Teens In Action: Earrings for Life

Earrings for Life

This ministry first came to my attention through a post on The Rebelution. As I was brainstorming ways of making Teens in Action posts more regular here on TIO, Brooke’s ministry popped to mind, and I messaged her on Facebook. This post is the result. Hope you enjoy what she has to say. Don’t forget to check out the earrings!

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When I was asked to write this blog post, the first thought that came into my head was “Me? What? Why? I’m not an author, surely I can’t blog!” But as I continued to think about what I wanted to write, I was reminded-that’s just it. God does not call the equipped, but equips the called! So, here’s a little bit about when God called me.

I am only sixteen now, but when I was eleven, I started making earrings. Because I was (and still am!) a little entrepreneur, I immediately thought of the basic idea to sell these hand-made earrings and give the money to my local crisis pregnancy center, which helps young women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. I began by selling a couple of pairs to my family—it was not much, but it was something, and I praised God for each dollar raised. After promoting my ministry, which I named Earrings for Life, through my church, I was able to raise about $100 in the first year, and I remember being absolutely thrilled!! And that was just the beginning….

To be honest, I would have never been able to dream about all of the things God has done through me. Fast forward almost five years from that day I started selling earrings, and I am still blown away. So far, God has used me to raise over $3,000 just by selling earrings for $5 per pair! I have gotten the amazing opportunity to speak at small meetings, large gatherings, and churches. Gratefully, I have been featured on a website where over seven thousand readers were able to learn about Earrings for Life! AND now I am being asked to write blogs, which is pretty crazy and so humbling!

I chose to raise money for crisis pregnancy centers because it is an organization that is very close to my heart. Young women and couples choosing to kill their children just because it was not their plan hurts me. These sweet little children had so much promise and future…but their mother decided to do what was most convenient for her. The awesome thing about the centers I donate to is that not only do they come alongside young mothers-to-be and encourage them to save their children’s life, but they also provide counseling, parenting classes, and financial aid.

In James 1:27, it says the following:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

To me, living out this verse means to come alongside unborn children that have no one to fight for their lives and say to their mothers that these children are worth it. They are alive and deserve to live long lives!

Thank you so much to Leah, for allowing me to write for her awesome blog! If you would like to help support Earrings for Life, the most important thing you can do is pray for the ministry! Also, please check out the Facebook page–Earrings for Life—if you are interested in either contacting me or buying earrings. In addition, you can email me at earringsforlife@gmail.com. Thank you so much, and God bless!

~Brooke Graham

Sometimes when we don’t feel we have much to offer, we don’t do anything. But story after story shows that God can take our little and multiply it beyond anything we imagined. Can you think of some Bible stories where God took something small and turned it into something big? Share your thoughts and encouragements for Brooke below!

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Just Buy Diapers

Just Buy Diapers One of the ladies in our church is a weekly volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center. She has a huge heart for the ministry accomplished there, and is very invested in the needs of the organization. Last month, she arrived at church with the announcement that the center was in desperate need of diapers. She told us what sizes were needed and asked anyone willing to purchase diapers to bring them to church the following week. Several families did, but she wasn’t able to make it to church that morning, so I volunteered to drop the diapers off.

When I opened the door to the crisis pregnancy center, I was greeted by a very excited and thankful volunteer. She gave me a big hug, and gushed over the diapers. I left feeling warmed and happy about the delivery.

So often when we are faced with huge problems like abortion, starvation, HIV/AIDS, overcrowded orphanages, and all the other painful problems of sin, we become overwhelmed. Standing at the base of such huge mountains, we feel insignificant and unable to make a difference. Delivering those diapers last month reminded me that we often make helping too complicated. Sometimes all it takes is diapers.

When we look at mountainous problems and become overwhelmed, we forget something very important. I’m reminded of the story of David and Goliath. The Israelite army looked at the huge, intimidating, Philistine warrior and quaked in their boots. They knew no man among them had the power to defeat the giant. Then David showed up. He listened to Goliath mocking the people of God and responded with righteous indignation.

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

Instead of being intimidated by Goliath, David wanted to be God’s tool to take away the reproach of Israel. He knew that God’s people should stand up to this Giant who mocked them. When Saul told him he wasn’t big enough, old enough, or trained enough to take on Goliath, David was ready with a bold answer.

Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.

David wasn’t intimidated by the size of the problem, because he was focused on the size of his God instead of the overwhelming size of his opponent. He was telling Saul, “This enemy of God has insulted the people of God. The Lord has helped me defeat problems before. This giant isn’t too big for God to conquer.”

A song I enjoy says, “So when you come to face a mountain so high, One glimpse at God brings it down to size. Satan will flee, you’ll gain victory, when you compare it to Him.”

A stone taken from a brook made a big impact (no pun intended), when God’s power was behind it (1 Samuel 17). A boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish fed thousands when blessed by Jesus (Mark 6). The early church turned the world upside down when fueled by the Holy Spirit (Acts 17:6). Who’s to say that our small contributions to big problems–like diapers for a crisis pregnancy center–can’t make a big difference when guided by the Lord?

So next time you feel overwhelmed by a problem, remember that small things become big in God’s economy. Instead of focusing on the problems, focus on walking in God’s will, and He will accomplish whatever He desires through you.

What problems seem overwhelming to you? Does recognizing the size, power, and wisdom of God make that problem seem more manageable? Are you able to trust God’s will about issues that are important to you?

Orphans and Evolution

evolution-steps_17-205021450Worldview plays an important role in every persons life, whether they realize it or not. Our perspective of the world and our role in it develops throughout our lives, shaped by our experiences, observations, and what we are taught.

Schools across the country and around the world teach children the worldview shaping ideology of evolution. If the concept of evolution is followed to logical conclusions, the resulting view of life is frightening. For example, if improvement of species happens through survival of the fittest, why should anyone protect orphans and other vulnerable people? According to survival of the fittest, these people must be lesser life forms and the human race will improve if they die.

A biology textbook published in 1914 and titled A Civic Biology Presented In Problems stated,

“Just as certain animals or plants become parasitic on other pants or animals, these families have become parasitic on society. They not only do harm to others by corrupting, stealing, or spreading disease, but they are actually protected and cared for by the state out of public money. Largely for them the poorhouse and the asylum exist. They take from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true parasites. If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading.”

Of course, most contemporary people who believe in evolution do not believe this. Textbooks have been modified to include only the politically acceptable components of the science they teach. However, the morally eroding nature of evolution still simmers below the surface.

The degradation of the sanctity of human life has already become prevalent with the acceptance of abortion and the push for euthanasia. Asked if they also support killing orphaned children living miserable lives, most people would react with horror. Of course they don’t condone such a thing. But the worldview is there.

The more I dig into the issues surrounding orphans and other vulnerable children, the more I realize how essential God is. Solutions not including God merely put a band-aid over the festering wound. God’s worldview is needed to change basic beliefs that undermine the value of these precious children. Rather than condemning the weakest of humanity as parasites, God gives them value as living souls made in His image and commands His people to care for them. He assures them that they are worth far more than animals.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are they works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

feed-the-children_2772820This is an area of orphan care that doesn’t carry an age limit. You don’t need to be a certain age, have a lot of money, or obtain complicated skills in order to tell people about Jesus and point out lethal flaws in what those around you believe. It may not seem like an important way to help orphans, but surgery and rehab take longer than slapping on a band-aid. It takes longer to see results, but the results last.

Ultimately, orphans need people to see them the way God does, and to take action from there.

How do you think the belief in evolution has impacted people’s perspective on orphans?

For those interested, the train of thoughts that inspired this post began while watching the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate. I encourage you to check it out.

The Choice (a poem)

xray-baby-in-stomach_19-131027Lately my reading has caused me to think a lot about the mothers that, for various reasons, are separated from their biological children. Whether young women in the states who surrender their children for adoption, women in other countries who bring their children to orphanages in hope they’ll have a better life, or those that abandon their children because they can’t bear to watch them starve. Each story about these women who love their children but find it necessary to give them up is heartbreaking. Saturday night I was talking to a lady from our church who works at a crisis pregnancy center. This poem is a combination of past reading and my conversation with her.

The Choice
Pregnant, alone, faced with a choice;
Carry through or silence a voice?
She tries to think, but it’s in vain.
How can she reason past the pain?

She wanted love, but love is gone,
Ran away at the word ‘unborn’.
Left her to make the choice alone,
His own small child so soon disowned.

It felt good then, but now it aches,
A broken heart amid mistakes.
Broken, confused, and what’s inside?
A baby or cells? Which side lied?

If only tears would cease to flow.
If only she true love could know,
The baby there beneath her heart,
Might have a chance to make a start.

(copyright 2014 by Leah E. Good)

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