Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Look at these two verses that blog friends have reminded me of....they explain well the mixture of emotions involved in adoption and the faith we must have during this waiting process.
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief. Proverbs 14:13
At the time I have decided,
my words will come true.
You can trust what I say
about the future.
It may take a long time,
but keep on waiting--
it will happen! Hab 2:3
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
1. A person (or group) is taken out of their comfort zone
2. The person either rebels and groans or the person radically grows
3. God then works a miracle either in spite of the groaner or through the grower
Examples of the groaners Stephen mentioned includes Joseph's brothers, Moses (at times), roaming Israelites in the desert, the Jewish leaders who killed Jesus.
Examples of the growers Stephen mentioned includes Abraham, Joseph, Moses (both groaner and grower).
As we wait on our children, I need to recognize two truths from this passage
1. God is sovereign over everything - this is an opportunity for me to see His glory
2. I can use this time to groan, or I can use this time to grow - this is an opportunity to become the man I long to be
I feel like recent weeks have been an amazing period of growth for me and a front row seat to see the glory of God. Unfortunately, this weekend I jumped into the groaner seat. And being one who doesn't like to have a pity party without guests, I took Natalie along for the ride :) Instead of continuing to grow in being the husband and follower of Christ I want to be, I decided to make me the center of my life. Luckily, I think I am getting out of the groaner seat now.
Waiting on our children and hoping I grow and see His glory!
By the way, God's humor in this...I wrote out a lot of this in my journal before typing. As I started typing, I threw on my Ipod. I put it on random song shuffle to randomly play songs from my 200 song collection. Songs played - Show Me Your glory (by Third Day) and I Saw What I Saw (by Sara Groves). Like how He does those "I told you so" kind of things.
Monday, January 21, 2008
I have a dream that one day that.... little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
Then we read this book (in an attempt to show my kids what life was like not so long ago in New Orleans where their Mommy grew up). I cried again. We talked about past days when we would not be allowed to bring their new siblings to restaurants with us and they wouldn't be able to go to school together!! I am so thankful that the Lord does not leave us as we are, but continues His work in us. And again we thanked God for using normal, imperfect people like this little girl and big people like MLK to show us the love and kindness Jesus wants us to show others. Lord please use us normal, imperfect people to show others your love and do your work.
Anyway, over the past week or so, I have been studying Acts chapters four and five. I have been journaling a lot about two aspects of the passages.
First, the early Christians were radically transformed by the Holy Spirit. You see people who denied their relationship with Christ as He was being crucified now going to engage with those who killed Christ, basically pursuing them the same way Christ did. They are doing the same thing that got Christ killed! They get thrown in jail, and when they get out, they go back to where they were when they got arrested and do the exact same thing. The Sanhedrin tells them to stop speaking of Christ, and they basically say "you want us to obey you instead of God?!?!" They then get thrown back in jail and receive 39 lashes. Ouch. So how do they respond to their brutal beating? Acts 5:41 says "So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they has been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name." Wow! I journaled on this asking myself the questions "Do I view the opportunity to serve Christ as a privelege no matter the circumstance, no matter the call?", "Does following Christ get the first call on my time and resouces, or just enough to make me feel good about myself?", and "Is following Christ a faddish hobby or my life's calling?"
Second, we see the early church using their excess resouces to provide for the basic needs of their brothers and sisters (Acts 4:34, 2 Corinthians 8:13-15). They didn't buy extra TVs, bigger houses, the latest in clothing fashion, etc, all stuff I am guilty of. They recognized that we are all one body in Christ and God uses His people to fulfill His mission. This got me really mulling over Ephesians 2:10 which says "For we are His worksmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." You see that? God prepared good works beforehand for me to walk in them. So as I journaled, I wondered how often I don't see the good works God has prepared for me because I am too busy serving me. My Christian brothers and sisters are dieing around the world, and I am missing out on the privilege (Acts 5:41) of fulfilling the good works God prepared for me beforehand (Ephesians 2:10).
So as I was working through all this, I got an e-mail from my friend Celestin, at ALARM on Wednesday. Some Watermark friends and I are heading to Rwanda and Burundi on March 8th to teach on conflict resolution and leadership. Celestin asked if we could also spend time in Kenya helping folks work through the trauma healing process resulting from the recent riots that resulted in several hundred murders and a couple hundred thousand folks being displaced from their homes. In addition, they were requesting funds to help provide for the basic physical needs of the people. Of course, my mind immediately ran to the passages I had been meditating on this week, especially Ephesians 2:10, Acts 5:41, and Acts 4:34. God is so cool that way.
Needless to say, we head to Kenya as well on March 8th and have the privelege of living out (at least this one time...still struggling overall though) 2 Corinthians 8 as it says "he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack."
Please be praying for us. Also, pray for me specifically, that I would be about Christ, not about me. Grateful for the Word...
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
A while back I laughed so hard when I read this post on Forensic Blogging. We always were made aware by our agency Gladney that the typical wait of 3-5 months may be longer for us since we are asking for siblings. And since we have this special request, forensic blogging didn't really work for us:) There is one blogger out there that is the master encourager and the most up to date blogger I "know" (hope we all get to meet one day...) Her name is Amy Breedlove and her family received a referral for a beautiful baby boy. To prove my point here...another blogger did a post all about her that is so true.
So here are my confessions.
1. If I want up to date info on any Gladney families, I go to Amy's blog. My blog is nothing in comparison to her organization...in fact, I like it better than Gladney's own blog page.
2. And here is the big confession...I am sad that so many families on her blog list have "passed us up" She has the families labeled "waiting", "referral", etc... We just keep hanging out in "waiting" land...while everyone else seems to pass us up on Amy's adoption ladder. I am so thrilled for all the families of course and all these precious children...but am still a bit sad for us. I want to climb up that ladder!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
It is clear for me to see how many of us could very easily be homeless.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
2. We love our kids....ALL of them and we are anxious to have them all home with us!
3. We love LSU football....GEAUX Tigers! (Beau got to go the game...a once in a lifetime opportunity says he, yet he was there a few years ago and I'm sure hopes to be there again in years to come. Caleb and I watched it on TV with my grandmother...and Caleb followed every play and cheered a bunch!)