.

I can
Pray.
Give.
Plead with government officials.
Organize a drive.
Love and protect and defend.
Hope.
Be feelingly alive.

Remember that,
“The world is not mine to save, But I can serve the mission of the God who has already done so.” Tyler Wigg Stevenson


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Enough

Yesterday was a doozy.

Adden’s three words in the bath kinda described the day. “Stinky. Sorry Mommy.” I won’t go into any other descriptions cause it’s just not a picture you want to have in your head.

After putting the kids down for their naps, I walked downstairs and felt flooded with exasperation. Toys littered the house and stains three months old glared at me. There was dinner to make and a treadmill awaiting and a shower to be had.

Immediately the self-criticism poured in. Who has a house that looks like this? Why can’t I have it all together? The ants are going to be parading in the kitchen soon. I need to work out. I reek. Who else smells this bad after a day? Are my kids going to grow up dysfunctional? I must drive Paul crazy. I haven’t been a good friend. What is wrong with me?

And then, in the midst of my rant, while putting away the dishes in stealth mode, I heard God say, “You are enough.” In the noisy recesses of my cluttered brain, I heard the faint whispers. “You are enough.” “You are enough.”

Over and over again, “You are enough.”

And with those words, I remembered Who made me. And Whose child I am. And I remembered that I do have strengths and gifts. And that my weaknesses, my faults, and all that junk that I so desperately hide – is a chance for God to reveal Himself. For His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness.

Sometimes I have so much striving in me. And it’s an incredible motivator and it’s God-given, because these passions are fueled by more fire than I could ever muster. But all that striving sees defeat more clearly. And when I measure my progress by what my eyes can immediately see, I will always fail. And I will always be less than. And I will always hear the contempt of my enemy sneering lies.

Yesterday I needed to hear the words that I was enough. And today I need to hear that I am enough. And tomorrow I will need to hear that I am enough. Cause if I am trying desperately to walk in the footsteps of my Maker -and if His honor is my intent – and if I am striving to live out His purpose for my life, than I am enough. I am enough, because He is enough.

I’m sure that ants aren’t parading in your kitchen. Nor stains glaring in your face. I’m sure that your odor trumps mine, but that’s disgusting. I don’t know what criticisms you’re hearing today and I don’t know what kinda mess surrounds you. But whatever it is – however these rambles find you – may you know that you are enough. You are enough, because He is enough.


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Planting A Rainbow

One of my all time favorite things to do with the kids is to connect literature to life.

I adore reading quality children’s literature to them and living it out
OR
just having fun with it.

Like reading

If You Give a Pig a Pancake – and whipping up syrupy pancakes
The Napping House – and taking a snooze
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed – and getting some good air
The Doorbell Rang – and making cookies to share
The Grouchy Ladybug – and painting rocks to look like ladybugs

Today we read Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert. Selah especially adored this book; Adden, not so much. But they both loved getting dirt underneath their fingernails and planting some seeds. Adden, well, he REALLY loved the dirt. Digging it, tasting it, throwing it up in the air. The child is in desperate need of a bath. We all are, but I diverge.

To be quite honest, I have my doubts that anything will grow. I’m not even sure why I attempted planting anything, knowing that I can’t keep already vibrant plants alive. But for the kids’ sake, I’m praying that something – anything – will sprout up. Even if it’s just a weed, they’re going to be psyched. And I will think that I’m a budding horticulturalist.

If you’re a parent, what are some of your kids’ favorite books?
And how have you linked literature to life?
I’m always on the prowl for good ideas. Thanks!


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Talks in their Towels

This was the exchange of words we had tonight following bathtime:

Me: Guys, guess who’s going to be at church tomorrow?
Adden: Jesus.
Me: Wow, Adden. Yeah, Jesus better be there, you’re right.
Selah: Why?
Me: Cause it wouldn’t be church without Jesus.

Me: So who else will be at church?
Adden: G’and pap.
Me: Yep, Grandpap will be there.
Selah: So Jesus will be at church? Will I see His face?
Adden (head bowed suddenly, hands folded): Thank you Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Me: Wow, Adden did you just pray randomly?
Adden: Yesh.
Selah: So are we going to see Jesus’ face or not?
Me: Sort of yes, sort of no. (Long strange explanation ensues as both kids lose interest.)

Me: So who we should see at church tomorrow is Miss Laura and Cousin Brian.
Selah: Ooooh oooh oooh! I love Miss Laura. I’m going to give her the biggest hug ever.
Adden: Boppie? BOPPIE! Yesh! (As he makes frantic attempts to jump off the ground.)

So Brian and Laura, moral is:

Jesus should be at church tomorrow.
As should two huge fans of yours.