I received a phone call from our daughter Rachel Elaine Sharp from Indiana University yesterday. When she talked on the phone, she was so very worried about a young girl who had a dream to go to college from Brazil. Her name is Deborah and her friend named Alyssa Fain got involved in a GO FUND ME campaign. She explained how so many things fell apart in her life. She is asking for the impossible and she needs our prayer.
Please know how important PRAYER is and while we all have kids who are in college, once in a millennium you hear about something so pure and so beautiful, so I am going to share how this happened directly from her friend Alyssa. I believe you will be touched to give as I was. VERITAS MISSION FILMS is not involved in helping give scholarships to young students, but we are involved in making a difference in other ministry's lives and want you to prayerfully consider if God speaks to you about this.
Here is the wonderful letter I read, the link where you can give and especially PRAY PRAY PRAY.
COPY, PASTE & SHARE: http://www.gofundme.com/deborasdreams
21 hours ago
When Debora came to stay with my family while I was still in high school, Indianapolis experienced the Snowpocalypse of 2014. I have never seen that much snow in my life, and neither had Debora. In fact, Debora had never seen snow at all. We were complaining one night about having to go out and shovel snow in the morning, so that we would be able to move our cars. Not knowing what a labor it is to shovel snow, Debora kindly offered to scrape off our massive driveway. And after she did that, she scraped our sidewalks. And after she did that she scraped our back patio. SHE LOVED IT. The next day, however, she was very shocked at how sore she was, after "just shoveling snow."
1 day ago
Today I would like to share more about Debora's illness. This rare illness only affects 1 in 100,000 people, and can often cripple its victims, or be fatal because of outside complications. Guillian Barre is a disorder in which the immune system attacks the body's nerves, instead of infections present in the body. Debora's case was especially life-threatening, and when my mom called to tell me about it, the outlook was bleak. I worried everyday for her life. For many days I communicated with Debora's mother through broken English and texting, trying to send messages of encouragement. I prayed, I cried, I worried. Then, miraculously, Debora began to recover, and her doctors were shocked. They had never seen anyone recover this quickly from such a severe case of this illness. She told me, "Sis, without the hope of college, I would not have recovered that quickly - or even recovered at all." I know that God was working in her life - helping her be strong so she could return here to us. So that she could follow her dreams. So that she could help all the people of IU like she has helped me.
1 day ago
Every day I would like to post a new photo and share a story about my sister who I love so much. When Debora entered the U.S. in July, my wonderful roommate Rachel invited us to an Indianapolis Indians game, and blessed us with the opportunity to throw baseballs through a tire ON THE ACTUAL FIELD between innings. It was Debora's first experience with baseball, and she was so awestruck at the whole event. After throwing the balls, it turned out that I was the only winner, and won $100 to spend on tires. Debora asked me what the money was for and I said "For tires!" She looked at me, and as innocent as ever, asked what a tire was. One of the Tribe Team helpers that coordinated the event turned, looked at us, and exclaimed, "You don't know what a tire is?!?!"
I want to close by saying THANK YOU THANK YOU. Prayer really does work and there are no accidents you are reading this beautiful story. God is in control and I believe you will be blessed if you do your part, which is whatever you are supposed to do!
God bless you,
PS Thank you Indiana for coming to the aid of a dream with someone like Debora and especially, I am thankful for a friend named Alyssa and Rachel who care enough to DO SOMETHING.
For months Brandon has meticulously planning for the magical day when he would ask Julia to marry him. Down to the cups used for the coffee, the lights strategically placed in the park underneath a beautiful tree and more. Steps which in many ways have been ordered for many many years. To the detail of asking permission from parents, getting parents involved in the after dinner celebration to parents taking care of cake, colored decorations, private room and even the entrance, the night took place on August 14 and could not have been more perfect.
Love requires time, an investment of energy, a purpose of something greater than we even can articulate, but in the end, our hope is to make all of it worth something. Love is not just how we feel about ice cream or the kind of stuff we have, but it is the greatest of faith and even hope according to Corinthians 13. There is a power in love, not just an energy but a force greater than ourselves which is available if we ask.
Unconditional love is the most powerful force in the universe. The intimacy we have in Christ is a marriage like no other and it takes place between the bride and the bridegroom. Uniquely, this love and the lover is so amazing and I am just now beginning to understand all of this power. The meticulous detail Christ has for you goes into planning beyond planning and there is no happenstance here.
During this last week, our staff had the opportunity to spend time with Israel and Elizabeth Hanna. They are true spiritual mentors who have insight, wisdom and carry love in a unique ministry. They are gifted in "names and the interpretation of names" in how it connects with your past, your present and your future. Several of our closest friends met with them and were amazed at the insights and prophetic wisdom they shared.
What a beautiful reminder of how our steps are "ordered by the Lord".
Since the first week of June, I reconnected with an old friend I had not had the fortune to be with in a very long time. In our reunion, I could see the handiwork of God in his life as he shared what had happened over the past decade and the years which turned into moments were divinely painted like a Mosaic we could view in amazement. The perfect timing of the experiences led us to believe, there are no accidents in God's plan.
Wes Lane, Oklahoma City's former District Attorney came by the house with Lori Hansen Lane on Monday night to watch a film we made called THE SAMARITAN and in our discussions we talked about the power of divine order, how our steps are so perfectly ordered even when things get tough. Sometimes, the tests, the trials and even the temptations are truly this invitation to victory with God. If anybody knows the storms, its Wes and Lori but I am so thankful for their beautiful testimonies of imperfect people doing something wonderful in their foundation now.
Often great people get under attack and society and our culture judge too quickly. We seem to want to somehow be party to putting someone down and end up in NEGATIVE PLANS which are not only not ordered, but the worst kind of assassinations. Just realize in every situation we have "ordered steps" and then we have "unordered steps" which the IRONY is that it is the opposite kind of energy. So we have to be careful when love is close by, that it doesn't turn to hatred or wrongdoing.
Last night, I sat back and watched this couple share of their hopes and dreams of a future. Knowing a full year of college is still left, they wanted the last year to be the best. The father of the bride to be said something I really liked a lot. "Make sure you make this year a FUN YEAR" and I sat back and thought, how wise. We so often get caught up in our planning, we forget the joy, the enthusiasm and the hope we have in giving our plans and our love to God.
Don't you think God knows what you need? He does. Don't you believe He wants the BEST for His children? He absolutely does.
So rest in Him and let LOVE guide your heart. Congratulations to Julia Sharp for your spiritual pilgrimage, for your purity, for your powerful stand for God, for your prayer life and for your new husband to be Brandon Damore. I am honored to be a step dad and standing from the outside watching the beauty of love come together in the most magnificent way.
All our love to the new couple!
In conclusion this week my sister Karen and her oldest daughter Kandace Dodson Taylor experienced one of those trials. Kandace was induced in labor with an emergency C section and our new baby Quinn Rose Taylor came into this world with her tube wrapped around her neck. Many tears were shared as the baby was not pink but in grave danger. She was ushered to ICU and spent several days recovering, but guess what...she made it and my mother's name sake is here!
These beautiful ordered steps of a NEW LOVE into this world bring a smile to my face. So I close by praying for her life, for the day she will come to know God, for her future, her future husband, her future in-laws and for her impact in our world. God, we need you to help divinely guide this precious girl to carry the name ROSE in the way my mother did for over 80 years. God bless you all and remember, family is so important, cherish them.
I love you
During these past few weeks I was reminded the meaning of real friendship in so many ways. There were a myriad of appointments which came my way bringing a variety of friend relationships which meant more to me than I can say. For many years, I have not had the impressive string of amazing gatherings of people I have loved and some all of my life, some for a short while and some so endeared I wanted to write about it for everyone. Some of the people I just "ran into", some called, some I saw at church, some were divine, but ALL have been important.
Friends can pick up where you left off and it be just like it was the same so many years ago. I had an Aunt Judy Horsely who through divorce had been separated from me for decades. I got to talk to her on the phone and my heart just jumped because she has always been so dear, along with my Uncle Ted (who were actually both cousins). She and I had not talked to each other since I was seventeen, but our endeared love was just as strong. In fact, the friendship ran so deep it was like a welcomed family reunion just having the opportunity to talk to a lady I have loved since childhood. We shared joys, two world apart and I was so thankful for her in my life.
Since mother died, I had a few of her friends whom I stayed close with in their family. Getting the chance to talk to my mother's sweet friends have brought me great joy and happiness. Time had stood still and I realized once again that with friends, real friends time can stand still. Family friends and even relatives who go back decades bring me to almost an emotional stand still, because so many feelings of unconditional love fill my heart.
Meeting this week with a group of my my old junior high and high school friends just had a tendency to bring such love to my heart. We turned around and were talking about a forty year class reunion next year. These men were great men of courage who never talked about themselves but I found myself more enchanted with each of their lives, than ever before. We kidded, joked, laughed and had the best time over a meal which went all too fast. We snapped a quick picture and the memorial of our smiles was something I will never forget.
One of the friends in my life I have not seen in six years has come back into my life after decades of friendship. He was a friend whom I thought was not a friend, not only had he proved me wrong but made me see how wrongful I could ever judge anyone. I had made a real mistake. People in life have such a tendency to judge others way too harshly, so why do we that anyway? What can often look so bleak, can completely change everything, but your heart has to be right to receive it, even friendship. I thank the Lord for a prodigal friendship back on track.
I was getting something framed at Hobby Lobby and the precious lady helping me stopped in her tracks. You see, she, after finding out my name was Kevin McAfee said, "I know you and your father so very well". She shared who she was and I realized it was my dad's favorite preacher in the world's... daughter. We talked about how quickly the last fifty years have gone by. Pastor Jack Thompson had preached mother's funeral, but I hadn't seen this woman since I was in elementary. The same day, a friend of mine from college was sharing about her ministry and how God was using her and tears filled my eyes to hear of what God had been doing. My emotions have been high since.
In our neighborhood in Franklin, I have met the most wonderful people and am so very drawn to them, all new friends who are filling my heart with kindness, with love and an unconditional presence I have been missing, in my own community too. What a blessing to KNOW your neighbors and really begin to understand them, verses living in a recluse situation where you don't even know who is next door. It's honestly very sad our world has become what it has which is WAY TOO BUSY, but I believe I am more guilty for feeling "too comfortable". You have to invest in your neighbors, give and get involved, don't just pull in the garage and shut the door with the opener.
In the past year I connected with friends of mine in the music, film and publishing industry who have been so very kind, I have been ashamed I have not been a better friend, to reach out and communicate. These are people who really have my deepest love and respect and they are not just colleagues, but true friends to me, to my family and to everything I am doing. How could I miss this by being too busy, but I did. The list is embarrassingly long and all I can say, THANK YOU to those of you who have reached out to me in so many ways.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized in recent days my busyness, my schedule, my travel and my world has not been very "friendly" to my own friends. This made me truly sad and I just felt like saying, "I am so sorry as these treasures of my heart have been beautiful reminders of what matters the very most to me in my life". You have to take time to be a good friend, you have to sacrifice, be willing to listen and not move so fast you forget and discard or be discarded.
Through all of this, I thought about the thousands of times I was so busy talking, I didn't stop to listen, to hear their pain or hurt. Missing thousands of opportunities to show love, I realized things needed to change in my own life about how I did FRIENDSHIP. I had several wise praying friends who talked to me about how to pray for your friends, segment them, chronicle staying in touch with them, and invest in true relationships where you could grow, become stronger and make a difference...together.
Then it went deeper because I realized these many times were dwarfed when the Lord himself was waiting on me, to talk to me, to listen and to share my pain, to undergird my path and guide me through the biggest challenges of my own life. I was the problem thinking I was ok, but I was faking it. Christ was standing there just waiting to be the ultimate friend, but I wasn't listening. Wow, I don't want to do this to a God who loved me so much, He gave and sacrificed His own Son for me to have eternal life. He is the friend of friends, the friend of sinners and He is my Savior. There is another way to live and we have to stop, open our eyes, our ears and our hearts even more.
A song once said, "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer". Let's work to be better at being a friend with our God too. If you are too busy to talk, to listen and to learn, you are too busy. Let's focus on hearing from His voice and taking time to listen and let's commit to being a friend to the greatest force in the universe. Faith isn't easy and we all want something now, but when we slow down, listen and pay attention, we may find an even deeper and more joyous world than we ever dreamed possible.
Thank you for being a friend dear ones. Thank you for hearing all of our tears, thank you for sharing your tears and thank you God for being the best friend ever. Thank you for your patience and we WILL do better....
Love you all,
When your family doesn't take time to see you, and you haven't seen them in a long time...what do you do? Have you ever thought maybe, you just had been too far away to ever "return" and it is probably just best to go away and not bother anybody?
I have a dear friend who is leaving their family because they don't feel wanted. Do you know what this is like or how this feels? Has your family ever pushed you so far away, you felt thrown out like the garbage? In Bye Bye Birdie, Alma Mae Peterson opens up the movie talking to her son on the phone. She is a Jewish mother who says, "Ok son, so you don't have time to see me, so just throw me out with the garbage!"
Probably one of the most devastating blows any person can know or understand is rejection. It is a weapon more powerful than most ever realize. The second weapon which has been called the sin over all other sins is....gossip. If you perpetuate a lie and you continue to live in a lie and be entangled by the spider web woven against you, it has the power to crush you, your spirit and everything around you.
So here is the plan. Let's go into the war room together and take a few moments and begin with intelligence. It is the first line of military strategy in facing war. There is a war going on for your life, right now, this minute and it is big. This is a war of the mind, body and spirit and it's objective is very simple. The war is about robbing, deceiving and killing you, in every way.
WORDS ARE SPEARS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
A daughter will call and tell her dad, "Is this the kind of man you have become father, I don't want to see you anymore". A grandfather will say, "I don't ever want to talk to you again". A mother will cuss out her child and say, "You are the worst thing that ever happened to me.". A child will tell their parent, "You no longer have a voice in my life" or even, "I now have adopted another religion and as far as you are concerned, you are DEAD".
Do you see and hear how powerful these spears become when you are defeated? Do you realize what you do to your family when you betray them? Do you realize what happens when you don't forgive them? Do you realize the sentence you are carrying out, when you don't call them, invest time in them, work to be in fellowship and real community with them?
Why does it say to honor your father and mother anyway? Why do you think this is important?
One of my godchildren is in trouble, real trouble. He has gone through the worst experience of his life and right now, he needs the love of his parents, but he has post traumatic stress consuming his life and the demons of rage, of bitterness and anger are at his doorstep. What do you do to help him and how can the message of hope begin to infiltrate his life?
This week, my pastor in Nashville, Clint Thomas prayed one of the most powerful prayers as he asked the Holy Spirit to invade the very room where this young man has been placed. To walk into the room, to fill this young man with hope and love and to allow him to see the true love of Christ. Wow, I thought I would love it if every single one of us had people in our lives praying the Holy Spirit would invade our own hearts.
LETS TALK ABOUT YOU
Let's talk about you. Is the Holy Spirit invading your heart? Are you filled with a love unending that is so amazing and beautiful you walk with God in a way like never before? Do you sense a spirit of Christ so powerful, all you want to do is be in a community of love with people who DO LOVE?
Make those closest to you know your needs, don't choose to live talking negatively about others, don't fall into the lie of gossip and use weapons of vocal destruction, instead be different. Choose to start over, choose to live your life full of hope and begin giving. Give to those who reject you. Pray and love your enemies in a way they never would imagine how this miracle is happening.
START LIVING FOR CHRIST TODAY
If you have not chosen to live every moment for Christ, start today. Call your family, connect with them, invest in them, love them even when they are NOT lovable. Choose to forgive, choose to bring joy and hope and there is no "lost cause" and no reason to "give up", but instead to give in to His love more and more every single day.
RESIST GIVING THE SENTENCE
Personally, I am trying to never give a sentence anymore. I am choosing to resist the temptation of hurling bad language, bad behavior and judge anyone. This is hard, especially when we know someone deserves what they get right? We all like when the bad guy gets it, but I can tell you giving someone a sentence only will imprison you, your heart and your joy.
Live in freedom, give your life over to Him today and ask Him to help you so you can feel the liberty once and for all. For those family members who have gone away, if it's possible call them today and let them know you love them, you make mistakes and you want to see them. I know this is big, but God will bless you.
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church.