I have been given grace upon grace.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV)

Jesus became poor for me. He sacrificed all so that this poor, desperate, lifeless soul might have life abundant.

My soul is truly rich.

As I seek to follow Jesus in this example to become poor for the sake of others—deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Him—I often hesitate.

Become poor?

Take up my cross and die?

Am I really willing to become “poor” so that others may be rich? Do I really intend to die, so that others may live?

Again, the answer is no—without grace.

He has given me much grace and it is this grace alone that enables me to give sacrificially. Give my time, my money, myself; all so others may become rich through Christ.

One Way to Become Poor

Will you pray about where God is leading you and your family to give—to become just a little “poorer”—to bring the riches of Christ to others?

One way our family is becoming poorer is through bringing a verse a month to the Vidunda people, through OneVerse. It takes only $26 to sponsor a verse and bring the Word of God to the nations.

Will you join me in helping to end Bible poverty through sending the riches of God’s Word to those who do not have it?

Will you prayerfully consider the reality of the millions out there who do not have not even one verse of scripture in their native tongue, and cry out with me “I’m not OK with that!

If you are a blogger, and interested in becoming OneVerse Blogger, to help end Bible poverty, head on over to the OneVerse/Seed Company blog, where I am linking up today!

Looking for a way to tell your children about the reason behind why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

real reason for St. Patrick's Day
real reason for St. Patrick's Day


The Real Reason for St. Patrick’s Day

Besides being a fun reason to wear green and pinch those who don’t, it is a celebration of a man of God who sacrificed all for the sake of the gospel. Hands down, the best book for telling the true story of St. Patrick’s Day is The Story of St. Patrick: More Than Shamrocks and Leprechauns.

This is a great book to read for family worship time together, as it will certainly bring up some good conversations about a heart for the lost, and sacrifice for the sake of others and their salvation.

Highly recommend this book! You can read more about The Story of St. Patrick book in last year’s post.

Fun Ideas for St. Patrick’s Day

We had all sorts of fun with the color GREEN last year! A quick trip to The Dollar Store and we were set with fun accessories! We ate pistachio pudding (yummie!) and green macaroni and cheese (just add green dye to the water when you boil the noodles.)

Green food, St. Patrick's, fun with kids

real reason for St. Patrick's Day

real reason for St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? 

Any books to share?

East Africa food crisis.

Bible poverty.

The lost on campus.

The village of La Gonave.

Children waiting for sponsors.

Everywhere I turn, I see incredible need, and I feel the pull to do something about it.

Bodies in need of nourishment. Hearts in need of healing. Souls in need of Christ.

The call to engage the lost, feed the poor, give sacrificially—take the gospel to the nations—is sometimes overwhelming and I let the great amount of need become paralyzing…

…and I do nothing.

The Grand Design

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:13-15 ESV)

This is God’s two-fold plan. Preachers and senders.

You—if you are a child of God— and I are part of this plan. We are to preach where we are, send where we are not. We send by both praying and giving.

God has put these specific ministries on my heart for a reason, and the compelling desire to meet the need is not to be ignored.

So, by His grace I will go if I can go. And if I can’t I will pray regularly and I will give sacrificially.

Will you join me?

Give aid to the drought.

Partner with the Guerriers in Haiti.

Help us bring the Word of God to the Vidunda people group.

Become a OneVerse Partner

Support a Campus Ministry.

Sponsor a child.

Go. Send.

Do something.

What ministries has the Lord put on your heart? Where are you preaching? Where are you sending? 


Linking up with Friday Favorites, since these are my favorite ministries!

friday favorite things | finding joy


Lara and I were recently interviewed by OneVerse, wanting to know more about how we decided to partner with OneVerse through our book, Savoring Living Water. They are posting the interview today over on their blog! Check it out, and if the Lord leads, will you help us bring the Word of God to the Vidunda people?


After months of research and searching for the right deal, I buy it.

“Your order will arrive Tuesday.”

Tuesday!? It seems forever away…

Tuesday is here and I anxiously await the arrival of my package. I open the door, looking to see if maybe the FedEx man forgot to knock on the door when he left the box.


An hour later, I check again.


And then it comes…a knock!

“Yay!” I yell excitedly to the kids. From my reaction they are expecting something quite exciting to be at the door.

“What is it, Mommy?” Anna asks. “Can I help you open it?”

She helps me open the box. All. Too. Slowly. Little fingers struggle to pull the tape across the top of the Amazon box. We pull back the cardboard flaps.

The waiting is over; it’s here…

My new Bible!

Bible Poverty

Did you know there is such a thing as Bible Poverty? Well, there is. And OneVerse is striving to end it.

There are more people in the world without a single verse of Scripture in their language than the entire population of the United States. In fact, more people live without a complete Bible in their language than without enough food and clean water combined. –

For months, Lara and I have been working hard on our ebook. Both of us have wanted to be able to give of the proceeds of our book. But hadn’t been certain of where the Lord was leading.

Then back in May Lara saw this and shared it with me. It is a video of the the Kimyal Tribe of Papua, Indonesia receiving their first Bibles ever in their language. We watch as the people dance, jump up and down, and weep because they now have copies of the New Testament in their native tongue.

It was then we knew where He was leading: We are to give in order to bring the nations the living water it so desperately needs.

A Chance to Give

Next Tuesday, Lara and I will release our new ebook Savoring Living Water. To say that we are excited is an understatement!

We are also thrilled to announce that we will be donating $2 to OneVerse for every copy of Savoring Living Water sold. And, the cool thing is, for every 13 copies purchased we will be able to fund the translation of a verse.

So, we’ve set a goal; a chance for the Lord to show off and for us to be a part of bringing His Word to the nations. Through the proceeds of Savoring Living Water we would like to fund the translation of the book of Philippians.

That’s 104 verses, folks.

They are Waiting

Last week I anxiously awaited my new study Bible to arrive on my doorstep. There are people all over the world who have NOT ONE COPY OF THE BIBLE to call their own.

The Rutara people are waiting.

The Rewe people are waiting.

The Ayta-Abellan people are waiting.

The Bible brings life, and for every day that passes, enough people to fill 16 Boeing 747s die without hearing the Gospel in their own language. –

There are people longing in anticipation for the Word of God to arrive in their dialect.

Let’s bring it to them.


Be sure to check out Lara’s post on OneVerse and her heart for this ministry!

Photo Credit

I need a new pair of black shoes. My Kia needs new tires. Mac Mini is on its last leg.

My heart can run wild with a list of endless “needs”. Yet, just a few short weeks ago I witnessed true need and received needed perspective on wants versus needs.

The people of Mapou are not concerned with coordinating shoes for their outfits. Living in the rocky village is a family who can‘t afford to buy their five children each a pair of shoes. Without shoes, they cannot attend school.

The villagers do not have cars to buy tires for or computers to repair. They don’t even have electricity.

Their needs are much more simple. Food. Clothing. Shelter. Water.

Click here to join me over at My Heart’s Desire today to read the rest of the story…


Would I walk for 6 hours to hear the Word of God preached?

Would I sleep on this stone floor for days so that I could hear as much possible before I had to head back home?

Would I sit in the dark listening intently to the teaching of His Word, by the light of a flashlight?

And would I prolong the study by asking question after question about the scriptures?

Would I bother walking to an open-air, half-built church where I knew there would be bugs, no air conditioning and not enough seating?

Do I thirst for the presence of God? Do I hunger for God’s word?

The believers in La Gonave are hungry and thirsty for the Word and presence of God. I am encouraged and inspired by their dedication towards experiencing God through His Word.

They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. Psalm 36:8

Lord, make my heart crave your Word; more than my comfort and my plans. Give me the determination and longing like these people had to be in your presence. Let me not be so easily distracted and discouraged from pursuing time in your Word.

Click here to read more about my trip to Mapou village in La Gonave, Haiti.

Off of the west coast of mainland Haiti is a little island tucked inside the Gulf of Gonave. The island of La Gonave is the home to Mapou Village, our own home away from home for eight days. Though only 15 miles away from where we arrived by boat, Mapou village is close to a 2 hour drive from the port city of Anse-a-galets.

Nestled in red clay mountains, most of the road is so rocky that we rarely can get out of second gear or go over 10 miles an hour, to keep the tires from popping or leaving part of the bumper embedded into the rocky ground. Only recently has the road been extended, rock by rock by the local villagers, to be able to accommodate trucks carrying missionary travelers to the village of Mapou.

A very mild stretch of the road!

Photo by Craig Lovely

In this mountainous, rocky village all their food is either grown through crops, fruit trees, or grains and animals at the local market. Each Wednesday, in the early morning hours, villagers from all over the island of La Gonave begin their trek by foot or by donkey to the “Marche”, the Market.

Photo by Craig Lovely

It is here they gather to barter for what they need. The coastal villages bring fish, conch and other finds from the sea, while the inlanders bring corn, watermelon, plantains, or whatever is in season at the time. Yet, there is much that they are still dependent on to come from the mainland, and it comes at a hefty price. When the winter months come, and the crops are gone there is very little to eat, and many go long periods of time without food.

There is no electricity in the villages. On the International Ministry of Hope “compound” where we stayed, we had a few hours of generated power in the evening so we could eat dinner and prepare for bed. Truly a luxury.

Our meals were prepared in a itty bitty hut, over home-made charcoal made from trees in the area.

Though almost every modern “convenience” is missing from this village we find a group of friendly, giving people. Children play and laugh. Parents work hard to serve their families. The island and its people are full of the glory of God.
He is found in the ocean breeze which brings refreshment in the heat of the day. He is in the lush green landscape with the corn and plantains growing, bringing provision. He is there in the early morning hours, where the sun begins to warm the earth with its beautiful rays across the clear blue ocean.
And in the sunset over the local bakery, His glory is seen as the sleepy sun shines through the rustling trees.

What do a can of beans, a globe and the internet have in common?

World Vision Night.

We have tried to be intentional in teaching our kids as well as reminding our own hearts about the needs around the world. Without a regular reminder we drift and get caught up in materialism and forgetfulness. Urgency is lost. Compassion is not seeing a need a feeling sorry. Compassion is a verb, something we do.

A Can of Beans

Once a month our family eats rice and beans for dinner. It costs us about a dollar to feed everyone and we use what we would have spent on eating out to help relieve hunger around the world. While we eat, we talk about why we are only eating rice and beans and how inexpensive the meal is and remind the kids that much of the world lives off of $2 a day!

A Globe

We also talk about and our sponsored children, find their countries on the globe and pray for them. Compassion International does a great job at keeping us updated with our sponsored children so we usually have something to read to the kids, with pictures of our sponsored children’s country and specific prayer requests for that area.

The Internet

There are loads of great online resources to help build a compassion for the world in the hearts of our families. Here are a few that we have used:
Downloadable Resources from Compassion. They have a “Children and Families” section with coloring pages, activities and other great ideas to connect with your sponsored child. (What? You don’t have a sponsored child? Go now and get one!)
Operation World Prayer Videos. These are awesome. They are short videos of the country which you can listen to and pray along with. A great way to show our kids the world, as well as teach them how to pray for specific requests. All of the Operation World site is great!
Quest for Compassion. This is a kids’ website where they can explore the world and learn about the culture and needs of different areas. Last week Kenneth visited Bangladesh!

World Vision’s Giving Catalog. Another great visual for our kids to see why we are “sacrificing” a Happy Meal. Plus, they get excited about buying ducks (this video is from our first Family World Vision Night):

Getting There
by the Southern Baptist IMB. An interactive map where you can read about a pray for unreached people groups. This is something I would like to add later on. Chris and I have talked about “adopting” an unreached people group as a family. Peoples that we could pray for, give to, and maybe one day go to!

What ideas do you have for a Family World Vision Night? What online resources would you add to the list?

This is an edited repost from the Do Not Depart 2010 archives. I am in need of this reminder.

There is a sermon that has stuck with me. It has been a part of the bombardment that the Lord has had on our finances (which you can read about herehere and here). In this sermon is a few great reminders:

Compassion is not seeing a need and feeling sorry.
We see a commercial, or hear statistics of how rich we are, and how poor the rest of the world is. So we give. We scrape our pennies from out of the couch cushions, or we give a few dollars to buy rice for the bloated-bellied children. And then our conscience is appeased. And we forget. I forget. This is not the biblical portrait of compassion.
There is a world in desperate need of compassion.
I should not be content to live in wealth while others die of starvation. Others with malnourished bodies; souls in need of life. Many of them are without Christ and will be eternally separated from Him if they do not encounter His love. They need to be rescued. I am part of the rescue team. We are the vehicle in which God has chosen to bring His Gospel of love to the world. We are to be the way that Christ shows His compassion to the poor and hurting.Compassion involves sacrifice.
For me, the bombardment continues, as I received this tweet from @Spurgeon_ just yesterday: “God save us from living in comfort while sinners are sinking into hell”. But, am I willing to sacrifice? Jesus sacrificed everything so that we could be saved. We must sacrifice to bring the message of this good news to the world.

What do you think bringing compassion to the poor and hungry look like? What are some ways you show compassion to the lost as a family?

Stay tuned for one way we show compassion as a family. I would love to hear your ideas also!