My first Mother’s Day gift from my husband was a road bike. I have always loved biking but once out of college, and with other responsibilities filling my time, I pretty much stopped biking. Dan, my husband, on the other hand got on his first bike at the age of four and never got off. He absolutely loves it and his passion reignited my passion. We now ride bikes year-round, weather permitting, and although we ride for fun and recreation, I have learned that for many around the world it is their main form, if not only form, of transportation.
Once going on mission to India and Rwanda, I saw the need for bikes in almost every area of our ministry: the older orphans need transportation to college or vocational training programs; the widows need transportation for everyday errands; pastors that walk miles every day to share the gospel or minister to those in need can use bikes thus reaching many more in one day; and then the orphans need bikes to exercise, play and just be kids!Realizing the need and seeing the impact bicycles have in our different areas of ministry inspired Cycle for a Cause. We thought: why not turn a sport that we love and enjoy into something that helps others, too? Continue reading
How do you handle interruptions? I don’t handle them too well. I wish I dealt with them better, but I prefer it when life happens smoothly, according to (my) plan.
A familiar story can teach us a lot about interruptions. The story takes place in the early morning, near the end of Peter’s workday. He had been fishing all night. All that was left to do before going home to bed was to wash his nets and make any needed repairs to them.
While Peter worked on his nets, he listened to Jesus teach a crowd nearby. Peter met his first interruption the moment Jesus stepped into his boat. The Lord wanted Peter to push off from shore so He could be heard better by the growing crowd. Peter may have thought, “Hope this won’t take too long. I’ve still got more cleaning to do before I can go home.” Continue reading
There is a clear political agenda to destroy the traditional family in America, and it’s facilitated by public schools. Never before have all parents been legally “separated” from their minor children by the government. Until now, the American family was considered to be the foundation of civic life; the smallest form of government, where children are taught responsibility, respect for authority, and national pride.
In 2005 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found in Fields v. Palmdale School District “that the Meyer-
Pierce right [of parents to direct the upbringing of their children] does not exist beyond the threshold of the school door. We conclude that the parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on the subject [of sexuality] to their students in any forum or manner they select.” Although, schools claim students can OPT-OUT of offensive curriculum, it has become more difficult because the content is taught in every subject from Health to History. Continue reading
Do you sometimes feel alone and afraid? Do you enjoy meeting new and unexpected challenges? Or are you like me, preferring routine? Do you have a tendency to see life as “a cup half full” or do you find yourself seeing things more as “a cup half empty?”
It’s easy to interpret circumstances and interruptions from our perspective rather than from God’s vantage spot. Let’s look at two widely divergent responses to trouble in 2 Kings, chapter 6. Here’s a little background. Israel and Syria are at war. God forewarns Israel’s prophet Elisha of Syria’s military plans, and Elisha warns the king of Israel. This happens so frequently that the king of Syria expects he has a spy in his camp. Learning that the culprit is Elisha, the Syrian king sends his army at night to capture the prophet.
This is where the story gets so exciting! When Elisha and his servant went to bed, all was safe and quiet. In the morning Elisha’s assistant gets up early and goes outside for fresh air before starting his day. What he saw freaked him out! He ran back into the house to tell Elisha that the city was surrounded by the Syrian army. Frantically, he asked the prophet, “What are we going to do? They are here to kill us! There’s no way out.” Continue reading
Consider the Apostle Paul, King David, and the Prophet Elijah. You might think such godly men never faced discouragement, but each of them did. There was a time when Paul said he “despaired even of life.” One time David’s men talked of stoning him, and he had to “encourage himself in the Lord.” And there was a time when Elijah had suicidal thoughts. Discouragement attacks us all. You may have found discouragement to confront you infrequently and last a short time. Or you may be one for whom discouragement overshadows you daily.
In this blog we are going to follow the Prophet Elijah. His story is recorded in 1 Kings 17-19, covering 3-4 years of his life. I hope to discover some triggers of discouragement, as well as some helpful weapons to battle it. Elijah’s discouragement certainly wasn’t because he didn’t have enough faith. He participated in a number of God’s miracles during that brief span of time. Here’s a list: 1) He commanded the heavens to stop raining and they did, 2) birds air-delivered his meals both morning and evening, 3) his promise to a widow that her food would keep multiplying for years was fulfilled, 4) he prayed over that widow’s dead son, and he came back to life, 5) he saw God respond with fire from heaven in a very public showdown Continue reading
Winetasting has become a popular pastime in Oregon, as wineries have sprouted up throughout the countryside. Apparently, our state’s climate is conducive to the growth of tasty grapes and wines. The landscape boasts so many wineries now, that you can spend an entire weekend sampling the fruit-of-the-vine at different ones.
In the second chapter of Mark in your Bible, some people had asked Jesus why His disciples were not fasting. He answered, “No one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.” In Jesus’ day, grape juice was placed in animal skins that had been sewn shut. As the juice fermented, the skin would stretch, much like blowing up a balloon.
At first glance, it seems odd to discuss winemaking as a reply to that question. But Jesus used this illustration to teach one of the MOST IMPORTANT TRUTHS about salvation. It makes sense when we look back into the history of Israel. Continue reading
Uh-oh. New data from the notorious pro-homosexual organization GLAAD reveals that
America is rapidly falling out of love with the radial LGBT movement. And guess who is leading this wave of disaffection? Millennials aged 18-34.
Big Gay is non-plussed. Said the New Civil Rights Movement, “Days before the nation’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the start of World Pride in New York, a new study is measuring American attitudes toward LGBTQ people – and the results aren’t stellar.” Continue reading
I hate roller coasters. I almost get seasick just watching television coverage of some theme park’s new “biggest roller coaster ever.” If they think that is going to inspire me to vacation at their park, they have another thing coming. I see absolutely no excitement to being pulled straight up several stories, only to freefall straight down before being thrown upside down and barreling through corkscrews.
I think my dislike for roller coasters is because my head doesn’t do well with fast movements. One Spring Break, Karen and I took our young children to a neighborhood carnival. Alli loved the fast rides, so we teamed her up with a little boy to ride together. When he left, Alli asked me to go on a ride with her. I looked for the slowest one I could find. When I saw Tilt-a-Wheel, I thought “how bad can that be?” As soon as the ride began, I realized I had made a BIG mistake. When the ride finally stopped, my head kept spinning. When we got back home, I immediately went to bed, where I stayed two days before feeling normal again. Continue reading
If you care about teenagers and their mental health, the rush to legalize marijuana in America is a great example of a really, really bad idea.
THC is the active ingredient in pot. According to the Washington Post, some of today’s marijuana products average a 68% concentration of THC, stratospherically higher than what my college classmates smoked back in the day. This is not your father’s dope. One dad whose son wound up in an expensive rehab program calls it “nuclear-strength weed.”
Science confirms that earlier and more frequent use of this high-octane cannabis does put adolescents in greater jeopardy of a number of pathologies, including substance abuse disorders and mental health issues. It has a clearly established and negative impact on school performance.
And the particularly noteworthy problem is that pot has a dramatic effect on developing teen brains. The part of the brain that controls problem solving, memory, language, and judgment is not fully developed until age 25, and marijuana messes with that part of the growing brain. As a result, we are seeing an epidemic of dope-induced psychosis, addiction, suicide, depression, and anxiety. Continue reading
Man’s inhumanity to man is most clearly seen in racism. It has led to Hitler’s extermination camps in WWII, the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Stalin’s “Great Purge” in the 1930’s. It has also shown its ugly face in the enslavement, mistreatment and murder of Blacks in our own country’s history. This level of bigotry and hatred is the result of a heart that is diseased by sin and fueled by the devil. But racism is not only manifested in such large-scale atrocities.
I watched a movie recently about a little black girl who was the first to go to a “white” school during the early days of desegregation. Parents and students of that school said cruel and vicious things to that little first-grader, all the while smugly praying before their meals, Continue reading