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Community and a Contest

When I started blogging almost two years ago, I had no clear direction. I just knew I had some things to say and having a place to say it (and perhaps even have a few people listen) seemed like a pretty cool thing. Seems like a self-absorbed endeavor if you stop and think about it.

But I didn’t.

Think about it, that is.

For months I was sort of winging it. If you go back and read some of my earliest writing, that’s evident. It was all about me and what I thought. But that gets boring. Seriously — who cares? I didn’t even care all that much.

But then a wonderful thing happened. This blog became less about me and more about the relationships that were beginning to take form here and on other blogs I frequented. As the popularity of this blog grew, so did my sense of responsibility to help others when and where I could. I’m still not that big a deal, not even so much a medium sized deal, but I do what I can.

Last month I wrote a post about my friend Sarah Salter. Sarah will be going to the Sudan on a mission trip this summer, and my friend Wendy at Weight What is helping raise money for her expenses by donating a portion of the proceeds of sales from her Etsy shop to Sarah’s mission fund. You will find a link to Wendy’s shop on the right hand side bar of this blog.

To kick things off, Wendy suggested a giveaway. Because who doesn’t like some free stuff? The first prize winner will receive one of her $28 shirts, which are a available in a variety of sizes.

Second prize winner will receive a set of button wraps.

To enter, simply tell me in the comments section why you think you deserve to win. Be creative — a poem, haiku, short story – whatever. If you’re on the twitter (and if you’re not, then why not?), tweet your three favorite items from the shop, then come back here and let me know you did.

As in previous contests here, I will not be judging the entries. I will once again call upon my friends Jeff and Tamara Hogan – two of my non-virtual friends. (Jeff and Tam, if you’re reading this, thank you in advance for agreeing to judge the contest – Snort!) You have until Thursday, February 18, midnight CST to enter. Enter early. Early often. And please, no wagering.

If you find something there that you simply can’t live without, be sure to put “Sarah” in the comments section of your order so that a portion of the proceeds will go towards her mission trip.





Editor’s Note: I realize this has been a pretty serious week here at Hey Look a Chicken, so tomorrow I promise to post something incredibly stupid and ridiculous. Sorry/you’re welcome.

Now Go…

A woman on a mission

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~Matthew 28: 18-20

Do you believe that all the world is the mission field? I honestly do. I think we all can be ambassadors for Christ in our homes, at our workplaces, at the grocery store, anywhere.

Having said that, I think it takes a special person to give up the comforts of home to travel to distant lands and be the hands and feet of Christ. My friend Sarah Salter is one such person. She has been on several mission trips in her young life, and now she has been given an opportunity to go on another one to the Sudan. Here’s Sarah in her own words:

Isaiah 61:1 has always been one of my favorite scriptures…

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”

As much as this is a scripture about Christ, because I’m a follower of Christ, I also accept that it’s my personal calling as well. The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD has also anointed ME to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim freedom for the captives. Because of this calling, when missionary Rose Boyd came by my office the week before Christmas to invite me to come with her to minister to the refugees in Sudan, I immediately felt compelled to say yes.

From July 11-25, 2010, I will be joining Rose and a team of ten from Operation Teaching Tools and Every Nation Education to travel to Sudan and minister there. We will be doing Vacation Bible School with the refugee children, as well as doing teacher training and evangelism and a bit of construction.

In order for me to take part in this trip, I am responsible for raising my own support, in the amount of $4,050. If you believe that God would have you to give a tax deductible contribution, you can contact me at If you wish to send a check, please make checks payable to Operation Teaching Tools and mail them to:

Sarah Salter
PO Box 54
Falcon, NC 28342

On behalf of the team and the folks we’ll be ministering to, I would ask that you pray for us. Sudan is a severely impoverished, war-torn country who is in its third year of drought. The needs are great, but I know that your prayers will give us strength, wisdom, and favor to take Jesus to this part of the world. Thank you!


As I mentioned before, Sarah has been on several mission trips. It is part of what God has called her to do. She is also an excellent writer. On her blog, she has chronicled three such mission trips:

A Priceless Hope
Her name was Hope. Okay, well, sorta. Her name was Esperanza, which in Spanish, means “hope.” She was nine years old and cute as a bug’s ear, with a smile that would make Oscar the Grouch’s heart get soft. But the day that she was carried into our mission clinic in Concordia, Argentina, she was far too scared to smile. She sat in her mother’s lap and buried her face in her mother’s neck. continue reading

When There’s Nothing You Can Do
”Did you see Nightline on Thursday night?” Chrissy sat across the table from me last Saturday afternoon helping count out 25,000 adult multivitamins into packets of 30 for an upcoming mission trip.

I shook my head and glanced at her to let her know that I was listening as I tried not to lose count.

“I thought about you because I know you’ve been to Congo a couple times….”
continue reading

The Water, The Widowmaker, and the “Why”
When I was very young, I had a strong desire to do mission work. I didn’t think that I’d ever be a strong enough Christian for God to use me. I managed to spend a week at a teen missions camp when I was about 15, but then I put the dream away. Then, when I was 19, God opened the door for me to go on a construction team to Galeana, Mexico. I spent several days, shoveling gravel into a cement mixer (and learning how to spit to keep from swallowing the gravel dust). And that was all it took for me to be hooked. continue reading

From the Bottom to the Banquet (by Sarah Salter)

In addition to classing up my blog a bit, another outcome of Billy Coffey’s Monday posts here has been the introduction to some really good writers via the comments section. Sarah is one such writer. Before she sent me her post, Sarah asked if I wanted something “real”. Oh yeah, I’m all up in real. I love real! Here’s Sarah:

I hit rock bottom thirteen years ago. On Sunday, September 22, 1996 I woke up in Virginia Beach, in a house I’d never seen before, wearing someone else’s clothes. I sat up and watched the mid-morning sun stream through the window of a strange bedroom. For the first time in months, the alcohol, nicotine, and drug-enhanced fog cleared. It was time to go home.

How did I get here? I was a pastor’s daughter and granddaughter and niece and grandniece. I had always gone to church and believed in God. I knew the difference between right and wrong; and believed in doing the right thing. At eleven years old, I had asked Jesus to be my Savior. But now, as I stood in a strange bathroom, smoothing my hair in the mirror, I didn’t recognize this person that I was looking at—and I didn’t like her either.

Going home was a simple thing. Sorta. It was a simple three-hour drive south. But the emotional and spiritual trip was a lot steeper and more treacherous. Like an epic journey of sorts. First, I had to seek the truth about how I had gotten to rock bottom. Then, I had to allow the people in my life to see the truth about me. Honestly, that was the part that terrified me the most. It was hard enough to look in the mirror, take off my mask, and like myself. To then show that dirty, bloody, sweaty face to the world…

I couldn’t do it. At least, not at first. I came back to my parents’ house and threw away my cigarettes, beer, and pills. I started spending more time at church. Got a good church-going boyfriend. Hung out with good church-going friends. I immersed myself in my pseudo-Christian spiritual pool and ignored the real issues. I wasn’t really healing—I was hiding. I was putting another layer of band-aids on my heart, but not letting the Holy Spirit do surgery. Whenever I slowed down, the Holy Spirit would be there whispering to me that He wanted to do more and be more to me. I was afraid of the process—afraid of the pain. And so, I ran.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about a man named Mephibosheth. He was the son of King David’s best friend, Jonathan. When he was a child, he had been dropped by his nurse and was lame in both feet. Because of the strife between King David and King Saul (Mephibosheth’s grandfather), Mephiboheth had lived for years in exile in a desolate country called Lo Debar. But when King David heard that his friend’s crippled son was living in exile, he sent for him and called him to come live in the King’s house and eat at the King’s table like he was a son of the King.

I can identify with Mephibosheth. I was crippled by sin and spent a lot of time in Lo Debar before I finally accepted the invitation to live in the King’s house and eat at the King’s table.

Running three hours north to my non-Christian boyfriend hadn’t healed me when I was eighteen. So, when I was twenty, I ran three hours west to be near my Christian boyfriend. I made this man my idol and determined that his love was going to heal me and give me peace and a purpose. It didn’t work. It couldn’t work. It made the gap between me and God even bigger. And it pulled my boyfriend further away from God, too. We threw away two years on a relationship that was doomed to fail and at the end, I was at rock bottom again. And this time, my life circumstances wouldn’t allow me to go home to my parents’ house to heal. This time, it was just me and God.

I have spent the last ten years walking home from Lo Debar. And my writing—my blog, my guest posts, the magazine articles that I write, and my personal journal—are all parts of the travelogue. I’ve decided that if I’m going to accept the King’s invitation (which I have accepted) to live in His house and sit at His table, I want to take as many people with me as I can.

You can see that I’ve taken my mask off now. It’s something that I have to choose to do on a day-by-day, minute-by-minute basis. When I started writing, I made a promise to God, to myself, and to my readers that no matter what, I would be real with us all. Every time I write, I have to take off my mask and risk getting hurt. But if it helps other to accept the King’s invitation, it’s worth it.

Won’t you join me for the trip? The King is waiting and the banquet is worth it.

To read more from Sarah, visit her at Living between the Lines and follow her on the twitter, @sarahmsalter