Tuesday, November 25

4 Gifts That Help Make a Difference

When I spend money on buying Christmas gifts this year, I want to invest in things that will honor the Lord.

Let me explain.

I’ve found that it’s hard to even turn on the TV or look at social media without hearing about something terrible going on across the world or in my own backyard. A shooting. An ISIS attack. Children being kidnapped and sold into sex slavery.

My heart has felt so heavy about this lately. I keep thinking, “How can I help these hurting families? What can I do to stop this? How can I help bring light to a world that seems to be drowning in darkness?”

While I can’t change all the evils of the world, I can make purchases that will make a huge difference in the lives of rescued women, Godless families, and people in need.

So this year, I’m buying these items for my family and friends which feels so in keeping with the real meaning of Christmas:

1) The “From Bullets to Blessings” Jewelry Collection: I’m so thankful Proverbs 31 Ministries has partnered with Fashion & Compassion this Christmas season to create beautiful jewelry using repurposed bullets recovered from the rubble in Ethiopia.

The “From Bullets to Blessings” collection is assembled by vulnerable and rescued women throughout Mexico and Charlotte, NC. By purchasing a piece of jewelry, you are directly helping to financially support women who have been saved from the horrors of sex slavery, addiction, and more.

Purchase your jewelry here.

2) “Wake Up The Wonder” Elevation Worship CD: Our souls were created to respond to worship. And this new CD, released today, is so powerful! It’s the perfect music to play first thing in the morning to set your heart to the life-giving realities of Jesus. God moves me and changes my perspective through these songs being used in my church as well as other churches all over the world.

Download the album here.

3) It Will Be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change: This is the children’s book that I wrote to help kids discover that no matter how new or fearful their circumstance, God is always with them. I’m passionate about equipping families with the most powerful tool – God’s Word. So I’m praying this message will bring His truth into unreached places. You can buy your copy through Proverbs 31 Ministries with confidence that your investment goes to support ongoing initiatives such as training pastors in the underground church of China, building homes for orphans in Africa, and more.

Get your copy (or copies) here.

4) Personalized Christmas Ornament: My friend Lisa Leonard creates the most beautiful jewelry and decorations for homes. Recently, she partnered with workers in the Dominican Republic to handcraft these ornaments and other pieces. Through this initiative, she’s been able to help provide full time jobs with health benefits for workers in a country with 40% unemployment. Receiving fair wages has enabled these men and women to care for their families and pursue higher education!

Purchase your ornament here.

Today, I’m giving away 10 copies of Elevation Worship’s “Wake up the Wonder” CD. Just leave a comment below with which gift you’re buying for a friend or a loved one this Christmas.

Together, through small acts, we really can help change the world in a big way!

Friday, November 21

If You Ever Feel Lonely, Read This

There were many feelings I thought I’d have at this small conference I’d been so looking forward to attending. Acceptance. Fun. Camaraderie.

I was sure that these were my people.

And I couldn’t wait for the deep friendships that would surely bloom as a result of our time together.

I walked into the meeting room and quickly found the people I was excited to meet. Every seat had a nametag attached so I circled the table looking for mine. As I got to the last chair and realized my name wasn’t there, I got a sinking feeling.

I milled around the room looking for my name, feeling increasingly out of place.

Finally, at a table on the opposite side of the room, I found my name. I rallied in my heart that the Lord must have a special plan for me to meet and connect with the others assigned to my table. I took my seat and pulled out my cell phone as I nervously waited for my tablemates.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

As the prayer for meal concluded and the event got underway, it was painfully apparent the others assigned to my table weren’t able to come for some reason.

So, I’d be seated alone. Very alone.

I wasn’t just in this place at the dinner that night. I’ve been in whole seasons of my life where though I had people around, I felt quite alone in the calling of my life.

Maybe you can relate to feeling this way. If so, can I give you three thoughts that might encourage you? I’m sharing them today over at (in)courage. Read the rest of my post here.

Wednesday, November 19

Watch the Webcast Replay!

If you missed last night’s webcast on prayer with Max Lucado, the replay is now available to watch. And trust me, this is one you’ll want to take notes on:

(If you’re reading this in an email, click here to watch the video.)

Thank you, Max, for giving us such rich, Biblical teaching on prayer!

One of my favorite takeaways was that the power of prayer is not in the one who says the prayer, but in the One who hears it. I love that.

What parts of the webcast spoke to you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

And here are the links to some of the things we talked about last night:

- Sign up for the Proverbs 31 Ministries online Bible study of Before Amen
- Purchase your copy of Max Lucado’s book, Before Amen
- Purchase your copy of my children’s book, It Will Be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change
- Get your “From Bullets to Blessings” jewelry piece made from repurposed bullets found in Ethiopian rubble