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8 posts from October 2006

October 30, 2006

Children Are Dying Today

Starving_children_1When you see a picture like this, how does it make you feel? Angry? Powerless? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? All of the above for me.

I believe we need to allow these emotions to shift into emotions that are more proactive: powerful, hopeful, focused, and able. We can do something to change the life of one orphan, one starving child in Africa. The question is, "What are you doing to help someone in need?"

Focus on the fact that with one decision you make now, a life can be saved. You can join The One Campaign to make poverty history. You can sponsor a child through Children's HopeChest, you can educate yourself about what is happening in Swaziland through NERCHA so you empower yourself to make a difference.

You're being called out. Get in touch with your compassion, turn it into action, and the world will never be the same. You can make a difference. And together, we will change the world!

October 26, 2006

New Book Part 2

Winter has arrived in Colorado. We have 24 inches of snow on the ground and have been confined to the house all day. I love this state!  It was a sleepy day in the Davis household and we loved every second of it! Wish you were here....

Here's the update on the book project: The focus on the book is on Africa, orphans and the HIV/AIDS crisis. It is a go! The publisher is excited about the project and intends to relase it ASAP in 2007. I'll keep you updated on exact details and release dates.

But, another surprise from this meeting has emerged. I will be writing a 3 novel series based on the non-fiction books being released! So here's the concept: a book release on Africa followed by a novel from the perspective of an orphan living in Africa, trying to survive amidst the difficulties of both parents dying from AIDS. Then a non-fiction book on China, followed by a novel from the perspective of a Chinese orphan. Followed by a non-fiction book on Russia and a novel centered on a Russian orphan.

I can't tell you how excited I am about this project. It's been my dream to be able to write on this level. All 3 novel proposals are due on the 31st of October, so I have lots of work to do. Yikes!

Lisa Samson, www.lisasamson.com, has written 18 novels, and will serve as my writing coach. She is a God-send and a wonderful person. Check out her blog by clicking on her name.

I'll post updates as they occur. Never give up on the dreams God places in your heart. Sooner or later, if you don't give up, they will come to pass!

October 22, 2006

A New Book

Well, I promised when I began this blog I would talk about some inside publishing details. Here we go!

On Monday night of last week, I thought of a great idea for my next book. At least I think it's a great idea - time well tell. Currently , I'm working on a book that will be released by Thomas Nelson in the summer of '07 entitled, Confessions of a Good Christian Guy. More on that later.

I wanted to write my next book to fit with Fields of the Fatherless. This book is it! I called my publisher on Monday evening of last week to tell them about the idea and they loved it. If all goes well, I will have it finished within 30 days and it will be released in January of '07. Exciting, huh? And yes, 30 days to finish a book is a very short period of time.

Tomorrow at 4:00 is the 'Big' meeting with the entire publishing crew and my agent. Please pray this goes well and that everything moves full speed ahead.

I'm not at liberty to tell you the title yet. Sorry to keep you in suspense! For those of you who know me well, you know it has to be about orphans, it has to be inspired by Bono, and it has to - in some small way - change the world! I will give you an insight into the content. This is a portion of the book from the introduction. Stay tuned for an update on how the meeting goes.

"The Christian church owes an apology to the 50 million individuals in our world currently infected with HIV/AIDS. For our apathy, our lack of love, and our self-righteousness towards the AIDS epidemic in Africa and around the world, I apologize.

For those of us who claim to follow Christ's teachings, we should be ashamed for what little we have done to help the countless millions of women, children and orphans who have died or are dying. Entire nations are going up in flames while we watch them burn.

Bono (the lead singer from the Irish rock band, U2) and the supporters of the ONE Campaign are right when they talk about crisis and emergency in Africa. The continent is 'on fire' with AIDS and it will not be long before entire countries are wiped off the face of the planet. Bono is also right when he proclaims that history will judge our generation for how we respond to AIDS."

More to come....

October 18, 2006

Living with HIV

This post comes from one of our World Racers who is currently in South Africa. Her name is Ashley Musick and you can read more about her blog here. It's facinating. Here is what she is experiencing first hand in regards to the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa:

"Sorry the blogs have been few and far between over the time in South Africa.  We have been cramming so much into our last weeks of ministry.  Over the past couple of weeks we have been working with "Beat the Drum."  We are showing a hollywood-made movie about AIDS in schools and then spending the week talking about it in the context of the students' community.

Last week we talked to 8th graders.  I think it was beneficial for them to hear and see the repercussions of a wild sexual lifestyle.  Many kids gave their lives to the Lord at the end of the week and signed a commitment to abstain from sex until they were married.  It was an awesome and hectic week.

This week we are in a new school talking to students in the 10th grade.  After we recieved some letters from the students I realized that 10th grade might be to late.  So many of them are already facing issues that deal with HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, and other STD's.  One girl's letter simply said, "I have HIV/AIDS."  My heart broke for her, but today, she came to me after the lesson and asked to talk to me.  She told me who she was and asked for help.  What am I supposed to say?  I have never known anybody that had the disease.  I only know the facts that are in the movies and materials we show the kids.  I don't know what life is like for the people in this community.  I don't know the terrible realities that they face.  I gave it to God and I was able to say some things to her and pray for her.  My heart was broken as I watched the tears run down her face and felt her hands shake in mine.  She can't be more than 17-years-old. 

The problem of AIDS in Africa is real.  We hear about it in America, but I don't think we understand that the population of the entire continent is suffering.  5.5 million people in South Africa alone are HIV positive.  1 in 5 women between the ages of 20-24 are HIV positive.  We've got to stand up as Christians and help these people.  To many of them die every day without the hope of Jesus and He's the only hope that they have.  Pray for them.  Pray for the "Beat the Drum" ministry.  Pray for my new friend that I met today."

October 13, 2006

The Future Is in Every Child's Eyes

Africa_dan_snipes_195Hundreds of millions of children live in poverty every single day. This never goes away and they live in this condition 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, extreme poverty is on the increase in many nations.

  1. According to UNICEF, 30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.” That is about 210,000 children each week, or just under 11 million children under five years of age, each year. You can read more about this by clicking HERE.

Statistics like this can overwhelm us and paralyze us to do nothing. The truth is that every single one of us can do something to help - even one child. This picture was just taken in Swaziland, Africa. Children come from as far as 5 miles away to eat the only meal they will receive that day. These children can be fed a staple diet of fruits, vegetables, and meat for as little as $5 per month.

I believe the future is found in the eyes of every child we are able to help. And they are worth every meal, every effort, and every prayer said on their behalf.

October 09, 2006

"Blessed Are the Poor..."

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." This phrase is from the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. What do you think it's supposed to mean? This is one of the first things Jesus says to a crowd, and arguably one of the most important. You've certainly heard it many times before, but I'd like to put a different twist on how this verse is normally interpreted.

Does this mean we have to be poor to blessed? I would say, absolutely not. That's not even the point. Our natural inclination is to look at this externally. I have to be poor and I must give away everything I have. It's a state of what I do or do not posesses. If it were only that easy! Our greatest struggles in life are not external but internal. What we believe about ourselves, the ringing voices of what everyone else has said about us, and the value we place on our calling. These are called internal messages and that's where the real battle occurs.

Jesus never tells us to despise ourselves. He doesn't ask us to grovel and waller in pity. It's not His way. Quite the opposite, in fact. He revealed to us the worth of an individual. To be created in God's image meant that we have immeasurable worth, infinite possibilities, and a glorious destiny - no matter who you are. A child in an orphanage, a beggar on the street, or a wealthy entrepreneur.

The key is to know who we are and what we are capable of, in spite of our current circumstances.  We must live by faith and 'fully alive' as it says in John 10:10. But the enemy of our souls has destroyed the lives of countless people because he has convinced them they are worthless. Alone, abandoned, without purpose and destiny - all lies. The truth is that this is the only weapon he has against us. Lies, false accusations, and the negative voices in our heads. It's how we are cheated out of our potential.

It's also how orphans are enslaved to a life of destruction. Cursed by society and led to believe a lie about their future, they are destined to be nothing more than a horrible statistic.

Jesus says something so much different. They have infinite worth and value because they are God's children. And you and I have the keys to remove the lies and break the curse in order to set them free.

"I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 Mary, Jesus' mother, also felt overlooked and unimportant. That is, until she realized who she really was and that the life she was living was only the beginning. May today be our 'annunciation' and my God use us to announce the truth of freedom to 'the least of these,' so they will never be the same.

October 04, 2006

The Church's Responsibility to Orphans Part 2

The Bible clearly states that God's people are responsible to care for the orphan. A 'portion' of our 'fields' belong to the widow and orphan. Read Deuteronomy 24:18-21- the Israelites were to leave the second harvest and the extra for those who were in need.

There were even more provisions made for them earlier in Deuteronomy 14:28-29. Because the orphan and widow had no inheritance - they were alone, abandoned, and had nobody to care for them - a portion of the tithe belonged to them.

Wheat20field20cropped20and20smaller_2 You see this principle lived out in the New Testament in Acts 6 when the apostles were feeding widows with their own hands. Why did they take the time to do what many today would consider a menial task? Because they knew God had a special place in his heart for the disenfranchised. If it was important to God, it was important to them. No questions asked.

Those of us who are Christ-followers today should give thought to how the fields of the fatherless principle applies to our lives. If a portion of our fields belongs to the widow, the stranger, and the orphan how can we apply that to our lives? How can we give a portion of what we have in terms of talent, time, and treasure to those who are suffering the most in our society and around the world?Vincentvangogh2371

The other interesting part of this principle is that God promises to bless all the works of our hands if we care for the orphan. I can't tell you how this will happen, but what I can say with confidence is that God is faithful. If we take care of the things on His heart, He will bless us and fulfill the secret desires of our hearts.

October 03, 2006

The Church's Responsibility to Orphans

Convar216_1 I'm reading an amazing book right now entitled, Under the Influence by Alvin Schmidt. It describes the role of the early church and what they 'did' that attracted so many people to Christianity.

What did they do you ask? Any guesses? You got it! They rescued the orphan, they took in the babies the Romans were sacrificing to pagan Gods. Poor people would sell their babies to the rich and the rich would literally cut the baby's throats and throw them on the ground to die. It was sport to them. The early Christians bought the babies from the poor and cared for them as their own. The very first cases of Christian adoption!

Why did they do this? Because they understood the value of a child. They knew how much God loved these babies. They knew how precious and special they were because they were created in the image of God. These kinds of practices defined the early Christians. They loved the orphan, because the understood that orphans are "King's Kids!"

July_trip_280 That's why Psalm 68:5 tells us that "God is a Father to the fatherless." He loves the orphan and he's given us the role of taking care of them. We get to be the Father's Heart to them, we are His voice and His hands. It's the greatest job we will ever have this side of eternity!