An evangelical Christian group on Friday launched a 2,500 mile, 35-day national bus tour in Pittsburgh, Pa., to mobilize prayer for America. The tour's sponsors include author Joni Eareckson Tada, Pastor David Jeremiah, Dr. James and Shirley Dobson, and Pastor Greg Laurie.
The Pray for America Rally Tour, an outreach of the Colorado-based National Day of Prayer Task Force, has a designed a special master coach bus which carries an image of the Statue of Liberty and a Bible quote from Matthew 12:21, "In his name the nations will put their hope."
Coming three weeks after the National Day of Prayer, the rally is a 2,500-mile, 35-day, 14-state tour that will reach out to over 30 communities from Maine to California with scheduled events, rallies, and man-on-the-street interviews.
Chelsea Fearce held a 4.466 GPA and scored 1900 on her SATs despite having to use her cellphone to study after the homeless shelter lights were turned off at night.
“I know I have been made stronger. I was homeless. My family slept on mats on the floor and we were lucky if we got more than one full meal a day. Getting a shower, food and clean clothes was an everyday struggle,” Fearce said in a speech she gave at her graduation ceremony.
Fearce overcame her day-to-day struggles by focusing on a better day.
“I just told myself to keep working, because the future will not be like this anymore."
One of five children, Fearce's family sometimes had an apartment to live in, but at other times had to live in homeless shelters or even out of their car, if they had one.
“You’re worried about your home life and then worried at school. Worry about being a little hungry sometimes, go hungry sometimes. You just have to deal with it. You eat what you can, when you can.”
Miraculously, Fearce overcame the odds and even tested high enough to enroll in college classes half way through her high school career. She starts college next year at Spelman College as a junior where she is planning to study biology, pre-med.
“Don’t give up. Do what you have to do right now so that you can have the future that you want,” Fearce said.
Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, wanted to celebrate the anniversary of their orphan care and adoption ministry in a big way this past weekend...so they invited Mall Hall from Casting Crowns, Laura Story, Andrew Peterson and Audio Adrenaline to perform to cap off their festivities!
Show Hope also threw a picnic lunch and invited all the families who received an adoption grant from them or went on a mission trip to Maria’s Big House of Hope to attend. Since its creation in 2003, Show Hope has provided grants to aid in the adoption of more than 4,000 orphans. They’ve also given life-saving medical care to more than 1,000 orphans with special needs in China.
A police officer goes beyond the call of duty to bless a teenager!
Phoenix Police Sergeant Natalie Simonick was patrolling in her squad area and stopped what appeared to be a juvenile for a possible curfew violation. She identified the young man as 18 year old Christian Felix. After finding no violation, she offered him a courtesy transport home. During their conversation, she learned that he worked at a fast food restaurant and had to walk six miles to and from his home to go to work because busses didn’t run during his work hours. He had to work to support his family and didn’t have a bike or even know how to ride one.
The police officer was so moved by his work ethic, she bought him a mountain bike, helmet and bike lock and arrangement for three other police officers to teach him how to ride it and the basics of bicycle safety.
48 hours of quiet...What mom wouldn’t want that?!
My birthday was fast approaching and a friend suggested that I sign up for a silent retreat to celebrate the occasion. As a busy mom who honors very little margin in her schedule, signing up for 48 hours of silence sounded like a luxury. My husband joked it was more like his birthday wish come true...but I was seriously looking forward to stealing time alone with the Lord. No kids. No husband. No cell phone.
Fast forward to the Friday I was scheduled to leave and my throat was clogged shut. Unable to speak and barely able to swallow, I texted my friend and told her I had second thoughts. But she insisted on packing a stash of cough drops and hot tea for me to shake off my cold...No more excuses, I had to go. So off I went.
The retreat center is nestled on the spacious grounds of the most scenic stretch of forest in
Springfield. Stained glass envelops the prayer room where a clay vessel holds words of hope, despair, and trust from guests who frequent the place. It’s a sacred space.
My spirit felt at peace but my body raged with fever. By midnight, I cycled through sweat and chills. I felt like I was swallowing razor blades but was too terrified to break the silence of the retreat and ruin the experience for others. So I spent much of the time in my room, praying,
“Lord, now would be a really good time to heal me!”
He didn’t heal my throat that day (I was later diagnosed with strep) but He did heal a wound inside me that was buried so deep, He had to break down my every barrier to allow me to let Him in. You see, when I get sick, I retreat to a deeply dark place. When I was a child, my family life was broken and dark, and for whatever reason, when I’m ill, I revert back to being a child trapped in a dark place, believing the lie that I’m all alone. It’s always had such a stronghold on me that it may take days to recover from any illness I have but it takes weeks for me to restore to emotional wellness.
But last weekend, the Lord met me in that deep, dark place. He broke through my fever and held me. I had the guest room to myself but I didn’t feel alone. He was with me. He was for me. He is with me. He is for me.
And oh how I’ve missed Him so. I’ve been on overdrive for far too long and feeling the burnout. I don’t remember the last time I just sat at the feet of Jesus. I told myself that I was doing what was best for my husband and kids...making sure they didn’t miss a single play date or activity and had clean clothes and homecooked meals...I prided myself on being a productive, proactive family. But I’ll bet they felt the brunt of my burnout when our crazy schedule made me cranky and shortened my fuse. I was mothering from an empty place.
But no more. I returned from my silent retreat committed to making more room for margin during the impossible month of May so that I can spend more time with the Lord. Grad parties, end of school year events, birthdays and holidays scream: YOU MUST TEND TO ME! But I’ve now got a quiet confidence to say no to some good things so that I can say yes with conviction to the greater things...like being with the Lord, listening to my children and resting in the center of God’s grace.