Dec 25, 2011

Share Christmas with one person

"Lord Christ, You have no body on earth but ours, No hands but ours, No feet but ours. Ours are the eyes through which your compassion must look out on the world. Ours are the feet by which you may still go about doing good. Ours are the hands with which You bless people now. Bless our minds and bodies. That we may be a blessing to others." St. Theresa of Avila

Today on Christmas, someone will wake up hungry, cold and hopeless. A widow will mourn the loss of her spouse, a parent the loss of a child, an orphan will wake up without family. It will be especially lonely today of all days. Somewhere in both the United States and in far away places like Africa, Ukraine, India, S. America and all over the world a child will wake up without anything under the tree and nothing in the house to eat. An international student spends another holiday alone in their dorm as all their classmates are home for Christmas. A refugee family wishes someone would talk to them. An elderly woman sits forgotten in a nursing home, a parents heart is rent in two not being able to provide for their child, a foster youth feels completely and utterly alone. A family is sleeping in their car, A child just died from lack of clean water, hunger or a preventable diseases. In the busyness of family celebrations, church services and holiday activities please stop for one moment and ask the Lord a question. "Who would you have me to love today?" "Whose life would you like to touch in a tangible way through me?" "How can I be your hands and feet in this moment?" I know Lord that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26) so how can I use the resources, talents and time today in this moment to bless those who are broken and hurting?"

While celebrating with your family consider those without family. This could be the orphan who may have never known even a stitch kindness, love and a mothers touch. It could be a foster youth that has aged out of the system and like I often did, will spend Christmas and New Years alone feeling unloved, unwanted and purposeless. Invite them over. Thank you Brenda and Virgie for always having us over for the holidays. Thank you for being Jesus with skin on.

Google adoption photo listings and you'll see something truly heartbreaking. Foster youth that are 19, 20 and 21 years old still longing for a family, a place to belong on the holidays. Have you seen this?
I read about a 21 year old medical student that earned numerous awards for academic excellence. He was interning at a hospital, earned many scholarships, lived on his own but still strongly desired a family, enough to put himself on a national photolisting along with 132,000 other adoptable US foster youth. I used to pray someone would adopt him. He Isn't there anymore. I wonder, did he finally find a family or just get too old to be listed? Can you visit the senior citizen in the convalescent home that hasn't seen a visitor for quiet some time.

Have you ever encouraged a prisoner who is persecuted for his or her faith. Send a letter to officials on their behalf, Mail them a christmas card, a scripture, a note. Heb 13:3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them,
It could be that you invite international student to your home for dinners, activities etc like International Student INC. They come to America to learn about our culture but rarely leave their dorms to learn what life is like, unfortunately during the holiday many students go home leaving these students lonely and isolated. Meet new people from different cultures. What about the family/friend/coworker that moved here and has no family in which to share the usual traditions. Are they lonely away from their parents and siblings? Know any latchkey kids? What about the military family who moves from place to place. Or the military wife whose spouse is deployed?

As you are shopping and opening gifts think of the single mother who could barely put a roof over her child's head let alone purchase a gift or two for her child. Single fathers have it even worse. Sponsor a child, drop off a toy for an Angel Tree kid ( whose parent/s are in prison) Help foster child. Get a few friends a visit a group home. Go tell a kid to have hope, things will be better, that they have a purpose and were destined to do great things! That they have a FATHER who loves them and is the perfect parent when their earthly parents fall short. Tell them that "though their father and mother forsake them the Lord will take them up. " http://bible.cc/psalms/27-10.htm I'll never forget the postal workers who came by and dropped off gifts for us kids at the group home when I was a teen. I'll never forget the christmas as a 4 year child when my mother was arrested. The officers asked what I received for Christmas. One in particular appeared especially upset and disturbed when he found out I didn't receive anything at all. He went out and later presented me with a cabbage patch doll. I was terrified clinging to my mother who was at the time handcuffed. I don't know if he used his own money but it was a very compassionate gesture. No kindness is ever wasted.

You can give a micro loan through Opportunity, Hope International, World Vision, Five Talents. give medicine, animals, farming tools, school tuition a school uniform to a person who may not otherwise get help. Friends of mine recently got together and bought a gifts for a homeless child that I adore. Some even included gas and gift cards with words of encouragement for the mother. One mentioned that it was no big deal to her. They have passes at Disneyland and often spend that much on snacks and fast food alone. Can you forgo some small convenience to bless someones life, help an orphan find a home, alleviate a burden, meet a need? Touch a heart.

When decluttering to make way for your new items coming in your home consider the refugee who comes here with nothing. Even used items you may throw away would be a blessing to them. Many of us hoard all our many items when there are people in our own neighborhoods with nothing sleeping on the floor and without sheets silerware etc yes, here in the good ole USA. One friend provided childcare to help a refugee who was expected to find work but couldn't afford a sitter. Often they don't speak English and don't know how to even begin making a life for themselves. Many mothers feel isolated due to the language/culture barrier. They've experienced terrible persecution and personal tragedy. Love, a smile transcends language barriers.

Take a meal, mail a card, buy a toy, invite someone over. Buy a bible ( Bible League) for those who can't afford one in their language. Mail a package to a missionary, donate to a fundraising adoptive family. Pay a bill for someone in need. Offer your trade (car repair, plumbing, accounting, etc) Call a friend who might encouragement, bless a family going through a hard time. Go say "Hi" to new neighbors. Mother Teresa once said "I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?"

There is so much that can be done to give hope and encouragement in the coming days and year. We can do so many little acts of compassion that will spread ripples reaching into eternity. Thanks be to Jesus, for giving the perfect gift, Himself. May we give of ourselves, "Spend ourselves ( Isaiah 58:10 ) on behalf of those in need. May we be known by our love, the irresistible, compassionate, radical, self denying love of Christ that compels us to advocate for the greater good of others. That is the gospel. That is the Jesus, the Word made flesh. Merry Christmas! Peace and Joy in Jesus Alida & Rodriguez family.

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"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the
baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the
healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the
bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart." -- George Matthew Adams

"Rejoice, that the immortal God is born, so that mortal man may live in eternity." [John Huss]

"When we ask our children 'What do you want for Christmas?', we are asking a question that breeds selfishness. In order to develop selflessness we should be asking 'What are you going to give?' Christmas is the celebration of God's great gift giving -
'For God so loved the world that he gave...'(John 3:16)" [Robert Flatt]

"It is the Christian belief that much of what is wrong with the world today is moral and spiritual. In other words, the spirit of Christmas is absent." [Handel H. Brown]

"Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God. "
[George F. McDougall]

There is always time enough in a day to do God's will. -- Walt Witman

Blessed is The season which Engages the whole world in a Conspiracy of love.-Hamilton Wright Mabie. Links- Stand4Kids http://www.standupforkids.org/ Pray for Foster youth- Adoption.com , AdoptUsKids & Heart Galleries of America International Students, Inc Refugees- World Relief.org Angel Tree Safe Families

Nov 23, 2011

Christian Books

Now that Christmas is upon us I just wanted to share about Vision Forum, a wonderful Christian company. Vision Forum is where I was first introduced to wonderful cd's books and toys all dedicated to holiness, righteous living and godly homemaking and more. The first cd I purchased and listened to was Voddie Bauchams "Centrality of the Home. I was so blessed. Great selection, great Christian Books available at Vision Forum. http://www.visionforum.com

Sep 8, 2011

How To Make A Budget & Other Finance Links

Here are some helpful articles from Christian Personal Finance. Be Blessed! Alida
1) How to make a Budgethttp://christianpf.com/how-to-make-a-budget/
2) 250 Bible Verses About Money
http://christianpf.com/money-in-the-bible/
3) 10 Free Household Budget Spreadsheets http://christianpf.com/10-free-household-budget-spreadsheets/
4)5 Bible Verses About Money Every Christian Should Know http://christianpf.com/5-bible-verses-about-money-every-christian-should-know/
5) My Checklist To Financial Freedom http://christianpf.com/personal-financial-checklist/
6) How To Make Money With A Blog http://christianpf.com/how-to-make-money-with-a-blog/
7) 20 Best Ways To Save Money By NOT Being Normal http://christianpf.com/16-ways-to-save-money-by-not-being-normal/
8) I Remember http://christianpf.com/i-remember/
9) 23 Ways For Teens To Make Money (Maybe Adults Too!) http://christianpf.com/ways-for-teens-to-make-money/
10) How I Got Out Of The Rat Race http://christianpf.com/how-i-escaped-the-rat-race/
11) My Strategy For Giving Away Millions http://christianpf.com/my-strategy-for-giving-away-millions/
12) 24 Top Legitimate Home-Based Business Ideas & Opportunities http://christianpf.com/legitimate-home-based-business-ideas-opportunities/
13) 5 Legitimate Work-From-Home Jobs http://christianpf.com/legitimate-work-from-home-jobs/
14) How To Sell Stuff On Ebay http://christianpf.com/how-to-sell-your-stuff-on-ebay/

Jul 28, 2011

True Friends...

I just returned from a most life changing trip. Many amazing people prayed and donated to help me get to this place of walking in what I was created to do. The place of following God's call of faithfulness, of walking on water and of battling the demons of discouragement from my past. Many have loved me with a Christlike love that blessed and enabled me to do the things Jesus Himself did.

I wanted to preface by saying that I am a loyal friend. My family is the one you see at every birthday party. We have helped countless friends move, we give whatever we have either it be childcare, knowledge, resources or experience. I learn so much from so many amazing wonderful mentors and each thing I learn or anything that can bless I pass on to anyone interested. I was also allowed to see those that I have stayed up late at night more times than I can count praying over friends in crisis, giving them resources, bible verses etc. The Lord showed me that some of these friends must have some issue with me. Some of these that I have poured my heart and life into in the past, tend to be the most critical of me. They seem to always try to snuff out my aspirations of doing mighty works of service for Christ but at the same time copy a great many things from me. I can't be all that bad. :-) It's been said that that imitation is the highest form of flattery. That is true enough. It occurs to me however, that some of those I prayed for the most never called me the entire time my little son was ill in and out of the hospital with a life threatening blood disorder. They and are so negative about the wonderful opportunities taking place within our family, it's so unsettling. Some either make belittling comments or totally ignore my heart for ministering compassion to those in need despite my being enthusiastically supportive of their endeavors. One thing I have noted is that those that are the most critical seem to do the least. Those that made comments donated not even a pair of underwear, not a pair of shoes, not a stick of toothpaste or even a bottle of tylenol or formula to help those literally with NOTHING. Some while flaunting, doing extravagant things like theme park passes and more. I'm not telling anyone what to do with their money but we've been super poor and I've NEVER let a friend adopt of venture on a mission trip where I didn't sacrifice something to sow into the dreams of those that I love even if all I could give was $20, a malaria net or bottles/formula for babies. If you can't donate, you can at least be prayerful and encouraging. However it is NEVER acceptable allow one's self to be an accuser of the brethren or mouthpiece for the evil one. Also there are many hurting people and lots of work to be done. If you don't like our methods of ministering you can always show us yours.

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister GRACE to the hearers.

Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will." 

Jul 3, 2011

Bringing Home KADEN! Adoption RAFFLE for the COX family

Hi Friends,
Meet the Cox family. Steve and Annette.


They have 4 fabulous boys! Steve teaches over at Orange Coast Community College, in Costa Mesa CA. The lovely Annette is an awesome homeschooling mother to four precious boys and was adopted. http://thejourneytokaden.blogspot.com/They are fundraising to bring their little son 5 year old Kaden home from China. You may remember him as Solomon's bestest little bud at the orphanage that Stacy Richards was advocating for a while back. The Cox family needs money and FAST! To help them we are holding a RAFFLE! We have some FANTASTIC prizes donated and will be adding more in the next few days. PLEASE signup via email (that nifty little button on your right hand side) to get updates on new items added. Becoming a follower would be nice as well! ONLY $5.00 a ticket. You have terrific odds of winning SOMETHING. Raffle ends July 15th, don't delay, get your tickets TODAY!
______________________________
Here is a note from Annette...
Folks can mail us a check in order to enter the raffle and also send us an email at ourfivetreasures@yahoo.com letting us know that they are mailing a check, how much the check is for and what raffle items they want to enter. We still need to raise about $13,000 and $9,550 of that is due as soon as we receive our TA (Travel Approval), which should be in the next 3-4 weeks. Thank you so much!! Love, Annette

Purchase tickets by mailing a check to:
Steve Cox
c/o Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

There is no ChipIn available for this raffle, because under PayPal's "Acceptable Use Policy" they will not allow us to use PayPal / ChipIn to send or receive payments for activities that involve an entry fee and a prize, such as raffles, drawings or lotteries. If you have any questions, Please email me atBeautyForAshes5@att.net Together lets BRING KADEN HOME! Alida w5

Jul 2, 2011

HELP! Deadline approaching/MUST WATCH VIDEO!!

If you want to grow in your walk with the Lord, please watch this video. It is the best eye opening 7 minute video I've seen. It.will.change.your.life! I promise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWHJ6-YhSYQ
Depraved Indifference

Dear Friends,
Thank you to the many who have generously donated toward my fundraising goal! I am in the final stretch of fundraising and need to hit my goal by July 5th. (3 days) I have an urgent prayer request. My heart has been moved, my spirit has been stirred. I have recently been diagnosed with a very serious very chronic disorder. It's called O.O. D. ( Obsessive Orphan Disorder) Sufferers of O.O.D. typically suffer loss of sleep thinking about the153 million children without parents, lack of appetite thinking about the many children that wondering where next meal will come from, and heart issues when feeling led to do something about it! There are several courses of treatment for O.O.D. 1) Is to go personally and "Visit orphans" ( James 1:27) This temporarily alleviates the Symptoms. The only real cure for O.O.D sufferers is adoption. I've dreamed of going to Africa to assist orphans since I was a little girl in fostercare. I've been given the opportunity to go w/ Ordinary Hero to ETHIOPIA in 2 weeks! (TWO SHORT WEEKS!!) It seems totally illogical and even CRAZY given our present circumstance. I am stepping out in faith that God will provide every single penny needed to go! I am ALMOST FULLY FUNDED! I need just a bit more. Brittany Buttram and I need about $1500 between the two of us! The TICKETS have been purchased. If we don't come up with the remainder needed by July 5th, ( 3 days) Brittany and I don't travel! Please help us help ORPHANS and donate today!!! THANK YOU, Alida w5
To donate visit https://www.visitingorphans.org/donations/donate.aspx It will ask "Would you like to designate this donation to a specific team member?" PLEASE REMEMBER to click "YES" and type in "ALIDA RODRIGUEZ" then shoot me an email letting me know you did! Many thanks for your prayers and support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!

We also appreciate supplies for the children such as;
*warm clothing,
*light weight jackets,
*toothbrushes/toothpaste,
*tylenol,
*diaper cream,
*formula,
*close toed shoes,
*clothing for children ages 10-15. (older kids can sometimes be forgotten)

Jun 20, 2011

Father's Day Blues?

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat. Mother Teresa

Father's Day can be incredibly painful or a totally blase holiday to those of us who've had deadbeat, uncaring, dysfunctional, irresponsible uninvolved abusive fathers. At a young age I was gifted with discernment. While I desperately LONGED for a loving father figure, I knew not to expect it or desire it from my own. Many of my friends had loving doting fathers to guide them through life and provide for them. At times, it was difficult seeing all that I lacked. I'll never forget meeting him again once I became a grown woman. I was 17 years old, living on my own. I never inquired why he never contacted me or sent ANYTHING to provide for even my basic needs. Perhaps feeling guilty, he felt obligated to offer some sort of an explanation. He told me "I meant to check on you, see how you were doing, but you know, outta sight outta mind. You know how that goes."

Nope, I don't know how that goes. I love my children more than I love air. I can't imagine not being able to see them, hug them, kiss them, watch them grow. I can't imagine life not knowing who these incredible kids are. I can't imagine not feeling my little ones arms around my neck as I carry them to bed or missing out as my bigger children tell me their hopes & aspirations, listening to their giggles and jokes, hearing them pray. Both my father and mother abandoned me. Drugs, alcohol and various other things all apparently way more important than I ever was. Many of you share my upbringing in some way or another. Perhaps you too are among the walking wounded. ;-) Oh how I love the words of David in Psalm 68:5 "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Mother's Day is not my favorite holiday either. However, I take comfort in knowing in Psalm 27:10. I enjoy looking at different versions of this passage.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up."
"When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me."
"Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close."
"Aunque mi padre y mi madre me dejaran, Con todo, Jehová me recogerá."

I take great joy in knowing that each of us has a purpose. Each of us is cherished, loved, cared for, ADORED by our Heavenly father. Some of us were nothing more than a brief after thought to our earthly fathers. I grew up feeling "forgotten." NONE of us are forgotten by God! Though your earthly parents may fail to care or meet your needs our Abba Father is the PERFECT parent. He is El Shaddai, the all sufficient one. He can meet every need. He can heal every hurt. Come to Him fill the deepest longings of your heart, the vast void in your soul, your unquenchable thirst for love and acceptance. He'll cleanse the wounds in your spirit and give you perfect PEACE! Happy Heavenly Father's Day.

Isaiah 49:15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! "

Jeremiah 31:3 Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Psalm 139 :17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Now, print this out and give this to someone in your life that is Fatherless.
http://www.fathersloveletter.com/Media/FLL_single.pdf

Father's Love Letter
http://www.fathersloveletter.com/kids/FLLkids_poster.pdf For Children

Video here.
Father's Day Blues?

Jun 10, 2011

Tough decisions! Adding Uganda??



I am so thrilled to overflowing and blessed! It is AMAZING to me how the Lord has moved MIGHTILY to bring me nearly all the funds needed to travel! In such a short time. It's quite miraculous to me. When I first sought the Lord about going on a mission trip and after my hubby encouraged me and gave me the go ahead, I was suddenly overcome with doubt! I allowed a few negative people to put doubts of the Lords provision in my mind. What if I shared my goal of going and the funds didn't come in? Wouldn't I look foolish? Wouldn't I be SO humiliated and embarrassed? It caused anxiety even thinking about asking for help with funding. After all, you can't embarrass yourself if you don't step out in faith. It really took me mustering up alot of courage, laying down my pride and getting over my immense hurdle/fear of failure. Many hearts were moved and now I am nearly at my goal! You may say "of course Alida, where God guides He provides." However, though I've walked with the Lord for sometime, I still at times, struggle with trusting Him to provide for ALL of my needs. I also struggle with feeling protected by Him. ( childhood spent in foster care) I sometimes feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop or for some awful thing to befall me, because they do tend to. Rather than seeing all that I go through as things He's rescued me and saved me from, I some times think "Lord what awful thing is next? (even though He has proved Himself to me countless times) This stems from trust issues dealing with my upbringing and abandonment issues I'm still working on. I believe that He wants to radically HEAL, deliver me and give me FREEDOM in this area and wants to use this trip to do it. I look forward seeing how He'll grow and mature my faith in areas like this!

A NEW incredible opportunity has presented itself for Brittany Buttram (AMAZING homeschool graduate/college student) & I to visit ETHIOPIA AND UGANDA to volunteer!! ( a HUGE dream of BOTH of ours) I'm praying the Lord's direction and will AND funds to needed ASAP to travel. Because we'd be visiting two countries we'd need slighly more funding. $3600-3800 instead of the $3200. I'd need about $1000 or so more and Brittany would need about $2000. It's difficult to decide. It's a few days longer but it's the trip of a lifetime. I doubt I'll have an opportunity like this again.
In Uganda, our team would spend one day working at Amazima Ministries with their feeding program and with the children of the Karamajong tribe. We'll meet physical and financial needs by bringing supplies and donations from the U.S. We will spend several days with the kids at Canaan Children's Home and several days at Return Ministries. In Ethiopia we'll work in partnership with Project 61's ministry which reaches out to the children who live and work in the city dump. We will also visit children in orphanages throughout Addis Ababa.

Please pray for wisdom on if we should pursue this route. We'd need funding within the next couple days! Also, if possible, and if you so feel lead, please donate. Every penny over my total goes directly to Brittany. Remember it's completely TAX DEDUCTIBLE! We appreciate it. Thank you, Sincerely,
Alida Rodriguez

May 26, 2011

I need help getting to Africa

Hi,
Alida here. Growing up in foster care was far from easy. Not having parents (for various reasons) and making my own way without support was extremely difficult. For years I carried around an orphan spirit of rejection, abandonment and hurt. I suffered many hardships and lacked purpose. I'm blessed because even through all that, friends became family and someone always took me in! A persistent Aunt always called to check on me. As broken as the foster care system was, they made sure I had food clothing shelter, medical care, and an education. Youth services like shelters gave me the tools to help me survive to adulthood. I now have an incredible family. :-)

Sadly life is so incredibly bleak and hopeless for millions of orphans worldwide. In Ethiopia in particular, there is no "foster care system," no food, medical or educational programs available. Many have to resort to terribly degrading inhumane ways to support themselves to survive often begging, digging through trash or prostituting themselves in order to survive.

Picture your child, sibling, grandchild niece/nephew alone, cold malnourished, hungry, frightened and not receiving medical care or education. Picture this child completely and utterly alone. Can you imagine an orphaned 5 year old caring for siblings. I heard about a 12 year old girl that cried herself to sleep nightly as each day she had to decide which of her hungry crying siblings would eat that day. I can't imagine that. I can't imagine my little ones fending for themselves HERE let alone in the dusty streets of Africa. If it were your child or someone you love, wouldn't you want people and organizations to help?

Hi friends, I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I've been given. It's always been my dream to work with abandoned or orphaned children. This July I plan on going to Ethiopia with a WONDERFUL group called Visiting Orphans and Ordinary Heros. We'll visit widows, orphans, outcasts, those infected with HIV living on the streets and at the Korah dump in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. We'll establish goals for working with the people there and access how we can help them long term. To get there I need your help and FAST! The deadline is approaching and V. O. needs $1100 to purchase my ticket to travel by May 31st. I have I also need an additional $1300( that isn't due until July) ( Total trip is $3100, I've raised $1000) Anything over that amount will help an amazing young lady Brittany Buttram get to Ethiopia with me. She'll be the next generation of youth caring for orphans. She needs the same amount. ($3100)
IF YOU'VE ALREADY DONATED.. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Did I mention that this is TAX deductible? Would you happen to know of anyone or businesses that could sponsor me? PLEASE email me if you do. It would make a great write off and is for a great cause. Every little bit helps! Thank you being a part of my support team. I can be reached at CauseOfTheOrphan@gmail.com call or text me: (714) 335-0434. PLEASE HELP ME HELP ORPHANS visit https://www.visitingorphans.org/donations/donate.aspx It will ask "Would you like to designate this donation to a specific team member?" PLEASE REMEMBER to click "YES" and type in "ALIDA RODRIGUEZ". Then shoot me an email letting me know you’ve done so. To follow my journey visit http://thecauseoftheorphan.blogspot.com/

Here's a clip that speaks about some of the work we'll do there among the Ethiopians. I love how Samuel says in 3:48 "They think the children and people here are cursed and unimportant, But we ARE important!"
http://www.youtube.com/user/Session7Media#p/u/5/f4pgQvgdNqs

____ I will call Visiting Orphans and make a payment by phone at (866) 683-7554
____ I will donate to Visiting Orphans on your behalf online https://www.visitingorphans.org/donations/donate.aspx
(remember to specify this is for Alida Rodriguez thank you)


What does it take to help orphans? Any amount helps me get to $3100!
If 620 people/businesses/organizations donated $5.00 = $3100!
If 310 people/businesses/orgs donated $10.00= $3100!
If 155 people/businesses/orgs donated $20.00= $3100!
If 103 people/businesses/orgs donated $30.00= $3100!
If 62 people/businesses/orgs donated $50.00= $3100!
If 31 people/businesses/orgs donated $100.00=$3100!
If 15 people/businesses/orgs donated $200.00=$3100
If 10 people/businesses/orgs donated $300.00=$3100
If 6 people/businesses/orgs donated $500.00=$3100
If 3 people/businesses/orgs donated $1000.00=$3100
If 2 people/businesses/orgs donated $1550.00=$3100
You get the Picture!
Thank you for any donation of ANY amount! Bless you. Alida w5

May 19, 2011

Homeless Chicago Man Donates Thousands to Down-On-Her-Luck Banker

Chicago - A year ago, everything was going right for a woman we'll call Sandy.
She had a good job at a bank in the suburbs. She and her 10-year-old son had a safe home. But then the world came crashing down around the 39-year-old. She lost her job. She lost her house. And she and her son moved into her truck. Police found her and DCFS threatened to take away her son if she didn't find a safe place to stay.

She moved into a hotel with the help of a social worker who paid for a few nights stay with her own money. That's when Sandy's knight in shining armor showed up. And he's kept showing up, every day, paying her hotel bill, so she and her son can stay off the streets. But Sandy's Good Samaritan isn't a Chicago big shot. He isn't living in a Loop highrise. He doesn't even have a job.
Sandy's Good Samaritan is Curtis Jackson, who's been homeless since 2004. He pays for Sandy's hotel room because she used to treat him with dignity and kindness when she did have a house -- and he pays for it by panhandling and giving the money to her.

"All I can do is get out there and put a sign in my hand, or put a cup in my hand and ask people to help me out, and everything I get, except maybe bus fare and something to eat, I give it to her," Jackson said as he stood at the corner of 55th and Harlem.
Jackson pays the nightly bill by pouring his bucket of change on the hotel counter. Since December, he's raised $9,000, and he's given it all to Sandy. He said sometimes 40, 70, a hundred cars go by before someone gives him a few pennies or a few bucks. Sandy can't believe it. "I've donated to charities, I've helped other homeless families -- never realizing that one day we'd be in this situation," she said. "So thank God that we did have an angel waiting for us."

Jackson said he's a man of faith; homeless, but not hopeless, and he's got some words of wisdom for the people he sees bustling by every day. "I have God. I'm one of the richest men on this earth, 'cause I have God," he said. "Money is not my master. That's what's wrong with this world: money is its master." Sandy said she doesn't think she'll ever be able to repay Jackson, who's become like a brother. "I'm out here for a purpose: to help someone, and that's all I'm trying to do is help someone that needs help right at this moment," he said. "And once she doesn't need help anymore, I'll move on to something else."



May 13, 2011

Village of Korah

Here is a clip that speaks about some of the work we will do there among the Ethiopians. It's about the Village of Korah, the leper colony & Korah dump. It's dwelling place of widows, orphans, lepers and other societal outcasts. Many lives were changed just from some that came on a mission trip similar to the one I hope to go on . Many lives have been transformed with sponsors, schooling and uniforms, medical care etc. Let's bring the Hope of Jesus to those that feel unimportant and forgotten. I love how Samuel says in 3:48 "They think the children and people here are cursed and unimportant, But we ARE important!" http://www.youtube.com/user/Session7Media#p/u/5/f4pgQvgdNqs Thank you for watching. Please pray I'll raise all the needed funds by May 31st! Be Blessed! Alida w5

May 10, 2011

Date has been changed!

Hello Precious friends,
First I wanted to THANK Those of you that have donated to Visiting Orphans on my behalf! I and my team certainly appreciate your gift! Thank you for helping us help orphans!

Friends, I need your help! Many of you are aware I was previously scheduled to go to Ethiopia in April with Project Hopeful. PH has received much needed publicity as an organization with many magazine artilces, TV & radio interviews that they wanted to use those opportunities to raise awareness on how we can help HIV orphans. The trip has been postponed. I am going with another beloved group "Ordinary Hero" hosted by Visiting Orphans in JULY!!! (God willing) It is my hope that the Lord will use this trip to bless orphans and widows and to advocate for those who without a voice. I pray that my heart will become broken with that which breaks His heart. I hope to share in the fellowship of his suffering and bring hope and joy and the power of His resurrection to those in need.

After much prayer I am stepping out in faith for provision for this trip. I have less than 1 week to raise $1600 needed for the flight ( May 31st) and after that I'll need to raise $1500 more. We hope to also bless the orphanage with an item such as a stove, water purification system or playground.

Please pray for me and my team. Pray that we would be fruitful and productive during our time there. Please also consider donating to help me get there! May 31st is the deadline! The GREAT news is that IT'S TAX DEDUCTIBLE!! Would you happen to know of any organization or businesses that could sponsor me? PLEASE email me if you do. It would make a great write off and is for a great cause. Every little bit helps! Any money raised over this amount goes blesses ORPHANS with items like either a new stove, water purification, or playground.

To donate visit https://www.visitingorphans.org/donations/donate.aspx It will ask "Would you like to designate this donation to a specific team member?" PLEASE REMEMBER to click "YES" and type in "ALIDA RODRIGUEZ". PLEASE, HELP ME HELP ORPHANS, and get a tax break to boot. :-) If you have any items you wish to get rid of, I'd gladly pick them up to help raise the funds needed to travel. Thank you so much for your help and your prayers! Alida w5
Feel free to share this post!

What does it take to help orphans? Any amount helps me get to $3100!
If 620 people donated $5.00 = $3100!
If 310 people donated $10.00 = $3100!
If 155 people donated $20.00 = $3100!
If 103 people donated $30.00 = $3100!
If 62 people donated $50.00 = $3100!
If 31 people donated $100 = $3100! You get the Picture! Thank you for any donation of ANY amount! Bless you. Alida w5

Mar 22, 2011

Through a tree



Through a tree we were made debtors to God; so through a tree we
have our debt canceled.

-- Irenaeus

Feb 4, 2011

I'm Going to AFRICA!!!



Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work. Mother Teresa

James 1:27 "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."

Dear Friends,
I have an urgent prayer request. Please HELP!!! The past year I have seen God move in amazing ways. He’s brought us through hospitalizations, healed my son Josiah of a life threatening illness, and carried us during numerous trials. Jesus has been so faithful. God has broken my heart with a deep unquenchable desire to bless orphans.

IN APRIL, I’M GOING TO E. AFRICA (God willing) with Project Hopeful& Visiting Orphans to visit HIV orphans in Ethiopia and Uganda. We'll visit children in the Mother Theresa Orphanage, visit the outcasts at the Korah leper colony, bless children living & working in the dump, love on the fatherless HIV children and tell them about Jesus. Then it’s off to Uganda to share about HIV prevention and work with local children ministries. It seems totally illogical, CRAZY even downright foolish considering our present circumstance. However, I know that God takes the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. ( 1 Cor. 1:27) He equips the called. I am stepping out in faith that if Jesus formed this deep conviction to care for orphans in me, He'll provide every single penny needed. I can think of 100 reasons not to go. In the natural it seems impossible but NOTHING is too difficult to God. I want to be bold and attempt great things for Jesus. Wouldn't it be neat if I met my children there? The kids we're supposed to adopt?

There is an African Proverb that says "Pray, but when you pray, move your feet."

Please pray the funds will come in. Please also, if possible, consider donating to help me get there! I need to raise $3600, half needed ASAP to book my ticket. Any money raised over this amount goes directly to bless ORPHANS with items like either a new stove, water purification, or playground. To donate visit https://www.visitingorphans.org/donations/donate.aspx It will ask "Would you like to designate this donation to a specific team member?" Please click "yes" and type in "Alida Rodriguez". Not only will you help me help ORPHANS, it's also TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!!! If you have any items you wish to get rid of, I'd gladly pick them up to help raise the funds needed to travel. Thank you so much for your prayers, support and for loving "the least of these." I know we may not all wish to go overseas, but we can always support those who do! Bless you,Thank you. In Jesus, Alida w5

"The journey of 1000 miles ( or in this case 9108) starts with a single step!!!" Chinese Proverb
"Growth demands a temporary surrender of security." Gail Sheely
Isaiah 6:8 "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom will I send? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me!”
Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!



Interview with MOTHER Teresa: A Pencil In the Hand Of God

Interview with MOTHER Teresa: A Pencil In the Hand Of God

Jan 27, 2011

Outreach to Street kids

Friends,
Did you know that here in the US everyday 13 kids die on the street everyday? Below is my experience with Stand Up for Kids. Follow the link if you'd like to donate hygiene products, food products, bus passes, First Aid products, phone cards, gift certificates, new or gently used clothing (you can make bags as a group or family) I'd like to keep food & hygiene bags in my van to pass out during the outreaches. Bless you, Alida w5 http://www.standupforkids.org/news/videos.aspx?video=4

http://www.standupforkids.org/about/default.aspx Watch this

Tonight I went to my first street outreach with SUFK (Stand Up For Kids, a nationwide organization) to help homeless street kids. If interested, Go to http://www.standupforkids.org/ to find a group in your area to volunteer (or donate).
"Volunteers go to the streets in order to find, stabilize and otherwise help homeless and street kids improve their lives. Our focus goes beyond street outreach and extends to deterrence and resource programs that we provide in schools and via the internet. But all facets of our mission are guided by the mandate that our volunteers shall tell kids they care about them and then, at every point, prove it."

These kids are incredible. It's heart breaking listening their stories. The volunteers are some of the most compassionate people I've ever met. I'm so impressed by them. I hope to learn from the knowledge they've gained. It takes a special person to do what they do. These kids are sweet but can be a little rough around the edges. I was feeling pretty nervous about attending. A really neat thing for me is that we met at a coffee shop right in front of the same apartments I lived at after my mom kicked me out on the street at 17. The coffee shop used to be an Irish bar. Now it's a coffee shop we met at to bless homeless youth! The way the Lord wove all the details together is so amazing. I can tell you that at 17 on my own trying to hold on to what little hope I had, I never imagined that 13 years later I'd be OK and helping out kids in my same situation. The main kid I spoke with uses the same bus I used to. I knew EACTLY how he feels knowing that you are responsible for every single thing in life. There's NO ONE to help or to catch you if you fall. NO ONE to lean on, NO ONE TO HELP, NO ONE TO CARE if you end up a doctor or an addict, a criminal or a scientist. I've been there. I remember how it felt being rejected and abandoned. I'd work 50 or more hours a week and go to school full time and at times wondered what the point of it all was.

S shared his story with me. He was in foster care and adopted by a family at age 6. His mother went to jail for being on drugs when she had him and he remembers visiting his father in jail. Unfortunately when he turned 18 he was kicked out onto the streets. He hasn't yet even graduated. ( my husband later shared that he had many friends that were adopted or fostered but were kicked out on the streets right when they turned 18 too!) I wonder what these parents think that says to these children. The sad thing is that many of these kids are 18 physically, overly mature in other ways, but they are often years behind academically from being moved from home to home, school to school. They tend to be behind emotionally and often cognitively as well. Its' hard enough for children in a loving home to go out into the world without falling back on their parents a few times before they can finally stand on their own two feet. Imagine how hard it is, the immense difficulty it takes to make a life for yourself with being behind, having nothing to fall back on, having no support whatsoever. Add to that many of these kids get tickets for BEING HOMELESS! ( can you believe it)? They call it loitering, a crime.

The counselor asked me to share a bit since our upbringing was similar. I told S that it dawned on me one day that "I DIDNT HAVE TO DO THE SAME THINGS MY PARENTS DID. Just because my parents were criminals didn't mean I was going to be. Just because they did drugs didn't mean I had too." S admitted that he did try drugs occasionally. We encouraged him to consider the future and to ask himself before he did anything if it would help him accomplish his goals. I told him about not letting the past or a bad mistake cause him to get off track but to do the "Next Right thing." He agreed he would try though he said that is difficult in his situation. There are 3 main ways a person survives on the streets. 1) selling drugs, 2) stealing, 3) prostitution, begging as well. That doesn't help you meet whatever goals you may have. The consequences of such actions often times puts you at odds with the life you hope to make for yourself. This dashes any chance you may have of a future when you are in survival mode and just struggling to make it day to day. S is a hero to me because even though he lives ON THE STREETS he stays in school. In HIGH SCHOOL. His parents didn't even wait until he graduated before they kicked him out. Do you remember how high school was? How mean kids could be? How hard it was to fit in and figure out who you were? Imagine doing this all while not ever having enough food to eat and sleeping in a park! Picture it being cold, rainy, frightening sleeping out in the elements. Anyone can attack you as you sleep. Do you think you'd go to school well rested and ready to do your best all while having a grumbling belly? Folks, this isn't Africa or South America, or some street kids in Russia, this is here in the USA.

As "S" began sharing with me his struggles and his dreams for the future ( to join the army) and how he really needed to pass each and every final he had this week I can't help but be proud of him. Many kids would have given up. I also worry for him. He has a daunting task ahead of him. There are the life goals, his dreams, then there is the stark reality of all that is needed to accomplish this dream. He HAS to pass every single class and he hates his school, kids can be cruel. He lives outside, at times he gets in trouble as he runs with the wrong crowd. That wrong crowd does drugs. Everything is hard for him as he lives day to day without basic necessities. He's birth certificate is at one place, his clothing and school books are at another persons home. He has a job. He holds up signs to attract business to his store. To even pick up the check is an hour walk or so. SUFK will provide him with a bus pass from the donations he receives. They also give him a couple fast food cards, a hygiene bag and food bag. The one he got before had soup that needed to be microwaved. He shared he was unable to eat it as he doesn't have access to a microwave. He has a court date tomorrow at the same time as his finals for a ticket he couldn't pay. If he doesn't go to court he'll have a warrant, if he misses class he'll fail the final. It's January now. "S" will have to have incredible discipline and not make any mistakes to make it until June to graduate. He'll have to work exceptionally hard. Harder than most. I admit it seems impossible and even unfair. But something tells me not to count him out just yet. God worked wonders for a broken little 17 year old girl 13 years ago, He can do it again... with a little help.

Jan 22, 2011

Should I have been aborted?

Today, January 22, America will memorialize the 38th anniversary of the unjust Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that imposed abortion on all 50 states — opening the way for the deaths of more than 53 million babies and the wounding of millions of women and men. I'm sharing my story because it is my hope that the church would wake from it's indifference to this holocaust and actively try to end abortion. I think some "Christians " overlook this tragedy because they figure maybe its better for babies to die than to "suffer a difficult upbringing." I hope to encourage women in difficult situations to "chose life". You have NO IDEA how your child might be used to bless the world. Please look past your circumstances and allow your child to experience the gift of life. All the joys and the pain. Life is precious. I want to give HOPE to those that assume all children born in poverty will be only a burden or criminal.

Our Story
My name is Alida. I've heard every excuse in the world for why abortion is a right and should remain legal. I know many situations women find themselves in that can warrant the "need" for an abortion. I am also a living example of the blessing of "choosing life" despite all of them. I was born prematurely I'm told, to an unwed teenage mother. My mother ran away from a group home, aged out of foster care. She eventually ended up homeless and with my violent drug addict father who severely abused her and beat her so badly that hat he broke her ribs, and various other body parts. I was raised among prostitution and women exploitation. I have been told in the past that I was a product of rape and would have been aborted if a clinic would have been closer. Both of my parents were criminals and addicts. I was abandoned most of my childhood and spent portions of my childhood in foster care, in a domestic violence shelter with my abused grandmother and in various group homes. I was kicked out of the my mothers home at 17. For all practical purposes I was abused, unwanted, unloved and had no future apart from repeating the generational cycle of substance abuse, sin and violence. Many would say that I should have been aborted as I likely would have become a drain on society. Many might say that it would have been kinder to kill me than to allow me to suffer through my difficult upbringing. I say we need to stop trying to play God. Who can say what amount of pain and discomfort predicted warrants the ending of a human life. My husband was also born to a heroine addict, abandoned by his father and raised by his grandmother.

God has a funny way of making good things come out of even the most hopeless of situations. NO, life hasn't been all roses and neither my husband or I were born with a silver spoon in our mouths but our lives have VALUE. Our lives are PRECIOUS and have been REDEEMED! I am not perfect and I make mistakes as much as the next person. But, my husband and I are the first generation in our families to have a loving, stable, healthy marriage. I'm a great mother. I don't use drugs or alcohol. I'm not a criminal. My children are not in foster care. Our home is a haven. My motto is to "leave the world better than when you found it" and I live my life with the goal of Job 29:11-17, Isaiah 58:6-11, and James 1:27. My Family and I serve the community in many ways. We've visited convalescent homes, pack food for and feed the homeless, volunteered at the local birth center. We as a family participate in numerous pro-life outreach activities. I recently became trained in an organization that helps local homeless youths get off the street called Stand up for Kids. I have been a "big sister/mentor." I volunteer at the local children's home. I've been a speaker for foster youth empowering them to make positive life choices. I was recently invited with other foster alumni to speak with those working in the Foster care system on ways to reform the system and how to help youth! Beauty For Ashes! Only God can do that. I was able to volunteer on the same hospital floor my son received treatment on(oncology). We've volunteered at the Ronald Mc Donald house, frequently do our own little neighborhood cleanup. We sponsor children, serve as a family. We are in the process of adopting. I'm currently fundraising to go on my first mission trip to East Africa in April with Project Hopeful and Visiting Orphans to bless HIV orphans to show them the love of Christ. Huatzin is an amazing father, husband and friend. He's coached Special Olympics for over 10+ years, along with www.S4EA.org (similar to S.O) He now coaches for a Christian High School varsity Team. He has done Civil War and Spanish American Reenactments, loves Jesus and blessing others. We are not boasting in ourselves, only in the GOODNESS and REDEEMING POWER of JESUS. We only wish to show how good can come from the most difficult situations. You will never know your childs potential if you destroy him or her through abortion. Life isn't always easy but like Maya Angelou, "I wouldn't trade nothing for my journey now!"

We pray daily that we will be called into full time ministry internationally to serve in or start an orphanage. I'd like to start a non profit "sets the solitary into families" (according to Psalm 68:6) connecting " the solitary" (young adults without family, pregnant teens, homeless youth and former foster alumni ) with adults and families to mentor them. (teaching life skills, cooking, homemaking, budgeting, homemaking, career planning, interacting, inviting them to dinner, having them over for holidays, attending graduations, baby showers, being available to call about parenting questions, modeling and allowing them to experience a FAMILY!) I am so blessed by those who took me in (and still do) for the holidays and encourage me. I'd LOVE to match pregnant teens with mentoring Titus 2 moms to show them how to tenderly care for their children. I'd love to focus on the benefits of attachment parenting, breast-feeding, baby wearing and positive discipline. All in His timing.

Every child is wanted by SOMEONE! I have so many friends who wish to be the ones that raise a child about to be aborted. We would be overjoyed and love any child any color and would be blessed to give a child a good home. I have many friends who would love to adopt special needs children. They say as many as 90% of special needs children are aborted in this country EVERY SINGLE YEAR!!! Organizations like CHASK www.chask.org/ can easily match pregnant mothers with families that will adopt their special needs child. One thing to consider, I have known many many women who've had abortions that regret them. I have yet to meet anyone who regretted their decision to give birth to their baby. Yes this includes even in the act of rape. A best friend in high school was raped and considered abortion. She gave birth to an amazing little boy who is on the honor roll today. I became his godmother. Once you get an abortion THERE IS NO TURNING BACK! It is UNCHANGEABLE!! You can not bring a life back that has already been destroyed. I speak from experience. Not only does abortion extinguish life which is sacred, it increases your chances of breast cancer, depression, suicidal thoughts and can have multiple adverse health consequences including sterilization and death. You can google for the many stories of women harmed from complications from abortions and clinics shut down due to patient death. Choose Life for your baby! You'll be glad you did! Should I have been aborted? Should ANYONE? Of course not. Check out www.40daysforlife.com/

The Facts-
* If you were born after 1972, one-third of your generation, ONE THIRD - has been brutally murdered.
* That’s over 3,600 babies killed EVERY SINGLE DAY... in the United States alone.
* Minority women constitute only about 13% of the female population (age 15-44) in the US, but they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions.
www.blackgenocide.org
* In America alone, a nation that was founded on an unalienable right to life, endowed by our Creator, more than 1,200,000 innocent children are killed by abortion each year.

Quick Test
A. There's a preacher and wife who are very, very, poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she's pregnant with her 15th. They're living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending she get an abortion?
B. The mother is pregnant again. Her first child died in infancy, her husband — has a history of alcohol abuse and mental disorders which frequently causes him to abuse his other children. She has tuberculosis. Should abort?
C. A poor black family in the South is expecting a child. This family, because of its skin color, already has difficulty receiving help and are already at the bare minimum poverty level. Should she get an abortion?
D. A teenage girl is pregnant. She's not married. Here fiancee is not the father of the baby, and he's very upset. He is worried for her sake and for their repution in their community. This child could put a serious strain on their relationship and on any future children. Abortion?
E. A white man raped a 13 year old black girl and she got pregnant. If you were her parents, would you recommend abortion?
F. You are a bright 18 year old girl unmarried college student, you discover the father of your child has wife and child in another country. Abort?
G. A runaway foster youth teen is pregnant by an abusive drug addict pimp. She has no family support or education and no way of supporting herself. Should she abort?
H. You are an addict, you are pregnant, your boyfriend will probably bail on you. Should you abort?

Okay, everybody finished? Here are the results:
A. In the first case, you have just killed John Wesley. One of the great evangelists of the 19th century.
B. In the second case, you just aborted Ludwig Van Beethoven!
C. If you answered Abortion for C, You just aborted Martin Luther King, Jr.
D. If you answered Abortion for D, You, my friend, have just aborted Jesus of Nazareth.
E. If you answered Abortion for you have killed Ethel Waters, the great black gospel singer.
F. If you answered Abortion for you F, you have killed Barack Obama First Black President!
G. If you said yes my friends, You KILLED me. Alida Blessed mother of 5, Adoption advocate, community servant, homeschooling volunteering mother of 5!
H. If you said yes, you aborted Huaztin Rodriguez. Loving father of 5, civil war re-enactor, Special needs coach and lover of orphans and JESUS!

Jan 19, 2011

His little Feet Concert!



The family and I went to see His Little Feet perform. His Little Feet’s Children’s Choir travels the United States, being the voice for orphaned and vulnerable children worldwide. The purpose of the tour is to bring the awareness to the millions of children around the world in need of care, as well as facilitate opportunities for Americans to respond to the needs of children through giving, sponsoring, going and adopting. Oddly enough, the missions group they promote is the same organization I hope to go to Africa with in April!~ www.visitingorphans.org


We had a lovely time seeing all those gorgeous Haitian children sing with their beautiful proud voices. It was hard for my children to learn that each and every one of the children were orphans. Real life orphans. It was harder yet to see that the 9 year olds were the size of my sized 6 year old. These kids were TINY compared to my kiddos. I explained to my children that it often is the case with orphans that may not have had healthy amounts of fresh food to be smaller in appearance than those that are well taken care of from birth. My children could hardly believe their eyes! It was moving to hear accounts on how even teenagers can help change the world for 1! The most uplifting moment for me was listening to these precious Haitian children sing "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord." I'm sure all of us know the hardship affecting so many Haitians right now. These JOYFUL children sing of God's goodness even though they are without parents. I'm sure they get asked all the time if they are available for adoption! Huatzin wanted to take the two 9 year old's Falencia and Johnson home. ;-) Please consider going to a His Little Feet event, or booking a HLF event in your area or at your church.
http://www.hislittlefeet.org/Tour_Schedule_1.html

Sunday, January 23, 2011
9:00 a.m. & 10:45 a.m.
Coastline Church
2215 Calle Barcelona
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
10:00 a.m.
Faith Christian Academy - School Chapel
450 W. Elm St.
Coalinga, CA 93210

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Faith Fellowship Church
450 W. Elm St.
Coalinga, CA 93210

Saturday, January 29, 2011
5:00 p.m.
South Hills Community Church
2585 S. Main Street
Corona, CA 92882

Sunday, January 30, 2011
9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
South Hills Community Church
2585 S. Main Street
Corona, CA 92882

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
8:20 a.m. & 9:45 a.m.
Capistrano Valley Christian School - Chapel
32032 Del Obispo Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Thursday, February 3, 2011
6:00 p.m.
Capistrano Valley Christian School - Family Night
32032 Del Obispo Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Sunday, February 20, 2011
6:00 p.m.
Calvary Church
2101 Gay Street
Longmont, CO 80501

Sunday, February 27, 2011
10:00 a.m.
The Life Connection Church
1015 West Main Street
Jenks, OK 74037

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Victory Church
4300 N MacArthur
Oklahoma City, OK 73122

Sunday, April 10, 2011
9:00 a.m. & 11:15 a.m.
Tower Hill First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank
255 Harding Road
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Word of Faith Fellowship
3871 Heritage Parkway
Dearborn, MI 48124

Sunday, April 17, 2011
5:30 p.m.
Canaan Baptist Church
5409 Baumgartner Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63129 tiny.

Jan 6, 2011

Don’t just pretend to love others..

Romans 12:9-13 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Jan 2, 2011

Graham Cooke expresses my heart (and the heart of so many I minister with).

Decisions that Define Us

We've decided that teaching the Gospel without demonstrating the gospel in not enough. Good preaching, good doctrine, being good people is not enough.
We've decided that having a good church club is not enough. Good fellowship is not enough. And just being a member of that club is not enough.

We've decided that having good Bible studies is good, but not good enough. That just making it to heaven is not our goal, and that knowing about God without truly knowing and experiencing God is meaningless.

We've decided that having good programs is not enough; that change without transformation is intolerable. And that staying the same is not an option.

We've decided that gifting without character is futile.

We've decided that singing songs without worshiping is hollow and having meetings without God showing up is pointless.

We've decided that having faith without works is not enough and having works without love is not acceptable - that our function comes out of our relationship first with the Father and second with each other.

We've decided that reading about the book of Acts without living the book of Acts is unthinkable.

We've decided that confident faith is good.....bold faith is better.

We've decided that hearing about the Holy Spirit without experiencing Him..... is silly. That believing in His presence without seeing it manifested in signs and wonders......is hypocrisy. That believing in healing without seeing people healed......is absurd. And that believing in deliverance without people being delivered.........is absolutely ridiculous.

We've decided to be Holy Spirit filled, Holy Spirit led, and Holy Spirit empowered - anything less doesn't work for us.

We've decided to be the ones telling the stories of God's power - not the ones hearing about them.

We've decided that living saved, but not supernatural is living below our privilege and short of what Christ died for.

We've decided we're a battleship not a cruise-ship! An Army not an audience! Special Forces not spectators! Missionaries not club members!

We've decided to value both pioneers and settlers - pioneers to expand our territory and settlers to build on those territories - but we are not people who take up space others have fought for without improving it ... we are not squatters.

We've decided to be infectious instead of innocuous. Contagious instead of quarantined! Deadly instead of benign!

We've decided to be radical lovers and outrageous givers.

We've decided that we are a mission station not a museum.

Therefore:

We honor the past but we don't live in it.

We live in the present with our eyes on the future.

We see past events - the successes and failures - as stepping stones not stop signs.

We pursue learning in order to be transformed, not learning in order to know.

We are people of engagement not observation.

We focus on what could be - not on what is or has been.

We are not limited to the four walls of this building - our influence is not restricted by location. Not even the nations are out of bounds.

We are more concerned about how many we send out into the world then how many we convince to come into the building. This building is meant to be filled and it will be - but it will NOT be the measure of who we are or the measure of our effectiveness.

We raise-up world changers, not tour guides. We train commandos, not committees.

We are a people of our destiny, not our history.

We've decided that it is better to fail while reaching for the impossible that God has planned for us than succeed in settling for less.

We've decided that nothing short of His Kingdom come and His will be done, in our world as it is in Heaven, will satisfy.

We've decided that we will not be satisfied until our world freaks out and cries out, "Those who have turned the world upside down have come here too."

These are some of the decisions that define who we are as a community and how we live our lives.

These decisions are not destinations - but rather a journey - a journey along an ancient path - we've not found some new way - but rather rediscovered the path as old as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The same path followed by Moses, Joshua and Caleb - Paul, John and Peter.

The path followed by the first century church - a church that revolutionized the culture of the first century and beyond.

It's a path that will impact the world we live in today. It's a path of Bold Faith - believing that what God says is really true and acting on it.

It's a path of Outrageous Generosity - giving our life away in order to demonstrate His Kingdom.

It's a path of Radical Love - loving God with EVERYTHING in us and our neighbor as ourselves.

This is a path of liberty, freedom and healing.

On this path - you will find significance, purpose, and destiny.

It is a path less traveled however - it's not a path only available to a select few - but to whosoever will ... they may come.

It's for people of EVERY nation, tribe and tongue - for those in any occupation or vocation.

No matter where you are in your journey - there's room on this path for you.

Atheism-Pull the Plug

Unless someone care's

Unless someone care's

Compassion Verse

"Lifehouse Anything Skit"

Our Mighty Arrows

Our Mighty Arrows