They’re Always Better Together

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Courage. A word typically reserved for a person who noticeably goes out of her way to do something brave on behalf of others.

Compassion. A word generally attached to a person who selflessly helps others without even being seen or known.

To me, these two words go hand in hand. Like bread and butter, courage and compassion add something significant to one another.

The sweet spot of life is found in a combination of the two through private acts of kindness and public displays of bravery. Both are essential to making an impact on the world.

Now, before all the haters get up in my grill about my viewpoint on these two beautiful terms, let me be the first to say that each characteristic is important all by itself. But, like so many other things, when put together, they bring out the best parts of each other.

Let’s look at it this way: I can be the kindest person in the world to MY family in the comfort of MY own home. Behind closed doors. But when I go out and mingle with humanity, I keep to myself and never go out of my way to help someone else. To do that requires a different level of compassion. It requires some nerve. A willingness to be noticed if need be in order to lift someone else out of a pit that they may not be able to get out of on their own.

Our time here on earth is short as many of us know (including myself.) While good people die every single day, bad people keep on living. We can’t just sit by and watch it happen anymore. We need more good men and women to grow a pair, leave their comfortable existence of my family of four and no more, and love the heck out of people. (Yeah, I said it.) All people. Everywhere. Despite differences and opinions and cultures and baggage. This is where compassion and courage collide. An intersection of guts and glory if you will.

It’s so very necessary, don’t you think? The people who died too young would tell us to live each day with wild and crazy abandon sold out to a cause greater than ourselves. Can you imagine them saying that we should live a safe existence that only benefits us personally? Surely not. It’s in the giving away that we get so much given back to us.

How can you be daring in your efforts to help others on both the hidden back roads and in the bright lights of the city? It can be done. There are people waiting for you to overcome your fear of being seen so they can be seen. Being noticed for a courageous act doesn’t make you proud or egotistical. Humility is a trait easily noticed and hardly forgotten. When someone sees your hand outstretched towards another,they consider doing the same thing in their own magnificent way.

We can honor the ones who have gone before us by honoring the ones who are still here with us. Be kind to your families. Be gracious with your coworkers. Be fearless in your pursuit of the downcast, overlooked, and forgotten.

Then love them when noone is watching AND when everyone is looking. Let’s gloriously practice courage and compassion.

Shine a Light On Slavery #endit

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Love, be our eyes

Guide our feet away from lies

Lead us to the broken

Shine Your piercing light

 

Love, be our voice

Declare peace over the noise

Shout down the evil taunts

Sing words of eternal joy

 

Love, be our hands

Show your grace to this land

Use the lowest and the least

Involve us in Your plans

 

Love, be our light

Shine your hope in the night

Forgive our lust for the dark

Beam through our hearts so bright.

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Personal Mission Statement

photo credit: Splash via photopin (license)

I’ve been looking at my foundation lately to make sure it’s not faulty. We all need to assess our values and principles every once in a while to check that they line up with foundational truth. The nitty-gritty of my core beliefs is found in why I’m here and what I’m doing with my time.

So I thought I’d design a personal mission statement as I finish up 2015 and start 2016. I need to start this next year right. Don’t we all?

I’ve picked a quote that sums up my focus for 2016 and then chose 5 “to do/be” statements that follow the theme of that quote. Feel free to follow my example and do this for yourself as well. It’s a great exercise in creativity and focus! Here I go:

“Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.”
― Marcus Aurelius

  1. To be immovable in my commitment to my family above everything else- even if I really, really want to do it. If it takes away from my time with them (reasonably speaking), then I will choose my husband and kids instead. 
  2. To do only the things that add to my health, my happiness, my creativity, my purpose. I will say yes to the best things and have no guilt on my conscience for saying no if it is only adding “busy-ness” to my schedule. 
  3. To actively pursue relationships and opportunities that support my desire to help others who are struggling, desperate, overlooked, and hopeless. I will go looking for the weak and the wounded and purpose to love them to Jesus by helping them out of their pit. 
  4. To be consistent in my discipline, boundaries, and lessons with my children. I will be creative and thoughtful in my correction but always stay the same so that they can trust my response and be %100 sure of the rules in our household. 
  5. To live in a way that my faith is evident to all. I will choose to pray in the good and the bad times, speak the truth even if it’s hard, and give of myself to others at inconvenient moments if necessary. 

 

 

Restoring Christmas

photo credit: Need a Hand? via photopin (license)

Today I want to write about a ministry that is near and dear to my heart.

Komeo International Ministries house, feed, and clothe over 200 orphans in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Shanna and Jerome Crawford are the faces behind this amazing ministry. They not only provide for the physical needs of these children but they care for their emotional and spiritual needs as well by pointing them to the love of Jesus Christ.

This Christmas, Shanna and Jerome are leaving their home in Edmond, Oklahoma, to travel to Sierra Leone and bring Christmas to this country. Last year, the Ebola outbreak stole Christmas from the Sierra Leone children by bringing devastation to their land. So much was taken from this country and Komeo International Ministries is going above and beyond to bring restoration and joy back.

I would like to ask you to watch this short video ( Restoring Christmas KFOR News 4 ) and consider giving towards this worthy cause. Children are in need of sponsorship so that they can have an education, meals, and many more things in order to live a better life.

James 1:27- “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this:

to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,

and to keep oneself unspotted

from the world.”

 (Please visit Komeo International Ministries  to find out more about their child sponsorship program and the needs of the ministry.) Thanks!