Archive for the ‘generosity’ Category

1,000,000 Children Sponsored

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Just read this over at Shaun Groves Shlog.  Compassion International has announced that they now have reached 1,000,000 children being sponsored.  All I can say is, “Awesome!”

Join Me for 40 Days of Water

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Today marks the start of the 40 Days of Water.  Water will be my only beverage for the next 40 days with the goal being to raise money that I would have spent on juice and coffee to drill clean water wells in Africa.  I’m joining forces with many people from all over the world that are collaborating with Blood:Water Mission to make it possible for others to have access to life giving, clean water.

Want to join me?  It’s easy!  Keep track of the money that you would have spent for the next 40 days on coffee, soda, juice, beer, wine, whatever and total it all up on April 9th.  That is the day that this all wraps up.  Then write a check for what you would have spent on those beverages and send it to Blood:Water Mission.  

You too, can play a vital role in helping many others gain the ability to have clean water.  So are you up for it?

40 Days of Water

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We have the gift of choice:  Freedom to choose on any given day what clothes we will wear, what work we will do, what food we will eat and what we will drink.  In nearly a third of the world injustice threatens to take away these basic kinds of choices that we take for granted.  In these places a woman can choose to drink the unclean river water or the unclean puddle water.  She can choose to walk once for four hours to get water or walk twice for eight hours to get more water.  She can choose to give her children something to drink that she knows may make them sick or she can give them nothing at all.  She can persist or give up.  You can help give her a real choice.

I challenge you to join me to make Water your ONLY beverage for 40 DAYS starting MARCH 1 and ending APRIL 9 in conjunction with the Lenten Season and World Water Day (Mar. 22).  Gather your friends and join in solidarity with our African brothers and sisters in an effort to provide clean water for communities in need.  As you do so, keep track of what money you would have typically spent on other drinks throughout the day and save that money.  At the end of 40 days donate what you saved to Blood:Water.  Imagine, if you saved $5 a day just by cutting out a visit to your local bar or barista, then you’d save $200 in 40 days.  That’s enough to provide clean water for 200 people for an entire year!

So ditch the morning coffee and o.j., leave out the lunchtime soda, and cancel the evening beverage. You won’t need an ark for this 40 Days of Water, but you will need a little self-discipline.  I know you can do it, because you know who you’re doing it for.  Make the choice.  Visit bloodwatermission.com/40days to find out more, download materials, and get started.

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How Long Can You Hold It Together?

Anne Jackson posted this on her blog the other day.  She made it to 1:56.  I lost it around 1:40.  Such a powerful video.  One that I can’t watch and then walk away from.  This is why I so desire to see clean water wells drilled in Rwanda.  Clean water won’t solve some of the issues mentioned in this video but it will increase the quality of life for thousands.

How long can you hold it together watching this story?  May you be broken and moved to action…

An Even Greater Impact

Over the past two years we have been working hard at raising awareness of the vast need for clean water wells in Rwanda, Africa.  The youth that I pastor at Impact and around the Northern New England District have raised over $20,000.00 to drill two clean water wells.  This is reason to celebrate alone!  Teenagers have done this.  Today we have another reason to celebrate.

We at Grace Capital Church have finished up our capital stewardship campaign to expand our facility to make room for an ever growing youth & children’s ministry.  Our church council, pastors & campaign team have decided to tithe on the total amount that is raised through our Greater Impact Campaign.  Well, the total is in:   

$1,799,743.00

Now, keep in mind I wrote tithe.  That means that 10% of all that comes in is going out.  Even cooler news, above I wrote about how we have been raising money to drill clean water wells in Rwanda.  The tithe, that 10% number, the $179,974.30, yeah, all that.  It’s going to drill clean water wells in Rwanda.  With each drilled well costing $10,000.00 that means that we will be able to drill 18 clean water wells in Rwanda villages.  This equates to over 18,000, that eighteen thousand people gaining access to clean water which will keep them healthy, reduce the amount of time (usually up to 6 hours per day) looking for water, which will give women the ability to care more for their families, children the ability to get educated rather than searching for water, and end the senseless passing on of diseases to family members by providing dirty water for cooking, drinking and cleaning.  Water = Life.

The thing that I am most proud about with this decision to tithe on our capital campaign program is that what we do effects more than just us.  Yes, we will build a phenomenal youth center but it is less about us building our kingdom.  It’s more about building His Kingdom.  With the funding that will come in we will be blessed with an expanded facility but even more important, a legacy of life giving will be set forth.  That’s the message that I want every teenager who walks through the doors of our soon to be new youth center to know.  That’s the vision that I want them to catch.  That’s the kind of world changing movement I want to see be built in the lives of the people that I serve.

It’s not too late.  You can join us in making this dream a reality.  Would you like to use your money to do something so much bigger than you could do with it on your own?  Join with us.  Help us build up a new generation of young people who will go out and impact this world with the love of the Father!

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Merry Christmas

This morning was different.  This morning the kids woke up and then woke me up (Kim was already downstairs getting dinner ready).  We sat around the tree and opened up a few small presents.  The onslaught of wrapping paper was minimal this year.  Part of the morning was a disappointment because the excitement of ripping into presents was short lived.  

I think this post is more for me today.  I feel like I needed to view this video and see the faces of those who have been blessed by my sacrifice (and the sacrifice of many others) again to recalibrate my thinking and gain the right perspective once again.  I am thankful that we don’t have credit card debt going into the new year because of excessive spending on gifts.  I am thankful that this year we were able to be generous to many others in our giving.  I am thankful that my family has a greater perspective on the world around us.  I am also thankful that there are many families in Rwanda that have and will continue to have access to fresh, safe, clean water.

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I pray that each of you have a fantastic day, whether you are at home, traveling to see family or serving in a shelter or soup kitchen.  Merry Christmas to you all.  I also pray that each of you have found new ways to creatively meet the needs of others around you.  May this Christmas be a season that is less about blessing yourself and more about how you can be a blessing to those who have so little.

Clean Water

While I am very passionate about being able to provide clean water by drilling wells in Rwanda I am not beyond supporting the work that others are trying to do as well.  Enter Equitas.  Equitas was formed in 2007 by Steve Cook to help raise awareness of the genocide taking place in Darfur.  After returning from a trip to Malawi the organization began a new emphasis in helping to provide food, clean water, and medicine to this poverty stricken country. 

Steve and I connected through Twitter a while back.  After reading one of his tweets I learned that they are selling t-shirts as a fundraiser to help drill wells in Malawi.  Seeing a picture of the shirt I decided to pick one up – not knowing that I would have the honor of being their very first online t-shirt purchase.  These are great shirts that help out a worthy cause.  For $15 you can get your very own “clean water” t-shirt and help save lives by providing clean water to the people of Malawi.  $10 from every shirt purchase goes directly to the well projects.  Not only did I get a new shirt, I became a t-shirt model on the Equitas site as well.

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Check them out here and support this great cause.

People Spent, I Saved

Today while everyone was out spending lots of money on gifts that will probably be opened and unappreciated I sat at my kitchen table and reviewed our auto insurance policy.  We own both of our vehicles outright and they are not worth more than a few thousand dollars each.  With those two pieces of information I made the decision to remove our collision and comprehensive coverage.  With the deductibles that we were carrying and the value of the vehicles we would end up with very little to show for it from our insurance company if we are involved in an accident.

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By removing the collision and comprehensive coverage I was able to save myself $343.00 per year on our policy!  I have begun to be much more mindful of the money that I am spending and wanting to ensure that when I have to pay out money that it is worth what I am spending.  I want to be a good steward of all that God has entrusted to me (which is all of my money because it all comes from Him!) so I am taking second glances at every bill that we have.  We turn off additional lights around the house, keep the thermostat down low, drive more intentionally to several destinations per trip in order to conserve gas and I only shower when I know I will see people I know to conserve water.  (That last one is a joke.  I have a well that costs me nothing for water and I like to be clean!)

The less money I have to send out to pay bills the more that I have available to help provide for needs around me.

Get creative with your money.  Examine what you are paying out each month and see where you can cut back.  With the economy where it is right now we can all make what we have go further if we look hard enough.

Advent Conspiracy

With Christmas fast approaching I wanted to post this video.  

We all have desires for what we want for Christmas.  The bottom line is that most of purchase the things that we want or need long before Christmas comes around (I think that’s the real reason fruitcake exists) which leaves people wondering what to give us as a gift.

This year I am declining all offers of gifts for Christmas, as well as my birthday (December 12).  Rather than giving me a gift of any kind I would ask that you donate to Global Benefit in my honor.  The money that you donate will be used to drill clean water wells in Rwanda, Africa.  Let’s face it, I am a blessed person.  I don’t need anything given to me this year.  However, there are people in Rwanda that die each day because they don’t have access to clean water.  You can help save lives by drilling clean water wells in Rwanda.

Drink Responsibly

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I’ve been drinking this new blend of coffee that I picked up at our Fall Leaders Conference a couple weeks ago.  The coffee is a blend of Ethiopian and Sumatran beans and it is roasted and sold by the Global Benefit Coffee Company.  GBCC is no ordinary coffee company.  GBCC is a side industry that exists to cover the overhead expenses of Global Benefit.  

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Global Benefit is all about engaging this generation to do their part in overcoming the suffering and the hopelessness found in places of extreme poverty and natural disasters. We believe if we all work together, even if it is something small, the cumulative effect can be significant.  Providing affordable shelter, caring for the homeless, providing clean water, finding healthcare solutions, and ensuring children have the opportunity to learn and grow strong in their minds, their body, and their spirit, are just a few things we do.  It’s all about a life that touches a life that touches another life, and the ripple effect continues for generations to come.

My friend, Mark Warren, began this organization several years ago in an effort to assist missionaries that were doing such great work and yet struggling to raise the financial support that they required to continue their work.  Over the years Global Benefit has branched out to sponsor children so that they can receive an education, drill wells in Rwanda to provide clean, safe water to people who have none, and help fund AIDS/Selenium research.  

By purchasing coffee from GBCC you help ensure that every cent that is donated to Global Benefit for drilling well, sponsoring children, and assisting in AIDS/Selenium research goes directly to the need.  The purchase of this coffee covers the overhead expenses of the organization.  

Do you drink coffee?  Why not purchase some from GBCC?  It’s all Fair Trade and Certified Organic.