Happy Valentine’s Day, Mom!

It’s Valentine’s Day today, which means it’s an excellent day to think about love, perhaps to eat some chocolate (especially if you’re pregnant), and hopefully to celebrate all the love in your life worth celebrating. Hopefully this can be done without allowing commercialism to a) make you spend money when you shouldn’t or b) make you feel sorry for yourself when you shouldn’t.

{When any of the multiple Saint Valentines were martyred in Ancient Rome, I’m pretty sure none of them had boxes of chocolate in mind. Helping Christians get married at a time when you weren’t supposed to be helping Christians do anything, now that deserves some celebrating.}

Let’s extend the love to not just be about a significant other whom we should shower with gifts, or be showered by, whatever the case may be, today. (Saint Valentine risked his life to help people who may have been strangers.) Perhaps you can take an opportunity to be generous to a stranger — come back and tell us what happens!

I am celebrating the special love that grandparents have for grandchildren today by sharing the video we created for my Mom (a bit belatedly, but just in time for Valentine’s) in celebration of her trip to visit us here in SA late last year, around the Bear’s birthday. Hero Hubs of course made it extra-specially boo-tee-full, so I thought you might enjoy it, too!

Have a love-filled day!

I’m struggling to get the Video (on Vimeo) to embed, so just click Mom’s South Africa adventure to watch!

Mom’s South Africa Adventure from Mark Collie on Vimeo.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Wouldn’t today be a great day to give birth?


Samaritan’s Feet South Africa: Year in Review

Merry Christmas Eve, boys and girls! I hope you are enjoying today with family and friends somewhere around the world! I am most certainly enjoying being with family here in the Carolinas, but also missing our folks back in SA!

Hero Hubs put together a little video to share with some of our partners back here in the US (and around the world!) about our first year ministering in South Africa. We’ve just uploaded it to youtube and I thought I’d share it with you here! The beautiful singing in the background was recorded when we visited Mirriam and her children and they sang to say thank you to us and to the Lord for the special moment and their new shoes. Wow.

I hope you enjoy the video…and that it’ll give you pause to say thanks for what you have this Christmas!


Christmas, Interrupted

Merry Christmas, guys and gals! Are you A) getting excited for the joyous celebration of the most important birthday ever, or B) stressed out by your to-do list? {If you answered B, can I suggest there might be a few things you need to drop from the to-do list so that you can better enjoy the joy of the season?}

I’ve been enjoying considering how Jesus interrupted time, coming down into humanity to show us how to live and to save us from our sins. This video demonstrates some different options on how people might handle the “interruption” of Jesus in the storybook of history, and I thought I’d share it with you.

Notice that some folks are eager to move on and get out of the way, but others take the time to appreciate the special moment unfolding before them. (Even if that means taking video with an iPhone.)

May we also soak in the Reason for the Season, focus more on the Presence than the presents, and appreciate the joyous moments at hand!


The Envelope’s Open and It’s a…

Hope you haven’t been clicking the refresh button all day, waiting to hear the news! If so, sorry for the delay. I was hoping to upload the video which would allow you to be a part of the special moment, and sometimes figuring out how to do these types of things takes a while. Jet lag doesn’t speed up the process, but having a Hero Hubs around sure does help!!

Before I tell you anything else, PLEASE look at my adorable niece. Cutest. Ever.

I am so SO so SO delighted to finally get to meet her. She has an infectiously adorable personality. She giggles and claps her hands and pulls up and dances and is so sweet if I don’t stop talking about her all of you will have a cavity. The Bear has demonstrated excellent gentle and share skills when she has been around, which has been great to see! He’s going to be a wonderful Big Brother Bear!

Okay, I promise we’ll head to the news now. But isn’t she adorable?

As an intro to the video, I’ll tell you that while for the last few weeks I was almost convinced this babe would be a lassie, for about 48 hours, I have suddenly felt completely certain that, while still a Collie, this babe is in fact a laddie. Perhaps it has been the fact that this pregnancy has been so similar to the last one. Perhaps it’s the fact that the kicks now feel like they’re coming from a rugby player and not a ballerina. Perhaps it was a whisper from this little one’s Creator. I suddenly felt like I knew.

With family gathered Tuesday night, we decided to open the envelope and I was of course nervous and felt like I couldn’t, but was afraid if we let the Bear open it he might tear it up and then we still wouldn’t know. So we placed the envelope in the care of my sister, and she eagerly did the honours!

In the last moments as she looked up at me before opening the envelope and making the announcement, (just before my brother began taking the video below with his iPhone) I announced with great certainty,

“It’s a boy. I KNOW it’s a boy.”

Would you care to click play and find out if I was right?

So that’s the news from Atlanta! The Bear is going to be an awesome big brother to an awesome little brother next year! It’s hard to explain why, but little brother just feels so right. We are stoked, and we look forward to introducing you in February!! Coming soon, to a jungle-themed nursery near you!


P.S. Hope you’re enjoying this week of {Thanks}giving! Please tune in tomorrow for one voice in the chorus who won’t be singing alto or soprano! Hope you enjoy a thank-filled day!

{Thanks}giving Week: Wait! I thought I got to stay on the bus forever!

Hey lads and lassies! We are smack dab in the middle of our {Thanks}giving week, and I sure do hope you’re enjoying it! Mayhaps you’re even a little thankful for it?

The sweet and sassy lassie sharing with you today hearkens from a brave and rugged land that will ever hold a place in my heart, since it’s where the Hubs and I fell in love, and where the Bear was born, among other things. Laura Anne Mackay is a delightful and bonnie Scottish lass, who blogs her brave heart out at Learning from Sophie. But she has a better intro lined up for you, so let’s segue… (I told you letting people write their own intros is brilliant!)


Wait! I thought I got to stay on the bus forever!

(Video c/o Central Christian Church, Las Vegas!)

Poor Lisa. I remember when it was me who was the new Christian, and my friends had told me that knowing Jesus was the coolest thing ever (truth) and that I’d never be sad again (lie) – I was pretty destroyed when I discovered that being a Christian did not keep me on that proverbial ‘happy bus’ forever.

There are times in our lives when God is so obviously and blatantly present in our lives, we feel close to Him, we can hear His voice clearly and it seems we are abundantly blessed. Life is good. Everything is not just as we had hoped, but so much better than we expected!

And then there are those other times. When there are bills to pay and no money to pay them, times when we wonder if we will ever be able to stop fighting with the ones we love, the times where people get sick or die, when it feels God is distant or He just simply doesn’t seem to be protecting us or blessing us in the manner we think He should.

It’s easy to be thankful when we are on that happy bus.

It’s not so easy when we are the ones in pursuit of happiness.

And yet, there is something about choosing to praise God in the bad times as well as the good ones. Not that we’re happy to be going through a difficult time, but because we have hope and comfort in the fact that God is the same – yesterday, today and forever. I find myself challenged by Job’s response to losing so many people He cared about, had worked hard for & stewarded well:

“… he fell to the ground in worship and said:
‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

-Job 1:20-22

The fact is that in our lives there will be times of mourning, and times of celebrating. We won’t always be happy, and we won’t always be sad or angry or mourning. And the thing is, God just has this amazing ability to bring good out of the situations we can despair of – along with free will, He also gave us grace.

But here is what I strive to be: content in all circumstances, always praising, always thankful, and never taking anything for granted.


Laura Anne Mackay is a woman with a passion for God and a passion for people. Her vision: to minister to broken people, to encourage and connect people, to show people God’s love in action. She’s a writer, singer, youth worker, support worker – and loves to tell you all about sex ed!

Laura Anne lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. Amongst many other activities, her main role is to co-run a pregnancy resource centre, as well as helping support a national network of pregnancy centres across Scotland.  She has never eaten haggis or a deep fried mars bar, and does not know how to play the bagpipes.


Thanks so much for sharing that, Laura Anne! I still can’t believe you haven’t eaten haggis, but that was certainly some food for thought (for me at least) on the American ideals regarding life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I hope I can get on the contentment bus and stay there! 😉