Category Archives: Monday Motivations

Purpose-Driven Aftermath

It hardly seems like time to be a writer at times like this. Talk about unrecoverable.

It’s difficult not to feel a fair bit superfluous as a word-crafter next to the sore reality of so much anguish, suffering, and death. In the face of such facts, you really can’t deny we’re a fragile lot, more fragile even than most. We depend on so much more than shelter and food to sustain our livelihoods.

Yet from another vantage point, as well as feeling fortunate, it makes me very proud to be a writer. I have words where others don’t. I have an outlet to communicate the facts, the stories, the emotions that arise from disaster and the inevitable horrors that occur. I have a choice, and I have a voice.

If I didn’t write when the world suffered, it would be only more waste. Instead, by writing, I face the truth and I share things others wish to express. I provide hope and the sense that despite it all, there is always a spark of redemption as long as we survive. In surviving another day, there’s hope.

What are your thoughts, feelings, sensations right now as you watch?

Flood Aid following Hurricane Katrina

I know you’ve all seen footage by now of the devastation and I hope you’ve sent up prayers for those directly affected and still waiting for help in and around the Gulf Coast, New Orleans, Mobile, and Biloxi.

Samaritans, it’s time to act. I’ve chosen Focus on the Family as my charitable organization, primarily because I believe in the ministry and I am encouraged by the sincere efforts I’ve seen to help victims of the disaster—without strings attached. If you’ve been challenged by the images of these neighbors in need, I hope you’ll consider contributing prayerfully and generously.

May God work through you and your willingness to get involved in this on-going effort. And may the Spirit bring quick hope to all those still waiting for help.

The American Christian Scandal

Here’s an interesting tidbit for you, from Books and Culture:

“If American Christians just tithed, they would have another $143 billion available to empower the poor and spread the gospel. Studies by the United Nations suggest that just an additional $70–$80 billion a year would be enough to provide access to essential services like basic health care and education for all the poor of the earth.

“The evangelical community is ready to live more simply—if the evangelical leaders will model it. Of course, they aren’t.

“To say there is a crisis of disobedience in the evangelical world today is to dangerously understate the problem. Born-again Christians divorce at about the same rate as everyone else. Self-centered materialism is seducing evangelicals and rapidly destroying our earlier, slightly more generous giving. Only 6 percent of born-again Christians tithe. Born-again Christians justify and engage in sexual promiscuity (both premarital sex and adultery) at astonishing rates. Racism and perhaps physical abuse of wives seems to be worse in evangelical circles than elsewhere. This is scandalous behavior for people who claim to be born-again by the Holy Spirit and to enjoy the very presence of the Risen Lord in their lives.”

Kind of sobering, isn’t it?

Goodbye 2004: Our Year in Review

It was quite a year, wasn’t it? In the words of the semi-verbal little people, “happy ya-ya sha-bup, year!” That’s Ellie slang for “Bring it on!” Of course, it’s also been used interchangeably for “Hooray!” and “Welcome to my mouth.” But we’re open to many interpretations in our house.

For us, this year was all about Ellie. Indecipherable phrases were uttered. We got completely hooked on the Tolkien mania. We made new discoveries and tried many new things. An interesting item of note: We’ve prayed a lot more this year. Every night before bed, in fact. Ellie’s begun requesting it. “Pway, Daddy?” We scrunch our eyes shut and thank God for Kipper and the slide and pray for the park and the fireplace and for Kipper. Daddy prays for teething, for no tummy aches or random wakefulness at 3 and 4 am. We thank God for such a good, healthy, smart kid, that she’s so sensitive and yet adventurous, how she loves to swim, and hop and spin, and how it thrills us to hear this unexpected child in her new-found words, telling things what time it is: “Time to slide, fire-pace.”

She’s gobbled up knowledge like “caw cheeth” (cottage cheese), and gained personality and new preferences each week. We can’t believe all the growing, the tastes and opinions beginning to show. Never before have we realized so strongly, the relentlessness of God. He pursues us. You can’t escape. When she counts to 20—every time forgetting fifteen and repeating eighteen—when she recites her favorite books, when she asks to sing “eetsy-beetsy,” you feel assaulted by an insidious need to thank God for His love. It’s just normal, everyday parenting things, but until you’re drowning in amazement at such unconditional love, you can’t appreciate the pride God feels for you. I know how that sounds to people without kids. But until very recently, I was one of them. He truly loves us beyond any ability to reason.

So it’s a little late, but I’m hoping to extend the sentiment of Christmas a bit, especially for those of you who like us, feel a huge let down returning home with the post-holiday blues. Let’s just keep the good times rolling, okay? Thank God for the reminders of His love this year in the midst of the busy season of life. You’ll still have time for all that busy, happy ya-ya sha-bup later.