I blogged yesterday about where we are in our Ethiopian adoption process. As I shared yesterday, we are on the brink of bringing our child home from Ethiopia. We are “on deck” as they call it, meaning that at any moment we can get a phone call telling us who our child is and when we need to be in Ethiopia to meet them and continue the legal process of our adoption. The way it looks now, we will be taking 2 trips to Ethiopia and bringing our child home to our family by the end of 2013. It is hard to believe we are this close since beginning this journey back in February of 2010.
So far, God has provided in incredible ways and allowed us to raise almost $20,000 towards our adoption. For the last leg of the journey, we need to raise $9 – 15 thousand more. The range comes from us not knowing how much travel will be when we make our two trips to Ethiopia.
To accomplish this goal, we are partnering with an organization called Both Hands, who derives their name from James 1:27 which says:
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visitorphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
We have put a team of people together who will get sponsored, much like someone running a 5K. We are getting sponsored to work on the home of a widow. Mabel lives in Tucson, is 93 years old and we will be taking out 2 trees, replanting a tree, replacing her roof, doing some landscaping, and repainting her shutters and trim on her house. It is going to be a full day.
There are a couple of ways you can be involved:
Continue to pray for our family and this process. Pray for our team as we work on June 15th. Pray that we are able to raise all the money we need to complete our adoption.
Give to our project. Because of partnering with Both Hands and Lifesong, you can give here and it is tax deductible.
Spread the word. Through Facebook or Twitter, if you could simply post this: Help my friends adopt a child from Ethiopia and serve a widow http://bit.ly/12sMaWh.
I had my birthday recently and it got me to thinking about birthday’s and social media. Facebook has proven to be nice for a few things when it comes to birthday’s or anniversaries. Facebook tells us when these things happen. I don’t have to remember, write them down or keep track. It will just show up on my page. I can then write a quick, “Happy birthday” and be done.
This is nice and somewhat lazy.
If we’re honest, it makes us feel like we are checking something off and being a good friend. But it is missing something.
If you have ever bought a card for something, you maybe wrote something in it. If anything, you at least took 5 seconds to pick out a card that fit that person. It caused you to have some thought about what you gave them or said to them. Social media has taken that away.
One of the things I’ve started to do and here’s my challenge to you: when you write happy birthday to someone on Facebook, write a message to them on their wall. Tell them why you appreciate them or why they are special to you. If you don’t know them well enough to do that, skip the greeting all together. They won’t know you didn’t write them a message.
I’m watching the online conference Preach Better Sermons today and wanted to share some of the learnings I picked up. One of the speakers is Jon Acuff. Jon is the author of four books including The Wall Street Journal bestseller, Quitter. Acuff is also the author of the popular blog, Stuff Christians Like.net, which has more than 4.5 million readers worldwide. Jon’s latest book, Start, releases April 22, 2013. In it, Jon challenges and equips readers to get off the path to average and back onto the path to awesome.
Here are some things that jumped out from his segment:
You speak to be remembered or repeated.
The brain looks for ways to connect things they hear.
Know the challenges, thoughts, concerns of your audience.
Most speakers don’t connect our ideas in our talks.
One of the greatest fears communicators have is being honest and share their recent failures.
The greatest way to ruin a speech is ego.
Share your fears. Speakers should go first, which gives the audience the permission and privilege of going second.
If I hide my weakness, they won’t see my strength.
God is not handcuffed by our weaknesses or moved forward by our strengths.
To communicate something, you have to say something more than you think you do.
His emphasis on transitions and helping people stay with you was incredibly helpful.
I’m watching the online conference Preach Better Sermons today and wanted to share some of the learnings I picked up. One of the speakers is Brad Lomenick. Brad is lead visionary and president of Catalyst, one of America’s largest movements of young Christian leaders. Brad is also author of the newly released book, The Catalyst Leader: Eight Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker, from Thomas Nelson. Prior to running Catalyst, Brad spent five years involved in the growth of the nationally acclaimed Life@Work magazine and was a management consultant with Cornerstone Group, where he worked with a variety of companies, organizations, and nonprofit enterprises.
Here are some things that jumped out from his segment:
A great communicator moves people and inspire people.
If you are moving someone, then you are inspiring someone.
A great communicator understands their audience.
20-something’s want to feel like they are part of something bigger. They aren’t attracted to personalities as much as visions.
Younger leaders need opportunities to achieve earlier in their career. The church planting movement is a testament to that.
If you can’t give younger leaders responsibility, they’ll leave the organization.