Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The Joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:12

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are
pleasures forevermore!
Psalm 16:11

Today I am focusing on the Joy of my Lord! He has blessed me beyond measure. He is my strength and He gives me courage. In all honesty I've been discouraged at the sin and shame all around me and in my own life, but thanks be to the One who gives us grace to live trusting Him to give us victory and even using us as a tool to impart courage to others along the way. A young gal posted the following quote on her facebook this morning and it spoke to me. Wow! I have a real and true help by my side. There's no need to be disheartened...

The Savior is by the side of His tempted and tried ones,
with Him there can be no such thing as
failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat.
Desire of Ages 490

Even our trials are to be a source of joy. "How's that?" You ask..."Seems it really wouldn't be a trial if it were considered joy".

That's probably what the Lord had in mind. If rather than groaning under the weight of the trial and considering caving to the temptation we turned our thoughts to thankfulness and looked to Jesus, life wouldn't seem half so hard.

My brothers and sisters,
count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:2 -3

Ah, patience. I've prayed for patience. Do you suppose the trials I have been sent were in answer to my prayer for patience?

Probably so. All the more reason to count my trials as joy. Later the chapter talks about the qualities needed in trials; swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath... It's a tall order. I'm working on being slow to speak. Good thing the Lord promised to help!

The Lord has already given me opportunity to share His joy. One young someone, very closely related to me, was not very joyful this morning at finding out she had done the wrong chores this morning and was being held accountable for the chores she was suppose to do (icky job nobody wants). We talked about the Joy of the Lord in trial and we prayed together. She chose to have joy and to ask for it. May she continue to ask for it.... for as you and I know, this is a moment by moment decision to choose the Lord's side.

Blessings on your day. May the joy of the Lord be your strength.
Acceptance with Joy

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Promise of the Week

Have faith in God.

For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Therefore I say to you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.

Mark 11: 22-24

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Out of Africa

My mom lives in Africa helping Aids orphans. She wrote an interesting experience and posted it to my dad's blog. Check it out! Here

Monday, November 2, 2009

But When Jesus Comes

Steve has been on the front lines dealing with N1H1 in the ICU and it's just so sad! He works 12 hours a day with that virus and it's victims. He can't tell me much, of course. Eveything is vague.... but he does tell me that his patients are 20, 30, and 40 year old normally healthy men. He says there are few women as sick as his patients and the children he has taken care of are not near as sick as those strong young men. Older people seem to have an unexplainable immunity.

Steve told me about a 40 something dad who adopted a little thing from China just last year. I feel for all his patients, but when there is some little tidbit of information that ties them to an interest of mine they become more real. They lose that faceless body-in-a-bed image in my mind and I begin to pray.

I wanted that man with the little China doll to make it. I prayed for him. I wanted the little one shielded from more pain. My heart goes out to the little family... that little girl who has experienced so much loss in her young life.

It's unfathomable that her new daddy is dead. Dead from a stupid flue. What a heartbreak!

Garhett's song from choir rings through my head.

..... Then he looks into their eyes and wonders how he can explain
In this sin filled world we live in why there’s so much pain

But when Jesus comes in clouds of glory
He’ll take the suffering away
When Jesus comes we’ll live in glory
There’ll be no sin, there’ll be no pain
Forever and a day

At times it’s hard to understand the suffering we go through or the times when your world falls in on you
But just hold on to Jesus, and He’ll hold on to you
And in that time of trial you’ll come through
. . .

I don't know the family. I don't know their circumstances or how many children there are. I just pray that God will be with them in their grief and pain and that He will see them through.

Steve's off to work again this morning. He may be taking care of the 21 year old on the brink of death today, maybe...or maybe it is the 30 year old, or the 45 year old ... God go with him and give him strength and be His helper in this time of plague.

Stay well everyone! Stay well!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Successful Adoption Fund Raiser

Last night the church put on a bake sale auction as a fund raiser for Tom and Cindy's adoption of two little ones from Ethiopia. Lots of people really got behind the project. When I saw the stacks of food to be sold I was thinking we might have a hard time selling it ALL, but amazingly people came through and a great time was had by all.

Steve was chosen to be the auctioneer. I'm not exactly sure why they chose him other than no one else would do it. He can't remember people's names. He doesn't know what certain baked goods are called and he is quite funny only because he really doesn't mean to be. For example he started off the night calling cinnamon rolls "cinnamon gravy rolls".... Some in charge were aghast... and evey body laughed. He was very much in earnest about raising money. He started off with a bang and raising the prices sky high. I bought a pie for $105 dollars!

Steve was using me to bid things up... whether or not I was bidding on an item was besides the point. He'd nod in my direction and that was all the clue I had. Sometimes he even pretended that I had bid... but he himself was bidding against his audience. If it weren't for such a good cause I doubt he could have gotten away with that. If it had been a political arena the headlines would have been screaming "Corruption!" Anyway, I had so much loot by the end... I was trying to give it away .

In the end the total was a spectacular $3,600. The Lord blessed!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Thought

This quote caught my eye today. I read no further....

"When you wear the weed of impatience in your heart instead of the flower Acceptance-with-Joy, you will always find your enemies get an advantage over you."

Friday, October 16, 2009

All I can Say is WOW... Thank You, Jesus!

I received an email this morning regarding little guy. It brought happy tears to my eyes. I am so grateful to the Lord that He sees and knows and cares for His children. The family I took little guy to last Wednesday evening have been in the process of adopting also. They have been waiting 2 years for a girl. They took little guy to help me out for our vacation for two weeks. I'm sure they got the message that we had decided not to adopt Little Guy. After a week and couple days they have decided to adopt him. I am so HAPPY for him. I just know he will do fine there. The mom is such a warm, beautiful person. They have already adopted 2 boys older than Little Guy. All I can say is PTL! My heart was broken for the little one and I wished I could help him, but I didn't have the peace knowing that he was the child for our family. Now I can rest assured that he has family and can stay in the area to be near his sister and that his sister's placement was not jepardized by his disruption. This whole thing had caused me quite a lot of distress... I can now sleep at night!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thank You!

I have appreciated all the prayers and thoughts and stories shared in our behalf and the little guy. I have had to do a lot of thought sorting. It will take awhile...
Thanks for the encouragement.

We are enjoying the cabin on the ocean and the time to relax and think and play as a family.


Acceptance With Joy

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The transition to new foster mom didn't go all that great last night. It was rather rough on the kid and he was tired and should have been crawling into bed, not meeting yet another family. Anyway, he has some major coping mechanisms that kicked in and saved the day.

I pray for him. He needs a strong home and love and everything. We have decided that we cannot be what he needs. He needs a therapeutic home and we are very inexperienced. We have three fabulous girls who never had a trial in their lives in comparison. I look at the previous mom who had to give him up and all her experience and strengths and I know, if she can't do this "who am I kidding?".

The stuff I learned and the acting out that started yesterday helped us to conclude that we are not right for him. One of the things that the social workers felt was in his favor was that we have no little children, but the fact is we live around kids. Yesterday was a good example....there were 15 or 16 kids of all ages in my yard and house, counting mine and the little guy. Later in the day I was working with 30 kids at choir. I live around kids. I work with kids. Our church is full of kids. That's the way I want it.

What I learned in the meeting is all confidential. If you try to guess at what the issues are you will either be generalizing or wrong.:-)

I felt no peace about keeping him, but I had instant peace when my husband said, "We can't do this". Thanks for all the prayers. I felt them. I think our answer is quite clear. I feel bad for the little child, but I think we could do him greater harm by not having the tools that he needs, than if he moves on to a better equipt home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Been "Working" with "Dad" all Afternoon

I teach music on Wednesday afternoons. Steve was repairing a broken water pipe at the barn. He kept little guy with him the whole time. Wheelbarrow rides, lots of dirt and rocks and shovels and guy stuff. I came home from choir and he saw me crest the hill in my car and was waving and waving! He's just so happy and he had to show us all they had done. He had a good, good afternoon and I am sad to have to tell him that we take him to another house tonight...

Whew! Okay... Need Prayer

I spent a few hours in a meeting about little guy. I learned a ton. I learned some things I did not want to hear. I feel quite a bit of pressure to say very quickly if we are committed to this child or not. I feel like I am in a bit of a corner, but I can't allow that to dictate our answer or when we answer.

I talked at length with the previous parent. She was honest and sincerely wants the best for him. She's heartbroken and struggling with the whole "I failed him" process. I encouraged her best as I could. She has to think of the safety and well-being of her little children. She told me stuff the social workers were not really saying... Stuff I didn't want to hear but needed to know in order to make an informed decision. There's a lot!

He had his first major tantrum while Steve was watching him and I was at the meeting. He got over it because Steve didn't cater to him and he decided to just do what he was told.

I am feeling very burdened about the whole thing. A little stressed. Just praying for the Lord to make it clear. I don't want to commit without a clear calling.This disrupt stuff can't happen to him again. I have to be 100 percent without a doubt committed to the long-haul.

We go on vacation tomorrow. Our plans were somewhat changed. We planned to stay at bro-in-law's cabin on the G Island, but that plan fell apart and we are headed to R*sario and then sis-in-law's for Canadian Thanksgiving , Lake L*uise, Banff, and on up to CUC to see Steve's mom. We need all this time to just think and talk.

Somehow, this wasn't the way I had envisioned things to go. I expected to know something, read something, pour over files, talk to social workers - then meet the kids and get to know them, and then decide. Not, get the kid, and then find out some information and get some background on him, then be put on the spot to decide. Does that make sense?

Feeling very unsettled about it all!

I will be taking him to the next respite stop this evening. He will stay there 2 weeks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Playing Happily

He plays pretty contentedly by the hour. I took him out to the garden and we picked a lot of tomatoes... I was picking orange ones because I know frost is bound to arrive sooner or later. I looked over and saw his bowl overflowing with green tomatoes : -) He was only trying to do what I was doing. It's alright. We have TONS of tomatoes and a few fried green tomatoes might be good.

We have two TONKA trucks that my little nephews left here a long time ago. They have come into good use.

I will go to a meeting about this little fellow tomorrow. Apparently there are differences of opinion about what exactly should happen next. One is adamant that if he moves his sister moves also, but she is so happy in her home and doesn't want to. The other staff just want to find him a good home close by so the siblings can have contact.

For those of you who know me... keep this under wraps for now. I am not ready to make "waves".

We have been asked to consider adopting him should the decision be that he can be moved without his sister. We were asked if we would consider the sister. She is 5 years older than he and happy where she is. I think they should allow her to stay there.

Pray for this little guy. Pray that if we are suppose to be his parents that we will know without a shadow of a doubt. It is still possible for doors to open or close.

He sure is cute!

First Impressions

He hasn't even been here 12 hours yet and he's talking about staying and having his "mom" bring his trucks and toys here in a wagon. He told Vanessa up in the garden that he wants to stay here.

I could love this kid. His smile has captured me.

He is sweet and mild mannered. He isn't the least bit shy or afraid. He likes the dog and the cats and he is thrilled with the rabbits.

When Steve walked in last night he ran to the door and shouted, "Hi, Steve!" and then he went behind the wall and giggled.

I read his history and I can't figure out why he isn't more visibly damaged!! Obviously, he is on his best behavior, but still. He has had 7 placements in his short little 5 years and nearly all of them were pre-adoptive homes - meaning he has been disrupted way too many times!!! Until this last one none of it was his fault. His sister was the issue, but now she has found home and it wasn't right for him.

I was told he would not go to bed easily... that he would play around in his room until he was ready. I tucked him in and he was asleep in 5 minutes. I was told he wakes up at 5:30 every morning but he didn't wake up until 6:30. He didn't want to brush his teeth and there was no toothbrush in his bag. I found a new toothbrush and after the first couple whines (the only I have heard so far) he brushed like he knew what he was doing.

He has brown, expressive eyes and needs a haircut. He talks all the time.

I sent his broken glasses with Steve to the Eye and Ear Clinic next to the hospital to be repaired. Thankfully they still had his subscription in the case and they came from that very clinic.

This little guy knows who God is. He seems familiar with church and such... but doesn't fold his hands or close his eyes when we say grace :-)

I have simplified my day so I can be home with him. Cindy will take the girls to their classes to help me out. I think we'll work in the garden and pick tomatoes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wetting Our Feet!

This morning I had this weird feeling.... I couldn't really put a finger on it.

Later I got our first call!!! I am headed out to pick up a little boy from a disruption - his second!!! We are keeping him as respite for 2 days because we are going on vacation to Canada on Thursday. This is an emergency visit with us. I'm excited and a little nervous. Pray for us!

PS. I thought it was a 2nd disruption, but have since learned there were many more...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Forbid Them Not

I was going to title this blog post "Our Fleece is Out", but my heart has experienced a renewed sense of purpose since my time with my Bible this morning and I decided that "Forbid Them Not" was more appropriate.

Funny how the mind works. I would hope that I am not that "double minded" person that James 1:8 talks about, but I certainly have a tendency to let little nagging doubts hide in the closets of my mind. I am very "practical" about it, however. Isn't it prudent to allow God a way out? Maybe He was just testing me to see if I was willing to serve? I mean, I really, really want to, but does He want to use me?

We've done all we could to prepare ourselves for Washington's waiting children. The homestudy/ foster care licensing visit is over. Besides going in for my appointment to retry on my fingerprints today, there is nothing more we can do but wait for awhile. We have acted in faith. We have relied on God for His guidance. We have had many evidences of His hand in the process. Now, why would I be wondering if this is for real?

Last night we all gathered in the livingroom before bedtime as we always do. The kids were all busy chattering about how the homestudy visit went and wondering how long it would take for us to get children, etc... I told them it could take a long time and then added that it might actually never happen...that we were willing, but that God just might have other ideas. Basically, I told them that we had put our fleece out and the next step was to wait and see if God wanted to use us.

Kind of sad, really.

I didn't think that it was so sad then. I was being practical. Having faith and being practical is not synonymous, though. My dad preached a sermon on that topic just a couple months ago. (It just takes me a long time to learn!)

I found myself in Matthew 18 and 19 this morning. I had turned there for another reason, but found myself reading these verses:

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me...Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones. It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. And Jesus said, Suffer the little children and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Okay, Lord, bring it on! We are ready.(Or at least, as long as You are with us, we are ready!)

I think this journey has a lot to do with refining my character... I am seeing a lot of things about myself that I don't like and so I am thankful for the promise:

Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Voluntary Redemptive Suffering

I have been reading all sorts of books lately... many of them on adoption. I found this book called The Whole Life Adoption Book at the library by Jayne E. Schooler. I didn't realize it was written by a christian until I got to the section I am about to share. I read it and reread it and then read it out loud to my husband. We were both impressed and reread it again. We decided this was a couple of pages worth keeping to go over again and again and so I have typed it all out for future reference. voluntary redemptive suffering.

Adoptive parents are frequently inundated with questions not only from household members but also from extended family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

The two questions that come up most often are “Why adopt?” –Especially when the child is seriously ill, retarded, biracial, or advanced in age – and “What makes this child adoptable?” These questions deserve a response from a spiritual perspective.

To answer the first question – “Why would you accept someone else’s child as your own?” – Adoptive parents can look to a higher principle in life.

The principle, at the heart of how and why hundreds of adoptive families guide their lives, can be called voluntary redemptive suffering.

Wrapping one’s heartstrings around someone else’s child is a voluntary choice. Each year, hundreds upon hundreds of adoptive parents around this nation voluntarily stand before a judge to make a promise to a stranger’s child: “We will be your family forever, by our choice to do so.”

Adoption is not only voluntary; it is also redemptive. “Redeem” means to release, to make up for, to restore. An adoptive family’s guiding light is the vision to restore to an abused or neglected child the dignity of life that was ripped from him. It is a dignity that child was born to enjoy.

In addition to being voluntary and redemptive, adoption involves suffering.

To extend your energies around the clock with no guarantee of a night’s rest to care for a seriously ill child – that is suffering.

To be told, “You are not my real mom/dad.” And to continue to give live in spite of that rejection – that is suffering.

To see a child recoil from affection because of years of abuse, and to know that you would gladly carry the pain for them but can’t – that is suffering.

Why do people adopt? Because they live their lives by a spiritual principle – voluntary redemptive suffering.

What makes a child adoptable? – Adoptive parents can again focus on a higher principle: the value of life itself.

In an age that values life only if it is productive and its presence convenient, there are still adoptive families who see beyond the ugly consequences of severe abuse, beyond the fears of debilitating handicaps, beyond the barriers of age or race. They look beyond all these things and see a child. They see a life that by virtue of its very existence has worth, value, and promise. They see a child in need of adoption.

Yes, families still volunteer to take the risks inherent in restoring the dignity to a child. In the process, they willingly suffer disappointment and pain. Yet they still choose to adopt because of their strong belief in the value of life. As they reach out to the abused, neglected, and dejected, these families are piloted by the Giver of life Himself.

Jayne E. Schooler, Realistic Advice for Building a Healthy Adoptive Family - the Whole Life Adoption Book, (Colorado Springs, CO, Pinon Press, 1993), page 72.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Enlarge the Place of Thy Tent

I have felt like a blind man trying to maneuver a maze as I have searched for and researched adoption agencies. I am thankful for the internet and all the resources at my finger tips, but I am definitely growing tired of the all the dead ends. The list of incompatibilities is daunting. Some can’t work with us because we are not US citizens. Some cannot help us because we are just outside of their district. Some just plain aren’t interested enough to answer their emails or to send us information. Some only do International adoption. A lot of them have their required classes on Saturday and are not able or not willing to make any kind of change or exception. Every program is different and every program requires different things from us and most interestingly the costs range varies incredibly. One by one I have tackled each agency and read every word of information I could get on them, and I have asked for more and laid out just who we are and our status in the US and where we live. For each one I have set out with the thought that “this might be the one”.

I really got excited about one and almost sent in the application money. Communication was happening; answers were clear; people were helpful; their costs were reasonable and I felt pretty safe and then we hit a snag. I was disappointed but not discouraged. I immediately turned my focus to other programs I had bookmarked in my head and emailed them all. I kind of forgot who I emailed and who I hadn’t by this time, so to be on the safe side I emailed everyone on the list that I had not heard definite word back from. The responses were really not what I was looking for. One suggested I call another agency, etc…. I still had high hopes for Bethany Christian Services but for some reason they had never answered any of my emails and I was getting fearful that I would annoy someone if I emailed them too many times. I finally received a packet from them in the mail and for the first time, as I read the information, I became very discouraged with the whole thing. I went to bed wondering if this really was just my idea after all and not prompted by God.

The next morning I gave the whole thing to the Lord again and told Him that I wasn’t looking to do something that was outside of His plan for us. To adopt special needs children I would need His blessing and if He didn’t open the way for us then that was okay for me. Perhaps He has other plans for us of which I know nothing. I decided to stay away from researching anymore agencies for awhile. I would just let it be and trust that God has a road mapped out for us and I would just relax and walk it and try not to question why I had been led the way I had thus far.

I opened my Bible as I needed some words of peace and I found myself reading a few verses in Isaiah 54. Now, I realize that chapter is primarily referring to God’s people and His church and presenting prophecies and promises in regard to that, but at the moment the verses seemed to be speaking directly to me. I felt like God was right beside me telling me not to give up hope but to look forward to "enlarging my tent " to accommodate some of His little ones. A few minutes later I checked the email and found another agency that I did not recognize had emailed me. I quickly scanned the information and saw evidence that this was really worth looking into. I closed the email and thanked the Lord. I felt no need to investigate further at the moment but only to savor the hope and the comfort the Lord had given.

I will look into it later, but for now I am enjoying the peace of resting in God’s will and knowing He will reveal His will by and by.

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing… thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

Fear not….

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called….

All thy children shall be taught of the LORD;

and great shall be the peace of thy children.

Isaiah 54:1-5, 13

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Children of God

This particular quote I am sharing here is very intriguing to me. This, written a hundred years or so ago, recognizes the issues that traumatized children face today. Does it mean I pray any less hard for "my children" so that they are as protected and unscathed as possible? For sure, no! but whatever we will face is already known to God. It does mean there is hope for those damaged children we know are everywhere.

There is a wide field of usefulness before all who will work for the Master in caring for these children and youth who have been deprived of the watchful guidance of parents and the subduing influence of a Christian home. Many of them have inherited evil traits of character; and if left to grow up in ignorance, they will drift into associations that lead to vice and crime. These unpromising children need to be placed in a position favorable for the formation of a right character, that they may become children of God.

Are you who profess to be children of God acting your part in teaching these, who so much need to be patiently taught how to come to the Saviour? Are you acting your part as faithful servants of Christ? Are these unformed, perhaps ill-balanced minds cared for with that love which Christ has manifested for us? The souls of children and youth are in deadly peril if left to themselves. They need patient instruction, love, and tender Christian care. ~Welfare Ministry 221

In placing among them the helpless and the poor, to be dependent upon their care, Christ tests His professed followers. By our love and service for His needy children we prove the genuineness of our love for Him. To neglect them is to declare ourselves false disciples, strangers to Christ and His love.
If all were done that could be done in providing homes in families for orphan children, there would still remain very many requiring care. Many of them have received an inheritance of evil. They are unpromising, unattractive, perverse, but they are the purchase of the blood of Christ, and in His sight are just as precious as are our own little ones. Unless a helping hand is held out to them, they will grow up in ignorance and drift into vice and crime. ~Ministry of Healing 205

Read in Ministry of Healing the chapter called *The Helpless Poor

Feed My Lambs

Think of the wants of the fatherless and motherless. Are not your hearts stirred as you witness their sufferings? See if something cannot be done for the care of these helpless ones. As far as lies in your power, make a home for the homeless. Let everyone stand ready to act a part in helping forward this work. The Lord said to Peter: "Feed My lambs." This command is to us, and by opening our homes for the orphans we aid in its fulfillment. Let not Jesus be disappointed in you.

Take these children and present them to God as a fragrant offering. Ask His blessing upon them, and then mold and fashion them according to Christ's order. Will our people accept this holy trust? Because of our shallow piety and worldly ambition, shall those for whom Christ has died be left to suffer, to go in wrong paths?--Testimonies, vol. 6, pp. 282-284.

Read in Adventist Home the chapter called *Caring for Needy Children

Closer to Jesus

Good deeds are the fruit that Christ requires us to bear; kind words, deeds of benevolence, of tender regard for the poor, the needy, the afflicted. When hearts sympathize with hearts burdened with discouragement and grief, when the hand dispenses to the needy, when the naked are clothed, the stranger made welcome to a seat in your parlor and a place in your heart, angels are coming very near, and an answering strain is responded to in heaven. Every act of justice, mercy, and benevolence, makes melody in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds those who do these acts of mercy, and numbers them with His most precious treasures. "And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels." Every merciful act to the needy, the suffering, is regarded as though done to Jesus. When you succor the poor, sympathize with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriend the orphan, you bring yourselves into a closer relationship to Jesus.-- Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 25.

Read in Welfare Ministry chapter 27 * The Care of Orphans

Also read chapter 28 * Adopting Children

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To Undo Heavy Burdens

I am convinced that the only way to know our Father’s will for our family is by spending much time in prayer and study of the scriptures. The more I try to understand the words and themes of the Bible the more convinced I am that God has a definite plan for us to be more directly involved relieving the suffering of others.

Isaiah chapter 58 has provided much food for thought the last couple of days. One can read with the heart and clearly see our duty as the people of God. Many blessings are promised for those who spend their energies loosening the bonds and heavy burdens of the oppressed. We are told that “we need to study more carefully the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. This chapter marks out the only course that we can follow with safety…” 4BC 1149.2

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor that are cast out? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from you own relatives?

Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

Then shall you call, and the LORD shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, “Here I am”. If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness; And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light dawn in obscurity and your darkness be as the noonday:

And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones: and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

And you those from among you shall build the old waste places: you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Paths to dwell in.

Isaiah 58: 6-12

Precious are the promises given to us in these verses. When we obey we will be given direct access to heaven so that when we call the Lord will say to us, “Here I am”.

All my fears are melting away. Should the Lord see fit to open the door for us to help orphans He will be there to provide the wisdom and patience necessary to see their needs met. He will meet the needs of our family and our girls. He will be close to us and work with us. The promises covers all the bases and I have nothing left to fear.

The only thing that I am having trouble with is that every door I have tried thus far won't open. There seems to even be a lock on WACAP's door. I have their packet, I have received great emails, and answers to my questions and everything. After all the research they seem to be the best suited for our needs...except for one thing. They do their training classes on Saturday and they are not able to change that...and well, you know the rest of Isaiah 58!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Beauty for Ashes

I was reading in Isaiah during the Sabbath hours and I was impressed by the first verses of chapter 61. It seems pretty clear that we have been given a commission to go and help other more unfortunate people and exchange their heavy spirits for praise, their mourning for joy, and the ashes of their ruined lives for beauty. One Bible version actually says, "Give them bouquets of roses for their ashes". Obviously, we must be anointed with God's Spirit to be able to do this and in fact He is the one who will do the work through us.

Can you think of more brokenhearted and bound captives than the orphans of our land? When you think of children, particularly older foster children, doesn't their brokenheartedness come to mind? Aren't they bound by fear and trauma, captives of circumstances and their parent's poor choices and totally in need of comforting? What a blessing it would be to exchange their ashes for beauty, their mourning for the oil of joy, their heavy hearts for ones of praise, and to train up these broken little twigs to become trees of righteousness.

The good tidings is that Jesus loves each one of these little children and He is able to make good come out of the mess that miserable humans have inflicted upon their lives.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
ISAIAH 61:13

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Promise

I have called you by name, from the very beginning
you are mine and I am yours. You are my beloved. On
you my favor rests. I have molded you in the depths
of the earth and knitted you together in your mother's
womb. I have carved you in the palm of my hand and
hidden you in the shadow of my embrace. I look at
you with infinite tenderness and care for you with a
care more intimate than that of a mother for her child.
I have counted every hair on your head and guided
you at every step. Wherever you go I go with you, and
wherever you rest I keep watch. I will give you food
that will satisfy all your hunger and drink that will
quench all your thirst. I will not hide my face from
you. You know me as your own as I know you as my
own. You belong to me.
H. Nouwen