Initially, ‘Glasses of Grace’ started because my niece, Grace, had to get glasses for reading. Since grace is such a spiritual topic and the fact that my niece is such a doll, I started thinking about the ways God shows us His grace on a daily basis. From His servings, His glasses, of grace to us - to seeing the world through the eyes of grace (or Grace, since she had new glasses and better sight), it made sense in more ways than one, so a title was born. Blessings and all, this is my life…

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Meet Kate Aban:

Well, I did it! I have researched and found that Compassion International is where I need to be, so I have been looking at pictures, reading about children, deciding just what I wanted to do. I felt like I needed to find a child in the 'longest waiting' category. These kids have been waiting for more than 6 months for a sponsor. That fact alone told me that was where I needed to look. I was orginally looking only at boys, but then I decided to consider girls too and I found this sweet thing named Kate is close to Grace's age! Sounded like a good combo to me...when I told my sister want I was thinking about, she said, "That sounds like it might be a sign!" :-) So, at lunch today, I went online and sent money for one year to support this child.

God has really been using this to put my life in perspective about how much money I spend without thinking. I just bought presents for Grace's upcoming birthday that would pay for almost 3 months of support for this child (!!!) and tonight, when I got home from choir, my sweet cat came to greet me at the door and I thought, "You know, if I only spent one dollar on food for her a day, that is almost a year's support for a child!" Good CAT lives better than some people in the world...that is so humbling. It's such a drop in the bucket to compare with all my blessings...ones that I am convinced and convicted that I take for granted.

I am supposed to get an info packet within the next 15 days about Kate, and after I see more about all this and how it works, I still may sponsor a is definitely not out of the realm of possibility. If you think about it, please pray for this little girl. I will keep you posted!

Birthday: February 28, 2001
Age: 7
Gender: Female
Region: West Africa
Country: Ghana
Program: Sureway Child Development Center

Personal and Family Information:
Kate lives with her father and her mother. At home, duties include running errands and cleaning. Her father is sometimes employed and her mother is sometimes employed. There are 3 children in the family.

Playing group games is Kate's favorite activity. In kindergarten her performance is average and she also regularly attends church activities and Bible class.

Program Description:
Your sponsored child lives on the plains of Kasoa, home to approximately 34,700 residents. Typical houses are constructed of cement floors, wood walls and tin roofs. The primary ethnic group is Awutus and the most commonly spoken language is Awutu. The regional diet consists of maize, beans, bananas, chicken, fish, bread, cassava, beef, plantains, rice and goat. A common health problem in this area is malaria. Most adults in Kasoa are unemployed but some work as traders or farmers and earn the equivalent of $32 per month. This community needs school materials, affordable education, employment opportunities and roads. Your sponsorship allows the staff of Sureway Child Development Center to provide your sponsored child with Bible teaching, health screening, hygiene education, vaccinations, deworming, games, social clubs, tuition and educational field trips. The center staff will also provide meetings for the parents or guardians of your sponsored child.

Who couldn't respond to that description....Your sponsorship allows the staff of Sureway Child Development Center to provide your sponsored child with Bible teaching, health screening, hygiene education, vaccinations, deworming, games, social clubs, tuition and educational field trips. The center staff will also provide meetings for the parents or guardians of your sponsored child.

I already know this is the best money I will spend this year!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fun and addictive!

I saw this on another blog....(thanks Angela!!)....and thought it was so fun that I had to post it on mine too! Needless to say, I took it several times....I think my lowest was 58.

Give it a's fun!

70 words


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you have 0 wrong words

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Any advice?

When Kate was about 4 or 5 years old, I started thinking about sponsoring a child that was about her age. Since I knew her life was going to be so blessed, I wanted to do something to make a difference in the life of a child in another country that was about her age. I looked at Compassion International and WorldVision mostly since they are the ones I'd heard most Christian artists promote. I don't remember why, but I never signed up to do this. I have again had a huge burden on my heart these last couple of months to do this, so I've been trying to research the child sponsorship organizations that are out there. I don't really know anything about any of them and don't personally know anyone who has sponsored children this way, so I was wondering if anyone in blogland has any advice, insight or experience with any of these organizations. I've looked at WorldVision, Compassion International and a couple of others, but I just don't know which way to go. I want to be sure to pick one that offers Christian guidance and benefit as well and I haven't seen that listed on a couple of the sights I've checked, so I know this is something that I need to stay mindful to look for and not just get wrapped up in the pictures and stories. Also, as cute as the little ones are, I am feeling compelled to sponsor an older child.....I heard a radio-sponsorship thing going on one time talking about how the older ones sometimes feel overlooked when the younger ones are getting sponsored. That thought just breaks my heart. I still may go for one about Kate's age...13...I just need to get something in the works.

Also, if you have any thoughts about things I need to consider that I may not be thinking about, I'd appreciate your help on that too....just let me know.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Are WE blind?

I got this as an e-mail yesterday:

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind.

She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her.

When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her, 'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'

The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

I was really quite touched by this and forwarded it to a friend....this was her reply:

" thought provoking that is...but then if we only think of Jesus dying on the cross...isn't it really the same??"

Her reply has been as thought-provoking to me as the e-mail because I didn't think of it in those terms. I didn't put a spiritual spin on it at all. At face value, I just couldn't imagine, as the girl, what it would feel like to finally see, then as the other person, knowing the gift I'd given, have them reply with nothing but rejection. How heartbreaking would that be?

But isn't this how Jesus feels and how God feels when we knowingly reject the gift He gave us through Jesus? Look how much He sacrificed for us and how often we may not be as mindful of His gift as we should be EVERY DAY! I realize that many, indeed most, of us in this blogring are Christians and have a walk with the Lord, but this convicted me on a different level and made me think about how many people there are in the world that reject Jesus and dismiss the realities as 'impossible.' It really made me view the world outside the 'bubble' that I live in, there is no doubt. I mean, can't you just hear the Lord saying, 'Take good care of Jesus, my dear, for before He was yours, He was mine.'

There was more to the original e-mail and it is as follows:

Life Is a Gift
Today before you say an unkind word -Think of someone who can't speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.
Today before you complain about life -Think of someone who went too early to heaven. Before you complain about your children - Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep - Think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive - Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another - Remember that not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one MAKER.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and thank GOD you're alive and can make a difference!

As Easter draws near, my prayer is that we ALL slow down and take the time to know and experience in our heart what we are celebrating...the most amazingly spectacular, meaningful gift of all for those of us who believe....victory over death and eternity in heaven!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

A new look

Well, I decided it was about time that I joined the ranks of those of you who have so masterfully changed, upgraded and perfected your blogs, so this is my first shot at that change. I am one that generally will not do anything until I have semi-figured out the outcome, so I created a test blog to play around with until I figured out what was going on with the new layout and format. I have thought and thought this change to death, believe me! If I'd known how easy it was to upgrade though, I would have done it long before now....I was just afraid of losing posts, losing links, etc, but my hat is off to whoever knows web design because it couldn't have been any smoother. I had a brown background earlier but wasn't totally thrilled with the shade, so after trying a few others, black is it for now. Black IS always a complementary color, isn't it??? Hopefully that's as true in blogland as it is supposed to be in wardrobe! :-)

I'm sure there will be more changes and everything else to come as I experiment and think things through a bit more, but for now, I'm happy with the look, warranted or not, feel a great sense of accomplishment! :-)

UPDATE: To anyone who may be seeing this for the first time, I realize this background isn't black now...I am experimenting, so there is no telling what I am saying that may change....all in the name of progress. I just didn't want anyone thinking I am color-blind or don't know my colors! :-)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Prop us up...

Every time I am asked to pray, I think of the old deacon who always prayed, Lord, prop us up on our leanin' side.

After hearing him pray that prayer many times, someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently.

He answered, 'Well sir, you see, it's like this...I got an old barn out back. It's been there a long time, it's withstood a lot of weather, it's gone through a lot of storms, and it's stood for many years.

It's still standing. But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit. So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn't fall.

Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn. I've been around a long time.

I've withstood a lot of life's storms. I've withstood a lot of bad weather in life, I've withstood a lot of hard times, and I'm still standing too. But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning, at times.

Sometime we get to leaning toward anger, leaning toward bitterness, leaning toward hatred, leaning toward cussing, leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn't. So we need to pray, 'Lord, prop us up on our leaning side, so we will stand straight and tall again, to glorify the Lord. '

I got this as an e-mail a couple of months ago and thought I'd post it here, but just haven't done so yet. I got to thinking about it over the weekend and started looking for a picture to post with it, but couldn't find any I liked, then my aunt sent this whole thing to me this morning, picture and all, so I thought maybe it was one of those 'meant to be' things. It certainly is a good prayer!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Conviction and Grace...(the gift and the person)

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have been listening to the radio lately instead of the CD's I usually play while driving. The other day I heard this incredibly convicting song by Monk and Neagle, "The Twenty-First Time." I know some of you have heard it before because I know some of you got their CD in a giveaway they did last year, but the video is below. As busy as I've been, I am the first (and ashamed) to admit that I am sure I have let opportunies pass by that I could have maybe made a difference in someone's day, not only once, but repeatedly, and this song really spoke to me about that. It made me wonder how many people I may pass in a week's time where I may have overlooked a need or not said or done something that could have made a difference. I need things like this to pop me upside the head every now and then so that I don't become complacent and take my blessings for granted, but I also want to be on the lookout for opportunities to minister to others, even if it is only in a small way. Small to me may be large to someone else!

See what I mean?

On another note, Grace is playing soccer now. They've had 3 practices and had their first game today at 12:30. I got up at 5:30 this morning and went in to work so I could get my hours in and leave so I could go to her game. Luckily, she only has 2 at that I can't attend before tax season is over because they are at 9:30, but you can bet I'll be at all the games that I can! They did a great job today, and I was a proud aunt! Here's the e-mail from my sister, Grace's mom:

Grace had her first game today at 12:30. She was in for the entire game...loved every minute of it and decided it is the funnest thing she has ever done. After the game, she said she couldn't feel her legs!!! (but she was happy about that too!)

And here are a few pictures:
(My sister's battery died after taking these three, but more will follow later in the season...I'll be sure of that!)

It is AMAZING to me how much she's like I was at that age....she'll be 9 on April 13. She a girly girl (much moreso than I was though), a tomboy, is always saying or doing something funny and is always on the lookout to do something helpful for someone. She also loves to read Tiger Beat Magazine and know what's going on with all her favorite 'stars.' It's fun to see life through a child's eyes, isn't it?