One year ago today…

Celebrating God's goodness, Dt 14 styleToday the Pitman family is celebrating God’s goodness in our lives.

You see, after the political campaign, we decided it was a great time for me to be self-employed. I had a couple books to finish writing. I was going out to Seattle to record a couple fundraising training DVDs. And there was an online community that was getting started. All three things looked profitable in the near term.

Seemed like a good idea at the time. Five months later, neither book had been picked up by a publisher, neither DVD had been produced (despite both being filmed), and the online community was helping people but not generating any revenue.

Things weren’t going exactly as we’d planned. But we still really believed that God was calling us to this journey of self-employment. So I’d fallen into a pattern of trying to promote FundraisingCoach.com and looking for a major gifts job.

Talk about split vision! “How is your fundraising training plan for this year? Oh, you’re alset? Ok…could I apply for that a job you have open?” I never did that but I probably came across that way! I was trying to provide for my family but it was not exactly inspiring confidence in clients!

You have a year

As I remember it, on this day last year my wife and I had another teary, stressed out conversation about our life. At the conclusion, she said, “You have a year to make this work.”

What a gift! You see, she didn’t say it in the tone of, “You idiot, you have one year to get your act together!” She was giving me permission to focus 100% on Fundraising Coach. Trusting that that would provide for our family.

What a year it’s been

The books still aren’t published, the online community isn’t producing income, and only one of the fundraising training DVDs has been produced. But this year has been amazing:

  • But I’ve been able to speak all over the country and even internationally.
  • I’ve gotten a lot smarter about running a business. (I use contracts now. Hadn’t even done that before!)
  • My wife and I have started blogging about being a traveling spouse and staying married. (She’s an excellent writer. And we make a great team, if I do say so myself!)
  • I’ve received some great honors.

As my wife said recently, “This is our life now!” And it is.

So today we celebrate

We’ve worked our tails of as a family. Last week, when we were asking the kids what they’d be grateful for, our 9 year old said she thanks God that I’ve taken all the risks I have since the Peter Mills campaign because we get to do what we are doing.

And today, we’re taking a cue from Deuteronomy 14:22-26 and celebrating God’s goodness in our lives. Today is filled with family, a new Wii game we can all enjoy (Super Mario Kart), steak and garlic mash potatoes, and reveling in God.

What about you? How do you celebrate?

Update: For my wife’s take on this year, check out her post We Did It.

Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, Part 3

Over the last couple days, I’ve been looking at how was can work to end slavery. (See Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, Part 2 to catch up.)

Here are a few more ideas on how to work to end slavery:

We live in the richest nation on earth. There’s no excuse for every American to be giving more than 10% of their income to charity: tithing to their church and supporting other causes. God will ask us did with the wealth He trusted us with, whether we’d consider our current income wealth or not.

God freed us. Why would we not do anything in our power to free others?

This is why I’m so proud of people in our church like Janice Murray who’s leading an Addicts Victorious group, helping people get free of things that addict them. That’s actively fighting against slavery. And the affects of that group could have global impact!

   

Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, Part 2

Yesterday I suggested making a resolution to work to end slavery. That was the first in a 3-part look at this commitment and my wrestling with what to do about it.

Little did I know that January 11, 2008 was Human Trafficking Awareness Day!

And I know that it’s often US citizens that are creating the “demand” for this trade.

I have a huge problem with our government spraying drug crops in Latin America or twisting those governments to when it’s our own citizens buying the drugs. Trade is supply and demand. Trying to eradicate the supply is one way to stop the traffic. One that doesn’t cause us to confront our own demons as a country. We can just blame “them,” those guys over there.

But the truth is, if we Americans didn’t by drugs, the drug producers would eventually go out of business.

Same with the sex trafficking. If we were able to free people from the bondage of pornography and abuse, we might be doing our part to curb the demand.

This may be a place to start.

   

Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, Part 1

Even though it’s mid-January, I’m still hearing a lot about New Year Resolutions. So I thought I might offer one for your consideration: working to end slavery.

Seriously.

There are currently around 27 million slaves on the planet. That’s more than the twice the total number of slaves taken from Africa in the 300 to 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade.

27 million.

And I’m not refering to the kind of “slavery” we sort of joke about in our middle-class terminology, working for a hard boss or being up to our ears in consumer debt.

I’m talking about 27 million men, women, and children sold against their will into slavery with no hope of release. Men, women, and children forced into making rugs, rolling cigarrettes, making bricks. And more often that not being forced to have sex. “Rape for profit” as the International Justice Mission calls it.

Kids the age of all three of my kids: 2, 5, and 8. It’s sickening.

And I don’t really know what to do about it.

But God’s had my wife and I on a steep learning curve for the last few months. Human trafficking and sex trafficking books and articles keep finding their way to us.

What’s shocking is that slavery is so involved in so much of our normal life here in the USA. It’s even involved with much of the chocolate we eat.

I do know I can ask God to keep at me until I overcome my apparent indifference.

And I can support groups like International Justice Mission and others. (I’d love to figure out how my fundraising experience could be used to help them!)