Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


He is risen!  He is risen, indeed!  Today millions of us around the world celebrate Jesus’s resurrection.  Resurrection has been on my mind a lot in the last year.

Just what is resurrection?  It sounds so fantastical, even alien for us 21st century people.  But what I’ve come to understand is that resurrection isn't just something that happened to Jesus 2000 years ago.  God resurrects, brings things back to life, here and now.  The way that God created the human body to heal itself is truly miraculous and is a type of resurrection.  I never thought I would look, feel, and function as well as I do now after my crash.  As the Apostles’ Creed puts it, “I believe in…the resurrection of the body.”  Resurrection is not just for the hereafter; it’s part of the exhibition of the kingdom of God in this life.

When I’m under extreme stress, I get insomnia.  I don’t have difficulty falling asleep, but I awake in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep as my mind races, turning the problem over and over.  This happened to me when I was unemployed for about six months in 2009.  It happened again last year about two months after my crash, when I was waiting for my jaw to heal before I had surgery in July.  Every night for about two weeks, I woke up at 4:00 A.M. and couldn’t go back to sleep.  It didn’t take long before I was exhausted both day and night, but I still woke up every night like clockwork.  I tried techniques that have helped me with milder cases of insomnia: counting backwards by threes from 300 (really!) or slowly working my way up from my toes, imagining each part of my body being totally relaxed.  During my post-crash insomnia, I often got up to read, but that didn’t work either.  The one thing that brought me comfort, if not sleep, was prayer.

God and I had a lot of conversations during those wee hours.  One night I was feeling particularly grateful for the healing that I knew was occurring, however slow it may have seemed.  Somehow that helped me realize, more than I ever had before, that just as surely as God heals our bodies, he also forgives our sins, healing our souls.  Maybe that's why so many times Jesus forgave people's sins at the same time he healed their physical afflictions.  Psalm 103 ties all this together beautifully: "Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Naturally, I wish that I hadn’t crashed, and I wish that I didn’t have the scars I’m left with.  Even so, God has brought new life to me and, I hope, others through A Year of Centuries.  This helps me understand a little more about what Jesus faced in the last days of his life.  Obviously, he didn’t want to suffer and die (remember his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was arrested), and I’ll bet he would have preferred not to have the scars from his crucifixion.  Most of all, I’m sure he wished that humankind was not in the sinful, dismal state that it was and is.  But thanks be to God that he has the last word!

My prayer for you is that you know resurrection in your life.  Happy Easter!

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