Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Greatest Gift

I will be upfront and state that this article is directly tied into our current worship series at Fork Christian Church. We are doing a study called the Advent Conspiracy. In a nutshell we are trying to go against the tide of our culture and to make a difference this season. Rather than just buying to buy and giving to give we want to get back to basics and make it about relationships. It is about making a difference both locally and globally. Think back on that first Christmas. A simple birth changed history and lives. What if this season we tried to make Christmas another life changing event??

It has been said many times that the greatest gift ever given was the gift of Jesus Christ. God freely gave of himself, through his Son, to save us. God wanted a relationship that was free from sin with us. God wanted to love us fully and for us to love him back fully. God gave us his Son in order to accomplish this. Simply put Christmas is about love and relationships. That is the meaning of the first Christmas.

For so many (even us Christians) the season has lost much of its meaning. We get too stressed out, we spend way too much and often are left feeling empty. This is not supposed to be what Christmas is about. We end up tired and in debt and wonder what happened? I know Christmas Eve is a special night with worship. Leaving a candlelight service we often feel close to God and in awe of his love. However twenty-four hours later we sit among wrapping paper and feel exhausted. This is not how He wanted it? Do you realize that this year alone we will spend 450-475 billion on gifts? Say what??? Does that make any sense to you? We are still in a recession and people are still out of work and yet we will still spend. We feel so pressurized by our culture that we are in a trap.

So what can we do? We still want to have the Christmas that is expected but we can put the Christ back into Christmas this year. This is my encouragement to you. This is what we are being challenged to do at Fork this year. Think about giving just a little less. I am not talking about not giving but what if we cut back. How much do you spend on an average gift? Let’s say $25-$50. Not a large amount by any means. What if we took that and put it toward something that made a difference. At Fork we are partnering with Blood:Water Mission to provide fresh water wells in Zambia. If every member gives $25 we can easily raise $10,000 and make an impact across the world through our gift. You all know that I am an Area Coordinator for Compassion. You can also purchase special gifts through Compassion that will make a difference and have an impact as an alternative to just buying something meaningless.I encourage you to visit: and click on the gift link. It is a perfect alternative for that special person. I am sure that if you search locally in your area that there is something that you can do as alternative that would make an impact.

In closing I want to re-state that Christmas is about relationships and not gifts. God gave his Son as a present that first Christmas but it started with God loving us. We can bless others in such simple ways as just listening or spending time with them. Write that letter that you have been putting off. Maybe take some home baked cookies to a neighbor or shut-in. Somewhere I saw it written that it is about presence not presents. This Christmas I encourage you to join with me and make a difference. Spend a little less and engage a little more. Instead of that extra gift take that money and use it to make an impact. I pray that each of you will be blessed this Christmas and will find more of the meaning in Christmas than perhaps you did in the past.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Compassion Sunday

I wrote the following for a friend's site ~ wanted to take the opportunity and share it here: We are speaking about love! As I mentioned in my previous post my church is doing a church-wide study called the "40 Days of Love." Basically we are examining the relationship principles that Jesus calls us to. Week two is about loving others as Jesus did. Jesus calls us to love the unloved, the widows and orphans and the poor. This is a perfect lead in for my ministry with Compassion. Just a little background- Every advocate and sponsor that is involved with Compassion would love to have a Compassion Sunday at their church. This is a global event in which churches speak of Compassion's ministry and encourage child sponsorships. I have presented at several churches and have always be thankful for the opportunity. I guess the "Holy Grail" is being able to present at your own church. It is an opportunity to bring the ministry home. Over a year and half ago my pastor approached me about having a Compassion Sunday at our church. Needless to say I was thrilled but it took awhile to nail things down. Last spring we discussed doing it during the summer or as part of this study. God's timing is perfect! The message for week two would be the ideal tie-in. Loving others as Jesus loved us. Even better they wanted to tape an interview with me and then follow up "live" on stage with some final thoughts. ....And the Results are in.... I must admit I was a little reluctant toward the taped interview. I wasn't sure how effective it would be. Overall it turned out great and tied my testimony right into the message. I have often spoken how meeting my sponsored child changed my life when I saw how much she loved me for what I was doing in her life. Love is about relationships and both of us were impacting each other. The wrap up challenged the congregation to make a difference. All told we had 23 children sponsored in one morning. Based on attendance this was 5% of the congregation becoming new sponsors. In today's economy this is an excellent response and my wait was well worth it. My challenge to you is to make a difference. Love like Jesus did and love unconditionally without thinking about cost. Sponsor a child. Invite me to your church, MOPS group, Bible Study or whatever. I would love to speak to you about Compassion. In fact I will bring some children along (packets of course) that would love to have a sponsor. Together we can have a huge impact on the Kingdom. Just let me know

Can My Sponsored Child’s Siblings Be Sponsored, Too?

Can My Sponsored Child’s Siblings Be Sponsored, Too? Interesting article...We sponsor Jeyelly in Honduras as well as her half-sister Sophia. It has been a blessing!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Newsboys Rocking Out!

Friday Sept 17th.....Bridgeway Community Church-The Newsboys!

One of my favorite bands is The Newsboys. I had heard a lot of their music over the years but really discovered them in early 2009. I listened to almost every one of their albums and they became one of my major playlists on my Ipod. I watched their DVD recorded in Houston on their "GO" tour. They were one band I really wanted to see in person. I admit I was a little shocked when Peter Furler left the band before I got a chance to see him perform. I believe he brought a lot of the "soul" to the band and had hoped to see him live. Adding Michael Tait (formally of DC Talk) would prove to be an interesting mix. Their new album "Born Again" came out in July and I quickly added it to my music. It is very much a "Tait" influenced album but still very much the Newsboys. There are some great sub-texts to the words when you listen that can describe both being a Christian as well as the evolution of the band.

I got a chance to see the new version last Friday and I must say I was totally blown away and loved every minute of the concert. I heard comments that they were not as good without Peter and I heard comments that they were even better. They played a mix of old, new, and favorites. I don't think they have lost anything and may have gained a whole new audience with the addition of Michael. The thing is that there are always going to be changes...when the Newsboys originally started Peter was the drummer and later became the lead singer. Jody Davis was with the band for awhile and then left. There will always be an evolution. Interestingly enough the title of their new album pretty well describes this edition of the band. They rocked the house and I loved being a fan!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Football 2010

Well here it is Monday night, Sept 13th! It is almost kick-off time. All of the opening weeks games have been played save for two. For those of us in Baltimore it has been a long time coming but tonight the Raven's season really begins. It is interesting...there has been so much hype for this year. Flacco is in his 3rd season and keeps getting stronger. The offense has been upgraded to the point that you just can't believe it can get any better. Defense is again a strength and Ray Lewis just won't quit. This is a year that offers so much promise. The Ravens are the only thing anyone has been talking it was a sea of purple everywhere. The general feeling is that anything less than the Super Bowl will be a disaster. I certainly know there are much more important things than a football game but you know what.......tonight and for the next 17 weeks I will be cheering and rooting. That is just part of the fun! It will be fun at the end of this season to log back at this post and see what happened. In the meantime: "Go Ravens!"

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Well I must admit that I have let this site sort of just flounder over the past few months. I started it in May 2009 for the purpose of blogging about my ministry with Compassion. Sharing Compassion was meant to share my thoughts and passions about child sponsorship with those that may not fully understand the importance of Compassion's work. I stayed true to the course but then in October of last year I hit a wall. It was not so much about Compassion but I got laid off from my job. I must admit that in this economy I was rocked. It certainly was not easy finding something new. In fact it took over 4 months. I did get a part time job for the holidays but the hours were not a lot. Then in February I started my new job in Customer Service/Inside Sales for a local company. Since that time I have been so busy that when I get home I tend to just crash. As a result this site has just kind of been there. But no more! Welcome to Reboot 1.0!
Fall has always represented a new start for me. It is my favorite season and a time for change. This year represents perhaps the biggest change in my life and a major reboot for me. My daughter is now in her freshman year of college and away at College Park. We are not a complete empty nest as my step-daughter is still around and in her Senior year in high school. However it is a different feeling here on weekends now. We used to hit yard sales, fairs, or just hang on Saturdays and of course church on Sundays. It is very different and is going to take some getting used to.
I have decided to change the focus of this blog a little. It is still going to be about sharing Compassion but I plan on sharing more about other things also. Compassion is and will always be a major part of my life but I think it will be good to blog about "other stuffs". The companion blog which included pictures will now be a part of this one. So welcome to my reboot. As life changes so do we. I hope you enjoy the journey and follow along.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Going through the Motions

This was orginally written for a friend of mine's blog that I write for on a bi-weekly basis but I really wanted to share it here with all of you. This has been on my heart for the past few days so I thought I would attempt to verbalize it here. Matthew West has an awesome song titled "The Motions." If you have not heard it I encourage you to do so before reading further. I want to take some of those lyrics and apply them to our walk with God.

This might hurt, it's not safe But I know that I've gotta make a change I don't care if I break, At least I'll be feeling something 'Cause just okay is not enough Help me fight through the nothingness of life

How often have we experienced that emptiness inside of us? That feeling that something is missing? We were created to be one with God. It is part of our DNA. Even if we are not Christians there is a longing within us knowing that we must change and find what we were created for. In all honesty Matthew West nails it on the head when he speaks of the "nothingness of life." Until we are tuned into God there will always be an emptiness in our lives. We know it, we feel it and until we make that jump we are not who we should be.

I don't wanna go through the motions I don't wanna go one more day without Your all consuming passion inside of me I don't wanna spend my whole life asking, "What if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions?"

This is the verse that has really hit home since the beginning of February. I am a Christian but I must admit that the past four months have been really hard for me. Being laid off was not part of my plan. Those that know me know I "must be doing" in order to be happy. That is just how I am wired. Sitting home and just job hunting with no idea what the future would bring frustrated me to no end. I admit I lost my focus. My ministry is Compassion but I found it hard to even get excited about that. Believe me, I worked the ministry but it still felt empty. I felt incomplete without employment. I literally felt I was just going through the motions. Fellow Christians assured me that God had a plan and things would happen as He would dictate. I knew that and I know people were praying. Still, it was hard waiting. I am now employed and yes God did have a plan and it was his timing all along. It was by His workings that I happened to find this job and it is exactly what I wanted to find. I look at this as a gift from Him and a new beginning for me. Which is why this song has been on my heart. How often, even as Christians, do we just go through the motions? Why does it take an earthquake, a loss of a loved one or even an answered prayer to turn our hearts to where they should be? Why can't we wake every morning and pray "that we give everything"? God will always love us unconditionally but I can just see him looking down and saying "you could be/or doing so much more."

No regrets, not this time I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind Let Your love make me whole I think I'm finally feeling something 'Cause just okay is not enough Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

This is my prayer for myself and for you. Let God's love make you whole~Let your heart speak rather than your mind. Don't just go through the motions everyday. Find God's promise and make it yours. Turn His blessings outwards to others.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Becoming a Fan.....

Dan Wooley is a fellow Compassion friend. I actually met Dan at our Advocate's conference in October as he led a workshop on social media. Imagine finding out someone you knew was buried in the hotel rubble and all you could do is pray for him, his family and those who were travelling with him. It brought the devastation even closer to home. It was amazing the connections that were made during those days as we prayed and followed Facebook and news reports. Dan was saved and his story is a testimony of faith, technology, and answered prayer. Sadly, the photographer David Hames, who was with him was not as lucky. My prayers continue for his family as they deal with this reality. Dan is working on a book and I encourage you to become a fan of his page on Facebook. God is certainly at work in this process and I hope you will lift his writing in message and in prayer. Just click on the title above to be taken to his page. God Bless! <><

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beneath the rubble, a human bond -

Beneath the rubble, a human bond - I met Dan last October at Compassion's National Advocate Conference during a breakout session. I know we have been praying all week for him to be safely found and so glad that this story has a happy ending. Truly a ray of light among the darkness....God's light will always shine through.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Take Action Today!

You can truly make a difference today. Compassion is actively in the disaster now taking place in Haiti. From here you have two options: 1) Text a donation as described in the banner or 2) Click on "Take Action Today"- you will be directed to Compassion's donation page. There you can give online. Scroll to the bottom and you earmark the funds directly for Haiti. Thank You and God Bless!!! <><