social justice

Was it for me?

I want you to read a section of Scripture that you might not be familiar with. I don't think I've ever heard a sermon preached on this. I know I've never read it and comprehended it until this year, but this section of Scripture has been weaving around my brain for two solid months now, and I've been so affected by it that I want to share it with every person I know. It has broken me. It has led me to confession and repentance. It has comforted me in times of distress. It has become a value I use to make decisions. It has helped me to better understand God, and that's no small thing.

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the Lord, saying to the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets, ‘Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?’

Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: ‘Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? Were not these the words that the Lord proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’

And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.’ But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. ‘As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.’
— Zachariah 7:1-14 ESV

Let me try to clear up what is going on here because there are some words and backstory that I didn't know. After the Israelites were taken into exile, they had no temple and therefore no place of worship. They began the religious observance of fasting on four significant days around their exile. They fasted on the day the siege of Jerusalem began, the day the wall of Jerusalem was broken through, the day the temple was destroyed, and the day their high priest was murdered. In my mind, I've always pictured Jerusalem's fall happening in a slow-motion movie sequence that lasts only a few days. The reality of these events recorded in Scripture shows that the destruction of Jerusalem and exile of God's people was a series of horrific, traumatic violence that lasting at least 10 months.

The word Chislev in the first paragraph is the name of a month in the Jewish calendar, the third month to be exact. At the beginning of the fifth month was when the Jewish people would fast in remembrance and mourning of the destruction of the temple. 

You also need to know that the exile had ended, many of the Israelites had returned to Jerusalem, and the temple was in the process of being restored.

When the men came to ask the priests, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” what they were asking was could they stop fasting in mourning of the destruction of the temple now that the temple was being rebuilt?

The people had just fasted the month before in remembrance of the destruction of the wall. The was not yet rebuilt, and it wouldn't be rebuilt for another 70 years. The people didn't really want to fast, and they thought they could get off the hook for one of the four fasts since the temple was now being restored.

God cut right to the people's heart issues when He gave Zechariah these prophetic words: "When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted?"

God sliced away every bit of the outside, surface, distracting baggage, and He shined a spotlight on the heart of His people.

Was it for me?

With these words, God swept away the religious acts, the busyness of their hands, the pious physical actions, the empty observances, the outwardly sacred, the pride-building sacrificial compliance, and He uncovered the barrenness of their feelings towards their God.

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Was it for me?

Here's where this account of our God becomes so beautiful to me. God doesn't do what I would expect Him to do. He doesn't lecture His people on how they need to actually love their God. God points to who He loves, and says love these people. 

These are the words God gives. “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”

God cuts deeper into their already exposed hearts, and He points out their lack of justice, love, and mercy. He reminds the people of the lawless, heartless sins that lead to hard-hearted people that were allowed by God to be exiled.

This is where my heart shatters. I look around at our American church and I don't see a focus on justice, love, and mercy. I see a focus on religious acts, busyness of hands, pious physical actions, empty observances, outwardly sacred, and pride-building sacrificial compliance. I see a focus on defending political views as if they are sacred while ignoring the sacredness of showing mercy to the sojourner (which would include foreign refugees.) I see a focus on following rules while distancing themselves from those who are poor or oppressed.

I look at my own heart that is exposed. I see pride, selfishness, and hurry instead of love, mercy, and seeking justice.

I look at my religious weekly activities. I let God ask me, "Was it for me?"

Sometimes I don't like my answer.

I think of the praise song we sometimes sing when we join with other parts of our Church, "Break my heart for what breaks Yours." Here we have God plainly lining out what breaks His heart: lies and corruption in justice, people who don't show kindness and mercy (giving others more than they deserve), oppressing the vulnerable, not caring for the temporary stranger, and not caring for the poor.

My heart breaks for these things, and I feel unbelievable comfort when I realize God cares more than I do about injustice.

My trip-ups in my twenty years of ministry haven't always been neglecting the poor or seeking justice. I've been serving in urban, missional church in the heart of my city sharing the love of Jesus with the vulnerable.

My heart issue comes when I allow God to ask me that question about my ministry: "Was it for me?"

Was I feeding children for God's benefit? Was I serving the poor because it was God's will, and was I serving each of those faces because Matthew 25 tells me that those faces were Jesus himself?

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If I allow God to slice into my human heart, I see emotions that shouldn't be present in these religious actions with my hands. I see pride. I've gotten something out of the service, and I am not honest with myself when I don't recognize it and repent of it.

It feels good to serve. Look at me. Look at the sacrifices I am making to love and care for the overlooked, vulnerable, hurting people of my city. I read the end of James, chapter one, and I boast that I'm doing religion right. I feel sorry for the suckers sitting in "regular church."

And God says, "Jennifer, was it for me?"

I can care for the poor, the refugee, the widow, and the orphan, and still, I am not God. I don't deserve the praise.

I can give up comfortable church to serve in a missional church for twenty years, and still, I am not God. No one should pat me on the back.

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If our motivations are wrong (if you are human, your motivations will be wrong), we should stop what we are doing and figure out what God is doing.

This doesn't mean we cease to care for the vulnerable. Instead, we daily take a pause to repent of our pride and ask God what we can do for Him.

He daily asks, "Was it for me?"

We honestly answer. We hope we can answer that we acted out of love. We hope we can answer we did it for His glory and not our own.

Christmas Shopping Guide - Ethiopia Edition

For several years I've made a list of great gift options that were fair trade and/or sourced from small businesses.

This year, I'm not even going to pretend I don't have a favorite gift source. It's Ethiopia. If you have a chance during your holiday shopping to send some love to that beautiful country that has part of my heart, do it.

Here's some good gift giving options:

 

1. Happy Car Baby Blanket, $89, from Little Gabies, purchase on Yogaso Site or Amazon.

2. Ethiopian Coffee from Story Co., $16, purchase here.

3. Ammo Bracelet, $14, from Addis Jemari, purchase here.

4. Burlap Christmas Stockings, $20, from Carry 117, purchase here.

1. Handmade Tan Korah Tote, $199, from Carry 117, purchase here.

2. Confidant Necklace, $68, from Noonday Collections, purchase here.

3. Peppermint Lip Balm, $3, from Mare Naturals, purchase here.

4. Men's Nkrumahs Brown, $220, from ENZI Footwear, purchase here.

1. White & Blue Striped Cotton Kitchen Towel, $20, from Sabahar, purchase here.

2. Eyerusalem Passport Wallet, $35, from Able, purchase here.

3. Azeb iPad Sleeve - Slate, $23, from Raven and Lily, purchase here.

4. Kyah Baby Shoes, $36, from Parker Clay, purchase here.


So there you have it! Twelve beautiful things you can gift this holiday plus show some Ethiopia love.

Happy shopping!

Still need ideas? Previous years' Christmas gift guides: 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.

Merry Christmas!

Need a Calendar?

Shop Sweet 4

The last three years I have posted great ways that you could spend your Christmas money in wonderfully sweet ways, supporting vulnerable communities near and far.  I've got a new list for Christmas 2016 that includes ideas from fair trade companies, give-back companies, and supporting missions.  

Your dollar can be powerful.  The average household spent $830 on Christmas gifts last year.  If we all took a  percentage of that chunk of money and purchased from places that make a difference in our world, imagine the good that could be done.

I am continuing my conviction to make my dollars count in a more meaningful way.  I'm going to buy many of my Christmas gifts from companies who employ under-resourced workers, companies who cycle profits into vulnerable communities, retailers making a difference, local small businesses, and from families raising money for international adoptions.

Before you head off to the mall this Christmas, consider purchasing some of these gifts that will give back to communities that need our support.

Bonus sweetness:  When you buy a present from Amazon (most of us will), use AmazonSmile.  All you have to do is click a link to AmazonSmile before you shop, and a percentage of your purchase is donated to the charity you choose to support.  Personally, I have been supporting our adoption agency AWAA who needs funds to continue caring for orphans in their transition home in Ethiopia.  This is link to support AWAA through AmazonSmile.  Use the link every time you shop at Amazon this holiday season.

You can find adoption fundraisers to support this Christmas by searching "adoption fundraiser" on Etsy or you can join the FaceBook group "Gifts for Adoption."

2016 gift ideas:

1.  Horn Vessel - Dark Horn Vase, $68, ravenandlily.com, empowering women in Kenya.

2.  Vintage Gold Leather Bucket Bag, $159, ssekodesign.com, empowering women in Ethiopia.

2.  Phrase Necklace, $48, livefashionable.com, personalize it - which is so in right nowcreates sustainable business opportunities for women locally and globally.

4.  Colornation Gloria Tote, $145, manoszapotecas.com, handwoven, fair trade, handmade according to time-honored traditions by Zapotec weavers in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. 

1.  Great Expectations Necklace, $58, noondaycollection.com, empower women in Uganda, photo from @msrachelhollis's instagram, contact Nikki Pool.

2.  Trade T-shirt, $15, fairtradefriday.club, support the women Mercy House supports around the globe.

3.  Nautical Fringe Hook, $25, part necklace/part scarf/all cute, banded2gether.com, provides 3 meals in Uganda.

4.  Love God & Serve Others Raglan, $42, persimmonprints.com, small business, gives a percentage back to the good shepherd agricultural mission.

1.  Bethlehem Nativity, $35, marketcolors.org, handmade in Kenya.

2.  Slate Stone Serving Board, $28, tenthousandvillages.com, Authentic Fair Trade Product. Ethically sourced. Handcrafted in India.

3.  Hope Bowl, $26, Trades of Hope, contact Rachel Clark, women who make these beautiful bowls are able to earn an income to feed their families and send their children to school.

4.  Charcoal Soap, $20, theadventureproject.org. Buy a charcoal soap for your loved one, and one woman in Kenya will receive a new charcoal-efficient stove.

Dudes:

1.  PowerLight Bundle, $79, bioliteenergy.com, reinvests funds to bring clean energy to the world.

2.  Wooden Earphones, $15, youwood.org, percentage given to feed hungry, free slaves, and care for the orphan.

3.  Toiletry Bag, $15, carry117.com, empower women in Ethiopia.

4.  Waxed Canvas Tool Bag, $180, kithandkinshop.com, local, small business.

Kiddos:

1.  Rainbow Fish Zooties, $25, cometogethertrading.com empower communities in Kyrgyzstan.

2.  Be a Nice Human Kids Tee, $17, unlockhope.com, supports Think Humanity, an organization that runs a hostel in Hoima, Uganda for young refugee girls from all across Africa, many of whom are orphaned.

3.  3-Car Garage, $30, thehungersite.greatergood.com, funds 50 cups of food.

4.  The Hoot, $28, krochetkids.org,  supports sustainable cycle of employment and empowerment in Uganda.

1.  Take a Walk in My New Shoes children's book, $10, solehope.org, supporting hope, healthier lives, and freedom from foot-related diseases through education, jobs, and medical relief in Uganda.

2.  Bear Felt Rug, $76, globalgoodspartners.org, made by formerly trafficked women artisans in Nepal.

3.  Reading is My Favorite Youth T-Shirt, $20, readerlyshop.com, portion of profits go to eradicate human suffering caused by illiteracy.

4.  Stuffed Alpaca Hammerhead Shark, $32, globalgoodspartners.org, empower women in Peru.


HAPPY SHOPPING & MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Don't forget about AmazonSmile!  Use it every time you shop at Amazon.

This is the link to support America World Adoption Agency.  

 

Other places on my blog to find gift ideas:

2015 Shop Sweet list

2014 Shop Sweet list

2013 Shop Sweet list

I like to include music with my blog posts.  This week we lost Sharon Jones.  She had an amazing voice.  I had a chance to see her sing once, and it is a beautiful memory.  You will be missed, Sharon.

Day 15: Rest in Him?

Paper Tigers & Impressing God

A Write 31 Days Series

We have come to the point in my series where I begin to wonder if we should do anything.

We have discussed how grace covers our sins and propitiation means that His blood has finished the need for sacrifice.  We have expressed how we cannot impress God by our good behavior or our good works.

As my favorite song Dust by King’s Kaleidoscope says, “I’m realizing, that all my striving is chasing wind, is chasing wind, but you freed me, so I can just be.  Nothing to prove, nothing to lose.”

Do we just “be”?  Is that what the spiritually mature do?

Today I joined a couple hundred people in my city walking in the #walkforfreedom to bring awareness to modern slavery and the A21 campaign to end slavery in the 21st century.  All over the world, other Christians were also walking in solidarity with those trapped in voiceless places in this broken world.

As I walked today, I remembered a girl in Ethiopia.  A woman that worked for the organization I had traveled with was our guide for the day as we visited ministries in the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The woman was telling everyone that her daughter was getting so big, almost 3 years old.  I asked who was watching her daughter while she escorted us around town.  She told me a story I will never forget.  She said that she had a live in helper, a young lady going to school.  She told me some of the young woman’s story.  She had lived outside the city, and her family had forced her into marriage to an older man at 16-years-old.  Instead of marrying the older man, she decided to run away.  She was able to find extended relatives to live with.  This extended family had a store.  They were happy to put her to work, but they refused to pay her.  She would work all day, everyday in the store with no pay.  She finally got enough courage to run away from yet another unjust situation.  My new friend had found her and offered to let her live with at her home; she had enrolled her in school and began employing and paying her for work as a live in nanny.  This young girl had escaped forced teen marriage and modern day slavery.

We may think that this is just a problem in places like Ethiopia; that it is just a problem that Africa and Asia face, but this is a problem we face here in America too.

Recently in my American, Texan Sunday school class one of the youth asked for prayer for her aunt who was schizophrenic, addicted to drugs, and had tried to sell her cousin.

Trafficking not only happens in our country, in our city, but it happens within our circle of acquaintances.

As I walked, I not only thought of and prayed for the slaves we were standing in the gap for, I also thought of and prayed for the people in the cars driving past our single file line of freedom walkers.

We were dramatic, all in black, some of us adorned with tape across our mouths to signify the silence of the 27 million slaves in the world today who are unable to speak up for themselves.

I prayed that awareness would be brought to people who need to know the church cared about hurting people.  I prayed that awareness would be brought to people who have resources to help.  I prayed that awareness would be brought to people who are a part of the problem, who need a heart change.

Just then, a big, black truck pulled to a stop at the intersection.  We broke our chain to let him turn.  His truck was littered with bumper stickers, one which was impossible to ignore.  He had a sticker that said, “I support single moms” with a silhouette of a woman on a stripper pole.  You can’t make this stuff up.  (He also had a sticker supporting a certain political candidate, which is neither here nor there - or is it both here and there?)

The Lord’s prayer says this, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

It is God’s will that the justice that we will only experience in Heaven be brought down to earth.  That can only be accomplished by God, and He allows us to take part in bringing justice to the world around us.

I imagine a woman who has been trafficked, who is living everyone’s worst nightmare as a modern day slave.  Would she care if we are being spiritually mature or resting in just being His bride?  Or would she be moved that we as a church are acknowledging her pain and suffering, raising money and awareness that could possibly lead to her rescue?

I don’t think we are off the hook.  I don’t think we are called to just rest in Him.  There is more to discuss.  We are only half way through #write31days, we will continue to wrestle through how to live a Christian life not fearing paper tigers or trying to impress God.

 

Click to return to series table of contents.

 

 

Congratulations on the Nobel Prize, Bob.

Outsider

Yesterday I glanced out of my kitchen window and saw a bicycle ride by.  It was Michael.  He always has a boyish appearance, with a bright baseball cap and torn jeans.  Getting to know him, I’ve learned that he isn’t a young guy, in fact, he has an adult son.

Michael is one of the many homeless that have become a fixture of our downtown church location since beginning our ministry at Citychurch.  He even worked in our church’s kitchen for a period of time, but it was short-lived since he was let go because of thievery.

I have two thoughts as I see Michael ride past my house.

One, I feel thankful that I live on a street where people we encounter, try to love, in our ministry downtown would ride past my home.

Two, I wonder about Michael’s son.  The last time I talked to Michael, in the middle of this summer while I was in the neighborhood delivering lunches to kids, Michael’s son was enrolling for college.  I wonder how his son is doing in college.  I wonder how he feels having a bike-riding, panhandling, homeless dad.  I wonder if it makes him driven to become something, ashamed, or both.  I wonder how I would feel if my dad was homeless.

This week has been hard for me.  My husband has been out of town, and he makes home feel like home.  He makes church feel like our church.  I’ve felt very unconnected to the people around me.  I’ve felt like my heart is homeless.

I am trying to be thankful for this feeling.  I am trying to be thankful for the reminder that this world isn’t my home.

I’ve felt like an outsider this week, and that is what He calls us to be.  Jesus was our example.  Jesus was just as homeless as Michael.  Jesus lived as an outsider; he died as an outsider.  We love, do good, and share with the outsiders because He was an outsider and so are we.

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
— Hebrews 13:12-16 ESV

I would like to say that it is all very beautiful to feel like an outsider, and I’ve loved everyone so well because of this reminder.  I haven’t handled this week well at all.  I’ve pushed others away.  I’ve felt sorry for myself.  I’ve worried; I’ve wept.

Feeling like an outsider isn’t easy.

He promises to equip us.  I’m counting on that today.  I need it badly.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
— Hebrews 13:20-21 ESV

Sometimes we need Jesus to equip us to just make it through a hard week or two, and sometimes we need Jesus to equip us to actually share with actual homeless men, women, and children.  I don’t want to overstate me and my homeless-feeling heart.  It is nothing compared to the trauma, hurt, and needs of people who don’t have a home at all.  Sitting in my lovely home, longing for the fulfillment that Heaven will some day bring would sound like such a luxury to many in my city and many more in the poverty of third world countries.

Let us strive to love the outsider, whether that outsider is a fellow human in need or that outsider is just us.

Let brotherly love continue.
— Hebrews 13:1 ESV

 

 

I like to share music on my blog.  Here's a song for you.  There's nothing wrong with an instrumental interlude now and then.

Review of A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker

I love to read.  I’ve set my goal high this year, one a book a week, and I’m on track to meet that goal.  I almost always enjoy the book I’ve read (I did pick it, why wouldn’t I.)  But rarely do I not only love the book, but also feel jealous that I didn’t get to write the book I’m reading.  That is how I felt about Brandon Hatmaker’s new book that released this past Tuesday, A Mile Wide:  Trading A Shallow Religion For a Deeper Faith.  I wish I had wrote it.  It is just so good.  God forgive me of my covetousness.

The book is divided into two parts: The Gospel In Us and The Gospel Through Us.  Brandon encourages us to take our small view of the gospel and make it bigger.  As we grow our view of Christian life we can take that gospel and pour it out with a truer mission, seeking justice for our communities, full of grace and truth.

There is an idea in Brandon’s new book that I’ve been discussing with anyone who will verbally process with me, and that is the idea that discipleship happens during outreach.  (I even wrote a whole blog series on it called #servetogrow over the summer.)  Brandon illustrates this idea beautifully.

My favorite part of the whole book is in the chapter discussing discipleship called A Deeper Discipleship.  Brandon tells about an experience he had volunteering one Tuesday night with an organization called Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF) with his friend Alan Graham.  After spending the evening handing out groceries, blankets, and clothing to homeless and working poor families, Alan fills Brandon in on his mission at MLF.

‘I’m making disciples,” he [Alan] said. ‘You see, we’re doing a lot of good here. But my job, and yours as a church leader, is to make disciples. My job is to get as many people out of the pews and onto the streets of our city as I can, because I know it’ll change them.’

This was paradigm-shifting for me. I’d served people before. I’d been on multiple mission trips and served in different environments. But this was different. This was in my hometown on a Tuesday night. It was something profound wrapped in something seemingly simple. Somehow what we had just done shifted my thinking from handing out a sandwich to learning a name, hearing a story, and connecting at the soul level.

And I heard the Spirit whisper, Remember what you’re experiencing. Capture how this feels, and help others feel the same. This is going to change you. It’ll change them too.

I’ve thought about that night a thousand times since then. It’s the moment when I realized for the first time that something was happening all around me that wasn’t about me but was changing my heart. After years of checking boxes and hoping for transformation, I could physically feel my heart being reshaped.

Everyday experiences become discipleship experience when we have the right attitude and perspective.
— Brandon Hatmaker, A Mile Wide

I’ve only given you a piece of the story.  You absolutely have to get this book and hear more.

There are other stories that are very touching.  When I first picked up the book to read, I found myself quickly in chapter two blinded by tears.  Brandon tells a poignant story of his encounter with an Ethiopian woman on his very first flight to Ethiopia.  I won’t retell it here, but I will tell you that you will be shocked at the reason for that this woman on Brandon’s flight spontaneously praises the Lord on that airplane.

All of these stories are so stirring to me and you as a reader because it is so evident on the page that these stories are not just cute antidotes to Brandon.  You can feel how life-changing these moments were in the writer’s sensitive-to-the-Spirit heart.

This book isn’t just about moving stories.  One of the things I love about A Mile Wide is how well thought out it is.  Every point has been considered and tested.  Every chapter has lists of helpful ways to proceed or recommendations for moving forward.  This isn’t a book that ends in head scratching and warm feelings.  This is a book that ends with action.  Each subject covered has so many layers for every Christian.

I hope I have convinced you how well your time would be spent on reading A Mile Wide.  I don’t over exaggerate when I say that you will be affected by this book.  Grab a copy and let Brandon lead you deeper into a faith that not only changes you, but leads you to change others.

Shop Sweet 3: Making your Christmas dollars count in a more meaningful way

The last two years I have posted great ways that you could spend your Christmas money in wonderful ways, supporting adoptions, supporting missions, or buying fair trade items.  I've got a new list for Christmas 2015!

Your dollar can be powerful, and we spend a lot of dollars this time of year.

Again this Christmas, I have made a decision try to make my dollars count in a more meaningful way.  I'm going to buy many of my Christmas gifts from families raising money for international adoptions, companies who employ under-resourced workers, companies who cycle profits into vulnerable communities, retailers making a difference, and local small businesses.

Before you head off to the mall this Christmas, consider purchasing some of these gifts that will give back to communities that need our support.

Bonus sweetness:  When you buy a present from Amazon (most of us will), use AmazonSmile.  All you have to do is click a link to AmazonSmile before you shop, and a percentage of your purchase is donated to the charity you choose to support.  Personally I have been supporting our adoption agency AWAA.  This is link to support AWAA through AmazonSmile.  Use the link every time you shop at Amazon this holiday season.

You can find adoption fundraisers to support this Christmas by searching "adoption fundraiser" on Etsy or you can join the FaceBook group "Gifts for Adoption."

If you want more gift ideas, Kaylie and I podcasted about this topic on The Re:Podcast this week.  Kaylie had some cool companies to recommend.

 

Here are some other gift ideas I like:

1.  Lucky Rains Coffee Mug $18, tenthousandvillages.com

2.  Color by Nature Twig Pencils $18, tenthousandvillages.com

3.  Droplet necklace $42, 31bits.com

4.  Tea Towel, Fitzgerald Hand-Screen Printed $24, ravenandlily.com

 

1.  Crossover Cuff, Gold $16, cometogethertrading.com

2.  Cord Taco, $9, lifefashionable.com

3.  "This shirt has a story" Tee, $20, mercyhousekenya.org

4.  Brave Bracelet, $7-$59, ssekodesigns.com

 

1.  Fingerless gloves $22, KrochetKids.com

2.  Baby shoes $36, solehope.org

3.  Blush Peony Enchantment Headband $12, banded2gether.com

4.  Abundantly Above Print $15, #sentprints

 

1.  Love is an Action mug $14, compassion.org

2.  Act Justly Tee $25, unlockhope.com

3.  Doorbell House $32, thehungersite.greatergood.com

4.  Apostle graphic novel $15, Voice of the Martyrs

 

1.  BioLite CampStove $129, biolitestove.com

2.  Maple watch $45, youwood.org

3.  Moss pinwheel square satchel $72, joynindia.com

4.  Recycled Sari Throw Blanket $79, cometogethertrading.com

 

1.  Desert Rope Necklace $46, noondaycollection.com

2.  Golden Grace Bundle $98, Trades of Hope, contact Rachel Clark

3.  "We Have this Hope" Art Print $12, valeriewienersart.com

4.  Shea Soap - Orange Ginger $5, cometogethertrading.com

 

Don't forget about this week's episode of The Re:Podcast - Shopping, socially-minded gift ideas.

Happy shopping & Merry Christmas!

 

Don't forget about AmazonSmile!  Use it every time you shop at Amazon.

2014 Shop Sweet list

2013 Shop Sweet list