Why You Should Sponsor A Child

By the time your done reading this blog, at least 150 children around the world will have died due to poverty.

(According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day because they lack the means to afford proper care).

Their deaths are preventable.

Organizations like the one I work for (Expect Hope) make it their mission to rescue children from poverty and provide them with food, clothing, shelter, access to healthcare, and most importantly, love.

But WHY does your sponsorship matter?

Well, for one, not every country is the United States. Many countries do not have the means to help orphaned children, so many of them end up on the streets, naked and begging for food.

Many of those same children are targeted by terrorist groups like ISIS or Abu Sayyaf who promise them the same things Expect Hope does, but asks them to pay a hefty price; psychological abuse and, at times, sacrificing themselves for the terrorist groups cause.

There is no Child Protective Services to call in many third world countries. There is no Medicaid, no Free or Reduced Lunch, and sometimes, there isn’t even an option for free “public school”.

There are children right at this moment, walking along the streets naked and barefoot, with tummies rumbling, lacking ONE thing above all else; HOPE.

You could bring HOPE to a child today. You can change a life forever.

Some may say “well, $35 a month is a big ask”, but is it really?

My HULU subscription costs more than that.

Taking my family of four to Chipotle just once a month costs more than that.

Buying three new shirts at Ross costs more than that.

The truth is $35 equals to about $1.17 a day. We spend more than that on Starbucks, McDonalds, or whatever brand’s coffee you enjoy.

Think about that. Skipping Starbucks for 8-9 days a month will literally rescue an orphan from property and give them HOPE.

You can literally be someone’s hero for just $35 a month.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a child, visit Expect Hope today and sign up to sponsor. Still have questions? Comment below and I’ll do my best to get them.

Somethings you just don’t have to pray for.

Jesus said when you care for the least of these, you cared for Him.

Will you?

Hope

I’ve always been attracted to the concept of justice.

Before I was saved, I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant for my life. I simply knew things weren’t fair in this world and justice was lacking. I thought becoming a lawyer would help me become a part of the solution. It had been my dream since I was a kid to become a lawyer and help people. Through working at several law firms, God allowed me to realize He kept me away from that path for a reason.

And isn’t that always the case? Even some of most passionate dreams aren’t good for us. Romans 8:28 promises us that “… all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Everything works for our good, even the denial of some of our dreams. Even when the things we desire most never come to fruition.

Can I be honest? I am honest to a fault. That doesn’t mean I never lie (I’ve lied many times in my life, to myself and to others). What it does mean is that I can’t live a lie for too long. I can’t look myself in the mirror, knowing I am consistently lying about something, and continue to do so for too long before I eventually either walk away from everything and everyone associated with that lie or tell the truth, despite any and all consequences.

And that’s why I haven’t written in a blog in a while. I couldn’t honestly write to others, on a blog called “The Glass House Gospel” without acknowledging that I had closed the curtains on my own proverbial glass windows, unwilling to voice what was truly on my heart about my own doubts, questions, and struggles.

No, I didn’t walk away from the faith. On the contrary; Christ is my Lord, whether I am testifying to it joyfully or sobbing, barely able to whisper it out loud. That will never change. Whether I have much and am celebrating or have very little and I am struggling, Christ is always Lord. 

So, no, as I am today, I can not sit here and tell you my heart is full of overflowing love and faith. I struggle with loving unconditionally. I don’t want to be hurt anymore, so I withhold. My heart wants to love and embrace others fully, but I have been hurt so many times, it is hard to let go. I struggle with trust. So many people have broken my trust throughout the years, it’s hard to look at someone and not think “you will eventually betray me, so what’s the point?”

But there is one thing God has consistently provided; HOPE. 

This is where God found me back in April 2010. My losses were numerous. I had tried everything. Church didn’t work. Walking away from God didn’t work either. This “Christian” didn’t know where to turn. I truly felt in my heart, with the utmost intensity, the words of Solomon when he wrote “Absolute futility. Everything is futile” (Ecclesiastes 1:1).

It was there, in that darkness, that God found me. He brought me out of it all and, even surrounded by loss, I felt at peace. Everything was no longer loss. Now, everything was filled with an abundance of hope.

And somewhere along the line, I lost that tangible hope. But God is still faithful. 

Am I that person who is full of hope, love, and trust that I once was at 20 years old? No, I would be lying if I said that. But I am also wiser. I don’t see through such a small lens. I am not intensely angry at brothers and sisters in the faith who I disagree with. I am not so quick to judge others as I once was. I am not as self-righteous. I am not as prideful as I was. I now understand anyone can fall in sin, not just the “bad Christians”.

God is slowly working on different areas of my life. Some of the most painful moments of walk with Christ have been moments of God prying my hands from idols I wanted to worship in His place. And sometimes, it took a deep wound to get me to finally let go of certain idols. Some of those wounds still haven’t healed fully. Perhaps they never really will (not on this side of eternity, anyway). Maybe, like Paul, God has allowed a few thorns in my flesh to stick around so that I will never cling to those idols again. Maybe they are meant to lead me to the same place they led Paul to, so that I would believe fully the very same thing he did; His grace is sufficient. His power is perfected in weakness. 

I am wretched. I am an adulteress, constantly looking toward others things for fulfillment and meaning.

But God? He is perfect. He is righteous. He is holy. He is beauty. He is completion. He is justice. He is grace. He is mercy. He is love.

HE IS HOPE.

There is hope. As long as God reigns, as long as Christ lives, there is hope.

There is hope. 

God has not left us. It’s not over. 

Three People Who Have Influenced My Faith

For those who may not know my testimony, I grew up with a lot of religion and little to no Jesus. Because of this, my life before conversion was a pendulum, sometimes swinging towards religion (trying my best to be good enough for God), other times swinging away (when that didn’t work, because it never does, I disowned Christianity and lived like God wasn’t real).

After conversion, God brought three prominent people into my life. While I don’t know any of these people personally, they have all had a great impact on my walk with God, so I would love to share them with you.

      1. Lecrae:
        lecrae_h_2016
        I was introduced to Lecrae’s music through a Christian friend of mine (who actually ended up playing a role in my salvation). Though I wasn’t saved when I was first introduced to him, “Rebel” ended up being one of the first albums I got after my conversion. Hungry to learn anything I could about God, I listened to Lecrae’s music, taking in everything he was saying and searching the Bible for confirmation. When I first learned about reformed theology, I was hesitant to accept it as truth UNTIL I noticed Lecrae rapped about the very doctrines I was questioning. He is part of the reason I was open to learning about reformed theology. Which leads me to my second person…
      2. Matt Chandler:
        matt-chandler
        While I’ve listened to many different teachers for a while that I love (like John Piper, Francis Chan, David Platt, etc), God has always used Matt Chandler (and by association, The Village Church) greatly in my life. Remember my struggle with reformed doctrine? The main reason I gave it a shot was because of Matt Chandler. Doctrine aside, his authenticity and commitment to truth made him my favorite pastor (if one can have such a thing) a while ago. For those looking for truly gospel-centered sermons, I would recommend listening to him and those at The Village Church.
      3. Jackie Hill-Perry:
        jennerjackie4
        Finally, there is Jackie. Before learning about her, I had millions of questions about what it means to be a gospel-centered woman. At my church, most women fit into the stereotype of the “Christian woman”. While that isn’t bad at all, it was a stereotype I didn’t fit into, so I always felt a bit out-of-place. I didn’t like chocolate, didn’t want to drink tea and “brunch”, and certainly didn’t want to sit and do my nails when I could be reading a book and learning about theology. Then I found out about Jackie. Here was a woman, bold in who God made her, preaching truth without violating God’s law about women teaching. Because of Jackie, I learned it was okay to be who God made me; a smart woman who loves to learn and loves to teach. She proved to me that femininity doesn’t necessarily mean “dresses and heels” and she cemented the idea that “authenticity is key”.

Those are my three. What about you? What three brothers and sisters in the faith have influenced you the most? Let me know in the comments.

Grace & Peace.