Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Minute Friday - She

Every Friday a big group of bloggers "meets" to write for five minutes on the same word prompt. Today's word is She.


She is my best friend. I don't know exactly how long we've known each other. A year-ish I think. I met her through her mom who I met through an author we both like, and I've never met ANY of them in person.

But she is nevertheless my best friend :) We talk all the time, through Facebook, texting, and Skype. We play Minecraft together. We "know" each other's families and likes and dislikes. We still learn new things about each other often. She is the first person I've ever met who has seen my favorite movie. I seem to remember we both had a purple tooth brush when we met. Lol. How did we even figure that out?!

I live in Pennsylvania and she lives in Idaho. Couldn't be MUCH farther without being in another country. She is five years older than me and has a five year old son, who is so cute! But we can both relate to each other on a lot of things, like marriage and finding a home and our favorite things :)

And I am so glad she's my friend.

If you'd like to read more posts on She, click here. To find out more about Five Minute Friday, how it works, how it started, and how you can join us, click the button below. Thanks for reading!
Five Minute Friday

Monday, September 16, 2013

$2, 2 Kids, 2 Puzzles, 2 Plane Tickets - Gunderson Adoption

You may have seen my post back in February about my friends the Gundersons who were working on adopting two kids from Ethiopia. And if you're friends with me on Facebook, chances are you've seen a LOT of posts about them over the past year.

Well, the great news is, the adoption is final!! Matt Gunderson went to Ethiopia a few weeks ago to appear in the adoption court, and got to meet their kids and spend some time with them. They've received the legal documents verifying the children's new last name. They are so close! But they still need to raise money for the VISAs, passports, and plane tickets.

So right now Jessie and her family are running a contest through her blog. An artist friend of theirs drew and donated two puzzles that look like their two new kids! For $2, you can sponsor a puzzle piece - your name will go on the back and Jessie will add the piece to the puzzle - and the money will help bring their kids home. Jessie will be posting pictures of the puzzles as new pieces are added on her author page on Facebook.

Also, whether you donate or not, if you share her blog post, you can enter to win one of six books! Check out her blog for more details:

Meanwhile, for every person who shares THIS post, I'll donate 50 cents. Just mention in the comments that you shared.

And PLEASE pray for the Gunderson family - Matt, Jessie, their five kids, and their two new kids. Pray for them to raise the rest of the money they need, to keep them safe while traveling to bring their new kids home, and for the kids to settle in well and know how much they are loved, and for all the other changes and adjustments this family will be going through to give two orphans (no longer!) their forever home.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Mercy

Doing this week's Five Minute Friday a little late, but hey, I'm still doing it. Each week, a bunch of bloggers get together to write for five minutes on the same word prompt, started by Lisa Jo Baker over at her blog The Gypsy Mama. Then we link up, share our posts, and encourage one another. I invite you to join us! It's challenging, fun, and thought-provoking.

This week's word was Mercy.


I had to look up mercy to find out exactly what it means. And even the many definitions and sentence usages didn't make it perfectly clear. I don't think it's a word we use or hear often, and when it is used, it's not necessarily the way it was originally intended.

So I went to the Bible. (I know, I should always go there first!) And I found some verses which really helped me to understand better the true meaning of mercy.

Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. (Deuteronomy 13:17)

And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; (1 Kings 8:50)

But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. (Nehemiah 9:31)

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. (Psalm 6:2)

The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. (Psalm 6:9)

Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation. (Psalm 9:13-14)

I won't pretend, I still don't know absolutely what all of these mean. I need to read the entire story. Context helps a great deal! But what I do know is that God cares for us, He forgives us when we don't deserve it, He protects us from evil, He heals us, He gives us little blessings to help us through rough times. His mercy endures forever! (Check out Psalm 136 KJV for a whole list of ways God's mercy endures for His people!)

That's all for this week. I hope you learned something new. I know I did! You can read more posts on Mercy here, or click on the link below for more info on Five Minute Friday.
Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering What We Have

So many things have been reminding me today how good we have it. Yeah, life is hard. A lot of us are low on money, looking for a better place to live, and suffering from health problems. People want to tell us what to do and judge our decisions and beliefs. Christians in the United States are finally seeing some persecution and we don't like it.

But a lawsuit for refusing to take photos at a same-sex wedding or bad press and boycotts because a company's leader talked about his beliefs is nothing compared to what we're hearing about in other countries right now. Christians are being forced out of their homes, tortured, and even killed.

Today is also September 11th. I know we all remember what happened twelve years ago. So many innocent people lost their lives that day.

A friend and her family have been working for the past year to adopt a brother and sister from Ethiopia. These kids don't have a family, and they don't have the luxuries that we do in America. And the sacrifices that Jessie and her family have made to be able to adopt these kids is so inspiring and humbling.

So I've just been thinking about all of these things and realizing how lucky I am to have a brand new tooth brush, a bed that, while not always comfortable, is mine, nice clothes and books to read and good shoes, a family, a church, and a safe place to live.

This post may not be the most eloquent or well-ordered, or maybe you disagree with something I said, but it doesn't matter. The point is that we need to remember everything that we do have and praise God for it every day. And pray for those we see hurting more than us.

Thank you, Lord!

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him. (Romans 15:13)

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

You will surely forget your trouble. (Job 11:16)

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

It's been a long hard ride
Got a ways to go
But I won't lose hope
This is still the place
That we all call home
- Dierks Bentley