Saturday, March 15, 2014

I Am A Follower, A Book Review

I Am A Follower, book cover from Amazon.com

I Am A Follower is a solid book on following Jesus in a world of "leaders".

Leadership is as much, if not more, about following than it is about "leading". We do not need more leaders we need more followers.

Sweet does a comprehensive job addressing following verses leading in this work, I Am A Follower, and refocuses our attention away from leadership and towards following Jesus, our true and ultimate leader, who models and exemplifies servant and selfless sacrificial leadership.

This is an important leadership book for all leaders who are leading in this self-promoting and self-absorbed culture of being first and "in charge". We would do well to get back to the roots of leading through following. I highly recommend I Am A Follower to anyone interested in learning more about leadership and discipleship.

Get your copy of I Am A Follower fromAmazon.com here.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do Whatever Jesus Tells You To Do

Cana, photo by Seetheholyland.net

“[Jesus’] mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” –John 2:5

What do you believe about Jesus? What does your life say about what you believe about Jesus? These are very important questions for us to consider and for us to ask ourselves as we follow Jesus with our lives. 

One of the greatest messages in the New Testament, in my opinion, comes from Mary, the mother of Jesus, in John 2:1-12. Here at a wedding in Cana in Galilee, Mary asks Jesus to do something about a dire situation at the wedding feast. The wine had run out in an embarrassing turn of events at the feast and this threatened to end the festivities prematurely.

Jesus responds with initial resistance, saying to Mary, “My hour has not yet come.” Then, “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’” (John 2:5). It is at this point that Jesus does His first recorded miracle. He takes the six water pots, which were for ceremonial washing and cleansing, holding about 120-180 gallons of water, and He turns the water into wine. This blesses the couple and the occasion and the celebration is able to continue.

In the book of James the author states that you can tell a lot about what someone believes by looking at what they do. James says, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds (James 2:18).” Our beliefs affect how we live our lives and how we live our lives illustrates what it is we believe.

So, what do our deeds say about what we believe about Jesus? If someone were wondering if we were following Jesus, could they tell if we were following Jesus by looking at our lives and by looking at where we are headed?

Just this week the printer was acting up in the teacher workroom and it would not print my work, no matter what I did to try and solve the problem. When I went to the printer to assess the situation, it said, “printing,” but it was not printing. I took no comfort in the fact that the printer was telling me that it was printing, when it was in fact doing nothing of the sort. What the printer was saying and what it was doing were two completely different things.

I proceeded to reflect on this “printer incident” for the rest of the day. I thought to myself, “This is exactly what we do in our relationship with Christ sometimes.” I wondered if Jesus was looking at my life and asking, “Are you really following me?” We say we are Christ followers, and if someone looked at our label it may read, “Following Jesus,” but are we really following Jesus? Do our lives say that we are following Jesus? Are we doing whatever He says to do?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Sense of the Midlands

Photo of the A Sense of the Midlands cover 
and the launch invite from jaspercolumbia.net

I am excited to be a small part of this anthology, A Sense of the Midlands, and am very proud of the arts in my hometown, Columbia, South Carolina! The folks over at Muddy Ford Press and Jasper Magazine - The Word on Columbia Arts, are doing some great work promoting the arts and local artists in South Carolina!

My poem that is included in this work is What the Moon Say. This is an older poem, which I wrote from the rooftop of the old, and then abandoned, Olympia Mill back in 2001. I was bored one afternoon and was doing some “urban hiking,” when I found myself staring at a full moon in the evening hue from the roof of the old mill. The cityscape was before me and it was strikingly beautiful.

I thought about the moon that night and all that it has witnessed over the course of time and how it seemed to look down on the world with unspoken wisdom. Time sort of stood still and I thought, “This moon was here when we were born, it watches us live and it will be here when we die.” My next thought was getting off the roof of the mill before it was pitch-black dark.

Here is part of the press release and the invitation for the launch of A Sense of the Midlands:

The public is invited to celebrate the launch of A Sense of the Midlands on Saturday February 22nd from 5 – 7 pm at the Columbia Music Festival Association Art Space at 914 Pulaski Street in Columbia’s historic Vista. Admission is $15 which includes a copy of A Sense of the Midlands, admission to the reception from 5 – 6 during which authors will be available for signing, and admission to a reading from the book from 6 – 7. (Two attendees sharing a book will be admitted for $20.)

Read the entire press release for A Sense of the Midlands on Jasper Magazine’s website here.

Read about A Sense of the Midlands on Muddy Ford Press’s website here.

Buy your own copy of A Sense of the Midlands from Amazon.com here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jonah: The Man Who Ran

Jonah and the Whale, by Alma Sheppard-Matsuo
Photo provided courtesy of the artist.

We have had a wonderful chapel week this week at Quisqueya Christian School! We had fantastic times of worship and some amazing teaching from four different speakers, covering the entire book of Jonah.

At the beginning of the week, each student received a student-created fact sheet on the book of Jonah and were given the opportunity to Tweet or text their comments or questions for a special Q and A session that summed up the week in our final chapel on Friday.

Each chapel message began with a reading from the chapter of Jonah for that day and a corresponding poem for that chapter. This was a thought provoking and transformational week of learning and growing as we follow Jesus together.

If you are interested in the Jonah Fact Sheet, the poems (Jonah: Out of the Depths—Resurrection), or the Power Points from the talks, please see the links below. 





Sunday, December 29, 2013

Spiritual Formation Planning and Goals

Photo from HeidiPowell.net

This S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet can help us think through and plan spiritual formation and discipleship goals for ourselves as we reflect on the following questions:
  • As you reflect on the last year, what growth have you seen in yourself concerning spiritual formation and discipleship?
  • As the New Year approaches, what goals do you have concerning your own spiritual formation and discipleship?

Research has shown that writing out our goals will help them come to fruition, rather than just having goals without writing them down. 
The New Year is upon us and this is a great time to set goals, to plan out and to schedule disciplines, as well as our time, in such a way that we will grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. 
Planning is important. As the old saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Our spiritual formation is imperative and we should have a plan.
While planning and doing our part is essential, we recognize "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9)" and "Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:7)."

Happy New Year and may we grow in Him!

Monday, December 23, 2013

End of the Year Giving

We are so thankful for our many supporters who pray for our work in Haiti and support us financially and in so many other loving and creative ways. Thank you! We are grateful and could not do the work  we do without friends and family who support us and stand behind us. 2013 has been a wonderful year and we are looking forward to all God has in store for us in Haiti in 2014. We hope you have a wonderful end to your year and a blessed new year!

If you are interested in supporting our work this year, you can contribute by following the instructions for year-end giving below. Thank you again!

End of the Year Giving: Financial Support Information

In order to continue our work in Haiti and cover our basic costs, we need to raise $2500 per month to supplement Robbie’s stipend from our school.  If you have not done so already, would you prayerfully consider partnering with our ministry through a monthly commitment or one-time donation?  Please do not feel pressured—if you cannot give, pray the Lord will touch the hearts of those who can. 

We have partnered with Resourcing Christian Education International (RCE) in order to raise the funds we need to continue our ministry at Quisqueya Christian School. All donations made through RCE are tax-deductible. If you feel led to support us financially, please visit:


Under the Fund Designation drop-down menu, choose “Missionaries,” and another drop-down menu will appear with alphabetical names of missionaries. You will find our names and account number (26902) listed. You can use this website to make one-time or recurring donations, or to set up an Electronic Funds Transfer.

Alternately, you can fill in and mail the form at the bottom of this letter.

Contact Information

We would love to stay in contact with you.  Here is all of our contact information:

Email: irenepruitt@gmail.com, stay411@msn.com
US Cell Phone (December 12-January 14): 571-340-6558
Skype: irene.pruitt, robbie.pruitt
Haiti Cell Phones: (+509) 4614-7851
Our Blogs: www.irenepruitt.comwww.robbiepruitt.blogspot.com
ourlifewithalittlegrace.blogspot.com
Sending Mail to us in Haiti: 3170 Airmans Drive, #2029 QCS, Ft. Pierce, FL 34946

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Update from the Pruitt's


Merry Christmas from Haiti!

What a year for our family! It’s remarkable to think that, this time last year, we had just announced our pregnancy and still weren’t sure whether we would stay in Haiti or return to the States. And now, after a very healthy and natural pregnancy and birth, we have a delightful 5-month old and are finishing the first semester of our third school year in Port-au-Prince. So much change in just 12 months!

Parenthood has been wonderful so far, and Grace is doing really well. We are continually amazed at the new things she learns to do, like babbling, grasping objects and sitting up. Her smiles and laughs are enough to melt anyone’s heart, and she has quite a following of admirers among our students and friends. Thankfully, she has been completely healthy, eating well, sleeping well, and growing all the time. For ongoing updates of stories and photos, mostly of Grace, check out Irene’s blog at ourlifewithalittlegrace.blogspot.com.

Robbie has continued to love teaching Bible to the high school students. This is the third year he has taught many of the students, and has seen a lot of spiritual growth in them over time. He has an especially close relationship with the Senior class—he has some of the guys in his discipleship group, he serves as the class advisor, and he recently went on a harrowing hike with them (see the blog for photos). Many of the guys have taken to greeting him with a hug every day before class! Robbie has also enjoyed speaking in the Secondary School Chapel and giving a staff devotional. He’s looking forward to speaking in Chapel again in December with a Christmas message.

Irene has relished the opportunity to stay at home with Grace—it’s such a blessing to be able to nurture and take care of her while she’s so little. Since we live on the school’s campus, she often walks around with Grace in the front-pack, and there are frequent visitors to our apartment during the day, so Irene still feels very connected to the life of the community. She has enjoyed mentoring a few of the younger teachers and leading a girl’s discipleship group. The students in the group ask great questions, and they have some fantastic conversations about life and faith.

We are so grateful for God’s many blessings this year—a wonderful baby, good health, clear leading back to Haiti, and continued opportunities to serve. Please continue to pray for us as the Lord leads. If you feel led to support our continued work financially through a tax-deductible donation, please see the link and the information below.

May you have a blessed Advent and a wonderful Christmas! “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:22-27).

Love,

Robbie, Irene and Grace

Financial Support Information

In order to continue our work in Haiti and cover our basic costs, we need to raise $2500 per month to supplement Robbie’s stipend from our school.  If you have not done so already, would you prayerfully consider partnering with our ministry through a monthly commitment or one-time donation?  Please do not feel pressured—if you cannot give, pray the Lord will touch the hearts of those who can. 

We have partnered with Resourcing Christian Education International (RCE) in order to raise the funds we need to continue our ministry at Quisqueya Christian School. All donations made through RCE are tax-deductible. If you feel led to support us financially, please visit:


Under the Fund Designation drop-down menu, choose “Missionaries,” and another drop-down menu will appear with alphabetical names of missionaries. You will find our names and account number (26902) listed. You can use this website to make one-time or recurring donations, or to set up an Electronic Funds Transfer.

Alternately, you can fill in and mail the form at the bottom of this letter.

Contact Information

We would love to stay in contact with you.  Here is all of our contact information:

Email: irenepruitt@gmail.com, stay411@msn.com
US Cell Phone (December 12-January 14): 571-340-6558
Skype: irene.pruitt, robbie.pruitt
Haiti Cell Phones: (+509) 4614-7851
Our Blogs: www.irenepruitt.comwww.robbiepruitt.blogspot.com
ourlifewithalittlegrace.blogspot.com
Sending Mail to us in Haiti: 3170 Airmans Drive, #2029 QCS, Ft. Pierce, FL 34946