Red Letters

Convar287This past weekend I spoke at Irving Bible Church outside of Dallas, Texas. A huge church of about 8,000 people – a little overwhelming, to say the least. If you care to hear the message you can download it here: IrvingBibleChurch.mp3.

The title they chose was "Voiceless Children." My mind began to churn, thinking about what our response should be to those who have no voice. Have you stopped to consider what your response should be? Making a difference in the life of only one voiceless child, could alter your destiny, maybe even the destiny of an entire nation.

This is exactly what happened when Mordecai had compassion on a little girl who was orphaned. Esther 2:7 explains, "Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died."

And because he did, an entire nation was transformed because of one little orphan girl. That’s the power of compassion, God’s heart for the orphan, and adoption all wrapped up into one! Russia_april_06_707 Esther had incredible favor with the King and did something nobody else could do. In Chapter 4, God’s timing and purpose comes together as Esther is asked, "who knows if you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" And the entire Jewish nation was spared.

So who knows if at this moment you and I are supposed to make a difference in the life of a voiceless child? They could be the next president of their country, they could invent the cure for cancer, they could enter God’s kingdom – just because we cared enough to act on our compassion.

"Lo these are the outskirts of His ways; and how small a whisper do we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?" Job 26:14

One of my favorite versus in the entire Bible! Do we hear His whisper? The truth is, if we can’t hear the whisper, we won’t recognize His power.

First is the issue of the whisper. God is speaking. Every week, every day, every morning and every night. The question is, "Am I listening?" Honestly, this is a hard issue for me to implement. There are so many other things that get in the way of me hearing God’s voice. It’s called Life!! Taking kids to school, work, football practice, taking out the trash, talking on the phone, ugh! Can you relate? I need to learn to be still so I can hear Him speaking, because he is always speaking, I’m just not listening.

Second, I firmly believe that the best place to find God’s whisper is in the life of an orphan. You can’t miss it. It’s in their eyes, their voices, their actions, it’s clear as day. He is the least of these. This is where Christ is hidden.

I have taken hundreds of people to minster to orphans around the world and nothing impacts their lives more than seeing Jesus in the eyes of a hurting child. "God’s ways are not our ways," it tells us in Isaiah 55. And His way is the way of an orphan.

Third, God always sends exactly what is needed. And this is what He does in our lives. We can trust in His faithfulness.

"He never sends a flood if a shower will do; never sends a fortune if a shilling will do; never sends an army if a man will do. And He never thunders if a whisper will do." This quote is from F. W. Boreham, one of my favorite authors in the world. He is pictured on the right. With a little work, I have managed to collect his entire collection of 53 books, many of which are out of print. You can still find them on Ebay and at He is also the favorite author of Billy Graham and Ravi Zacharias,

God’s method is always a man (and a woman). And that’s you! You are His answer, He has called you by name, are you listening to His voice?!

Is your desire to feel and know the thunder of God’s power? Then learn to hear the whisper – the rest will follow.

Africa_dan_snipes_097The world’s children are a hidden, kingdom wonder.

Just this morning I was doing a Bible study with my kids on Matthew 13 – about the parable of the "hidden treasure" and the "pearl of great price." The person in the parable went and sold all they had in order to find this incredible treasure. They laid everything on the line and refused to give into their fears and the negative voices in their heads telling them they were nuts. The reality of finding this treasure was worth giving up everything. Now, they had something to live for. Something to get them up early and keep them up late – a passion for life.

When you discover Christ in the eyes of the world’s children. You too, will sell all you have to help just one. It’s worth everything! The orphans of the world are ‘King’s kids.’ God’s precious little ones and he gives us the privilege to rescue them and discover Him in the process. There is absolutely nothing better to live for. That’s why James 1:27 says that "pure religion is visiting the orphan in their distress."

It’s also why G. K. Chesterton (one of my favorite authors) said that we need something else to live for – something that wakes us up to what life is really about. Because if we are paying attention, the poor, hurting children, even fairy tales point out to us what matters most, ""This proves that even nursery tales only echo an almost pre-natal leap of interest and amazement. These tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water."
"The Ethics of Elfland," Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton

In other words, we need golden apples in fairy tales because we have forgotten that there are red ones in our own stories. We need to love the orphans in the world, because we have forgotten that we are orphans ourselves. This is not our home, we don’t belong to this earth, we are strangers in this land – and we are waiting for creation to be restored and for God’s Kingdom to reign in its fullness. Until then, we love what God loves most. The forgotten, the alienated, and the marginalized. "As we have done it unto the least of these, we have done it unto Him!" Matthew 25:40.

These kids are taking a moment to pray and thank God for the meal they are about to eat. Maybe the only one they will have for another few days or even a week. Pray for them. And while you’re at it, listen to that voice inside of you that cries out for adventure. Take a step of blind faith and trust God for what happens next!

If you’re really adventurous and you want to give the next 319 days to visit 14 countries and minister to orphans and plant churches, check into an event that will change you forever, The World Race. I, and my closest friends are helping to lead this unbelievable experience – and you can be a part!

South_africa_026On the South African portion of our trip, I met this beautiful little girl in Durban. She was at the St. Mary’s Hospital for victims with AIDS. I used to have a stigma about this disease; who contracted it, why, etc. None of that matters any more after meeting the baby on your right.

She was only days from death. No fault of her own I can assure you – she contracted HIV from her mother at birth. Now, she is dying from TB which is one of the chief diseases leading to death and caused by HIV.

I was incredibly broken hearted after seeing this sweet angel. She forced her eyes open just enough to look at me. I prayed for her – prayed for mercy and prayed she wouldn’t be in pain. This is one of the saddest facets of visiting Africa, but it’s reality. We must do something to help this continent Bono describes as "on fire." We must be hope and we must look to sustain others who are bringing that hope.

An incredibly bright part of this trip was to a place called Shepherd’s Keep. A Christian baby home dedicated to rescuing HIV babies who had been abandoned. After proper nutrition, lots of love and care, and many prayers – 75% of these babies turn zero-negative. The disease is completely out of their bodies. I never even knew this was possible. An amazing evidence to me of God’s grace and mercy in the lives of children. Maybe, if there were more places like Shepherd’s Keep, she’d still be alive. That’s what Children’s HopeChest is seeking to accomplish.

Please remember the children in Swaziland and South Africa. Even if a child makes it to 15 in Swaziland, they have a 6% chance of living to 35. This country needs help, it needs Christ, there is no other answer.

I am happy to say that we have our first sponsorship in Swaziland as of today! Vanguard Church of Colorado Springs is sponsoring a care point outside of Mbabane, Swaziland of 125 children. Four of the other churches on the trip are currently making decisions about which places they will sponsor. Please email me if you’d like to be involved.