5.25.2010

Preston Plevretes



I watched this video and it just broke my heart. If you know anyone who is an athlete maybe pass this video on, definitely need more education on concusions and what they can do to people if not treated properly.

Let's pray for this young man as he goes through this horrible time. God is with him. :) Stay blessed!

What Difference Do It Make?



I just finished reading this book. It is the second book by Ron Hall & Denver Moore (you can read my review on their first book here ) and it was just an incredible book.

It's funny because I was wondering what had happened since the first book and this just picks it up and lets you know what they've been doing since Same Kind of Difference As Me.

God showed me through this book how important forgiveness is and how important it is to hang in there with people even when it's tough. It's just simply amazing what God can do with one faithful heart. Denver Moore is one amazing man. I think that if anyone didn't know he had been homeless no one would ever guess. He is a very wise soul and has much to share without having to use a bunch of words. His actions are truly the way he shows his faith.

I encourage you to read this book and if you haven't read the first, pick that one up too. :) They will bless your heart and God will show you things that maybe you've never thought about. Have a blessed Tuesday! Below is the introduction to 'What Difference Do It Make' so read on! ;)

Introoduction
Hello again.

If you’re reading this book, it might be because you already have read Same Kind of Different as Me, a true story about my wife, Deborah, and the man who changed our lives, Denver Moore. If you haven’t, don’t worry—we’ve included enough of the story to catch you up. (The “catch up” sections from Same Kind of Different as Me are in italics.)

Since June 2006, when Same Kind of Different as Me snuck first onto bookstore shelves, then onto the New York Times bestsellers list, Denver and I have traveled thousands of miles back and forth across America. We’ve spoken at hundreds of venues, from local book clubs filled with sweet little old ladies to the Bethesda, Maryland, symphony hall. (We were in Bethesda as guests of Doro Bush Kock and her mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, who quite possibly is Denver’s biggest fan.) Throughout that time, we have seen thousands of lives changed—homeless shelters started and millions of dollars raised for the homeless, yes, but also astonishing changes in the lives of everyday Americans that we never could’ve imagined or predicted.

That’s why we wrote this book, to tell you just a few of the stories of hope and redemption that God continues to write in the lives of so many—and in our own.

One day in the spring of 2009, as we were writing, I was in the kitchen at the Murchison estate, where Denver and I live, on a conference call with executives at Thomas Nelson, our publisher. During the call, Denver walked in.

“Hey, Denver,” I said, putting the call on speaker. “We’re talking about titles for the new book. Got any ideas?”

“Title for the new book?” he said, screwing his eyelids down into his famous hard squint. “What difference do it make?”

“What Difference Do It Make?” I said. “That’s it!”

Denver shrugged and walked off, shaking his head.

It was the perfect title. Since Same Kind came out, over and over, like the needle stuck in the groove of an old vinyl record, we’ve repeated a single message: one person can make a difference. My wife, Deborah Hall, is proof of that.

As many of you know, God took Deborah in 2001. Cancer. But if she were here today, she would tell you she was nobody special. If you had come to our house, she would have made you fresh coffee or tea and invited you to sit down at the kitchen table and tell her about yourself. And you would have felt loved. Because that was Deborah’s gift. She loved God and, because of her intimate walk with Him, loved people. Her whole life was about forgiveness and unconditional love, two qualities that most of us find difficult to master on a regular basis.

It really was that simple. Deborah’s life showed that kind of love is attainable for anyone willing to put in the time on their knees, then overcome their fear and go out and get their hands a little dirty. And I have talked to literally hundreds of people who told me that Deborah’s story inspired them to do just that. Through the difference her life made, others are now making a difference, and that’s in part what this book is about. It’s packed full with stories folks have shared with us about how Deborah’s example inspired them to do more, both in their own homes and in their communities.

A lady named Ann, for example, wrote to us from Vivian, a small Louisiana town just north of Shreveport—not too far from Red River Parish, where Denver worked the plantations. Ann wrote of how she loaned Same Kind of Different as Me to about twenty different friends. Every friend who brings it back has a very different story about how the story affected him or her.

“One person notices the friendship Denver and Ron share,” Ann wrote. “Another feels shame over the way her grandparents treated the ‘Denvers’ in their lives.”

The woman surprised Ann by telling her that the portion of the book that dealt with Deborah’s cancer battle stirred her to go and have a colonoscopy she’d been putting off!

Like Ann, we’ve been struck by the amazing variety of stories people tell us about how Debbie’s story affected them. Here we thought we were writing a book about one woman’s determination to make a difference for the homeless, and we started getting letters about marriages restored, friendships renewed, ministries begun, even babies adopted!

In Fort Worth, a high school teacher named Carin told us that, “unbelievably,” she’d been able to get the school administration to approve our book to be read by her entire mental-health class. “The students have learned how so many issues affect our mental health,” Carin wrote. “I have also used the book to help relay to them the importance of community involvement, passion, and what it means to be a servant to others.”

Shortly after Deborah died, her best friend, Mary Ellen, told me that God had whispered to her during prayer that Deborah was like the kernel of wheat Jesus refers to in the gospel of John: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Mary Ellen told me she thought that maybe Deborah’s death would be like that—fruitful. I cannot even express how much I absolutely did not want to hear that at the time. But it appears that Mary Ellen was right, more right than even she knew.

She told me about the wheat kernel just a couple of days before the dedication of the Deborah L. Hall Memorial Chapel, the new worship facility built at the Union Gospel Mission in my wife’s honor and funded by donations that poured in after local folks heard Denver’s story at her memorial service. At the time, we thought the chapel, along with the new care facilities for the homeless, were the fruit God would bring from my wife’s death. I had no idea that the Union Gospel Mission was just the first fruit in what would become a cornucopia of blessing.

Take Detra, for example. Detra, who lives in Austin, Texas, wrote to tell us that after reading Deborah’s story, she decided to start carrying food and socks and blankets in her car so that she can bless the homeless. Also, her church had a picnic in an Austin park and had so much food that they began feeding hungry people who were in the park that day.

One little girl asked Detra, “When are you coming back?”

After that, the church made the picnic a monthly event where church members sit down and break bread with the homeless.

Would I take back blessings like that one and those you are about to read about in this book? If I could rewind time like a video and create a cancer story with a happy ending, would I?

I’m sorry to say there’s a big part of me that says, “Yes! I want my wife back!”

But I can tell you without reservation that Deborah would say, “No, Ron. I’ll see you soon.”

And so the story goes on—men and women all over the country inspired by the story of Denver and Deborah to make a difference in other people’s lives. Over the past three years, I thought I was making a difference too—traveling and speaking all over the country, “carrying Miss Debbie’s torch,” as Denver calls it. And I suppose I was.

But in 2009, I learned that sometimes the most difficult difference to make is the one that’s closest to home.
– Ron Hall
Dallas, Texas
July 2009

5.24.2010

Loving On My Bad Days

So the Lord has been teaching me so much this month about one thing in particular... loving and blessing people.

Oh, how I truly desire to be a blessing to people and to simply love them like Jesus does. However, when I'm tired, annoyed, angry, frustrated, worn out, etc. I just don't want to. The selfish part of my heart just wants to focus on myself and block out the rest of the world. Sadly I miss a lot of opportunities to love and bless people just because I'm having a bad day or an "off" day.

God has been teaching me that even when I'm having not so great of a day my attitude can still be right. "Happiness is a choice." More times than not that is true. If someone has depression or something along those lines then happiness a lot of times isn't possible until they work through what they are depressed over, but if we are just grumpy or upset because it's Monday, then we can turn that around ourselves just by making the simple choice to be happy.

This month I've been focusing on having the right attitude and knowing that regardless of how my day is going God is right there holding my hand and I can trust that He will work everything out. That really makes my day. I know if it makes my day then I should pass that along so it can make someone else's day too. There's a girl who always says, "A blessing is not a blessing unless it's shared." I find that to be true. I can keep a blessing all to myself and really not be blessed, but when I pass it on then I feel that the blessing is complete. 

This week I want to just love people and bless regardless of how good or bad my day is. Can you really be a true follower of Christ if the only time you fulfill His plan is when your day is good? I don't think so. Being a follower of Jesus is a 24/7  365 days a year commitment. You don't get to pick and choose, you either are or you aren't and sometimes that can be a difficult thing to think about (however it is necessary). I just challenge myself and you to love on people and be a blessing this week (and everyday) no matter what your day is like. I know it's hard.. believe me I know it's hard, but when you get your reward in Heaven you'll know it worth it. God is by your side. Stay near Him. Have a blessed weekend!

5.17.2010

Same Kind of Different As Me



I just finished one of the most amazing books. Same Kind of Different As Me by Denver Moore & Ron Hall is one incredible book. God touched my heart so much while I was reading this book.

Denver Moore was a homeless man, who had never been to school, didn't know how to read, and therefore never read a book, but while I was reading this book the amount of wisdom he has is just incredible. Definitely God is using this man to touch people.

Ron Hall was a wealthy man who sold paintings for a living and had a beautiful wife named Deborah. Little did either one of these men know that that woman would bring the two together and they would build a friendship that lasts forever.

While I read this book I laughed, cried (more like sobbed), thought, etc. It was just an amazing book. I encourage all of you to get this book. God showed me what real faith looks like, that homeless people aren't always as they may appear, reaching out to someone could very well lead them to the Lord and many other things. This book is worth your time and money so please get it. Be sure to pass it along too, because it is a book that I think each person in this world needs to read. Have a blessed week!! Jesus loves you!

5.15.2010

Armed Forces Day

I just wanted to thank the men and women of the Armed Forces past & present for all that y'all have done for our Country and our freedom. I thank God for people like you! God bless you!!

Please take some time today to pray for our soldiers. Thank you so much!! Have a blessed and wonderful weekend! :)

5.10.2010

Start Here


I just finished reading 'Start Here' by Alex & Brett Harris. This book is something you can read right now (if you haven't read 'Do Hard Things') or you can read after you have read Do Hard Things (which is the way it's intended).


When I read 'Do Hard Things', blog post here, I was so excited because I had never really thought of any of the things the guys wrote about, but then I was left questioning, what is a hard thing? Does have to be big? Have I done hard things in the past? And then the boys wrote this book. It's purpose is to help people find the hard things God desires for them to do.


While I read this book God revealed many truths to me. I'm still processing all of it. I would recommend this book to people who really want to know what God wants them to do. It will help you narrow down what talents you have and how you can use them to bring God glory and help bring others to Him. Definitely a great book and you should definitely read it.  :) Have a blessed Monday!!!

5.07.2010

Race Doesn't Matter

"So God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." - Genesis 1:27

Oh, I really cannot stand what has happened to the way people view one another. I don't know if this has just happened in the last few years or if it has always been this way, but regardless of when it began it needs to stop now.

I'm talking about the race factor. I'm so tired of the way we treat one another simply because of the color of their skin. Black, white, red, yellow, whatever! Does it really matter? Do you think God looks at us and says, "Well I will bless him more because he is _______ (choose color)."? I certainly don't.

The Bible tells us that we are created in His image. Not yours, not mine, but HIS. Each one of us on this earth has a little piece of the Lord in us. He created us in His likeness and I don't think He wants us to treat one another as if only certain crowds have been created in His image. We all are! That's the beauty of the differences we have, we still have one thing that brings us together... Jesus! The color of our skin doesn't matter. If we are all coming together as the body of Christ and fulfilling His plan for us, who cares if you're white or black or brown?

I challenge myself to not pay any attention to color of skin, but to really see people... to see their hearts and personalities. To see their hurt and their love. To see them for who they are in Christ Jesus. Would join in with me? If we are the change, we can change the world. Our examples can make a HUGE difference and impact. Let's follow God's Word and simply love regardless. Might be hard, but well worth it!!! Have a wonderfully blessed weekend!