Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crazy Love- Being Radical for the Lord-

I have wanted to post for sometime these thoughts about our faith and why we do what we do... So I will try to share some of my heart and certainly about the love I have felt most all of my life. I was born into a loving family and was given the opportunty to view what my heavenly Father was like thru the love of my earthly daddy. I have a wonderful, loving earthly father who has been the best example of love and patience. So when I gave my life to the Lord at an early age of 12 it has been an easy transfer of the same feelings I have for my earthly daddy to my heavenly daddy. I know that the Lord loves me and cares for me. I have been reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This book has been an ispiring book to read and Pastor Chan expresses alot of the way I feel about my Lord and His call on our lives as believers. He challenges us to believe that God is really who He says He is and that the true reality of our life is to follow Him wholeheartedly..... He challenges the status quo and norms of the so-called "Christian" life that so many of us are used to experiencing. He states in his book that the life that Jesus calls us to is absolute craziness to the world. It is fine to believe in God, but to really love Him is a whole different story.

Remember my conviction about being pro life? I was deeply moved the weekend before the election about this ... most Christians only vote pro life.. I hear lots of people sharing about a particular canidate who is "pro life" and that is who they are voting for.... and they go into a booth on election day and vote... but that is usually where their pro life action ends. They walk away and not much more is done for their belief about how important the sanctity of life really is. Again voting helps but it is a small amount. I was convicted to encourage others to be radical about the sanctitiy of life... for the Lord. So that is the main reason we adopt special needs. We know how important all life is including the special needs children...We live out our faith and belief by adopting and growing our family thru the birth of the Lord's love in our hearts for a particular child... He has been gracious and has allowed us to adopt 17 children almost 19 so far. Yes we are deeply convicted pro life believers and we have really no choice but to live the way we do because of the compeling love placed in our hearts to share this love and our lives with children . Now is this radical.. that depends on your definition .. to us it is almost insanely natural how we live each day. We have chosen this life and have never looked back... we know more intimately the sweetness of pure surrender to God's purposes.In Chans's book he shares that the Lord wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them. He believes that God wants us to be known for giving- of our time, money and our abilities- and to start a movement of "giving" churches... I would say that we as "Christians" are called to give our all to the Lord and to change lives and then the values important to our Lord like pro life will be changed... one life at a time . When the world starts to see us as givers then we will have a huge effect on the things that matter to the Lord... things like James 1:27- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress....I can not imagine myself devoting my life to a greater vision than this... some would call us crazy...I believe the Lord commands everything from His followers... and I want to to follow Him more fully.

When we are consumed by our problems, stressed about our lives, our families.... we actually convey the belief that we think our circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice....Sort of like what Chan's shares is an attitude that I have a right to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsiblities.Worry implies that we don't trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happenining in our lives.

Life is all about God and not about me at all....Chan goes on with what I think is very profound insights into how we live our lives daily thru the power, and love of Christ. He says it is easy to become disillusioned with the circumstances of our lives compared to others.... no matter where we find ourselves right now in life...Our part is to bring Him glory....the point of our life is to point to Him in whatever we are doing. He is the one in control over our lives and what will happen. We can turn inward in response to tough times or life in general or we can asknowledge our lack of control and reach out to God. If our lives were stable we would never need God's help or reach out to Him. I thank God for the unknowns and that I don't have control ... because it makes me run to God. This is exactly why we have been called to fully rely on the Lord's provision for this adoption.... thru almost very mysterious ways we have seen the Lord provide... daily for our needs and now for the cost of adopting these 2 precious children. It is crazy what we are doing but it is also very exciting to be on the cutting edge of seeing how the Lord blesses those who partake in His will and how he moves in others lives without any doing on our part. Yes, it does bless those of you who do share in any part of bringing a child home... but it is not about us... it is all about God. What He does in the lives of others is an awesome thing but, the mere fact that He can and does work in the lives of people is all glory to Him. He chooses us and we can respond.

Many people die living their lives selfishly. At their funerals no one would think of saying the truth to speak about the person's life being meaningful- there is an obligation not to say anything unkind... but the truth is some people waste their lives. A person's funeral is usually "nice"... all are but it won't matter to us who just died. When we face the holy God, this word nice isn't what we will be concerned about. Any compliments we received will be gone... all that is left according to Chan is Truth.

We are all going to die...we should live our lives knowing this can happen anytime or day to us or someone we love. Our works will all be shown for what they are... because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss;he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping thru the flames 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 ... as is written in Chan's book Crazy Love- A friend of his shared a wise perspective on death... he was asked if he weren't spending too much of his time serving and giving too much away. His gentle but honest answer was "I wonder if you'll say that after we are dead." I too would challenge my blog readers to this thought.. we all need to stop living selfish lives and forgetting God. Not forgetting or always remembering that He is everything !

Finally I leave you with this : God is more worthy of trust than anyone else. We should not question His love or doubt His care and provision for us or to what He calls us to....Even if it is to the Crazy life of a family with 24 children. It is all about Him!

Friday, March 20, 2009

adoption update

We have finished our home study- we did a complete one instead of just an update so that we are covered well with USCIS. This was done in an amazingly quick timeframe - praise God! We are sending it off to the Hague I 800 office in Michigan and then it goes to Missouri - so please be in prayer for this document to get approved sooner than later. We have our dossier ready as well. All of the documents required have been done and we only need this USCIS approval to send it off to Bulgaria. What a praise that we were able to get it all done in record time... We have also gotten some financial support and we are very grateful for everyone who has commited to us and the adoption of our 2 newest children... The Lord has been very evident in this adoption and we have once again seen His provision as we have stepped out in faith . If you would like to share in this with us we are going to share a more specific need chart. This is our first adoption where all of the amount has to be raised.. meaning we do not have any in savings for this or the ability to draw from it... a blog friend thought "that just because we do get a 10,000 per child reimbursement for our adoptions surely we they could adopt as many as we". I think that she was being a bit jealous or something and I did not quite understand her comment on another forum... however we still have always needed to raise the amount of money needed before we adopt ... this credit comes after the adoption as long as we have receipts showing we spent that much...which we always do .. adopting is very expensive and costly... This does not keep us from believing or stepping out in faith to adopt when we have felt the Lord calling us to a child.

We also do not feel called to do specific fund raising for this adoption- (We are not against others doing this just that we have not felt the Lord telling us to do this) We have been very influenced by 2 believers about the Lord's provision for our lives and family... George Mueller, who helped 1,000s of orphans in England during the 1800s ... he had great needs and saw the Lord provide for all of them... and he never fund raised but shared only his needs with the Lord and watched as the Lord provided.... Also Brother Andrew , a man who is often called the Bible smuggler. He is still alive and has been sharing Bibles in countries that don't often welcome them... actually it was illegal. He smuggled Bibles into Soviet Countries and now has a heart thru Open Doors to share the Word with Muslims. He too only shares with the Lord his needs and he has seen the Lord's provision in some amazing ways... This is what the Lord has shared to Paul and I and so you won't see much in the way of "fund raising " for these adoptions... you will see us asking for your prayers as we step forth into the lives of orphans in Bulgaria...

We are adopting 2 unrelated children who are in diff. regions of Bulgaria. Gracie is in the North and Dancho is in the South. So we will be spending more time in country for this as I shared and it will cost us more... Why has the Lord called us to this extra time and money journey? Would it not be "better" for us to adopt "cheaper" and less time in country? Yes, as the world sees things.. it would have been "better" or made sense to not have 22- 24 children... in the world sense... but we do not follow that sense...we answer to the Lord ... why do we do what we do? 2 Corinthians 5:14 was given to us on one of our Russia adoption trips... "because the Lord compels us"

I pray that my blog readers will be so compelled to follow the Lord.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

update on Jonas

He did great and we are home tonite. The surgery went so well that it was an hour shorter than they thought it would be. He has not asked for any pain meds.. but I have given him some to stay on top of it. Tomorrow we take off his bandages but he now has a conformer in his socket and we go to the next step... He was so funny coming home. He said,"They are all gonna wanta see me ya know." He was right as soon as we pulled in they all came running and I heard him share all about his surgery. The girls were glad when they approached the van that he was bandaged but the boys were disappointed... they wanted to see "something". Thanks for your prayers !

Monday, March 16, 2009

Please pray for Jonas on Tuesday

Just asking for prayers for Jonas Tuesday... he is having his first eye surgery to prepare his eye socket for his prostetic eye . He lost his eye as an infant to cancer and is so excited to be doing this to have a chance at getting another eye so he will look more "normal". It will be at Johns Hopkins at 9:30 am.... Hoping to update later in the evening.... which means we made it home. Thanks for your prayers.....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Well we have decided to adopt a second child with Dancho and she is:

Here name is Diana but we are thinking her name will be changed to Gracie. She is a tiny 6 yr old with some delays and she is in a diff. orphanage than Dancho so we will be gone an extra 5 days but what are 5 days and extra money when it comes to a child? We are very blessed to have both of these precious children in our family.... our homestudy is done and getting approval and we are just about done with our dossier docs.. so then we wait but we are all excited to bring them home. I have posted their pics up in our home and the children refer to them lots now.