30 January 2010

Goodbye Sweet Siggy...

I can hardly stop crying long enough to write this... tonight (Friday night, although it's now early Saturday morning) we buried our dachshund, "Siggy." He was either 12 or 13 years old... we're not for sure because we rescued him from an animal shelter when he was only 1 or 2 years old.

Siggy (full name: Sigmund Freud Kelly) was Natasha's dog and he was quite a character. True to his name, he was a study in psychiatric behavior... canine psychiatric behavior. He was extremely OCD -- spending hours at a time barking at squirrels who taunted him above our tree-house or digging holes practically to China.
Without a doubt, he suffered from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and he would become so depressed in the winter that we once put him on doggy Prozac for about 6 months!

This faithful, little dog made the move with us from Little Rock to Baton Rouge nearly 10 years ago... He lived in a cramped apartment with a tiny balcony while our new house was being built. He's lived through 4 hurricanes and 2 "adventures" (we finally found him). Several years ago, our vet told us that Siggy either had cancer or kidney failure and that we should make our peace with him... he lived another 6.5 years.

In his earlier years, he was quite affectionate and extremely patient, but these past couple of years have been hard on all of us. We knew Siggy was not doing well because his temperament had gone a bit sour. Personally, I don't think he ever fully recovered after the death of his friend, Beowulf (Nadia's Labrador), 3 years ago. He just never was the same.

I pray that he knew we loved him even though these past couple of years were less than ideal. And I will unfailingly believe that we will see our crazy little black-n-tan once again some day... probably chasing squirrels in heaven. Soul or no, a God who loves animals so much to create as many as He did, will surely bring them home to Heaven.
So, goodbye Siggy.
You will be missed.

22 January 2010

How Can You Help?

Tying in to my last blog post, I wanted to offer some great info and website links for anyone who wants more information about the Haiti relief efforts. I know many people feel like there is nothing they can really do (see my previous post) and others feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. So, here are some places you can start:

HPC HAITI RELIEF EFFORT -- Healing Place Church has partnered with several organizations (including Samaritan's Purse) and local doctors (Dr. Greene, et., al) to bring medical supplies and equipment, and medical support to the nation of Haiti. Some of our teams have been working around the clock to help in the effort. Find out what you can do here.

DINO RIZZO's BLOG-- Lead Pastor of Healing Place Church -- Pastor Dino is posting, regularly, about the progress in Haiti. Learn more about actual events taking place on the ground in Port Au Prince.

If you are medically trained personnel and you want to offer your services:
EMAIL: br2haiti@gmail.com
CALL: 225.802.9941
Check out: http://docs4haiti.org

Or to follow our very own Dr. Greene as he tweets from Haiti:
Go to: www.twitter.com/thegreeneteam

Important Blog for regular updates & posted needs:
Shaun King

If you want to help the ORPHANS of Haiti: RAINBOWKIDS.COM

Great blog post by my friend Carole Turner: So You Want to Adopt One of the Orphans In Haiti?


And don't forget... KEEP PRAYING! There's more to be done and the work is far from over.
The rest of the world will soon grow bored with this relief effort. It will no longer be front-page news or "popular activism," but we have to persevere for the people of Haiti.

We are the body of Christ and thus, must be the hands of God.

19 January 2010

Praying for Haiti

There have been so many great posts written about the horrible tragedy that happened just 1 week ago... I seriously considered not writing anything because I didn't want to be perceived as "jumping on the bandwagon."
That said, this whole situation has touched me and my heart is breaking for the people of this impoverished nation.

Last night Healing Place Church joined with 30 other churches -- live & online -- for a special prayer gathering for Haiti.
As anyone who has lived through something awful may know, sometimes a tragedy can end in victory.
This is my prayer for Haiti.

This tiny, island nation has lived with, and through, so much... the level of poverty there is beyond comprehension.
Like their problems before the earthquake struck, Haiti's current predicament can seem so overwhelming... people begin to feel there is nothing they can really do.

Do not be deceived; PRAYER WORKS and we have seen that, firsthand, from our own experiences with tragedy here in Louisiana. So if you think you have nothing to offer... and little to give... just pray.

Pray for the people who are suffering like never before.
Pray for the volunteers who are exhausted and hungry and overwhelmed by the need.
Pray for supplies to be plentiful & to reach their intended destinations.
Pray for an end to the looting and lawlessness.
Pray that God's love and peace would settle on this tiny island nation and that this place once known mostly for voodoo, would become a triumphant nation of hope in Christ.

And when the cause begins to fade and it's no longer cool or popular to support the efforts there... keep praying because that's when they'll need it most.

For more information on how you can help, go HERE.

11 January 2010

What Do You See?

...when you look around?
Whether you want to see it or not, it's there.
Whether we want to believe it or not, it's an enormous problem and it's growing every day.

The United States is one of the worst -- and fastest growing -- countries for the horrendous (but very profitable) crime of human trafficking.
Ask most Americans and they will tell you that human trafficking is a problem of Third World nations like Cambodia, Thailand, or India.

Tell them it's happening here and they will scoff.
Tell them it's very likely happening in their own neighborhood or city and you will leave them speechless.

No one wants to think such a horrible thing could be happening right under their very nose, but that is exactly what is going on... Camouflaged by "freedom of expression," liberal views regarding sex, and casual attitudes toward the sex industry, women, men, and children are being bought and sold right here on American soil.

TODAY is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day & this is a call to arms.
TODAY you can arm yourself with knowledge and then help to empower those whose basic freedoms have been stolen away.
TODAY you can choose to get involved and actually DO something.
Or you can simply look the other way.


02 January 2010

The Next Ten...

And Happy New Decade!

In some ways, this decade has just flown by... my children have grown in a blink of the eye, it seems. But in many other ways, it's hard to believe that just 10 years ago was only 10 years ago! So much has changed -- in our world, and especially in ME.

In the past decade, since Y2K:

--I have moved to another state and adopted another city as my own. (I LOVE Baton Rouge!)

--I have had another child -- my third daughter.

-- I have gained 50 pounds and then lost 96...

--I have changed directions, professionally & politically.

-- I have survived being run over by a drunk driver and the overwhelming anger & depression which followed...

--I have survived hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike and (having grown up in Arkansas)... I still think I prefer them to tornadoes!

-- I have joined ranks with one of the most "REAL" and truly Christ-like churches I have ever seen: Healing Place Church.

-- I have found amazing grace and favor with God by allowing Him to guide my steps.

-- I have let go of years of anger and resentment for things which were truly beyond my control, and even for some that weren't.

-- I have written a book and have begun to write another.

-- I have turned my determination for justice into a mission of mercy.

-- I have stepped outside of my comfort zone to reach out to those who have lost hope and feel forgotten.

-- I have met amazing friends who put orphans and widows, the homeless and the heartbroken, ahead of their own selfish dreams.

-- I have learned how to "tear down the walls" and take the Church to those who might never set foot in one.

-- I have had my eyes opened to the horrors and injustice and the overwhelmingly enormous problem of human trafficking... and I have set my path to join the fight against it.

-- I have discovered that I am a daughter of the King and that nobody -- NOBODY -- can take that away from me.

Ten years have held a lifetime of changes for me.
And I can't wait to see what God has for me in the next ten...

God bless each and every one of you in this new year & the coming decade!