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I Missed the Eclipse

I Missed the Eclipse

I watched the coverage of the eclipse for two hours on television. I watched the hype before the totality, the amazement of less than three minutes of darkness, the “diamond” with the reappearing, and even the disappointed crowd where the clouds covered the awe-inspiring moment. Honestly, it would have been great to be one of the people watching the total eclipse.  But it would have taken more.  More time, more money, more preparation.

Similarly, many people will never experience the life-changing decision to follow Jesus because of “more.” It costs more. It costs living for self in exchange for living for the One who created the eclipse.  It costs living for solely worldly pleasures for living with an eternal perspective.  It may even cost one’s physical life.  Some count the cost and turn the other way.

I can give many excuses for not watching the eclipse. The bottom line: I was not prepared. Yes, I had plenty of warning and plenty of opportunities to prepare. I even looked up how to make a safe eclipse-watching contraption out of cereal box, never making it.  Likewise, you can know how to take a step of faith to follow Jesus, but never take the final step.

I can say I saw the eclipse.  Debatable, I know.  However, I can never say I experienced it.  Therefore, I missed it.  Comparably, many people will say they know Jesus.  They know about His virgin birth, His miracles and even His death on the cross and resurrection. But knowing about historical facts is not the same as personally knowing Jesus. People miss Jesus.

I know some people who lived their lives today as if there was not an eclipse.  It’s not that they did not know about it. It’s that they didn’t care. I’m not judging them. I get it. It may not interest everyone. For this analogy, many people do the same about Jesus. Yes, they may have heard the story about how He offers forgiveness for those who put their trust in Him.  But, they simply do not care.

For those who missed the eclipse this week, you may get another chance. Our amazing, orderly, creator God has formed the atmosphere with precision to allow humans to predict the next eclipse. However, we are not promised tomorrow. One year from now, missing the eclipse will be very unimportant to me, not affecting my day-to-day life. On the other hand, missing Jesus will have eternal effects. No worries if you missed the eclipse, but don’t miss Jesus.

For more information:

Movie Review: Mully

Movie Review: Mully

I have friends I consider heroes.  They have adopted a child from foster care, a local adoption agency or an international agency.  They give me a picture of God’s work in my life.  When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, John 1:12 included me.  It says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” (NIV).  I became a spiritual child of God, adopted into His family.  I am thankful for my friends who have made a difference in a child or several children’s lives.

Imagine hearing of a man who has rescued more than 12,000 orphans.  Shocking, right?  Known as the “World’s Largest Family”, Charles and Esther Mulli(y) had six biological children before adding the 12,000 adopted children.  The Mully Children’s Family (MCF) continues to grow.  The story of Charles Mully and his family has been made into a full-length movie.

You do not want to miss the movie “Mully,” coming to select theaters October 3-5.  I saw a prescreening of the movie in June and am excited many will have the opportunity to view such a well-made, heart-wrenching documentary.  Abandoned as a six-year-old in Kenya, Charles Mully beats the odds with God in his life.  Miracle after miracle takes place, elevating a poverty-stricken orphan to heights of riches.  Remembering his days on the streets, Mully reaches out to his first orphan in the slums of Kenya, which becomes the first of thousands of orphans he rescues.  This amazing story will astound audiences and leave them asking, “How can I make a difference?”

The Mully Children’s Family has partnered with World Crafts, a division of Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) to make a difference in the lives of some of the rescued orphans living in East Africa.  World Crafts purchases products from the Yatta Vocational Training Centre, operated by the MCF in Kenya.   Approximately 100 women a year come from a life of exploitation to participate in the training center where they receive counseling, learn a skill and practical life skills.  By purchasing a Yatta Necklace or a Yatta Purse through World Crafts, you can directly influence the lives of these women.  You can also check out the other artisans World Crafts promotes on their website,

For more information about the movie, buy tickets for the limited showings, or to set up a private showing of “Mully”, go to  You can make a difference.

The movie trailer:


“The 33” Movie Debut: Prepare to Share

“The 33” Movie Debut: Prepare to Share

Who could forget the amazing rescue of 33 miners October 13, 2010? You may recall news of an explosion and collapsed mine in Chile Aug 5, 2010, leaving the men trapped a half mile below the earth’s surface for 69 days. Movie producers have taken this miraculous rescue story and have created a full-length feature film titled “The 33” that will debut Nov. l3.

As a follower of Jesus, I look for ways to share the Good News with nonbelievers. When I heard about the rescue of these miners five years ago, I contemplated the similarities between their physical rescue and my spiritual rescue. I’ve used this comparison to share my rescue story with nonbelievers. If you are a believer, you can do the same.   How?

You can use this movie, “The 33”, as a part of a conversation that naturally turns it into a spiritual conversation. Here’s how. After you watch the movie with your nonbelieving friend, you can discuss the movie in general. Then you can say, “The rescue story reminds me of my own rescue story.” When they look at you awkwardly, you can continue to explain your spiritual rescue story. What a “natural bridge” to your own life changing story!

Disclaimer: I have no personal connections to the film. In fact, I have not seen it. If you decide not to watch the film, it could still come up in conversation.

Here are six truths I’ve discovered when comparing my story to the miners’. After each truth, I will give you the miners’ perspective and how it relates to my story. You can use it as an outline to prepare your story.

Truth # 1- I had to understand my need for help.

Unlike the miners who knew immediately after the collapse of the mine that they needed help, I originally didn’t understand I needed help. As a young girl, I thought, “I’m a pretty good girl. I go to church every Sunday with my family.   God loves me because I’m not as bad as other people.”

But through God’s Word, I learned that my bad actions, bad thoughts, and bad attitudes were called sin. And even one sin was enough to separate me from the perfect God of the Bible.   Because of God’s perfection, He does not allow sin into Heaven. I may not have been trapped under a mile of rock, but sin trapped me, separating me from God. I realized I needed to be rescued. I needed a Savior. Rom. 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Truth #2- I had to understand I could not rescue myself.

Just think what would have happened if the miners thought they could escape on their own. They all would have perished. Imagine one of the men grabbing a spoon and declaring, “Don’t worry, I can get us out.” Ludicrous!

Similarly, I used to think I could free myself from my sin. I told myself, “If I just do enough good things, go to church regularly, give money to the poor, then I can save myself from my sin.” But Eph. 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works so that no one should boast.” Just as impossible as it was for the miners to escape with a spoon, it was impossible for me to “work my way” into heaven. I could not rescue myself!

Truth #3- I had to understand I did not deserve to be rescued.

The miners didn’t deserve to be rescued. The miners hadn’t “earned the right” to escape. They merely experienced the new joy because people loved them and wanted them home. Therefore, people whom they had never met, worked to rescue them.

Likewise, I didn’t have to “do” anything to deserve God’s gift of salvation. But because of God’s great love for me, He displayed His grace by rescuing me in spite of my sin. The Bible says God came and rescued, “while we were yet sinners” (Rom. 5:8). I didn’t have to make my life look better for God to accept me. He accepted me even when sin trapped me.

Truth #4- I had to understand the ONLY rescue plan.

Like the miners who only had one way out, God gave us only one way out of our sin. God sent Jesus. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” And Jesus spoke in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Why would God send His only Son to die for us if there was another way?

Truth #5- I had to understand the importance of personal faith in the rescue plan.   

For the miners, it was not enough for them to KNOW ABOUT the escape route, but they had to demonstrate their faith by getting into the escape capsule. How absurd would it have been if the miners decided to stay buried underground? Each miner made a personal decision to be rescued and to place his faith in the rescue effort. Once he stepped by faith into the escape contraption, he did not have to put out any effort of his own to ascend to the surface. Each man totally relied on the rescuers.

Similarly, God helped me understand that I needed to place my faith in Jesus. When I was a young girl, we had a special speaker at our church. I clearly heard the rescue plan. The Bible told me, the penalty for my sin is death, or separation from God forever. But Jesus died in my place and was buried and rose again from the dead. God accepted Jesus’ blood on the cross as a payment for my sin. That night I told God I accepted His rescue plan, Jesus. I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sin and turned from my self-effort of escape to rely solely on Him for my escape. It was by faith alone that God rescued me.

Truth #6- I had to understand how God’s rescue changed my life.

Even though the miners went from darkness to light immediately, they still had to adjust their lives to the change. They even wore sun glasses when they surfaced to protect their eyes from the scorching rays. The miners’ lives changed forever because of their rescue.

Likewise, my life changed. The Bible tells me that I am a new creature. The Bible says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17). I had to adjust to my new life in Jesus. God not only promises Heaven after death, but promises to make life on earth worth living. God gave me purpose in life, to honor Him all my days.

You can use these six truths to share your rescue story. The movie, “The 33” can be used as a natural transition.

Do you have a rescue story? Maybe you realize you have not been rescued. You can be rescued today.   Call 1-888-JESUS-2000.

I used to be afraid of Muslims

I used to be afraid of Muslims

I used to be afraid of Muslims.  My only knowledge about them came from the media, especially following the 9-11 tragedy.  Like many others, to me a Muslim equaled a terrorist.

So how did I overcome my fear of Muslims?  In 2010, I met a Muslim woman from Pakistan.  She is a kind and generous person who now practices as a nurse to help other people.  In 2011, I met ladies from Morocco.  I spend time with them learning about their culture.  Through our friendships, I have learned what they believe.  I have learned from them what it means to be hospitable.  I have learned that they have the same hopes and dreams that I do.  I also have Muslim friends from Iran, Jordan, Yemen, India, and Syria.

I used to think I could read a book on Islam and understand Muslims completely.  However, I have learned that Muslim women are just as diverse as American women.  Now I know, you cannot “put them in a box.”  They come from different socioeconomic levels, education levels, spiritual commitments, and cultures (only 20% of Muslims are Arabic), just to name a few.

I have come to understand many Muslims behave based on an honor/shame society.  The article, “Understanding 8 traits of HonorShame Cultures” I read on is helpful.  Without summarizing all the points, the article explains they are more concerned about group identity than individual identity.  It is the reason one of my Muslim friends became a doctor like her father, instead of becoming a fashion designer as she wished.  Honor/shame societies have distinct gender roles.  Men advance family honor in public, and women avoid shame in the private realm (modesty).  Interestingly, many of these “stereotypes” are changing in some of the Muslim world.  The fact Muslim women are becoming doctors and some are not wearing the head covering are just two examples of some culture shifts.

I used to think all Muslim women who wore the head covering (different names for different types) were oppressed by their husbands and forced to wear it.  However, I have learned that it is a part of their modest culture, as mentioned.  One of my friends said her husband gives her the choice to wear it, or not.  In fact, he would prefer her to not wear it, but she likes to wear it in public.  She will not wear it in her home unless other men are present.  Many of my Muslim friends do not wear a head covering.

I found it comforting to know not all Muslims take their holy scripture, the Qur’an, literally. For this reason, Muslims can live their whole life and never kill an “infidel” (enemy of Islam) and still be considered a good Muslim.  Besides, many Muslims do not even read the Arabic book.  Either Arabic is not their original language, or even if they speak Arabic like my Moroccan friends, they say the Arabic language has changed since the Qur’an was first compiled in 650 AD.   Therefore, it is difficult for them to understand.  Many rely on the Imam (leader of the local mosque) to teach them.

I have found them very open to talk about religion.  This makes it easy to share the truth about Jesus with them, even though they do not easily accept it.  I wrote another blog post a few years ago that explains some reasons for their unbelief.  (

I pray other followers of Jesus will take the time to meet a Muslim friend.  We should not let fear be the excuse to not share the love of Jesus with our neighbors.  We should not be like the lawyer in Luke 10.  When he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?,” he wanted to know how Jesus defined “neighbor,” not so he would know who to love, but who he does not have to love.

As Jesus shared the story of the Good Samaritan, the lawyer left knowing our neighbors we are to love may be the very people we were told to hate.  May our Muslim friends come to know Jesus through His love and our love for our neighbors.

Kickball or Canoeing?  God Still Loves Children’s Church Camp

Kickball or Canoeing? God Still Loves Children’s Church Camp

She stood behind home plate.  She looked like an “easy out” in her bubble gum pink sweat pants with the elastic ankle band just below her knees (no shorts allowed, even though it was 100 degrees in mid-summer in Oklahoma).  The ball rolled towards her skinny frame, and she timed her kick perfectly to send the ball down the third base line (the only chance for her fourth grade legs to make it to first base).

She didn’t care that the teams were boys against girls the final day of church camp.  In fact, she seemed to have something to prove.  She tore down the first base line without hesitation.  The only problem, a boy thought it was ok to stand in her way.  Without blinking an eye, she ran straight over him to get on base.

“Safe,” motioned the first base referee (probably a camp sponsor).  The boy, embarrassed, picked himself up, dusted off the red dirt and tried to hold back the tears.  The most gentle, quiet girl just flattened him (He did move out of the base line for the next girl).

That story is one of my favorites from children’s church camp in the mid 1980’s (my sweet younger sister shocked everyone when she showed up to play that day).  I know it’s not the most spiritual memory I could share, but it is one of the funniest, most memorable.

I also remember singing the duet, “He’s Still Working On Me,” with my friend from church.  (I know I’m showing my age, now).

How camp has changed!

Our recreation always involved some type of ball: volleyball, kickball, dodgeball (even used the same ball for all the sports).  Today my girls have the privilege of attending Cross Timbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp in south Oklahoma.  They brag about their courage (or lack, thereof) on the ropes course, the rock wall, obstacle course, and “leap of faith.”

And think about the crafts.  Most of the time we used the staples of art: crayons, markers, glue, and glitter.  Now they bring home fancy crafts like pottery or stepping stones.

Our water fun: swimming.  Now they have canoeing, water obstacle courses, slides, etc.

And on the other hand, children’s camp hasn’t changed in many areas.

It’s always hot.

Top bunk is a must!

The children make memories that will last a lifetime.

And most importantly, they leave with the same important message:  Jesus loves them, wants a relationship with them, and will never stop working in their lives (“He’s Still Working  On Me”).  Many children make decisions to trust Jesus as their Savior.

Remember to pray for your campers this summer.  Even though it may not be the same camp you experienced as a child, the same God wants to use camp in children’s lives.  God loves children’s church camp!