Saturday, September 22, 2007

How Kids Inspire My Writing

Someone asked how much children inspire my writing. Here’s my answer:

My children were not just the inspiration but also the catalyst for my first published work. I wanted to honor God as a mom, but also as the senior pastor's wife, and women's teacher in our Theological Institute in France, I felt responsible to study biblical parenting—particularly in light of the atheistic and pessimistic French culture producing many unhappy parents and kids. While I knew God wanted me to be Spirit-filled and parent according to biblical principals and higher love, I also sensed He wanted me to encourage fellow parents in the journey. He was calling me to be a conduit to pour out to others - albeit a sinner saved by grace and a mom learning to parent. So, I did things back-to-front and published my first book in France before I'd written much else (just a few booklets and newsletters, but that's all).

That book is entitled, Mon Dieu, ces enfants! published by Editions Vida. It now exists in a different format in English as a book & workbook in one—fabulous for individual or group study:
Heaven Help Me Raise These Children!-- Biblical Direction for Practical Parenting Issues. Order at (Click on PARENTING).

That was 12 years ago. And although I write on many subjects today, my now-grown children still inspire me. But, equally inspiring are the orphans and suffering children I work with. Their stories are compelling and need to be
told. Their daily struggles, their dreams, their brokenness, their compassion, their unique personalities, their sense of justice because of the injustice they’ve seen—those things motivate my writing. They enthuse me with passion so much so that even when my writing is not directly related to them, it often provides a tool to publicize their needs by allowing me to put my website in the bio line:

I wonder how much I'd be writing if it weren't for the children. But then again, we’re all children in our Lord’s eyes. So, I guess for as long as there are people, I’ll be writing. (I do love animals, but they don’t read a whole lot…)

Janey L. DeMeo©October 2007
Founder/director of Orphans First -

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Alarming News from the week of 9/11

Heavy stuff, this weeks news. China bans lead paint on toys to be shipped into the USA. Bravo. Wonderful. So does that mean that toys remaining in China—or going to other countries—will contain lead paint? Silly me. I forgot. Many little Chinese kids, and most kids in the third world, don’t have toys. Not like Americans. But if they’re lucky enough to have one or two, they’ll likely be laden with lead. Deadly lead!

The thought of children consuming lead—or any poison for that matter—because of man’s greed, his desire to make more money with less care, faster, is heavy stuff.

I’ve been thinking about hot topics relating to the welfare of children. Take, for example, the McCanns, now accused of killing their missing child, Madeleine. I don’t know all the facts, and I’m convinced the media won’t give them to you. It’s hard to glean objective reports among the grapple and grab for sensationalism. Is Portugal’s trying to cover something up? It is hard to imagine that this couple who seem to love their twins could have done anything to that little princess. I do know one thing for sure: God knows. And I’m praying that truth be revealed.

Meanwhile, I know about another couple accused of killing a child. I choose not to give details here but I spent some time researching their story. If you read some articles, you’d swear the parents were culprits—or at best disciplinarian fanatics. But if you dig deeper, it’s not that hard to read in between the lines. It sure is looking as if some “force” is trying to destroy a Christian family and discourage fostering and adoptions. It reminds me of a sad conspiracy reflecting the dark times we live in. I’m praying for the couple concerned and for truth to be revealed.

More news: A school principle left her child in her SUV for 8 hours. The car got unbearably hot. The baby died. She apparently forgot the child in her haste to get to her job. Should she be prosecuted? Oh my, how did we ever get to this place? This is insane.

I don’t want to stir up controversy. I know little about the above news items. I have no right to spout an opinion. But what I do want to say is that we cannot just gullibly believe what the media spouts out. And when we hear that America’s (happily) is taking measures to refuse toys with lead in them, we can rejoice—yes, do let’s rejoice—but let’s not close our hearts to the thought that so many children elsewhere are not protected. It’s just not economically interesting to seek their protection.

My conclusion: We need to pray like we’ve never prayed before. We need to talk to God about all these issues, ask for His wisdom, guidance and also ask Him what we should do. And we need to pray for His truth to be upheld.

More news: One in a million have sextuplets. A 29 year old in Tampa gives birth to sextuplets—5 boys, one girl. She chose not to eliminate any. (Good for you gal! Those babies belong to God). The babies are beautiful, as is the couple’s other little girl. I wonder how they’ll cope. I also wonder if they used fertility drugs (the news didn’t go into that). And I wonder again what will happen to the thousands of abandoned children, not wanted, stuck in the foster system or some orphanage somewhere.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old kid drops out of high school and now works for UPS. Why? Because his mom is now in prison for 2 years. Why? Because she bought beer for her minor’s birthday party, at his request. She took the car keys from all the kids who were there and insisted that they stay the night. Still, she bought them beer illegally. And now she’s behind bars. And Ryan’s life is ruined. Sure, his mom made a mega mistake. But my heart breaks because this kid’s heart is broken. His life is destroyed because of it. No future for him now. Just a broken heart—unless God does a miracle. I’m counting on the latter. I’m trusting God will do a miracle for Ryan. Let’s pray for him.

Commemorated on 9/11 this week: 2, 974 died at the Twin Towers and the crashed planes combined—all that because of terrorists. Tragic. But the greater tragedy is that America is still letting in illegal immigrants from high risk countries. I would encourage anyone to read of In Mortal Danger by Cong. Tom Tancredo and learn some of the things that are still taking place in America.


Janey DeMeo©September 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

'Tis No Secret

Not long ago, there was a big buzz about the book & film The Secret. I received emails on it that made me uneasy – frankly, even queasy. Christians were buying into the philosophy – using it to boost their belief in their biz opportunities and potential prosperity.

The Secret encourages a sort of New Age humanism, power-positive thinking, mind over matter, speaking into existence what is not etc. It’s a differently packaged form of “name it & claim it”. And it’s deceptive.

This book, like some others I’ve heard folks recommend for biz building, speaks of the “power of attraction”. If you’re positive, you’ll attract success etc. If you’re successful you’ll attract success etc. My question is: In whose eyes? What is successful to man is not necessarily successful to God. Or in eternity.

One highly successful person was Mother Teresa—in spite of her doubts. (Hey, who doesn’t have doubts at times? And if you’re caught up in a religious system, you likely have greater doubts). Most of Teresa’s time was spent with poor people. She attracted them. She also attracted people who wanted to help them, or who wanted to know Jesus. And although she was often in the company of rich, influential people, that was not where she was most at ease—and they were neither the source of, nor the inspiration for, her success. She hung with the poor and needy. They, and God, breathed success into her ministry.

While I realize that business is not ministry but rather it’s a means to make money, I think we must be as honest in business as in ministry. As Christians, we should present our goods with integrity. Promoting a belief system whereby you can speak yourself into becoming rich doesn’t cut it for me.

If we’re Christians, then let’s shine Christ’s light before hailing a philosophy that either contradicts biblical values or imitates them in a deceptive way (as does The Secret). Let’s think things through biblically and prayerfully before gullibly riding the current wave of forwarded emails.

The Secret is about “me” and my embetterment. The Gospel is about Jesus, and helping others. We help them not so they’d then help us; we help them just to help them, so they’ll have better lives. That’s what’s so beautiful about helping the poor and, as Jesus said, about inviting them into our homes. They cannot give back in lucrative terms.

My prayer is that we learn to discern. There’s a lot of stuff out there that sounds good, upbeat, positive…But is it biblical? There’re a lot of wounded Christians out there from unbalanced movements (either too legalistic or with a really warped sense of grace). Some have thrown out everything they ever learned of God—throwing out the baby with the bathwater just because they have a hard time finding the baby in the dirty water. (Granted, it does take a little bit of groping around in the murk, but that’s where the Word truly is a light. It helps us find the baby in the dirty bathwater). May God help us not to throw away the baby—the truth—and not to lose all Christian bearings and discernment becoming wishy-washy, gullible Christians who will now swallow every sugar-coated philosophy…

I say, “Time to wake up”. All of us. I don’t want to sleep the sleep of dullness and be lulled into lululand by lies. I want to wake up to the Master’s voice, to the sweet sound of our Shepherd calling and directing us (Isa.30:15). He will not remove our Teacher if we’ll hang on in there (Isa.30:20). So let’s hang on in there. Hang with Him. Hang with the poor. Cling to the Bible. Forget The Secret. Let’s read the Bible.

Here’s a good website to learn more about The Secret:

Janey L. DeMeo©September 2007