Lessons in Hope: Encouraging Hearts

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I wish I could sit down for about 4 hours with each of you reading and take you on a visual journey of love through the photos and videos from my visit to Kenya. I really don’t think you’d get bored at all. The people are etched into my heart and the land is etched in my mind. I’ve never been someplace that felt so very different from my norm, yet so very much at home at the same time.

Though I felt God had ordained a mission for me to actively encourage hearts through this opportunity with AWANA International, something miraculous happens when you set out to encourage the hearts of others. God blesses in unexpected ways and you find yourself on the receiving end of being blessed as much as the giving end of being blessed. You might call it the Unexplained Phenomena of Encouraging Hearts. Or Biblical obedience. Whichever one suits you; they both work for me.

This last week in the series of Lessons in Hope, I wanted to dedicate the week to the AWANA Club at Bible Baptist Church where Pastor Edward Murila and his wife, Alice, have ministered for over 25 years. Pastor Edward gave me a tour of their ministry facility, including the little addition at the top of the steps, where 10 children sleep because they have no other place to call home.




One of the biggest needs for this AWANA club is simply to have a cement slab poured in the courtyard where they play games. When it rains, they have no place to congregate together and run the AWANA club games so they must try to improvise in the indoor space they have. While the Kenyan people are excellent improvisers, I was hoping that these sweet folks could get their wish.



The estimate to have concrete poured in the courtyard of the church/school facility is $3700. Frankly, I wish I could just pay for this beautiful platform where God’s Word will be memorized, quoted and enjoyed to its fullest. But at this point in the journey, I don’t have that capability. I do, however, want to donate $100 to this project from one ministry to another. And I’m just asking that if God would ask you to match that, or give any small amount, you’d do it.

The best way for us to donate this money is through the AWANA tax-deductible donation site in the care of  the faithful AWANA missionaries and my friends, Benard and Agnes Litwachi. When you complete the form, in the box for “donor number”, please place the words “for Bible Baptist cement.” Any dollar amount collected over the needed amount will be further projected by Benard.

encouraging hearts

I really want the precious, faithful folks at Bible Baptist to know they are loved and appreciated… and that their work matters to us. And to God.

Will you DONATE HERE.?

Be sure to check out all the Lessons in Hope  from the wonderful AWANA International mission trip I took just five weeks ago! God revealed himself to us in so many ways.

Bloggers, thanks for joining Whimsical Wednesday and I can’t wait to see what you are up to this week. It’s always a pleasure to have your Christian encouragement posts linked up!


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A Prayer for the Moment

One of the readers in our community recently wrote to me and said something like:

I love the prayers you write. I need one that speaks just to the moment. Could you write one for that occasion?


And so today when the words to this prayer flowed from my heart, I thought I would share them with you.

A Prayer for the Moment


Today the day appears gigantic
And my heart is suffocating
With the weight of the world.
Right now I can’t think past the hour,
Much less the entire day.
This moment alone threatens to smother
And I need your love to fill me.
As life transcends from you,
May my every breath rely on the same-
Your holy power
To inhale for me,
To exhale over me,
And to breathe through me
To reveal the essence of your glory.


In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.Job 12:10



prayer for the moment

When the day seems too large and even the moment is overwhelming…



Bible Reading Challenge Check-In and Don’t Miss this Quote!

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And so Monday has rolled around once more. As you might guess, I’m running a little behind Monday at this point after spending Thursday through Sunday at the She Speaks conference in Charlotte, NC, including my travel time. I’m also running a little behind on my Bible reading, about which I’m disappointed. But wow- did I ever hear incredible messages from Christine Caine,  Lysa Terkeurst, Renee Swope, and Karen Ehman. The teaching sessions I attended for speaking and writing were just what I needed and I’m working on my action list from all that I learned.  I feel spiritually re-energized and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to attend the conference. If you want to catch up on tidbits from the conference or get a feel for what it was all about, check out the hashtag #shespeaks14 .

I have to include special thanks to Tommy Nelson for their sponsorship. You guys are incredibly supportive of this mama.

One of the other benefits of the conference was the privilege to meet with my awesome editor, Laura,  from Waterbrook Multonomah and see my agent, Esther Fedorkevich from the Fedd Agency. They are both the bomb, but don’t tell them I said that, because it just doesn’t seem very writer-like, you know?

Ok, I’ll quit talking about the conference, attempt to catch up on the Bible Reading Challenge and ask you:

How are you? How is your summer and how is the challenge going for you? Were you on vacation and thought you’d read a bazillion chapters, only to soak up 2? Were you loving the travel time in the car, thinking you’d catch up on the reading, only you took Dramimine or Melatonin and fell asleep for 8 hours instead? No? Ok, I’d love to hear about how the challenge is going for you. Do you have a minute to stop by and help us keep one another encouraged?

 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. I Thess. 5:11

And I simply must tell you that speaking of encouraging, Christine Caine is one God-empowered woman. Her message was EXACTLY what I needed to hear on Friday night and I thought I’d share this one incredible quote with you, though there were many more:

christine caine

Have a marvelous Monday!


PS: Fact, that background is an ostrich pic I took in Kenya!