Update on My Child in Haiti

I got word from Compassion International that the area in Haiti where my child, St. Hilaire Germima, lives was “moderately affected” and no deaths reported. Thank God! And thanks to all who prayed for this dear child and her family. I am so relieved they are as safe as can be expected under the circumstances. There were only minor damages to the Child Development Center in that area. I still can’t send letters, but I can pray! And that’s most important.

Please continue to pray for relief work in Haiti, and for St. Hilaire and her family. Again, I am impressed with Compassion. Check out their blog for what they’re doing and how they do it. You can donate to the Haiti earthquake relief effort here, and any gifts before March 1 can be claimed as a tax deduction on your 2009 taxes. (Yes, it’s that time of the year again.)

And thank you to those who helped me raise funds for Haiti through getting some of the publishing coach products I put on sale . Your reward will be an everlasting one, and I can’t help but think you’ll also be blessed with what you do with what you bought.

My Compassion Child in Haiti

Saint Hilaire GermimaFor all my working life, starting when I graduated college, I’ve sponsored a child in Haiti with Compassion. In January 1990, I even had the privilege of visiting my child (a different one than I currently sponsor), along with author Janette Oke, Compassion President Wes Stafford, and others. It was an unforgettable trip.

Perhaps the most moving moment was when we walked up to a group of people worshiping under a large tree, by a river. (There are few trees in Haiti; most of the foliage has been cut down to use for fuel.)

One of our sponsors said that she wanted to sponsor a child from someone in that group. Somehow we connected with an old woman who, when she discovered what we planned, burst into tears, then smiles. She explained, through our translator, that she had just a few moments before prayed for her granddaughter to somehow be taken care of.  To this woman, we were God’s answer, dropped from heaven straight to her.

As you can imagine, I have been very concerned about the child I sponsor, Saint Hilaire Germema, who turned 12 on December 5. I received a letter recently from Compassion, but nothing specific.

Please join me in praying for Saint Hilaire Germema, her family, Compassion International, ministries in Haiti, the relief efforts, and of course, the people of Haiti.

I saw a news clip on Sunday showing Continue reading “My Compassion Child in Haiti”

What to Expect in the New Year

Happy New Year!

One of the highlights of Christmas this year also sheds a little light on what I think we can expect from God in the coming year.

It was my son’s gift to his sister.

David loves to give gifts. I’m sure it’s his “language of love.” For Mother’s Day, he bought me a wonderful digital camera. This Christmas, he bought Christine an ipod.

I think what he loves most of all is the look of surprised joy when the recipient opens the present: “You bought this for ME?!”

That’s probably why he wrapped Christine’s ipod in a very special way. Knowing she would immediately guess if he just wrapped the package it came in, he put it in a bigger box. Wrapped it. Then he put that into a very large box and wrapped it (all by himself, I might add).

Yes, she was surprised–and joyful.

I can’t help but think that God likes to Continue reading “What to Expect in the New Year”

Christmas Snow

Soft whiteness

Falling from the sky

Changes barrenness to beauty

Covers potholes, cracks, scars

with peace.

Just like the grace

That fell from the sky

To be born in a stable.

Holiday Blessings … and a Christmas Story Audio

lighted christmas tree

I love this season, with all the celebrations that lend meaning to our lives!

So here’s a quick note to wish you a most blessed holiday season:

  • A Hanukkah full of new light that continues to illuminate your world …
  • A Christmas overflowing with the gifts only the Savior can give …
  • A new year blessed with all the things that make your heart sing …

And I invite you to sit back and listen to one of my favorite Christmas stories from my book,  Abundant Gifts. It’s called “The Lord’s Presence Passing By” and I think you’ll like it.

Thankful for … the Source of All Good Things

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for so many things. However, as I reflected upon what I’m most grateful for, I’d have to say one thing: the Holy Spirit.

It simply blows my mind on a daily basis that God actually dwells inside those who welcome Jesus into their hearts, that center of our being that contains everything we are and that is, I believe, the “place” where we meet God.

It is truly Jesus with us, as promised in John 14.

The Holy Spirit, as God’s actual presence, does so much for us. He makes Jesus real. He comforts. He guides. On a daily basis, he guides my steps in many ways: by opening up God’s Word and making it real and applicable to me. (I never cease to be amazed at how living the Bible is. If you want a taste of what I discover, sign up for Abundant Gifts from the Word, my free email daily devotion.) I can’t tell you how often I hear some message several times over a period of a few days–perhaps through the Bible, and then something I hear on the radio, or something I read in an email, or even a piece of music.

God speaks in so many ways (I wrote a whole book on it, in fact: Knowing the Voice of God), and it is exciting to hear his voice speaking to me. But it is the Holy Spirit speaking, leading, healing.

So this Thanksgiving, I thank and praise God for the most amazing gift: the Holy Spirit, the Source of all else that’s important.

My Half-Serious Analysis of the Cause of the Economic Crisis

Permit me this rant. See if you can find a common denominator.

OK, so I get an email from Facebook saying, “You haven’t been back to Facebook recently. You have received notifications while you were gone.” (Naughty me!)

So I click on the link. Ask trusty Roboform to fill in the password etc. Didn’t work.

Strange. It always did work. It worked on Tweetdeck.

So I click around some other ways and FINALLY get into Facebook. (Somehow, don’t ask me what finally worked.)

So, where are these friend requests? Not a clue. I click Friends and see I have some Suggestions. I click on some people I know I’d like to be friends with. Every time I click, I have to

Continue reading “My Half-Serious Analysis of the Cause of the Economic Crisis”

“Hilarious” Giving

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”–2 Corinthians 9:7, NIV

I’ve been told that the proper translation for “cheerful” in this verse is “hilarious.”

I thought of that today as I was paying bills.

It was a task I’d been putting off a couple of days because right now, there seem to be a LOT of expenses. Seems like “education” even for public schools is a bigger and bigger piece of the budget. Not to mention, I now have a child in college (who thankfully did get a major scholarship–provision!).

When I finally knuckled down and wrote the checks, I also wrote one for our church and the ministries we support. I thought about “hilarious giving.”

It seemed to fit.

As in:

“Get ahold of this. I wrote a check for my church, which brought my bank account to zero. So I said,

Continue reading ““Hilarious” Giving”

On Reaching a Mothering Milestone

Today I saw one child off to her first day of high school, and another to his first day of college.

I baked our favorite chocolate cake and we ate together, for the second night in a row, something we hadn’t done in it felt like weeks. (If you comment on this blog, I’ll send you the frosting recipe that always gets raves and makes ANY cake extra special.)

A friend pointed out, “This is a milestone for you as a parent.”

Yes indeed.

I am grateful for the opportunity to invest in these two young lives.

I am grateful that they will still be around together for the next year or two. (Son got a full scholarship to local college, an offer too good to pass up in this economy.)

Most of all, I am grateful for

Continue reading “On Reaching a Mothering Milestone”

“What’s Your Verb?” (Why It Matters to Know)

One of the most enlightening exercises one of my mentors, Alex Mandossian, had us do in a training was figure out what verb describes our essence.

Buckminster Fuller said, “God is a verb.” That is biblically accurate. When God revealed himself to Moses, he said he was the ultimate “be” verb: “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14).

God’s verb is “I AM.”

Descartes is famous for saying, “I think, therefore I am.” His verb was “think.”

What is it you do, that encompasses the essence not only of what you do, but who you are?

Your verb may come to you in a flash … or you may have to think about it for a while.

Most people I’ve discussed this with know their verb quickly.

Mine is “connect.” I love to connect people with ideas that will inspire them, enlighten them, change them.

I love to connect people with other people who will inspire, teach, encourage, motivate or enlightened them.

And I love to connect people with resources that will make their life easier and better in some way.

As a book publishing coach and consultant, that’s what I’m all about.

As a parent, that’s what I’m all about. As a friend, I also find myself trying to connect people with ideas, people and resources that will make their lives better.

So that’s my verb. What’s yours?

Take a few moments to reflect on this.

Post it below, if you like. It’s at the heart of what you have to offer the world, after all.