Thursday, March 3, 2016

What Gets You Excited?

What gets you excited? Where to you love to use energy? I have a friend named Jade Metz. She is a fellow WGM missionary serving in Kampala, Uganda. She started a project of giving out reusable sanitary pads for women that she calls, The Dignity Project.

Jade shared her heart and project with me last summer. As we moved to Kasese I met a man named Godfrey who quickly became a friend. He is Ugandan and runs a ministry for prisoners and ex-prisoners. His testimony and calling are an amazing story. One day at Bible study he shared the struggles of female inmates who have their monthly period. They don’t have disposable pads for sure, and they don’t even have extra fabric to use. They take part of their uniform, rip a strip off, put soil in it and sit on it. My heart twisted and grieved. Oh how blessed I have been. I immediately thought of Jade and the dignity project.


Jade and her friend Andrea came to Kasese. I got to bring them to my Bible Study group (picture on the right) and they gave pads to each of these ladies.

On Saturday, we went to the prison and gave out pads and Jade shared her testimony. She did great. The women were so touched and lives impacted. She shared that, “there is no sin that God can not redeem.” This struck a cord with these women. Many stood and made a profession of faith right then! Jade loves speaking and is so good at it. (Sorry, no pictures are allowed there)

After we left the prison we got some lunch then went and did a training for women who wanted to learn how to make the pads as a source of income. The women who came were ex-prisoners, wives of long-term inmates and widows of inmates. These ladies have no way to care for their families, and learning how to make and sell pads may make a difference in their kids going to school, or receiving medical care. I get excited about this.

We had 48 ladies attend the training, it was great. They all got some hands on experience and left feeling encouraged. Before they left I gave them a challenge. I told them to go out, buy the supplies and make a pad on their own. Kind of a mini exam. When they were done, if they were serious about making a business out of this, they could call and we would meet. I promised to give them a certificate of achievement and we could meet over a soda and cookie. I have since met with 14 women. As I “checked” their work and gave them feedback on quality we got to talk. They shared about their lives and dreams. THIS IS WHAT GETS ME EXCITED. I don’t love meetings, but I love sitting with these women and listening to their hearts. I love helping give them a skill they can use to help their families.


Jade gets excited about speaking and women making a profession of faith. I get excited about equipping women and building relationships. Both are good. Both bring glory to God. This weekend of time together was a great example of the body of Christ. We all have different skills, gifts, and talents. We all have different passions and drives. But God uses each of us where we are and for His glory. So what are your skills, gifts and talents? What is your passion? What drives you? WHAT GETS YOU EXCITED?! Now use it to bring others to Christ and to bring Glory to God!

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Light Shines in the Darkness

We took this picture outside our house. I LOVE it. 
Among the gray clouds, there is a rainbow.


This captures my heart right now. Things are not bad. It's not stormy and black. My heart just feels gray today. But I know that in the middle of my gray, God is there with beauty. He reminds me of His presence. He doesn't wait until the gray has gone away, He joins it. And as He comes, the clouds will clear. Does everything become perfect and cheery? No, it just means He comes. And that with Him, we can overcome any gloom, gray or dark that the world throws at us. 


John 1:5
The light shines in the darkness, 
and the darkness has not overcome it.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Jesse Tree: Day 29, Jesus, the Gift of God's Love

Scripture: Luke 2:6-21 

Symbol: Star

Reading: Our waiting is over! Jesus is born! The star is shining, the angels are singing, the shepherds are worshiping. Our savior is here!
Mary was happy to have her beautiful baby, but she knew that not every day would be as special as his birth day. She knew that raising God's son was going to be a challenge. But for the moment she tried to enjoy all the amazing things that had happened.
When sin first came into the world, God made a promise. Even when the people forgot about God and the promise, God didn't forget about the people. God guided the people, protected the people, and loved the people, even when they were sinful. God was faithful, and today the promise is fulfilled.

Talk about: What is your favorite part of the Christmas story? 

Prayer: Thank you, God of the universe, for the most wonderful gift of your son, Jesus.

Activity: After opening presents, ask each child to tell what their favorite gift was. Ask them why. Then talk to them about how Jesus coming into the world was the best present we could receive.  



*The symbol and devotions are from The Reformed Church of America and you can use this link to find what I have used and more at their advent site. 

A copy of the directions to make your own Jesse Tree are here and the patterns for the symbols are here

To find a list of all the linked Jesse Tree posts click here

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Jesse Tree: Day 28, Journey to Bethlehem

Scripture: Luke 2:1-7 

Symbol: Donkey or Sandals (if using RCA symbols)

Reading: Sometimes taking a trip is fun, like when we go on vacation. Sometimes it's not so fun, like when we go to the doctor when we're sick. But usually when we're on a journey, whether a short trip or a long one, we experience something new. We learn things on a journey.
Mary and Joseph went on a journey. If we were to take the same journey by car it wouldn't take very long, but because Mary and Joseph were walking, it took a long time. They had to go to Bethlehem because the country's ruler said they had to. But it was all part of God's plan. That is one thing that Joseph and Mary learned on their journey.

Talk about: What new journeys or trips did you take this past year? 

Prayer: Guide our journeys wherever they take us, holy God.

Activity: Make a “stable” using blankets and chairs aka: a fort. Make it big enough that the whole family could fit inside. Read a Christmas book about Jesus’ birth together.




*The symbol and devotions are from The Reformed Church of America and you can use this link to find what I have used and more at their advent site. 

A copy of the directions to make your own Jesse Tree are here and the patterns for the symbols are here

To find a list of all the linked Jesse Tree posts click here

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Jesse Tree: Day 27, Joseph's Part of God's Plan

Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25 

Symbol: Tools

Reading: Yesterday we talked about Jesus' mother, Mary. Jesus also had an earthly father named Joseph, who was a carpenter.
God sent an angel to talk to Joseph in a dream. The angel explained that God had chosen Mary, and that Mary's baby would be very special. When Joseph woke up, he knew that he and Mary were a part of God's plan. Joseph knew that he would be a good father to Jesus.

Talk about: Name some ways that God speaks to us. 

Prayer: God who calls us, help us to hear your voice.


Activity: Joseph was a carpenter. As Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph would have taught Jesus how to be a carpenter as well. Have Dad show each child something with carpentry. Either sawing a board, hammering a nail or screwing a screw. Maybe work together to make something? Have your children imagine Jesus and Joseph working side by side. What are some things Joseph might have taught Jesus to make?


*The symbol and devotions are from The Reformed Church of America and you can use this link to find what I have used and more at their advent site. 

A copy of the directions to make your own Jesse Tree are here and the patterns for the symbols are here

To find a list of all the linked Jesse Tree posts click here

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Jesse Tree: Day 26, Mary's Joyful Heart

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 

Symbol: Heart

Reading: God had a special job for someone. God was looking for an earthly home for baby Jesus. Jesus was going to need a mother who loved and trusted God. He would need a mother who was smart and strong and loving. God chose Mary to be Jesus' mother.
God sent an angel to talk to Mary. Mary wasn't sure that she could be a good mother to Jesus, but the angel reminded Mary that God would be with her. Mary knew that being a mother is a difficult and important job, but she knew that God would guide her. She also knew that she loved God and wanted to do whatever she could to serve him. Mary said yes with a joyful heart.

Talk about: Talk about some things that have happened to you or others that seem impossible. 

Prayer: Thank you, God, that nothing is impossible with you.


Activity: Go with mom into the kitchen and help make a special holiday snack. Talk about what it is like to have a mom and what kinds of things moms do for their kids. What things would Mary have done for Jesus?




*The symbol and devotions are from The Reformed Church of America and you can use this link to find what I have used and more at their advent site. 

A copy of the directions to make your own Jesse Tree are here and the patterns for the symbols are here

To find a list of all the linked Jesse Tree posts click here

Monday, December 21, 2015

Jesse Tree: Day 25, Preparing the Way

Scripture: Isaiah 40:3-5; Luke 3:15-16 

Symbol: Sandals or Shell (if using RCA symbols)

Reading: Elizabeth and Zechariah's son grew up to be John the Baptist. He was Jesus' cousin. God chose him to tell the people about Jesus.
John wanted people to know that Jesus is the Son of God, the savior that God had promised the people so many years ago. He wanted them to be ready to believe in Jesus. John wanted the people to remember God, and he baptized them in the river if they promised not to sin any more. The baptism reminded them that God forgave them for their sins.
John did not look like other people, and some people probably thought he was a little strange. But many other people listened to John, and they were ready to believe in Jesus.

Talk about: What do you need forgiveness for today? 

Prayer: Holy God, forgive us when we do things that displease you. Make our hearts ready for Jesus.

Activity: Get everyone together and tell them you are going to race. “who can be the first person ready for _____.” Have them race and then come back. You can do swimming and have them find a towel, or swimsuit. Soccer and they need cleats or a uniform. Bed and they need pajamas or a pillow. Play this as many times as they are still enjoying it.
Talk about why it is important to be prepared. God sent John the Baptist to help people get ready for Jesus. Many people came to John to be baptized, confessing their sins and preparing their hearts for Jesus. During this advent, what do we need to be doing to prepare our hearts for Jesus’ coming?



*The symbol and devotions are from The Reformed Church of America and you can use this link to find what I have used and more at their advent site. 

A copy of the directions to make your own Jesse Tree are here and the patterns for the symbols are here

To find a list of all the linked Jesse Tree posts click here