Friday, November 30, 2012

November's Joy Dare

I am taking the Joy Dare and counting to {an extra} 1,000 Gifts in 2012! Will you join me?

#916 - #1005... November's grace-gifts... from the Giver of good gifts, the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

3 gifts eaten:
:: A quick drive-through McDonald's meal with my girl before going to serve the least of these.
:: KitKat chocolate bars!
:: A fruity kefir smoothie at lunch!

3 gifts worn:
:: My warm fleece zip-up sweater for cold November days.
:: My warm woolen socks.
:: My trusty old pair of jeans!

3 gifts that start with N:
:: Nature's beauty.
:: Nurturing friendships.
:: November's arrival.

a gift gathered, given, good:
:: A gathered church Leadership Team; breaking bread at Sunday's lunch!
:: An opportunity given to be a listening ear.
:: A good God... who always loves! ♥

3 gifts acorn-small:
:: Brown sugar cubes for my morning coffee.
:: Yummy grapes for snacking.
:: Sushi for dinner!

3 gifts government:
:: Order in society.
:: Social programs for the needy.
:: Education for everyone.

3 gifts from your window:
:: Our bare ash tree's sculptural branches.
:: Bright orange rose pods knocking on my window with the wind.
:: Sunshine streaming in.

a gift sweet, salty, sipped:
:: Cinnamon buns!
:: Hummus chips!
:: A fruity smoothie!

3 gifts harvest:
:: Honey crisps apples!
:: The last tomatoes from the garden.
:: A bunch of kale from the garden as well.

3 gifts found in Bible reading:
:: Inspiration.
:: Encouragement.
:: Strength.

3 gifts of remembrance:
:: To remember is to work for peace.
:: A moment of silence.
:: A prayer for peace.

3 gifts at noon:
:: My boy home for his lunch break.
:: A short break from work to spend some time with him.
:: A kefir smoothie for lunch.

3 gifts behind a door:
:: God opening a door... new opportunity on the horizon.
:: Seeing my boy... at the front door, at the end of the school day.
:: Peeking at my baking, through the glass oven door!

3 gifts silent:
:: Silently listening as a new friend pours her heart out.
:: A silently peaceful and quiet house.
:: All alone with my thoughts and silently seeking God.

3 gifts golden:
:: Golden sunshine, after weeks of cloudiness!
:: Golden melted cheese on pizza.
:: Gold bands on my finger! ♥

3 gifts hard eucharisteo:
:: Being too hard on one's self...
:: Difficult decisions... to continue supporting an organization or not?!?
:: Encouraging my boy to focus on being thankful, even when it's hard to.

3 gifts of laughter:
:: Children's laughter as they pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes!
:: Happy laughter as my boy's LEGO Mindstorm robot is finally doing its thing properly!
:: Laughter as a community of family and friends share dinner together!

a gift made, shared, passed on:
:: German chocolate cake, with coconut frosting!
:: Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and {early} Christmas sprinkles!
:: A recipe for beef ribs in the crock pot!

3 gifts Autumn:
:: Warm sunshine through the window.
:: Bare tree branches.
:: Honey crisp apples!

3 gifts of traditions:
:: Christmas music by the end of November!
:: Decking the halls!
:: Putting up the Christmas tree!

3 gifts family:
:: Togetherness.
:: Safety.
:: Love!

3 gifts grateful:
:: Grateful for blessings in abundance.
:: Grateful for opportunities to share those blessings.
:: Grateful for the joy that is found in serving "the least of these" in Jesus' name.

3 gifts only in Christ:
:: My life.
:: My strength.
:: My song.

3 gifts humble:
:: Attending a marriage mentoring training... humbling.
:: The gift of being able to walk humbly with God.
:: How He chooses to use us... humbling.

3 gifts ugly-beautiful:
:: The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season...
:: Children living in extreme poverty... released in Jesus' name!
:: Encouraging a sister who is feeling burned-out in ministry.

3 gifts preparing:
:: Hearts to celebrate Christmas meaningfully!
:: Dinner...
:: Looking over study questions before Home Church.

a gift handmade, held, happy:
:: Christmas urns for the front of our home!
:: Cupping a newborn baby's head in the palm of my hand.
:: Our whole family volunteering together at Upward Basketball.

3 gifts in community:
:: Chatting over lunch with my sister and her friend.
:: A vibrant youth community that our kids belong to at church!
:: Growing relationships at our Home Church.

3 gifts red:
:: Red Christmas ball ornaments by the window.
:: Red apples in the Christmas urn by the front door.
:: Red Christmas plates!

3 gifts astonishing!:
:: The way God loves!
:: How He pours out unending grace...
:: His mercies... new every morning.


Click on the banners below to learn more about counting to 1,000 Gifts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!




Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Tuesday

Two weeks in a row!
My Multitudes on Mondays blog post is late again this week! Well, it's all good... you wanna know why? Because today is Giving Tuesday... and I want to share with you a great way to mark this day!

So... what is Giving Tuesday all about anyway? Well, it's about giving, of course!

Have a look... {please pause the playlist on the sidebar of this blog as you watch this video}


So... wanna jump in and join in the festivities of Giving Tuesday?

Yes? You are *so* awesome!
Have I got just the right thing for you! Introducing... Gifts of Compassion

The thing is... when you purchase a Gift of Compassion, it's like double giving! Not only are you giving a meaningful gift to that special someone on your Christmas list, you are also giving to a child in need! It can't get any more awesome than that, can it?!? :-)

As an example, here's my favourite Gift of Compassion... yes, you read that right... I love giving bacteria-free water!


I can think of several people right off the bat from my Christmas list that would love to receive this as a Christmas present this year knowing that their gift will give a Tanzanian family living in extreme poverty the gift of bacteria-free water for life! Yes, you read that right... for life!

You can read more about Compasison International's "Water Of Life" water filters by visiting this website.

Wanna give some bacteria-free water to that special someone this Christmas too? 
You can do so by clicking here! I promise it will be the best Christmas gift that they've ever received because it's a gift that will keep on giving!

So... let the shopping and the giving begin!!! Friends, let's give meaningful gifts this Christmas! These Gifts of Compassion will last much, much, much longer than that trendy scarf, that funky sweater, that just-released CD... or even that fancy coffee machine! :-)

As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One who gave us the greatest gift of all... these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1662 - #1666:
:: A quiet week.
:: Decorating our home for Christmas!
:: Christmas music!!!
:: Volunteering at the George Canyon concert with my girl for Compassion where a bunch of children got sponsored!
:: My new iPad mini! My very first Apple product... love it!
Hope your week is off to a good start, friends!
Loving this quote today, as our family thinks about how to prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way...
I think of Jesus' beginning, his supernatural conception. His mother bends the knee and submits her will to God's, "Let this happen to me as you say." This is a woman, a womb, a hand, humbly opening to the perfect will of God. In her humility - her willingness to die to her expectations and plans - God exalts her. In her submissiveness to His will, He fills her emptiness with fullness of Himself. Her refrain of humble, surrendered gratitude quietly sings through all ages.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!


Click on the banner below for more Multitudes on Mondays posts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!



Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Little Late...

Tuesday evening already?!? This means that this Multitudes on Mondays blog post is late this week! Not sure where the weekend went... but all of a sudden, it was Monday and I was faced head-on with this new week without any warning! Needless to say, blogging got put on the back burner!

Until tonight, that is...
My girl and I were supposed to volunteer at an event where Compassion was going to have a display table, but sadly, it got cancelled due to poor ticket sales! It looked like an interesting event too! I was looking forward to learning some meal planning tips... well, maybe next time!

So... because of the cancellation, here I am with some extra time to blog! :-)

Hmmm... where should I begin?
Well, for starters... the Compassion Bloggers are back from Peru! What an amazing week... the stories gripped me. I do have one favourite post... it's written by Angie Smith from Bring The Rain... it's simply called Love Moves and these are some of the words she wrote...
This is how love moves.
It says “we” instead of “they.”
Every step we take in the direction of compassion brings us closer to the cross...
Reading Angie's blog post brought me back to when hubby and I took our kids to visit both our sponsor child, Florianlyn, and LDP student, Rochelle, in the Philippines last year. Meeting them both face-to-face helped to catalyze the "they" into a "we." Life-changing... friends, it's a must-do if you sponsor a child! Love moves!

Speaking of love moving... that's where our weekend went to! 

On Saturday, we got together with my sisters and their families, and a few friends... and we packed Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes! It was chaotic, to say the least, with over 20 people packed into my sister's home... but it truly was a load of fun! When we were done, there was a pile of 79 shoeboxes... love, all ready to move!


On Sunday evening, we got together with a few other people from church and went on a Sandwich Run with Project417... handing out lunch bags to street-involved people. This is just our second time walking the same route and already, we are starting to recognize some faces and names... and, we are starting to engage in some meaningful conversations!

Love moves... when arms grow stiff carrying heavy totes and grocery bags full of lunches and when feet grow sore after walking the downtown streets for three hours... yet hearts are full knowing that biblical justice {even though not nearly enough}, not charity, has occured.

As one homeless folk said to my boy as he handed him a lunch bag, "Thank you, son. You people are very kind. The world needs more people like you." Love moves...    


As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One who is the greatest example of what it looks like to live out love... these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1649 - #1661:
:: The opening of new doors.
:: Excellent report cards for both kids!
:: Two friends from church popping in for a chat on the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon!
:: A quiet evening at home alone with my thoughts.
:: A week of baking, baking and more baking!
:: A day off from school for both kids.
:: Shopping for items to fill Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Always a fun thing to do for our whole family!
:: Some extra time on Saturday for my boy to work on his Robotics project... thankful that his school principal came to open up the school for us!
:: Packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with family and friends!
:: Great Sunday morning breaking bread with our church family.
:: Sandwich Runs becoming a monthly thing for us!
:: A frazzled start to the week... and grace that sustains.
:: Awesome time of community and sharing at Home Church on Monday night.
Hope your week is off to a good start, friends!
This... is giving me food for thought this week... all because love moves!
Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control... let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy's fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love, and whisper surprised thanks. This is the fuel for joy's flame.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!


Click on the banner below for more Multitudes on Mondays posts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!



Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Let's go to Peru!

Tomorrow...
The Compassion Bloggers are headed to Peru. The amazing thing about this is, you and I can travel along... from the comfort of our own homes! I am excitedly following along and looking forward to reading the blog posts this week. I hope you will follow along too!

Their stories are the closest you will get to experiencing the ministry of Compassion International other than actually going yourself. If you are on Twitter, you can follow them here.

Yes! I am looking forward to this week...
And seeing what God has in store, not only through the stories that will be written by the Compassion Bloggers... but also with regards to a significant potential change in my life!

Friends, it's going to be a good week... because we serve a good God! 

As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One who is always good... these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1640 - #1648:
:: My girl's school basketball team is in the playoffs!
:: Our Lead Pastor taking the time to come and watch one of my girl's games.
:: Excitement for our church's newest mission.
:: Great progress with my son's Robotics Team!
:: Both kids enjoying a great Fall Retreat with our church's youth group and coming home resolved to "pray with windows wide open"... just like Daniel.
:: Time over the weekend to do some baking!
:: Shaken by the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls and looking for opportunities of how we can be involved in the fight to end modern-day slavery.
:: Inspired by the Multiply webcast with Francis Chan and David Platt.
:: This warm mid-November Monday!
Happy Monday, friends!
... to give thanks is an action and rejoice is a verb and these are not mere pulsing emotions. While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy, begins in the action of thanksgiving.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!


Click on the banner below for more Multitudes on Mondays posts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!



Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

Last Monday...
I posted an exciting update about Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy... where I announced the total funds raised for this Compassion Child Development Centre... $30,158.42... the fundraising goal surpassed by $158.42!

God is so, so, so faithful!
This gift is truly too wonderful for words. I am blown away... it is utterly mind-blowing, thought-provoking, humbling...

And now, the giveaway winners!
In honour of everyone who helped to make Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy such a beautiful and successful evening, a giveaway is happening today right here on the blog!

Initially, I said that there will be two winners! Well, friends... there will be three! One will receive Dr. Wess Stafford's book, Too Small To Ignore and two winners will each get his newest book, Just A Minute.


The first winner... receiving the book Too Small To Ignore is Jennifer Doiron! This is the comment that Jennifer wrote:
The second winner... receiving the book Just A Minute is G! This is the comment that G wrote:
Either book looks good to me :)
The third winner... receiving the book Just A Minute is Judy Graham! This is the comment that Judy wrote:
What a joy it is to see God work through ordinary people to bring about His purposes. How exciting to see such a goal like this reached...I love how God let's you know that this is His doing by providing just what is needed. Thanks to you and your family and PRAISE to God!
Thank you, everyone, for participating in the giveaway! It was my very first blog giveaway and it was a lot of fun! And to the winners... I will get the books to you as soon as possible!

As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One who is the Faithful One... these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1633 - #1639:
:: Getting to know a new friend from church.
:: An opportunity to serve dinner to a group of inner-city kids!
:: A seeming turn into a new direction.
:: Trusting God with the unknowns and knowing that He knows!
:: A timely read blog post from Compassion Family.
:: Lovely evening spent at the Pregnancy Care Centre's Annual Dinner, heart-warming to hear some great ministry updates and overjoyed to see two healthy babies whose moms came to a baby shower that I helped my sister's church to host this past Spring!
:: Sumptuous potluck lunch and awesome meeting with our church's Leadership Team... such a joy doing life and serving Jesus with this bunch of people!
Happy Monday, friends!
The quiet song of gratitude, eucharisteo, lures humility out of the shadows because to receive a gift the knees must bend humble and the hand must lie vulnerably open and the will must bow to accept whatever the Giver chooses to give.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!


Click on the banner below for more Multitudes on Mondays posts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!



Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!