Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Health Care Issue

This post is in response to some recent conversations about Health Care Reform. If you are offended- that is fine with me, I just need a space to get this off my chest and clarify some of my thoughts.

Honestly, I don't know near as much as I would like to. I trust organizations like The Sojourners to help me think about these issues from a Christ like perspective, but I do feel less informed than I would like to be. Still, I want to come out with a very important issue for me when it comes to affordable health care.


I have a chronic illness. Insurance companies don't actually like to pay medical bills for people who are actually sick. Although I am currently unemployed, I have been a contributing to the betterment of society all my life. I volunteer and work non-profit. Not that those things make me any more deserving of health care, but I do feel that they debunk the idea that only lazy poor people don't have health insurance.

Further to the question of: "Why are people trying to let illegal immigrants have health care?"

My response is this: "Do you think they should die?"

That is not a rhetorical question. Affordable health care is a matter of life and death. If you are saying that illegal immigrants and people who cannot afford health care should not get health care, you are saying they do not deserve to live.

At some point in the future my health care will be a matter of my life and death.

So please, please, please support health care reform.

grace and peace

Friday, July 24, 2009

Simple Pleasure

I lifted the book off the shelf and began reading. It was a book of poems and I read them dramatically. We laughed as I enacted the drama of Emily Dickenson's words, at times convinced that Emily was making up words to fit her need.

It was simple pleasure, reading and enjoying poetry. I wonder what life was like when people spent their evenings in parlors reading to each other?

In honor of this fabulous memory I am posting a poem that I loved from that afternoon.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
~Emily Dickenson

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Letter Writing

So you need a fun activity with some friends and funemployment has you broke?

Here is an idea: Write a Letter!! and not just any letter write your congressperson or your senator.

You can tell them how our foreign assistance programs are out of date ( will tell you more about that)

You can ask them to protect children victimized by trafficking ( is doing some good work)

You can thank them for the many good things they have done already. (You'll have to research them yourselves for that.)

You can encourage them to work with our President on Health Care Reform. (Barack Obama's Organizing for Heath Care Page and If you have more good sources for this please feel free to post them as a comment.)

You can encourage the to get some real work done on environmental issues. (Sorry I got nothing; if you know anything you can post it as a comment and I promise I will write a letter.)

There are lots of things you can tell them. My point is TELL THEM. They need to hear what we are thinking so they can do something.

Tonight my ReImagine people and I sat in a friend's living room and as part of our weekly gathering; after a meal, prayer, communion, and scripture reading we wrote Senator Boxer and Congressperson Pelosi. We asked them both to support a bill that should soon be introduced to make our foreign aid more effective. It took us maybe 20 minutes (and that is because we all talk allot).

So do it. It is easy, cheap (supplies: paper, pen, envelop and stamp), you have the time, and it matters. We are in the worst recession since the Great Depression. This crisis is an amazing opportunity for the world to change. We need to be part of the change.

Also when you are done writing your letter, you should take it to their office! Set up an appointment, they want to meet you!


Friday, July 17, 2009

A dear friend of mine needs support

Below is a letter from a good friend of mine that is working with IJM. Please read it and pray about giving!

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing because I have exciting news and I want to invite you to share in the work I have ahead of me. As many of you may know, I graduated from Baylor this spring and I have been praying about the next step. The Lord has answered my prayer and provided a remarkable opportunity to pursue my dream of helping those the world has neglected. The Lord grants the desires of our hearts in what He ordains. I am so excited to launch into the next phase of my life.

Enslaved and downtrodden, the Hebrew people suffered in bondage. Until the God of Abraham heard their cry for freedom and demanded that Pharaoh release His people. Let my people go! He ordered. Loathing injustice, the Lord God intervened on behalf of the oppressed and led them into a land of promise and freedom. Tragically, slavery is not an abstract crime of the past. It is real and happening every day all over the world. In fact, there are more slaves today than were sold in the 400 years of transatlantic slave trade (National Geographic). This injustice is heartbreaking and I am asking you to join the fight against such evil. Families have a right to live free lives and work to support themselves instead of a master. My heart’s cry is that perpetrators of slavery would “Let God’s people, all people go!” I want to be an instrument in the Lord’s hand as He rescues the slaves of our generation. I have learned of the plight of the oppressed and their fight has become my fight. I cannot be silent; I must do my part. The heart of God is to set the captives free and establish his righteousness and justice on the earth. I believe that His calling on my life as a Christian is to carry out His great purposes of redemption in our world. Jesus has worked to heal the broken places in my own life and my heart is to extend His Gospel of freedom to those the world has rejected.

Thus, I am humbly joining the ranks of those who fight injustice and serving for a year in South Asia as an intern with International Justice Mission. IJM is a Christian human rights group with a four-fold purpose:
• Victim Relief
• Perpetrator Accountability
• Structural Prevention
• Victim Aftercare
Specifically, my job will be as an Administrative Intern. I will be supporting the field office by providing assistance with casework, records and files.

I have the amazing opportunity to serve those the world forgets and I want to invite you to join me in the work of the Lord. My needs for a year in South Asia include:
• Financial support - $25, 000
o Airfare, housing, visa processing, immunizations, transportation, food, etc.
• Prayer
o Confidence and protection

I know this sounds overwhelming, but I believe that our God is faithful and will supply all my needs to do His will. It is for this reason that I ask you to prayerfully consider helping me. This can be a one-time or monthly gift. Additionally, a contribution such as $10 would help me eat one more meal or pay for part of my electricity bill. No gift is too small.

If you’d like to join me financially, please read the details on “How to Provide Financial Support” below. All donations are tax-deductible if made out to International Justice Mission and do NOT have my name anywhere on the check, including the memo line. IJM has full discretion over the use of the funds and will reimburse me for my various expenses.

If you’d like to learn more about justice and using your time and talents to rescue the oppressed, check out IJM’s website:

Thank you dear friends!

How to Provide Financial Support:

1. Give online using a debit/credit card at:
Select my name from the dropbox menu or type my name into the comment box

2. Set up monthly giving. More info can be found on the link above.

3. Write a check. Write it out to IJM and DO NOT put my name anywhere on it. Then send it to:
101 South Ave
Edmond OK 73013

Some trafficking stuff you should know about!

1) The Child Protection Compact Act of 2009
IJM is working on some important changes. Check out the status of their work.

2) In the past the US has failed to monitor itself when it comes to our trafficking issues.
According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this is going to change!!

3) check out the SOLD blog for updates on an American paedophile arrested in Chiang Mai

I want to write so much more but I need to get to work on getting work...


Thursday, July 16, 2009

A love affair ending?

I often write here about how much I love my city. Well, I just wanted to state plainly the infatuation is over. I am currently deciding if I will continue to give my love to this city and if this city will love me. It is possible we have had our fill of each other.

"December Baby"
Ingrid Michaelson

The colored lights, they brightly shine.
Unlike your eyes avoiding mine.
The snow is folding sheet upon sheet.
Our hands not holding as we cross the street.

You have had your fill your fill of me.
You have had your fill your fill of me.

I wore the dress I thought you loved.
But my boots are filling with snow you shoved
Off of the car we climb into.
You finished first, I must catch up to you.

You have had your fill your fill of me.
You have had your fill your fill of me.

How can I catch up when I don't don't want to?
How can I catch up when I still want you?

You have had your fill your fill of me.
You have had your fill your fill of me.

December baby, you are my,
December baby, you are my,
December baby, you are my,
December baby, you are mine.

It does not snow here, but you get the point.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You can help save a generation of Thai children from Sex Slavery

The Goble's back yard is a beautiful place to host a dessert.

The intimate setting felt as though just a a couple dozen close friends had gathered to enjoy a beautiful Northern California summer night, but the evening was about more than just socializing. It was a gathering to save a generation.

In Thailand children are being sold, coerced, and manipulated into sex slavery. For some it is the only way they know how to survive. An entire generation is at risk of being lost to the horror of sex tourism. The SOLD Project is working to end that. They have created a video to raise awareness, and a scholarship program for prevention. The students receiving these scholarships come from a village that the UN has reported as the highest trafficking source in Thailand. Education is the first step in giving these children more options.

So last night we gathered, many of us strangers, all of us supporters of the cause, to hear the vision of The SOLD Project's next steps. Rachel and Carrie shared with us the vision that has evolved since their most recent visit to Thailand.

Sadly education is not enough. Joyfully they are willing to do more. Their vision is exciting.

Over the next 5 years they want the project to transition into a fully Thai project- they want to work themselves out of a job, and empower the Thai people to run the project themselves.

They want to create an after school program, so the children have a place to study and play. Many of them come from terribly broken homes and they need a save place to spend their evenings once the school day has ended.

They want to create a mentoring program. Most of the adults in the village left school after grade 6. In order for these kids to see they can have more they need to spend time with adults that have completed school and vocational training.

They want to raise awareness for trafficking among the students who are most at risk of being trafficked. As children leave the village to go into the city to find work many of them have no idea the risk they are taking. They are going into the city so that they can support their families, and once their they find there are no jobs and prostitution becomes their only option.

They want to create a prevention model that can be duplicated though out all of Thailand. Most trafficking work focuses on the aftermath. Someone has to stop the tragedy from ever happening.

I want anyone reading this to help them. I am posting their link. Please donate, learn & pray, and re:act.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

1000 times over

Way back in the day I said that I would post some lyrics from the worship experience at Convergence. So I am finally going to do it.

This is 1000 times over:

This broken heart of mine has been mended a thousand times
This broken heart of mine has been mended a thousand times
Something like hope is coming
Something like peace is coming
Something like joy is coming

Can I let it? Can I let it? Can I let it?

I am clean/ I am new/ I am changing/ I am changing

Can I let it? Can I let it? Can I let it?

I am about 95% sure Angie wrote these words and I love them.

I am thinking about them as I in the in between- wishing reality looked more like my dreams. Still holding onto hope and believing that hope, peace, and joy are coming. Knowing that I am clean, new, and changing. Asking God to help me let these things happen and let them be.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Reasons I am Proud to be Baptist

By Baptist I mean Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Sorry SBC you have broken my heart one too many times. You have been replaced by a Fellowship of Baptist that love me back.

Last week was CBF's General Assembly in Houston, TX. I appreciated the excuse to go home and my other post about Houston will express my joy of being in the Lone Star State.

The theme of GA focused on loving your neighbor, in a very active sense.

My friend Julie preached an inspiring sermon. I missed the sermon due to slow service at a fabulously cheap sushi place but I found the sermon on You Tube. This woman is amazing. I was proud of CBF for choosing to follow through with their commitment to empower women. It is one thing to say that you believe women can preach; it is something much more to actually let them do it, and Julie did it. My CBF people really do love us woman pastors.

Rewinding a bit: the main reason was there is because I have the joy of serving on the Current Leadership Missions Team.

Those meeting started on Monday, and as all good Baptist activities should it began with an eatin' meetin'. South Main Baptist in Houston was kind enough to host us. Among many other wonderful qualities SMBC is within walking distance to Tacos A GoGo. Tacos a GoGo boasts a taco that made Texas Monthly's 63 tacos to eat before you die list. The Barbacoa taco (lamb) was worthy of its title. It was so good! Plus our cashier was from San Francisco. How small is our little world?

Now I know that tacos have little to do with Baptist life, but they were worth mentioning. After the tacos we pondered how we are want to see young leaders engage in Baptist life, we planned our fall simultaneous day of service across the country and day dreamed ways to make this world a better place. I am looking forward to the Current Retreat in Nashville this spring, where we can do all of this some more.

After meeting all day Tuesday all we had to Wednesday was set up during the day and attend a commissioning service that night. My friend Christy was recommissioned for her work with Touching Miami with Love. It was exciting to hear what CBF missionaries are doing all over the world.

Thursday the conference got going. The exhibit hall was filled with booths of CBF partner organizations. It was inspiring seeing the way CBF has partnered with amazing organizations such as:

Bread for the World is an amazing organization that works with churches to help them engage in policy issues that affect hunger all over the world. I attended their workshop on Thursday.

Baylor and Truett were well represented with a monstrous booth that required professionals to build. I think we had 5 booths total between Baylor's Ethics journal, the School of Social work, Baylor Press and something else. Truett in general represented well- so many of my old friends were in attendance. It brought joy to my heart to see us all together.

On Friday I had the privilege of attending the Baptist Joint Committee luncheon. My ticket was purchased by a wonderful woman from First Baptist Austin. I have never met this woman, but I have a few dear friends at FBC Austin and they were gracious enough to invite me to join them.

Chet Edwards spoke and I loved being in a room of Baptist that thought having religious license plates was wrong- and unconstitutional. Seriously it makes me proud to hang with people on the right side of the Religious Liberty conversation. I also learned more of what the first amendment really is intended to mean. It was very insightful.

I heard a ton of talk about human trafficking and the need to get churches involved in the re-abolition of slavery. The Christian Life Commission just hired a wonderful friend of mine to work with Good News Goods- a line of Fair Trade products by Trade as One- that can be sold in churches to help them get involved in helping end global slavery.

I could go on and on. Overall both my time with Current Leadership (a wonderful collection of friends) and my time at GA (an astounding gathering of Christians seeking to serve the Bride of Christ guiding her to justice and a life of love) was beautiful and empowering.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

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