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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: 5 Things I Learned from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

So, we all know that our news feeds have been blown up with this ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It has spread like wild-fire and has brought up all kinds of enthusiastic support, concerned opinions, and ethical controversies. But this post is not really about ALS or ice buckets. It’s about something deeper that I’ve observed through watching the phenomenon unfold.

1. People like to help others.
YAY. I love that so many people are anxious to rally around something that they believe will help others. One of the blessings of the internet is that we have so much more information about world issues at our fingertips and we are presented with ways to genuinely help. It thrills my heart to see people come together to help others – it is what we were created to do.

2.  [In General] It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon…
… without knowing where it’s going first! Social media has made it easier than ever to attach our name in support to all kinds of things by casually clicking “like” or “share”. The trouble is, clicking a button is SO easy, that many people (myself included) have at times fallen prey to supporting something they haven’t actually researched themselves. This is not a bash to the ALS Association at all – but I do wonder, how many people actually researched the org before preparing the ice water or committing to donate. Just a thought.

3. “Causes” are trendy.
For once, something meaningful is actually trendy. Charities, social justice, causes, helping people – is popular! Awesome. However, I worry about what it actually means for “causes” to be trendy. Are people really donating or wearing that org’s t-shirt because they are passionate about the mission or because they know it’s cool and feel better about themselves when they do? *It’s certainly not for any of us to judge one another.* (ahem, underline-highlight-star) BUT, a good question to ask of ourselves: What is truly my motive?

4. When we all pitch in a little, something MASSIVE is achieved!
The latest news says that the ALS Association has raised a little over $100 million. WOW. In about a month, 100 million dollars were raised by ordinary people all over the country chipping in a little. So often it’s easy to look at major world issues all around us and feel helpless and hopeless in solving them because they just seem too big. But look at what can be accomplished when thousands of people come together in unity over something! Not many people can afford to donate a large amount of money… but when each person donates just a little, whatever they can, it all adds up into being something beyond what each of us could do on our own. (I think there’s a bigger picture lesson here…)

5. What if… people were really challenged to do something.
This is the bottom line for me. If our hearts are really genuine about wanting to help people, about wanting to end disease, world hunger, and heart-breaking issues all over the world… why don’t we really do something?

What if we took all of the good that we’ve witnessed with the ALS challenge: the great intentions, the creative fun, the unity of community, the “nominations” which are encouraging others to make a difference too, and generosity, and put that towards the calling that God has specifically given you?

Each of us have been given special talents and gifts to use for God’s glory. And as we follow Jesus, He breathes a unique passion into our heart to serve the world in a specific way. Our purpose is to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39) – our mission is how specifically He is calling us to do that.

Perhaps you’re passionate about abolishing sex trafficking. Finding a cure for cancer. Digging wells for people without clean water. Adopting orphans. Mentoring troubled kids. Caring for the elderly. Serving the homeless. Mending broken families. Ministering to prisoners. Whatever. It. Is.

[[I challenge YOU.]] You have 24 hours to pray about this, consider what God is speaking to you, and take the first action step. It doesn’t have to be big, just one step. Then, whenever you’re ready, share your passion with others. “Nominate” (encourage) others to join you and to take up their own challenge in the callings they’ve received.

 

“… Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

Are You Following?

So, unfortunately it looks like facebook doesn’t like the idea of changing your name when you have a facebook fan page. This means I have to leave my Paige Armstrong page behind and start a brand new Paige Omartian one from scratch. Will you help to make the transition easy by joining me on my new page? I don’t want to loose a single one of you! Besides, it’s gonna be a party over there. ;)  http://www.facebook.com/paigeomartian

 

ENGAGED!

My dear friends,

As many of you know, I have recently had the most exciting months of my life as I am now engaged to be married to the incredible man that God has so graciously given to me. God has written a beautiful and unexpected story in Chris and I as He brought us together. I wanted to share a few of our engagement photos with you as well as a link where you can catch a glimpse of our story in a recent press release: Click Here .

Words can’t describe how thrilled and grateful we both are for the gift that God has given us in each other. I look forward to sharing more of our journey along the way as we step into this new and life changing season in our lives. One thing that has been made very clear to me at this time… is that it is WORTH the wait!

The Reckless Rescue

“And we ask all of these things in Jesus’ name, amen,” said my pastor as he finished praying for the surgery I was about to have. Each person who had gathered by my hospital bed gave me a hug and a reassuring smile as I was wheeled away.

It was time. I had been battling cancer with chemotherapy for five months now and was about to have the surgery to replace the bone in my leg where the cancer was. So much of my treatment depended on this surgery.

Only one family member was allowed to make the walk to the surgery room with me, so my dad took my hand and reminded me of the verses we’d been reciting from Psalm 121 as we were led down the maze of halls. We finally came to a set of massive metal doors whose only purpose seemed to be to intimidate the people who walked through them. At that point, I was asked to say goodbye to my dad— no other person besides the patient and the hospital staff were allowed to proceed further. He kissed my forehead and comfortingly squeezed the stuffed dog I was clinging to. Then, they rolled me on…

Read the rest here: http://bit.ly/cf0n9q

This article was published in YouthWalk magazine.