I’m Going to Peru with Compassion and I Would Love Your Prayers

As you know if you have been part of my tribe for long, I am an Ambassador for Compassion International. This means that I have the opportunity to share about Compassion’s Child Sponsorship program with individuals and groups all over the country. I love being able to do this! It hits my sweet spot smack in the middle because I get to speak and I get to be part of finding sponsors for children living in poverty. (At the end of this post there is a link for YOU to click over and sponsor a child.)

 

I Am Going to Peru Would You Pray

 

Compassion gives their speakers and artists an opportunity to go to the countries where Compassion operates and see the work being done there with children and families in poverty. I am crazy excited to have the opportunity and privilege to travel with Compassion to Peru April 22 through 27.

While my sponsored girls are not in Peru, I am still so eager to meet the Peruvian children at the child development center(s) we will visit. I am hoping to be able to look into their eyes and tell them how much Jesus loves them. I want to communicate how important they are to their sponsors, to me, and to Jesus. Being able to see how they are being taught to love Jesus and His Word, and how they are having their basic necessities provided through Compassion sponsors will be a huge blessing to my heart. I want to meet the Jesus-following mentors who pour into the lives of these children.

 

Compassion Banner

 

This chick has been in ministry long enough to know that when work is done or people go to minister in Jesus’ name Satan becomes a hot mess of anger and hatred. He tries his best to stop the work, to discourage the workers, to interfere with plane schedules and luggage arrival and tummies and noses. I also know that Jesus has Satan’s number and that ole’ devil cannot do anything without the permission of the Father. The good news is that the prayers of God’s people can make a difference.

If you have a mind to pray for me and the team with which I will travel in the week prior to and during the trip (April 15-27) it would be a blessing to my heart. I will communicate specific prayer needs to my prayer team via email, so if you feel led to be part of my prayer team for this trip, please email me at [email protected]. If you do not feel the leading of the Lord, or if you do not feel you can make this commitment right now it is perfectly fine. We will still be friends.

I will be posting more about the trip, especially in the days and weeks following it, so stay tuned.

SDG/FCA!!

If you are interested in sponsoring a child through Compassion, please go HERE to see the faces of beautiful children who are eagerly waiting for someone to sponsor them. You may not be able to change the whole world, but YOU, friend, can change the world for ONE CHILD! Release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name today.

This post contains affiliate links.

Do You Have a Teen Girl in Your Life? Giveaway!

Do you have a teen girl in your life? If you answered, “YES”, I know you will want to meet my friend, Melanie Redd. Melanie is an encourager, prayer warrior, and a woman who loves Jesus. She is also the author of a brand new devotional book for teen girls entitled, Live in Light.

 

 

I have read some of Melanie’s book and it is good, y’all. I’m so eager for you to meet Melanie, so here is the interview I did with her.

Meet Melanie!

Leah: I may have readers who have not had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ you online. What would you like for my readers to know about you? Please introduce yourself to them.

Melanie: It’s pretty simple: I’m a woman on a mission to offer hope and encouragement to others. Raised in the south, I speak with a twang, very polite words, and a great big smile.

My husband and I have been in full-time ministry for over 20 years now. He’s a professor and a minister; I’m a writer, blogger, and speaker. We have two young adult kids and a very hyper Australian Shepherd puppy— all living under the same roof.

 

Melanie Redd

 

Leah: What occupies your free time? Hobbies, interests

Melanie: I love to laugh, talk for hours with good friends, and enjoy great food.

In addition, I spend a lot of time on the move – riding a bike in Spin Class, walking as many miles as I can, lifting weights, and trying to stay active. My husband and I love to hike and explore the woods as often as we can. We also love to try new restaurants and cook out on the grill.

Additionally, I’m involved in a couple of local Bible studies and leading the women’s ministry at my church. Each Monday night, I teach a class of future pastor’s wives called, “Leading Women to the Heart of God.”

Leah: What are some items on your bucket list?

Melanie: I’d love to travel more in the next few years. We’ve just finished paying for our kids to go to college. We’d like to get out and explore the world now – even if it’s just across some state lines!

A few ministry bucket list items – write and publish more books, speak as God opens the doors, launch a radio show, and maybe even launch a TV show. (We will see!)

Leah: How did you develop an interest in writing and when did you begin writing seriously?

As a child, I loved to write. English, creative writing, and penmanship were always where I excelled. My 3rdgrade teacher was one who especially encouraged me to write.

In college, I majored in education with a minor in English. My best subjects were those that required essays and long papers. Writing always came easy for me. (Melanie, you and I might be sisters separated at birth!!)

As a young adult, I was contacted by Lifeway to write Sunday school curriculum and materials. For over 10 years, I wrote with Lifeway. Then, a few years ago, I published my first book and started a blog. Five books later, and I am still having a blast typing out words!

Leah: Every book has a back story. What is the back story behind your book? What was the impetus for you to write this book?

Melanie: As a seventh grader, I was approached by an older girl in my church about spending weekly time one-on-one learning what it meant to walk with Jesus personally. Each week we met to talk about things like having a quiet time, prayer, reading the Bible, and living for the Lord. Then, in 9th grade, I attended a summer camp where God really got a hold of my heart. I completely surrendered my life to Him and began an incredible adventure walking with Him.

And, after all of these years, I’ve never gotten over it! 

What happened in my teen years affected and influenced the trajectory of my life for good. So, when asked to write a devotional book for teen girls encouraging them to walk with God, I jumped at the opportunity.

Leah: Share with us a bit about your book.

Melanie: Live in Light is a very easy-to-read and practical devotional that any girl can pick up and enjoy. There are 150 short devotions, complete with a Bible verse, a story or example, a Bible truth, and a challenge for the day.

The book can be read alone or shared as a part of family devotions. Mothers and daughters are choosing to read the book together. Even grandmothers and granddaughters are taking this adventure together.

Leah: Why should someone read your book? What does it offer them personally?

Melanie: I believe this little volume extends an invitation to girls to draw close to the Light – Jesus Christ. In a day when our girls are being pulled in every direction, my prayer is that the few moments teen girls spend reading each morning will make an impact.

We are praying that God will get the attention and the hearts of girls around the globe and create in them a thirst for the things of God.

Further, the book is written for teens to use quickly each day—maximizing their time. In just 5-10 minutes, they will be given scripture, hope, instruction, and ideas. It’s written to them, for them, about them, and with them in mind.

Leah: How can my readers find you? Blog? Social media?

Melanie: I’d love to connect with your readers on social media.

I’m on these channels:

Facebook

Twitter

Linked In

Instagram

Pinterest

Leah: When and will your book be available to the public?

Melanie: The book will be available on April 8. However, you can pre-order a copy on Amazon HERE.

Leah: What final thoughts would you like to share with my readers?

Melanie: Thank you for taking the time to read about my life and this new devotional for teen girls. I’m blessed and honored that you did. And, may I encourage you with this truth today – God adores you and has an amazing plan for your life. No matter where you are, what you are dealing with, or what you have just been through—He cares for you.

One of my favorite verses comes from Zephaniah 3:17. I’d love to share it as I close:

“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

 

GIVEAWAY! I am giving away a copy of Melanie’s book over on my Instagram page. If you are on IG and want to win a copy of this wonderful devo for teen girls, click over to my IG page, follow me if you do not already, and enter to win.

SDG/FCA!

This post contains affiliate links.

I’m Too Busy To Have A Quiet Time ~ Lies We Believe #4

Today I am sharing a video for our 4th lie, in the Lies We Believe series. In the Lies We Believe series we are tackling common lies that people believe regarding God and faith. If you received this post via email, please click HERE to go to my website and watch the video.

So many of us believe that we are too busy to carve out time for a daily quiet time, or **gasp** an entire day of Sabbath. The truth is we are too busy NOT to carve out daily quiet time.

 

 

I'm Too Busy To Have a Daily Quiet Time Lies We Believe #4

 

Have you missed any of the other posts? No worries. Here are links to all of them.

3 Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

I Just Can’t Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

God Will Not Give Me More Than I Can Bear….or Will He? 

Today’s lie is one that I fell victim to for years. Today I’m sharing that story, as well as sharing about the mentor who helped me see that it is okay and necessary to make time to be alone with Jesus.

If this post strikes a chord of familiarity in your heart and you would like to have someone walk alongside you and help you find ways to make time with Jesus a priority, I would love to talk to you about coaching. Simply click HERE to go to my website and find out more about my life coaching services.

 

 

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Praying the Promises of the Cross

 

HAPPENING SOON! The Praying the Promises of the Cross Challenge begins this week. Sign up today!

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross challenge. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. This will be such a wonderful addition to your daily quiet time. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

What If….?

What if you had been born in a third world country?

What if your parents made less than a $2 a day at their job?

What if you knew hunger almost as well as you knew your family?

What if the area in which you lived was infested with AIDs and people who would sell you for sex in a heartbeat?

What if it were your own parents who, just to make sure the family did not starve to death, sold you to someone for sex?

What if you were constantly worried about dying…from a preventable disease?

What if you never had the chance to get even a high school education?

 

What if You Could Make a Difference?

 

Millions of children live in the circumstances I described above. Consider the definition of poverty put forth by the World Bank:

“Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.”

 

 

What if....you could change his life/

 

BUT, what if you had the means and the heart to make a difference in the life of a child in a third world country? What if you could help them go from poverty and powerlessness to freedom and possibilities?

And what if it only cost you $38 per month?

Think about the things that you might spend $38 a month on that are not essential to your life.

  • Five or six white chocolate mochas at the local coffee shop
  • Eating lunch out twice a week for 2 weeks
  • A bottle of wine
  • Downloads from iTunes
  • A new shirt or shorts
  • Tickets to a movie and all the trimmings, i.e. popcorn, coke, candy

What if you were willing to give up just one $38 monthly expenditure so a child in poverty might have hope?

What does $38 a month through Compassion International’s Child Sponsorship Program give a child? I’m so glad you asked.

  • Access to medical care and nutritional support
  • An education in a local Child Development Center
  • School uniforms and education
  • Vocational training
  • And something that it is impossible to put a price tag on…..mentoring in a local evangelical church in their community. It is here the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared with these children and many hear the name ‘JESUS” for the very first time.

Would you prayerfully consider joining me as a Compassion sponsor? I sponsor 4 girls through Compassion, and it is one way that I am fulfilling the Biblical command to help the poor. What a joy it is to me to be able to write to my girls and have them write letters back to me. My heart is blessed when they tell me in their letters that they pray for me and are learning Bible verses. I tell them I love them, I am proud of them, and they are beautiful. My $38 a month is making a difference in each of their lives.

Sponsorship is easy. Simply click this link which takes you to the Compassion page on my website. Once there you can see pictures of children who are waiting for sponsors. I hope you will say YES to sponsorship through Compassion.

 

Compassion Sunday

Every year Compassion International sponsors Compassion Sunday, a day of intentional focus on Compassion Child Sponsorship. This year May 5th is Compassion Sunday. Would you be interested in hosting a Compassion Sunday in your church or organization? It doesn’t even have to be on May 5th. Any day of the week or year will work.

If you live in the north Georgia, eastern Tennesse, or western North Carolina areas, it would be my honor and pleasure to come to your church or organization and share the wonderful benefits of sponsoring a child through Compassion. Hosting a Compassion event is FREE. I would bring everything needed for the event. All I need from you is a table and about 10-15 minutes to share Compassion with your group. I would be available to answer questions your group might have AND to help them become sponsors of children.

What do you say? Email me at [email protected] for more information about hosting a Compassion event at your church.

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

God Will Not Give Me More Than I Can Bear ~ Or Will He?

“God will not give me more than I can bear”.

Oh, YES, HE WILL, sister! He absolutely will.

It seems that, without forethought, intention, or planning, I have written myself right into a series here on the blog. Let’s call it, Lies We Believe. Here are the links to the two other posts in this impromptu series.

3 Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

I Just Can’t Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

Today we are examining the lie that Christians fall victim to very often. It is a lie of reason, born of a lack of knowledge of what Scripture actually says. Here are two reasons why God WILL, indeed, give us more than we can bear.

 

God Won't Give Me More Than I Can Bear...or Will He?

 

 

God is Omniscient and He is Sovereign

Those are big, fancy spiritual words. God has infinite knowledge about everything and everyone. He knows everything there is to know about you and the things that impact you – that is Omniscience. God also has supreme power and authority.  He is working everything that concerns you out for your good. His goal is for your faith to grow so you will look more like Jesus to a lost and dying world.

Let me clarify that, when I talk about trials, I’m not talking about the temptation to sin. God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13). Neither does He allow us to be tempted beyond what we can resist. Paul assures us of this in 1 Corinthians 10:13. God will always provide a way to escape from temptation. The question is whether we will take it. If we choose to run toward temptation and not away from it, we cannot blame God for the consequences. We always reap what we sow.

In James 1:2-4, the Lord’s brother tells us to ‘Count it all joy’ when we undergo trials of any kind. Why? Because of God’s Sovereignty, He is working some things in and out of us that can only be accomplished by trials. What kind of things does He work in us? Patience, joy endurance, and humility. What does He work out of us through trials? Pride, hatred, selfishness, anger, and so many other lovely traits. Truly, if this working in and working out could be accomplished any other way, God would have chosen that way. He allows these trials to test and purify our faith in His power and wisdom.

Think about multiple examples of individuals throughout history, both biblical and non-biblical, who were, in fact, allowed to endure more than they could humanly bear. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Stephen was martyred for his faith in Christ. Paul endured beatings, scourging, hunger, imprisonment, shipwrecks and so much more. Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and three other men were murdered because they tried to share Jesus with the Auca Indians. Corrie ten Boom was imprisoned by the Nazis and watched her sister, Betsie, die in the concentration camps. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was martyred because he tried to find a way to stop Hitler. Who can forget the twenty Coptic Christian men who were beheaded by ISIS because they would not renounce their faith in Christ? None of these people had the strength to endure these trials, but because they had a strong faith in Christ, they finished well.

So yes, God will give you more than you can bear in the human realm. He just will. It is the way of faith while we walk this dusty sod of earth. But, He also provides supernatural strength to equip you for victory in the middle of the trail. Trust His heart, dear friend. He will never fail you!

SDG/FCA!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

In a recent Thursday Thoughts post, I offered a quote from martyred missionary Jim Elliot. Today I am linking to a new book written by Jim and Elisabeth Elliot’s daughter, Valerie. It is a collection of letters and stories about her parents’ remarkable love for each other and for Jesus. If you are reading this post via email, please click HERE to go to my website and see the link to the book.

Three Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

 

“We are all God’s Children.” Over the years I have heard people use this phrase to attempt to position themselves, or others, in the family of God. Their logic is that God created every person, so we must be His children. It always bothered me a bit, but I never felt I could dispute their logic….until now.

The thought that ‘we are all God’s children’ is a nice one. It makes for warm, fuzzy feelings in the heart; a bit like sitting around a campfire singing ‘Kumbaya’. The problem is that it is not Scriptural. So, today I want us to consider three reasons why we are NOT all God’s children.

 

Three Reasons Why We Are NOT All God's Children

 

Relationship

The basic assumption in the ‘we are all God’s children’ theology is that God created all of us, so we must be His children. To be someone’s child assumes a parent-child relationship. It also assumes that one of two things happened: the child was either born into the family, or they were adopted.

In the Old Testament, God had children. Those children were the nation of Israel. He was their God, and they were, for better or worse, His people. Only when an outsider believed in the God of Israel were they taken into, or adopted into, God’s family, i.e. Ruth, Rahab.

In the New Testament, and going forward, the Jewish people rejected God’s Son Jesus. In doing so, they set themselves outside of God’s family. From the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the only way to be part of God’s family, or to be His child, has been to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life. Jesus made this crystal clear in John 14:6 when He said that no one comes to God except through Him. Hebrews 2:11 also speaks to the issue of God’s family.

First, there must be a relationship in order to be God’s child.

Spirit

At the moment you ask Jesus to be your Savior and to forgive you of your sins, the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of Christ, comes to live within you, and He never leaves you. He is the seal, or guarantee, of your salvation.

Romans 8:9 (ESV) is the verse that spoke clearly to me on this issue of being a child of God. Paul is seeking to clarify what qualifies a person as belonging to God. Consider this verse:

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Also consider Romans 8:14 which tells us that anyone who is a child/son of God is led by the Spirit.

Second, in order to be God’s child, you must have His Spirit living within you.

Obedience

As a child, I was highly motivated to be obedient to my parents because I did not want the Bolo paddle applied to my backside. Other times, my motivation came simply from a heart of love toward my parents. Either way, as their child, I was expected to be obedient.

God expects no less from His children. He has set forth His commands in Scripture, and He expects His children to know the expectations and follow them. They are for our good because He knows what we need. He is not some cosmic judge just waiting to zap us when we are bad. He loves His children and wants them to be the recipients of His best for them. That best comes when we are obedient to His Word. (John 14:23-24, John 15:10, Romans 8:7, and 1 John 5:3)

Third, God’s children must be willing to be obedient to His commands in Scripture…..all of them.

I believe Scripture is clear that only those who are adopted into His family through the saving work of Jesus are God’s children.

Have you made sure that you are ‘one of God’s children’ by accepting Jesus as Lord? 

What are your thoughts about this issue? 

SDG/FCA!!

Want to read more in this “Lies We Believe” series? Click the links below:

I Just Can’t Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

God Will Not Give Me More Than I Can Bear….or Will He?

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

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