Living The Life That God Has For Us....

God's Plumbline Ministries is called to repair devastation in the lives of God's people allowing restoration both physically and spiritually. Providing creative solutions for employment, education and life skills allowing God to repair and restore hope.  Empowering each community to establish a secure foundation both inside and out, while keeping in tact God given talents and uniqueness, not focusing on man's ways but God's ways.  Developing working relationships within social and economic circles, working hand in hand with community leaders to bring the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

To this day one of the most painful, yet most powerful memories I have is our trip to Robben Island.
(Afrikaans Robbeneiland)
As the bus tour of the island ended we stopped in front of the prison.
It was time to tour the prison itself.
There was no way I was to go in.
I don't know where all of the emotions came from.
It was unexpected and landed like a punch in the stomach.
I was physically sick to my stomach and in tears.
If Dan wouldn't have been with me I don't really know that I would have gone in.

Looking back, I feel like a wimp for being so emotional about the whole thing, yet here I was, sitting in a freezing cold movie theater, reliving it all again as Matt Damon and the team head off to the island.
I remembered the dock very well and didn't know if I could make the trip again.
I gasped, and said out loud, "oh no, they are going to Robben Island".
To this, my two oldest children just looked at me with that, shhh, we are in a movie look.

Morgan Freeman, who I have loved since the days of watching "The Electric Company" at Horace Man Elementary school with my best, and only friend Maxine, who I secretly envied because of her ability to clean our pink pencil erasers with the oil from her black scalp, was now portraying President Nelson Mandela. His words, "than we will be exactly what they thought we would be" still ring in my head.

As they toured the cell that Mandela lived in for so many years, I thought about the words to Invictus.
He had now taken the words of another to move "beyond this place of wrath and tears" knowing full well that there "looms but the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years finds and shall find me unafraid because he made the choice to embrace his own personal ability to change and forgive by putting into action these words....
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Before I went to the movie I had to Google Invictus to see what it was.
I was clueless.
As I finished reading these powerful words, I feared that some would miss the bigger message and get caught up on the words, "I am the captain of my soul", taking it literally, rather than thinking about the fact that before Mandela took one step off the island he would have to make a choice. I am guessing he made it long before he took the ferry boat back to the bay and long before the elections had been held.
He had many years to think about, and make personal choices.

I so wanted the world to "get it".
If they missed this point, what about apartheid?
Could there really be people who didn't know about apartheid?
I'm sure.
What about the people who don't think it is (was) real or better yet what about the people who didn't have a problem with it.

I have to believe that the lessons learned are each one of us on a personal level.
For some the light will just be coming on and for others it will be life changing as it was for me that day on Robben Island.

This I do know.
Now that we know, we can never not do something about what we know to be true.

Monday, December 28, 2009

This Guy Paul

Reading the book of Acts was, well, a good reminder.
I needed a good reminder.
This guy Paul was multi-cultural way before it was cool.
I think with his education, his family, his religion and political views, it was hard for him to grasp the whole concept.
I don't think anything God asked him to do was easy.
Yet, being the bull-headed man he was, he was just the guy for the job.
God himself knocked him on his ass, having to teach him a few things about who was really in charge and how the whole thing was gonna go down.
Talk about a paradigm shift.

On the lighter side of things reminded, I have always thought "Blinded By The Light" should have been his theme song.

He was a pretty smart guy and learned the lessons quickly.
God was the creator of all things, he didn't really need our help because creation speaks for itself whether or not you are actually watching or listening.

He didn't need to be politically correct and wasn't afraid to say what needed to be said.
He taught that this guy, God, He's real and He isn't messin' around, and just because you don't like what is happening doesn't mean He isn't God and isn't in control. And by the way, be happy this stuff is happening to you because you are becoming a better person by getting over yourself and learning to love others more than yourself.
Paul means business when he talks about giving away all the stuff you have, because it is pretty likely someone else needs it more than you do.

Without the need for political correctness, he found himself, time and time again, in front of high ranking officials, another crazy God kind of thing, who had a bone to pick with him but could never find anything to charge him with.
He had this uncanny knack for making people so mad they had to look at the truth and admit it.
Hence the title "Apostle".
He was required to "plant things" out of the need for people to see the truth about themselves, but more importantly who God was.
His job was to bring the truth, allowing people to see who God really is and change, or they would have to reap the consequence.
The only way he could get away with saying all this stuff was because he lived his life as an example of what he believed in, and what he was willing to die for.
It was pretty clear via the whole circumcision deal that what is in your heart is what you believe God to be like.
Therefore you may need to go back and check out somethings you have swallowed hook line and sinker because it isn't in the book.

I loved that he was willing to stop all the normal stuff and have church outside with some really successful ladies.
I wonder about his personal relationships.
He was willing to love deeply and through example showed us that it is still really cool to love people more than yourself and it is really important to tell them this as well.
I don't think he had an issue with being co-dependant since he parted ways with people on a regular basis when they made bad choices and remained hard hearted towards the things of God.
Not for one second do I think this was easy for him.
I wonder if he lost sleep over Barnabas? I do.

I liked this guy Paul more than I remembered liking him, but found him to be terrifying at the same time.
I loved that just when you think it was the end of the line, God was still in control, opening door after door after door.

I had to ask myself some pretty hard questions, I guess that was what he wanted from his life.
To leave a legacy that people couldn't deny.
I don't think it bugged him to make people squirm.

I wonder if he had to work out his issues in therapy sessions before he got comfortable with the idea of living his life as a bond servant. I am not making light of inner healing and the need to process what happens to us, but at some point, myself included, we have choices to make about forgiveness, the condition of our heart and our own personal convictions.
In walking this stuff out, we are gonna make mistakes, we are gonna do things wrong, we are never going to be perfect and we just may air some of our laundry in public.
It is humiliating, or it should be, to say the least.
Yes, you may get stoned, tossed out the door, or thrown in prison.
None of it is warm and fuzzy.

Let's talk about this prison thing.
What if you did have to go to prison for what you believed in.
Better yet, what if you lived in shackles so someone would find their own personal freedom.
Could you deny yourself your personal rights and freedom?
Most of us today aren't willing to stay in a friendship, a marriage or a church if it doesn't meet our needs in the obligatory ninety day trial period never mind the needs of the other person.
We are pretty quick to say, "that wasn't God", walking away and never thinking twice or asking, was that really you, God?
Thus leading to another generation of "fatherless/motherless" families, spiritual relationship and churches.

It is painful, this stuff.
If I was honest, I would admit, I have asked God to knock a few people off their donkey and do us all a favor.
And yet, after reading about Paul, I feel like I have been knocked off my own donkey.
Here I am, sitting on the ground, needing someone to help me find my way with "Blinded by the Light" echoing in my head.

Saul, was now Paul.
His heart was changed, he couldn't see a thing, he didn't know what happened to him and he found it to be a good thing.
His life didn't belong to him and he was cool with it.
He found something he believed in more than being right and proving it on paper.
More importantly, he knew it needed to be proven in his heart.

So when all is said in done, it seems that his words "take courage" are the first step in this process.
Courage to look deeply into our hearts.
Courage to believe that the creator of this universe is looking for a relationship with us.
Courage to believe it must start with me first , there is no finger pointing, if need be, he will use a donkey to get my attention.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This is an easy one......

I think part of my "writing" problem is being overwhelmed with the idea that I would have to think of something "new" every day.
It freaks me out.
This hour will be easy, not an easy topic mind you, just one I am familiar.

I really don't have a clue why I stopped to talk to her, but I am aware I broke some rules.
Unspoken ones of course.
It wasn't until I lived in Haiti that I came to really pay attention to those who are homeless.
I don't know that I thought Haiti had any homeless people.
When I was visiting, I was so overwhelmed and everyone seemed poor and homeless as far as I was concerned.
If I had my way, I was going to take every single kid out of that God forsaken country for one big do over.
(For this, and many other ways of thinking, I would find myself having to repent.)
Who knew working people on the streets tended to dress in nothing more than rags.

It took me awhile to really learn the rhythm and flow of the streets.
It has a language all it's own.
There are layers and layers.
There is a wrong way and a right way.
Some are easy, others will NEVER make sense.
The common denominator seems to be survival, survival comes in many different packages.
It seems to me the only way you can really hear is to say anything.

Not everyone dresses in rags.
As a matter a fact, if not working, most people take great pride in their clothes and in looking nice, wearing perfectly pressed, and sometimes, dry cleaned clothing.
In a world where you can't control anything, it makes perfect sense to me.

As for mental illness, there just isn't a place for such a thing.
So, when in fact, you really do see it, it tends to be really sad.
There is no question that mental illness played a powerful role in the choices made, or not made, by the Deli Mart Lady.
Medication, another language.
AIDS and mental illness have their own scarlet letter.
No words needed.
These are things the world can't fix with a band-aid.

There is another another unspoken language on the streets of Haiti.
Everyone knows everyone, yet no one knows anything.
No one sees "them", but everyone knows what "they" are doing or where "they" are.
This is the rule I broke.
I stopped and talked to her.
Looking back, it seems to me that everyone was taking care of her, but no one was.
She was homeless woman who had hundreds of children to keep an eye on her everyday.
God is funny that way.
She was considered "forbidden and unclean" but she was theirs.
I crossed the line, I was feeding her and talking to her in the middle of the day and I was taking her picture.
I am sure it was the later that was the real problem.
It was the picture.
The shame.
For this I am sorry, I meant no harm.

As I scanned the "Live Feed" on Facebook to see what was up.
I got to Beth's status update....
The homeless lady who camped out in front of our gate died. Makes me incredibly sad - like she was part of our Haiti family. We would often hear her singing hymns in Creole - she refused shelter but took food. She liked Sheila and liked Jesus - that's a win, win!

I was sick.
Honestly, I couldn't move.
My heart was sick.
I loved her!
Why? I am not sure why?
I had so many questions.
I wished I could pick up the phone to call Beth.
Think, what was her number?

Soon after we left Haiti the Deli Mart Lady moved to John and Beth's gate.
Beth said, it was my fault, but I think she knew Beth would be kind to her.
I loved seeing the little updates from Beth every once and awhile.
I asked her to give her cookies for me.

I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I wanted to fix her and make her come to sewing school and stop all this nonsense.
Stop collecting bags of stuff carrying them back and forth, even tying them to her small frame unable to stand with the weight.
Stop sitting in piles of trash.
She needed to take a bath.
Yet, I often noticed someone had cared enough to do her hair, sometimes she was beautiful.
She was cooking with tiny bits of charcoal next to the car catcher full of trash.
I worried that she would be sick or sicker.
I wanted her to sleep in clean white sheets, sit at a table with flowers and be loved by a family.

I learned an unspoken language from her.
I pray she learned something from me, maybe she thought I was the crazy one!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Just Give Yourself One Hour A Day

I have lost track of the number of times different people have said, "you should write a book".
I am not really sure I have that much to say.
Yet, I admit, it is one of those things I keep tucked away in the back of my mind.
At this point, it is just like going on a diet... someday I am gonna do it.
Really I am! I tell myself every few days, I am gonna do it!

I remember taking a writing class in summer school when I was in junior high.
I was really intimidated, terrified actually.
Some how I found myself sitting in a classroom at the worst public high school in north Minneapolis.
I still wonder how I got there?
My mother must have threatened me.
My brother and I had been going to Forth Baptist Christian school after my parents took us out of public school when I was in fifth grade. That was the same year I told her my brain was full and I couldn't learn any more math.
She didn't budge on the homework deal even when I laid on the dining room floor and cried.
This was also around the time that all well informed Christians started breaking their records into little pieces or better yet burning them because of the subliminal messages the rock bands put in their music.
In one afternoon, Chicago, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Carole King - gone, just like that.

I vaguely remember walking down the hallway, I was in culture shock.
Even then I was different.
I remember because the teacher wrote a note to my mom telling her I was.
He said something about "refreshing".
I just figured it was because I wasn't pregnant and didn't swear.
I was just happy to be done with summer school.

I have been thinking about the words of my oldest child, Aaron.
He had been following me around the house as I put a few things away while getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner.
He was an early Christmas present that I picked up at the airport.
I love the kind of presents you can't wrap!

He is twenty seven, graduated from college with a degree in theater, living in Austin to pursue his dream of being an actor.
I tease him that he is really following Sandra Bullock around because he had a crush on her when he was younger.
That was after he had a crush on Cindi Lauper.
He isn't' talking about crushes anymore, although he did mention this girl that he dates off and on that he described as strange.
This isn't really a great thing to say, I tell him.
The first time you bring a girl here for us to meet we are all going to be wondering if she is the "strange one".
When we see each other we talk about our favorite books, movies and our passions.
He talked about the new screen play he had finished and just happened to mention he was moving to LA as part of the next step in becoming an actor.
This prompted him to show me his new black journal with his perfect hand writing.
So, I showed him my twenty-five cent spiral bound note book I got in the clearance section of school supplies last summer.
It is crammed full of random papers, e-mails, dreams and colored pictures from Parker, all stapled in so I wouldn't keep dropping them.
I admitted I have always really wanted one of those leather journals with the ties that go around it, I also admit that I didn't really think I would ever use it.
They are way too nice.

Next he said the thing I have been thinking about - you should give yourself one hour a day.

It sounds easy enough - right.
Out of the clear blue this thought comes to me about cows having four stomachs.
They chew on something over and over again.
Americans tend to be the fast food, get 'er done type.
For me, for now, I am thinking about writing one hour a day, and the dreaded diet idea...over and over again.

I sat down this morning, still chewing, with my cup of coffee to start writing for an hour, I am torn.
I could be reading, I would much rather be reading.
I love the book I am reading and I never seem to have enough time to read.

The hour has gone much faster than I expected.
Maybe Aaron was right - I should give myself one hour a day.
By continuing my blog I won't be messing up a really nice journal or dropping any pages.

We'll see.......I am still chewing on it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Twas The Night Before Christmas - Haiti Version

"Twas the night before Christmas and throughout Haiti not a child had been fed.
No stocking where hung by the chimney with care,
For all hope was gone that anyone would share.

The children where nestled in what they call beds.
While visions of what should have been danced in their heads.

And I in my flannels, all settled in bed, had just settled in for a long winter's nap.
When I remembered the children I had held in my arms and that sat in my lap.

My mind soon filled with such a clatter.
I sprang from my bed to see if I could bring some change to this matter.
Away to my bible I flew like a flash, tore open the pages as I tried not to crash.

Their beautiful faces began to fill my mind like glistening snow,
As tears fell from my eyes, I said, "Lord, I just need to know".
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
My Saviour who I knew was always near.

More rapid than eagles on His horse He had come,
He whistled and shouted.
He called the children by name:
Sara Jean, Desmel, Jean Kelley, Desire and Jennie,
To you I promise a new life full of grace.
Now dash away, dash away, all hope that has been lost without a trace.

All the images that cluttered my mind where shattered.
He took them as He mounted His horse that was not a bit tattered.
Up to the Lamb's Book of Life He flew to return with a promise
That their hearts would be new.

And then in the twinkling of an eye,
I felt my heart prancing and pawing, it gave me such a start.
For Jesus had given each of these a new heart!

He was dressed all in white from His head to His feet.
Their burdens and woes He had flung on His back.
He looked like a peddler closing His pack.

His eyes how they twinkled!
His dimples, how Merry!
His cheeks were like roses, His lips the color of cherry.

The beard on His chin was as white as snow,
The mouth on His broad face was drawn up like a bow,
While His father's glory encircled His head like a wreath.
The earth shook as He spoke, when He laughed they rejoiced, for love was made new.

He was righteous and just.
I knew it was true, and I laughed when I saw Him in spite of myself.
A wink of His eye and a nod of His head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word.
But went straight to His work filling their spirits with gifts He had given.
In the twinkling of an eye, He turned, laying His hand across His heart, gave a nod up to heaven.

He sprang to His horse.
To His team gave a whistle and way they flew like the down of a thistle.

I heard Him exclaim, ere He rode out of sight...
"It is not my will, that even one should perish"

In memory of Edmond - Age 3
Haiti 2000

Friday, December 18, 2009


There are songs and even scriptures that talk about the different seasons in our lives. We have our favorite season of the year; even now we celebrate the Christmas Season. Many seasons come and go, leaving us to wonder where did the time go? Yet other seasons bring new life and great joy, while others can be painful and/or life changing.

For God’s Plumbline and the Lynch Family we too are in a new season.

Shortly before we left Haiti for our summer break I had a dream about our ministry name. In the dream my boss questioned me about our name asking why we didn’t use “God’s Plumbline Global Ministries”? I was busy and wondered why she would ask such a nit picky question, couldn’t she see I was busy? Besides, everyone knows we are called to go to the Nations was my thought as I continued with the task at hand. Little did we know just what this dream would mean…

This has been a season of seeking God, asking many questions, learning to trust more deeply, re-grouping as a family and building. Building a stronger support base, spending time with our board members, putting on paper all we have learned over the last two years in Haiti and working out the details of what does it mean to be “GLOBAL”.

What about Haiti? We will continue to do short term trips, support and encourage the women and the work that we planted for …..a season. Our goal was to go and plant a work that would be self- sustaining. We are thrilled to see the work we did in Haiti continue to flourish.

We believe that the work we did in Haiti was only – Phase I. We are now working on the next phase of the vision God has given us to go to the NATIONS. Since we have been back we have been asked about working in both Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa. We look forward to sharing the next season of our ministry with each of you and pray that you will continue to pray for us and the people of Haiti.

We feel honored to do this work and look forward to the possibility of traveling to
Africa next year to seek out the next season…

May this SEASON be filled with the desires of your heart!