• Extensions,  Guatemala,  Justice

    Presence in La Limonada

    I just returned from 10 days in Guatemala, a time of connecting with staff, building relationships, visiting the community, gathering stories, and hosting a vision trip from our home church in Phoenix. It was a joy to return to the narrow streets again, and to reflect on the experience. There is a grand paradox when we step into the paths that weave down into the ravine of La Limonada. We pass people whose eyes convey stories of pain, violence, and lack of power. We feel the weight of their marginalization immediately, and are welcomed into homes where we learn more about each individual and family. These stories of sickness, loss,…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books

    My Top 10 Books of 2014

    For the fourth year in a row, I share my top ten list from the books I read over the last year. This year I read more fiction than normal and loved it! What were your top books of the year?   Kris Rocke and Joel Van Dyke, Geography of Grace The authors believe grace like water flows downhill. Through testimonies and reflection, including stories from the community of La Limonada, they share how God is at work in some of the poorest and most marginalized communities. The practical implications are huge.   Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close An incredible novel about a young boy whose father left several…

  • Church Calendar,  Faith

    And He Will Be Called

    Isaiah 9:6 “And he will be called .. Mighty God.” “Mighty God is the name of this child.  The child in the manager is none other than God himself. Nothing greater can be said: God became a child. Here he is, poor like us, miserable and helpless like us, a person of flesh and blood like us, our brother. And yet he is God: he is might. Where is the divinity, where is the might of the child? In the divine love in which he became like us. His poverty in the manager is his might. In the might of love he overcomes the chasm between God and humankind, he…

  • Church Calendar,  Ethiopia,  Extensions,  Faith,  Mozambique

    Lenten Reflections: Isaiah 58

    “Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”  During this Lenten time of self-examination, we pause to consider our brokenness and great need—our vulnerability and inability to do enough fasting or law-keeping to earn even an ounce of righteousness. One of my first encounters with…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books,  Extensions

    My Top 10 Books of 2013

    This is my 3rd year of sharing the top books read over the previous year. But to be honest, it was a bit of a slow reading year for me. I half-read many, skimmed through previously read books and journaled a lot more than I consumed. While I greatly enjoyed all the books listed here and welcome your suggestions for 2014! Crouch, Andy Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power Each of us has a measure of power, whether we acknowledge it or not. Does absolute power corrupt absolutely? How can power be used for good? Read this book for a paradigm-shifting view of the dynamics of power all around us.…

  • Extensions,  Faith,  Fun Times

    2013 Year In Review

    In light of the (cyber) age-old tradition of using a blog to journal key events from the previous year, I endeavor to remember 2013. In no particular order:   1.  In April, we visited Guatemala. It was my first time to Central America, to Tim’s home country, to the community of La Limonada, and to meet our sponsored child. Having already blogged about these experiences, I won’t go into detail. This was the absolute highlight of my year and I feel overjoyed to now get to work for Lemonade International in a small way to advocate and tell the stories of what God is doing there.   2. We purchased…

  • Extensions,  Guatemala

    3 Ethical Christmas Gift Ideas

    For those of us who desire to live radically different, measured by God’s word rather than the status quo, the holiday season invites a slew of conflicting feelings surrounding the reason for the season. Should we lavish gifts on each other? If so, what kind of gifts? If our focus is on the advent of the birth and then full on celebration of the coming of Christ, how do we live like we believe that is true? While cause for contemplation and reflection, I would like to suggest a few specific alternative ways to give generously to our loved ones this Christmas. Ways that seek to honor our water-into-wine-celebrating God…

  • Faith

    Witness

    Wise and challenging words from Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen in “The Drama of Scripture”. Does my life witness to the restoring power of God? When we grasp that the salvation of the kingdom restores the creation, and all of it, we see that witness to God’s kingdom is as wide as creation. Witness will mean embodying God’s renewing power in politics and citizenship, economics and business, education and scholarship, family and neighborhood, media and art, leisure and play. It is not just that we carry out evangelism in these areas of life. Again, that is important but not enough. It means that the way we live as citizens, consumers,…

  • Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Faith,  Guatemala

    Lessons on Faith from Guatemala

    We’ve been back from Guatemala for almost two months now. Tim and I are still so grateful to Lemonade International for welcoming us in to such a special place. We continue to process what God had for us there, but these lessons on faith keep rising like sediment in my thoughts. The Lord used my ignorance. This was Tita’s response to how she first came to this violent place. The Lord led her in to find a gang member who had been at the hospital where she volunteered. She didn’t realize it was ‘The’ La Limonada – an infamous Guatemalan slum synonymous with danger and fear. This has filled my…