A Sample Day in my Fight Against Child Trafficking in Portland

– I parked right by an Ambulance & walked over to the driver, told him we needed a medical emerg. person onsite and he wrote down GEORGIA with AMR (@ 793-8240) who I need to schedule that with – said she was great to work with, and to mention his name. He told me to tell her he said to give me a really good ‘deal’.

– Walked by 6 people in their 50’s-70’s who were standing in Pioneer Courthouse Square, holding hands, praying. I waited for the right time, and then offered them some postcards & said briefly what the Walk was about. They were happy to take them, & said they have been called by God to come to the Square ev. Mon & Wed. @ 12:10pm to pray for city and other things. And they told me they would pray for me, this event and the planning team too. I was so encouraged by this little group of faithful believers in the Lord. The leader told me he could tell I loved the Lord because he saw joy in my eyes. That made me smile.

– LM for Mayor Sam Adam’s assist. who I supposed passed it along to someone else in his office who called me back saying that she will begin looking into my two requests! This is great news for the homefront! :

1.) to help me find a highly visible place to hang a banner to advertise the Walk

2.) to set up a video recording of the Mayor saying something in support of SCTNow (since he can’t make it to the Walk)

– Heard back from a recycling receptacle co. who works w/the City (‘sustainability’?). Was referred to a very professional man who is in charge of providing these receptacles for non-profit events in Portland…and that this service including signs for these receptacles, is FREE. YEAH! I will call this Eric tmrw.

– LM to ask a friend to borrow his truck to transport all the tables, chairs and tents – ALL donated by City Bible Church (WOW) from their facility to the venue (may need to do this at like 6:45am Oct. 2nd).

– Rec’d approval for the 2 donated banners’ layout (3rd layout try). I’m HAPPY with both! So grateful. I was hoping for 6 weeks prior to the walk, but I’ll take 3 weeks prior. ūüôā It’s all free publicity. I do hope these two banners can be completed by this weekend – the 19th; I want to bring one with me when I speak Sunday at Horizon Community, & have it above my registration table. ūüôā

– Drove all the way across town to meet with an Artist from Granada, Joachim to exchange a painting of his for a tax donation-receipt re: out SCTNow Art Auction I’m thinking of naming, “Art in Action”. http://mcmillangallery.com/paintings.html … only to realize after waiting and not hearing from him that I remembered the date wrong – actually thought it was THURSDAY most of the morning. So felt pretty dumb. But at least we’re still going to meet … tomorrow!

I was able to make it back in time to hug my amazing son Braylon Emmanuel, at the bus stop.

It was a packed day, but still I have nagging thoughts of what things are yet undone. Maybe the small volunteer team can pick up where I left off on the route.¬†If I continue to return to all my to-do’s all day long, every day, I will break under the pressure and do what I usually do in those times – just sob. Or in worst cases, have a panic attack. Sometimes I have to force myself to push those thoughts out of my ever-spinning brain so I can have a good chunk of time & focused attention on my family..or on praying.¬†So many people I know of right now, need prayer.

I really want a date night with my husband, without thinking about this event. He’s never been busier w/his small business either. So we are in new territory – the both of us are up every night on our laptops til 12-1:30am. But there is always a light: We are both tryin to make sure we celebrate one day off a week…with no technology…no work…no TV & sometimes no cell phone…it’s usually Sundays. God is helping me to prioritize every part of every day. ¬†Again, new territory. I’ve always struggled with time management, but this is a whole new ball game! Ricky is so great about being there for me, being patient, and giving me gentle reminders. A couple times in the last few months, they were not so gentle. But for good reason. I was out of balance and his frustration was honest and well founded and helped me evaluate my schedule & make some needed changes…like: ¬†many days of the week now, I do not have my laptop to even be tempted to work during the day. I don’t watch TV (which I’m glad is not a temptation), so these days I basically force myself to do housework, make meals and (not force myself on this next one… but) spend some time on FUN activities with the kids like fishing, live concerts in the park, cheap¬†matin√©e’ movies, swimming or hot tubbing (like this afternoon with Braylon), going on a walk or out to ice cream…or watching his favorite show right alongside him.. tonight it was, the Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild! Or Angel’s choice yesterday was a movie, “Wild Animal Babies”.

I am planning a road trip for the 3rd weekend of Oct. for us 4 to drive down the Gorge & over to SE Washington … Walla Walla. Visit relatives, fish, roast marshmallows on an open fire pit, & just soak up God’s beauty – the beauty of a close knit family & of His nature in the fall. It is so amazing. I’m also planning on attending a live concert w/my mom, to see one of my favorite artists of all time, perform THIS month, on the 28th…Harry Connick Jr. I can’t wait!

I can’t believe the Lord is utilizing me the way has so far – and will be the rest of the year. It literally would knock my socks off if I had any on. He has opened so many doors for me in this new ministry to help put an end to child slavery & forced prostitution, to sing again -at church (after October, mostly but I am singing a solo Sept.26th already – a wonderful song of hope and vision-casting!)… and to just share about His goodness & faithfulness to friends. ¬†I’ll end this long-winded post with the lyrics to the song I will be singing. It really does encompass my whole reason for living right now. I long to have God’s kingdom come and his will be done right here in Portland, as it is in heaven…and I strongly believe in the vocal declaration of these things he has already said are his will – that are YET TO COME, YET TO HAPPEN – ¬†believing for them and rejoicing in them before they arrive and when they do, WOW. What an even greater story to tell, to brag on our Lord to everyone – yet one more example of His never ending love and faithfulness. CHECK out these lyrics below.


~ Do it Lord ~

by, Tommy Walker

I see your glory, covering the earth Lord
Just as the waters, covering the sea
I see the millions, coming to salvation
I see revival, fire in the land
I see the lost, nameless ones remembered
I see the widows, shouting out your praise
I see the friendless, loved and cele brated
Orphans fullfilling Lord, your calling on their lives

Do It Lord, do it lord
Do it Lord we are praying
Do it Lord, do it
That your glory may be seen

I see forgiveness over taking hatred
Pride and prejudice, now giving way to love
I see depression replaced with joy and gladness
And Satan’s lies, now bowing to the truth

Do It Lord, do it lord
Do it Lord we are praying
Do it Lord, do it!
That your glory may be seen

This is our prayer oh God
This is our desperate cry
In these days that were living now
Let your kingdom come
Let your will be done

I see the brokeness of families, brought to wholeness
I see the prodigals, running home to you
Father’s hearts, now turning toward their children
And the children’s hearts, turning toward the fathers

I see your Church, all rising up in power
Laying down their lives in unity and love
I hear the sound of every tribe and nation
Giving glory to Jesus Christ the Son

Why We’re Moving Back to Oregon

First, a little history about why we moved south: In the late summer of ’07, we were in Medford, praying for employment. Ricky had begun his journey into the world of small home business in web design, but his skills were still developing, and Southern Oregon wasn’t the premier spot to gain steady clientele (or a 9-5 job)¬†at the time. So we just prayed for another means of provision… Continue reading

Who Inspires You?

It’s a rare thing to find someone who inspires you. I mean really inspires you to be a better person. ¬†Lately for me, it’s been Matt Chandler. Since Nov. ’09, when our local pastor told us about another pastor we’d probably enjoy listening to online, Ricky & I checked him out… & his honest, funny & applicable style has reeled us in weekly for new challenging messages.

But since the New Year, I’ve checked back to The Village Church site to listen for another reason: to get blog updates on how he’s dealing with the biggest trial of his life. On Thanksgiving morning ’09, he had a seizure & was shortly after, diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.

After much prayer, Matt & his family decided to fight this battle publicly instead of privately, so he’s giving updates to his congregation and online listeners & receiving much support.

His character is so admirable. His perspective is so refreshingly different. His selfless response to affliction is one like I’ve never seen…as close to how my Savior, Jesus would respond, as I’ve ever seen demonstrated by anyone.

To give you a more tangible idea of what I mean, I’ll leave you with a few videos of Matt Chandler’s updates ~ the 1st taken before his brain surgery to remove the tumor & the 2nd, obviously taken afterward.


Just curious… Who inspires YOU? and Why?

Making memories and ministry a “priority”

This weekend I had the privilege of attending a reunion for¬†my youth choir, “Priority”.¬† It was a celebration of the choir & its director & youth leaders, since its inception 20 years ago. 20 years of former & current members were represented as we all met for lunch & practice Saturday, May 23rd. I was in choir (as far as my memory serves me) from ’92-’97 when I was booted out because that was the year I married Ricky (& you were not allowed to be married & tour around the west coast with a youth choir)!

So I have about 6 years of singing & touring with Priority, that kind of blur into one sweet¬†memory. Thanks to Michele (Smith) Swee who invited me to join in, and to Ron Cochran who directed this bunch of kids (about 50-100 per year), I was exposed to what fruitful ministry & doing what God created you to do…was all¬†about. At first it was just for fun. But then I unexpectedly started learning stuff! Like…

What Alto vs. Soprano vs. Tenor was & how they sounded so great together. How music & lyrics can change your mood, even your week. How important discipline & practice & structure is. How friends 001you continually meet with year-round & then live with for 10 days in June can dramatically impact your sense of belonging. All the tour stories had me in joyful tears this weekend!¬†…And how God can use you (more than you think) to make a difference for his name’s sake,¬†if you lean into & develop the gifts he’s given you.

Ron was (& is) a¬†really, really great teacher of music. I have so much respect for this man. I think when he let me try out for Amy Grant’s “Where Do I Go?” in ’92, it was my first real solo opportunity. To this day (& even Sunday morning when I sang it again) I get a case of the butterflies until I’m about a quarter though¬†a song. But I haven’t put down the mic since.

If either Angel or Braylon have the desire to sing, I have no doubt¬†I’ll be leading them in the same direction I went: to get involved in a choir ministry like Portland Christian Center’s Priority ~¬†with opportunity to grow in¬†friendships & in the Lord, share¬†silly stories, have¬†fun &¬†work hard, all for the glory & kingdom¬†of a Great & Worthy God!

music, song-writing, singing, guitar and the kitchen sink

i have this urge to write more songs, sing ’em, & learn chords to them on my black shiny 6-string. the urge to act on the art within won’t go away…not that i want it to. it fades from the front of my mind to the sides, & some days sinks to the bottom pleading with me all the while to let it out. what i struggle with is who i’m supposed to let it out to.

i’m writing, maybe posting it on my songs, poems or lyrics page. i’m singing it to my family (but usually to myself trying to perfect it in my mind – love those shower acoustics!). i may find chords to it, play it as best i can, & then wait. on what? i don’t know! i used to be able to bring a selection (cover or original) up to a song leader i knew & could collaborate with on it. i have no one like that here. i tried craigslist ads, but two ads that i responded to so far didn’t work out. i tried my church’s 2 bands, but one’s not open to recruiting & the other i’m meeting with in a few weeks…so we’ll see. i think they’re lookin’ to keep doing all covers w/the david crowder band pop worship theme & may need one more bgv (background vocalist).

my heart is open to whatever God wants. it really is. but it burns for outreach. i may try connecting w/other artists thru above grounds, but there are so many in austin, it can be overwhelming. it’s not that i need an audience. God has been my main audience for, goin’ on 3 yrs now. i just dont want to miss an opportunity to bless anyone he puts in my path…or to grow in my potential by working w/other talented artists.

for now… i’m waiting with as much patience as i can muster, i’m writng, i’m changing poopy diapers, i’m singing & dancing around the house, i’m doing dishes, i’m playing the same old chord progressions over & over while the laundry pile seems to reproduce before my eyes (ew, that was a strangely vulgar image), i’m making chicken spaghetti, i’m writing and singing lullabies. i’m running out of gas.

it makes my heart slow & my eyes fill when i think about it long. i so want to learn more, create more music & serve a lot more ~ with all i have. you’d think since he put ’em all in me, he’d show me how to get them out…these gifts he’s given. maybe someday soon.

i’m listening.

seeds

the best piece of info i’ve learned from dr. myles munroe is about a seed.

he wrote that God created everything once, and doesn’t have to create it again because within everything there is a seed to produce more of that thing. from plants to foods to animals to people…take an apple, for example. cut it open, place a seed from it in your hand, and you are holding a single apple seed. but are you really? no, if you see it as only a seed, you miss the entire point. within that seed is the potential to grow and become a tree. that tree, if protected, nurtured & fed will grow & eventually become a full tree with many apples of its own. each one of them has their own seeds to be able to produce hundreds more trees. so the fact is, if you hold a seed in your hand, it may look like a seed. but the truth is, you are holding a potential forest.

our enemy knows it, so this is why he tries to destroy everything of God’s, in its seed form, from the beginning, before it has the chance to grow & bring forth its potential. he targets that which is formed in God’s image (us), because he hates all that is of God, but specifically the youth and the unborn. abortion (of the human seed) has become rampant, 100,516 occurring every month, 137 every hour, one every 26 seconds. our youth have increasingly become more depressed & hopeless, leading to a teen suicide every hour & 45 minutes (triple the rate at 1970). it has become the 2nd leading cause of death in college students (those who should be primed & excited about discovering their life potential), & 3rd leading c.o.d. in 15-24yr-old youth. the more he kills, the more this generation & the next is held back from becoming all God has created it to become.

poetry & books will be never read.¬† melodies & songs will never be penned, listened to, or change the hearts of men. stories & testimonies will never be told, lessons never learned, legacies never left. they will continue to rot, untouched below the earth’s surface @ the richest place on earth, the graveyard.

God has placed many seeds inside of each of us. and it’s our duty to discover them, protect them, feed & nurture them so that we can grow to become more like God. for He is Omnipotent ~ the embodiment of all potential. and once we stop limiting His power in us, stop the excuses, & stop relying on ourselves, we free Him up to do mighty things. our families, communities, ministries & whether we believe it or not, our entire generation can be dramatically changed with the realized potential God has placed in each of us. as a child of God, i need to re-examine my life & ask myself, “am i allowing any person, negative attitude or fear to rob me of my great potential?” yes… i am. and it’s time for a change.