Blog, Friday Faves

Friday Faves

This week is all about homeless and poverty as that is what has been on the brain lately with our Helping Hands fun Saturday morning coming up! I hope you and your little ones will come and spend a little time with us preparing bags for our homeless friends. If you have not signed up, it’s not too late! The link is below!

Here are some other faves I’ve found this week as I’ve been searching and preparing for our event.

  1. Ever Wondered What to Say? 

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Often times we sometimes aren’t sure what to “say”… here are some great conversation starters that you can use as you meet our friends on the street. There are also some things that may be we just shouldn’t say or ask, or even think…

2. Books for Kids about Poverty & Hunger 

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I’m always on the lookout for great books to read with my kiddos and while I haven’t read through each one of these, many of these are on my list to read and several of these are just great!

What books have you read that teaches about poverty and hunger and homelessness? 

3.  Hippie Jack 

I don’t really know anything about Hippie Jack, other than what this video shows, but it makes me smile and reminds me that there are still some good men and women out there serving with all they have, and it makes me tap my toe a little too…

How can you be like Hippie Jack? Don’t you have a fun bus like that?!? haha

4. Blessing Bottles

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This is a great unique “spin” on blessing bags!

Have you made anything like this before to give to our homeless friends? If so, share and let us learn new and different ways! 

5. Helping Hands FUN Event! 

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You can sign up in our On Mission Moms Facebook Page link above! We will be meeting at Caroline Brewer’s home and she will be sending out info. It’s going to be a fun morning together serving, learning, and praying with our little ones.

 

And one last little plug, if you haven’t had a chance to read the Do No Harm Series, well… you should!

Do No Harm: Be Prepared

Do No Harm: We’re All Poor

Do No Harm: Knowing When

Do No Harm: Learning More

 

*Just a reminder that I don’t necessarily “endorse” the websites that I’ve linked to above.  Not all are Christian based websites/blogs/videos; however, they are all great ideas that we can learn and grow from and adapt to work with what we believe as On Mission Moms! 

Blog, Mission Ideas

A Little Easter FUN!

Easter is this weekend! What?!

Although Lent has been going on now for 40 days, this year Easter seemed to sneak up on us around here! Here are some fun ideas for you and your family to share Jesus with others around you. I pray that you will take this opportunity to share Jesus with your neighbors, family, and friends and that you will invite them to join you in worship on Sunday or maybe at your church Easter Egg Hunt or event. Many families are open and willing during this season – we just have to ask and invite!

  1. You’ve been Egged!

I love this idea and look forward to doing this with my girls at some point this week – can’t give it all away, right?!? While this specific sight is not necessarily “christian” – it has great ideas that you can add your own personal touch to and share Jesus as you desire!

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2. The Jelly Bean Prayer 

This would be a GREAT and easy idea to give to our homeless friends along with a blessing bag and encouragement! Sometimes a little “extra” love and joy and candy goes a LONG way! ha

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3. Easter Basket for the Nursing Home

This could be an easy and quick craft that you could then go and take to some of our elderly and home bound friends!

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If you are LOCAL to Spartanburg, we would love to invite you to join us at the Upstate Egg Hunt at Barnet Park! It’s super fun!! But be sure to invite someone to come with you too!

And there are MORE ideas posted over on our On Mission Moms Pinterest Page! 

Blog, Friday Faves

Friday Faves

Here are some interesting and fun resources that I’ve come across that I hope will challenge us all to be “on mission moms”.

  1. One Mom’s Aha Moment

This mom SO inspires me!! We are surrounded by great opportunities to engage the nations right here in the US! They are coming to us! One of my dearest friends from North Africa (funny story how I met her and her precious daughter!) lived in the States for 14 years and do you know that NOT ONE person ever invited her and her family to visit with them in their home… NOT ONE…  This young lady is from a family of great influence in her country in North Africa and just think, if someone would have shared Christ with her here, if she had believed and then returned back to her home country, the impact that she could have made in her own country, among her own people… blows my mind… but alas… no one ever shared with her…. for 14 years…

2.  Working with Refugees can be a bit intimidating – how do you start, what do you say and do… here are some great websites:

Make It Personal 

Pray 

3. I came across some GREAT books this week at the Library that talks about Refugees and Immigration (it’s not exactly clear about whether the family were refugees or immigrated… there is a DIFFERENCE!) But one thing I love about reading these books with my girls is that it begins to help them understand that their world is bigger than just the little friends that look like them and talk like them and in this case has a name like them…  These are not necessarily “spiritual” books but great nonetheless!  I may have even shed a couple tears as I read this… oh “allergies!”

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The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

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Goodbye Havana, Hola New York by Edie Colon 

 

4. You just gotta watch this with your little ones! My girls and I have been loving this and singing along and maybe even having a dance party or two…

 

5. I’m super excited about this new book from Kristen Welch!  I shared a couple weeks ago in a Friday Faves about her other book, “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World”… and it is such a good book. I’m looking forward to this one! You can preorder it now and it comes out May 1st.

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Soooo… lets get to “shining” friends – sharing Jesus with our families and friends!

 

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Oh – and if you are a local mama, don’t forget to sign up in our On Mission Moms facebook group for the upcoming event on April 14th! Bring your little ones and let’s serve together. Space is limited and we will be emailing you the address and more details once you sign up. It’s gonna be FUN!

Blog

A New Season, A New Opportunity

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I LOVE Spring! The start of a new season, new beginnings, birds starting to sing again and build their nests, the daffodils have bloomed, the peach trees and Bradford pear trees are blooming and of course the pollen… oh the pollen…

But I also love Spring because for us it signals new life. It’s a reset and a starting over – fresh… New…

As we begin a new season and the earth begins to wake up around us, it also can be a time of awakening in the spiritual realm. It can be a chance for us to be outside with our kids more, to go to the park, to meet our neighbors and share conversations and laughs together as the kids play and if they don’t know Christ, a new and great opportunity to share the gospel with them.  It can be a NEW start for our friends who don’t know Christ.

As you meet new friends, do you know how to start that conversation? Honestly, that’s often hard for me – I can talk about the weather, I can chat about my girls, I can laugh about the fact that I’m a “terrible dance mom” and ask them for advice on how to put her hair in the perfect bun – all day long…

But at the end of the conversation, have I shared Christ with them?

Like have I physically opened my mouth and presented the gospel… 

I believe that the first place to start is in my own heart. Have I spent time in God’s word and in prayer – asking for divine conversations and interruptions to my day? When I do that first, I usually always see the opportunities around me open up, because my heart is focused and seeking  those opportunities.

Secondly, I just have to open my mouth! I have to “get to the gospel” as I heard my friend Greg Wilton share one time.  I have to ask questions like “Can I pray for you today?” or “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? “Can I share with you what Christ has done in my own life?”  I must confess though – this is where I often get “stuck”. Its sometimes awkward and hard and weird… but one thing I’ve been pondering in my heart is “am I okay with the awkward and hard and weird if it means that I have a new sister or brother in Christ at the end of the conversation?” Of course my heart screams YES to that, but my head and my mouth… now that’s a different story sometimes!

Finally, I have to present the gospel. I have to share that Jesus loves them but because of their sin (because of my sin), we are separated from Christ! Only through confession, repentance and acknowledging Jesus as Lord,  can we be brought into a right relationship with Him.

As we start this new season, a season of new life and new beginnings,  my prayer is that I’ll seize every new opportunity to boldly share the gospel with my neighbors, friends, and sweet mamas that I meet along the way. What about you? Do you find it easy to share the gospel? Do you get “stuck” somewhere? Who can you share Christ with on this beautiful first day of Spring?

Now… go, get outside, introduce yourself to a new neighbor, share…

Blog, Friday Faves

Friday Faves

This month at my church, First Baptist Spartanburg, our MPACT Kids (children’s missions program) is focusing on the Persecuted Church and I had a “great” time leading them in a “secret church” experience this past Wednesday evening.  So many times as parents, we tend to shy away from the more difficult topics like persecution or suffering, but it’s so crucial that we begin chatting with our little ones early about what it means to be a persecuted Christian, why many brothers and sisters around the world have to meet in secret churches, and how we can be a part of their journey and story.

Here are some great links to help and guide you:

  1. Open Doors – I love this organization! They release a yearly report, World Watch List, highlighting the persecuted church and it’s so very informative of how we can be praying for brothers and sisters in these countries. Do you know what country is #1 as the worst place to live and be a Christian? Click on the link to find out!

2.  Kids of Courage / Voice of the Martyrs – This is a great ministry and resource to especially share with the kiddos. They have great explanations, activities, and prayer points that are written on a child’s level as well as a parent page to help guide us.  One of the great resources that I came across was an activity guide to use with children called Bold Believers, focusing on different areas and different children who face persecution. (You do have to create a log in to download)

3. A Mama’s Story Blog – I’m not real sure how I landed on this page as I was researching “persecuted church and how to chat with kiddos” but I did and it has some great ideas and other resources.

A Shameless PLUG! If you have kiddos between the ages of first and fifth grade and you live here in Spartanburg and you don’t already have a great church that has a great missions program…well,  you should totally bring them to MPACT kids at FBS on Wednesday evenings. It’s a great way for them to learn about what God is doing around the world (every  month is a different theme) Preschoolers also have Missions too and my oldest loves it!

And Because it’s St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow,  I can’t NOT share some fun stuff too!  (and he was kidnapped and persecuted too… work with me here…. )

4.  St. Patrick’s Day Party Games!  – This link has lots of links to fun games, scavenger hunts, trivia and more! And DON’T forget to snap a pic of your Irish Meal and share with our On Mission Moms Facebook Group. You might just win a fun little goody! (I’ll close the contest at the end of the month – because you can celebrate with Irish food all month long!)

5.  VeggieTales Story of St. Patrick’s Day – This is a quick 8 minute video over on YouTube sharing the life of St. Patrick, in a pretty cute way! My girls (well one of them) really enjoyed it and I used it as a way to share about the life of St. Patrick and that the day is not just about wearing green or eating Lucky Charms… sorda…

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You can also check out more info and links over on our On Mission Moms Pinterest Page to learn ways to pray, give, go, advocate and just know more about the Persecuted Church!

Blog

Do No Harm: Learning More

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There are so many different avenues that we could take when seeking to help those in need and there are so many thoughts and opinions about it all that sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed and confused; however, I have learned that I can’t stay in that place of confusion. I must be obedient to God’s call to love and serve the poor so therefore I must study and learn and ask the Lord to reveal to me what He would have me do and how He would have me respond. I pray that is your response too – to dig in and ask the tough questions, to learn and grow, and not just bury your head in the sand and let people walk on by.

The following are just a few of the great resources that I have studied that I hope will help you learn even more about the world of poverty and help you learn how you should respond when you meet that new friend on the street.  

Resources: 

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert 

This book is also a 6 week group study that you can do with a small group or on your own. You can also access Right Now Media (which is a GREAT resource in general) for the videos or on the web.

Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton 

This is a very similar read to When Helping Hurts but a little stronger! They tend to lean toward the idea that “all charity is toxic” which I believe is not always true in every situation. I mean you can’t “throw the baby out with the bath water” as my grandma used to say.

Seeking Shalom *this is an ECourse by Focused Community Strategies in Atlanta, GA

This is an excellent class that explains poverty and how to work with those in poverty pretty well. This group is connected with Robert Lupton, the author of Toxic Charity, so they follow many of the same principles. It’s explained well though and I always love being able to interact with others and chat about what I’m learning! (I’m weird like that.. ha)

Bridges out of Poverty or Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne

Ruby Payne is an educator and shares about the impacts of poverty in the classroom and while this is “different” than poverty that we see on the streets, it helps us understand how poverty is effecting us across the board. It’s a great general discussion on poverty.

Loving our Neighbor by Beth Templeton 

Beth Templeton is the former director of United Ministries, based here in Greenville, SC. I had the great privilege of meeting with her before I began Refuge and gained some valuable insight and wisdom from her. There is also a 6 week video series that they have produced  that explains poverty and how to work with those in poverty well.

The list could go on and on of books and classes that you could take as you learn about helping those in poverty. What resources could you share with us so that we can learn more?

 

More than any wisdom that you have gained from books or videos though, I want to challenge and remind you to do the following:

  1. Ask God how He would have you respond in each specific situation and be obedient to the Holy Spirit. 
  2. Read His word and see what He has to teach us about poverty and loving our neighbor. 

Above all, We must obey the Lord when he places people in our path and help them as He would – loving and serving them well. I pray that we will do just that!

 

For our Spartanburg friends, I will be posting a list of local resources soon to help you as you meet and get to know our friends.

Friday Faves

Friday Faves

Here are some of my favorites from this week! Hope they encourage you as you serve and lead your little ones to love God and love others!

  1. Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch

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This book… oh my… soooo good and I’m only halfway through it! I don’t usually share or recommend a book when I haven’t read to the end, but what I’ve read this week has been so very powerful. I pray that you will take time to read this and be reminded of our role as parents.

2.  Parents, This is what your Children Need Most – a video from Radical.Net (David Platt).

This is quite convicting and is a great reminder that more than anything, more than great skills on the ball field or in the dance studio – our children need to be pointed to Christ and to be taught about Christ!

3. How the gospel Shapes our Children – an article on IMB.org (International Mission Board) Just another simple yet powerful reminder from JD Grear, pastor of Summit Church in NC, about the power of the gospel in parenting and marriage.

4. St. Patrick’s Passion for Missions – an article on IMB.org. I have LOVED learning about St. Patrick in prep for our Irish Meal and St. Patrick’s Day coming up. Also, don’t forget to snap a pic of your family international meal and post in our On Mission Moms Facebook group – a little fun giveaway is coming! If you missed the recipe ideas, click here!

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5. Future World Travelers by Zulily –  I love Zulily and can sometimes find some pretty great deals! They have all kinds of globes, maps, puzzles and more to get our little ones thinking and seeing the world right now!  (This is a time sensitive event that ends on Saturday, March 10th – sorry if you miss it! I’m also not endorsing Zulily, just want to share a fun resource where you can get some pretty cheap maps and globes!)

 

What resources have you come across this week that can encourage us as mamas to lead our littles ones to love God and love others?