Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of the Best for Any Expectant Mom

Almost two years ago, Kajiji Girls compiled a list of the most necessary items recommended for the expectant mom. In our small group, we came up with what we deemed as the "Best of the Best for Any Expectant Mom" list. Most of what's on the beginning of the list were my preferences, and then others added on. Since I've been asked to share it once again, I've decided to simply post it for all who may have interest. As always feel free to add to it in your comments section! Here goes...


  • Diaper Dekor plus and liners – I love this diaper pail!
  • Huggies diapers or Target brand diapers.
  • Seventh Generation diaper wipes – Has no chlorine or additives for being extra gentle on new baby’s bottom. Buy in bulk on and autoship for decent pricing.
  • Sleep positioner/wedge - keeps baby on their back/side.
  • Munchkin disposable changing pads – use during your outings and travels.
  • BebeSounds Nasal Aspirator – a battery-operated aspirator to clear baby’s nose. Sounds ridiculous (and it is more of a luxury item, I'll admit), but it's much gentler on baby’s nose than a bulb syringe with a strong enough suction to help baby to breathe better.


  • Philips Avent Breast Pump – just as good if not better than an expensive electric pump (if you'll be staying at home, that is. If you'll be working, an electric pump will probably make the job much easier).
  • Playtex bottles with disposable liners
  • Boppy pillow
  • Japanese Weekend Hug bra (nonsupportive & overnight bra)
  • Bella Materna bras – expensive but worth it!
  • Thermal breast gel packs such as BustBuddies – used for relief of engorgement.
  • Washable breast pads – you may have to research these to find the best ones for you. There's pure wool pads with their natural healing properties of lanolin or moisture-wicking pads like the ones made by Bravado.
  • "LilyPadz" - silicone, reusable nursing pads that help prevent leaking. They didn't work for me (Erin) until I wasn't engorged anymore, but then they worked like a charm and meant I didn't have to do as much laundry or use disposables.
  • IF you are going to use formula at all, I (Erin) highly recommend making your own. Here's one recipe:
Goats Milk (babies can digest it easier than cow's -I used Myersburg)
A liquid pediatric multi vitamin like Liquid Peds
Evening Primrose Oil
Cod Liver Oil
(You can also find other great all-natural recipes for baby formula at the Real Milk website.)


Maternity Clothing & Stores

  • One Hot Mama – not a large selection, but everything sold here is awesome!
  • Old Navy & Gap - I bought most of my pg wardrobe from here.
  • Bella Band - "the most versatile maternity accessory you'll ever need" - great from 1st trimester until postpartum
  • Maternity Mall – many maternity brands/stores at one site


  • Swaddlers by Kiddopotamus (find at Babies R Us) or Miracle blanket (on – no need for receiving blankets. These things are great and will allow baby to sleep more soundly.
  • A sling like the New Native Baby Carrier – simplest and nicest carrier out there; just be sure to buy the right size and get some pointers on their website. I know other KGs prefer different slings...
  • Bundle Me by J.J. Cole – perfect for infant car seats & strollers – no need for a bulky jacket or suit in cold weather!
  • Britax car seats – the best and safest car seats on the market.
  • Baby swing/bouncy seat/exersaucer
  • Doorway jumper (they now also sell these jumpers with a stand-alone frame – no need for a doorway.)
  • Bumbo baby seat (great for when baby wants to sit up but isn't developmentally ready yet - makes them feel big and keeps them entertained for a bit)
  • A baby back pack/carrier - for hiking or going anywhere where a stroller is impractical.
  • A food grinder or blender - for making your own baby food.
  • A co-sleeper or crib with a removable side and good, quality bungee cords - this creates your own bedside sleeper so that you don't have to get out of bed for nighttime feedings, but keeps the baby out of your own bed.


  • Mothering magazine – Forget Parents. This magazine will open your eyes to much better all-natural mothering than anything out there!
  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin - my #1 recommendation of all time (get this book!!)

  • Great with Child by Debra Rienstra – amazing, spiritually poetic, thought-provoking account of one woman's journey through pregnancy
  • Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis & Judith Shuler
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League – I learned new things about nursing from this book even after nursing three babies!
  • 100,000+ Baby Names by Bruce Lansky – This book has every name imaginable plus their meanings! I was actually able to find all of my kids’ names (with correct spelling!) in this book. Found it at Wal-Mart.
  • The Baby Book or The Pregnancy Book by Dr. Sears - (stay far, far away from the What to Expect... series!)
  • “Prep for Parenting” video series by Growing Families International


  • Arnica – Hands down the best miracle cream for bumps, bruises, strains, etc. Good for everyone in the house! It comes in cream or oral tablets for adults for internal pain. Take internally for the two weeks before labor, and it will help with the physical effects of labor and postpartum.
  • Perineal cold compress – If the hospital does not supply these to you for the first 24 hours after birth, bring your own!! These unbelievable instant cold compresses are a cross between a maxi pad and an ice pack. They feel absolutely amazing for your soreness!
  • Lansinoh cream (lanolin) – Essential for sore nipples during the first couple weeks of nursing and anytime thereafter.
  • Gripewater – Heard this is a necessity for when baby has gas or colic.
  • Hair powder, spray-on or dry shampoo - for those times when a shower is impossible but you don’t want to look like you haven’t showered. Can be found on
  • Chocolate Mint Zone bars – Kim swears by these to help with morning sickness.
  • Witch Hazel and an analgesic spray such as Dermoplast - After an episiotomy, you may need some relief. Also use the peri-bottle (you'll receive after delivery) filled with warm water in order to urinate comfortably.


  • Take care of yourself!!
  • Wear comfortable slip-on shoes in the later stages of pg and after delivery.
  • Take advantage of the free lactation consultations.
  • Check baby’s tongue to make sure he/she is not tongue-tied. This can interfere with nursing, and it’s extremely quick and easy to take care of.
  • Get plenty of fiber after birth.
  • Research vaccinations & circumcision.
  • Find a MOPS group near you (at local churches) or come to Kajiji Girls! ;-)
  • Cook meals ahead and freeze.
  • Do your dreaded Kegel exercises – they really work!
  • Buy the softest, most luxurious bath towels (Marshall’s or TJ Maxx) to use when your nipples are extremely sore during pregnancy and in the postpartum period while learning to nurse – it makes all the difference in the world!
  • Use cold cabbage leaves on your breasts to relieve the pain of engorgement.
  • Sore nipples require air drying right after feeding and then immediately apply lanolin gel for between feedings.

*All links included here were working as of 12/30/09. I cannot guarantee they will be working anytime in the future.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pet Care in a Post-Rapture World?!?

Ok, I just noticed this website posted on someone's fb page, and it piqued my curiosity. It's called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, and I want to point out that this is NOT a joke! In fact, they'll tell you that in the FAQ's section which I highly recommend reading. It's marketed toward Christians whose faith includes the idea of a Rapture in which we'd be taken up to heaven to meet Jesus and leave behind those we love who don't proclaim faith in Jesus as well as our precious pets. Yes, pets. After all, when we are raptured, who will take care of our pets? And unless we believe our pets to have souls and the ability to have a saving faith, then they also will be left behind in the chaos of this post-rapture world, will they not?

The idea behind this program may be laughable, scary, bizarre or just plain practical to some, but it tends to bring one up short and analyze how it makes one feel. Is it simply a scam? Is it a service that demands "the rubber meets the road" in our faith? What are your thoughts on post-rapture life? Do you even care what happens after the rapture? Should we do anything to prepare for it in any way? For instance, for those who have read Left Behind, there is a situation where one of the raptured pastors had prepared a video for those left behind explaining what happened and what they can still do to be saved. Or do we not think about the rapture at all?

PLEASE, please, please leave your thoughts and comments here as I would LOVE to know what's going through your mind right now. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pondering Christmas

Only a couple more days until we celebrate the most cherished holiday of the year! I've just come back from a trip down South, and I have to say how pleased I was to notice how many businesses did not take the "PC" way and shirk from offending by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. As we passed a big Pepsi-Cola plant, emblazoned on the front of the building was a huge Merry Christmas!. Along with the warmer temps and the sun, it was such a breath of fresh air. Christmas is typically a holiday of merriment and, when we think about it, of holy awe. As we prepare for the birth of our Savior, let us ponder on the significance of God's gift to us.

Migdal Edar*
When you picture the birth of Jesus Christ, what comes to mind? A cave converted into a stable? A manger, with Mary and Joseph looking at Jesus? Or maybe you imagine barnyard animals looking at the newborn baby? The Bible gives us some details concerning the birth of Jesus, but there are many things that we do not know, such as the location of the birth of Jesus. In this newsletter we would like to explore a possible location for the birth of Christ that we think you will find very interesting.

In our recent research we have identified Migdal Edar as a possible location for the place of Jesus' birth. Migdal Edar is located about two miles south of Jerusalem on the road to Bethlehem. The Bible clearly states that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but Bethlehem at the time of Jesus was larger and more spread out than modern day Bethlehem. Today Jerusalem and Bethlehem are separated by only six miles.

Migdal Edar means "tower of the flock".

You might ask, "What flock?" The answer would be the flock that produced the lambs for sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem. In light of Jewish Law, under which Jesus was born (Galatians 4:4-5), this place would have been considered a "clean" location in which to give birth to the Messiah.

It is also interesting to note that the shepherds were told to go to Bethlehem and there they would find the Messiah. The shepherds did not need to ask where in Bethlehem they would find the Child, for they knew about Migdal Edar (Luke 2:11). The "sign" given by the angels was that He would be lying in a manger and dressed in swaddling cloths (Luke 2:12).

During this time of year, we often ponder the events surrounding the coming of our Savior. Migdal Edar was dedicated to producing perfect lambs for the temple sacrifices. It is our reminder that Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, came to be the final sacrifice for our sins.

Wow. Even Jesus' birth heralded his death. As we celebrate Jesus' birthday this week, let us remember why He came. Our children are born because we love, and they are the result of that love. Jesus was born because we hate, and His death was the result of that hate. May His abundant love cover you in this year and the next. Merry Christmas!

*Taken from the most recent Grapevine Studies e-newsletter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In the Grip of Grace or In the Hands of an Angry God?

We have been quick to label our America as a Christian nation. I'm not here to debate whether our founding fathers purposefully set out to create a Christian nation or not, but it seems we still like to think of ourselves as Christian. A Christian nation? Now? Really? Is it because statistically the majority of Americans claim to be Christians? Do we really believe our America is full of Christ-followers? Do you believe you are that different than those whose Christianity we question? I've been hearing a lot of negative things against the American church recently. Is it warranted? Do you feel we need a revival, a Christian awakening?

A friend of mine posted a sermon on her facebook page. After taking the time to listen to the audio/video message of Reverend Paul David Washer, I'm blown away by his accusations and his unforgiving proclamation of hard-hitting truth. After reading The Bravehearted Gospel with my book study group, I have come to recognize the bravehearted path. This man, I feel, has chosen the bravehearted path. Like a baton runner, he has taken the whip out of Jesus' hands and sprinted forward. In his "sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-God"-style message, he delivers such a lashing to the American youth of our churches (as well as their leaders), one can only assume they walked away from this conference stunned...and supposedly he was never invited back to speak. It's a message I've heard teachers/preachers skirt around, one that's been posted on conservative Christian blogs, and one that rears its head every once in awhile among my circle of friends. BUT I have never heard it quite like this before. Listen to it now (be forewarned - it is long but worth the thought-provoking mental energy) and let me know your thoughts. Do you agree with him? Is he too alarmist? Do you believe his theology is accurate? What points do you disagree with?

Found at where you can read the transcript, listen to the audio or watch the video.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Few Thoughts on the Old Man...

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come! II Corinthians 5:17

If the "old man" inside me is dead, then why do I continue to cook for him, wash his clothes, make his bed and provide for him in every which way? It is as if the ghost of my former self haunts me until I confuse the existence of this specter with reality.

Lord, help me instead to willfully pound the nails into his coffin, inscribe the gravestone with a definitive end date and walk away with no need for commemoratives. Help me to see that true life, true happiness and true power comes not from fraternizing with ghosts but from the living reality of the new man in You!

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:6-7

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Apples and Oranges

Churches can be wonderful conduits for the charity of its people. Churches and charitable organizations can do amazing works blessed by God to help the orphans, fatherless and widows. Yet too often the church can be ignorant of the needs of its own sheep. And what good is a church that helps a tribe halfway across the world when its own members are suffering? Meeting each others' needs within one's body is a vital part of a church's community. To turn a blind eye, a deaf ear or an ignorant attitude towards the brother or sister-in-Christ sitting right next to you is to do the same with Christ. (Matthew 25:31-40)

Similarly, it seems a common attitude these days is for Christians to compare our own needs and sufferings to those who have it much harder than us, thereby trivializing our own trials. After all, how can we compare our own trials to those who live in third-world countries and those who witness true suffering and death every day? The simple answer is, we can't. We can't compare the endless nights of insomnia with a new baby to a mother in Darfur who night after night watches her baby die slowly of malnutrition. We can't possibly compare the stress and daily busyness of parenting to the 9-year-old boy who just became the leader and sole provider for his 6-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother because both his parents died of AIDS. We can't compare the annoyances we sometimes face within our churches on any given Sunday with the man who, with heart pounding out of fear and joy, secretly enters a dark building in China to worship with his family in Christ as part of something we call the underground church. There is NO comparison! We can't even try, and we shouldn't.

But being human, we only know what we know. Our own trials and persecutions, relatively insignificant or not, affect us. They move us out of our comfort zones, increase our stress level, overwhelm us and sometimes render us incapable. Sometimes the smallest things in life build up and cripple us, preventing us from meeting not only our own needs but those outside our home. When facing another day of parenting little ones puts you in a sour mood, you're not going to want to willingly volunteer to babysit for a mother in need. When cooking and putting yet another meal on the table becomes a onerous task, you are not going to feel like cooking for someone in need. This is not an attempt to rationalize any excuses for laziness or social apathy, but a simple statement that we cannot give what we do not have. Pope Benedict XVI said, "In the end, it is the Lord who helps us but we must be available as instruments," he continued. "I would say simply: No one can give what he does not personally possess; in other words we cannot pass on the Holy Spirit effectively or make him perceptible to others unless we ourselves are close to him."1 Certain trivialities and the stresses of daily life sometimes cloud our vision, weigh on our heart and help us to forget to stay close to Him. It is when our eyes are open to the abundance of blessings given us that the Holy Spirit and our own gratitude help us to give.

As Christians, we are commanded to take care of each other and "to love our neighbor as ourselves." If the world judges our faith by how we treat each other, we must take great care in watching out for each other and providing for each other. By loving each other and acting like the early church, we will be greater witnesses of Christ's love to those inside and outside our Christian community. So let us love each other. Let us need one another. Let us meet each others' needs "and so fulfill the law of Christ."2

1. From an article found on Zenit: The World Seen from Rome website.

2. Galations 6:2

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let It Rain

Heard this song again today and just had to share. Turn it way up, feel the power of the lyrics and praise Him with all your heart, soul and mind!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Church I Can Call Home

I've never been without a home church - a place to visit every week with the hope of some relief from the world's burdens, some spiritual refreshment and some fellowship. Growing up in my grandfather's church, it literally was my second home. Since I also attended the private school held in this same church, I spent most of my waking hours in that building. Since my grandfather was the senior pastor, churchgoing was mandatory for my family. We attended not only Sunday morning worship, but Sunday School, Sunday night services, Wednesday night prayer meetings and a Friday night children's program. This was outside of my actual school attendance Monday through Friday. So you can see why I felt it was my "home."

When I met my husband, he was attending a church that became "our" home church. But seeing as we were newly married with a child and living and working about an hour away from our church, we didn't see too much of the inside of the church building except on Sunday mornings. So we did what a lot of people do - we moved closer to be near our church. We were able to participate more in the church activities, involve ourselves in the programs there and build a small but wonderful network of believers around us. But the church grew. It grew and it grew and it grew until it was soooo big, we didn't know anyone there anymore. Even the pastors we grew to love and respect both stepped down from leadership, and we felt the loss deeply.

We have been members of this same church now for about 15 years. As God blessed us with more children, we remained loyal and committed to the church and enjoyed many of the activities and resources they had available. Since it is now one of the largest, if not the largest church in our state, it offers many things for many people. But deep connections and intimate fellowship are not among them, at least, not for my introverted husband and me. I understand there is a need to sometimes stretch your neck out and plug yourself into a church of such a large size - there is no place for social wallflowers here! But there gets to be a point where I just don't feel churches were ever meant to go beyond a certain size. I don't know what that point is, but I do believe if there are more people that you don't recognize than those you do, it's too big (but that's just my humble opinion).

On the other end of extremes, we attended a home church for awhile where there were only three to four families. The small size was great for encouraging openness, intimacy and spiritual growth, but we found it a bit too small for practical reasons. It only took one family not making it due to illness or vacation to put quite the crimp in our meeting schedule. It was sometimes difficult being that small, but we made some good friends with other brothers and sisters-in-Christ. Most importantly, it allowed us to see how church can be done in a completely different way and what it can be like - a body of believers attending to each other's needs and growing in unity with one another.

So here I find myself searching for a home church. After visiting multiple churches in my area, I've seen some things I like and some things I don't like in a church. I'd like to share with you my own list of qualities in my ideal church.* (Please see footnote below.) My hope is this would be thought-provoking, a good conversation starter and to help challenge us in our thinking of what church is as well as its function. Please feel free to share your own thoughts by leaving a comment - I would love to hear what you love about your own church or what you would look for in your ideal church whether you are attending your ideal church in reality or not.

My ideal home church would be...

A church that is doctrinally sound, considers itself missional and is within my own local community. The church must believe all scripture is inspired by God who is Triune in the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church and the Church is His body. Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and He is coming again.1 A fairly good and detailed description of what missional looks like can be found on the Friend of Missional website (though I would caution "missional" can erroneously be described as "emergent" which I do not fully agree with the soundness of some of the doctrines held by the emergent movement). To me, missional means actively taking care of each other's needs within the local body of believers and showing Christ's love to each other as well as actively serving those in the local community and showing Christ's love to others outside of the body. An early Christian writer named Tertullian quoted a pagan official say about the Christians: "Look at how much they love each other!" Love is the wisdom and power of God. Love was the power of early Christian witness to the Resurrected Christ. Love was the fire of the martyrs. 2
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
Having my church be within my local community has been a relatively recent desire. After spending years traveling a half hour or more to get to church, I've come to the conclusion my home church should be in my neighborhood - not for convenience sake but for community's sake. My desire is to worship, learn and serve side by side with those I see on a daily basis through living and working in my community.

A church where statistics and big numbers are not a goal
. Growing up in a church of 200-300, it seemed we knew everyone. If there was a new face, you knew to go over and introduce yourself and welcome them - there was no need for an official welcoming committee. The adults knew most of the children, and it seemed the children had about 100 pairs of parents (talk about "it takes a village"!). I feel a small church naturally encourages more intimate fellowship between believers. There's not as much of a struggle as the megachurches have in trying to work things out so people get connected and unified. I happen to like the idea of a church actually limiting its size. If a church reaches its set maximum, a new church can be planted in a different community and the evangelization continues. This helps keep a church not only growing deep roots but also gives the ability to spread its roots wide.

A church that is run like a church and not a corporation. This kind of refers back to the statistics and numbers point above. Megachurches seem to like to take surveys, organize things using pie graphs and risk seeing people as numbers and their money as stock. When money becomes a focal point or a necessity in continuing to build the body of believers, we've strayed into dangerous territory where we may find Jesus standing there with a whip.

Money can obviously be a very valuable thing within a community of believers. It can be used to support those within the body and outside of the body. However a church should never become so dependent on money that in order to survive it needs to raise funds or continually request people to increase their giving. Tithing aside, a church should be able to thrive and grow without any money at all! Strange concept, I know. Christ's love is freely given, and it should be passed around freely. The good news is there are no costs involved in being Jesus to others.

A church where family is honored and included as much as possible, meaning children are accepted and are seen as integral to the worship service, not just there for Sunday school. This doesn't necessarily mean they stay for the entire service, just that they are extended a welcome and are included. I've heard of churches that have entire families stay to worship and sing praises together, and then there's a short children's message time where the pastor actually speaks directly to the youth. Following that, the children are dismissed to their own Sunday schools. How cool is that? When the entire family from infant to senior are welcomed and included, the body of believers will feel whole.

A church that fits my style. I know, this one sounds so...well, shallow. But I think it's important to choose a church that's not going to make you uncomfortable as you watch people dance and writhe in the aisles or make you feel numb because everyone sings in a monotone voice and no one smiles. Do you consider yourself charismatic? Do you prefer quiet, reverent worship? Do you enjoy hearing the preacher yell, shout and thump his Bible? Do hearing others speak in tongues freak you out? Personally, I fall closer to the quiet reverence, but I like to be stretched by those more demonstrative, charismatic worshipers! If you can believe it (for those who know me), I actually like some of my worship songs sung loud and exuberantly with arms outstretched and hands lifted. Whatever "church personality" you seem to have, it'd probably be nice to find a church that fits it.

A church where sacred is valued over slick. When we see slick, we like to call this type of church "Church Hollywood". So many churches these days have put too much focus on the presentation of their services. The worship part of the service turns into entertainment for the masses, and the pastor's multimedia message is designed to keep all those suffering from attention deficit disorder a chance to focus. I am not against multimedia or entertainment, not in the least. However if there is no sense of the sacred during the service, have we not missed the point? A very small and seemingly insignificant example (yet one of my big pet peeves) is when the praise and worship team "sneak" back into their individual places during prayer. I know many are thinking I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. Yet we forget in that moment when we bow our heads and close our eyes, we have once again approached the throne of the Almighty God and are making our requests known to Him. Yet the praise band must apparently use that time to get back into place lest we open our eyes and, heaven forbid, they're not there to start playing immediately! Our Sunday services seem to have lost an awareness of the holy. I love a service where, though it may not come across as very polished, the reverent awe and love for our God permeates the sanctuary and is felt and noticed by all.

A church lead by a pastor who has more humility than education. Absolutely I want a pastor who knows the Old Testament and New Testament, knows how to decipher the Greek or Aramaic root word from the text, knows how to glean the message from the context, and knows how to counsel those in need. Yet even more than that, I want a pastor who hides the Word in his heart, who speaks and listens to God unceasingly, who loves people as Jesus loves and seeks to have a humble spirit. I want a pastor who is not just taught but teachable. I want a pastor who is a true shepherd and is only responding to the call God has placed on his heart to lead His sheep, whether he has a seminary degree or not {gasp!}. Higher education is a respectable goal, but I have seen too many churches turn away a potentially great leader because he was lacking a degree.

A church that encourages its body to serve to the fullest extent. There are so many strengths and talents among a church's body, it seems a waste and a shame to let anyone just sit in their seats to be fed. If a layperson can not feel useful, they will feel homeless. I know of churches who have actually refused to allow their laypeople to serve in certain areas or join the choir or start up an outreach simply because they didn't feel their members were qualified or good enough. It's a good thing Moses3 never asked to speak to today's church or Jonah4 never applied as a missionary for today's missions program. Helping each believer find their spiritual gifts and encouraging them to use them to serve the body is the whole point of having the spiritual gifts in the first place. If a church fails to do this, it will fail itself.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. I Corinthians 12:7-11

I love coming across a church where different faces are seen at the front of the church, not just the pastor, and where all gifts are valued equally.

There are many good churches around here, but unfortunately we have yet to find an ideal one for us. I understand no church is perfect, and I may find a church I call home that does not fit all of the criteria I've listed. My prayer is God will let us know where He wants my family to call home when it comes to church.

*By no means is this a criticism or attack on any particular church, denomination or faith. This is my own personal wish list of what I'd like to see in a church of which I have not yet found (at least, locally for myself and my family).
If you are at the church God has called you to be at, then have confidence you are meant to be there for a reason whether you feel your church fits any of the above criteria or not! Just as each person/family will have their own ideas of what feels like home to them, each person/family will have their own ideas of what feels like church.

1. Taken from I could get really detailed and go by other's affirmations of faith like Mars Hill Church's Statement of Belief , but that'll have to do for now.
2. From an article titled "Look At How Much They Love Each Other": The Development of Church Social Life found here.
3. "Then Moses said to the Lord, 'Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.'" Exodus 4:10
4. "But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord." Jonah 1:3

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's a Big, Big World - Shrink it!

If you know anything about me, you know I love the internet! I love the around-the-clock access to worldwide events, happenings and knowledge - the scientific papers, the public opinion, the latest news, everything. Having the world at our fingertips is a "privilege" that none others have had before in history. People relied on local gossip and newspapers to find out what was going on in their community. Then came radio and movies to provide news of what was going on in the world. Now we have instantaneous reports on the latest celebrity death, political gaffe and natural disaster. We are bombarded with photos of war, statistics of crime and tragic death toll counts. The internet has opened up the world to us and created a global community where our neighbor can live 4,000 miles away from us. Though this has its benefits, it can also make us feel very small and very helpless. How does one make any difference in the world when one cannot stave off the spectacular devastation going on around the world? What can one do when it comes to the thousands upon thousands of orphans in Africa due to the AIDS epidemic? The millions of starving mouths to feed in [choose any location around the world]? The untold number of Christians persecuted for their faith? The tragedy visited upon us by Mother Nature? The abuses done by man upon their children, spouses, family, friends, animals and earth?

Sometimes the bigger the picture, the less equipped we feel. Though it is proven that one person can impact the entire world by their actions and efforts, it always begins simply by taking one step. It requires a singular focus, not on saving the entire world, but on saving just one someone or something. If we were to mentally shrink our world back down to what's just beyond our doorstep, we would essentially be opening our eyes and seeing things we've never noticed before - that homeless man who sleeps on your city's sidewalk, the dog chained up across the street without food or water, the single mom next door who just had another baby, the neighbor who needs some help fixing their car, the elderly woman who never leaves her house... There is always someone in our own little world that needs us - maybe not us so much but needs the love of Christ inside of us showered upon them. As parents, there is no denying we have our very own mission field within our own home. But take a look outside your window every once in awhile and see how that mission field expands beyond our home as well. There are great teachings about how loving our neighbor isn't necessarily confined to your next door neighbor - our neighbors can be in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, China and North Korea. But it also means loving your next door neighbor or your neighbor two streets down or one town over. We will naturally be able to have the most impact on those within our own community and especially on our own street. Don't discredit that daily witness on those around you!

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28-33

Shrink your world and see with new eyes your own community. We may never have a worldwide impact by our actions, but we can significantly impact someone else's world.

Nickelback - "If Everyone Cared" Video

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Covenantal Homeschooling?

"...we're more interested in raising godly children than smart children." ~R.C. Sproul

Every once in awhile I come across a blog posting that makes me question certain beliefs or assumptions I've held. My need for community becomes so important as I seek varying points of view on the specified topic to help my jumbled thoughts become more organized and "debate" my way to a clearer point of view. This is one such instance. I came across a blog about homeschooling. Up to this point, I have always believed in the ideal of homeschool over public school, but those who choose otherwise could do so without nary a judgment call from me. I've read my share of homeschool books and blogs where many hold an "extremist" viewpoint, e.g. as a Christian, if you're not homeschooling, you're not fully embracing your parental rights and duties to bring your children up in the admonition of the Lord and essentially you're throwing your children to the wolves of society (my words, not theirs). I tend to initially scoff at or ignore anything that shouts extremism and rejects balance. I don't like the idea of the harsh judgments behind some of their statements and beliefs, and I feel parents can pray about their educational choice for their children and come to different conclusions.

And then I read Top Five Reasons Not to Send your Kids Back to Government School1 by Voddie Bauchman. I have no idea who Voddie Bauchman is or what his doctrinal position is or anything about him. I just know he made some interesting and compelling (possibly even sometimes inflammatory) arguments against public school. Two of his bigger points are:


“I am as sure as I am of Christ’s reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen.” -A.A. Hodge

Jesus made it quite clear when he said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30 ESV) I am amazed at how many Christians refuse to acknowledge this fact as it relates to the government school system. Our education is either based on biblical truth, or some other truth. There is no such thing as neutrality in this regard. All education is religious in nature.2 Since it is illegal for students in our government schools to be taught from a Christian perspective, then it follows that they must be taught from a non (or anti) Christian perspective.



“This whole process of education is to be religious, and not only religious, but Christian…. And as Christianity is the only true religion, and God in Christ the only true God, the only possible means of profitable education is the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” -Charles Hodge

I recognize that educational antinomianism* is the norm in the modern American church. According to the common refrain, “It doesn’t matter what educational choice you make... you just have to pray about it and do what the Lord leads your family to do.” However, I must confess I find this concept disturbing on a number of fronts. First, this kind of thinking denies the sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible speaks either directly, or principally to every aspect of life. There are no grey areas. Sure, there are things that are difficult to discern, but education is not one of them. Though you won’t find the word ‘education’ in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, there are a number of passages that speak directly to the issue of training ourselves and our children intellectually, spiritually, philosophically and morally (See Deut. 6:6,7; Prov. 1:7; Eph. 6:4, etc). We also have numerous warnings against allowing others to influence us intellectually, spiritually, philosophically, and morally (Psalm 1; Rom. 12:1,2; 2 Cor. 6:14ff; Col. 2:8, etc.).

I have also heard others speak of their children being a witness to those around them in school. For our children to be "the salt and light of the earth" while in school at the impressionable age of x under the tutelage of a secular teacher in a secular school for how many hours a day makes no sense to me (at least, until they are at an age where they understand responsibility, can reason logically with others and have a firm foundation of God's Truth and a calling to evangelize to their fellow students in school - I'm thinking possibly high school or college). I am by no means discrediting the witness our precious, innocent children can have on others; rather I am most protective of it. R.C. Sproul writes about this in his book When You Rise Up, "Do I care about the lost? Of course I do. Do my children care about the lost? Enough that they can pray for them at school, out loud, every day. I am homeschooling precisely so my children will be able to know, recognize, and love the enemy, while not becoming the enemy. And just as their ability to love the enemy into the kingdom isn't contingent on their being trained by the enemy, in like manner their ability to love the enemy into the kingdom isn't contingent on their being in the enemy's schools." He goes on to say, "Never will I put my children under the authority of those who are enemies of the gospel, who despise the lordship of Christ such that his name cannot even be mentioned. That we must never negotiate." He finishes by saying, "May it never be said again of any of those who name the name of Christ that they rendered unto Caesar the things that are God's - His covenant children."4 Wow - pretty heavy. Does this sound a bit extreme to you? Militant even? To call our public schools the things of Caesar's and the enemies of God can be a bit strong, especially for those of us who attended public schools and may have had very good experiences there. No doubt there are some wonderful public school teachers, even Christian ones who see their career also as their life's mission. Should we expect our 6-year-olds to be missionaries though? Can public education be neutral?

The beautiful monastics throughout church history were cultural refugees; they ran to the desert not to flee from the world but to save the world from itself.3

Two of the biggest objections to homeschooling which I can completely understand and relate to is 1.) the lack of knowledge about it and 2.) the fear of the responsibility. As parents we don't feel qualified to teach our children what we feel they need to know to go out in the world and make a life. We somehow "taught" them to walk, talk, think, reason, count, get dressed, do chores, become more independent, love God, but we can't wrap our brains around trying to teach them to read, write, explore, discover and to actually and personally know God and His Word. In a sense, we've given up on the most important lessons and entrusted them to Sunday school teachers and schoolmasters. It is this fear of responsibility of teaching the most important of life's lessons that cripples our duties in carrying them out. Sproul calls it "a scary business."

"You can recognize the weight of training your children, of raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is indeed a great responsibility. You can't, however, change your mind and decide not to so raise your children because it's too hard. They are your responsibility, and denying your responsibility won't change your situation."

"Everyone else on the entire planet, I believe, is better equipped than I am to raise a servant of the state. I'm not the guy to do that job. I am, however, equipped to raise servants of the King. I know that because the King keeps giving me servants to raise.

What does it take to raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? The Bible, and the Holy Spirit to illumine the Bible. I have a Bible. I have several, in fact. And the Bible tells me that it equips me for every good work.

The above arguments put forth by Bauchman and Sproul are not necessarily and wholly my own yet, however they are stated so emphatically and with such spiritual conviction, it jars my sense of perspective and balance on acceptable educational choices for the Christian family (which is why I'd love to hear varying opinions from you). I'm not quite sure where these insights will lead me - ultimately I pray and hope agreement with the above points by anyone will not lead to judgment of others and the viewing of unhomeschooling Christians in a negative light. I do think it would be an easy ticket to an "I'm right because I'm homeschooling, and you're wrong because you're not" attitude. On the other hand, I do feel the argument put forth by these authors have helped to clarify my own purpose in homeschooling. What do you think?

“Let it be remembered, that I do not speak to the wild, giddy, thoughtless world, but to those that fear God. I ask, then, for what end do you send your children to school? “Why, that they may be fit to live in the world.” In which world do you mean, — this or the next? Perhaps you thought of this world only; and had forgot that there is a world to come; yea, and one that will last for ever! Pray take this into your account, and send them to such masters as will keep it always before their eyes. Otherwise, to send them to school (permit me to speak plainly) is little better than sending them to the devil. At all events, then, send your boys, if you have any concern for their souls, not to any of the large public schools, (for they are nurseries of all manner of wickedness,) but private school, kept by some pious man, who endeavours to instruct a small number of children in religion and learning together.” - John Wesley

1. All red text comes from the Voddie Bauchman Ministries blog: Top Five Reasons Not to Send Your Kids Back to Govt. School which I highly recommend reading the entire post.
2. Italics mine.

3. From Jesus for President by Shaun Claiborne and Chris Haw

4. All orange text comes from the book When You Rise Up, A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling by R.C. Sproul

* Antinomianism:
  1. Theology The doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or moral, and that salvation is attained solely through faith and the gift of divine grace.
  2. The belief that moral laws are relative in meaning and application as opposed to fixed or universal.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

True North

Doesn't it sometimes feel like living the Christian life takes place in Backwards Land? Or Upside Down World? We hear things like, "So the last shall be first, and the first last"1, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.....Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth"2, "...strength is made perfect in weakness"3, and "he who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal"4 or Christian expressions like get down on your knees to be lifted up, God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called, and so on. It's enough to make you dizzy or, at least, very confused.

The Christian life is full of ironies and chiastic structures (yes, I just used that phrase - thank you, Beth Moore!). Maybe it's because in the beginning when we chose to try to be like God and deny our rightful place in creation, we created this bizarre world, turning it on its head. The result of our sin put us and this world into a tailspin, one from which we're still reeling. I've heard being buried in an avalanche creates an effect of not knowing whether you're up or down. Society keeps telling us we're up when maybe we've been head down all along and digging deeper away from the surface. Our own directional sense is warped, and whenever we rely on ourselves, we choose wrong. We need a constant compass to keep us headed in the right direction, and thankfully we were given one. Christ is our only True North.

We lost our bearings, following our own mind
We left conviction behind
Fear of the future, springing from sins of the past
Hiding the hope that would last
How did we ever wander so far and
where do we go from here?
How will we know where it is?

True North
There's a strong steady light that is guiding us home
True North
In the lingering night we were never alone
We need an absolute compass now more than ever before
True north, True north

Wonders of nature speak to us all of Your plan
Why would we run from Your hand
Laws of the earth, just like the laws of the heart
Only begin where You are
How did we ever wander so far and where do we go from here?
How will we find it again?

Turning back to where You meet us
We will follow where You lead us
There is Truth inside Your dwelling
We have come to face 5

True North
There's a strong steady light that is guiding us home
True North
In the lingering night we were never alone
We need an absolute compass now more than ever before
True north, True north

~ True North by Twila Paris

1. Matthew 20:16 NASB
2. Matthew 5:3, 5 NIV
3. II Corinthians 12:9 KJB
4. John 12:25 NASB
5. Copyright/Label: Label: Sparrow - you can listen to samples of her True North album here.

By the way, in my research on this topic, I came across a book that looks like it's all about this ironic, backwards living as a Christian. It's called LifeOvers: Upside-Down Ways to Become More Like Jesus.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Land of the Free?

Humans are adept at finding ways to make what we want seem all about God. ~Beth Moore

I've been noticing a disturbing trend in our society (just one, you say?) but especially amongst Christian circles. It's the abuse of our freedom in Christ by doing what we want, when we want and how we want...and then having the arrogance to proclaim God has stamped His approval on all of it. Whether our chosen sin is lying, cheating, stealing, sexual sins, disrespecting others or whatever, it comes from a heart as hard as stone and as selfish as a typical 2-year old. It lies in our failure to obey God. Its root is in our blatant disregard for His voice. We have lost all semblance of absolutes in our lives. We have thrown away our compass and declared ourselves God.

Jeremiah is a book all about the faithlessness of the Israelites. The Lord speaks to Jeremiah about the whoring of His people and how throughout their cheating, they continued to show up on Sundays acting like nothing was wrong. "Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, "We are safe" - safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching!" declares the Lord.1

"Where is this rant coming from?" you may ask. My exposure to facebook, the news, TV and radio has shown me that as a society, we resemble a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah more each day, and we as Christians have settled very comfortably within its city limits. We have forgotten we are to be in the world but not of it. We have chosen the slums over our Promised Land. And then we have the audacity to say God has us there and wants us there!! Since when do we pretend to know the mind of God? Since when do we excuse our sins by declaring them righteous?! Since we became close neighbors with the Sodomites, I would guess.

"Yet in spite of all this, you say, 'I am innocent; he is not angry with me.' But I will pass judgment on you because you say, 'I have not sinned.'"2

The more tragedy, heartbreak and chaos I witness around me, the more pity I have for those caught in their own mess and the more anger I have for those who excuse the mess as "normal" by today's standards: the man who cheats on his wife saying he just can't stand to stay in a marriage without respect anymore and would God really blame him if he left?; the woman who leaves her children behind to join together in marriage with another woman and says it's ok because God loves and accepts them as a couple; the CEO who bilks millions from a dying company saying he deserves it because of all he's done to get to the top and who cares about the little man beneath him? OR what about the wife who escapes life by spending too much time on the computer and neglecting the kids? Hey, she deserves a social life too! Or the husband who stays a little later in the office than necessary so he doesn't have to come home to a bunch of unruly kids. After all, a man deserves some peace and quiet after a hard day's work! Or the temptation to not pay as many taxes or not give our firstfruits back to God or not make that extra dish of food for the widow down the street or not offer to watch that single mom's kids get the idea.

Anytime we use language that asserts our rights or emphasizes the strength of our emotions over God's unchanging standard of truth, we are living dangerously. Anything can be justifiable, it seems, if we feel it strongly enough.

Strange how we never need to justify doing the right thing, not in our minds or to anyone else. Righteousness stands on its own, unaided, while sin usually involves complicated attempts to justify something that deep down we know is wrong.

Often, the things we tell ourselves will fulfill us instead will destroy us and bury us in regret. 3

Whether it's a big sin in our eyes (you know what I'm talking about - murder, sexual sin, abuse/neglect) or a small sin (little white lies, turning a blind eye, missing the mark), we tend to feel guilt with no resultant change or we decide to be King and excuse it away with a wave of our hand and proclaim ourselves Not Guilty. "Have you not just called to me: 'My Father, my friend from my youth, will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?' This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can."4

The Ten Commandments were not given to a chosen people because God wanted them to forever stay lost in the desert. I don't even think they were given to show how wicked mankind is and how unable we are to keep them all. I think they were given to give us a clearer picture of what the Promised Land is like - a land where the Ten Commandments are naturally practiced. God has given us directions to follow if and only if we want to be true to how He created us - perfect, sinless, peaceful, joyous, content, harmonious and loved. "But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?"5 When we choose to not follow His guidelines, we create our own slum and declare ourselves artificially happy. We sit in our own filth pointing out Bible verses showing others how we have every right to be there and how they have no right to judge us when we, like Lot, should be running to the hills and not looking back.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. ~Proverbs 16:25

I think what we need for this day and age is a good old-fashioned revival. A revival not about tolerance and compromise but about returning to and proclaiming the Truth which is uncompromising in its very nature. What do you say, fellow warriors?

1. Jeremiah 7:9-11
2. Jeremiah 2:34,35
3. TNIV, True Identity Bible, pg. 1109
4. Jeremiah 3:4,5

5. Jeremiah 7:19

Monday, May 4, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Wow, has it been hard to do anything online lately, never mind blog! I've lacked the time, energy and motivation to keep up here, and I marvel at those writers whose blogs I follow where they are able to blog a couple times a week - kudos to you faithful bloggers out there! Most of the blogs I tend to check out on a semi-regular basis are written by moms with young children, homeschool and have a daily active spiritual life - who can do that?!? If nothing else though, they help to inspire me and help keep me focused on what's important.

After a very long and continually sick winter, it's amazing how much illness can change my outlook on life. It's hard to feel fulfilled in my role as wife and mother when I just don't have the energy to accomplish much during the day. Depending on others is tough to do when it seems like a constant thing and threatens to turn one into feeling like a "charity case." Feeling sick all the time creates guilt and places a strain on the marriage because it doesn't allow space for others (like my husband) to feel needy.

I finally had a couple of weeks of good health, and all of a sudden, life became more manageable, more than just tolerable. I was more energetic, and the house started to look like a home more than a pig sty. My children finally got to eat more than hots dogs, chicken nuggets and frozen pizza (much to their chagrin). I was checking out Flylady everyday and seeing how I could "bless my house". Life was looking up, and nature was singing. Hope springs eternal, right?

Then allergy season took over...

(x%^$#%@*! &^%$*#@? %#@<*! %#$@*&^! %*#&@^%!!) Though these may look like swears, it's just my brain screaming while drugged up on allergy meds...either that or it's some algebraic equation that my befuddled brain just created.

And I just want to know the secret to being content in all things.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
I'm hoping this secret Paul's talking about isn't too hard to find out. Maybe the secret is contained in the last sentence, "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Strength is definitely something I've been lacking, and at this point I can't do anything through my own pathetic power. So trying to cowboy up and getting over my cranky, lethargic attitude naturally hasn't been working for me. Maybe I'll try the supernatural route again and give my day over to God again and see what happens. Maybe the baby will magically stop whining and crying all day long over his teething pain, the boys will behave angelically and my allergies will suddenly disappear. Then again maybe I can get through the baby's incessant whining by God's grace, the boys' sibling squabbles by God's grace and this season's fatigue, itchy eyes/runny nose and nausea by God's grace. Truly living by God's grace makes me feel very small and powerless which is what I keep discovering I am anyway.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Over 2 Million Red Envelopes!!!

Read an article about the results of this year's
Red Envelope Project and how it became
"larger than most White House mailing movements in the last 35 years"!

Were you able to get any red envelopes out on March 15th? I was fortunate my husband finally found some for me to prepare and mail out. I ended up using my printer to print out the White House address and the pro-life message on the envelopes. Because the printing job was a bigger pain than expected, I ended up with three blank red envelopes left. Not wanting any to go to waste, I chose to hand write one envelope and then gave the other two to my husband and daughter to hand write. My husband later commented to me, "I'm really glad you made me do that. Handwriting it made it seem more real for me, much more personal and brought home why we were doing this in the first place." As you can see in the picture, we then added a sticker of a newborn baby on each envelope and mailed them.

Scanning the news online a day or two later, I had a hard time finding any mention of the mass mailing. I thought there would be some blip somewhere about it, but nothing that I could find. Finally Red Envelope Project (which is now being called The LIFE Envelope Project) alerted me to an article written by World Net Daily (above). The Red Envelope Day has already started plans for another mass mailing next year on January 22, 2010. So if you missed this year's opportunity, you can join in on it again next year. Every voice counts as we stand up for those with no voices.


Message from Christ Ott, founder of the Red Envelope Day movment

Dear Friends:

Thank you for your feedback and your help in sending red envelopes to the White House. Because of this grassroots effort, 2.25 million empty red envelopes were put in the mail on Tuesday, March 31. This number does not include those sent before or those sent after. Although we may never hear about how the President responded to this effort, I know that this movement has been a success. Here are a few examples:

The director of one of the largest Pro-Life organizations in the country told me that the red envelope movement has done more to unite and encourage Pro-Life organizations than anything he has seen in his experience. Thousands of young people, including many children, learned about the value of life, and their right and responsibility to speak to elected officials.
Churches from across the denominational spectrum joined hands in prayer and action.
Hundreds of women who have suffered because of an abortion were given a voice.
The faith of thousands was encouraged as they saw God provide funds for envelopes and stamps. Several organizations printed envelopes, and all of them report that they needed to continue to order more.

So what’s next for this movement?

It is important to continue to be LIFE focused. Two great ways are through education and action. I recommend contacting the Life Issues Institute at I also strongly recommend the work of Bound4LIFE under the direction of Matt Lockhart at

And most important of all, pray. Pray that God brings more creative, witty, unusual ideas to promote life. From the pro-abortion emails I have received, it is clear that there isn’t much creativity in their movement. With God’s help, we can win in the realm of ideas.

I will be returning to my main mission in the coming days. For the past year I have been laying the ground work for a center of prayer in Boston, Massachusetts. My mission is to create an interdenominational prayer center that will contend for the spiritual heritage of our nation. In addition to this, I am partnering with a group committed to obtaining the Northfield School, founded by Dwight L. Moody. Northfield was once a center for the Student Volunteer Movement, a movement of young people who committed themselves to foreign missions. The goal is to create ministry base that will care for orphans, be a training center, and be a center for prayer.

If you would like to know more about this, please send a reply to this email with “YES, I WANT TO KNOW MORE” in the subject.

Brian Potter is going to continue with the red envelope idea and he does this with my blessings. If you sent an email though the site, Brian will be contacting you with future events related to the red envelope project.

Thanks so much.


Christ Otto

Christ Otto, founder
of the Red Envelope Project
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