May Mementos and a Giveaway

Can you believe it’s the end of another month already? I didn’t seem to have much to alert you to in April, so I think I’ll join 2 months together.

Watch: Over Easter, the BBC broadcast a documentary fronted by the actor David Suchet. It was called “In the Footsteps of St. Peter”. I don’t know if you can get it on DVD, but I was impressed. For anyone who didn’t know much about Simon Peter, it might have inspired them to open a Bible and find out a bit more.

Book: One that really left an impression on me is “Hadassah: One Night with the King”. I’d heard Tommy Tenney’s preaching before, so when I saw he’d written a novel based on my favourite Bible-story, I had to read it. It gives us a glimpse of what Hadassah’s life might have been like before she was taken into the palace to become Queen Esther. Esther means ‘Star’, and I love how he picked up on that theme and took it through the book. One of my best reads so far this year.

Blog-Post: My friends, Nick and Crystal, are very driven people. I’ve never known anyone else run marathons whilst pregnant, but another of Crystal’s passions is social justice, and she and her hubby are adopting an eastern European girl with spina bifida. Of course, their hope is that with medical intervention, she’ll be able to walk and have a better quality of life, but they love her unconditionally and are keen to be her parents regardless. The charity they’re adopting with, Reece’s Rainbow, takes children’s security very seriously and doesn’t give out her real name; only a code-name – Abigail. This post by Crystal answers many of the questions they’ve been asked since announcing the adoption, so please pray for the family as they go through this process.

Plea: This must be the month for Abigails! I wrote about Abigaelle in Haiti earlier this month, and I’m sad to say she still doesn’t have a sponsor. It was her name that made this 3-year-old girl stand out to me. Abigail means ‘Of the Father of joy’, and I’m sure Abigaelle will be a gift from God to bring joy to whoever sponsors her.

Giveaway: I tend to read my Bible on the computer, but I did once buy myself a chronological Bible. It’s 5 MP3 CDs, which I think play in most CD-players. I personally didn’t get on with it because it doesn’t announce which book of the Bible it’s going into, but if you just want to hear the whole Bible in date-order, it might be your thing. If you would like it, please just leave a comment and I’ll choose a winner by the end of June. Feel free to enter whichever country you live in.

That’s it from me for this month, but what about you? What are you taking away from May?

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What to say When Guilt Comes to Stay

I’m not going to put out the welcome mat or greet you with fresh flowers; what you leave behind is anything but sweet.
You leave mementos of the slipups I’ve made and the people I’ve hurt. You’re gut-wrenching – yes, like when you’ve cried all the tears you can cry and then you’re empty; that kind of gut-wrenching.
If you were a person, you’d be ugly – your face twisted into a permanent scowl, because the ones whose faces are radiant – they’re the ones with their focus in the right place.
You’re focus is in the wrong place. Your focus is on me, myself and I – the slipups I’ve made and the people I’ve hurt … There you go again.
So, what am I to do with you? I won’t greet you with fresh flowers or put out the welcome mat; I won’t even open the door. I’ll lift my eyes to the One who sees past my mistakes and looks at me with love. I’ll move my lips and pour out my heart to Him, and then you’ll be lifted off my shoulders.
My focus won’t be on me, myself and I – not anymore. I’ll be liberated! My sights will be on travelling – moving away from you, guilt, away from your grip that chained me to the past, and into the next thing God has for me.
Gut-wrenching, ugly, I-focused guilt, I’ll lift you off and I’ll travel. I’ll walk with God forever.

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To celebrate the release of her latest book, “You’re Loved no Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to be Perfect”, Holley’s giving us a chance to join her in writing about the topic. This week, she asks us to think what we’d say to guilt.

On Books, Children and Earthquakes

I love reading.  It’s taught me more about life than I would ever have learnt otherwise.  I heard just yesterday about the second major earthquake in Nepal in a matter of weeks, and it was the book “Little Princes” that helped me understand a bit about the region where these people are.  I heard reports of several feet of snow avalanching down from Everest, and I pictured staff from the orphanage trekking over rugged mountains, searching for families of trafficked children with a mind to eventually reunite them.  It was good to get the update that all children and staff were safe.

 

The earthquake 5 years ago with its epicentre in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, doesn’t make me think so much about the landscape.  Instead, it’s people who come to mind:  A family man trapped under the collapsed Hotel Montana, so far from his wife and sons; a pastor standing in the rubble that was his church, wearing a hat proclaiming “Jesus is my boss”; children still sleeping in tents years later, some without even a bed.  Hearing this week that there was a new Compassion-centre actually in Port-au-Prince, it was these tent-dwellers I thought of, happy to know there would be help for those families most-affected.

 

If you’d like to sponsor a child in this new centre, how about Abigaelle?  She was born on new year’s eve, 2011.  Mercifully, she wasn’t alive when the earthquake hit, but her parents would have been.  Nevertheless they chose to bring this little girl into the world, showing us all that Haiti still has a future, and she’s part of it.

 

If you’re too late to sponsor Abigaelle, you can search Compassion’s website for HA889 to find more children in Port-Au-Prince.