5 Reasons To Give More Away

Last year Mark Zuckerberg, found of Facebook, pledged in honor of his newborn baby to give away 99% of his Facebook shares to charity. America is blessed throughout its history with stories of wealthy people giving away large portions of their wealth and resources.

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But what about the average person? Can we give away more? Granted, when you’re worth millions and even billions, it seems easier to give away more. Yes, they have more to give away, but it doesn’t make it easier.

If you make $10,000 per year and spend $11,000, you are broke. And if you make 1 million per year and spend 1 million one thousand, well, you’re broke too. It’s all in how you handle your money and resources. And how you handle your money reflects where your heart is, whether you have $10 or $10 million in your bank account.

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Dear Foster Parent, They Are Not Your Enemy

3 Ways to Work with the Biological Family

When a child is placed into a foster home, most foster parents go into Papa and Mama Bear mode. A sense to protect this child from any more harm overrides every emotion that creates an “us against the world” approach.

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When CPS placed an eight-month-old boy with us, I listened to the case worker explain in general why CPS removed him from his biological family. Even though I didn’t get a lot of detail, I received enough that I did go into major protection mode.

No one was going to hurt this child again.

Two days after CPS placed our son with us, he had his first parent visit. Naively, I didn’t think we would meet the parents, then or ever. Honestly, I didn’t want to meet them.

To me, they were the enemy.

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The Secret to a Close-Knit Community of Believers

One thing I notice about church in this generation is that it’s really easy to show up on Sunday, hang out for a couple of hours, then leave without really knowing anyone any more than when you got there. You could really not even talk to anyone.

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I guess that’s fine for those who want their “church life” to stay in its place—at church.

But what if you and I seek a close-knit community of fellow believers; a community that knows each other beyond the names of spouses and children. A community that knows what each others dreams, passions, fears, and struggles look like.

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Farewell Dr. Purvis

Danielle sent me a text yesterday afternoon with this bittersweet news. I was outside working. It was a cool, dreary day. I took off my work gloves and sat down on a wooden bench under a huge oak tree that overlooks a field with a wet-weather creek running alongside. Even though I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Purvis in person, I felt the loss of a close friend. A friend who had poured into my soul, not only planting a seed to care for children from hard places, but also one that changes how I interact with all people—working towards connection.

This short video created by Christian Alliance for Orphans celebrates Dr. Karyn Purvis’ legacy. I have no doubt that her legacy will continue to impact thousands upon thousands of children from hard places and those who seek to help them heal.

 

Is Your Need to Fit In Keeping You from Living a Life on Mission?

Most people want to fit in. Most are trend followers, not trend setters. We wear the same clothes, drive similar looking vehicles, even style our hair the same ways…well those who have hair.

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Throughout my life I have tried to fit in. I always have. I am also an introvert. I don’t care for attention. I often deflect the attention to the extroverts around me, and I am more than okay with that.

But the more I pursue God’s mission in my life, I find that I “fit in” less and less.

From my experience, if you live out God’s mission for your life—You will be different!

The question is will “not fitting in” keep you from living a life on mission?

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Why People Who Need Help Tend to Isolate

Matt and I sat at her table discussing ways our nonprofit organization could help her with repairs around her home. She lived in an older manufactured home that sat on several acres on the outskirts of town. She had some family, but they were busy with their own lives.

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She asked how many people would come to help. Matt joyfully responded that he felt sure he could have around 30 volunteers come help. With that bit of information, she froze. After a moment of awkward silence she informed us that this wasn’t going to work.

Matt did eventually work at her home with a small number of volunteers. A number she felt comfortable having on her property.

Why won’t they ask for help…

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7 Things Your Foster or Adopted Child Needs to Hear from You

Really Any Child Needs to Hear!

Words we say. Words we don’t say. Both are powerful. Lately I am learning the hard way. I have said some things to a loved one that hurt deeply. I am also guilty at times of not saying something when it’s needed.

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I think our society is losing it’s ability to talk to each other in ways that edify. I’m not sure what the cause is or what that reflects, but I don’t think it’s a good thing.

We don’t understand the power that is found in our tongue; our words.

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What Do You Want Your Last Words on Earth to Be?

Even if you’re not a Christian, you probably know some of the Crucifixion story. Jesus, hanging on the cross for several hours, asked for a drink of water. The soldier lifted up a sponge on the end of a stick soaked with sour wine. Jesus took a drink then said, “It is finished!”. He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

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A few things about that statement appeal to me.

  1. Jesus knew why He was on earth. He knew His mission and purpose.
  2. Jesus knew that He accomplished His mission.
  3. Jesus breathed His last breath at the moment He finished His mission.

The apostle Paul talks about being a drink-offering poured out; about running the race in such a way to win. Paul talks to run not without aim or to box as if boxing the air.

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Want a Simple Way to Live a Missional Life?

When do you think about taking time out of your busy schedule to invest in another person’s life? Are you one of those super organized people who has it on your calendar each week or month? Maybe it’s when something is said at church or you read something that compels you to do something.

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I find that I need a reminder. It’s not natural for me to think of others. Well, I will if it involves me in some direct way. Either the person is already close to me, like a family member or friend, or I derive some benefit from it—it makes me feel better.

Not a very pretty picture of myself, but I know that is who I am.

But when I press into God and spend time with Him, He changes me. He takes my eyes off myself. He gives me a heart of flesh instead a heart of stone. I care about the vulnerable, the hurting, the lonely…I care because that is who He is.

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Am I Contributing to My Child’s Trauma?

I know that is a difficult question. What parent, especially an adoptive or foster parent, wants criticism. We all, or most of us, parent the best we can. We are flawed people called to invest in children to help them grow up to be successful adults.

Photo Credit: Rich-Mate via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: Rich-Mate via Compfight cc

And if we are blessed to have foster or adoptive children, we are also called to help them heal from the past trauma experienced in their lives.

Yet far too often I parent as if I forgot the trauma my son has experienced.

It’s a well-known and documented fact now that all foster and adopted children endure trauma, even children adopted the day of their birth. Sadly, too many of these children suffer years of trauma.

Studies now show that many foster children suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, commonly associated with combat experienced soldiers.

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