Friday, May 29, 2009

give-UH-way!

The Wild Olive Tees crew is have a sweeeeet giveaway!!! As in 75-bucks-worth-of-free-stuff sweet! Check out entry rules HERE!

Wild Olive Tees

stuffed crust blogpost

Some updates:

Human Trafficking - had my awareness event last night, and God blessed me with some AWESOME guests! SO cool to see how God might use their unique interests, gifts, and connections to bring light to this dark issue. If you are interested in learning more but don't have time to do research, I would be happy to share my powerpoint with you. It touches on trafficking in general then zooms in on trafficking to meet the growing demands of the commercial sex industry. Just email me at 1sttimemama1 AT gmail DOT com.

Cool thing...while I was preparing for this event, my half-hour napper suddenly became a TWO-HOUR NAPPER! Shout out! What a blessing!

OOPS! - OK, awhile back I got Lightroom for editing photos and did so through what I thought to be a completely legal manner. As I was recently trying to transfer the LR to another computer since our old one bit the dust, I found out that it was NOT legal! Talk about feeling HORRIBLE!!!! Yes, I could go on using the LR and no one would ever know...but I know. And God knows. And I do not want to sin against my good God. So....I went crawling back to picnik with my jpegs yesterday....and it was like trying to perform open heart surgery with a grapefruit spoon. Here are some of the pics:




Scott informed me the other day that he is taking a pledge not to watch any shows that don't have a laugh track. Whaaaaat?

Lil' M asked "what is mama's name?" I said, "mama." He was not satisfied and asked the question again, so I responded, "Mama's name is Tish, but what do you call me?" He stated, "Babes!" Matthew calls mama "babes" like daddy."

I've missed you guys, so I will try to check out all your new blog posts this afternoon!!!! Can't wait to see what is going on in your lives!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

new post

on private blog!

happy memorial day weekend!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

could he be any cuter?

not sure why M decided to wear my t-shirt as a head covering...with one arm in an arm hole and the other out...but, as he would say, "it's alright and OK!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

website recommendations

In a little over a week my friend, Terri, and I will be hosting a Human Trafficking Awareness Event! I am super stoked and have been giving my powerpoint program lots of lovin'. Terri is also going to be my travel companion in June when I head to Vegas for an anti-trafficking event! God has been orchestrating some cool stuff...so cool that I might have to write a rap song about it just for you, Jenna!

Anyway, I have some info I thought I would share for any who are interested:

TRAFFICKING WEBSITES:
TO LEARN MORE:
www.Sharedhope.org - focuses on the prevention, rescue and restoration of the victims of sex slavery. One of the few organizations which address the issue of demand.
http://www.lifeimpactintl.org/ - focuses on evangelism and humanitarian aid to child slaves at the Thailand/Burma border.
http://kimberlydaniels.theworldrace.org/ - focuses on ministering to the prostitutes in Thailand bars, providing outreach and directing the girls to safe homeshavens.
www.love146.org - focuses on child sex slavery and offers training in aftercare.
http://stopchildslavery.com/ - focuses on providing a central location for news articles and organization information.
http://www.globalcenturion.org/ - focuses on ending demand in order to stop the sexual exploitation of children.
http://www.fbi.gov/innolost/innolost.htm - Federal Government's Innocence Lost National Initiative

TO DISCOVER UNIQUE WAYS TO HELP:
http://www.stopthetraffik.org/getinvolved/ideas/yourideas.aspx - shares stories of people who have found creative ways to bring awareness to trafficking
http://www.love146.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=21462 - offers 146 ideas to help

TO CONSUME WITH COMPASSION:
http://www.betterworldshopper.com/
http://www.transfairusa.org/
http://www.madebysurvivors.com/
http://chainstorereaction.com/

So, there you have it...now go get your mouseclick on!

the company you keep...

I received the following email from my friend "C" today. The amazing thing is that these words reflect the desire of her heart ALL.THE.TIME. When you surround yourself with people like C, you find yourself standing very close in hopes that all that fabulousness will rub off on you!

Hope you will join me in praise...

May our lives reflect Christ. May worship and praise of our precious Lord never cease and may we always be grateful and praise Him for His salvation and His completed work on the cross. Praise Him for the life that He gives us and every test and trial that He knows will make us stronger in Him and more useable for Kingdom work. Praise Him for His tender mercies that endure forever. Praise Him that He has given one more day to shine His glory into the darkness.
Praise Him for the privilege of prayer and for you all - His body -- who stand faithfully in the gap for the weak, the weary and the wounded every single day. Thank you for the light that shines so brightly in and through each and every one of you. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!


And praise God for friends who direct my eyes to Him!

Friday, May 15, 2009

i like big posts and i cannot lie

if you make it all the way to the end of this post, you must be pretty bored.

PRAYING FOR KIDS

I was asked a question awhile back about praying for children, which is funny since I feel like I am a lousy pray-er, but here goes. Note: These are just my own personal thoughts and what works for me.

I like to pray Scripture for M. Mostly because I don't want my human desires (or frustrations) to color my intercessions for him. So, when I am reading my Bible and a verse sticks out to me, I will pray it for my little guy. For ex, Ephesians 1:18 says "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened..." and that has become a verse I pray almost daily. I may change the words, such as "Lord, please open M's mind to understand your truth," but I feel like if I pray God's Words, then I know my desires are aligned with His.

I keep a journal by my bed in which I write prayers for M. I do not write in it daily, or even weekly, even though I pray for him daily. I simply write as I feel led to pray about specific topics. I will give it to him when he is grown and look forward to seeing how God answered the prayers of this mama.

I pray a lot with M whether it be for other people or for him...or even for me when I am cracking under the pressure of the terrible twos! And now he will often initiate prayer...asking me to pray for him or for someone else. Does he understand? I can't even guess as to what he thinks is going on, but what I want him to see is a mama who loves God and who believes He is a God who loves talking with His children. I try to point out when God answers our prayers...and to share Bible stories that do the same.

Would love to hear if anyone else has ideas to share!

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I DIDN'T SCREW IT UP!

Tried out PW's ginger steak salad tonight and it rocked my taste buds. I had never-as-in-ever bought ginger before...besides ginger snaps, of course...so I was freaky nervous going into this thing. Told myself that if it flopped, I would never-ever-ever try another new recipe again.

But PW did not disappoint! Scott even had seconds, which says a lot because he really doesn't trust salad. But this stuff is gooooood...so good I might eat it for breakfast tomorrow.

Note: I cooked my steak longer than the recipe calls for because I come from a long line of cook-it-til-it's-jerky women.

________________________________________________

NINE

That's the # of sentences in the 2nd chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

And in just nine sentences, you find the ultimate "before and after." It's like a snapshot of a person before and after Christ...a "you WERE" versus "you ARE."

So I made lists. Because lists make my brain happy. Almost as happy as ginger steak salad makes my tongue. And this is what God says...

You WERE
- dead in trespasses and sins
- walking according to the prince of the power of the air
- a son of disobedience
- conducting yourself in the lusts of your flesh
- fulfilling the desires of the flesh & mind
- a child of wrath
- without Christ
- strangers from the covenants of the promise
- having no hope
- far off

Enter Jesus.

You ARE
- alive together with Christ
- saved
- raised, made to sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
- His workmanship
- created in Christ Jesus for good works
- brought near by the blood of Christ
- reconciled to God
- having access to the Father
- fellow citizens of the household of God
- a dwelling place of God in the Spirit

Pretty amazing, huh? But another cool thing is this...there is a word that can be placed on BOTH lists. Yep, both. It's found in verses 4 & 5a:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses..

Love.

This passage not only tells us that, even when we were living according to our own lusts and in disobedience to God, He still loved us...but that He loved us with a GREAT love. One of the definitions I found for the original word used for "great" was TOO MUCH. As I consider God's love for me, a wretched sinner, "too much" sounds pretty right on.

One of the reasons I love this chapter so much right now is that, in my human trafficking research, it can be easy to feel anger and hatred toward the oppressors, the abusers, the traffickers...but God's love for them is slowly filling my heart. I loathe what these people are doing but am reminded that they are no more free than the women and children they enslave...for they are slaves to their sin. Just as I was.

This is what the love of God can do in a life...


before Christ:



after Christ:



We look at these photos and focus on the outward transformation of Anthea...but the real change for her, and for all of us, is the inward transformation that comes only through Jesus. This is the work of love. This is the look of love.

God is love, and I want to be love, too.

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NEW POST ON PRIVATE BLOG





Thursday, May 7, 2009

life in bullet points

no flowery stories; i'm rollin' with bullet points today. and no capitalization. just gettin'-my-hurry-on...which i am sure that many of you will appreciate!

WHATSA HAPPENIN' W/HUMAN TRAFFICKIN':

- an interest in human trafficking was sparked in my heart after hearing a radio interview with Linda Smith, founder of Shared Hope Int.

- checked out SHI and requested more info

- rec'd an out-of-the-blue email from a friend (we hadn't talked in quite awhile) telling me all about SHI! when she came in contact with this org, she decided to share it with me. i responded a la francis chan with, "NOOOO WAAAAY!"

- met with friend to discuss and said, "let's rock and roll!"

- started researching human trafficking...and praying for God's guidance

- discovered lots of organizations but kept coming back to SHI

- despite the NUMEROUS needs in this issue, i began to feel led to focus on "ending the demand"...raising awareness about the connection between the commercial sex industry and the trafficking of human beings to meet the escalating demands of that industry

- shared this feeling with a SHI employee...who then passed on my contact info to another staff member who is heading up a national awareness campaign to END DEMAND which will kick off in june

- plan to host an awareness event in conjunction with SHI during the last week of may and, Lord willing, might join them in Vegasbaby for their kickoff event



During all of this, God's Word has been filling my mind.....verses like:

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [them]. Eph 5:11

Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few." 1 Sam 14:6

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10

Arise, O LORD! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble....LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more. Psalm 10:12, 17-18



also, CHOCOLATE:
- children abducted and forced to serve as slaves on cocoa plantations, particularly in the ivory coast

- previously i CHOSE to ignore it because the thought of modern day slavery seemed unreal, i figured US companies would be regulated for such things, and, well, i like chocolate. seriously, i have days where about 50% (ok, maybe more) of my daily intake is chocolate, but i watched a video interview of a young man who was a slave on a cocoa plantation. as he spoke of the atrocities against him, he stated that to eat of his plantation's chocolate was to eat of his own flesh. Gulp. Guuuuulp.

- i've been buying only slave free chocolate...which is understandably more expensive...which means I am not buying much chocolate these days...which means i go into convulsions every hour or so...but the bruises are healing nicely...kidding!!!

- sites for you to check out chocolate: #1, #2, #3 (#3 is betterworldshopper so you can check out other products, too)


WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- check out Shared Hope Int
- host an awareness event (if interested, let me know and i'll direct you further)
- pray for the END DEMAND campaign to receive national media attention that will cause big changes in the hearts and lives of Americans
- kick your M&Ms to the curb and buy divine

more to share later...right now i have a date with my Bible. happy weekend, everyone...and happy mama's day to all my precious mama friends!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

alive and kickin'

We are still here! Absent by choice. Thanks for the concerned emails! The motherboard on our laptop fried the other day, which makes "checking in" on your blogs more difficult...since M despises being in our office where the PC is located. Plus our PC is super slow because I have a billion photos on it...yet I can't get in here to remove them. Did I mention that M despises being in our office? Yes, it's that ugly! Still...I'm kinda enjoying NOT having the laptop...especially at night!

I have photos to upload. And some stuff to share from Ephesians...I just cannot pull myself away from it! M seems to be growing like a weed...and is still in the deep end of TWO. The rollercoaster of emotions is exhausting...the demanding, the disobedience, the drama...we're all ready for bed right after dinner!

bubbles-8381

Will try to catch up soon!