Friday, March 18, 2011

"Children of God"

In honor of beautiful friends who forever made a precious little boy theirs this week and for friends who found out they'll be a mommy and daddy in four short weeks, all thanks to the beauty of adoption, I'm sharing this link. It's Third Day's music video to "Children of God".  For all of those waiting to grow their families, may God's patience see you through.  And in the daily increasing ache in my soul to have the craziest rainbow of a family, Lord be blessed.  Thank You for adopting me in spite of all my sin.  May I never live one second not acting like Your child.

Christy, thank you for sharing!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ease of Medical Care

In the morning I'll be having a minor surgical procedure on my elbow.  While I despise surgery because it's a flat out annoyance,(and don't I ever know it!), I couldn't help but be incredibly grateful to be able to have the surgery at all.  The thought that such a simple fix for a lot of pain would be highly difficult to come by in Zambia, and many other parts of the world was fixed in my mind most of the day.  The equipment to diagnose the problem with my elbow can't be found in every country.  A clean facility with good nurses, doctors, and anesthesiologists aren't easy to come by in many places.  Then, the insurance to make it financially possible for me to have the procedure without bankrupting my family is something not many nations can boast.   I couldn't help but ache in my heart for those who have non-life threatening but painful and annoying conditions and have no way to get treatment.  Most NGOs, mission groups, and health organizations only focus on meeting the needs of patients with incredibly serious conditions.  I understand that, and it certainly makes sense, but the minor issues can add up over time.  While I can't promise I won't be grumbling some the next few days, I do know I'll be praying much more frequently for those who 'suck it up' on a daily basis.  Lord, bless them!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: Adopted for Life

I loved this book because it is written for every believer, not just those thinking about adoption.  Russell and his wife Maria do have 2 adopted sons, but Russell's passion is for the church to see that orphan care is a call on every Christian's life.  He speaks to individuals, families, pastors and churches as he urges each group to pray about how God wants each one to be concerned with the "littlest of these".  Russell backs up every point he makes with Scripture references, which I greatly appreciate; his ideas aren't from a man, but from the Lord.

Oh, and for all my hardcore Southern Baptist family and friends out there, former president of the IMB Jerry Rankin is a proponent of this book.  Also, Russell is a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.  :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: Son of Hamas

I was so anxious to read this book that I didn't even wait for the library to get it for me!  I stopped by our local branch after work and found it on the shelf.  It was so hard to put it down to go to sleep or go to work. 

Mosab, now called Joseph, has had an incredible 33 years of living.  Wow, wow, wow.  He's such an insightful man, and is able to describe the difference between good and evil in fabulous ways.  Please grab a copy of this book.  It's very easy to read and so informative about what's really happening between Israel and Palestine.  Mosab's faith is still new, but God is using his story to do mighty things. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

2011 was the first time I've ever gone to an Ash Wednesday service in large part because most Methodists and Baptist don't observe the day with a lot of pomp and circumstance. I was grateful our church pastors decided to hold to the Christian liturgical calendar and honor the day.  It was a simple service of prayer, Scripture, reflection, and worship.  I like the symbolism behind the ashes of repentance and sacrifice.

I suppose what I don't understand is the fasting from 'things' that so many people in our country choose.  In the churches in which I was raised, and in my family, the focus was on separating oneself from things that put distance between the individual and the Lord.  Certain attitudes, various types of media, and sleeping in were often the topic of discussion when it came to Lent because these things eat up our time and tempt us from drawing closer to Christ. I simply still don't understand the reasoning of giving up something that won't result in my knowing my Savior in a deeper manner after 40 days.   So, my 40 days of aching to see Jesus more intimately have now begun. 

Reveal Yourself, Jesus, especially to those who don't yet know You as we prepare for Easter.  Amen.

Stepping Heavenward

Sometimes the big planet on which we live feels a lot smaller than it looks.  One weekend last April, I went to visit my sister-in-law Brie and my two nieces in Arlington for a long weekend.  When we arrived at church on Sunday morning, I was surprised to see that their pastor was a kid I had grown up with at my church 280 miles away.  Jeff and Brie just love Clint Dobson, and kept telling me how much he had done for their church in the 2 years he'd been leading it.  We all visited some after the service, and I loved the look on Clint and his wife Laura's faces as Jeff tried to explain how this white girl was his little sister.  Priceless!  Isaac and I visited again in June, and Clint always thought it was fun to have the UBC representation at NorthPoint. 
Thursday night is babysitting night.  I don't remember life before Thursday babysitting night.  From 7:45-10:00 I'm with three of my favorite little people, mostly getting them to sleep and then reading a good book or working on Bible study.  I guess it was about 8:00 on this past Thursday when I heard my phone beep.  I ignored it because the two older kids and I had a fierce game of Mexican Train happening.  Concentration was needed!!  After I got them down for the night, I started returning calls, only to see Brie's message that Clint had been found murdered at NorthPoint about 4 hours earlier.  I stared at my phone in complete disbelief.  I did not just have that conversation with Brie; there was no way such a horrid thing could happen to a wonderful man of God who had a beautiful, young wife.  Impossible.   

I called our associate pastor's wife and spoke to her for a long time.  Their kids had grown up with Clint as well, and I found out more details, as least as much as anyone knew at the time.  Nothing made sense though, and my brain literally hurt trying to comprehend murder inside of a church building.

As events of the past week have unfolded, the world learned that two men were after credit cards and decided the church would make a good target.  I'm sure more details will be made known in the coming weeks.  However, for now, there isn't peace in those facts.  There's mental torment for the Dobson family, the two church families Clint influenced for Christ, and for Jeff, Brie, and the girls, as they try to figure out 'why?'. 

We live in a world where the Prince of Darkness has been given power to reign.  It's a tough fact to swallow when as Christians we strive to cling close to the power of Christ as possible and reject the evil of sin.  No, God didn't want Clint to be murdered, but because He gave humans free will so that none would be forced to love Him, He knew long before time began that this would happen.  Thankfully, God also gave a solution two thousand years ago on a cross as His Son suffocated to death (yes, there is irony there) to bridge the gap between eternal life and death for those who believe in Christ.  Praise Him! 

What's more, Clint is a martyr for the Faith.  We don't know yet what his last conversation on this side of Glory was like, but Clint died doing what the Lord had asked him to do with his life.  And while I know many people who are desperate for vengeance and justice, those will be handle by God.  He promises: Deuteronomy 32:41-43 and Nahum 1:2 are just two examples.  In the mean time, I know that Clint is with the martyred saints sitting at the throne, as described in Revelation 6:9-11, begging Christ to return soon.  May it be so, and may the Truth of the Lord that overflows from His Word bring comfort to those who are suffering until that glorious day.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Son of Hamas

I can't wait to get my hands, eyes, mind, and heart on a copy of this book!  Mosab is the son of one of the founders of Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group.  And yet...this man is a Believer, a brother of mine because of the precious, redeeming blood and love of Christ.  Just the thought gives me chills.  Our God is at work, and He is raging war against the Dark Powers of this world.  The library will have it for me in a couple of days, and I know I'm going to be amazed at Mosab's dedication to reach Palestine with the saving grace of Jesus.

To read more about Mosab's book until I can post my own review, check our Joel Rosenberg's blog.  Joel is a wealth of information about all things Southwest Asia and End Time events. To see Mosab's own blog, click on the link on my blog roll under "Ministries and People We Support" or click here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bailey!

Six years ago today, I brought home the sweetest, sickest little long-haired chihuahua.  Bailey is now 8 years old, healthy as can be, and he has yet to slow down as he ages.  Kong treats, walks, chasing squirrels, fleece blankets, and our two gerbils are some of his favorite things.  And while I don't like to admit it, Bailey loves his daddy more than me.  They have a pretty special bond, and for that, I am grateful.

Bailey got a few TINY bites of hot dog with his dinner tonight.

Bailey got half of the doggie ice cream treat (made by Purina) and a small nibble of a Miss Ginny's carrot cake cupcake for dessert.  We enjoyed the rest of the cupcake.  :)

Yummy birthday treats!
We hope we have more years left with Bailey than we've had with him so far.  Thank You, Jesus for such a precious gift!

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