During what is sure to be a verrrry bussssy weekend for all of us, I want to remind you of one thing really quick. John 10:10 in the Bible tells us that Jesus came to earth as our Savior, to give us "life to the full." One of my favorite Christmas songs that we sing at church says, "...He was born to give us life."
As I was spending some quiet time with God this morning, I was reminded that there's a big difference between "life to the full" and "a full life."
Life to the full extent of what God has for us doesn't mean grabbing every thing or opportunity that comes our way. It means knowing the difference between things that fill our life (like empty calories that disappear and leave us with a letdown) and things that fill our soul (like authentic nutrients that fortify and energize us).
I'm challenging you this holiday weekend to let go of the needless fillers and embrace only the parts that nurture your soul at its deepest, realest place. That's where the components of a life full of God's absolute best for you are found.
Wherever you are, I hope you gather with those you love, to worship, celebrate, and rest in the blessings and peace only Jesus brings.
(& Tracy, Christy & Lisa)
I am becoming a morning person. It's terrible. Thankfully when I left the house at 6am Wednesday morning to go to a breakfast for Hope International - an organization I knew almost nothing about - I was wide awake and ready to learn.
I was expecting a small group of people gathered together to learn about an organization that works in microfinance (lending out small-to-us amounts of money to people in impoverished areas/countries so that they can start up businesses within their communities). What I did NOT expect that morning was a breakfast comprised of 250 workers, supporters, and leaders who were celebrating the organization's 20th anniversary.
As Hope International's president and CEO, Peter Greer, took the stage, I was astounded. Not just by the work that this organization is doing, but by the message he gave. While they covered the details of the impact they were having and their goals for the future, I was moved by the constant reminder of what it means to follow Jesus, to care for the poor, to engage with courageous compassion, and to live a life of extraordinary generosity.
Now all of these things sound good, but it gets so much better when you couple it with the work that they are doing.
To be totally up front, I am a sap. I have cried every single time I've watched this video, because I know the feeling of wanting to start some sort of business and not being able to, of having a dream and feeling like it's out of reach. It's so exciting for me at this stage in life to have an organization that we can contribute to that's helping others break through this barrier while STILL focusing first and foremost on making sure as many people as possible cross the line of faith to follow Jesus.
We are blessed to bless. We are freed to free. We are moved beyond our barriers by the grace of God SO THAT we can hold out a hand and help others move beyond theirs.
For move information on Hope International, click HERE.
Lisa & the Fight for a Girl Team
Fight For A Girl seeks to empower women globally to rise up into the calling of freedom on their lives. Our heart is to equip women to rise - both for themselves and also for the women around them. This is why Fight For A Girl is excited to be able to offer a grant for a single mom to attend The Crossing College and receive an Associates Degree in Church Leadership and Ministry*.
Fight For A Girl is looking for a single mom grant recipient who is able to attend The Crossing College for the 2017-2018 academic year, and who will use this opportunity and education to better herself, to better the world around her, and to encourage and equip the women around her to rise up into their own callings of freedom on their lives.
For more information, and to apply for the Fight For A Girl Grant, click here.
Also, take a look at this video from last year's grant recipient, Melissa Dodge!
*The FFG Grant covers tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year. The recipient is responsible for additional fees & books/ materials.
You know what money is?
It's a tool.
It's a tool that can be used for good, or it can be used for evil.
I can use my money to buy good coffee to drink while I study my Bible in the morning.
I could use my money to fund a local drug dealer's enterprise.
Money itself is not good or evil. It's what we do with it that matters.
A. Satan wants to use our money for evil.
He want to keep us in debt and nervous about never having enough.
He wants us to argue with our spouse and live in fear about not being able to provide for our kids.
He wants our entire mentality about money to be centered around anything but using it for good.
B. God has the resources of the universe in His hands.
He is our Dad.
He wants to see us live in abundance and peace about our financial supply.
He wants to provide for our families and be unified in our marriages.
He wants our entire mentality about money to be centered around Him using it for good.
How do we get from point A to point B?
Lisa Snyder, #FightForAGirl board member, author of Simple Generosity, and wise, faith-filled financial manager, is teaching a class for the next few weeks. It's called Grace-Based Budgeting, and she will give you inspiration, education, and homework to get victory in your finances.
I believe in Lisa and her message and her skills and her heart for you to live in abundance. Go take the class & watch your life change.
Click HERE for details.
#FightForAGirl began with our effort to support anti-child-sex-trafficking efforts in Thailand. Our missionary family is Samm and Angie Platt. Angie is here right now, speaking about their ministry and raising money for their family to live, work, and school in Thailand for another year. Please go to this event to support them. You can get tickets through their website, www.andGodsaidGo.com. #FightForAGirl is one of the event sponsors.
Have you ever planned a party and not known how many people would show up? Well that's where Angie is right now, so PLEASE GET YOUR TICKETS AHEAD OF TIME. LIKE NOW. Your heart might be planning to go, but she won't know until you act on it. :)
See you soon!
The Syrian Refugee Crisis is one the worst humanitarian disasters of this generation. Like you, I have seen horrifying news stories and social media posts and wondered, "What can I do to help?" Thankfully, CNN has compiled this list so we can give to charities providing food, shelter, and medical care to the thousands who deperately need it.
Today, I urge you to RESPOND to what you're seeing.
Don't ignore it.
Don't push it away.
Don't turn a blind eye.
You CAN do something.
PRAY. Pray like you would for your very own family members.
And GIVE. What has God already given you to share with someone else? Do it.
Tracy and the Fight For A Girl Team
If you know me at all, you might be able to guess that I think #GivingTuesday is pretty awesome. A day dedicated to generosity? Deal.
Something weird happened this morning, though. As I scrolled through my Instagram feed and my email inbox, I had to fight an urge to feel like I wasn't caring enough - that not caring equally about every single issue and not wanting to support every single organization was somehow a reflection of a heart that is incapable of feeling.
Now that might sound ridiculous as you're reading it in your head (believe me, I'm writing it and can't believe I'm going to post it), but here's my guess: I'm guessing that at some point in your life you've fallen into a similar vein of thinking. Either thinking that your gift just can't make a difference, that you don't care enough, or that you don't know what to care about. So today, I just want to encourage you through these thoughts, and remind you that God has something He has put within each of us to fight for. Whether it's your neighbor or a stranger on the other side of the world, we get to partner with Him as we choose to lean into the discomfort of a battle worth fighting.
(Now I do feel the need to say that I always think the best organization to give to first is the local church. With that, I do believe that God puts specific issues on our hearts, and other issue-oriented non-profits can be a great option for additional giving. Ok, back to what I was saying...)
"My gift can't make a difference..."
Your gift might feel small to you, but combined with every other person thinking the same thought, your gift can make a huge impact. And secondly, so what if it is small? Non-profits function on taking something small and doing something big. Find a non-profit that's doing the thing you want to see changed and enjoy the process and potential of giving!
"I just don't care as much as other people..."
That might actually be true BUT those people didn't naturally care. Let's be clear: maybe something struck a chord in their hearts, but it was in choosing to lean into the discomfort of an issue that they learned to really care. If you know what you care about, look into a few different organizations. See different routes that they are taking and read the stories of how they got started. I bet your care will increase as you signal to your mind that you find value in knowing about a particular issue and giving money to fixing it. Then, keep leaning in over the next few weeks and months. Read articles, books, and blogs. Learn what you can and allow your heart time to grow in care.
"I just don't know what to care about..."
The only way to figure this out is to figure this out (ha!). Seriously though, here is my recommendation for this:
- Read through the following list (not exhaustive of the things we - the FFG board - care about, but my goal is to show you some issues and some of the reasons why we care about them)
- Pick the one that stirs your heart the most (even if it's just a little little little)
- Visit the website and learn a little more
- GIVE something (it signals your mind and heart that this is something you value)
- Commit to learning more and praying for about what it is God has put in your heart to fight for, and read Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels
The List (of causes and organizations we care about):
The Apparent Project - Keeping families together in Haiti while providing jobs, health insurance, and daycare. They are helping women thrive in a broken environment.
Kiva - Providing micro-financing (loans) to people who wouldn't otherwise get them. Help women start business, get an education, and provide for their families. Money is paid back as their businesses grow, and can be re-lent to additional people. Also, donate to Kiva as a whole to keep the process going, and donate today for an additional bonus.
Clean water - World Vision and The Water Project both offer ways to provide clean and safe water to communities in need. Care about kids having clean water to drink? Read more about the need around the world!
Partner to end Sex Trafficking through Destiny Rescue and SheRescue. Donate generally, sponsor a rescue home, or provide medical care for girls who have been rescued from a life of forced prostitution.
Support the Platts - Maybe your heart is less about the issue and more about supporting individuals and families who are on the front lines. Read this blog, follow this family from Minnesota, and help them through financial care and support.
My hope and prayer is that today you would consider entering the battle. Specifically, I encourage you to GIVE and to open your heart to the joy of supporting change and the potential pain found in caring deeply. I encourage to you to take the step of bravery by entering the fight and choosing a side. I cannot promise that the journey will be easy, but I do whole-heartedly believe that the journey will be worth it.
Lisa & the Fight For A Girl team
Her life is perfect.
That girl and her...
...I could never be as great as her.
As popular. As happy. As loved.
This is a myth.
Today, as you're looking in the mirror, walking through the grocery store, sitting at your desk, parenting your kids, interacting with your friends, scrolling through your feed...
I want you to know this:
"It's God's own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference WHO you are or WHERE you're from - if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open..."
Acts 10:34-35 (The Message Bible - emphasis mine)
God plays no favorites.
He looks at each one of the girls He has created, and He smiles.
He wants to bless her.
He wants to be good to her.
He thinks she is beautiful.
He has a great future for her.
He wants her to walk in confidence and victory.
YOU ARE HER.
His daughter. His perfect, favorite, beloved, beautiful girl.
And the door is open for you, too.
For your dreams. For your hopes. For your desires.
Embrace this. Own it. Begin to believe it.
Don't look at "that girl" and her life and decide you can't measure up.
Give yourself a break.
Treat yourself fairly.
Give yourself grace.
Dearest sister, fight for the girl in you today.
Tracy & the Fight For A Girl team
Our #FightNight that was scheduled for Thursday, November 3 has been canceled. Pastor Kelly has been spending some time in the hospital with a herniated disk in her back (read her blog post about it here) and will be unable to attend. Check out her Instagram for updates, and please fight with us by joining us in prayer for healing!!
New fight gear (hoodies, water cups, hats, and more!) will be available this weekend at every campus of The Crossing Church.
Pastor Kelly and the #FightForAGirl Team would like to invite you to our first ever Fight Night on Thursday, November 3 at 7 pm at The Crossing Church Elk River Campus.
Join us for a conversation about being OK with not being OK.
Hey listen - we know life can be tough sometimes because, well, we're living it, too. We want to help you find a group of girls who will fight alongside you as you battle your way through the real challenges of life. Our heart is to help you find your authentic self and learn to embrace her.
This women’s event is free, but you can bring some cash to enjoy some mocktails, get yourself some new fight gear, and do a little Christmas shopping. (Sorry, no childcare provided.)