Monday, December 27, 2010

The best gift ever

Is it wrong for me to have the holiday blues? After all I have gained 10 pounds in a week, my clothes are tight, I’m coming down from a sugar high, and our new puppy has kept me up two nights in a row! I’m already headed back on the road and we still have Christmas presents stacked in every corner of the house. Even better is the thought of making 20 trips to the attic to put up all the Christmas stuff next weekend! You will have to forgive my negative attitude. Give me nine months and I’ll be ready for the next season. I promise honey!

Regardless of my “poor” Christmas spirit, I have to be honest; I love presents. But who doesn’t like getting presents? Not a single one of us, not even the Grinch himself, would want to get rid of presents. This year marked my 35th Christmas and I still receive the same warmth in my heart when my mom passes out presents that I did 25 years ago. But what about giving presents? At what point in our life do we feel this same warmth in our heart from giving a present that we have when we receive a present? Some famous guy, after all, did say "It is more blessed to give than to receive." However, faced with a holiday season that's too often fraught with chaos, stress, waste, and debt, it's easy to lose track of the pleasure and meaning of giving.

This year has probably been my favorite, probably because of my kids. One is four and the other is two. This meant they not only understood the joy of opening presents but they were able to start understanding the true meaning of Christmas. More than ever before I anticipated Christmas morning, not for the gifts I would receive, not for the piles of food, not for the time off from work, but rather the look on our kids’ faces when they saw their new puppy. But, much to my dismay, the kids were less impressed with the cute, cuddly puppy and more excited to give me my Christmas present (a present our daughter personally picked out). It took everything in her power to keep my present a secret. As much as she wanted to open her present, she really wanted me to open my present. I guess you could say I learned a lesson this year from a four year old. To be honest I think I learned several:

  1. It can be more blessed to give than to receive. And why not, the central theme to Christmas is both receiving and giving. How often do we lose sight of this?
  2. The time we spend with our children is priceless. You see, this present (the sled) derived from a summer trip we took to White Sands, New Mexico. During that trip I slid down the sand on my stomach, kids in tow! They haven’t forgotten.
  3. Every child deserves to know someone loves them. We take for granted the value we have as parents and the impact we can have on our children by spending time with them and showing them true love.
  4. The lessons we teach a child today will shape them forever. As a parent I’m overwhelmed with the pressure of having a positive impact on my children. There is no greater opportunity to teach them life’s valuable lessons than the holiday season, especially the true meaning of Christmas and the joy of celebrating this time with family.

Now we find ourselves less than a week away from a New Year. At that point and time we will discard resolutions from the past year, many of which we failed, and replace them with new, improved resolutions. However, before you make those resolutions I ask you to consider joining the Red Page team as we strive to focus on these four things above. Would you consider supporting our ministry financially as we invest in the lives of Romania’s children? Help us show these children the joy of receiving. Help us fill a void for so many children that do not know someone loves them. Help us invest in a team that will spend quality time with them. Help us teach these children life’s lessons that will shape them for the future.

Red Page is new and we have many needs. However, our greatest need is the empowerment to share the Gift of Christ in 2011. Your financial gift will allow us the opportunity to share this gift. Red Page is a 501 (c)(3) and all gifts are tax deductable. You can mail your gift to P.O. Box 53653, Lubbock, TX 79453. For additional information you can email us at

From all of us at Red Page Ministries we wish you a Happy New Year. Aspire to new heights. Jon

Monday, December 20, 2010

Excess Baggage

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.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.” 1 John 3:16-18

I’ve done a lot of travelling the last two months. Scratch that; I’ve done a lot of travelling the last six years! Most of my travel this year has been via car, but I’ve flown a few times as well. Last week I flew out to L.A. for the weekend. It had been a while since my last time to fly. I was so focused on the new screening processes that I almost forgot the excessive baggage fees.

Fortunately I was flying Southwest where “Bags fly free!” A few weeks ago I saw a report on baggage fees. Did you know that from July to September of 2010 airlines raked in over 900 million dollars in bag fees alone? Delta brought in $1.26 billion the first 9 months. I’m far from a philosopher and I rarely, if ever, use this blog as a political platform; however, something is wrong with this country when there are needs all over the world and even in our own country yet the airlines make this kind of profit on bags alone.

Just out of curiosity I Googled “How much would it cost to end world poverty?” After all we Google everything, right? Anyhow, the first answer I found was “A lot!” Not exactly sure how much “a lot” really is, but to me 3.6 billion dollars (estimated annual baggage income) is a lot. I truly doubt 3.6 billion dollars could end world poverty but it would make a significant dent.

People complain about how little a dollar is any more. They say that a dollar doesn't have the buying power it used to (it takes 25 to reserve a spot for your bag). I’m honestly surprised they still have “one dollar stores.” I figured by now they would at least be the “five dollar stores!” Granted a dollar cannot go quiet as far as it once did. You cannot get a gallon of gas for a dollar. Not that long ago you could get 10 gallons. You cannot get a bag of popcorn at the movies for a dollar. Not that long ago you could buy your movie ticket, coke, and popcorn for a dollar. I can still get my large coke from McDonalds for a dollar but there was a time you could get your entire meal for that dollar.

Just one dollar in our pocket does not provide much peace of mind. Now days $25 in our pocket doesn’t go very far. Kept in our pocket this $25 will not get us too much. However, if you give this $25 to Red Page ministries it can:
  • Feed a poor family living in rural Romania for a month.
  • Give a child living in rural Romania a Christmas or birthday present.
  • Help send a child living in rural Romania to our winter Disciple Now.
  • Purchase medical supplies and a personal hygiene kit for families in rural Romania.
  • Sponsor a child attending Red Page’s after-school program for a month.
  • Help support indigenous staff in rural Romania including social workers, teachers, and ministry coordinators.
  • Assist in the construction of the House of Joy community center.
  • Help dig a well in Susani, Romania that will provide clean water for over 300 families.
  • Assist with ministry support for Red Page.

You see, $25 can go a long way with Red Page Ministries. In addition, your support will allow Red Page to share the Word of God to over 3,000 families in over 30 villages in rural Romania. Twenty five dollars is a long way from $3.6 billion. However, the airline industry received this $3.6 billion $25 at a time, one bag at a time. Many people never give to missions, because they think they can't give enough. I just showed you what one gift of $25 can do. Why not give that gift of 25, 50, or even 100 dollars and let God multiply it and use it?

Asprie to new heights!

Red Page is a 501 (c)(3) and all gifts are tax deductable. You can mail your gift to P.O. Box 53653, Lubbock, TX 79453. We also have a number of trips scheduled for 2011. We would love to have you join one of these trips. Additional information is available on our website.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Get Involved with Red Page Ministries

I hope you have taken the time to visit the Red Page Ministry website. Our sight has gone through a number of changes the past two weeks. Many, many thanks to Brad Rock for doing such an awesome job. The section currently under construction is a description of how you can get involved with Red Page Ministries. In an effort to get you involved as soon as possible I wanted to point out a few ways you can join our team.

  1. Go – Last June marked the first mission trip to Susani to begin construction of the House of Joy. The Winter Youth Camp trip in February will mark the first “official” Red Page mission trip and we already have three trips scheduled for the summer. If you are interested in joining one of these existing trips or if you want to schedule a group trip shoot us an email at For additional information on existing trips visit our Trip Information section.
  2. Serve – Last year we were blessed to have a long-term intern who helped pave the way for our mission trip. Again we are truly excited about two long-term servants that will be travelling the last part of January and will remain until the end of summer. During their time in Romania they will assist with mission trip coordination, the development of an after-school program, creating family plans and case studies, orphan team development, and ministry coordination. We are always looking for more interns and would be happy to taylor make an opportunity for you. If you have an interest shoot us an email at
  3. Give – God continues to bless us in ways we never could have imagined. This ministry has already grown faster than we expected. Unfortunately with this rapid growth comes an increase in cost. The Trustees of Red Page all agreed on day one that 100% of each gift would go directly to the use intended. We have not and will not tax any donation. With that in mind we hope you will be comfortable in giving to this wonderful ministry. At the same time we ask you consider giving to our general fund to assist with nominal administrative expenses such as marketing and web design. Red Page Ministries is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Lubbock , Texas. All financial and in-kind donations are tax deductible. Please send your tax deductible donation to Red Page Ministries, P.O. Box 53653, Lubbock, TX 79453.
  4. Pray – God can do all things through prayer. The thing we covet the most from you is your prayers! Please pray for our ministry partners in Romania, Ovidiu and Adina Petric as they continue the work on a day by day basis. Lift up our interns, mission teams, and ministry partners. Please continue to pray that God will provide the resources necessary to grow this ministry. Pray for the people of Romania that their hearts will be open to the Lord. Pray for Red Page as we seek to grow and strive to complete construction on the House of Joy and get it fully staffed and operating.

What a joy it is to share with you on a weekly basis the progress of our ministry. Thank you for growing with us. Aspire to new heights.