Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mixed Motives and Divided Hearts

St. Augustine writes, "A friend is someone who knows everything about you and totally accepts you as you are."

Is this not the dream that we all share? Someday, somewhere, I am going to meet that person who really understands me - understands the words I speak and even the words I leave unspoken. The gospel proclaims that Jesus of Nazareth is the fulfillment of that dream. Paul Tillich's definition of trust remains the most meaningful to me. He defines trust as "the courage to accept acceptance."

Raw honesty with Jesus about our doubts and anxieties, our lust and laziness, our shabby prayer life and stale religiosity, our mixed motives and divided hearts is the risk we take in the certainty of being acceptable and accepted. It is the full and mature expression of invincible trust.

Jesus is the friend who will never fail, the faithful one who will never be lacking in fidelity, even when people are unfaithful to him, the stranger to self-hatred who estranged us from self-hatred.

Brennan Manning - Ruthless Trust

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Give Hope

There is a struggle foreign to most of us. Single motherhood. Unless you are living it, there is no way to fully understand all it takes to work, care for kids and run a home by yourself. The daily burden of single-handedly having to provide emotional, financial and physical care for your children is heavy and often times unbearable.

That is the reason for Hope and Help for Single Moms; to reach out to single moms who day in and day out do this hard work. They are no different than you and I. They love their kids, want to create a safe and nurturing environment for them to grow up in and they care about what their kids eat, where they go to school and how they will one day be able to make it on their own. It could easily be me...or you. They sit among us at church, they stand in line at the grocery store and they are parked in front of you in the school drop off line. Each story I hear is different. Each one is a sad recounting of how relationships are broken. Abuse, selfishness, adultery, death, violence - these are only some of the reasons mothers find themselves parenting alone. Here is one of the over fifty thousand stories right here in Broward County:

A woman who attends a local church Bible study each week and helps to facilitate a moms group received a call two weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon. She got the news of the tragic and unexpected death of her husband. How do you plan for that? What does it feel like to go to bed with your spouse one night and wake up the next day to realize you are alone and will never see that person again? They have a young son who will spend the rest of his life without his father. This mom, in shock now, will slowly regain the strength needed to carry on without her partner. She will because she has to.

But there is hope...

The Lord has not left us alone. He has come to catch and to wipe away every tear.

One day our troubles will be gone and everything sad will become untrue.

He has given us community. His love manifest through others.

His love for us compels our love for others. We love because he first loved us. It is overwhelming sometimes to think of all the hurt, pain and suffering in the world - do you feel powerless to help? I do. But then I realize that God is not asking me to save the world...or save anyone for that matter. That's his job. However, he has put me in community that I might turn to the person next to me and say, "I care."

This is one way I'm saying, "I care."

This signature hand-crafted pendant was designed for Hope and Help for Single Moms in an effort to raise funds to reach out to some of these moms who are daily struggling to pay bills, clothe children and put food on the table. Each pendant hangs on an adjustable black cord.

100% of the proceeds from the first 20 pendants sold will go to the mom and her young son who suddenly lost their husband and father two weeks ago.

Will it secure their future? No.

But, will it extend the love of Christ to a hurting heart? Yes.

If you would like to purchase this beautiful pendant ($15 ea.) you can email me at

Thankfully, Jesus declared on the cross to you and to I, "I care."

Hope is real.

Hope is a Person.

Hope has come.

(all additional proceeds will go to meet the needs of single moms in three specific areas: Christmas assistance, Car Repair/Maintenance and School uniform/books/supplies/backpack assistance)