March 8, 2013


I've been without my phone since Sunday.

What was meant to be a quick and easy replacement of broken glass turned into a disaster when the new digitizer failed to work properly and the touch screen stopped working. Agonizing moments of futile finger swiping produced nothing more than despair.

Perhaps the sinking, horrified feeling was akin to the man in times of old who watched the borrowed axhead arc into the river.

"Alas, my master, it wasn't backed up.."

Goodbye contacts list...

And then somehow I managed to break the new glass too. (lol)

So for a week now I have been without it, rediscovering how to study the Bible with an actual dictionary and hefty Strong's concordance, how to cook from a paper recipe, how to text using buttons (on a borrowed phone), how to write down directions, how to savor memories in the moment because I can't take a picture, and how to live without a continuous string of conversations going over text because, well, I don't have anyone's number.

Friends and family have long made jokes about whether or not I would be able to exist without my phone. The prevalent opinion has been that I would not. It has been predicted that I would stop breathing, suffer a heart attack, or even die of a broken heart.

I am happy to report that none of the above have taken place. I am yet in the land of the living, and in fact, have found that the silence is sweet. There is a vibrant freedom in just living life simply.

Yet, I have found myself spending hours this week, perusing ebay for a decent deal on an iPhone 5 or 4S. I need it, I tell myself. I need it for canvassing.

But then I think of this little guy. This video that has circulated through my inbox three different times, and which I've seen on at least two different blogs... How far could the money I would put into an iPhone 5 go towards putting a smile back on that pain-wrenched face?

Timothy from Reel Mission Productions on Vimeo.

In order to get an iPhone, I would sacrifice having gas in my car, eating out with friends, and fixing my messed up fender for a few more months. I'd keep wearing my worn out shoes with the holes in them and the same socks I've worn for the last three years of college. Sacrifice? Are you kidding? It wouldn't even cross my mind that it would be a sacrifice because an iPhone is precious to me.

Is his life not much more valuable? Ought not it to be more precious to me than things which pass away? What if it didn't even seem like a sacrifice to me to give up having an iPhone so he can have his needed neurosurgery?

It makes me uncomfortable to see how warped my values are. It makes me downright angry to realize that I have been tricked, deceived, lied to. I've been conditioned to believe that I have needs that aren't even needs and problems that aren't even problems. My heart has been stealthily pulled away from love, compassion, and tenderness until each cry for help seems like just another face, just another video..

I watched the video thinking of how wonderful it would be that everyone else would help Timothy. I thought of people I know who have more means than I do-- people for whom purchasing an iPhone 5 might not be the sacrifice that it would be for me, and I hoped they would do something.

But God didn't send them the video. He sent it to me. Five times. 

I am the solution to this problem.

I am the one who can help Timothy.


  1. If everyone would say that... I am the solution. Something like this hit me tonight when I watched it before reading this. I joined you in helping.

    And I'll text you my number again. :)

  2. Oh... He's saying it to me, too. Like He said it to Peter, when he asked about 'the other guy': " what is that to thee? follow thou me." I'm the one who can help. He needs my heart. Thanks for sharing that... I need to remember it, even here.

  3. At at time when I was going through a storm in my life, I prayed that God would show me His light, and some encouragement. Within days, your canvassing team knocked at my door. I begrudgingly answered the door . After talking with you guys for just a short time, I was left with an indelible impression of the hope which still remains, which is, that beyond all odds, in this world, God always sustains those that follow Him and do His will. To reach out and uplift those that are in desperate circumstances, as I was, when I met you.. I hope that God will bring me to a calling that mirrors your own willingness to encourage those in desperate measures. I was discussing with my mom, the other night about where and why I will give my tithe to. The answer was: "What was I compassionate about?" Having been in Thailand many times, the country and Thai people have intrinsically become apart of my heart. After watching that video, I believe that God lead me to your site to answer my prayer. Thank you, for dedicating your life to our Lord's work., and may He continue to bless you and know that He used you to continue His blessing into my life. Praise be to God.

    1. God works in a mysterious way His wonders to perform..
      I can't get over a God who understands the deepest longings and needs of every single human heart and individually crafts ways to satisfy them.
      I am trying so hard to remember your face! Where did we meet you? Was I at the door or was it one of my students? And how did you find my blog??!

  4. You guys met me in Jamestown, Ohio, (Shawnee Lake) in mid to late August 2012. Actually, you parked in my mom's lawn lol. I kept the receipt in my wallet from making a donation for "The Great Controversy" & "Peace Above the Storm". I remembered your name and face and one of your students, Owen, if I remember his name corectely. I wanted to thank both of you properly at that time, but it looked like you guys were very busy that day. So, later, I cross referenced with google the words: sda, ouichita ministries, Beth, and eventually found your blog. I agree, God is a master tailor who crafts a suit that suits us best according to our desire and His will. So again, thank you, for your dedication.

    1. Yes! I remember everything... You and your mother belong to the church of God right? And you live right out there by the lake? I parked in your lawn and dropped off like 6 canvassers right there, lol..
      I have chills running up and down my spine reading this, cause you will never know how hard the devil tried to keep us from reaching your door. By all human reasoning, there was no way we should have ever knocked your door except that you prayed for it..

      I'm in awe at the way God works. Thanks so much for sharing!! You have no idea how encouraging it is to hear things like this.. (maybe you do!)

      Have you enjoyed the books?

  5. I'm happy that you were encouraged by my sharing of how you initialy encouraged me. I think that God was trying to teach me that day, that the

    body of Christ, in all of it's diverse purposes and forms, all have an important function in sustaining and contributing to the wholeness of the

    body of Christ, as well as, reaching out to those who do not know Him yet. Yes, I have enjoyed the books. I have found them as a source of

    inspiration. Just curious... how exactly was the devil trying to stop you from completing your mission that day? And how did the Lord conquer

    it? And yes, I know how encouraging it is to hear things like this :) God Bless You.

    1., so true. One of my favorite things about canvassing is meeting members from all parts of the body of Christ. Every one comes from such a different perspective and personal walk with God and I leave my encounters with them so blessed and uplifted!

      Well... Jamestown is not such a big place you know! There isn't enough there to keep a whole team busy for the day. My game plan had been to stretch the territory so I could cover both Washington Courthouse and Jamestown at the best times so that we could meet the most people. Generally we find that not many people are at their houses in the day, so we spend most of our time meeting people in the businesses and parking lots until 3 or 4 in the afternoon and then we move into houses. So two weeks before we met you, we had done a half day of business in WC and then moved to Jamestown and done almost every house in town, except for a few out by the lake. My plan was to come back to WC later and finish the rest of the businesses and then do the houses in WC. I had no reason to come back to Jamestown since we had finished virtually everything. We were working territory closer to Dayton most of the time, and finally, the last week of the program, we went back to finish WC. We had a great day and I planned to keep working there in WC until the end of the day. But it just so happened that I had on my team that day a young man with a social challenge and somebody got scared of him coming up to the door and called the police on him. The officer that came did not understand the religious nature of what we were doing and merely saw that one of his townspeople was scared of a door-to-door "salesman" and (somewhat rudely) asked us to leave and wouldn't listen to anything nor look at the documentation explaining our work. I was frustrated and upset a bit, and now had to figure out what to do and where to take my team of people for the rest of the day! Then I remembered that there were a few houses still out by the lake in Jamestown. So to Jamestown we went. There was a awful thunderstorm that day I remember and the poor kids were working in rain that was almost too thick to see through, which slowed us down so that we got to your house right when you were out sitting on your porch...

      Kinda makes me feel like I'm getting a peek into Heaven's control tower... "Hey Gabriel, get that guy to call the police, send the officer, hurry! We've got to get them out to Shawnee Lake.." haha...

      This is such a reminder to me that truly ALL THINGS work together for good, and God has his reason's for every thing that comes our way, even the things that are frustrating/upsetting/annoying to us in the moment. If we could see what He sees, we would never question....

  6. Please thank Owen for me too. He struck me as a really great young man. I could see that he was a bit timid at first when he knocked at the door when I answered. Yet, as we all talked together, I could see that initial feeling melt away and replaced with reassurance and confidence. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.. That was so true that day. I will send out a prayer that God will continue to strengthen you and him in the faith, and will continue His good work in the hands that He has entrusted it to.

    Talking about peeking into the Heaven's control tower. I have had many times when I would say just a simple prayer, that I had forgotten about, or a prayer that I had prayed many times over answered. When God answers those supplications it brings to my remembrance that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. A truly amazing God, that is willing and able to bend His ear and listen to His children.
    Okay, sorry for detracting from the initial focus of your blog post. Which is Timothy. Here is an update about how he is doing...