Celebrating Compassion Sunday and Releasing Children from Poverty

It’s Compassion Sunday which means churches all across the world are celebrating how children are being rescued in Jesus’ name.

Look at how St. John’s Lutheran in Buffalo, MN, has decorated their church.


(Technology not playing nice? Watch it on YouTube)

Photos of Compassion children, their sponsoring families, and letters sent back and forth makes the whole thing seem more personal.

It’s not a child on the other side of the world and a family here.

It’s a family spread across the world.

They belong together.

This Compassion Sunday, let’s stop poverty for children one child at a time.

When you put it all in a frame, it does’t seem so foreign.

Sponsor a child.

For the first time or maybe add another little boy or little girl to your family.

If you sponsor a child through that link, let me know and I’ll send you a free CD as a thank you gift.

Blessings friend,

Peder

November and Children

It’s amazing that it is November 2014. I really enjoy November.

It’s Thanksgiving. For the Eide family that means getting together with extended family for lots of fun food and football.

It’s the start of basketball season for most teams.

It’s also when we start thinking towards Advent and Christmas.

There might be some snow which means snowmobiles and snow blowers…ok not as fun but still very pretty when it comes. :)

IMG_3080

Makenzie, Teshome, and me

One thing about November that is close to the heart of Eide family is that it is National Adoption Month. It’s a month to pay extra attention to needs of orphans and the power of adoption.

As most of you know our Makenzie is adopted from Korea and our son Teshome is from Ethiopia. I never have enough passion to express what an amazing gift and privilege it is from the Lord to have them in our family!

When I write about these subjects, the comment I get is something like “We are not an adoptive family so this is a bit irrelevant to me.”

I get that.

But I believe I speak for our family and for a lot of other families when I say that orphan care and adoption is a team effort.

Even more so it is a need that still warrants more attention. It can easily fly under the radar because adoption seems like a parent thing or that orphan’s thing or foster care is for those amazing people who have a heart for that.

Would you be willing to hear me when I say caring for children in need is a believer in Jesus thing?

James says it’s true religion when we take care of those who can’t help themselves.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT)

Why does Jesus talk so much about taking care of orphans, widows, the sick, imprisoned, disabled, and so on?

I think because He knew in our fallen world it would be a huge issue and because those people are His sons and daughters.

Yet it’s easy to forget.

Me and one of our sponsored children Ziana in Uganda

Me and one of our sponsored children, Ziana in Uganda

Can we do something this month to fight for the children in poverty, orphans, families in adoption, and families willing to be foster care families?

Being blunt my friends, if you say you love Jesus, then this challenge involves you and your love for your Savior. Scripture is clear. It’s not a duty; it’s an act of being a follower.

So for this month here are some ideas for you, my friends, to engage in the lives of children in need this November.

1. Find a family you know in your community that is adopting or has adopted and ask what they need. Don’t assume what they will say. Every family is unique. They will appreciate it more than you could imagine. Believe me: it will be a blessing.

2. Find an agency that deals with adoption/foster care and call them/email them and ask what needs can be met. It’s not just about money. It would be awareness, Facebook posts, clothes, volunteers, etc.

3. Sponsor a child in a third world country with Compassion International. You have heard me say a hundred times but it works and once you engage in it, your life will be more filled for it and a child in need can meet Jesus in a real way through your sponsorship.

There are 30 days in this month to do something. Please don’t say “I’ll do it later.”

When Jesus said when we reach out to the least that that is Him, He meant it for real.

You might be amazed how God uses your willingness to help a child to actually draw you closer to Jesus Himself.

Let’s make a significant impact this November.

Thanks for reading.

God is good all the time,

Peder

Traditions are Like Light

It’s been great to see so many of you on Christmas Tour this December. Those of you who’ve made it out so far have seen this little tree sitting on the piano. It’s become a tradition and is part of every Christmas concert we do.

Here’s a little pre-concert vlog about the light that traditions bring:


(watch the video on YouTube)

Traditions are like light. They help us when we get lost.

They’re worship and they’re worth repeating year after year.

What new tradition are you going to start this Christmas?

(If you want to sponsor a child, here’s the link to Compassion).

A simple phrase from Summit 9

Earlier this month I was honored to be the host and lead some worship for Summit 9. It’s a two-day conference presented by the Christian Alliance For Orphans. Ministries that specialize in adoption, orphan care, foster care, and advocacy for children in need are all part of the event. People associated with these ministries along with families who are considering adoption, foster care, or being a part of orphan ministries all attend. 2500 people from 49 states and 25 countries all descended on Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN.

"That's What Family Does" at Summit

Leading worship at Summit
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

It was an amazing, overwhelming, emotional, fun, and heart-filling two days. So much passion, dedication, and commitment to reaching and serving those cannot help themselves.

It affirmed and reignited the fire Sherri and I have burning inside us for ministries like Compassion and the blessing of our adoption. Even more so an ever-clarifying focus on helping son and daughters, moms and dads become more deeply connected through worship.

So why am I giving you an update on the event and our experience? It probably is sounding like a state of Peder Eide address.

With Nicole C. Mullen

Chatting with Nicole C. Mullen
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

It’s because of simple phrase Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, said a couple times. It’s not profound nor a fancy lyric. It wasn’t a little, unknown verse that is rarely recited but a phrase is deeply rooted in scripture.

The phrase that came up each time Jedd would speak was: “we need to act.”

That’s it.

No big ooohs and awwwws. Just that phrase.

“We need to act.”

It strikes me because it seems so much of ministry time is spent in having more conversations, discussions, online get-togethers, and so on. Not only does time get wasted but our heart fire and desire starts to fade.

Hear me clearly: being planned, focused, and organized are right and I am not advocating we become reckless in our actions with no sense of outcome or consequence.
I am however believing that we can become so caught up in studying needs, discussing understandings, and seeking more information that we could actually become emotionally convinced we’ve done enough without ever acting.

Thats What family Does at Summit 1

Singing “That’s What Family Does”
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

The following verses seem pretty clear to me:

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:17-18 NIV

It’s why we advocate for Compassion children. It’s why we adopted. It’s why we try to be rescuers as best as we can with what we have.

Acting doesn’t make you more righteous than someone who does not. No. Never.
It does, however, take you from an observer to a participant.

Remember: life is better caught than taught.

I needed to hear this, Jedd.

Thanks, Summit 9. Thanks, CAFO. Thank you to all who act.

It works.

What do you need to act on?
If you were at Summit 9, what was your one take away?

Goodbye to a Ragamuffin of a Teacher

On April 12 the earth said goodbye to author/speaker/teacher Brennan Manning. He wrote books like Abba’s Child, Ruthless Trust, and most notably The Ragamuffin Gospel.

Photo from BrennanManning.com

Photo from BrennanManning.com

I actually got to take in Brennan’s teaching in person at a Compassion Artist’s Retreat in Nashville in 2001. It was one the first times I got be a participant rather than a presenter. It was also unique because the participants were all musicians, speakers, and communicators who spend their life traveling the road using their gifts, skills, and art to help people connect with Jesus and at the same be time an advocate to rescue children who can’t rescue themselves.

I remember being a bit intimated. It was a room filled with my musical role models and people whose mark on Christian music and ministry made a path for me to do what I do. I had feelings of being out of my league, a ministry misfit, unworthy to even sit with them. Wrong? Probably but I was so amazed at the wealth of talent in the room I was giving in to my insecurities of “not good enough” and I prayed “Please, God, help me not miss You.”

When Brennan came out for the first session, he wandered to the front in his white hair, kind of abrasive demeanor and started by saying “I want to put a sign in the entry of my house that says, ‘Don’t come in here and should on me!’”

He then proceeded to spew out words about we need to stop treating each other, and more so ourselves, like we need to try harder, be better, and live with guilt of “if only I would have, should have, or could have, then God would be more pleased with me.”

I was hit with a fire hose of Gospel.

I thought I was there for fellowship and some sweet candy inspiration when I actually experienced two days of a life-changing truth I never trusted: the God creator of all calls me His son and I get to call Him Abba.

It was that retreat where God would start a new work in me through Jesus that would change my songwriting, worship leading, and teaching.

It was where Father’s love would taste like it never had before. Healing started and, to be honest, still continues.

One of my favorite fruits came the weeks after that time with Brennan, a song I am so glad I got to write: “Abba I Belong To You.”

Yep, that’s where it started. Brennan actually taught me the phrase. It has changed me forever, and I have never tired of singing and leading the song.

I never got to see Brennan Manning after that weekend. I wish I could have. I would have loved play the song for him.

Brennan’s life has been recorded as hard with lots of bumps, frustrations, and falls. I get it.

I am also grateful for that window God opened in my heart those spring days in Tennessee and that He used a ragamuffin to get my attention.

I am forever grateful Brennan.

I belong to my Abba Father God. Not matter how many times I “should” on me.

Have you been influenced by the life of Brennan Manning? Have you found the song “Abba I Belong to You” to be helpful?

In memory of Brennan, you can download “Abba I Belong to You” for free at PederEide.com. Feel free to share this with anyone who you think would be blessed by it.

Abba adores you.

Peder

It Came in the Mail- Writing “Come to the Rescue”

On the Rescue project, a song that was truly a labor and love to write was “Come To The Rescue.” My 13-plus years of partnership with Compassion International and adopting two of my children has revolutionized my heart and the heart of my family. Our ministry’s heart for orphan care has grown and continues to become more passionate. After we had written and recorded “Roll The Stone Away” on the Taste and See project, I discovered I wanted to write more about this theme: the urgency of taking care of children in poverty, orphans, little ones who can easily go unnoticed and the hurt to advocate for them and tell the stories of how the Father God’s heart is all about this.

When we were writing the Rescue CD, I had always kept a bunch of side notes about God’s heart for the poor, left behind, widows, orphans, and so on. The difference this time was finding the word or words that would really speak of what happens when you reach out to a child and pour some of yourself into them AND how we just can’t procrastinate about doing something. I was standing in my kitchen with my wife, Sherri, when one our staff brought a package we received from Compassion.

It was information about a new program called Rescue Me, a ministry specifically for children who are under five years of age and are at high risk of not surviving. It was this ministry and more so this word “rescue.” Rescue means “to free or deliver form confinement, danger, or evil.” That said everything to me.

I already had a tune in my head that I came up when I was on a run so I started to lay down some ideas and immediately sent them to Bob Stromberg and my producer Paul Marino. Because they both have a heart for Compassion and children in need, we went right to work.

The one thing about the song that is different is it has less of a feel of gentleness or graciousness. What I mean is that sometimes when we talk about a subject like this we tend to approach it with “Would you mind if we talk about poverty?” or “If it doesn’t make you uncomfortable, could I tell you about children who are hurting?” The word rescue itself pretty much squelches that. To rescue someone is not convenient; it’s an urgent moment. When we wrote this song, we wanted to be true to the word and the reality. Children need to be rescued. It’s urgent and not always convenient.

Check out the “Come to the Rescue” video.

Please retweet it, re-post it, share it in whatever way you can. It’s not about charity; it’s about justice.

If you go to www.PederEide.com and click on the Compassion Tab and sponsor a child, we will send you a copy of Rescue. Just email me at peder@pedereide.com and tell me you sponsored a child and we will get the music.

Here is a come to the “Come to the Rescue” ringtone download: Cometotherescueringtone

In a village by the river where the water once ran sweet
a child and her family would gather there to eat
now she sits there weeping, hungry and alone
it’s all gone
poverty surrounds her and weaves it’s wicked spell
She hides inside her memories to bear this living hell
The voice the whispered hopes and dreams has all but gone away
gone away
All that she has
is a bowl full of tears
a stomach that’s aching
a heart that is breaking
praying somehow someone somewhere will hear
and come to the rescue

He wanders through the garbage down a moon-lit, muddy street
looking for shelter, just anywhere to sleep
for a little boy who’s eight years old, it’s hard to understand:
Why did they die and leave him behind?
All that he has is a bowl full of tears,
a stomach that’s aching,
a heart that is breaking
praying somehow someone somewhere will hear
and come to the rescue

Can you hear them? Will you listen?
Can you hear them? The forgotten and alone
Will you listen? To the hungry and afraid
Can you hear them? The one that’s losing hope
Will you listen? It doesn’t have to be this way
Can you hear them? / Can you hear them?
Will you listen? / Will you listen?

Until all that you have is a bowl full of tears,
a stomach that’s aching,
a heart that is breaking
to be the somehow someone somewhere who hears
and comes to rescue
Come to the rescue
Can you hear them? Will you listen?
Can you hear their cries? Is your heart breaking?
Can you feel the aching inside?
Can you hear them calling, calling
come to the rescue
come to the rescue

I never dreamed a song would come to me through the mail.

Keep carrying the Kingdom of God, my friends, to all who need the presence of our Abba Father.

God is good all the time.

Peder

The Power of Relationship

I referenced in an earlier post about a special reunion that happened on our trip to India. We flew to Bhubaneswar the night before and in the morning I got to witness one of the neatest experiences I have had since being an artist for Compassion.

Julia Jones is a 17 year old young lady from Oregon who has sponsored Remya, a child from southern India, since she was eight years old. For eleven years, Remya and Julia exchanged letters, photos, cards, and a special friendship. Now they had the once in a lifetime meeting. This is not an exaggeration.

Remya had flown from southern India the night before. So Julia waited at our hotel for Remya to arrive with her mother and a translator. When Remya walked through the door… I think the picture tells the best part of the story:

This was years of letter writing, picture exchanges, and praying for each other. Oh how the day was amazing! They laughed, talked, laughed, cried, and talked some more. Remya would hold Julia’s hand or arm as much as possible. It was like she was making sure that she took in every experiential moment she could. As I stood and watched, I would glance over to see Steve, Julia’s dad, beam with so much pride and love for his daughter’s faithfulness and love for Remya.

This is what the gospel is, not just about, but is! By God’s grace we get to share His Kingdom through our own life with others and even receive His Kingdom from others at the same time! The above picture is one of the best tastes of heaven you can have.

When we live Philippians 2:3 and consider others better than ourselves, we see God’s Kingdom as bright as day. I read scripture to say that our Abba Father God watches and beams with so much love and affirmation for us.

Today, what if you actually said you are going to sponsor a child, not a number, not a picture but a child. A Remya. You have God’s Kingdom in you through Jesus Christ. You can’t lose when you love, when you build that relationship. It looks like this:

Visit Compassion‘s website to learn more about sponsoring a child.  To get a first hand read on Julia and Remya, go to the http://jonesbones5.com/ . It’s awesome blog.

God is good all the time!

Peder

The Real Thing

While traveling in India, I had a couple of chances to workout. The exercise room in the hotel had a tv that was showing a movie that looked familiar to me. At second glance I realized it was the movie Rocky IV. The classic movie is about the boxer Rocky Balboa taking on the super-sized Russian fighter Drago to avenge the death of his friend Apollo Creed. It’s a movie with little Oscar-potential but you leave the theater with the desire to fight the world.

What was strange about the Rocky movie on the tv was that it was a remake. A remake with all Indian actors using the same poses, lines, boxing scenes, camera angles. Only the actors were different. Well, and, of course the Rocky character had Indian-colored shorts instead of USA. They even added the “Cut me, Mick” scene even though that was from an earlier Rocky movie.

It struck me how I found myself with this cheapened feeling with this imitation. It felt just wrong. The original, genuine movie is out there and some people only know the imitation.

We visited a couple of Hindu Temples in India.

There are about 330 million gods and goddesses in the Hindu understanding. 330,000,000! It’s unreal to comprehend. A very confusing concept.

Hmmm. (read it again)

We were walking back down the steps leaving the temple pictured above and passed a boy with a crippled leg hopping on one leg up the steps to get to the temple. His determination and ability to keep up with his friends as they navigated the steps was amazing. One of my friends made the comment, “He is going to do all that work to get to the top and there will be nothing for him there.”

That comment struck me to the bone. He was right. If that sweet boy was looking for something that heals, something that make a difference, he would find nothing at the top of those stairs. Nothing.

When Jesus says in John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” He means He is the only One. Not the 330,000,001. It’s not being judgmental; it’s pointing out the truth and who Jesus said He was. You will not be disappointed when you seek Jesus. You will find Him.

Anything else is just an imitation that will leave you empty and left wanting.

It’s a major reason why I love what Compassion does. They are in the midst of all the imitations with the only thing that is real: Jesus.

God is good all the time!

Peder

A Lighter Day

Emotional energy has been spent, that’s for sure.  After a couple of days of Compassion projects and riding in the Kolkata traffic (an unreal experience which brings my vow to never again complain about traffic in Minneapolis) we flew from Kolkata to Bhubaneswar to visit more projects. I also got to witness one of the most amazing reunions I have ever seen. That blog/vlog will be coming next but until then I give you a vlog on our day off visiting a local wildlife sanctuary and an old temple called Lions Tigers and Monkeys. Just a little fun.

Enjoy and stay tuned.

Peder