Monday, February 21, 2011

Fundraiser T-shirts Now Available :)

So I have finally been able to slow down enough to get my fundraiser t-shirts designed, my PayPal account set up and make them available for purchase. My mom and I are going to visit my sister Christie in Uganda during the first two weeks in July. Funds raised from the sale of these shirts will be used to help fund our trip.

There were sooooo many possibilities with the design and I wanted to do several BUT I knew I could only do one at a time. After stewing over the designs, I chose the "Who Cares About The Joneses?" design because it expresses the feelings that I have about the extravagant lifestyles that people feel are necessary to lead in their quest to "keep up with the Joneses". Please see my first couple of blog posts for the whole story behind my blog title.

Since I began attending The Church at Brook Hills, read Radical by David Platt and followed my sister Christie Cotney's ( journey to help the poverty stricken Bugabo Village in Uganda, East Africa, the lavish lifestyles that many people lead have really weighed heavily on my heart. Some people would argue that God blesses people with prosperity and would want them to use those resources in order to have a "good" life. I do very much agree with the first part of that statement; God does bless people with prosperity. However, I don't believe it's because he wants us to live a "good" life. One of my favorite quotes by David Platt sums it up: "God is generous so that His people can be generous!" I believe that those who are prosperous have an obligation to those who are not.

I have but one prayer for everyone who purchases one of these shirts and for those who see them wearing it -- I pray that their hearts will be moved to help those who are in dire physical and spiritual need.

The reference that will be displayed in the middle of the African continent is 1John3:17 which reads:

"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?"

If you are having trouble seeing the images, please visit the website that I used to design the shirts:

By viewing the design via the link above, you will be able to zoom in and out and rotate your view between the front and the back of the shirt.

I will not be ordering from this website so please do not pay attention to any of the information that you see there....just the design.

The shirts will be 100% preshrunk cotton and blue in color.

READY to order?
$20 each which INCLUDES shipping.
PayPal - OR you may mail a check to:
Melinda Allen
PO Box 401
Alabaster, AL 35007

Please be sure to include your size and mailing address with your order.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Something I said I'd NEVER do...

My momma always told me to never say what I wasn't gonna do. Well, I have alot of those "I'm never gonna do that" examples. Don't we all? And I always end up doing them. Don't we all?

For example, I was NEVER going to fly! NEVER! And then 9/11 happened and I was NEVER EVER EVER going to get on a plane! So, I got on a plane for the first time just after the 1 year anniversary of 9/11. And where did I go? Yep, NYC. The exact same city where 9/11 happened. What was I thinking?!?!

So got me on that one! I flew on a plane. I must admit, it was a nice flight and I was totally cool with flying. HOWEVER, I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER fly overseas. As in, get on a plane and fly across the ocean. Oh, no ma'am! That's where I drew the line!

So, in keeping with the tradition, I'm going to Africa! And this is where I will BEG for your prayers! I really want to go see my sister. I really want to meet George (and put him in his place, nonetheless. I mean, he thinks Christie's the boss? Riiiiiiight. I want to live up to my promise of showing him "Am Boss") I really want to meet these precious children that I see in her pictures. I really want to witness the culture there. I really want to see first hand the work that God is doing in the village. I really want to be a part of something bigger than myself. I really want to! But I have so many doubts that plague my mind right now.

First, I know that the tickets are expensive. But I'm ok with that. That will be the best $1500 I've ever spent! For sure! I know that I will want to make the most of the time that I will take off of work and the time that I will be without my children. I will need to be gone for atleast 10 days to make the most out of the trip. I struggle with the thought of leaving my children. Yes, they have a GREAT daddy who loves them very much and takes very good care of them. I have NO issues with that. I am very thankful that I would not have to worry that their needs will be met. I know that Alex will understand why I am away and he is totally OK with that. Although he REALLY wants to go with me. Marlie will not understand because she will only be 2 years old and won't know what's going on anyway. I am not worried about how others will feel about my trip. I am worried about the way that I will feel about it. Not sure how to put it into words but my biggest struggle is the fact that I will be so far away from them and that makes me very uneasy. I know that mothers do it all the time. I have always admired the depth of their faith. I know that this journey will require a magnitude of faith.

I also worry that my heart will be completely broken and unrepairable once I witness the poverty and despair. Don't get me wrong. I have seen tons and tons of pictures, videos and heard my sister's stories. But I have heard once you witness it first-hand, you are never the same. What happens WHEN I get there and am completely changed forever? What happens WHEN I come home and feel empty? What happens WHEN I come home and have that fire in me to start selling my possessions and live a more simple life so that I can help those in desperate need? What will my husband think? What will my children think? What will my in-laws think? What will my co-workers think?

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I work through these issues. I have been hearing this bible verse over and over and over again over the past couple of weeks. I kept wondering what it had to do with me and now I realize how fitting it is:

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~ Matthew 6:34

Please share with me scriptures to help me prepare for this battle. It is definitely one worth fighting!

In closing, I will say that I will NEVER go down to the kitchen and eat some of that chocolate cake that I baked on Sunday. NEVER EVER EVER EVER ;)

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