Thursday, July 23, 2009

What does "Touched Twice" mean?

Over the years Perry and I have been introduced many times as the directors of "twice touched." It always makes me laugh - it almost sounds kinky or like the white coats are coming. So first of all, the name of the national ministry is: Touched Twice. This name was attached to the work of a band of idealistic twenty-somethings who all believed they could make a difference. We believed that by sharing the gifts and talents God had given us, we could enrich the lives of others. So, back in 1996 we pooled the resources of an optician, nurse, social worker and a musician. We shared what we had in a tiny church in downtown Louisville, KY. Over 300 people showed up and received vision screenings and recycled pairs of glasses.

There are countless stories of what it means to be touched twice. But conceptually, the first touch is meeting an individuals most pressing need. For many who can not see to drive, to work, and to properly care for their families - a pair of glasses is a gift that words can not describe. The second touch is love. It is Jesus with skin on. The most remarkable aspect of Touched Twice, is that the server inevitably is touched as dramatically as the one being served. It is an unbelievable turn of events.

In closing, when I think about the state of health care in the United States now in 2009, I am amazed. Back in 1996 vision and dental care for adults was the greatest need. Today millions of Americans have limited access to affordable general medical care.

Could the concept of sharing what we have with our neighbors really work? Could we have neighborhoods and communities transformed through service? What would it mean if each of us touched our neighbors twice - first with a loaf of bread, second with the healing message of the Gospel? That's far from kinky. The concept of Touched Twice is life transforming!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

God's Wisdom Ribbons!

It is so cool to read the Bible and have it make sense. God makes good sense when He says: "Guard my teachings as your most precious possessions. Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them within your heart." Proverbs 7:2-3 I read this verse the other day and instantly got a mental picture of red ribbons attached to my fingers. Each one reminding me of God's wonderful truth. Each red ribbon connected to one of God's promises for me.

The message version says: "Do what I say and you'll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight - guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart." I read this verse after feeling overwhelmed by a situation. I had asked God for wisdom because on my own I just did not know what to do. I read the verses in Proverbs and I realized very clearly that God's word gives us wisdom, clarity and peace. It's when I try to figure it out myself that I get overwhelmed. With his words tied to my fingers, written on my hands and hidden in my heart, He will show me what to do. It's really not that mystical. If God is Love than his words will guide, protect and provide peace. I was sharing with a friend that I resort to writing things on my hands when I don't want to forget to do it. What if I wrote God's precious word on my hand - so when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I was instantly reminded of HIS truth?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is Hope for real?

So, we have all heard a lot about hope lately. I got really caught up with the HOPE for our nation and HOPE coming with change this year. There was something disarming about the Obama Presidential Campaign. I really don't know anyone who isn't looking for hope.

About a week ago, I was feeling very discouraged. It seemed like everything I have had faith in economically was in flux. I felt like I couldn't make a difference and that things were set into motion a long time ago and no matter how fast I ran, I could not catch up.
In the midst of my crisis of conscience, I looked down at my kitchen table and saw a bookmark peeking out from one of my books. The word HOPE caught my eye. I grabbed the bookmark and read: "May the God of HOPE fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

I sat back in my kitchen chair, sighed, and felt peace that that was true HOPE. It was a vertical reminder that the horizontal remains in God's control.

Have a hopefilled week! Andrea