Category Archives: Faith

March For Life 2016

This Floridian is travelling to DC tomorrow night.

Yep, even as Major Winter Storm Jonas approaches, seemingly promising to hit hard on Friday – the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade -the day of the march. Even if the forecast was worse, as long as I could physically get my ass to DC I would still go. Hundreds of thousands of people agree with me.

The cause is so worth it.

March For Life 2015

March For Life 2015, Photo by Matt Barrick from the March For Life Facebook page

5 years ago I attended a pro-life group meeting in college. My friend Caroline was very involved with the group & asked me to come. I did it just because she was my friend, not because I felt strongly about the subject, though I’ve always considered myself pro-life.

During that meeting, someone decided to read the first chapter of Abby Johnson’s book unPLANNED. I strongly suggest you click that link & read the first chapter for yourself. I have not yet read the rest of the book, but that first chapter changed my whole life.  I believe God put me in that meeting & laid this cause on my heart.

It was relatively easy to be a pro-life college student. Sure, most people around me were pretty liberal, but I had a great group of friends around me & plenty of outreach opportunities – sidewalk counseling, tabling demonstrations around campus, bringing in guest speakers, articles in the campus newspaper, etc. I was president of our on-campus club my senior year & attended my first March For Life that year & went to the Students For Life Of America conference & everything. At times these activities were emotionally draining, but I always had a pro-life friend near by for support.

March For Life 2012

March For Life 2012

It is much harder to be a pro-life adult. Sometimes I’m more vocal than others, but these conversations are much more difficult without the catalyst of a campus event. This is one of the reasons that going to the March For Life is so important. It is a sacrifice of time & money. It requires taking time off from work & life & traveling to DC in the winter. Am I going to have fun on this trip? Of course I am, but that doesn’t mean I lose sight of the reason I make such a journey almost every year. I get to spend time in our nation’s capital & reconnect with old friends who live in the area. I get to hear amazing pro-life speakers – from senators to Silent No More. But I think what I enjoy the most is that I get to be a part of something much bigger than myself. And then I get to share about my experience.

March For Life 2013

March For Life 2013

Last year I did not write about the march. I had just recently started blogging & I didn’t want to make this “too political”. Well, this isn’t a political issue, or a religious issue. This is literally a life & death situation. Yes, I believe that God is the author & creator of all life & that He has given me this mission. However, I’ve become increasingly more involved with Secular Pro-Life because ALL life is precious & ALL people should come to that conclusion regardless of their beliefs (or lack thereof). Yes, I lean to the right, but I follow groups like Democrats For Life because it’s really not about politics. Do politics play a role? Absolutely. It is up to our leaders to pass laws to defend life while also providing funding to programs like welfare, medicaid, & DCF. The scenarios that drive women to choose abortions are never easy or black & white, & it is important for the government to be able to help its people.

March For Life 2015_1

March For Life 2015

This year is a little different. This year most of my coworkers know I am going to DC to march for life. This year I am writing about it & will share some photos from the event when I return. This year will be my 4th time at the march; my husband’s 2nd. I am incredibly lucky to have such a supportive partner in life, for the rest of my life, fighting for life with me.

So bring on the snow, Jonas. A little bad weather cannot stop the truth about LIFE from spreading.


 

If you are interested in seeing what the march is all about from the comfort of your own home, please check out the March For Life website & click “Watch the March For Life Livestream” on Friday, Jan 22.

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child!

Today kicks off National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child!

National Collection Week is November 16-23

6 years ago the church I was a member of while in college introduced me to Operation Christmas Child.

What is the mission of Operation Christmas Child?

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This ministry collects shoeboxes – or really, shoebox sized containers – filled with gifts & essential items for needy kids around the world. Once the boxes are packed, shipped, & distributed, teams from Samaritan’s Purse get with local churches to distribute the boxes to the kids. During that time, the Gospel is presented to the kids in their own language in a fun way. Aside from providing presents & necessities such as toiletries, these kids get to hear about the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ.

Once I packed my first shoebox 6 years ago, I knew this would become a tradition for me. It’s a very fun, but meaningful, way to kick off the holiday season.

I introduced my husband to this tradition when we first started dating. It’s a nice date-like activity to go shopping for the items & pack boxes together. Our current church packs shoeboxes as well, but they do it in July – like Christmas in July! I prefer to do it in November, but it is great to know that you can pack shoeboxes year round! National Collection Week just makes it easier by providing designated drop off locations.

So how do you pack a shoebox?

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The OCC website has great instructions, tips, & advise for packing a great shoebox.

First thing we did was pick what gender & age group we wanted to build boxes. My husband & I always do a boy & a girl; this year we chose age range 10-14.

We went to the store & picked up toys (puzzles, yoyo, jump rope, & stuffed animals), necessities (soap, toothbrush & paste, hairbrush, socks), school supplies (notepads, pens, pencils), & candy canes. Then we packed our items up in plastic bins. I like to use plastic bins because I feel that the kids (or their parents) can use them for something else!

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The last step is to label the box. If you give a donation online for $7, the cost of shipping, you get labels with a barcode printed on them for tracking purposes. The best part about that is that a few weeks later, once all of the boxes have been delivered, you’ll receive an email letting you know where in the world your box ended up! In the years that I’ve tracked them, my boxes have ended up in Madagascar & India.

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The most important part of this ministry is to pray for these kids around the world. Not only for the kids, actually, but for their families & the people around them. It is extremely evident in light of recent events that the whole world needs Jesus.

Operation Christmas Child is a great way to show the world that God is good, God is joy, & God is love.

Operation Christmas Child

Cuba & The Florida Everglades

One of the things that first attracted me to the church I currently attend is that there is a sister church in Cuba. I didn’t even know this was allowed in Cuba until I started attending PUMC. I have visited Cuba twice, & have a heart for the people of my parents’ motherland.

I’ve become very involved with our sister church Iglesia Hefziba in Consolacion del sur, Pinar del Rio. PUMC visited Iglesia Hefziba in January, & then invited the Pastor to come visit us here in the US. Thankfully, he was granted both his exit visa from Cuba & his tourist visa here in the US. He arrived last week, & stayed with my husband & me for 2 nights before going to another family’s home.

It has been a lot of fun showing him new things. Pastor Oscar has been to the US before, over 10 years ago, but there are so many differences between life in Cuba & life in the US. For example, in our house he had waffles (of course my husband made him waffles) for the first time ever. He loved them!

This past weekend we took him to the most Florida place of all Florida. No, not Disney World.

The Everglades.

Everglades Mrs. Dessert Monster

Obligatory tourist Everglades photo!

We had a lot of fun! Our friends Beth & David came with us.

Everglades Mrs. Dessert Monster

It had been like 15 years since I was on an air boat.

Everglades Air Boat Mrs. Dessert Monster

We saw alligators & lots of other animals.

Everglades Alligator Mrs. Dessert Monster

Pastor Oscar’s favorite part was when the air boat went fast. Those things can get to over 50 mph!

After the air boat ride we saw a gator wrestling show. This guy is crazy, but hilarious. He’s from the show Gator Boys on Animal Planet.

Everglades Gator Boys Mrs. Dessert Monster

It was a really fun day.

Everglades Mrs. Dessert Monster

My husband has been so great with Pastor Oscar. He was a very gracious host & he’s more motivated now to work on his Spanish! I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have such a wonderful man to call my husband.

I’m really glad that Pastor Oscar is enjoying his time here, but I can’t help thinking about the fact that he has to return to Cuba soon. He runs his church out of his home because building churches is illegal in Cuba. Beef is illegal in Cuba. The internet is mostly illegal in Cuba. Pastor Oscar tells me that flying the Cuban flag is illegal for private citizens in Cuba.

Cuba breaks my heart. My mom was 6 months pregnant with me when she & my dad came to the US. I am one of the lucky ones to be born in this country. I didn’t do anything except have parents who were lucky enough to immigrate here. I still have family members in Cuba that aren’t so lucky.

The good news is that we all have a God who answers prayers & sent his son to save his people. Please pray for Cuba with me.

The Drop Box

The Drop Box

Last night I had the privilege of watching this film with my husband & our good friends. It was a really fun double date. What I love about nights like last night is that we can have fun while doing/watching something meaningful.

“The Drop Box tells the story of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak and his heroic efforts to embrace and protect the most vulnerable members of society. It is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical, emotional and financial toll associated with providing refuge to orphans that would otherwise be abandoned on the streets. ButThe Drop Box movie is also a story of hope—a reminder that every human life is sacred and worthy of love.” -From The Drop Box Film website

This film was very touching. We laughed, we cried. Almost as powerful as this life-affirming film was the director’s testimony. He became a Christian while making this film. Watching it you would never know that he had only been a Christian for a short time.

It’s only in select theaters until tomorrow. It’s totally worth going to see it. Come on, the theater won’t be crowded on a weeknight & it helps to break up the routine of our crazy lives.

You know you want to.