Archive | Redeemed Ministries

What I’m Loving: Fall 2017

What I'm Loving: Fall Edition

Before this season had ever lifted off the ground I had a word pinned to it. Launch. The word brims with action and indicates any sort of beginning. Our church launched a second campus, our kids started a new school, and I entered that long-awaited season of having all three kids in school a couple days a week.

I launched a new series this fall, and I shared how I love beginnings but hate admitting I’m a beginner, mostly because it means admitting I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. But I’m so thankful for the brave steps of ordinary beginners who take a risk and release something new into existence one shaky step of faith at a time.

Here are FIVE things I’m loving for fall… one for each of your five senses. All can be traced back to certain a place of origin, a simple dream, idea, or passion. Every beautiful one has its own precious beginning.

// T o  S E E //

Speaking Beauty blog by Julie Cassol

My friend Julie began this blog with one hope: to capture and communicate beauty. The images she collects from her everyday paths have quietly invited me to notice the beauty I pass by without a second glance. Her latest post on unity gifts us all a pair of fresh eyes. Her simple conversational style leaves me hungry for more of this beauty she seeks, then speaks.

To see

from “Pumpkin Beauty” by Julie Cassol [Speaking Beauty blog]

// T o  H E A R //

The Next Right Thing podcast with Emily P. Freeman

Every Tuesday I exhale as I press play and soak in the audible words of the world’s most peaceful voice. Emily’s amiable honesty inspires me, and her willingness to search for the place her voice fits best blesses me. I didn’t realize until half way through the fifth episode that I was arranging my schedule around each new fifteen-minute increment of pure soul food week to week. It will become your favorite Tuesday habit, too.

TO HEAR

// T o  S M E L L //

Sparrow House Botanicals

The sparrows at Redeemed Ministries launched an amazing bath and beauty product line this year. Every gorgeous bar of handmade soap, every chic tube of lip balm, and every tub of whipped body butter is 100% organic and exploitation free. Not only will you enjoy the beautiful scents paired in these products, your shopping list will make a difference in the lives of survivors and simultaneously spread the word about sex-trafficking.

To smell

I never used to be one of those people who bought Christmas presents and Halloween candy at the same time. But when my youngest was due just weeks after Christmas, I figured I didn’t have much choice. When she arrived three and a half weeks early (exactly eight days before Christmas), I was surprisingly prepared.

You can make a difference and let these amazing fair trade products help you whittle down your gift-giving list long before the rush begins. Teachers, coaches, dance instructors. Neighbors, community helpers, and all the people who make your life a little brighter.

Here you go, and you’re welcome.

The peppermint lavender lip balm is one of my favorites and perfect for stocking stuffing. I’ve set aside some of my favorites, including the orange coconut body butter and handmade soaps, so I can give away a product I believe in on an everyday whim.

If you are already so far ahead that Christmas shopping is a big check mark for you, Sparrow House Botanicals has some amazing new pumpkin products perfect for the month of November. There are so many people in my life who deserve a little pumpkin spice pampering. Maybe that someone is you.

Pumpkin Spice

Sparrow House Botanicals Fall Favorites Gift Set

// T o  T A S T E //

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins

I’m all about “Team Pumpkin Spice,” but I hold the position that not all things need pumpkinizing. When you rip through the wrapper of a Reese’s Peanut Butter pumpkin, you taste nothing but chocolate peanut buttery goodness… all in a darling pumpkin shape. I can handle that. Oh, and because these aren’t jack-o-lanterns, you can go ahead and enjoy these for the whole month of November… or until you officially declare it’s Christmas season.

Reese's peanut butter pumpkins

// T o  F E E L //

Homemade Play-dough

It began as a bribe on the days my tiny one cried all the way home after dropping the big kids off at school. I taught her to plow the huge mound of dough together with her palms, then squeeze it tightly into a ball. “Push then squeeze; push then squeeze,” I’d hear her say in a sing-song way as I’d slip off to the sink to rinse out my coffee cup.

I’ve come to enjoy our morning play-dough routine. As her tiny hands grip the rolling pin, her eyes light up when she realizes she’s flattened the dough all on her own. When I made this “play clay,” as the recipe calls it, I didn’t much think about the color. I grabbed the food coloring we had the most of: bright orange.

To feel

Feeling the soft play-dough take on a new form in my hands has reminded me that God is molding me and changing me and that new beginnings are part of His plan. Mornings at the kitchen table with orange play-dough have been the highlight of my fall. And witnessing my littlest soak it all up has been everything I’ve needed to embrace this season of beautiful beginnings.

What beginnings are you celebrating this fall?

2

Dream With Hope: Redeemed Ministries

Jesus invites us to dream with hope.

God has placed a beautiful dream in my heart, a dream so big it hurts to contemplate. I long to see captives set free in Jesus’ name, for women who’ve only known oppression to feel the warmth of their Father’s love on their radiant faces. I long to see God’s word raise up a generation of powerful voices to speak Truth to broken hearts. More than anything else, I dream of the day Light penetrates the darkness forever.

Perhaps you’ve dreamed this very same dream.

Slavery has been reflected in mankind’s infrastructure ever since the Fall, but the prophet Isaiah’s words rang a freedom bell: I have come to set the captives free. Jesus initiated His ministry here on earth with those same powerful words. Human-trafficking has never been outside His reach.

Lately, I’ve found myself stuck in the waiting.  As I strain to see the beautiful dream through the frustration and fear, I question whether I have what it takes to make a difference in this fight. My voice sounds so very small, and some days, this dream seems hopelessly impossible.

In God’s word I discover camaraderie with another dreamer and the hope my souls craves.

Simon’s profession required him to wait. The day Jesus showed up in Simon’s life was a day like every other. He was mending his nets in the early morning light after a long, unsuccessful night out on the water. Jesus told Simon to put the boat back into deep water and let the nets down again. It made absolutely no sense.

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5) The number of fish caught that day was so great that the nets began to break. The boat could hardly hold the miracle. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” (Luke 5:10b)

Simon traded his broken nets for a dream.

Continue reading over at the Redeemed Ministries blog…

0

Please Remember Them: Redeemed Ministries

In a cold sweat, I shrug off the images of a cruel nightmare: uncontrolled water rushing into my home and sweeping my entire family away. Though my family is safe and my home is dry, water inches its way toward my front door. Being swept away from comfort and safety terrifies me.

I never thought this was possible until Hurricane Harvey parked itself over my city. The devastation, loss, and suffering is unbearable. I begin to pray—for peace, for my family, for my community—and a gentle Voice interrupts my pleas:

Please remember them.

Those of us affected by Hurricane Harvey will recover. Strong and determined, we will rise above this. We will not have nightmares forever. The sound of rain will once again bring peace instead of fear. We will rely on community, on friends and family; we will hold fast to our faith.

But what about them?

What about the women who contribute to the staggering statistics in Houston, Texas? We are a national hub for sex-trafficking. Hurricane Harvey hasn’t swept away this crisis; it’s only increased the desperate need for change.

Continue reading over at the Redeemed Ministries blog…

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

UA-75750908-1