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. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

consider gifts that give

It is almost that time of year again
I have been getting stacks of catalogues in the mail
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone

This year I am trying to give gifts that have meaning
Not just meaning to me but gifts that empower the artisan to have a better life
This year I hope that you will consider doing the same thing

Here are two very real and trust worthy organizations 
These organizations both help women and children have better lives in Haiti
Below you will find the link needed to make purchases
Happy Shopping...

Haitian Creations

Apparent Project - Corrigan and Shelley Clay

Can I Tell You Something...

Since our return from India I have been in a funny place.
Not funny Ha-Ha, funny like I don't fit in my skin.
Uncomfortable funny.

Half of me thinks I should have a plan, "Phase 2" all laid out and ready to submit for approval.
To who, I don't know.
The other half of me is still numb.

I often think about what I want to say when asked "what we would like to do next".
There is the heart part, the business part and unfortunately the "in-style"part.
More importantly...there is the God part.

Here is some of what has been rolling around in my head.
Ever since I was a kid I have loved this one kind of fabric from India.
There have been hints of it in my clothes, my kitchen towels, place mats, table cloths and my bags.
I was surprised to see this fabric on every working man either as a farmer or a shepherd.
I guess I never really thought about what it was used for.
Don't get me wrong I love all kinds of fabric, but there is this one that I am drawn to for some reason. Without fail I have to stop, look at it, price it and feel it.

It just so happens that on this trip to India, with out me knowing it ahead of time, we went to one of the only two places that is known for making this fabric.
I can either believe that God is up to something or I can blow it off thinking that was weird.
If I believe the God part, I could say He just wanted to bless me with the desires of my heart or I could say, the things in my heart have been put there by God and He is trusting me with something bigger than myself and this crazy love for hand stamped fabric has a greater purpose.

I had a dream.
(No pun on MLK)
Not the dream of my childhood, but a recent one.
My dream was about "Fishers of Men" and "The Message".
Both a play on words.
Get it, fishers of men (people working in created jobs) taking the message (the gospel) via the messenger bag (created from the fabric I love) to people in India by selling messenger bags to create sustainable business.
Dreams however are not always "bankable" or something people are willing to invest in.
They are not generally things you submit in grant proposals expecting funding either.
However, they are lessons in God's character.
Lessons in trusting that there has to be a bigger plan than what I know right now.
I have to believe that God is good, He loves me, I have had these dreams since childhood for a reason and He is working to bring them from heaven to earth.
Not just for me, but for many.

It isn't the fabrics that are outlined with a cotton-tipped bamboo stick and dyed in vegetable or mineral colours. Nor, is it the process that involves washing, rinsing, soaking and bleaching muslin, and applying mordants and dyes using natural substances like indigo for blue, madder for red, mango bark and dried myrobalan fruit for yellow, palm sugar and rusted iron for black.
No, it is for the love He has for people, the ones he died for 5000 years ago.

Our pastor says, pay attention to the things that make you cry, because they are the things most dear to the Lords heart.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Raju's Vision

Pastor Raju and Santhoshamma

(Children: Thompson, Merb Divya and Samuel)

Their vision for India:

1. To preach the gospel to unknown people groups
2. To build churches where there is no church
3. To build church buildings for others
4. To feed orpahn children
5. To help disabled children
6. To help women who are in poverty
7. To help widows
8. To conduct gospel meetings and seminars
9. To help victims of floods and tsunamis

Raju works with a network of 30 plus pastors to help accomplish his vision.
The churches have any where from 10 to 50 people.
There are only a handful of larger churches.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

India - 330 Million "gods"

Sai Baba Temple at Machilipatnam

Here is the break down of religion in India:
Hindu - 81%
Muslim - 14%
Christian - 2%

They are big, they are small, they are everywhere - even on the beach.
So much so that you kind of forget what they are and what they are saying.
I know this seems simple, but if you think about the poverty in India, it seems to me a major part of that comes from trying to make 330 million gods happy by bringing offerings and building them temples that require constant up-keep.

According to the "Asset Mapping" we did with the pastors, each church sees only two salivations per year.
Many who may choose to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior do not do so publicly because of the harsh consequences.
Being a "Christian" is considered one of the lowest levels in the caste system of India.
Therefore very few own property, farms, stores or business.

While talking to Raju I asked him if it was really true that India had 330 million gods and a temple every 100 feet.
Yes, he said but, we have the only God who has risen from the dead.
I explained that I had a hard enough time with just one God let alone 330 million of them.
Later as I processed this conversation I also remembered we have a "Savior" not a god and what He gives us is a gift and we get this gift with out works, it is free.

The book of Romans seems to be speaking right to the heart of the matter.
Not to mention Paul's point - that what I don't want to do I do and what I do I don't want to do.
Jesus gave us salvation and it isn't by our works - it is a gift.
End of story.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

To See or Not To See

I don't know his name or his age
Nor do I know if he had a family
He wasn't outside of his comfort zone, I was
He knew exactly what he was doing, checking the trash piece by piece
He was working, intent, with purpose
He never looked my way, never distracted by the white girl with the camera
Would I have looked away if he noticed me, maybe
I wondered how much he would get for his efforts
I asked if he went to school, no, I guess not
A child without a childhood
Getting a few coins
Coins for...
So much for the argument for basic human rights.
I am guessing he didn't have someone to argue his case, he just needed to eat.