I haven't been posting lately, because I've been busy and have not been particularly inspired about much of anything. Fall is actually a pretty rough time of year for me, and while there are numerous blessings that come with it, I still have not been able to figure out how to connect with God, connect with people, and balance my life in a way that is healthy during this lovely autumn season. However, having gone through this several times before, I think I am starting to see the signs earlier and recognize that I need to focus on things and people outside of myself to truly remain "Alive, Radiant, & Free" during this time of year.
I've been reading "God Came Near" by Max Lucado...and loving it! And I've also been drawn back to my passion for showing people the bright and permeating love of Christ that has been provided to us to set us free! In revisiting this topic, I have been encouraged as Jesus shows me anew the intimately personal yet infinitely boundless love that He has for me. I've also been realizing how much of this freedom stuff requires a paradoxical balance between the grace of God and my own personal responsibility.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by the yoke of slavery."
Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."
Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message)
Here are some ways that I am trying to fill my mind and my hands and our home with excellent and freeing things.
One of my co-workers recently welcomed a new daughter-in-law into his life, and at the center of her work and passion is Freedom 424. I think she and I would really get along and I would love to see her branch out and bring some of her work to Indiana. I'm in the process of contacting her to see what we can do to help. Check out the video of her work...It's just a few minutes long, but I promise you will be inspired by what someone my age(ish) can accomplish with creativity, passion, and the Holy Spirit. Christine went to Thailand (among other places) and was overwhelmed by the bondage that young girls in the red light district faced there. After talking with her father, they realized that it would cost $24 to "buy" one of these girls for a night, in which they are able to share the love of Christ with them and give them opportunities to get out of their current situation. It is truly touching and something that I would like to get involved in.
On a similar note, I'll be hosting a party at my house in November for Women at Risk International. You know those Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Premier, etc. parties you can host at your house? Well, unlike those parties, the host does not get any special gifts or discounts. BUT...we get to have a good time and help women caught up in human trafficking around the world. WARInternational is Christian non-profit organization based in Michigan and has so many practical ways that you can help change the world from your living room available on their website. One of those ways is hosting a party in which you sell goods made all over the world by women who have been rescue from the sex slave trade or are at risk of entering into it. Check it out and let me know if you'd like to come!