Saturday, December 26, 2009


We all know the famous commercialized Santa Claus, a big jolly man with a white beard, velvet red suit who comes on Christmas Eve to adorn the Christmas tree with presents.

Do you remember as a child when you found out that he wasn't real, how upset you were? I remember figuring it out...and being a little upset with my parents.

I laugh now when I look back, but still have fond memories of looking out the window late into Christmas Eve looking for the reindeer to come and land on our roof! Haha I can admit was mysterious, exciting and FUN.

Of course the REAL reason of Christmas is Jesus birthday, we all know this.

But did any of us KNOW what started many of our fascination/following of the famous bearded man in the white suit?

He was a REAL man, YES REAL, and considered by many a SAINT.

St. Nicholas, whose feast day is December 6, is considered the patron of seafarers, scholars, bankers, pawnbrokers, jurists, brewers, coopers, travelers, perfumers, unmarried girls, brides, and - robbers. He is also the very special saint of children.

St. Nicholas was quite young when his parents died of the plague leaving him the sole heir of their vast possessions. He determined to devote his inheritance to works of charity.

BUT what intrigued me YEARS ago when I read that St. Nick, AKA, SANTA CLAUS saved some women from HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING...I was floored!

A most popular legend concerns the three unwed daughters of an impoverished nobleman who lived in a small town on the coast of Turkey. The maidens could not attract husbands because their father could not afford to provide dowries for them. So late one night the holy Nicholas dropped a small bag of gold in the maidens' window so that the eldest girl could be married. Some time later he dropped in a second bag of gold, then a third. On one of the nights, the gold landed in a stocking hung up to dry, and the tradition of leaving gifts in stockings was born. The nobleman had become so poor that he had contemplated allowing his daughters to become sold into prostitution until they were rescued by St. Nicholas. Nicholas was thereafter honored as patron saint of unwed maidens. Thus, God rewarded St. Nicholas and gave him permission to walk the streets on the eve of his feast, bringing gifts to all good children. This particular story was told for so many generations until the theme of the three bags of gold, or gold balls was adopted as a symbol by bankers and moneylenders.

YES it is true. St. Nicolas cared about girls that were almost sold into sex slavery. And I am sure of it that there were many more instances that were un-reported, where he was used to help keep/set many other girls free.

Can I be honest with you? When I became a real Christian again years ago, I was a little angry at the following of Santa Claus. After all, HE wasn't the REAL meaning of Christmas, was he? I didn't like the fact that our parents had to lie to us to make Christmas more "fun".

I am a curious person by nature, so I decided to investigate this "Santa Claus". And I am very pleased to write that I am so glad that I did.

He was a man that followed what the bible teaches, what Jesus "go about and do good".

And, Nick's mother and father were devote Christians who taught him about Jesus.

"God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit with power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." Acts 10:38

So what is "doing good.?"

I can tell you what it's NOT!

It's NOT going to and emotional church service and promising change in your life but not doing anything. Most people walk out of a service like this and live like HELL the rest of the week!

It's NOT staying at home, praying for the world to change, praying for a miracle to happen for you.

It's NOT pointing the finger at the negative things in the world just SAYING that's got to change.'s DOING something about it.

Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. James 1:26-27 Message

Do you read this? Reaching OUT to the homeless-the LOVELESS in their plight!

Most Christians don't "get" this. They simply come to church, quote scriptures, or make excuses they are too busy, or not "called."

That is not love.

Real love DOES something. It BECOMES the change it wants to see.

I believe and see that St. Nick did exactly this. In other words, he put his money where his mouth was...went about doing GOOD.

This Christmas is so different for me. I don't know about you, but as a Christian I refuse to get angry at how Santa is "pushed" in our face commercially everywhere we go during the season.

St. Nick LOVED. He fed and clothed the children, he helped those who might have been considered "unlovely". The poor girls that were about to be sold into prostitution. His life was a life truly lived with charity, like JESUS.

I know it may sound funny to some of you...and even some of you will get mad at me for giving St. Nick any credit.

St. Nick is now an inspiration to me. I cannot help have huge admiration and love for a person that does what he knows is right/good out of the love of his heart.

I hope this year that you too, have a new appreciation for good old Santa Claus.

May this year the true love of Jesus come alive for you, and may you be found going about doing good!

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for all of your continued support as we rescue girls/teens/women that most would consider unlovely out of human sex trafficking.


Annie Lobert

President, Hookers For Jesus


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Worship = Adoration + Action


A Prayer of Moses

Psalm 90:10,12

The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away...

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.


Friday, September 4, 2009

BBC Disability Ministry Blog

Today at GDS we wanted to highlight the BBC Disability Ministry Blog.

"We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.

We joyfully live with a hard and glorious truth: God purposes disability in his creation for his glory and for our good."

The BBC Disability Ministry Blog is a ministry that we have been personally blessed and encouraged by. We have had the pleasure of meeting the writter of this blog, Mr. John Knight, who is also the Director for Development at Desiring God Ministries, and he speaks and writes about the topic of disability with a heartfelt compassion, wisdom, grace and humility that only comes from many years of dependence on God and His mercy's. We also like Mr. Knight because he has one of the most honest, open and joyfull personalities that we have met and his writting reflects that.

Mr. Knight's blog posts deal with everything from personal experiences (his son was born with disabilities and his wife has experienced cancer) to national and international law and the ramifications of those laws on the disabled and ill. However, every post is Christ saturated and God glorifying.

Every trial is viewed through the lens of the cross and the Gospel.

Every victory is through acquired strength given by Christ.

Please take a moment to read a few of of the posts on the BBC Disability Blog. Also, we would love it if you shared the web addresses of any disability ministries that have blessed you in the comments!

Grace and Peace in Christ - Tavia Pitkanen


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Grand Design

Maybe God knows what He is doing after all. has posted an article on the human Appendix.

Turns out that it is not in fact a "vestigial" organ. It is part of a grand design and an important organ in the immune system. However it is a testament to God's mercy and wisdom that we can live without our Appendix. He designed our bodies to function even when we are born with out certain parts or need to have them removed.

Sadly, one of the researchers had this to say, "We're not saying that Darwin's idea of evolution is wrong — that would be absurd, as we're using his ideas on evolution to do this work," Parker told LiveScience. "It's just that Darwin simply didn't have the information we have now."

Perhaps if they did their research based on how God said that the human body was made they would make larger strides in medical and scientific research as Blaise Pascal, Sir Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and many others did.

One organisation that we really love and recommend is Answers In Genesis. They provide scientifically sound, thought provoking articles from a Biblical perspective. Please check out their website!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1000 Reasons To Follow @GoDoSomething on Twitter!

Today we have reached our 1000th post on the @GoDoSomething Twitter account!

Thank you to the many people and organisations who follow us and frequently re-tweet us! We appreciate the many kind and encouraging comments so many of you send us and we covet your prayers.
We are very blessed to be able to connect with and learn from all of you.

If you have a Twitter account we would be honored if you followed us and if you don't have one, you really should! It's fun, mildly addicting and a wonderful way to connect with people and ministries.

Grace and Peace in Christ. - The G.D.S. Team


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Native American Awareness Conference

This conference is especially interesting to me because my grandparents, Frank and Edna McLaughlin, were missionaries for seven years to the Ojibwe. They lived on reservations in Minnesota and South Dakota and ministered faithfully until their missions agency asked them to move. I know that it was a blessed time for them and that they loved being able to minister one-on-one with the people there.

Here is Bethlehem Baptist's information on the Conference. Hope to see you there! - Tavia Pitkanen

Did you know that though Native Americans have been exposed to the gospel for more than 500 years, only 5% of them have become believers? This conference is designed to inspire and equip Christians for Native American outreach. Guest speakers are: Pastor John Piper, Greg Mott, and Huron Claus.

Our theme is "Maajiigin," the Ojibwe word meaning "beginning" or "begin to grow." We pray that God would use this conference to plant his Word deep in us, water it, and grow our love for and awareness of the Native American community. The conference sessions will better equip us to effectively reach out to Native Americans with the gospel.

You can get more information about the Native American Awareness Conference here.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Singular Advantages of Poverty

This is a section taken from the Puritan writer James Meikle's book Solitude Sweetended.

"In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him." (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
Poverty calls to the exercise of certain graces
, which Christians in opulence cannot so properly be actually engaged in; though every saint has the essence of every grace. The rich cannot depend on God for their daily bread, in the same manner that the needy do. And when the poor, in their pinching straits, and repeated trials and disappointments—are enabled to let patience have her perfect work, to a full resignation to, and approbation of the disposal of providence in their lot, and have a sweet recumbency on the faithfulness and kindness of a reconciled God; thereby he is glorified, and their souls enriched for a world to come.

Again, the saints in poverty have a sweet display of a special providence towards them, and the small things, and petty sums they receive, have a relish to them, above the vast and yearly incomes of the rich; because these come as it were from the immediate hand of God, are the answer of their prayers, and the fruit of their faith. As in an indigent state needs daily return, so faith is daily necessary; and the daily actings of faith on an all-sufficient God, of all Christian graces glorifies God most, putting honor on all his perfections, on his truth and faithfulness, his power and immutability, his wisdom and mercy! And the soul that in the highest degree glorifies God in time, shall be glorified in a higher degree in heaven; for the seeds now sown with weeping, shall yield sheaves of comfort then, and the happy reapers shall rejoice forever.

It matters not how much we suffer here—if God may thereby be more glorified on earth, and we more glorified in heaven. If, then, poverty with the divine blessing, promotes this noble end, can any deny its singular advantages? If the soul goes out towards God, has the world crucified to him, and is crucified to the world; if he esteems the heavenly bliss a sufficient portion, and looks not at the things that are seen; if he commits all to God; if he welcomes every cross that comes from God; if he approves of that lot which God appoints, and in everything depends, confides on God, for himself and his children; and if he has his little allowance, (for he does not wish for much,) insured in the bank of heaven—while the great sums amassed by worldly-minded men and misers, are often in a short time so entirely consumed—is he a loser by poverty?

Finally, though God leads me through a terrible wilderness, and feeds me in the wilderness in a manner which the rich know not, since it is to humble me, and prove me, and do me good at my latter end, even to do me good world without end—why should I complain?


Monday, August 24, 2009


"Courage is not about knowing the path.

It is about taking the first step.

It is about Peter, getting out of the boat.

I do not know my five year plan; even tomorrow will probably not go as I have planned.

I am thrilled and I am terrified, in a ...good way.

So some call it courage,

some call it foolish,

I call it Faith.

I choose to get out of the boat.

To take the next step..." - Katie Davis


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chivalry Is Not Dead

We would like to salute the Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett for his bravery.

On 8.15.09 Mayor Barrett, while leaving the state fair without his security detail because he was not on duty as Mayor, came to the defense of a Grandmother screaming for help while defending her one-year-old grandchild from a man wielding a pipe in a domestic dispute. Mayor Barrett was hit several times in the head and torso, and broke his hand as he stood his ground.

Thankfully the the Grandmother and the child were unharmed and Mayor Barrett is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries and the assailant has been arrested.

Read the whole story here from the Chicago Tribune.
(Picture was borrowed from Polutlas' Photostream on Flicker. Thank you!)


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Love We Trust

Have we told you how much we love the "Of First Importance" Blog? We love it. Very, very much. You should really go subscribe to their daily e-mails right now!

Here is another amazing post from them that we wanted to share with you. Enjoy.

The Love We Trust

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 10:19 PM PDT

“It is an item of faith that we are children of God; there is plenty of evidence in us against it. The faith that surmounts this evidence and that is able to warm itself at the fire of God’s love, instead of having to steal love and self-acceptance from other sources, is actually the root of holiness. . . . We are not saved by the love we exercise, but by the love we trust.”

- Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1979), 213.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jesus Has Forever Identified Himself With Us

I found this beautiful post on the "Of First Importance" blog. A good meditation for your morning. Enjoy!

He Has Permanently Identified With Us

“Since His resurrection, Jesus has kept His physical body, in a glorified form. Jesus did not have a body before He came to earth; He took on a physical body for one purpose only — so that He could die. He became a man to live the perfect life for us and then to die in our place. But even when all that was over, He kept a physical body for eternity in heaven, with the scars on His hands and feet and side now part of His glory. He has permanently identified with us. This is amazing love.”

- Susan Lutz, “Love One Another As I Have Loved You” Journal of Biblical Counseling (Spring 2003), 10.


Monday, August 3, 2009

YOU Can Fight Slavery At the Grocery Store!

Amanda Kloer has a great blog, "End Human Trafficking" at the website:!

Yesterday she posted a wonderful article: "7 Ways to Fight Slavery at the Grocery Store"

Here is a re-post of the article. You can help to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking and slavery just by paying attention to which grocery products you buy. Read on for great advice on which products to be vigilant about.

I am a bit of a foodie (and more than a bit of a nerd), so grocery shopping for me is a fun, relaxing activity. Handling the fruit, smelling the cheese counter, ogling the wine section- it can be quite a nice outing. But when you're trying to pay attention to what you buy, sometimes grocery shopping can feel overwhelming! To make things a little easier, here are seven items at a grocery store to pay special attention to if you're looking to shop slavery-free.

1. Coffee: Coffee might be the most famous food product for having a high incidence of slavery involved in its production. Luckily, most grocery stores carry Fair Trade and ethically-produced brands of coffee which are a better choice for workers.

2. Chocolate: As more and more chocolate companies begin to introduce greater responsibility into their production, finding slave-free chocolate is getting easier. However, the candy isle at the grocery store is still covered with chocolate from companies like Hershey and Nestle who have no supply chain transparency.

3. Seafood: Fishing industries, especially in Southeast Asia and Africa, are growing as destinations for trafficked children. Don't think Thai seafood will make it to your supermarket in the U.S.? Think again. Always check where in the world your seafood comes from and how it is produced.

4. Strawberries: Strawberries are a valuable crop which is difficult to harvest, making migrant workers in the strawberry industry extremely vulnerable to exploitation and slavery. When strawberries are in season, you may be able to find them picked near you. It doesn't guarantee a slave-free berry, but it avoids feeding the industry in California and Central America where much of the trafficking has been found.

5. Tea: Like coffee, the tea industry has seen a lot of slavery. And because tea is the most popular beverage in the world, the profits from exploiting tea growers and harvesters are high. Many teas now are coming out with better labels indicating how they were produced.

6. Poultry: Processing poultry is a gross and dirty job, which means it is often left to undocumented workers. And lack of oversight of poultry factories puts these workers at risk of trafficking. There was even a recent case of disabled workers being enslaved in a turkey processing plant for years.

7. Sugar:The slavery on sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean never quite went away. Slaves grow and harvest sugar in Caribbean, Africa, and Central America. Some grocery stores may carry Fair Trade or ethically-sourced sugar, but you might have to seek out a specialty store in some areas.

Remember. slavery can be found in any industry, but these are a few of the common offenders. Knowing where to look for slavery is the first step toward being a conscious consumer of slave-free goods.


Monday, July 20, 2009

He Holds the Keys to Death and Hades

Found this on the blog "Of First Importance" and had to re-blog it!

“The descent of Christ could be no lower. He fathomed the fathomless, and met sin’s consequences at its last dark frontiers. He tasted death to its limits and tasted it for every man. There is nothing in death or judgement He has not borne. In all its vast extent and utmost extremity, our Lord has answered it. There is no area in the vast abyss left unexplored. He holds the keys to death and hades.”

- Geoffrey T. Bull, The City and the Sign (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Book House, 1970), 95.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Death Is Not Dying!

"Rachel's story is not unlike what thousands of women around the world have experienced. A diagnosis that changes a woman's life and inevitably takes from her what we consider to be most precious.

After four and a half years of vigilantly fighting breast cancer, the 37 year old wife and mother of two was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

But for Rachel the essence of life is found in her relationship with God through Jesus. And that's why Rachel is convinced that death is not dying." Listen to her powerful testimony here.


Rachel Barkey (nee Sawer) went home to her Lord on July 2, 2009 at 37 years of age.

Rachel is survived by her husband Neil and her children Quinn and Kate, parents Ben and Cathy Sawer, brother David (Johanna) Sawer and sister Andrea Sawer.

Rachel was born in London, Ontario and her life travels included years spent in Africa, growing up in Chilliwack (BC), university in London (ON) and working in Dallas (TX) before settling in Vancouver (BC). Rachel had a long career in politics and has many friends from her time working for the Conservative Party of Canada and the BC Liberal Party. A long list of career highlights do not compare to Rachel's accomplishments as a loving wife, mother and servant of Jesus. Rachel had a full and blessed life. She was a loving wife and mother who delighted in serving others, throwing parties, helping friends and spending days at the cabin with her family. She loved everyone selflessly and her passions were evident in everything she did. Rachel adored her children - Quinn and Kate were her greatest gifts.

She will be greatly missed by her family, her friends and everyone whose life she has touched.The family would like to extend a very special thanks to Dr. Will Johnston and Dr. Bev Spring as well as the community palliative care nurses for their excellent care these last months.

Her funeral service will be held on Wednesday, July 8, at 1 p.m. at St. John's Shaughnessy Church in Vancouver, BC. A private family interment service will be held at Valley View Cemetery in Agassiz, BC. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Child of Mine ( or World Vision (

Thank you to all the visitors of for the support and prayers for Rachel, Neil, Quinn, and Kate.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Strong in Another's Strength

June 14, 2009 By: David Mathis
Re-post from Desiring God Blog

Laziness is not the alternative to living in your own strength. Paul talks about being strong in the strength of another.

Ephesians 6:10: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
Colossians 1:29: “I toil [to present everyone mature in Christ], struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
2 Timothy 2:1: “Be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 15:10: “By the grace of God I am what I am.... I worked harder than any of [the other apostles], though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
Romans 15:18: “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me.”

And it’s not only Paul who has this category for being strong in
another’s strength. Peter and Hebrews join in as well.

1 Peter 4:11: “Whoever serves [do so] as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Hebrews 13:20-21: “Now may the God of peace...equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight., through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Both Peter and Hebrews move directly from being strong in another’s strength to praising Jesus. When we forsake the sinful alternatives of passivity and mustering up our own strength, and instead pursue power in another’s power, that Other is mightily honored.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The RESOLVED 09 Conference is going on now. We were not able to make this conference (Just like the Advance09 Conference - sad.) but here are the links to all of this years talks and sermons, as well as the 2007 and 2008 RESOLVED Conferences!

In a strange and wonderful irony, the greatest problem on Earth is resolved by the greatest reality in Heaven.

Sin—it is the poisonous nature of humanity. The depth and breadth of sin is evident everywhere in our world. It is the fundamental principle in every person and the driving momentum of every society. From our first parents in Eden to infants drawing their first breath this day, every human is infected with sin's rebellion against God and His Word. As the Christmas carol languishes, "long lay the world in sin and error pining."

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). This is the reality from Heaven that resolves sin. The gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s amazing and solitary resolution for sin and sinners. The death of Jesus stands forever as God's most glorious act. And it was for the purpose of defeating sin.Resolved 2009 will focus on sin. What is sin? How bad is it? Where did it come from? How can I be saved from it and its consequences? Is it possible to stop? Our 5th Resolved Conference will explore these questions and provide biblical answers.

John Owen wrote, "Be killing sin, or it will be killing you." Join us at Resolved '09 as we rally to understand and battle sin.


Advance09 - Resurgence of the Local Church

Resurgence of the Local Church: A conference about God's gift to his people - the Church!

For those of you who were not able to make it out to North Carolina, (Like us) and missed the Advance09 conference, or maybe you hadn't even heard about it, here is there vision.

Christ promises to build the Church, and that no force will prevail against it. Yet, the local church has been heavily battered in battle. Sadly, churches in America are in steady decline, with over 4000 closing their doors and 500,000 members leaving each year--never to return. This is not what the Lord desires. The Apostle Paul tells us that " . . . through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places". The local church is called to lift-up Jesus so that all the world might see Him. The local church is called to make known the Gospel and to be the vehicle of redemption for the world. Led by local churches, Advance09 is a conference committed to the resurgence of the local church for the glory of God. Our aim is to equip attendees with the Gospel so that the local church might become all that Jesus calls it to be. At this conference, we hope to ensure that on our watch and in our time we honor Jesus and see the resurgence of the local church.

Here are ALL the messages and talks for you to listen to in case you missed the conference:

Advand09 Messages Posted by Desiring God



Monday, June 8, 2009

Twitter: Summations

Coming soon on the GDS Twitter account, we will be doing summations of the Bible, the Gospel and Theology in 140 characters or less!

We were hanging out, surfing the net, listening to Tedashii, discussing life and a post from John Piper, when we came up with this challenge for ourselves; could we sum up the Bible in 140 characters of less? How about the Old Testament? Or Salvation?

We are sure that our Summation Tweets will not fully be able to sum up any of these topics, because it's the Bible, and who can fully sum up something that an infinite God wrote and inspired?!

We are doing this partly as a fun challenge for ourselves and as something interesting and fun for our followers, but know that we are not trying to be flippant with the text or disrespectfully handle the Bible or any of it's content.

We are definitely in love with Twitter, in case you didn't know, and while we are not sure how this challenge will work out, it might inspire you or another reader to make their Twitter God centered and Christ exalting!

Do you have a topic you would like us to try to sum up on Twitter? Put it in the comments or if you have a Twitter account, send us a DM. Feel free to try your own too!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

R.I.P., Aung San Suu Kyi, The World Doesn’t Care

I found this great post on: The European Weekly, New Europe It is very insightful and direct.

Author: Andy Dabilis
31 May 2009 - Issue : 836

Just mention Darfur and George Clooney, Mia Farrow and the A-list of Hollywood celebrities will jump in front of cameras faster than a politician can put his hand in someone else’s pocket. Say Tibet, and Richard Gere and the rest of the has-beens trying to salvage their careers will prostrate themselves before the Dalai Lama and the world will rally ‘round the flag, as it did when protesters in Europe and the United States tried to disrupt the Olympic flame on its way to the Olympics in China, where there is no translation for “human rights.”

Mention Aung San Suu Kyi, the brave pro-democracy leader in Burma - the world’s most corrupt country which the illiterate high-school drop-out military leaders there call Myanmar - and you’ll get a brief flurry of press releases from activists everywhere, full-page ads, letters dripping in sincerity and politicians jumping on the bandwagon, but only until lunch. And she won’t he saved.

At least Clooney and Farrow care, which is more than you can say about the alleged leaders of the US and the European Union, because she’s been allowed to rot in the jail of her house arrest for 13 years. The 63-year-old Suu Kyi – a Nobel Peace Prize winner – has had the courage to withstand isolation and the certainty she will never be released, proved when she was tried on trumped-charges she violated the terms of her house detention by allowing an uninvited American guest, who had to swim a lake past guards around her house, to get there. Fortunately for the government, he was caught swimming back and arrested by the guards who let him go there, so do the math on that set-up. The charges came as she was due to be released from a six-year stretch in house arrest, but that would have come as Burma’s leaders say they are moving toward democratisation and elections in 2010. Maybe they forgot she won the last elections in 1990 with 80 percent of the vote, and is the rightful ruler, but hasn’t been allowed to take power. Guess what will happen in the next election? If she lives, of course.

The biggest diplomatic disgrace – that’s saying a lot in a profession that gorges itself on cowardice – has been the consent of the world, especially the US, EU and eunuchs of the United Nations, in not getting her released, and the failure of Europeans to take to the streets to demonstrate. It’s not that hard. The EU just has to tell China, which really rules Myanmar and its energy potential, to get it done, or trade will be cut off, or maybe the China can be flooded with pirated Paris Hilton movies or the UN can warn it will hold a Security Council meeting in Yangon and bore everyone to death.

After French President Nicolas Sarkozy was spanked by China for meeting with the Dalai Lama, it’s been left to his wife Carla Bruni to be the EU president, writing a letter asking for Suu Kyi’s release, pointing out that “To imprison (Suu Kyi,) and all of the regime’s opponents, is to smother any hope for democracy in Burma.” It was a nice, na├»ve bit of thinking since the world doesn’t really want democracy in Burma because it’s more profitable to have slaves mining the rubies that Burma is famous for and are smuggled into the EU and the US to be worn on the fingers of women protesting inhumanity. So despite some Hollywood parties and weak sanctions, nothing will happen to Myanmar, no protesters will take to the streets of Paris, London, Madrid, Rome or New York to demand Suu Kyi’s release and she will remain locked up for telling the truth, because that’s also a crime in Brussels and Washington.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Travel the Road Vlog

Did you know that Tim Scott and Will Decker from "Travel The Road" have a Vlog?! I didn't until just today. One of our staff members found it online.

Click here to watch some of their newest adventures.

Will is hilarious and a great photographer (check out their website) and on their DVDs Tim does some of the best narration work I've ever heard. Not to mention that they boldly go all over the world doing front line mission work to places, people and countries that most of us would never even dream of trying to reach, all for the name of Christ and the glory of God. They have partnered with Overland Missions to go to more than twenty-five countries with the specific mission of preaching the gospel to unreached people groups and encouraging the church to be active in their faith and to share the Gospel.

The episode of Travel the Road that I have been permanently impacted by was in Season 2, Episode 9. (Click the link to watch!)

Tim and Will visited the Reindeer Tribe on the steppes of Siberia by divine appointment. They had heard about this people group and wanted to go share the Gospel with them, uncertain if anyone ever had. The roads were far too rough for their vehicle to travel, so they and their interpreters rode horses for six hours up into the mountains to the area where the Reindeer Tribe was thought to be camping. Night was fast approaching and the weather was turning colder, they needed shelter. They stumbled across an empty tent belonging to one of the outlying Reindeer families and decided to take shelter, hoping that the owners would not be angry for their imposition when they returned.

In the middle of the night a father, named Holston, and his son returned to the tent. They were very gracious and were happy to share their tent with these strangers. They even made them food and hot tea to help warm them from their long journey. Holston told Tim and Will that a group of missionaries visited them two years ago and showed them the Jesus movie and then gave a picture book about the gospel to his son. Since then, his son had been reading the book every day and kept telling his father that Jesus would come again.

Then Holston told them where he and his son had just come back from. Early this morning he had taken his son farther up the mountain because he thought that they should offer sacrifices to their land. But, his son told him that he would only worship Jesus. Holston replied to his son sarcasticly, "You pray to Jesus, and if He appears, I will believe also." The father and son had been walking all day, up the mountain and then back down to their encampment, only to find these missionaries, sent by God, in their tent waiting for them! Needless to say, Holston was surprised but he also grasped the weight of this moment. He remembered what he had said to his son only that morning.

Tim and Will, along with their translator, shared the Gospel with Holston again. In this visit, Holston saw a God who was bigger than the gods he worshiped, he saw a God of impeccable timing and wisdom. He saw a God who was faithful in His promises, even to one small boy who believed in the hope of Christ on the steppes of Siberia. That night, Holston said that he would worship Jesus as God. The next morning, the rest of Holston's family came home. He explained to them that these missionaries had come to tell them about God. He wanted to hear every story they could tell him about Jesus, his life, work and ministry.

"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. (The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.)" (Psalm 145:13)


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Can a Christian Commit Suicide?

Thank you to The Fools Gold, I found the inspiration for this post at his blog. I've been thinking about this topic for a while (because at times I've worked with suicidal youth), so I was very glad when I stumbled across the John Piper quote he had on his site.

The question is, can a Christian commit suicide and still be a Christian? Or to put it another way, can a person who professes faith take their own life and then go on to Heaven?
This wonderful, Christ exalting answer comes from a funeral message John Piper preached over a year ago for a young man at Bethlehem who committed suicide. He addresses this issue in the following excerpt from the online manuscript:

The stake is this: True Christians can commit suicide. Or to put it another way:There is nothing unique or peculiar about the final act of life that makes it determinative in validating or nullifying our salvation. Or let me say it another way: The final season of faith with all its battles and failures is not the only season of faith that will bear witness in the Last Day that we were born again.

For example, suppose tonight, in my physical weariness, the remaining corruption in my born-again, Christian heart were to get the upper hand, and pride and self-pity and anger were to lash out verbally at my wife. And then suppose that in a great self-justifying huff, I stormed out of the door, got in the car, bolted carelessly through the stop sign on 18th Avenue and was broadsided by a truck and killed in an instant? Would I go to heaven?

Unless I have been a hypocrite through all these last fifty-five years of my Christian life, the answer is yes. For these reasons: 1) Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for my sins and bore the wrath of God in my place so that all my sins might be forgiven. 2) Jesus Christ lived a perfect life of obedience so that by his obedience many sinners could be counted righteous, including me. 3) This sacrifice and this righteousness become mine by faith alone when I trust Jesus as the Lord and Savior and Treasure of my life. 4) This trust is embattled till the day I die, with seasons of strength and seasons of weakness, seasons of darkness and seasons of light. 5) If the last season is so dark that I die by my own sin, that season is not the only season that God takes into account when he presents the evidence that my faith was real.

The scripture that came to my mind after reading the article above was this: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

The power of Christ's blood cannot be rendered ineffective by any force; not by sin or even death. In fact, sin and death are the very reasons that Christ came into the world. The very things that most people believe repels God is why he came.

While it is true that God is repelled by sin, (His nature is infinitely perfect and no sin can exist in His presence), God ordained a way from the beginning of time to fulfill both his wrath and his mercy by taking on our sin and enduring God's wrath. The power of His blood arcs over all of time, it reaches back into the past and justifies the saints of the Old Testament who had faith and into the future for sins we (and our grandchildren) have not yet committed.

If God were not sovereign over these things, He would be no God at all. However, Him being sovereign over death and sin prove Him to be God. "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." (Revelation 1:17-18)

God is also merciful, He knows that we are dust and He cares for us. God is all powerful, but unlike pagan gods, he is not a god who is constantly angry and demanding. He is a God who has come to provide for us by and through His own death. I recently found this beautiful quote by Tozer:

"When through the blood of the everlasting covenant we children of the shadows reach at last our home in the light, we shall have a thousand strings to our harps, but the sweetest may well be the one tuned to sound forth most perfectly the mercy of God. ... Mercy is an attribute of God, an infinite and inexhaustible energy within the divine nature which disposes God to be actively compassionate. Both the Old and the New Testaments proclaim the mercy of God, but the Old has more than four times as much to say about it as the New." ~ A.W. Tozer

By: Tavia Pitkanen


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For Christians Fear and Faith Are Not Compatible

I found this commentary by Mark Larson at Christian Examiner Online and wanted to share it with you. Did you know that worry can be a sin? Why? Because oftentimes when we worry we are not trusting God and His promises. I hope you read the article below and are encouraged to to find your peace in Him.

We are living in a nervous nation. Not since the terror attacks of 9/11 has the country been immersed in such constant anxiety.

Even signs of progress are tempered with an underlying sense of insecurity. There are many reasons for the increasing fear factor in America (and the world), but one thing is very clear: If we don’t get out of this mode we will be destined to stay in the rut, inactive and emotionally paralyzed. That’s when Satan does his best work.

In recent months an endless stream of news stories has made the situation worse. First we were told that the recession was happening, even back when it wasn’t. In the midst of a seemingly endless political campaign there were people almost gleeful about the prospects of a financial downturn. When the country was hammered by a very real mortgage meltdown, bank failures and stock slides, we were told it was going to get worse… maybe a return to The Great Depression. Other disasters such as the Bernie Madoff scandal didn’t help our confidence, while Uncle Sam’s bailouts added more stress due to huge mounting American debts.

As a longtime member of the media, I am embarrassed by the behavior of colleagues who relish the opportunity to fan the flames of fear. Frustrating, yes, but it’s the nature of the business to highlight disasters, frayed nerves and apprehension. There’s a saying in the news business: If it bleeds, it leads. In other words, the top story is always that which is most shocking. And in today’s non-stop information world, no single news source wants to be the first to get off of a story. There’s too much competition for the most “compelling” items. So the problem feeds on itself.

After a nearly two year, steady drumbeat of, “The economy’s awful, job losses are increasing and there’s assorted misery” accounts, we saw the emphasis shift to health scares. “Swine Flu” (or “H1N1,” so as not to offend actual swine) became the hottest item on daily newscasts. Words like “pandemic” and comparisons to the epidemic of 1918 became commonplace. (No matter that just plain-ole’ basic flu kills more than 35,000 annually, way more than the Pig Virus.) The Swine Flu drama also unfolded just as the “May Sweeps” were underway… the hottest month for TV ratings. Hype equals big numbers and bucks. As a bonus, Newsweek released a cover story on a new survey trumpeting how the country is giving up on religion. Everything added up to a non-stop media message: You have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. It’s coming for you. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Americans aren’t economic gurus or medical professionals. So if we hear something often enough it becomes reality. The economy has plenty of critical, real challenges, but we’ve now talked ourselves into believing there’s no way out of our problems and this is as good as it gets. Unfortunately this is when government bureaucrats step up and offer to “fix” everything. Too often we’re willing to give them too much power, hoping for instant gratification.

Yes, the whole world is in sick-and-nervous mode and we may be in this for some time. So what do we do about it? We fight fear through faith. Someone has said the acronym for fear is F-E-A-R… “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Research has shown that a very small percentage of things that worry us become evident. FDR was right: Most times we have “nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Christians should already have this figured out. But since we’re human, it’s very easy to get caught up in negative moods like everyone else. Maybe it’s time to check our spiritual compass and see if we truly believe what we say we believe, starting with the hundreds of “fear nots” in the Bible. Then do a study on references to being “strong and courageous” and how God is ready to “fight our battles.” Remember, the daily battles we experience are often in our heads and hearts … it’s internal. In other words, we must choose to rise above it all and plug into the power source.

C.S. Lewis said, “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted … in spite of changing moods.” Oswald Chambers wrote this about anxiety: “If your heart is troubled, you are not living up to your belief.” Ouch. He also noted this: “It is the most natural thing in the world to be scared, and the clearest evidence that God is in our hearts is when we do not get into panics.”

There’s been panic-a-plenty in recent times and always more on the horizon. Fighting the fear factor requires courage and persistence, and staying constantly connected to God.

Doing nothing allows the enemy to win … but perfect love casts out


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

“I Am His”

“I am His by purchase and I am His by conquest; I am His by donation and I am His by election; I am His by covenant and I am His by marriage; I am wholly His; I am peculiarly His; I am universally His; I am eternally His.

Once I was a slave but now I am a son; once I was dead but now I am alive; once I was darkness but now I am light in the Lord; once I was a child of wrath, an heir of hell, but now I am an heir of heaven; once I was Satan’s bond-servant but now I am God’s freeman; once I was under the spirit of bondage but now I am under the Spirit of adoption that seals up to me the remission of my sins, the justification of my person and the salvation of my soul.”

- Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth
From the blog: Of First Importance


Monday, June 1, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life Tour Review

The Don’t Waste Your Life Tour from Reach Records features: Lecrae, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, Tedashii, and FLAME (click on the links to follow them on Twitter, sadly FLAME does not have one). I wanted to start by saying that this was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. The entire concert was centered around praising God and preaching the gospel. With each performance these young men spoke with a beautiful passion, about God, not wasting our lives, and Lecrae even stopped the music at one point so he could speak to the audience about something that was on his heart. They also took a few breaks inbetween sets to preach.

The music was amazing; you could see that the Lord was working there. Their theology is solid in every song, and they are passionate about spreading the Word of God throughout the earth. All of the G.D.S. staff members recommend attending this concert, because it isn’t just a concert, it is four talented believers preaching the Gospel to a beat!
On top of a great concert Saturday night, the next day two of us were able to meet Lecrae, and FLAME, after Lecrae gave everything he had left of his voice for the Lord for the offertory song in church, (he performed Don’t Waste Your Life). They are very sincere believers and were very gracious. It was a joy to get to meet them.

As I sit here writing down my thought’s I am praying that the Lord will bless this tour, revive hearts, and save souls while using these men as vessels to give Him glory and further His kingdom. Buy your tickets soon, the concert we went to was sold out!

1) You know how sometimes you get an album that you love and then when you go to the concert it's just not the same? The bass is turned up to far, or the music is way louder than the vocals, or the band really doesn't know the music and they are totally out of sync? Well this tour is the exact opposite of that!!! The music at the concert is album quality people!

2) The club that we went to see the show at was giving away the new "Don't Waste Your Life Sermon Jams" CD so we were really excited to our hands on copies of that.

3) Did you know that Reach Records has a division called "Reach Life"? It's the ministry side to there music. Check it out!

Review By: Ian Pitkanen


Sunday, May 31, 2009

The "Don't Waste Your Life" Tour 2009!

Hi everyone! We got to go to the "Don't Waste Your Life" concert last night and it was an awesome show! Here are some pictures for your enjoyment, and a review of the concert is coming soon.

The concert we went to was a sold-out affair so if you want to go, buy your tickets ASAP. Find out if they are coming to your town at

P.S. ~ The Reach Records Crew were at our church this morning and two of our staff got to meet them!

And of course, they preached the Gospel, several times they stopped the music to speak to the crowd about Christ, sharing our faith and missions!


Friday, May 29, 2009

How to Spark Substantive Conversations with Your Spouse

Found this at Justin Taylor's Blog: Between Two Worlds and thought that it was great!

Tony Reinke:

[David] Powlison suggested three categories of questions to ask your husband or wife. Each of these categories can be asked on a daily basis. And each of these categories are simple and broad, but certainly provide helpful reminders. Here are the three:

1. What are your present burdens?The Bible tells us that we are born for trouble (Job 5:7). So what is the trouble? A sin? A responsibility? An issue at work? A particular conflict? What weighs you down? What was your lowlight of this day? These burdens are the “heat of life.”

2. What are your present joys?
What were your highlights from the day? These joys are the “dew of blessing.”

3. What is your calling?
This could include the mundane tasks, or broader life-purpose questions. What are your duties for this day? What do you need to do? What are your goals for this day? For example, a parent could say, “Today, I don’t want to lose my temper with the kids.” It could be as simple as this.

For more on this, see Powlison's very helpful little booklet on Renewing Marital Intimacy.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love146 Safe House: A Place of Dreams

"Love Protects, Defends, Restores, Empowers"

Love146 has opened a new safe house for young women and children rescued from the Human Trafficking industry. Not as many children and young women are being rescued as could be because the safe houses simply do not have enough room. This is such a tragedy.

Children cannot be liberated from bondage only to end up at risk of starvation, homelessness, or being re-trafficked and exploited. At this very moment, children in brothels around the world could be set free if additional safe homes and trained caregivers existed.

In 2009, Love146 has also initiated these Aftercare programs:

Love146 Round Home: The first thing a child needs after being liberated from sexual slavery is a safe place. Love146 is committed to increasing the number of safe homes worldwide for survivors of child sexual exploitation and trafficking.

“My idea of a safe home is where we nurse the bird’s broken wing. If we do well with our nursing, then the bird should be able to fly again and out of the safe home, and soar to the heights it was meant to reach. If it casts a glance at the safe home again, then it should be from above, among the clouds of its achievements.” -Dr. Gundelina Velazco Director of Aftercare Love146

Love146 Aftercare Training: Children need trained caregivers to help in their healing and restoration. Love146 has devised training programs to be used to train participants at several levels. The programs aim at developing knowledge and skills for working with victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE). Through these training programs, caregivers learn to help CSE survivors by facilitating restorative experiences, teaching life skills, and providing hope for a better future.

Love146 Boys Aftercare Curriculum: This curriculum will be developed in Cambodia. Currently, no training exists for managers, social workers, supervisors and caregivers who work with male survivors. This results in the majority of boys’ needs being unmet – they are often ignored and frequently discriminated against in a variety of settings. Instead they require proper information, skills, confidence and effective support mechanisms to develop responses that meet the physical, psychosocial and social welfare needs of boys.

Click here for 146 ways to help Love146!

Please prayerfully consider how you can help these children and young women. Not just with a donation, but with your own life and actions. I have a friend who is going on the mission field in Asia to work with an Anti-Human Trafficking organisation and she reminded me that, "If something is on God's heart, it should be on mine as well."

If this issue and these girls are not breaking your heart, why? Go Do Something.

- Tavia Pitkanen


Monday, May 18, 2009

Star Trek v. Africa

Star Trek topped out at a $75.2 million opening weekend in the U.S. alone, per final numbers as of May 11th from Exhibitor Relations. And according to entertainment the movie was estimated to make $100 million this weekend. (And these numbers are just the price of the ticket for the movie, this does not take into consideration the price of gas to travel to and from the movie and all of the overpriced concessions bought in the theater).

Those numbers are so big I have a hard time wrapping my mind around them, but I got out my calculator and did a little math.

Did you know that for $35.00 a month ($420.00 for a year) you can support a child through World Vision? I did a little more math and discovered that if the money that was spent by America alone, in one weekend, to go sit in a dark theater for two hours watching Star Trek had been given to World Vision, over 179,048 children could have been supported for a an entire year!

Did you know that World Vision has programs in place for: Africa Food Aid (Every seven seconds, a child dies at the hand of a silent killer. Hunger...), Disaster Response (Cyclone-ravaged Myanmar, Western China, Darfur, Sudan...), Lifesaving Medicines and Supplies (your gift will multiply in impact to help children in the world's poorest countries.), Seeds, Tools, and Training in Africa (Millions of children all over the world are desperately hungry. Everyday is a fight for survival.) Water and Sanitation (Unsafe water kills 5,700 children a day. Start saving them with one small act.)?

Now, take into consideration that according to Yahoo movies, to date: X-Men Origins has grossed $129,032,435.00, at the U.S. Box Office, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past has grossed $30,054,386.00, Obsessed has grossed $56,207,576.00, 17 Again has grossed $53,994,515.00, Monsters v. Aliens has grossed $186,774,092.00, The Soloist has grossed $23,845,177.00, Earth has grossed $26,264,242.00, and the numbers for Angels and Demons are not in yet, but are predicted to surpass $70,000,000.00!

I am not criticising any of these movies specifically, but I am criticising our laps in judgment as a nation. The numbers above are absolutely staggering and I have only listed nine movies in their opening weeks. How can we possibly believe that it's alright to go and watch a mind numbing movie that does nothing for our souls, and for an already obese nation to gorge itself on soda and over-priced, extra buttered popcorn when according to World Vision (see quote above) every seven seconds a child dies of hunger! While you sat in a theater watching Captain Kirk and Spock "Save the Galaxy" for two hours, over 1,080 children died because they did not have enough to eat. What could you have accomplished in those two hours that you spent in a theater? You can't get that time back.

Next time, why don't you "Boldly go where none of your friends have gone before." Pick a cause to get behind: Poverty, hunger, AIDS, Human Trafficking, Child Solders, Prison Ministry...etc. and pour your money, time and heart into that.

I promise that it will be far more rewarding than seeing a fictional character save a fictional world. Go Do Something! - Tavia Pitkanen


Sunday, May 17, 2009

John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel


Friday, May 15, 2009

No, Mr. President: John Piper's Response to President Obama on Abortion


Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Real You Has to Meet the Real God

A friend found this on the Of First Importance blog and I decided to re-post it. (Thank you Andrew C.!)

The only way to come to God is by taking off any spiritual mask.
The real you has to meet the real God. He is a person.

Your heart could be, and often is, askew. That’s okay. You have to begin with what is real. Jesus didn’t come for the righteous. He came for sinners. All of us qualify. The very things we try to get rid of—our weariness, our distractedness, our messiness—are what get us in the front door! That’s how the gospel works. That’s how prayer works.

In bringing your real self to Jesus, you give him the opportunity to work on the real you, and you will slowly change. The kingdom comes when Jesus becomes king of your life. But is has to be your life. You can’t create a kingdom that doesn’t exist, where you try to be better than you really are. Jesus calls that hypocrisy—putting on a mask to cover the real you.

So instead of being paralyzed by who you are, begin with who you are. That’s how the gospel works. God begins with you.

—Paul Miller, A Praying Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress 2009), 33-34

This is such a brilliant post because it cuts right to the core of our fallen hearts. It identifies our "Religion" and then moves us to our need for Christ, His provision for us and what our response should be. "For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:14)

Some verses for your contemplation:
"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law
." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Be sure to go subscribe to the Of First Importance Blog to read more edifying posts.


Sunday, May 3, 2009


From Caleb&Sol's Debut Album "Afloat" - Written and spoken by Sol Rexius, "Barabbas" is a unique and powerful deliverance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Video Production by Caleb Rexius. Audio Production by Jesiah.

You can check out more from Caleb and Sol at:


Friday, May 1, 2009

Travel the Road's Notes

I found this amazing story on Travel The Road's facebook fan page, and it was just too good not to post it on our blog!

Bowling Alley Salvation

Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 3:35pm

Late last night after a full day of meetings we came back to our hotel in Lima. Joseph, our Peruvian man on the ground who has set everything up and translated for us digs into his pocket and pulls out his cell. He starts talking Spanish and the laughs and hangs up. He looks at us and says, “That was a friend of mine who asked me if my uncle in Pucallpa was still a shaman.” We look at Joseph puzzled and ask, “Why does your friend need a shaman?” Joseph then sucks in air in preparation to tell the story in one breath.

“Well my friend has a friend who owns a bowling alley near by and she found some witchcraft at her business. When I say witchcraft, I mean there was a mutilated cat and some other things arrange around in obvious ways that someone has cursed her. Since she found these things her business has closed. She has taken ill. And most of her friends have abandoned her. She went to a local witchdoctor and they say there is nothing anyone can do for her… and that she will probably die this week. She is very afraid. So they want to go to Pucallpa and see my uncle who is a shaman.”
“How far away is this bowling alley?” we ask inquisitively.

“About 1-minute walk.” Joseph already knows what we are thinking and says, “I’ll make the call.”

Within a minute we are on our way to the alley, not knowing what we are walking into, but confident that God is going to do something great. (This is where your prayers have helped so much. We could certainly feel the prayers of many as covering us and preparing the way as we set off for the bowling alley. This all occurred at 7:40PM-9:20PM EST on 2-10-09.)

A larger man meets us on a corner and Joseph introduces us. We are lead down a dark parking ramp and to a small opening in the steel bars. We climb through. Faint neon lights illuminate the parking garage then it opens up into a bar and we see the bowling alley. It is empty and quiet. A young woman sits in a chair and walks about nervously trying not to show it. Joseph introduces us. “This is Jen. Jen, this is Tim and Will.”

“Mucho Gusto.” We respond.

After a quick greeting we walk slowly to the bowling lanes. The lanes are old and dilapidated. Bowling balls lay loosely around and haphazard construction make the place feel condemned. We are sure Jen feels the same way.

We ask Jen if we can pray for her. She agrees, not know what will happen. But before we pray we explain to her we do not pray in the name of a little demon, or a god of the forest, or sun, or anything that is of the earth, but that we pray in the name above all names. The name of the King of Kings. The name of the Son of God. The name of Jesus. She understands and nods her head. We begin to pray. We rebuke the demonic spirits and they flee. We rebuke all fear and worry from her mind and it goes. The Lord gives words of knowledge over Jen and she weeps. We finish and then we ask. “Do you see that the Lord is real?”


We then tell Jen about forgiveness of sins in Him. The cross, the blood, the new life. More tears. Then we ask if she is ready to believe in Christ and invite Him to live inside of her. She is ready. A new birth happens right there in the pale lights of the bowling alley.

Jen speaks in Spanish and Joseph translates. “She says she can feel no more weight or worry. She feels peace and she could feel it as we prayed for her. She says it’s like a light has come inside of her.” Jen is shocked and overjoyed. Happy to be rid of the witchcraft. Happy to have healing. Happy to have Jesus as her Lord.
We share more about church and Joseph tells her the next steps that he will help her with. Life has begun in Him.

We have all experienced the power of God in similar ways and it is marvelous to see the power of the Holy Spirit work. Please pray for our next journeys to the south and may the Lord bring more opportunities everyday.

In Him,

Tim and Will

Be a Fan of Travel the Road on Facebook: TTR Fan Page

Posted by: Tana


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

TOMS shoes

Have you heard about TOMS shoes? You may have seen an AT&T commercial featuring this organisation. You may have never heard about them. Here is their story.

"Chief Shoe Giver Blake Mycoskie, a true AT&T customer since 1997, operates his entire business from his phone and needs a reliable network that works around the world. TOMS was founded on a simple premise: For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One."

"What We Do:
Since our beginning in May 2006, TOMS has given over 140,000* pairs of shoes to children in need through the purchases of caring customers. Because of your support, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world in 2009.
*As of April 2009

Why Shoes?:
Most children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or just getting around, these children are at risk.
Walking is often the primary mode of transportation in developing countries. Children can walk for miles to get food, water, shelter and medical help. Wearing shoes literally enables them to walk distances that aren't possible barefoot.
Wearing shoes prevents feet from getting cuts and sores on unsafe roads and from contaminated soil. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected. The leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted parasites which penetrate the skin through open sores. Wearing shoes can prevent this and the risk of amputation.**
Many times children can't attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school. If they don't receive an education, they don't have the opportunity to realize their potential.
There is one simple solution...SHOES.
Four of the planet's six billion people live in conditions inconceivable to many. Lets take a step towards a better tomorrow. " - TOMS shoes **Emphasis mine.

How awesome is that!? We LOVE this idea. It's bold, imaginative, brilliant, caring and beautiful. Oh yeah, and the shoes? They are canvas, vegan and very, very cute! Go show them some love.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Gospel Coalition 2009

During April 21-23, 2009, The Gospel Coalition held its second National Conference on the theme, "Entrusted with the Gospel: Living the Vision of Second Timothy." This year's conference focused on the call to imitate Paul's dual practice of show and tell to present the Gospel.

"The best of gospel-faithful ministry is not only taught, it is also caught. This was the practice of the Apostle Paul -- the great missionary of the early church -- who not only had much to say regarding what constitutes gospel-faithful ministry, but also had much to show of what it looked like in an individual life and in the life of the church."

You can checkout the free audio and video of the conference online: The Gospel Coalition


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

United Nations' World Digital Library

PARIS, April 20 -- A globe-spanning U.N. digital library seeking to display and explain the wealth of all human cultures has gone into operation on the Internet, serving up mankind's accumulated knowledge in seven languages for students around the world.

James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress who launched the project four years ago, said the ambition was to make available on an easy-to-navigate site, free for scholars and other curious people anywhere, a collection of primary documents and authoritative explanations from the planet's leading libraries.

The site ( has put up the Japanese work that is considered the first novel in history, for instance, along with the Aztecs' first mention of the Christ child in the New World and the works of ancient Arab scholars piercing the mysteries of algebra, each entry flanked by learned commentary. "There are many one-of-a-kind documents," Billington said in an interview...

Digital Library Program, which has been in operation at the Library of Congress since the mid-1990s. That program, at its American Memory site, has made available 15 million U.S. historical records, including recorded interviews with former slaves, the first moving pictures and the Declaration of Independence...

In addition to UNESCO and the Library of Congress, 26 other libraries and institutions in 19 countries have contributed to the project. Their offerings include rubbings of oracle bones from the National Library of China, delicate drawings of court life from the National Diet Library of Japan and a 13th-century "Devil's Bible" from the National Library of Sweden. Each is accompanied by a brief explanation of its content and significance. The documents have been scanned onto the site directly, in their original languages, but the explanations appear in all seven of the site's official languages...

Users can sort through the information in several ways. They can ask what was going on anywhere in the world in, say, science or literature during the 4th century B.C., for instance. They can look up the history of a certain topic over the centuries in China alone, or in China and North America. By cross-referencing, a user can see how one area of the world compared with another at any given time.

Read the Full Article at: The Washington Post

Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book Review: Death By Love

Death by Love is a book that contains a series of letters written by Pastor Mark Driscoll to various people struggling with many life issues. This book is thoroughly saturated with scripture, and Biblical ideas. Anyone who is a young believer should read this book I think it would benefit them greatly. However, I think that this book would especially help older Christians who struggle with evangelism to learn how to speak, with Biblical support, to people in many different circumstances and show them that there is hope in Christ. - Ian D.P.

Go to Re:lit to buy Death By Love for yourself, then don't forget to check out the video, read a chapter and join the Facebook Group!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Voice of the Martyrs: Prisioner Alert

"Marzieh & Maryam

Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Arrested: March 2009

Days Imprisoned: 41

On March 5, Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad and Maryam Rustampoor were arrested by Iranian security forces and labeled "anti-government activists," according to Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN). 30-old Marzieh and 27-year-old Maryam are being held at Evin Prison, which is notorious for treating women badly. "Both women are allowed just a one-minute telephone call everyday to their immediate families. Both are unwell and in need of urgent medical attention," FCNN reported. During their last call on March 28, Mazieh said that she was suffering from an infection and high fever. She said, "I am dying."

Marzieh and Maryam's apartment was searched and their belongings were confiscated. "Their only crime is that they are committed Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus," FCNN added. “They are being unfairly labeled as 'anti government activists' because of the hostility of the government towards practicing Christians."The women have reportedly been interrogated numerous times and were held in three different police detention centers before being sent to Evin Prison. FCNN reported an exorbitant bail amount of US$ 400,000 has been set even though Marzieh and Maryam's families have been told on numerous occasions that a judge is not available to discuss the case.Marzieh and Maryam's arrest is the latest incident highlighting increased government intimidation of Christians in Iran. Believers are subjected to surveillance, arrests, imprisonment, and sometimes torture. "

Click here to see the original artical and see how you can help by writting a letter and praying.


Ministry Highlight: Why Hunger - National Hunger Hotline

The organisation WHY had put up a national hunger hotline. Anyone in the U.S.A. can call and receive assistance with finding : "Emergency food in their community, government assistance programs, and various social services. In addition to assisting individuals in need, the Hotline also fields hundreds of calls from organizations, donors, and volunteers looking for information on emergency food distribution, gleaning, nutrition, funding sources, and other related topics. The majority of the Hotline calls, however, are from individuals in need of assistance. Walking the middle ground between referral service and crisis counseling, the Hotline makes every effort to provide its callers with whatever it is they may need, be it the phone number to a food stamp office, a listing of local food pantries, or simply a compassionate ear."

The Hotline is open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm E.S.T.
Call: 1-866-3-HUNGRY
Or check them out online at:

We called the number listed to make sure that it is legit and received a very polite voicemail from the WHY staff asking for our name and number and said that they would contact us as soon as possible.

Volunteer for WHY - If you live in NY click here, they need you!
If you live outside of New York call this number: 1-866-348-6479
and they will hook you up with some one in your area that is fighting local and global hunger.

WHY was co-founded by Harry Chapin and according to Wikipedia, "Chapin donated an estimated third of his paid concerts to charitable causes, often performing alone with his guitar to reduce costs... He always said, 'Money is for people,' so he gave it away."


Monday, April 13, 2009

The Offical Don't Waste Your Life Music Video!

It's finally here boys and girls! The official music video for "Don't Waste Your Life".

Click here to check out Reach Records official home page: look up tour dates, buy tee-shirts, read their blog etc.

Click here to check out Desiring God. The video team at DG helped with the production and editing of this project.


Twitter Updates

    GDS Theme Passage

    "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus
    Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for
    Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine
    out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give
    the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
    the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure
    in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power
    belongs to God and not to us."
    - 2 Corinthians 4:5-7

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