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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lasts

A lot of people talk about firsts when it comes to missing a loved one. First Christmas without them. First birthday without them. First fall, first baby, first spring. On and on it goes, until a whole year or so has passed and there are no more firsts of missing.

The firsts weren't so hard on me. They were a matter of course and bittersweet, but tolerable.

For me, it's the lasts I can't handle. The last birthday card my mom ever picked out and signed for me.
The last time I can wear the Christmas socks my mom gave me due to their wearing out. The last tea bag from the box of Eggnoggin' she gave me, the last cup of Christmas tea from my mom.

Everything is wearing out. The world is winding down. It's increasing entropy and I hate that law.
I can't make stuff last forever. I can't have my tea and drink it, too.

So, today marks the day when I drink this tea, wear these lucky socks with the holes and no elastic.

I can't stand it. I can't bear these lasts. I don't want to move on. I would rather not let go.

Live it today friends. Nothing is guaranteed. Give your daughter some Christmas socks. Buy a friend some holiday tea. Wear your happy socks. Drink your special tea.
Remember yesterday.
Live your moment.
Make the memories of tomorrow.

A Cup of Christmas Tea
 
XO
Joce

Monday, November 25, 2013

Glory


Quote:

How I want to see the weight of glory break my thick scales, the weight of glory smash the chains of desperate materialism, split the numbing shell of deadening entertainment, bust up the ice of catatonic hearts.

Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, pp. 110.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Well Done"

Congrats to Jo C. on winning the pay-it-forward fun money. And congrats to TeenMOPS who will be benefitting from this donation. Happy crock pot cooking!


This is my last post in the series 31 Days of Opening My Mouth.
I obviously desire it to be deeply meaningful and inspiring.
It just so happens that I heard an amazing sermon yesterday. The Church at Brook Hills is preaching a great series right now based on the book of 1 Corinthians.

I want you to hear this sermon. It is everything we need to hear to motivate us do what we can. That we will look back at our lives and not proclaim, "Vanity. All is vanity." But that we could look back when we get to the end and say, "I did what I could."

And when we meet Jesus face to face, that he will say, "Well done."

So, I am going to strongly urge you to please listen to or watch this sermon. I can't recap or summarize it in a way that will convey the power of this message. You have to hear it for yourself. Plan a time when you can listen to it- in your car, while you shower...I don't know your schedule, but as Miss Piggy would say, "Kermie?!? MAKE TIME!"
You will be glad you heard it. You will not be like, "Ugh, I should have baked a pie instead. At least then I'd have a pie."

So, to inspire you, I would like to offer a contest. While listening to this sermon, please be on the look-out (hear-out?) for something that made me play a section over and over and laugh harder every time I listened to it. If you can tell me the minutes/seconds reference to this spot in the sermon, I will enter your name in a drawing to win $100.00 of pay-it-forward fun money. Free money to give as you see fit. Keep it in your pocket to help out a lady at the grocery store, buy a bunch of tracts to give out this Christmas, lovely necklaces from Kisses from Katie, a water filter for a family through Gospel for Asia, a scholarship for New Horizons for Children- the possibilities are endless.

Your entry has to be secret though, so your comments won't show up on the blog until after the drawing, which will be November 7, 2013.

Click here to listen.

Click here to watch.






So, that's it. Don't waste your life. Your life is a gift. Your house is a gift. Your clothes are a gift. Your food is a gift. Don't hoard it. Share it. Invest it in others. Invest in God's kingdom.

Make your life count. Follow Jesus, the meaning-maker. Hear the cry of the poor and needy, the orphan and widow, the fatherless. And do what you can.

*where's your treasure?*

XO
Joce

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

3 Gifts Silent

1. Silence, quiet, no noise
2. Moonlit nights
3. Smiles

Friday, November 15, 2013

Making up Thanks

3 Gifts at Noon
1. Fire Horn
2. National Anthem
3. Sitting Down

3 Gifts Behind a Door
1. New babies at the hospital
2. Visiting Grampy
3. Barn light

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Three Gifts of Remembrance

1. Recipes passed down
2. Old song time warp
3. Cherished possessions, cared for, bestowed

*where's your treasure?*
~Joce

Mountain Dream

One night the old man from the mountain dreamed a dream. The night was clear and cold. The moon was shining down bright on the house he had built with his own hands in the clearing in the woods dusted with early snow. He dreamt of his good wife who slept on the hill beneath the maple.

In his dream, they were checking into a hotel. They were obviously on a business trip, with others from their company milling around in the lobby. The man and his wife were carrying a case full of papers with the information of the people they were responsible to contact and care for. The wife, being world weary and bone tired, headed on up to their room. As she went up to rest, the case spilled, leaving the important papers they were carrying scattered on the floor. The others who were attending the business conference hardly noticed. No one stopped to help. No one else was concerned about the people and concerns represented by those spilled papers.

The man knelt, in his Sunday-go-to-meeting black leather vest and shined-up boots, realized it would fall to him to take care of this situation himself before he could join his wife. He gathered up the papers and noticed that there weren't too many. It wouldn't take him overly long to finish the work they had started. He sensed the importance of the task left to him to complete.

He awoke the next morning, the smoke of his woodfire purposefully curling up to the wide blue, his heart longing for heaven and home. The fire cracked. The leaves crunched. The snow sparkled. There was work left to do and he purposed in his heart to get it done.

Luke 21: 34-36
34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”






 


Hebrews 1:12 
12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

*where's your treasure?*
~Joce
 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

3 Gifts found in Bible Reading

1. Perspective
2. Promises
3. Peace

Alliterated. Cool.
XO

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

3 Gifts Harvest

1. Amazement at the bounty
2. Soup soup soup
3. Hard work rewarded


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Arwyn says:

While nursing,
"Ah locket boovies mama."
(I like it boobies, mama.)

Then a little while later,
"Ah lock ooh mama."
(I like you mama.)
Sung to the tune of
"I Like You"
from Daniel Tiger.

Blessed.

The gift of grace

A benediction for the failures, the fallers, the impatient mothers, the angry fathers, the weak, the tired, the discouraged:

Jude
24 Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Good thing, right? Because I can't present myself faultless before the presence of His Glory.

He calls me out on deep water. And I can't be trusted to keep swimming much less help someone else while I'm there.  But He calls me out- to the great unknown. And I find that the deeper the water, the more my faith is made stronger and my need for grace becomes even more clear.

Have a lovely song:



And a blessed day.

*where's your treasure?*
Joce

Friday, November 08, 2013

The Secret

A gift sweet, salty, sipped.

1. Pomegranate
2. Chocolate covered peanut clusters
3. Hot toddy*

The secret:
"I read, 'The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live....He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.' Breath leaves the lung.
I whisper in the dark: Eucharisteo!
It really might be the mystery to the fullest life....
I lie on relief. I might have found the holy grail... and lost it, moved on. And yet really- hadn't God se the holy grail in the center of Christianity? Eucharisteo, it's the central symbol of Christianity Thanksgiving. The table with its emblems is the essence of what it means to live the Christ-life. Sunday after Sunday in our nondenominational Bible church, we're formally invited to take the bread, the wine. Doesn't the continual repetition of beginning our week at the table of the Eucharist clearly place the whole of our lives into the context of Thanksgiving?
And too...it's the most common of foods, bread. The drink of the vine has been part of our meal taking across the centuries and cultures. Jesus didn't institute the Eucharist around some unusual, rare, once-a-year event, but around this continual act of eating a slice of bread, drinking a cup of fruit from the vine. First Corinthians 11:26 reads, "whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup" -whenever.
Like every day. Whenever we eat.
Eucharisteo---whenever: now. Joy---wherever: here."
~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p. 33-34

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

*where's your treasure?*
~Joce

 


*My mama always made me hot toddy whenever I needed warming up, inside or out. I think she always put a little nip of brandy in it. LOL.
Heat together in a small saucepan:
Apple juice or cider
Orange or lemon juice or slice
Honey
Cloves (whole or ground)
Cinnamon (stick or ground)
Brandy? or vanilla extract would probably do



Thursday, November 07, 2013

Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy.

Three words that come together in eucharisteo (breaking of bread, Last Supper, communion).
Give thanks.
Get grace.
Have joy.

3 gifts from your window.

1. Sunlight across my dining room table
2. Spring peepers and night music
3. Breath of fresh air

*where's your treasure?*

~Joce

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

3 Gifts Government

1. Founding fathers; faithful, wise
2. Freedom of religion
3. 2nd amendment*
 
     


Thomas Jefferson
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
 
"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”
Thomas Jefferson, Complete Jefferson

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Living

"How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die?"
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
November 5, 2008
 


November Joy Dare- "Three Gifts Acorn Small"

134. Amazima beads
135. Werther's Original
136. White oak acorns (the hats!)
137. Energetic children
138. Potty training
139. Curiosity
140. Creativity
141. Phonics
142. Good fiction
143. Purity
144. Clean tables
145. Shiny floors
146. Warm beds
147. Family loyalty
148. Ameraucana chickens
149. The blue and green eggs
150. Rooster's crow
151. Compost
152. Square foot gardens
153. Abundant squash
154. Spices
155. Hot chocolate
156. Boys who fix things
157. Manly sons
158. Shoes
159. Christmas music
160. Shoeboxes (Operation Christmas Child)
161. MOPS
162. Servant-hearts
163. Discipleship
164. Turkey sounds
165. Frosty sunshine mornings
166. "Clean Up" song
167. Baby talk
168. Pretty books
169. More grace.


Monday, November 04, 2013

Yes or No

"I know it but I don't want to: it is a choice. Living with losses, I may choose to still say yes. Choose to say yes to what He freely gives. Could I live that-- the choice to open the hands to freely receive whatever God gives? If I don't, I am still making a choice.
The choice not to.
The day I met my brother-in-law at the back door, looking for his brother, looking like his brother, is the day I see it clear as a full moon rising bright over January snow, that choice, saying yes or no to God's graces, is the linchpin of it all, or everything."
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p. 18

Romans 5

Faith Triumphs in Trouble

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
 

Faith Brings Joy

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

So, give thanks for what hurts. That is really crazy and nobody does that. We read that and we don't do it because it's stupid. We say, maybe, in ten years, and I can see how something good came from this, I'll stop being angry about it. But rejoice in a trial when I'm in it and all it does it hurt? False. Inauthentic. Faker.

Unless we believe God. If we really believe God, we can truly thank God for our losses and trials and hard times. I'm going to try this out. See how it fits

But I don't really want to try this in public, so I'm going to keep most of my list to myself today.

101-130.
131. Gathered: Red ripe raspberries
132. Given: Hugs
133. Good: Wisdom

Give thanks for your losses, a gift gathered, a gift given, a gift that is good.
Check out Ann's November Joy Dare printable.

*where's your treasure?*
~Joce

 

 
 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Gifts

These gift lists are mostly for me folks. But just so you know what's going on, I'm reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I am writing down 1,000 things for which I am thankful this month.
65. bagels & cream cheese
66. lasagna
67. Communion
68. fluffywhip
69. gardens
70. bacon
71. cows
72. milk
73. hot peppers
74. pizza dates
75. family
76. movie night
77. Duck Dynasty
78. homemade ricotta
79. mozzarella
80. bread machines
81. down-filled warm things
82. fun socks
83. contact lenses
84. Silent Night
85. the name of Jesus
86. Noel
87. wooden blocks
88. hand-me-downs
89. sunshine on the floor
90. steam mops
91. Thieves cleaner
92. baking cookies
93. mentors
94. free squash
95. pureed soups
96. Merville's furniture
97. full freezer
98. stocked pantry
99. Young Living oils
100. grandmothers

*where's your treasure?*

XO
Joce

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Thanks and Giving

Thanks:

One Thousand Gifts, November 2.

42. Homemade bread
43. Vests
44. Flannel Sheets
45. Adoption
46. Revival (it's a repeat, I know)
47. EVOO
48. Hot tea
49. God's Word
50. Conviction
51. Passion
52. Turkey Dinner
53. Marriage
54. Red Barns
55. Blue Sky
56. Red Apples
57. Orioles (the birds)
58. Black capped chickadee dee dee dee dee
59. Jammied kids
60. Home
61. Crochet
62. Legacies
63. Corn bread
64. Truth

Giving:

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday. If you do one thing to about it, read this story:
"Thirty years.  
Thirty years; most of my life, but for me it represents something big.Thirty years is an anniversary for me.  Thirty years ago I was hungry; I was thirsty; I needed clothes.  Missing from my life were the fundamental things children need."

*where's your treasure?*
~Joce

Friday, November 01, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

An exercise in Thankfulness. No particular order. Really, don't judge my order. :)
1. My mother
2. My father
3. My sister
4. My brother
5. 4-H
6. Horses
7. Goats
8. Music
9. Voice
10. Piano
11. Mrs. Paige
12. The Sickler family
13. Holiness
14. Evangelists
15. Revival
16. Prayer
17. Joseph
18. Anastasija
19. Brilyn
20. Cade
21. Jessup
22. Arwyn
23. Libraries
24. Autumn
25. Arkansas Blacks
26. Orchards
27. apple pie
28. Pumpkin Pie
29. Farms
30. Coffee
31. Candles
32. Jesus
33. Resurrection
34. Kaleb
35. Brok
36. Sharp cheese
37. Ice Cream
38. Deer Hunting
39. Woodstoves
40. Farmhouses
41. Red Tractors

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Dangerous Prayer

 
Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours.

 

 
The Dangerous Prayer I was talking about. I started praying this about 7 years ago. And now, see?
My heart that is broken. And I can't NOT open my mouth for the voiceless.

I constantly long to walk from earth into eternity, for here I have no continuing city, but I seek the one to come. But first: A generation rising up to take their place. A revival stirring. The King of Glory.




25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
(Ezekiel 36)


 

I see the King of glory
Coming on the clouds with fire
The whole earth shakes
The whole earth shakes

I see His love and mercy
Washing over all our sin
The people sing
The people sing

Hosanna hosanna
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna hosanna
Hosanna in the highest

I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith

I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We're on our knees
We're on our knees

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity


Praise God for what He has done.
Worship Him for what is doing.




*where's your treasure?*

~Joce

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

1 Year

1 Year Ago Today
 
 

Traffic

Excerpts from Francis Chan: Making Disciples Is Solution to Human Trafficking by Jeff Schapiro,
on human trafficking:
******************************
Francis Chan, bestselling author of Crazy Love and founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif., says Christians can't take the issue of human trafficking lightly, and throwing a few dollars at the problem won't solve it.
"We talk about human trafficking. The solution to human trafficking is making disciples,” Chan told tens of thousands of college students at the Passion 2012 conference this week. “That's a solution. It's changing people's hearts, because some of the people that you go to school with, some of them will be the victims of human trafficking and some of them will be the culprits of it."
Chan was visibly emotional about the problem when he first began speaking, and he encouraged students to do more than just give money to fight human trafficking."I don't even like calling it 'human trafficking,' I like calling it 'little kids are being raped repeatedly right now, and that should break our hearts,’” he said.
People can't be casual about it, he added, and they must be “completely undignified” in their actions in order to really make a difference.
********************************

I read on another site that there are 100,000- 300,000 child sex slaves in the US right now.
Portland OR is like the capitol of this twisted empire. (Red Light Ministry, OR)

From another quick read of a site, it looks like Mexico is also a hot spot for international sex slave buying and selling.

Need more facts? read Crimes in your Own Backyard


You can make a difference:
P.A.T.H. Coalition People Against Trafficking Humans of Western New York

They have a meeting November 14, 2013. Like, you can go. You can find out what you can do to free a child from hell on earth.

****
Our next P.A.T.H. Coalition meeting will be held on Thursday, November 14th at 7pm. Open to all!

Resurrection Life Church
2145 Old Union Road
Cheektowaga, NY 14227
****

Search 'human trafficking ministry' to find a link to an organization in your area where you can be educated, learn how to speak out, and help end the nightmare for kids and teens who cannot escape their chains without your help.

*where's your treasure?*
~Joce

Monday, October 28, 2013

Balancing act

It's hard to find balance. That's true in so many areas of life. But especially when it comes to facing the truth about the voiceless millions. Whether you are talking refugees, orphans, the poor in America, the persecuted church in Asia or the Middle East, the untouchables in India with no hope, the children sold into slavery, human trafficking, the dead children and wounded women who are victims of the abortion industry....the tendency seems to be either to be consumed by it, or just ignore it.
But what should we do? How should we respond?
Well, luckily for you, a few people smarter than me have spoken on this topic before!

" Most of us care deeply about the needs around us – poverty, injustice, everyday concerns of those in our families and in our offices and in our neighborhoods. But faced with the challenges of getting food on the table and children to and from activities and keeping up with our jobs etc, we feel more than a little overwhelmed. Who has the time or the energy to start another nonprofit or to participate in yet another celebrity-help-the-world-athon? We conclude we have to do something BIG to make a difference. Not true. We don’t have to do something BIG to make a difference. In a Bible story where Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus with a beautiful gift of perfume before his death, Jesus applauds her action saying, “She did what she could.” We can make a difference every day by simply doing what we could in the given moment before us."
~Elisa Morgan

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
 
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
Mother Teresa

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
Mother Teresa

The way I see it you have three choices:
 
1. Look at picture of starving children all day, walk around with a cloud of doom over your head.
2. Look at catalogs of things to buy all day, walk around in a consumer's haze of false happiness.
3 Look at the world for what it really is every day. Know the needs, do what you can to meet them, and share the joy with everyone you meet.
 
 
 
New Horizons update:
 
Ninety children remain. Some are sibling groups. With only 59 families we can host them ALL!! Ninety children who will be LEFT BEHIND if they aren't chosen SOON!

Ninety children who NEED to come.
Ninety children who NEED to be loved.
Ninety children who NEED to see Jesus....

Ninety children who NEED to be accepted.
Ninety children who NEED to be blessed.
Ninety children who NEED to be covered in prayer.
Ninety children who NEED to be well fed and clothed.
Ninety children who NEED to be safe.
Ninety children who NEED to be chosen.
Ninety children who NEED to be a part of a loving, functional family,
 
 
Why do I love New Horizons so much? I mean, really, there are other people in greater need, right?
I love New Horizons because it ministers to orphans and changes the host family forever. The orphans are cared for and loved on and shown Christ's love. The host family flexes it's faith muscles and gets first hand experience in loving and ministering, thinking of others, focusing on a goal of pouring into someone's life to make an eternal difference- all without leaving the country. After you host, you know more about God's faithfulness, provision, grace, hope, love, goodness, mercy...the list goes on and on. I really believe the Holy Spirit is like gas for your car: If you never take your faith out of the garage, you pretty much exist on fumes. You never know what its like to get your tank topped off. Hosting is like a drive around the block. It seems really big if you've never backed out of the garage before, but it gives you a glimpse of what your ride can really do. And that is life changing.
 
Hosting is also like having kids- there is never a perfect time. There is never a time in your life when you'll have an extra $2950.00 in change lying around, an extra bedroom, an open schedule, a perfect marriage, and bomb-proof children who couldn't possibly be impacted by having a kid from outside your bubble in their lives 24 hours a day for 4 weeks.
 
It's not everyone's turn to host this year, but it might be your turn. All I would ask is that you pray about it. "God, here is a need of which I have been made aware. Lead me where you want me to go with this. Give me the faith to hear your voice if you happen to say that you want me to do this."
 
 
 
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
Mother Teresa
 

"where's your treasure?"
 
~Joce
 

 



Sunday, October 27, 2013

God has a good plan

This is my Father's world. 
O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet. 

This is my Father's world: 
why should my heart be sad? 
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! 
God reigns; let the earth be glad!
This is my Father’s world:
the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

Resting.

Peace.
~Joce

Today is the last day to contact New Horizons to let them know you would like to host.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Troubling

Being the voice of the voiceless gets discouraging. You figure, if you say something weighty, folks will have a proportionately weighty response.
When confronted with need, the rich* will respond with compassion.
Not so much true.
Folks are mostly unhappy and unwilling to hear it, and I think they would like me to please hush.
At first, this voiceless stuff is appalling, and then convicting, and then annoying.
I get it, there's nothing you can do about it.


Christian Egyptian teen, killed by extremists


I was going to post a pic of an aborted baby, I can't stomach it today.

Starvation and it's antithesis
So. Whatever. Nothing new, I guess.

Luke 16:

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham.[a] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and his soul went to the place of the dead.[b] There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.
24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’
25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’
27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’
29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’
30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’
31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.’”

 Please, go buy a pumpkin latte and forget about all this.

*where's your treasure?*
~Joce

*(..." let’s put something in perspective: according to Poke London, a family of five living just above the poverty line in the US is actually “the one percent” compared to the rest of the world.")

Friday, October 25, 2013

Taking turns

Your turn.

Please share one or more of the following:

How is God working in you?
Calling you to be a voice?
Calling you to listen?
Prompting you to be the solution?

Do you have a heart for a voiceless group that you would like to share here?

Do you have a story of how God has worked in the lives of the voiceless or the life of someone who listened?

Proverbs 31:
8 Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy.


*where's your treasure?*
~Joce

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Those lost in darkness-

Can you hear them? No? Then I guess they're voiceless.

Jesus said in Luke 24 that we should preach repentance and remission of sins.

If you would like to light up the dark for your friends and neighbors, please host a Billy Graham "My Hope" movie party at your house this fall. If more people in American had Jesus in their hearts, there would be a lot less hurt in the world, and a lot more people taking care of whatever hurt there was.

http://myhopewithbillygraham.org/




Get the DVD, order some pizza and wings, and invite someone to your house.

*Where's your treasure?*
~Blessings,
Joce

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Breaking Chains

I keep thinking about Davion, who had the chance to speak to a church family about his need for a family. I am SO happy that he was given a VOICE. And that God's people HEARD. I am pretty sure from the updates I've seen that he is going to get a family. PRAISE THE GOD WHO SETS THE LONELY IN FAMILIES.

But, what about the rest of the kids in foster care in the US with stories just as heart-breaking as Davion's?

They DO NOT have voice. They DO NOT have the chance to stand up in your church this weekend.
But they need a family just as much as Davion.

Before I heard about New Horizons and saw Anastasija's sweet face, I used to scroll the kids in Children Awaiting Parents. I would see the ads in the Pennysaver and go to their site and just scroll and pray that God would point me to the right kid. My kid wasn't listed there, she was in Latvia, but my heart was with those kids. Foster kids need a home with a heart- the heart of Christ. And a forever home would fulfill their deepest dream.

Anastasija still doesn't get it. She can't fathom the fact that we are her forever family. That our parents are really really her grandparents. That my brother and sister are her forever aunt and uncle. They are not just another set of people that will soon be in the past, forgotten. They are HERS. She laughs when I say that her babies will be my grandbabies. She can't really get that all the way into her heart and head. I can't wait for the day when she starts to care about and remember her relationship to and the personalities of her aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. because that will be the day when the foreverness of her family has started to sink in and take root.

You have the power to teach the foreverness of family to a child.

Hear the call of the voiceless child.

Hebrews 13:
13 Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
 
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”[a] So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
 
I know it is fear that holds you back- not enough energy, not enough money, not enough time, concern for the children you already have....The LORD is your helper- be bold. Entertain a stanger, remember those in chains, those who are mistreated...
 
16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
 
*Where's your treasure?*
 
~Joce

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tiny people


Syria Snipers Target Unborn Children


No voice.

I just think: Starving Syria's children, and shooting them in utero- it's terrible.
The refugees. Send help!
Samaritan's Purse is there, working.

But I can't help it, when I see these pictures:
100 Pictures

And this is America. And it's celebrated as liberation.
So I'm sad. And I will always give voice to these voiceless.

Okay, my own sweet babies are needing their mama.

*Where's your treasure?*

~Joce


Monday, October 21, 2013

I wear Peace

I read Kisses from Katie (if you are going to buy something from amazon.com, please click the link on my blog so a percentage of your money will go to New Horizons) a while ago. The stories she wrote about the children and people of all ages she has met are amazing. Amazingly horrendous at the beginning, and amazingly grace-filled at the end. God is so good.

I think of the Masese people, people misplaced from their lands where they were cattle herdsmen, to living on a dump, with no way to support themselves. The women without husbands and their children suffer the most- having to resort to making moonshine or prostitution just to be able to avoid death by starvation. That is why I love wearing my necklace from Amazima!
from the Amazima website:
************
  • When you buy from Amazima, you employ a Ugandan woman, feed a hungry child, and receive a beautiful piece of jewelry to show your solidarity with Uganda wherever you go. 
  • Each piece of jewelry is made by a hard-working woman in Amazima's vocational program.  We know these women and their stories, and we love them deeply. 
  • The women in our vocational program are paid a fair wage and given financial training by Amazima's social worker.  Each woman shows proof of deposit to ensure she is saving some of the money she earns for her future. 
  • All pieces are handcrafted from start to finish.  Watch this video to see how the magazine bead jewelry is made. 
  • All proceeds from Amazima's jewelry sales are applied toward the feeding of over 1,200 children Monday through Friday in the slum community of Masese.  The women in Amazima's vocational program are proud that their dedication and work ethic helps feed hungry children in their neighborhood. 
  • All women in Amazima's jewelry vocational program receive spiritual discipleship.  Katie personally meets with the women each week for prayer and Bible study.

  • ****************

    See how that works?
    I wear Peace and Joy. And give hope. Pretty wonderful, huh?

    Don't you think you should buy one for all your favorite ladies?

    The book.  (Remember to go through the link on my blog to make sure some of your money goes to New Horizons)

    The blog.

    The store.

    There are many more stories of people with no voice. Get the book, read the blog, find out for yourself. The best part of reading these stories is that although the stories told by Katie of the people of Uganda may start out immeasurably sad and hopeless and with what appears to be irrevocable silence, by the end, because someone obeys God, there is joy, and hope, and they find their voice.
    Praise the Lord!

    XO
    Joce




    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Orphan Sunday

    Davion Only wants a family- read it here.

    God calls His adopted children to care for orphans and widows in their distress. Want to hear some of the good news coming from Davion asking God's people directly? Read this from Focus on the Family.

    There are kids just like Davion within ten minutes of where you sit. They don't have the opportunity to walk into your church to ask you to your face, but the question is still there.

    What's your answer? Examine your heart's response.

    Let me know, I'll help you start the paperwork.

    XO

    Saturday, October 19, 2013

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Voiceless



    As I have focused on giving voice to the voiceless, I have come to realize that voicelessness is not the problem. I realize that it is not voicelessness against which I struggle. I do not need to speak out against voicelessness. The problem with which I struggle; that which I am striving to change and overcome; that which I must speak out against is deafness.


    Luke 8:8
    But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (NKJV)






    Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop.
    “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”(MSG)

    Maybe I should change my theme to 31 Days of Shouting to Deaf People. Or 31 Days of Deafness Awareness. Giving voice to the voiceless is pointless if no one is listening. Or, if they listen, but they walk away and forget what they've heard.


    James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.


    Go be blessed!

    XO
    Joce

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    I Can Love


    You can, too. Just open your heart, your hands, your home, your mouth. Whichever God's love motivates you to do.

     

    XO Joce

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    Open heart children

    When I think about it, one of the most impactful jobs I have is as a mother to my children.
    I can open my mouth on my blog and pray that it hits people in the heart and that followers of Christ follow Him more passionately and that people who don't know Jesus yet will come to know and trust Him.
    But with my kids? I have the opportunity to create a legacy that outlives me.
    If I pour into my kids the love of Christ, they can share it.
    If I don't just blog about it, but actually host an orphan, they learn something I can't teach you.
    If I ask for a gift from Gospel for Asia for Christmas, they get to give a gift that means something.
    They will learn to choose gifts from GFA and Samaritan's Purse and hopefully see the emptiness of Macy's glitz and Sears' WishBook greed.
    If I play "Saint Nicholas" VeggieTales movie every year, and take them shopping to fill their shoe boxes for kids the same age and gender as themselves, their memories of Christmas won't be about their lists of what they want, but about lists of what they are going to buy for others.
    If I focus on teaching my kids the TRUE true meaning of Christmas, and if Santa is not the guy who brings them stuff, but is the guy who inspires them to GIVE. Oh! Just think of what that might mean. Just think of how far this could go! It places our focus on Christ and family, right where it should be.

    This year we'll be using this resource to focus our hearts, every day, during Advent. You can use it too!


     
     
    Let's teach kids about giving! Let's teach kids to open their hearts to others! Let's teach kids to open their mouths for the poor, orphaned, widowed, needy!
     
    (Go TEAM!) ?
     
    Forgive the amount of CAPS and ! I'm really excited. I hope you are, too.
     
    XO
    Joce

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Unofficial Guest Blogger

    God is amazing. He coordinates our lives so intricately and we never know where our influence on others and on this world begins or ends.

    Le Ann probably doesn't know where her burden for opening her heart and her mouth for orphans specifically began or where it will end. But one result is me. My heart for orphans was prepped by God (and L.M. Montgomery) and unlocked by Le Ann's ministry of New Horizons for Children.

    I prayed hard this morning about blogging and hosting and lo and behold- this is the first email in my inbox today:
    **************************

    "Dear Friends and Families of New Horizons for Children,

    The clock is ticking quickly. Blink and a child loses hope and so much more.
    Please see the link below for the file of
    Children to Pray For!  Deadlines are quickly approaching! Asian deadline is  MONDAY OCTOBER 21.
    Eastern European deadlines begin SUNDAY OCTOBER 27.

    My perspective has only gotten stronger, after sitting in an orphanage in China now for well over a week. One has a lot to take in, with the time to take it in, and be thankful. But more, I have realized I have a lot to learn and hear from my Holy Spirit who shouldn't have to put me here to listen! The thoughts that go through my mind on an hourly basis are such that I can't explain many times. The children who rush to me when we walk over to the chow hall to have a meal, just to say "I LOVE YOU!" or just to get a hug open my eyes to see what He would have me to see.  The result for the kids is a smile that never ends and warmth in their heart saying, "I was special to ONE!"
    The result for me... well, I get numb at times, but it warms my soul; my life is again, forever changed for the better. It shows me what I have in "things" and "creature comforts" that are meaningless and there are far greater joys in the world besides something we buy in stores. Yes, I complain to those anxiously waiting at home on our return, (mine and our new son, Kevin who lives here as well)..."I am sick of Chinese food three times a day." But, after the adults finished their abundant lunch today, Kevin sneaks in to ask for some rice as he is still hungry. As a mom, I desire to give him all the food that is left before me, but as someone who sees the other 80 little children who have no mom in which to even ask... it kills me inside.
    My perspective is something I have to continue to share; the burden is too great.
    Last night, I went to visit with the other two Americans who live here and work with the children teaching them about their self-worth and that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them dearly.  They had four of the older boys come to visit their room in the orphanage seeking Ray, their wrestling buddy! The boys were there to wrestle with a "dad figure" and try out an "elastic-exercise-band" that he will demonstrate and share with them. While we all laughed and encouraged them to try their best, it was also sad that none of them could stretch the bands as well as the gentleman who is retiring next week after four years of service in China, and returning to the USA. These teen boys are so weak, under-nourished and have so little muscle mass they couldn't do it.
    But, in these servants’ eyes, they have hope for a future. 
    Jeremiah 29:11 says: "For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.' "

    P1010684














    How can you give them HOPE?
    Much of the hope these boys have comes  from families, such as your own, getting ready to start their shopping lists for Christmas or planning a summer vacation. But, instead, a family chose to answer the Call and went on a family mission trip together with one of these children. The map on the wall of this room in the orphanage shows each child's photo that went on one of our hosting programs in 2013. It has a photo of each child and a string attached from the photo to the destination in the USA where he or she has been...and has been loved and shown the care of a Christian family who made a sacrifice. Sacrifice? YES, financial, emotional, physical in some regards. But, these kids all know they mattered to ONE when they see this wall, they have HOPE for a FUTURE.

    Are you going to matter? NHFC promotes the starfish as our unofficial mascot, and relates the story of "this one matters" in the legend of a young boy walking on the shore tossing beached starfish back into the water "of life". An older man sees the boy and questions, "How can you hope to make a difference since there are literally millions who you won't be able to save?" The boy replies, "But, I made a difference to THIS ONE."

    There are enough orphans in the world, if they stood side by side, they would circle the earth TWICE!
    In thinking through this now, This ONE is also referring to each of our host families! This ONE FAMILY answered the Call and hosted an orphan child who now feels loved, has self-worth, knows THEY matter! Best of all, they KNOW THEY MATTER TO OUR FATHER! They are not forgotten, unless you choose to forget and move on.

    It takes ONE to SAVE ONE.

    Now is the time. Now is the end and now is their hope for ONE--- such as your family. Christmas is the best time of the year to step up... it's the giving season, it is the season of Love and the season of our Father who loved us so much, He gave his ONE son for our life. We now have eternal Life and we know He cares and we matter! It's our turn to pay it forward as Fathers and Mothers and teach our own children-- show them-- the greatest gift of all...
    The kids' bags are packed... well, really, there is nothing for them to pack, but in their minds, they are ready to go. But, each one knows they must be considered and chosen by ONE family. 


    Is that your family this time?
    Psalm 119:105 says:
    "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." 
    Can you believe enough, have the faith of a tiny mustard seed, and take a step onto that path?


    Want to take your family on a mission trip for Christmas? For the price of just one person, your whole family can participate in a 4 week Mission Trip, and you won't even need to pack a suitcase... we will send the Mission to your home! Through New Horizons for Children, you can minister to an orphan from Eastern Europe or Asia around your own Christmas tree. It's a life changing opportunity to share God's love with a child who may never have experienced it before!

    children to pray for 10.14.13 jpg 2Click here to see just a short list of the children to pray for! Please complete the short form at this link to view the photos of available host children.




    E. Europe Photolisting
     

    Contact your regional coordinator for more information on any of these wonderful children! Click here.

    WHAT? You can't host a child over Christmas? Well, there is yet ONE more gift to consider giving!
    We have a pressing need right now: if any these available children were to receive a scholarship towards their hosting costs, they have an increase of 80% in being selected for Christmas or a future hosting.  Every hosting season, it can be difficult to provide large sums of money for these scholarships. But we have recently created a program where you don’t need a large amount to help—every little bit will help change these children's  lives.  You can partner with us through our new "Agape Fund": a monthly giving fund that will allow you to give a little bit each month in support of our program. Note your funds are for scholarships for a specific country, scholarships for siblings, or as a general donation. 
    Click here for more information on the new Agape Fund!

    MOST OF ALL the Agape fund provides NHFC with donations that can be applied immediately where the need is greatest!  Your partnership in this program is invaluable and will help us serve the children of Eastern Europe, China, and the Philippines even more effectively.

    Anyone who signs up to give a monthly amount of $10 or more will receive a special gift!  All donations are tax-deductible.


    May God bless you on your journey!

    Le Ann Dakake, Director of Orphan Hosting Programs
    New Horizons for Children

    New Horizons for Children
    3950 Cobb Pkwy, Suite 708
    Acworth, Georgia 30101"

    *******************************************************
     

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Living Faith

    Click this link, first, or the rest of what I write won't make much sense:
    Pregnant and Homeless on the Steps of the Church

    I really like this article. It talks about the trend of NOT opening our mouths, specifically about abortion, specifically about the silence of the church.

    But it also talks about backing up our talk with action. Illustrating our faith with our works.

    One difference of opinion I have with the author of the article is that I don't agree with her rant against that big church's focus on the  gospel. The gospel CAN save that mother from all those things, because God cares for His children. But I agree that they need to read James. The whole book really, but chapter 2 at least:

    Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

    14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
    17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

    Today I am speaking out against apathy. For the sake of your hearts and the hearts of those whom your apathy condemns.

    So I guess the summary of my thoughts for today are, "Open your Mouth" and "Get off your duff."
    It's Monday anyway. :)

    XO

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

    The Gospel on Sunday



    16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—
    Romans 1

    Opening my mouth for those who are poor in Spirit and heavy laden, that they may receive Christ who gives rest and peace.

    XO

    Saturday, October 12, 2013

    hates weekends, loathes holidays...

    Any teachers out there will know what I'm talking about. The kid who hates weekends- acts up on Fridays. Comes back on Monday tired and cranky but obviously relieved. The kid who gets more and more worked up the closer you get to Christmas vacation.

    What's she worried about? What's got him so shook up?
    No food.
    No supervision.
    No safety.

    What can you do if you can't take this kid home with you? Pray. Speak Jesus to them. Love and hugs and words that build up.

    And- LCCP. LeRoy Christian Community Project. They have a Backpack Club.
    from their site:
    **********************************************

    An estimated 25-30% of all school-age children in Genesee County are going hungry from the time they leave school on Friday until they return to school the following Monday.  As a result, The Backpack Club began with the goal of meeting the needs of these hungry children throughout our school district.

    At the inception of the Backpack Club, 9 families (35 children) were receiving weekly food bags.  At present, approximately 25-30 families (75-80 children) are currently being served at Le Roy School alone.  The program is now effectively operating in Le Roy Central Schools elementary, middle and high school.

    Testimonials from children and their families are a regular confirmation that we are "on track" with this outreach.  However, we continually strive to improve and increase our effectiveness by looking for special opportunities throughout the year to assist those in need.

    Outreach Overview
    • Food items are collected from donors or purchased with program funds.
    • A team of volunteers carefully pack the bags and get them ready for pick up.
    • Children who receive free meals at school and may experience hunger on the weekends are identified by the school counselors to participate in the Backpack Club program.
    • The school designates a "pick-up" area where food bags can be distributed.
    • Children enrolled in the program stop by the pick-up area every Friday (or the last day of the school week) before going home.  The bag of nonperishable food items can be discreetly placed in their backpack. Our dedicated volunteers generously pack the bags each week with 15-20 items.


    A bag typically contains the following:
    • Microwavable Mac-n-cheese
    • Ramen Noodles
    • Tuna
    • Single Serving Vegetables
    • Cheese on Cheese Crackers
    • Toaster Pastry
    • Raisins
    • Fruit or Applesauce Cup
    • Flavored Oatmeal Packet
    • Fruit Snacks
    • Fruit Juice or Milk
    • Drink Mix Packet
    • Single Serving Cereal Box
    • Crackers
    • Potato Chips
    • Candy or Treat
    • Other Items as Available

     

    How You Can Help
    The success of The Backpack Club is made possible by a network of local businesses, community organizations and individuals who partner together in order to "make a difference."  This network, along with our outreach volunteers, and committed staff from our school, make a great team!


    As it is with any successful outreach, The Backpack Club must have continual donations of funds and supplies in order to serve those in need.  Your contributions help make it possible to continue meeting the needs of the children who attend Le Roy Central School.

    At this time, we have 20 dedicated volunteers that fill backpacks on Thursday mornings.  However, we are always in need of more volunteers.  If you are interested in volunteering for this program please call Pastor Colleen O’Connor at 768-7200.

    The Backpack Club is a 501(c) (3) organization and all donations are tax deductible.

    The Greater Rochester United Way Donor Designation Number for LCCP. is 2482. Your Contributions are Greatly Appreciated!

    ***************************************

    It's Saturday and there is kid close enough to touch that won't eat a meal today, and won't have anyone making sure he's safe.
     

     



    James 2:
    14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say,
    “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”
    but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing.
    What good does that do?
    17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.


    So, please.  Pray, love, and give. Open your heart, arms, mouth, wallet, and home as God leads.


    XOXO




    About Me

    About Me
    I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.