Friday, December 31, 2004

Top 5 memorable moments of 2004

As I look back on the year 2004 I wanted to think of what were the most memorable moments, to me. Everyone has their take, but this is mine.

5. Grocery worker's strike -
I remember watching as all these poor people kept striking, knowing that those of us who simply need groceries and need good prices couldn't avoid the stores forever. I longed for them to agree and go back to work. But it went on. I couldn't believe it when they went on through from 2003 to 2004.

4. The Passion of the Christ -
In the days leading up to the opening of the largest picture in modern times about Jesus Christ, I remember wondering if it would fly or flop. The anxiety was huge. Then as I watched to world embrace a desire to see it. I prayed that this was also a reflection on the desire of peoples to know Jesus as their Lord, yet I wonder if that was truly communicated.

3. 2004 Presidential Race -
The stress, the energy, the fear, the possibilities. From September through November, my daughters and husband and I lived the vote. We talked to people in as many creative ways as we could possibly think up or imagine. We walked for Bush, yelled for Bush, my feet even swelled for Bush. Our state, didn't go his way, but yeah, the country did.

2. Leaving fulltime ministry to stay at home -
I spent years preparing for youth and children's ministry. It is all I have thought about or dreamed. Then, I had daughter number two and I knew the two of them had to be more important. They had to be the most important ministries in my life. But it was hard. My husband and I debated and prayed about it for months before the decision was made. I still love doing ministry with kids of various ages, but this is my current calling and I will minister to these fantastic future women God has put into my care.

1. The birth of Bethany-
This is my personal top 5 and when she arrived in January it truly was a new year. New experiences, new needs, new ideas and a new face at the dinner table. A mighty cute one at that. She is easily the most remarkable part of 2004 to me. No doubt.

What were your most memorable moments?


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Islands that disappear

Wow! If you aren't following the news about the Asian countries that experienced this recent tsunami, you must have a hard heart. I have friends who are currently in Indonesia and while I know they are fine, I can't help thinking about those who aren't.

I know, what does that have to do with California Families. Well, honestly, I think we rich Californians should be sure we are off our butts and willing to help. I don't care how poor anyone feels on the moment. The comparison is unreal, we ALL are rich. We can't go over there unless there is a great skill you possess to aid this crisis, but we can send $$$. I know how cheesy that sounds, but to whom much is given, much is required.

The current info is outstanding. As many as 5 million people throughout the 12 countries involved may be homeless. That is two times the size of Los Angeles (all of Los Angeles). All, instantly, homeless. WOW!!! How does that happen? We call it poverty.

I have been highly curious about Indonesia specifically because of the fact that of the 115,000 people believed to be dead currently, 80,000 of them were residents of Indonesia (check Drudge). According to various sources the Indonesian government was unable to communicate with many areas which were affected so they did a fly over to assess the damages. A couple of smaller islands weren't there anymore. In fairness, I don't know how many people could have been living on those islands. But to have an island no longer be there is huge. In one area, they stated that all buildings were destroyed except one military building which was built on a hill.

We don't know that kind of poverty. We don't understand that kind of pain. Just writing about it makes me tear up. We need to care we need to do more than just watch the news. Please donate to groups actively involved in helping. World Vision . Please pray for these folks who have suffered and are still suffering.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The "Big One" wasn't in Cali

I was born in the northern California bay area town of Hayward. Since the time of my birth, I have been told to expect "The Big One". In other words, the big earthquake which would disconnect a portion of California from itself would one day hit. Well, I think Indonesia and Thailand feel like they've experienced "The Big One".
We are devestated by fires and quakes, by mudslides or riots. Each of these disasterous experiences may, at worst take a few thousand people. They are tragic. But then I watch the news or read blogs or Drudge and I feel something more.
These are countries which by and large are already extraordinarily poor. Indonesia is an island nation with the occasional "rich" island but many more who wouldn't compare financially. This last quake is unreal.
I read moments ago of mention in the Drudge report that the death toll has reached 60,000 with 2/3 of that being children. My heart cries. I can't express the sadness this knowledge brings. Since I heard of the event I could think of nothing but concern for a family I know. They are currently in Indonesia visiting family for the holidays. They had waited for the political uproar to subside a bit before going. Now this. I have prayed for this family of 4 (Mom, Dad and two children) constantly.
Today I received an e-mail tell me of their safety but also making me aware of another issue of concern. Apparently, within Indonesia the talk is that there may be up to 1.5 million people left homeless as a result of the monsterous tsunami. That is the population of some states within our country.
We are so outrageously wealthy in comparison to numbers like this. Please consider doing something to help. World Vision is already on location and able to help perhaps you can contact them. But whatever you do, please don't sit back and tell yourself that you somehow lack the ability to help because you spent too much for the holidays.