Saturday, January 30, 2010

A lesson in citrus

As I was making dinner tonight for my dear friend, Mandy, who just had a baby, I was confronted with one of my own inadequacies. I do not know how to properly cut citrus. You may find yourself in the same unfortunate predicament as me, and perhaps it's never bothered you. Perhaps you don't even realize that you are a below average citrus cutter. But it is a shameful state for someone who grew up in a "Citrus Family."

You see, my grandfather had a huge lot of land and grew all types of citrus. Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, name it. I have, on multiple occasions as a child, climbed a tall ladder to pick various types of fruit when I would visit him in Florida. You may not know that it's important to twist the orange off the tree instead of just pull it or you may leave part of the orange still on the branch. You may not know that citrus ripens in the winter. You may not know that if you are making fresh squeezed orange juice you should not squeeze the orange too tight or it will taste bitter. You may not know these things, but I do because I grew up in a Citrus Family.

To further prove my point: If you have never seen my father eat a grapefruit, you have missed out on one of the most entertaining natural phenomena in the world. With his grapefruit sliced in half and lightly salted, he will attack and devour that thing in 30 seconds or less. He does not look up. He does not breathe. And you might lose a finger if you get to close. That man is serious about his citrus!

Most years growing up we would get an enormous load of oranges from my grandparents. Each Christmas morning we would all enjoy a bowl of freshly cut oranges with our Christmas brunch. There is an art-form to cutting citrus that I observed each year, but somehow never caught on. A truly gifted citrus-cutter can peel an orange in one smooth circular motion taking off all of the rind, none of the pulp, and leave a beautiful spiral of orange peel. After this, the gifted ones can go in and out in between each segment of the orange, cutting out the flesh and leaving behind the pulp. This motion is fluid and fast and produces perfect bite sized pieces of oranges that burst with flavor in your mouth. This was the ritual that I would watch year after year as my grandmother, dad, mom, and sister would huddle around the kitchen sink.

But, alas, as I worked diligently today to bless my dear friend, my citrus salad did not turn out so beautiful. I didn't get the fluid motion down and resorted to using my fingers to pull out the pulp. This resulted in "shredded grapefruit" instead of segmented grapefruit. You could literally drink the grapefruit through a straw the pieces are so small. I did not even attempt the process with the oranges and just cut them in chunks, pulp and all. A total disgrace.

So, my dear Mandy, please forgive my inadequacies and I hope you are still able to enjoy the salad. I'll bring some straws just in case!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dossier is in the Mail!!!

Not sure if you could hear me squeal from where you are, but we finally got our completed dossier in the mail yesterday!!! All of the paperwork for the adoption is done (until we actually get to Ethiopia)! Our adoption agency should be receiving the packet, which was literally an inch and a half thick, on Monday which they will meticulously review and hopefully ship off to Ethiopia next Friday, February 5.

If everything follows the timeline that I have received, we should probably receive our child's photo and name in about 3-4 months and then travel to get him in another month or two! PLEASE continue to pray with us that we could go get him by this summer. We don't want to get stuck waiting for the courts to close/reopen this Fall.

So, what now? Well, we are getting our apartment ready for our newest addition. We sold all of Caedmon's furniture to make room for bunk beds! Caedmon is SOOOOOO excited to get bunk beds and to have a brother to share them with. It's like a sleep over every night! We ordered the new furniture and I'll post some pictures once we get them set up.

The other thing I am working on is raising money. We mailed off a check for $7,500 yesterday. That was painful. There are several agencies out there that provide partial grants for families wanting to adopt. So I am filling out applications, gathering references, and making lots of trips to the post office. I feel like I'm back in high school applying for endless college scholarships! We are also going to open an account through one of these organizations where our friends and family can make a tax deductible donation. The account has not been opened yet, but if you are interested just let me know and I can get you more info.

Thanks for praying with us throughout this journey!!! Such joy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday Rewind

Yesterday, Andy wrapped up our series "The Ghost" with a final message about the POWER of the Holy Spirit. Wouldn't we all love to live in the POWER of the Holy Spirit? Don't you ever read the book of Acts and get frustrated because the Christian church today (and our personal lives) seem to lack the power that early church experienced? Our lives should look different because the Spirit of God lives in us, but all too often they don't. We find ourselves living self-empowered lives instead of Spirit-empowered lives.

The central point of Andy's message was that the Spirit-empowered life involves WAITING and YIELDING while the self-empowered life involves FORCING and RESISTING.

In essence, God wants us to wait, but we try to force things to happen. He's got His foot on the break, but we're trying to step on the accelerator.

Or, God wants us to take action and yield to His prompting, but we resist and choose to delay. He's got his foot on the gas but we're slamming on the brake.

Either scenario leads to us living in our own power instead of the power of the Holy Spirit.

For me personally, I can think of areas in my life on both sides of the equation. For example, I would one day love to have a ministry to all of the ladies at our church. I don't know exactly what that will look like, but it's something that I've had in my heart for quite some time. I think one day it will happen, but right now I'm getting a "Wait" from the Holy Spirit. If I tried to force it, we could still probably pull something together. But it would likely have a lot of unnecessary difficulty and hardship attached.

On the other hand, Andy and I have been wanting to adopt since the summer after we got married. Almost 7 years of wait, wait, wait. This past October, Andy felt like he got the "Go for it" from the Holy Spirit, so that's exactly what we are doing. This adoption process has been a source of joy for us as a family and we feel confident that God will continue to provide for us along the way.

What area in your life is the Holy Spirit prompting you to wait? Where is He saying, "Go for it"?

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Galatians 5:25

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ode To Trader Joe's

Dear Trader Joe's,

I feel like our relationship got off to a bad start. I mean, let's be honest, it was not love at first sight. Everyone talked about you like you are so wonderful, but the first time I met you I was not too impressed. (I'm sorry to be harsh. Honesty is the foundation of every relationship.) I came to you with some very specific needs to be met, and you were unable to meet them. I left our first meeting disappointed and frustrated by your inadequacies.

However, in light of our more recent encounters, I just wanted to tell you that my opinion of you has changed. I've learned that I can't come to you with a list of needs, but rather to seek an experience of being delightfully surprised by all of the unique qualities and attributes that other grocery stores simply can't offer. Who else welcomes me with music that makes me want to dance, cashiers who actually are dancing, and opportunities to win a $25 gift card simply for sporting my own bag? Talk about a friend with benefits! I think this relationship is really beneficial for my son as well. He loves how you give him a dozen stickers every time we visit. (You really know how to win a woman's heart.)

So, after much consideration, I have joined the ranks of those who think you are wonderful. I promise to always to embrace you for who you are instead of trying to fit you into some mold that I want you to be. I hope that are relationship continues to grow and blossom!

Stacie Wood

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Late-Breaking News from David & Goliath

In a surprising turn of events, new evidence supports that there is more to learn about the relationship between David & Goliath. As 3 year old Caedmon and his imaginative mother were playing yesterday, Caedmon took on the role of Goliath while his mother played David. This assignment of roles is only logical when you consider their comparative size. Goliath (Caedmon) called David (his mother) on his cell phone (a means of communication only recently added to the story). The following conversation unfolded:

Goliath: David, I'm going to come over to your house.

David: No. You can't. You're an enemy of God.

Goliath: Yes, I can.

David: If you come over to my house, I will have to kill you with my sling.

Goliath: Ummm, no, that doesn't sound too good. How 'bout we go to Chuck-E-Cheese instead?

Who knew? I would have never pegged Goliath as a fan of Chuck-E-Cheese. But, this just serves to remind us that there is always a story behind the story.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Teachable Moment With Caedmon

I've been doing a little cleaning out and organizing around here lately. Some of the things that needed to go were the million stuffed animals cluttering Caedmon's room. I let him pick out his top 10 and told him we would give the rest to another kiddo who would love them and take care of them. He was a little resistant, but overall I thought he handled it really well.

Then, yesterday as we drove home from the Little Gym, Caedmon started asking for his "Little Lamb". (Little Lamb, unfortunately, did not make it into the Top 10 finalists.) I asked Caedmon if Little Lamb was one of the ones he kept or gave away. He insisted that he had kept it, but when we got home to look for him, alas, Little Lamb was not here. This brought forth a unceasing fountain of tears and much sadness for Caedmon.

It seems small. Almost rediculous. But Caedmon was truly sad and I wanted to seize the teachable moment.

I sat down on the floor with Caedmon and told him about a time when someone had given me some money to buy a present for myself. I was so happy to have the money and looking forward to buying myself something special with it. But one Sunday I was at church and I felt like God wanted me to give Him all of my money. There were some people that our church was going to help and they really needed the money much more than I did. I told Caedmon I was a little bit sad to give all of the money away because that meant that I couldn't buy a present for myself.

At this point in the story Caedmon, who had stopped crying and was intently listening, bursts into tears again and says, "I'm saaaaaad, toooooooooo! I waaaaaant my Little Lamb!"

I told him that I understood that he was sad because that's how I felt, too. "But," I told him, "when I prayed to Jesus and told him that I was sad, Jesus reminded me that when I gave the money to those people, I was really giving it to Him! Jesus was so proud of me and it made Him happy. So that made me happy, too!"

I'm not sure how much of this Caedmon was able to process, but it really did seem to aleviate the sadness for the time being. It was just a reminder to me that we have to be intentional as parents to build these character traits into our kids at a young age by seizing each teachable moment. Children have the potential to be rediculously selfish or extravagently generous. (So do adults!) We have to model the way for them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daniel Fast ideas

Today is Day 9 of our 21 Day Daniel Fast. The first time Andy & I did a Daniel Fast, we ate nothing but salad and soups. It felt like the eternal fast! We just didn't realize there were other options out there. This time I feel a lot more freedom because of all the ideas that I've gathered from other people. I wanted to pass a few a long to you in case you feel stuck in a rut!

Last night for dinner I made 100% whole wheat spaghetti with organic spaghetti sauce (make sure you read the label on the sauce to make sure there's no sugar or other "additives"). I added a fruit salad and it was pretty filling.

Cinnamon Raisin Ezekial Bread (in the frozen food section) is delicious for breakfast when you toast it and put some unsweetened applesauce on top.

Something pretty simple that I've done a couple times is to put avocado, black beans, and brown rice in a corn tortilla. You could also add some corn and a little homemade salsa.
If you have to eat out, a salad is always a good option, but most dressings have stuff in them that aren't on our menu. A simple solution is just to take your own dressing. You could make one using lime, cilantro, and honey or here is a simple Herb Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, ½ tsp. dried basil, 1 tsp. oregano, ¼ tsp sea salt, ¼ cup parsley mixed with some Italian seasoning (that has no salt), 1 cup olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves. Mix well. This is light and fresh on any veggies.
I found some great snacks at Trader Joe's. They have lots of nuts, dried fruits, and trail mix options that are "Daniel Fast Friendly". Just watch out for added sweeteners. Also, there are some tortilla chips there made of soy and flaxseed (I know, it sounds gross). They are actually really good and go great with the Vegetarian Chili I posted about last week.

I haven't actually tried this recipe below yet, but my friend sent it to me and I thought it looked good.

Susan's Black Bean & Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers Recipe

1 qt 100% Vegetable or Tomato Juice
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 med green onions (chopped)
¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
2-3 large bell peppers (cut in half lengthwise and deseeded)

Combine all ingredients except juice and bell peppers in bowl and mix well. Place peppers in glass dish and stuff with mixture. Pour juice over peppers and plenty of excess in the dish. Cover and bake in oven on 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Enjoy!
And one last thing...let's remember that the real emphasis of this fast is prayer and seeking Christ. Let's pray expectantly for a spiritual awakening in our midst and a movement of God like we've never experienced!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Rewind

Yesterday was an incredible day at South Bay! Andy continued in the 3rd week of our message series called "The Ghost" with a message about spiritual gifts. He taught from the book of Esther (which was really cool because I don't think I've ever heard a message about spiritual gifts from the book of Esther). His emphasis was that God has given each of us something...a position, a talent, a passion, an interest, a resource...and it is our great opportunity to get to use that for the glory of God.

My favorite quote was, "The greatest privelege you could ever have is to yield your life to God and let him use your gift." There is nothing that compares to knowing that God has used your life to change someone else's life. We each have that potential inside of us...we just have to choose to use the gift we've been given.

At the end of the service, Andy gave the opportunity for people to sign up to join one of our volunteer teams. We had about 50 new people commit to using their gifts to serve Christ yesterday! Andy said to everyone, "This is not about what we want FROM you. This is about what we want FOR you!"

What a privelege it is to get to invest your life into something bigger than you are! Something that really matters. Something that changes peoples lives, not just for this life, but for all of eternity. That is a vision worth sacrificing for!!!

One other highlight was that South Bay took up a special offering for a missionary who lives in Haiti and is helping with the relief efforts. We will be sending him a check for over $1500. Thanks for all of you who contributed toward that!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Praying for Our Adoption

I would like to ask you if you would please join me in prayer over the timing of our adoption. If you don't want all the details, just skip to the bottom of the post for the specific prayer request. Here's an update:

Step 1: Immigration
Our homestudy FINALLY got sent to USCIS (Immigration) to receive approval for an immigrant visa. The approval process can take up to 6 weeks, but they have already processed all of our other paperwork and were just waiting on our homestudy for the approval. So we are hoping to receive our approval letter from USCIS within the next week or two. This is the final document we need to complete our dossier.

Step 2: Certification
Most of the documents for the dossier require notarization. In order to verify that the person who notarized our documents is in fact a true notary, the dossier must be "certified" by the California Secretary of State. So when we receive our approval letter from immigration, we will take our dossier to Sacremento to get it certified.

Step 3: Dossier Review & Approval
We will then mail our dossier to America World (our adoption agency). They will review the documents and, if everything is in order, will ship it to Ethiopia in about a week after receiving it. That will be our DTE date (Dossier To Ethiopia).

Step 4: Waiting for Referral
For the age/gender child we have requested (30 months or younger boy) the wait time for a referral is quite short. Only 3-4 months. (FYI, the wait time in China right now is about 40 months!) That is when we will receive his name, picture, and any medical information they know about him.

Step 5: Waiting to Travel
From the time we accept the referral to the time we travel, several things must take place. We have to receive a court date (6-8 weeks), pass court (hopefully the first time), have the paperwork translated (2 weeks), and then receive an appointment to get our child's visa. The time between the referral and actually traveling to get our son will likely be 2.5 to 3.5 months.

If everything goes extremely smoothly with no delays or interruptions, we could possibly travel as soon as June to get our son! However, adoptive parents are taught to expect delays in the process so it's really hard to tell.

So here is my prayer request:
Please pray that God would Sovereignly allow us to travel to get our son sometime this summer. There are several reasons for this:
  • I really want to get him home as soon as possible.
  • Summer is naturally a more relaxed time for church life and Andy's job. The fall is probably the busiest/ most important time of the year in the life of our ministry. It would be best for Andy if we could get our son before August so that he doesn't have to take two weeks off of work during the busiest season of the year.
  • The Ethiopian courts close every year during the fall. It's never exactly the same dates or length of time, but during that time adoptions cannot be processed. So if we don't pass court and travel this summer, we could end up waiting several extra months simply because the courts are closed. It would be very frustrating to have a picture of my son in my hand, but know there is nothing I can do to bring him home because the courts are closed.
I really appreciate you joining me in prayer over this! And I'm so thankful to know that I worship a God who hears the prayers of His people! (The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vegetarian Chili

Anyone else out there enjoying a "Detox Headache"? I'm doing fine this morning, but yesterday I had a headache and a case of the grumpy's! Both served as good reminders of my need for prayer. By the way, South Bay has put together a great prayer guide to lead you in your times of prayer. It really helps my mind to stay focused and to not just pray for the same two or three things over and over again. If you'd like to download and print off a copy, click here.

This recipe for Vegetarian Chili came from Susan Gregory's resource, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About The Daniel Fast". It is really tasty and quite filling. Click here to go to her website for more recipes and Daniel Fast info.

Vegetarian Chili recipe:

2 medium-sized green peppers, chopped

1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
2 tablespoons salad oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground red peppers
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 16 oz. cans tomatoes (juice and all)
2 16 oz. cans pinto beans (juice and all)
2 16 oz. cans black beans (juice and all)
1 4 oz. can mild green chilies
1 4 oz. can of tomato paste

Chop and sauté in oil the peppers and onions. Add the sliced squashes, chili powder, salt, ground red peppers, and corn. When all the vegetables are soft but still firm, add the tomatoes, all the beans, the green chilies, and the tomato paste. Stir until just blended. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Yield: 6 generous servings

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Menu ideas for Daniel Fast

Welcome to the "Daniel Fast"! For those of you who do not attend South Bay Church, our church is embarking on a 21 day journey of fasting a prayer. Our goal is to seek God more intently and to ready ourselves for an awesome movement of His Spirit in our midst. We are praying that 2010 will be a year of lives changed, miracles witnessed, power unleashed, and a movement unfolding! None of that will take place without God's blessing.

The idea of a Daniel Fast is taken from the Bible in Daniel 1 and 10. The Bible does not specifically outline what foods Daniel does and does not eat, so there are lots of different interpretations as to what types of food are acceptable. For me, I am choosing to abstain from all meat and animal products, sugar, caffiene, and food with additives.

We have to be careful not to begin focusing on the "food" element of the fast so much that we miss the most important thing: prayer and seeking God. Each person participating in the fast should clearly define the boundaries that they will set for themselves regarding food and then stick to it. Another thing to consider when planning out what to eat is the fact that this is a fast. It's okay if you have to feel hungry sometimes or if you don't really like everything you're eating. All of those feelings should be reminders of WHY we are doing this fast and draw us to prayer.

With that in mind, I'd like to use my blog over the next 3 weeks to provide encouragement and ideas for food for those who are participating with me in this fast.

Here's what I ate Day 1 of the Daniel Fast:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with soymilk and raisins

Lunch: 2 rice cakes (with no-salt) covered with organic peanut butter and sliced banana on top. Then I drizzled a little honey over them.
I also drank a smoothie:
1/2 cup soy milk,
1/2 cup 100% juice,
1/2 cup frozen strawberries,
1/2 cup frozen peaches,
1/2 cup of ice

Dinner: Black bean soup and fruit salad (sliced strawberries and blueberries)

Black bean soup recipe:
3 cans of organic black beans
2 cans of organic diced tomatoes
chopped onion
chopped cilantro
small amount of chopped jalepeno
enough vegetable stock to make it the consistency you want
a dash of sea salt

Saute the onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil. Then add the rest of the ingredients and heat until warm. It was really good by itself. I think I may try it over a baked potato as well.

After dinner I enjoyed a cup of herbal tea with a little honey.

Hope this helps!! Happy fasting!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday Rewind

Yesterday was possibly the best service we've ever had at South Bay Church. The Spirit of God was powerfully at work. We jumped from 170 people in attendance last week to 290 people yesterday. There were about 20 first time guest and, most exciting, 7 people indicated a decision to follow Christ!

Andy hit a home run in this second week of our series "The Ghost". His message was about being filled with the Holy Spirit. The highlight of the message for me was when he said there is a war being waged between our flesh and the Spirit of God who lives in us. We make the choice whether to "drink" from our flesh or to "drink" from the Spirit. Everytime we say "Yes" to God, make the most of each opportunity, or yield to the prompting of the Spirit we are, in essence, taking a sip of the Spirit. If we do that often enough, we will continually be filled with the Spirit. If, on the other hand, we continue to gratify or flesh and sinful desires, we will be full of self and the promptings of the Spirit become harder and harder to hear.

Over the next 21 days we are praying for a fresh awakening of the Spirit of God in our midst. Andy challenged our church to join together in a season of prayer and fasting as we anticipate all that God wants to do in our lives and through South Bay Church in 2010. For more information on this prayer and fast, click here. I will also be posting recipe ideas and updates on my blog, so keep checking back. Let me know if you're participating and if you have any good food ideas to share.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


This is a picture of God's grace to me yesterday as Caedmon and I made the twelve hour trip from South Carolina back home to California.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Back to Reality; Back to Life

Tomorrow Caedmon and I will be flying back to California after spending 14 days in South Carolina. It has been such a nice reprieve from reality with minimal cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, appointments, and errands. I've been able to enjoy visiting with each of my family members, eating my mom's cooking and at some favorite SC restaurants, and doing special things with my mom and Caedmon. We spent one morning at the library, another at a children's museum, and another at Monkey Joe's (which has lots of bounce houses). It has felt like vacation for me!

I am bracing myself for the 12 hours of travel that Caedmon and I will get to enjoy tomorrow. I wonder if we'll get "body scanned" or have to take off half of our clothes to get through security. As long as I can avoid the strip search, I think I'll be okay. I'm also looking forward to having a jetlagged child who may quite possibly be waking up at 4:30 AM for the next week. If that happens, I'll be sure to start sending "Good Morning" text messages to all my friends in CA so they can enjoy the morning with me.

Saying goodbye is always sad, but I have a lot that I'm looking forward to back in California in 2010. And, I mean, how hard can it really be to have to go home to beautiful California? I love where I live and I feel so blessed to be called by God to serve there!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Glimpse at our Holidays

Sorry for my absence from the blog during the holiday season.
Here's a glimpse at what we were up to!

South Bay's 1st Ever Christmas Eve Service!

Baking Ginger Bread cookies

Can't catch me, I'm the Ginger Bread Man

Our "attempt" at a ginger bread choo choo train

Christmas morning

Lots of snuggle time

Traveled to SC to be with my family on Dec 26th.
This is one of my nephews, Jonathan.
Happy New Year!

BTW, the tie is a joke not a fashion statement.

Caedmon and JJ were the best of friends

"Girls Lunch" with my mom and sisters

Mighty Warrior JJ & Fireman Caedmon
to the Rescue!

Caedmon wants a brother sooooo badly. I heard him telling Jonathan
over and over, "JJ, you're my brother." I can hardly wait to get "Flash"
here from Ethiopia. I think Caedmon will be a great big brother.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Parenting Insights

I've been listening to a ton of "Parenting" materials lately. I have the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp on CD since I tend to be able to find more time to listen to things than to sit down and read. I love this book and would highly recommend it to parents with kids at all stages of life. It teaches parents how to instruct the heart of their child instead of only focusing on outward behaviors.

One insight that really encouraged me yesterday was the clarification of two aspects of child rearing that determine what kind of kid my child will turn out to be: 1- Shaping Influences, and 2- Godward Orientation.

Shaping Influences are, for the most part, determined by the parents. They include everything from the way the family handles conflict or failure to the family's values, roles, history and structure. So much of the parenting material that I've read or listened to focuses almost 100% on these shaping influences. Putting such a strong emphasis on these shaping influences has left me feeling like if I create just the right environment for my kids, then they'll turn out great. But if my kids don't turn out great, it must be because something was wrong with the environment I tried to create. This mindset has left me feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and quite frustrated.

Tedd Tripp adds another equally important aspect to his teaching which he refers to as Godward Orientation. I won't take the time to explain all he means by that (b/c I want you to read the book!), but in essence it means that the child is responsible for how he responds to the shaping influences in his life. A parent could provide all the right shaping influences and still have a child who rebels against them.

Shaping influences are of huge importance and parents should put a great deal of thought and planning into this for their children. But children are born with a will and a sinful nature, and they must choose how they will respond to the parenting that they receive.

For me, this was a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders. It reminded me that I can't control Caedmon's responses. I can do lots of great things to shape him, but parenting is not a scientific formula with a consistent, predictable outcome. The most important thing I can do for Caedmon is pray that God would give him a heart to know Him, love Him, and respond to the circumstances in his life in a way that honors Him.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Power to Bless

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is within your power to act.
                                         Proverbs 3:27

Today as I was reading my Bible, I came across the verse above. It made me think, "Who in my life is deserving of something good? Who do I have the "power" to bless?"

I began thinking of different individuals at South Bay Church...leaders and volunteers who invest so much into the ministry there. I would love to do something to bless each of them! Then I started trying to think of other people, those I don't yet know, who are making a difference in our community. So, I went online to try find some organizations in Santa Clara County who are blessing our community. I think it would be so cool if my small group could do something this Spring to serve one of these organizations. These are the ones I've discovered so far:
  • The Family Giving Tree
  • Sobrato Family Living Center
  • Sacred Heart Communtiy Service
  • Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen
  • City Teams
I would love to hear any feedback on these organizations or others in our community that I don't know about yet, so please leave a comment. As Christians, we should constantly be looking for ways that we can love and serve those around us with the love of Jesus Christ. God has blessed my life so much and I want to be a conduit of His blessings into other peoples lives as well! Who do you have the power to bless today?