“Everlasting Father”: A Guest Post for Lemonade International


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A year and a half ago, I had the honor of going on a Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala with Lemonade International, a nonprofit that works on the slum community of La Limonada, in Guatemala City. The task for us bloggers from around the country was to spend the week seeing the work they do, living life with the people, hearing their stories, and writing about it on our respective blogs. It was an experience like no other I’ve ever had, and I left it with new eyes for justice, love, community, and what God’s Kingdom looks like in this world of brokenness.

I once again have the privilege of writing for them, and this time it’s for their Advent series. Today, they’ve posted on their blog some of my reflections on the divine name “Everlasting Father”. Here’s a taste:

Imagine a tiny nation in fear. Their leaders have failed them and have abandoned all principles of dignity and justice for the sake of securing the place of the powerful. Their political alliances have ravaged their economy, autonomy, and national security. They still live in the shadows and aftermath of civil war and the meddling of other larger, more powerful nations looking to take advantage of this one, it’s resources, and it’s people–with no consideration of the long-term effects. Most in this nation live in apathy and ignorance of the injustice in their midst. The powerful do not care, the privileged do not see, and the rest just try to survive.

What would this nation do? Where would be its hope? To whom would it lift its eyes?

This is Guatemala. This is La Limonada. But it was also the nation of Judah.

Also, if you’re looking for an incredible organizations for your year-end giving, I cannot recommend Lemonade International highly enough. Nonprofits bring a lot of extra scrutiny and can often bring about their fair share of skepticism (as they should). Is the money being used wisely? Are they simply perpetuating power dynamics and deep injustices? Are they exploiting others’ pain for their own gain?

These are all legitimate questions to have for nonprofits and the work they do, and I am hesitant to wholly trust an organization or suggest them to others.

Lemonade International, however, is one that I completely trust. Their resources, people, mission, and methods are all done with such thoughtful care and attention paid to the web of systemic, spiritual, practical, communal, familial, and economic issues that arise in these environments.

So please consider giving to the incredible work of this amazing organization!

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From Above: What’s better than Tom’s shoes? I’ll show you.


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WordPress’s Photo Challenge theme for this week is “From Above

I have been very proud, up to this point, of not having ever posted an Instagram picture of my feet. I don’t know where that trend came from, but I’ve bucked it for so long. Until yesterday.

That’s when I received the above shoes in the mail.

No, those are not Tom’s, the shoe company famous for its idea of giving away one pair of shoes to a child in a developing country for every pair that is purchased.

Instead, they are Otto’s.

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Guatemala Bloggers Trip: Meet Scott Bennett


scott-bennett-lemonade-internationalIn preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. Recently, they profiled our official trip photographer Scott Bennett.

Scott calls himself a “humanitarian photographer”. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking (accompanied by an eye-roll) “Everybody’s a photographer now”. And yes, some of us like to think we have an eye for this stuff (MySpace profile shots and Instagram pictures excluded), but Scott is different on many levels.

First, I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to open up his blog and his online portfolio page and not see any pictures with filters and major edits done to them. Like a true photo artist, he seems to consider the camera and the subject as his primary tools of his craft, not Photoshop. If he uses it, he uses it as any artist uses any aid: he doesn’t so you can’t tell.

Secondly, any real photographer can tell you that there is far more to truly beautiful and meaningful photo art than mere “composition” or simply “capturing an image.” There has to be movement, narrative, and/or dimensionality.
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Guatemala Bloggers Trip: Meet…Me.


paul-wine-flowersIn preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. This past week, they profiled me.

In it you can find out if Bring it On is my favorite movie, what my connection to Billy Ray Cyrus is, how I got connected to this trip, and how I would describe the content and audience of this blog.

Tell me if you think I’m  wrong.

All next week, I’ll begin blogging about my own preparations for the trip. I’ll be writing about readying myself spiritually, emotionally, and practically, as well as sharing with you all the Guatemalan history that sets the context for the work Lemonade International does.

Hopefully, by the time I leave next Sunday, we will all feel like we’ve prepared well for the trip ahead.

Thank you all again for reading this blog and giving me the chance to do a trip like this. Also be sure to bookmark this page on my blog to follow my blogger’s trip to Guatemala!

Click the banner below for more info in the trip. lemonade-guatemala-2 BloggersDate

Guatemala Bloggers Trip: Meet Dana Byers


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In preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. Recently, they profiled Dana Byers.

I don’t know Dana personally, but she’s got quite the resume. As the President of BlueDoor.tv, she helps train and support pastors all over the world begin online-based ministry and community (she even wrote a book about it!). She’s the Community Pastor for the online church branch of LifeChurch.tv. That means that she doesn’t simply theorize about this stuff all day, but she actually lives it out and puts into practice the new methods of ministry she helps others develop.
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Guatemala Bloggers Trip Profile: Tim & Katie Høiland


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In preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. This week, they profiled Tim and Katie Høiland.

I take personal responsibility for hooking Tim and Katie up over Twitter. They were married a couple of years ago in Phoenix in one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to, and it was here that I first heard of Lemonade International. In lieu of wedding gifts, they requested we give to LI.

And that is the heart they have. The Twitter hashtag they led them together was the #socialjustice tag. They have such a heart for all that’s represented by this Guatemala trip, I’m so glad to be spending this time with them. In fact, it was Tim’s recommendation that gave me the opportunity to do this.

And so, today, I offer you the chance to get to know this amazing couple. Check out their LI profile, Tim’s blog, and Katie’s blog. Click the banner below for more info in the trip.

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I’m going on a Bloggers Trip to Guatemala with Lemonade Int’l. (happy 8th blog-versary)


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Eight years ago, today, I began this blog as a cathartic response to my frustration at a girl in my dorm. It was a very strange post full of rambling, weird logic, bad grammar, and typos. Not much has changed since then in those respects, but I do want to let you all know about an amazing opportunity that this 8-year endeavor has offered me.

Recently, some old friends of mine (that I happen to have hooked up) got me connected to this amazing non-profit, Lemonade International. LI does great development work in the La Limonada neighborhood of Guatemala, the largest urban slum community in Central America.

LI shares my own convictions that international development work should utilize local resources (instead of bringing in outside talent for everything), empower communities (instead of simply giving them aid), and build long-term relationships (instead of “short-term” “missions” programs) in order to reverse injustice. Here’s a trailer for a documentary about their community and their work:
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