Recent Posts

An update to the Staurolite foundation

24 Apr 2017

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so here are a few that will hopefully illustrate the work of the Staurolite foundation the last half of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. We covet your prayers as we

Real Mission work

10 Feb 2017

Yesterday we were privileged to go out with our friends and participate in training local “baby” Chris!$t!@ns in how to share the word. When we completed the training we shared a meal and then after a time of talking with

And we are off..

04 Feb 2017

Well today is the day. We head out this morning to begin the journey of almost 28 hours to India. If we could find a tv, and then if we could get the game, we could watch the Super Bowl

Nothing is as Good as it seems & Nothing is as bad as it seems

29 Jan 2017

Let me start with an apology of sorts, maybe an excuse or an explanation… I have been neglectful in meeting my own self imposed standards of posting to this page. And, while I am at, don’t expect it to get

Outdoor activities

01 Dec 2016

We are hip deep in elk hunts for wounded military service men in New Mexico while the staff of the New Hope school in Kolkata is also engaged in outdoor activities.

There is something about being out of doors that

Blog Archives

2015-01-19 11.48.47 2015-01-19 11.46.33 2015-01-18 16.23.46 HDR 2015-01-20 19.04.07

The Staurolite foundation just completed the last elk hunt of the 2014-15 season. While the number of elk harvested this year may not show success, I believe the camaraderie experienced, the time spent with others who have experienced the same things, and quite simply the time spent in the mountains was successful. We see the writer of Psalms 121 remind us that we find our help in the mountains “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?” There is something about spending time in the mountains that as one hunter stated, “ restores my soul.”

We had 3 young men with us for this hunt. Ronnie, CJ, and Bradley who all served in the Army. They each served several years, were deployed for long periods away from their families, and were injured in service to our country. What makes this hunt really special is the guides. This hunt is conducted on the Rio Costilla Cattle and Land Association property with tags donated by the RCCLA. The guides are all members of the RCCLA and served and were injured in military service during the Vietnam to Korea conflict era. We also had two men assisting with this hunt who served in the military, Dana was with us the entire hunt. Dana’s experience as an elk hunter, experience in the military, and strong Christian faith was a rich addition. James was able to come up and spend some time with the hunters and assist as well. James had some life and work issues that severally hindered the amount of time he had planned and hoped to spend with the hunters. However, it is difficult to put into words how powerful James’ sacrificial time was for one hunter. It seems that James and Bradley served together in Mosul on an 18 month deployment where they lost and had injured many of their brothers. Upon their return the Department of the Army changed some designations and young Bradley was going to be stationed far away from family – again. James served in a leadership role and assured young Bradley that he would get him transferred back near family, even after the Department of the Army had declared no transfers for 3 years. Well, you may have heard if you want something done in the military you find an experienced non-commissioned officer whose word is their bond and get them on it, well it seems to be true. Bradley had not seen James, who in Bradley’s words was the most important influence in his military carrier, until this past Sunday evening when James drove up. The sacrifice James made, not knowing why he was going – just going, to stay there less than 24 hours after driving more than 12 hours- was truly amazing.

I am always humbled spending time with these true American heroes – who always quickly correct me when I call them a hero. Men who walk on a prosthetic, have traumatic brain injuries, who ponder a lower leg amputation due to their injury and the lingering pain, yet these as all I have spent time with quickly say, “I would do it again.” What a challenge to me and to you, to get in the game and provide a high level of service and sacrifice.

While the elk harvest was not as high as we hoped, the hunt was hugely successful according to each of the men who participated. So for all of you that support the Staurolite foundation elk hunts for men and women who were wounded in military service to our country, your support paid off in a huge dividend for these men. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your prayer support, your donations, and your presence on these hunts. And Special thanks to Gerry & Alyssa, Nemi, Danny, and Steve for all their help.

In His service,

mike

Michael T. Smith

the Staurolite foundation

No Comments

the Universe

A Revelation for the New Year – yes, it is not misspelled. I meant revelation not resolution, although you may want to include it as a resolution…..

The Universe is Expanding

Did you know the Universe is expanding? I recently read of a cosmologist (a person who studies the science of the origin of the universe) who claims the Universe is expanding. According to this cosmologist, who happens to be a Christian, the universe is expanding at the speed of light. Apparently I had missed the memo as everyone I talk to already knew the universe is expanding. And it has been expanding at the speed of light since the moment God spoke the universe into being. Now, do you know why the universe is expanding at the speed of light in all directions and has been since God spoke it into being?

The universe is expanding at the speed of light in all directions and has been since God spoke it into being because —– it’s not big enough. It is not big enough for what? – you are likely thinking. I know you are ready for me to get to the point, please always remember and never forget that in order to be a good leader of middle school age students and middle school minded teachers you have to be a bit dramatic and a bit of a smart aleck, and I really enjoyed leading middle school.

The universe is expanding at the speed of light and has been since God spoke it into being because it is not big enough to hold all the Good things God has planned and prepared for those who love Him.

Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, Chapter 2, verse 10 says ‘For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do Good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” You are likely thinking now, Mike, how does me doing good work equate to the Universe not being big enough to contain all that God has planned for those who love Him. Two ways; one, when I do Good work (when I capitalize a word like Good, I mean of God, or as what God has planned for you) When I do Good work, I tend to get a bigger Blessing than those who are receiving and from my own experience I am confident that is or will be true for you as well. Two, we are promised, by a God who cannot lie and keeps His promises, in the book of Luke, chapter 6 and verse 38 “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full- pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

However, if you are giving just to get, then you likely violated number one and what you are doing is not a Good work, so little to no likelihood of having your lap running over with what you receive.

I recently read of a Dennis the Menace cartoon in which Dennis and his pal Joey were given fresh cookies by Mrs. Wilson, Dennis’ kindly neighbor. As they walked away, Joey asked Dennis, “What did we do that was good enough to get these fresh cookies.” Dennis said, “We did not get cookies because we are good. We got cookies because Mrs. Wilson is good.” The same holds true for those of us who love the Lord. We do not get Good things because of what we do, or give, but because God is Good. And, as His followers who love Him, we are as adopted sons and daughters.

Adopted kids hold a special place in the heart of adoptive parents. Both my sons are adopted. I do not claim to know anything about parenting or how parents feel about their own blood-related children, but I do know that ours are held in extremely high esteem – regardless of what they do – by their mother and I. Maybe it is because of the high price we paid of waiting many years and paying a cost that was a sacrifice for us – seems to be a correlation there in what Jesus paid for all of us. I already stated, I do not have the answers. All I know is that we love our sons, and God loves us.

One thing I do know is that God has Good things planned for me and you. I hope you do not miss out on any of it. Be Purposeful in the New Year in receiving all God has for you and giving of yourself and your things and be prepared for the bounce back….

May the Good Lord take a liking to you!

mike

Leadership on Purpose

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. – James 1:17

God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good. Genesis 1:31

God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

Because you are sons, God has sent for the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6

Cowboy Logic: Sometimes you just have to throw the reins over the horse’s head and hang on!

Inspiration for this post – other than the Cowboy Logic – came from a book by Clark Whitten “ Pure Grace: The Life Changing Power of Uncontaminated Grace”

If you would like to know more about how to love the Lord your God with all your heart, please email me at mike@edsas.com and I will gladly respond. Blessings for 2015, mike

No Comments
a-thankful-heart

A Thankful Heart

Hello, I am  Priyanka  , I am 8years of old. I have  on elder Sister. I  Lost my Father.

My mother is a Labour. She earn for us.

We live in a tiny house in our Slum village. My mother wanted to send me  to school  ,but could not find  a school. My mother was telling me  to be a maid servant  and earn money for our livelihood. I wanted to read .

One Day New Hope Schoolteacher  found me on our village street and asked me ,whether I go to any school or not .I replied no, they  brought me to New Hope School.

This is a very good school. I love our school very much. Our Teachers love us very much. We eat many good, testy snacks  in our school.

I am learning many Christian song, prayer and  many things about Jesus Christ. I pray and pray for my mother.

I want to be a Doctor in future. Thank you for your prayer .

No Comments

The Star: A Sign from God
by Todd Burpo Meet Todd Burpo
Matthew 2:2 reads, Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw His star as it rose, and we have come to worship Him.
Not too many children are so important that their arrival is marked by signs in the sky above. But this child’s coming was marked with a star. Christmas trees today still have symbols on top reminding us today of that special birthday star.

The star – the wise men saw it! They looked up and knew what it represented. It was proclaiming the birth of the Lord’s Messiah, the world’s Savior, and God’s selected King of the Jews.

The star – it pointed to the only one who was truly worth our worship, our gifts, and our collective futures. The wise men saw what the star meant! They dropped everything and began the only journey that could have mattered at that point. They started their journey to find this child, this gift, this life-maker and life-changer.

The star – it rested upon the place of Bethlehem to mark a promise fulfilled.  A promise made by God Himself about the coming of His chosen person to bring true peace, healing, and forgiveness to the world. The wise men saw the event the star celebrated! God has kept His word! His Chosen One is here!  And His name is Jesus!

But just as Jesus’ first visit to earth came with a sign from above, God promises that Jesus’ second visit will be accompanied by another sign from above as well.

Matthew 2:2

Acts 2:19-21 reads, And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below – blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

This Christmas as we tell our children about the star in the sky, we need to also tell them about the rest of the signs God is using today to mark the second coming of Christ.

Just like a rainbow points to a promise from God and just like a star points to another; solar eclipses accompanied by the blood red moons are the fulfillment of yet another promise from God.

Jesus is coming again and coming soon!

Wise men still know what the signs from above represent. Wise men also drop everything to worship the only One worth worshipping – Jesus Christ!

Original post by Todd Burpo for FaithGateway, 2014.

 

No Comments
H4H-Elk-Hunt-2013

H4H (Hunt for Heroes) 2013 Elk Hunt

December is the month of giving in this country as we recognize the one who gave his life for us. If you are like me, you have plenty of “stuff” as do the majority of your friends and employees. Let me encourage you to make an enduring gift to the Staurolite foundation, Samaritan’s Purse, or your local church or denominational organization on behalf of those folks in your life who do not need any more “stuff”. Your gift to the Staurolite foundation will help educate 100 children in the Udayan Polly slum area of New Town, Kolkata, India or will help provide a wounded military service person with a life-changing experience on a 5 day elk hunt in the mountains of northern New Mexico.

The Staurolite foundation is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation where all work is performed by volunteers – there are no paid staff- and less than 5% of funds raised go to overhead, fund raising, and recognition for donors. The current projects of the Staurolite foundation are Mountain Top Safaris which are elk hunts for men and women wounded in military service to our country. Many of these folks have wounds that are visible, quite a few have wounds that are not. The Staurolite foundation also supports the New Hope school in the Udayan Polly slum area of New Town, Kolkata, India where 100 students are being offered a basic education in English language and math as they are taught about Jesus Christ and his love for them.

If you have interest in supporting the work of the foundation you can make a donation on the website through PayPal or mail your check to our address above. Please feel free to contact myself, any volunteer, or member of the board for more information. You can find additional information and reports on hunts and the children of the New Hope school on our website at: http://www.staurolitefoundation.com/.

With sincere appreciation,

mike

Michael T. Smith

the Staurolite foundation

a-thankful-heart

A Thankful Heart

No Comments

Thank you pic

The other morning I reached over to unplug my phone, which was laying on the shelf of the second floor. The second floor is where my wife and I sleep and it is open to the floor below. So, I am standing on the stairs as I grab the phone, likely late to wherever I was headed. I lightly grasped the phone and as I slid it off the shelf I realized it was still plugged in. The plug in held it just well enough that it slipped out of my hand, but the phone had momentum from my pulling and slid off the shelf and all the way to the tile floor – 10 feet below. Yep, screen was shattered.

Now I do not know about you, but I am way dependent upon my phone. It has way too much information that I need often, particularly contact info for a variety of people. And, even though I am not twenty something, I text like I am. We were in a rural area and access to a replacement phone was not simple. I contemplated ordering a replacement screen, but probably above my technical abilities and the phone was older and not functioning well anyway. So, I pulled out an old flip phone, or as one friend called it “a 1920’s model flip phone.” If you texted me during the 3 weeks I was carrying the flip phone, you did not get a text reply. I simply had all calls forwarded to the flip and would check the other one nightly for texts. I could read who sent it but opening the text was difficult and responding almost impossible. So, text messages got a call reply. Actually much better, I enjoyed talking to folks, but it does take more time.

Toward the end of this period of difficulty, I write with tongue in check, I was complaining. My son looks at me and says, “first world problem.” Now I have been to India 3 times on mission trips. We started a not for profit corporation that supports the school in the picture above which is located in a slum in India, so I have seen 3rd world. Every time I return from India for a while after I get back for some reason I am amazed to open my refrigerator and find fresh milk. I am not sure why milk in a refrigerator is the one sure object that signifys I am home, but it does for me. So, I am well aware of the difference in 3rd world problems.

I notice that most of the things that frustrate me are “1st world problems”. My life is great. I have a comfortable bed to sleep in. I have milk in the refrigerator and if not I can have a new gallon in 15 minutes and did not have to chase down a cow or a goat and milk it. I have access to over the counter medicine to resolve most all my sniffly problems. I can sleep in my comfortable bed with little or no fear of danger during the night. I have air conditioning in the summer and central heat in winter. I have not built a fire to cook on or heat over except on vacation – ever.   My problems are 1st world problems. And yet I am not thankful.

Let me encourage you as you go about enjoying Thanksgiving with your family –  judge your problems. Are they 1st world problems such as stuck in traffic in an air conditioned car listening to satellite radio, or are they real problems like 60% of the children in the Udayan Polly slum area of New Town Kolkata, India who are not receiving any education.

Color me Thankful,

mike

 

If you are interested, you can get involved in making a difference in the world and solving some 3rd world problems through the Staurolite Foundation. The Staurolite Foundation exists to bring the light of the world to assist individuals and communities through services and funding with their life sustaining and eternal needs sharing the Light of the world and making a difference in the world one person at a time. All donations to the Staurolite Foundation go to the projects, there are no paid staff. http://www.staurolitefoundation.com/

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. – Philippians 2:3-4 NLT

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10 NLT

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. – Philippians 2:13 NLT

Cowboy Logic: Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to change themselves.

Cowboy Logic: “It’s mighty hard to do what your neighbors ain’t doin’.

No Comments

Proudly Proclaiming Christ

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Th 5:18

We celebrate Thanksgiving this week in the US. Maybe you are not exactly looking forward to the day of Thanksgiving. I know there have been times in my life when I was not due to circumstances. I heard a great sermon this morning on thankfulness. It is easy to be thankful when things are going well, when we are not stressed, when we have time in our lives, money in the bank, and are enjoying and anticipating the joy of fellowship with family and friends. It is much more difficult to be thankful in all circumstances. I must confess, I am not very good at being thankful in all circumstances. I do not enjoy the adverse times enough. I enjoy working hard and exercising. I enjoy pushing my 55+ year old body. But for some reason, I have never enjoyed the difficult circumstances – I tend toward the “Why me?” response. The pastor had a great acrostic for THANKS;

T = thank God for my things – We should be thankful for what God has given us. We should not be coveting what others have.

H = helpers – thank God for the people He has put in my life to help me along.

A = adversity – appreciate adversity for we know that Matthew 5 tells us we are Blessed when we have adversity

N = now – be thankful for the here and now, where God has placed us and the work He has given us, our current place in life

K = kids – children are great and are to be enjoyed

S = Salvation – be thankful for Christ Jesus death on the cross for our salvation and for God’s sovereignity God is at work in your life and in my life. I am thankful for God’s provision and soverignity.

I am thankful for folks like the ones pictured above – who in very humble circumstances are thankful and recognize Christ as the source of their hope. And I am thankful for the sacrifice of those pictured below – who represent so many who have sacrificed on my behalf.

Blessed Thanksgiving to you all,

mike

No Comments

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a few of some veterans. Thanks to them for their service so we can all enjoy the benefits of living in the USA.

hunters in dining hall wborder

wounded-soldier-elk-hunt

Wounded Soldier Elk Hunt

photo (65)

057

2014-10-18 12.48.48

No Comments

MTS 1014 Warriors in GSR 2

The October elk hunt for wounded veteran service men and women is in the past, but the memories linger. I am often asked, “Was the hunt successful?” I usually respond with yes, no elk harvested, but the experience was successful. When hunters or fisherman are asked if they caught anything and respond with no, the response is usually, “That is why they call it hunting not shooting, or fishing not catching.”

In North American culture we usually equate success with accomplishment rather than with experience – unfortunately. My wife and I were fortunate to have lunch with Roland and Jose this past week. Jose is a recreational therapist from the Veterans Administration. Roland was one of the wounded veterans on the last hunt. Jose was interested to hear from us about the hunts and our purposes. We were interested in seeing Roland again and some follow up to the hunt. We usually do not get the opportunity to see our hunters a week or so after the hunt, when the mountain top experience has not worn off. And I assure you, it has not worn off of Roland.

I remember his reservation upon arrival at the hunting camp and contrast it with his countenance when we met at lunch last week. It is our hope that these experiences are truly life changing. By life changing I mean these true American heroes leave with a feeling of appreciation for their service and their sacrifice and they are pushed to attempt new things and new levels of physical exertion. On the subject of their sacrifice – I have had the privilege of being present on 4 of our 5 past hunts with 14 hunters and each one of them says the same thing when they are told, “Thank you for your sacrifice and service.” Each one says, “It was my job and I would do it again.” How amazing! If you aspire to be a Servant Leader, here is your living example. These men have truly sacrificed for you and I – that is a servant.

As we were leaving the camp area in October of 2013, I was riding with Johnny. Johnny was wounded in Iraq and is a lower leg amputee. Johnny looked at me and said, “I thought I was going on a hunting trip, I did not realize it would be therapy.” I replied with, “It is our hope that you will have some spiritual therapy here in the mountains, some emotional recovery, feel appreciated for your sacrifice, and reconnect with God.” Johnny replied, “That is not what I meant. That little hike you took me on the first day was tough. After that, I can do anything.” What to me was a fairly slight grade, although at 10,000 plus feet elevation and a bit of a chill – below 15 degrees, it was a fairly easy hike. But for him it was a test of will and endurance. And it has been my experience with these guys, they never say quit, it is too much, nothing of the negative, just march on. What if the rest of us spoiled Americans could look at the minor difficulties in our own lives with such fortitude?

Jose made a comment during lunch last week that Roland is a true American hero. Jose went on to say that we have many monuments to men and women who served, but they are all past. Men like Roland, true American heroes, are here with us and we have the opportunity to honor them as the heroes they are.

We live in a culture where we idolize athletes and celebrities, many who have done nothing other than entertain us. We need to recognize the folks that sacrifice for our daily lives, folks who serve in the armed forces, serve as police, firefighters, teachers, all who truly serve as there is no way a thinking person with their own self-interest in mind could enter one of those professions for the money.

So, thanks to Roland, Will, Alex, Colton, PJ, Armen, Johnny, Jonathon, Ed, Jason, James, Travis, Todd, and Jarvis, all men and women who were wounded in service to our country. And thanks to men like Cone and John who served a full career in military service and now serve these men who sacrificed so much.

In His service,

mike

Michael T. Smith

the Staurolite foundation

2014-10-19 16.10.09

No Comments

2014-10-19 10.52.43

Please forgive the delay in posting info and pictures about the first hunt of 2014. I have many excuses if you are interested, the reasons however include poor internet and no time to post. Below was written after arrival – there will be more to follow.

The hunters, all wounded in service to their country, began to arrive on Thursday Oct.16  around 5:30 pm. Will, retired Navy injured in an accident while loading ordinance about the USS Nimitz and Alex, an airborne ranger injured while sent by his Commanding Officer to retrieve a member of his group, arrived first. Colton, served in the air force and was injured during routine surgery by medical error arrived about 6:30 pm. Roland, was as he put it “shot up” 3 days before the Blackhawk down incident in Mogadishu, arrived about 8:30 pm.

These men are hosted on this hunt by a variety of men and women – many of whom took time off from their work to come and serve these true American heroes.

Friday morning, after sleeping in to allow for some recovery from travel and a late breakfast, all went to some local folks ranch to check their rifles. After the rifle check, there was time for a brief ride around in the areas to be hunted. Friday evening is party time. It was estimated that more than 65 people came to dinner to provide an evening of appreciation for these men who have literally sacrificed a big piece of their life and limbs. By way of reminder, there were no wounded warrior programs when Roland came home from Mogadishu. As John put it, when 65 citizens of the Moreno Valley in New Mexico gave these true American heroes a standing ovation there was not a dry eye in the room. In fact, mine are not dry just remembering.

These men truly sacrificed for their country. In the picture above of the 4 hunters there is one working leg. Gifts for the veterans were provided by New Mexico Propane of Taos, a division of Amerigas, and Urban Interface Solutions of Taos – a company who clears trees around homes in the forest and generally works to keep the local area forests healthy. The New Mexico Girl scout council allowed for the use of their dining hall for the dinner and for “camping” for the hunters.

After two days of good solid hunting there were no elk harvested, but I will say that a grand time with many new adventures and experiences was had by all – and by all I mean the veterans and their hosts. These events are not possible with a lot of volunteer help. We have 7 men serving 4 veterans and 4 ladies who are serving full time cooking, cleaning, and providing for any need of anyone involved.I assure you without the people like Alan, Rick, Terry, Rick, John, Michael, Pam, Cheryl, Bobbi Jean and Patty this would not have been possible.

Will had an up close and personal experience with a bull elk on Sunday morning. He and Alan, his host, were surprised when a bull came within 25 yards of them. No noise, no calls, no brush cracking, a nice 5X5 “just appeared” according to Will and Alan. But, before Will could get ready the elk “ walked out of his life forever” according to Will.

Colton, with Michael and Rick his hosts, had several bulls bugling, screaming, grunting, and generally interested in the cow elk that was making sounds near them. And by cow elk, I mean the calling done by Michael and Colton. The buglers hung up in the trees and never appeared, but “ it was quite exciting to hear them scream and come closer, “ according to Colton.

The hunt continued in the rain Sunday evening and Monday. Stay tuned and thank you for your prayers. I can honestly say, this our 3rd year and 5th hunt has been the most exciting this early in the hunt and the camaraderie and relationships have melded together faster than ever.

mike

2014-10-18 12.48.48

No Comments
...34567