Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Redeeming the Time. . .

This past week, I was studying Ephesians- Chapter 5, and although there are many powerful verses in that chapter, one verse jumped off the page for me. . . "Be very careful, then how you live- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. . ."(Eph 5:16) . .and it's as if the Lord made me very conscience of how I was spending every second. . so much that I was thinking as I watched the microwave tick off time, I thought "there goes 30 seconds of my life that I can never get back. . . I know, sounds a little obsessive, but I can't deny that it happened . .

Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors have made it very easy to write letters of encouragement to persecuted and imprisoned Christians throughout the world via their websites. .

Open Doors asks you to write simple letters in English and mail them to the US headquarter where the letters are translated. . .You simply write them, put them in a bigger envelope and pay the cost of the postage to the Open Door headquarters in California. . .and if your children like to draw pictures and write simple letters also, Open Doors has a list of orphan children in Columbia who love to receive drawings and letters from other other children.

Voice of the Martyrs, on the other hand, has an incredible web program so that you can write letters and they are immediately translated into the appropriate language. These letters cost about $1.25 to mail overseas, about the same price as a medium coke at a convenience store. . And I have never taken letters into the post office without a conversation being started about who are receiving these letters around the world by interested postal workers. You can also send emails to the governments who are holding these Christians captive . . .all the instructions are there and it's easy to do. . .

Why do I mention this? Because this weekend, as we sit and watch College Football, the NFL and MLB. . .let's redeem the time and use our laptops to write letters to our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. . It's as simple as that. Here are the websites:

Voice of the Martyrs: http://www.prisoneralert.com/

I've had people scoff at this and say "How do you know that those letters even get there. .well, I don't know. But I know that God has called me to DO SOMETHING, so why not pray AND write! As I sit and watch football this weekend, I'll be writing. . .hope you and your children will be too. . .



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Austin!

Austin and his wife Brittany- 2008

Austin, this one's for you - -

The weather turned cooler this week and it feels like Fall is in the air. . . .It's almost like flipping a light switch and the long hot summer is over. . Nature has done this at almost the same week every year for the past 25 years .

How do I know? Because 25 years ago on Sept. 15, 1984 , we brought home our newborn son, Austin, home from the hospital on the day the first cool Fall breeze of the season rolled in.
I'll never forget it. . .

You see, we lived in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath home in Ballinger, TX that had one swamp cooler in the whole house to keep us cool during the long hot West Texas summer months. I had actually been worrying and praying about how I was going to keep a newborn cool and comfortable in our tiny hot house. . .and then, like a little gift from the Lord, the first cool front blew in on the day we went home from the hospital. . . and "poof". . the summer was over.

And it has been this way almost every September 15th since then. . .When Austin was in preschool and elementary school, he always wanted a swimming party for his birthday celebration. . . and every year, as we were sweating in the months of August and early September, we would plan one. . .and every year, when Sept. 15 arrived, we would be scrambling to change birthday plans from a swimming party to a pizza party or something indoors because the seasons had changed. . .literally overnight.

So I couldn't help but smile when the cool weather rolled in this past week and triggered the wonderful slow rains. . .Nature was right on time. . .Austin's birthday is almost here.

So, now I want to wish my 25-year old son a very special Happy Birthday, and pray somehow, someway you can feel how proud I am of you. . .how proud of who you are and what you are becoming as a husband and a man. . .and how much we love you and miss you as you spend this birthday in far-off Iraq. . .for our sake and the sake of others.

God has taken you on this journey for a reason and although we don't see how all these puzzle pieces of life fit together right now, I take great comfort in knowing that God does. . . . Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight". . . .I am praying for straight paths" for you today. . .
The 25 years we've had to share with you as your parents are truly a gift from the Lord. . .We love you more than you will ever know. . .

Happy Birthday to my precious son,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are you rich? Am I rich?

Photo taken by Georgia Huckabee, Summer 2009, Ghana

Are you rich? Am I rich?

The following is an excerpt from Francis Chan's book "Crazy Love" ( pp.89-90) and gives us something to chew on. . ."If 100 people represented the world's population, 53 of those would live on less than $2 a day. Do you realize that if you make $4,000 a month, you automatically make 100 times more than the average person on this planet? Simply by purchasing this book, you spent what a majority of people in the world will make in a week's time.Which is more messed up - - that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don't think we're rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves "broke" or "poor"? We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy rich."

Robert Murray M'Cheyne was a Scottish pastor who died at the age of 29. Although he lived in the early part of the 1900s, his words are astoundingly appropriate for today:

'I am concerned for the poor but more for you. I know not what Christ will say to you in the great day. . .I fear there are many hearing me who may know well that they are not Christians because they do not love to give. To give largely and liberally, not grudgingly at all, requires a new heart; an old heart would rather part with its life-blood than its money. Oh my friends! Enjoy your money; make the most of it; give none away; enjoy it quickly for I can tell you, you will be beggars throughout eternity.'

The reality is that, whether we acknowledge our wealth or not, being rich is a serious disadvantage spiritually. As William Wilberforce once said." Prosperity hardens the heart."

Through our friendship with Hollie and Joel Dickens, medical missionaries to Northern Ghana, we have been made aware of the dire poverty in that region. . .Here is a recent statement from a young pastor from that area as he shares his ministry plan to reach his community. .

"Finally, we all agreed that Northern Region is regarded to the highest poverty zone in Ghana, I will therefore propose to have an intervention policy which will support the vulnerable, widows and orphans especially around the farming season where it becomes very difficult for most of the people to afford even one square meal in a day.To be able to do this I will need to engage in farming of maize so that during the hard season we can at least support the starving members and the vulnerable with some food to save them from starving to death."

This is a young pastor who must grow food for his members so that they will not starve. . That, dear friends, is the reality of 50% of the world's population. . .What can we do? . . .We can share. . .We must share. .

-Todd and Bonnie