health

i am only one, but i am one

aids ribbon"I am only one, but I am one.I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." -Edward Everett Hale

Everyone can do something in the fight against AIDS. Don't let the enormity of the task keep you from doing the something you can do.

Learn as much as you can, discover what you're passionate about, and throw your full weight into that passion.

  • Discover which aspect of the AIDS crisis resonates with your heart. It will be different for different people, and that's okay! You may not know yet what you're passionate about in regards to fighting the AIDS pandemic. So begin by reading about the multi-faceted issues involved. Your heart will be gripped by something as you research. It might be orphan care, or medical intervention, or prevention/abstinence programs. Whatever it is, find your passion.
  • Find an organization that shares your passion. Again, this may take some digging. But there are plenty of solid ministries out there targeting the various aspects of AIDS.
  • Connect as much as possible with the cause/organization you believe in. The more you know and understand about their vision and strategies, the more you can be a megaphone for them.
  • Interact with the organization and its team. Visit their website, comment on their blog posts, ask for specific prayer requests. Passion grows when you truly become part of something. Family members have the same blood in their veins. Join the family. Get the vision coursing through you till you bleed it.
  • Use your voice and influence to promote the cause you believe in. You can do that through blog posts, sidebar widgets, twitter updates, and personal conversations. You could commit to a monthly megaphone day on your blog where you highlight different aspects of what’s being done, what the needs are, and opportunities for others to get involved.
  • Be passionate about it. Anyone can plug something, but passion is unmistakable. People will know how much you really believe in what you’re saying.
  • Pray. Prayer really does change things.
  • Contribute financially to support the work that's being done.
  • Get off your "but" and go. Drop the excuses and go see for yourself. Travel overseas to not only see the work in action but to participate in it. The best advocates are those who’ve been involved. And I guarantee it will change your life forever.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What are you currently doing to help in the fight against AIDS? What are you going to start doing? What other suggestions do you have for ways people can get involved?

you CAN do something

AIDS is a reality you don’t have the luxury to ignore.

Bono wrote in his book On the Move---

6,500 Africans are still dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drugstore. This is not about charity; this is about justice and equality.

Because there’s no way we can look at what’s happening in Africa and, if we’re honest, conclude that deep down, we really accept that Africans are equal to us. Anywhere else in the world, we wouldn’t accept it. Look at what happened in Southeast Asia with the tsunami. 150,000 lives lost to that misnomer of all misnomers, “mother nature.” In Africa 150,000 lives are lost every month. A tsunami every month. And it’s a completely avoidable catastrophe.

There is a continent—Africa—being consumed by flames.I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did---or did not do---to put the fire out in Africa.

History, like God, is watching what we do.

Don’t close your eyes or turn your head away. People are dying for you to do something.

mosquito

What will you do to learn more about the AIDS crisis? What will you do with what you know?

meet gym

I've been hanging out with Gym a lot lately. Like five or six times a week. And let me tell you, he's been kicking my butt. Kick.Ing.It. With a name like Urban Active, how could I resist joining? I knew I needed to do something not only to get in shape but also to improve my mental/emotional health. So I hooked up with Gym.

To say I was intimidated on our first date would be a ridiculous understatement. My chest tightened with anxiety just looking at all the equipment that I had no clue how to use, and seeing all the people who very clearly knew what they were doing.

But I dove right in, expending more energy in one 20-minute session than I had in weeks. Months.

And I hobbled for days afterward. No lie. Hover-peeing was completely out of the question, and walking down a set of stairs nearly ended in catastrophe on more than one occasion.

But I kept seeing Gym.

And the I-can't-believe-it-hurts-this-much soreness gradually subsided---for the most part.

Now Gym and I spend an hour together just about every day. I work hard; I sweat a disgusting amount; I huff and puff all the way to the bitter end. Today I pushed myself really hard. And I've had jell-o legs ever since. [Note to self: Hold the handrail on the way downstairs.]

While I don't expect I'll ever say, I love working out!, I do walk away feeling exhausted proud of myself.

So for that reason, I can say I love Gym.

Even though he kicks my butt.

undone

fingers-on-keyboard

I've written less emails in the past month than I used to write in a single day.

You gotta understand something about me: I'm a doer. I manage to get stacks of things done in a day. I figure out ways to tackle the to-do lists and push through the projects, even under tight deadlines. I know how to work my tail off when I need to. And even when I don't.

At least I used to anyway.

Right now, I simply don't have it in me.

My days are fairly empty, so I find myself with more time on my hands than ever before. But what I've gained in time, I lack in motivation, energy, and concentration. And one result is an overflowing inbox.

It's difficult for me to reach out right now. I feel unable to be the kind of friend I used to be and want to be---the kind of friend you deserve.

If you're one of the many who've emailed me but haven't heard back yet: I'm sorry for making you feel unimportant to me. I'm sorry I haven't explained until now.

Your emails aren't burdensome. My inbox is filled with reminders that I'm loved! So please don't hear this as a request to stop writing.

I guess it's just a request for patience. And understanding.

Because while I'm struggling to show it well right now, I still love and care deeply.

Even when I don't answer your email.

time to talk about it

Depression is a sign of weak faith. I don't know that I was ever told those exact words, but growing up, it was certainly conveyed to me that a depressed Christian is a bad Christian. A depressed Christian obviously lacks a strong relationship with God. A depressed Christian just needs to pray more, speak words of faith, and spend more time in the Bible. A depressed Christian gives Jesus---and the Church---a bad name.

That kind of thinking kept me bound in a prison. Forced me to suffer quietly. Because... Well...

I'm depressed. And I have been for a while.

My life is rich in many, many ways. I love God; I've followed Him my whole life; I've served Him passionately on the mission field for over a decade. I have people in my life who love me deeply and whom I love deeply in return.

But I'm also facing the hardest thing I've ever had to endure. And it's left me struggling with depression for almost two years.

Do I have weak faith? Sometimes. (So thankfully all I need is a mustard seed sized dollop of it.) But I know now that my depression isn't a reflection of my faith.

And I'm so sorry for ever thinking anyone else's was a reflection of theirs.