There are approximately 163 million orphans in the world right now. Children with faces, names, stories.
163 million stories.
Sometimes I try to picture all the orphans in the world at once, gathered together in one place, until my mind begins to hurt and my heart begins to feel overwhelmed. I think of cities like Beijing that have 12 million inhabitants. Multiply that by 10 and you still wouldn’t have all the orphans in the world accounted for. There are orphans everywhere. In every country, in every city and town, including ours, there are children who have been left parent-less or abandoned, without hope.
But then I am reminded that there is One who created each of these 163 million lives with value and purpose. One who loves them, who is their faithful Father, who desires for them to know what a precious treasure they are. And one of the ways he shows them is through me, and you. Ordinary people. We have been given the great joy of loving the unlovely, of accepting the rejected, of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.
On my own, I would be crushed under the sheer weight of what it would take to reach these children and care for them. Thankfully we are not called to do this alone (since we can’t anyway), and it is such a humble privilege to join so many who are “defending the cause of the Fatherless” (Is. 1:17). I may not be able to love and care for them all, but I can love one, or two, or ten, or however many the Lord brings into my life. I can pray for them, care for them, know their stories, and introduce them to Jesus. Whatever it takes.
Today is Orphan Sunday. Watch this video. Pray for orphans around the world today. And remember that these are stories worth hearing, stories worth sharing, stories worth joining.
Les Miserables is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful stories of life, justice, and redemption. Filled with real pain, struggle and heartache, yet also with love, sacrifice and a tiny bit of joy. It does not gloss over the hard things, nor slap a happy ending on to make everything pretty. It is a story that speaks to the deep places of the heart that are broken and left without hope, and tells of the resilience of humans living in a very messed up world. It shows our search for redemption, and our inability to create it for ourselves. There is so much in one story, yet woven together beautifully.
I have seen Les Mis on stage twice now, and have also watched the film version with Liam Neeson multiple times. This winter they are releasing a new film version that includes all of the musical numbers. At first I was a bit skeptical, but then I saw this:
Gives me chills, every time. Beautiful. Who wants to go with me when it comes out??
ps. pay no attention to the mess of worthless other videos at the end that come up. this was the only video up thus far, so we take what we can get.
Time for some more flashback funness! Are there any theme songs that stick in your head? Or bring back memories of new episodes or videos that came out that you were so excited to see?
I loved McGee and Me when I was younger. The theme song is soooo 1990’s – but it still makes me smile:
Have you ever heard of Psalty the Singing Songbook? Or McGee and Me? Duncan the Donut Man? Steve Green Hide Em’ in your Heart Songs? Wee Sing? I hadn’t fully understood the breadth of the Christian youth sub-culture until a discussion during small group last week. Half of us grew up in Christian homes and were laughing and carrying on about these fun things, and the other half was looking at us like we were completely crazy.
Let’s start with Psalty. A huge royal blue singing hymnal? Totally normal in my world. Thus begins a fun series of flashbacks of fun, quirky things you may only know about if you were there. If you aren’t used to him though, I warn you, it’s a little scary. You might just want to fast forward to after the song is over…about 2:45.
My favorite line is “It’s going to be a Hopallujah Blast!!!” Hahahahaha. Soooo cheesy, and slightly creepy.
At Fall Retreat this weekend our speaker Pastor Mark Vroegop (lead pastor of my church – College Park), was speaking on how Christ is the Core of everything from Colossians 1:15-20. I encourage you to read that passage before you watch the video below. The truths he shared with us from those few short verses were so rich – I wish you could have been there! He showed us this video from a talk that Louie Giglio gave as part of one of the sessions, and I was so encouraged by it and was reminded of just how great and glorious our God is. I hope it encourages you as well!
Wow. Isn’t our God awesome?