Sunday, November 29, 2009

So Long Emmy Ruth...

On Thanksgiving Day this little sweetheart came and told us goodbye. She passed court a few weeks ago and went up to Addis Ababa to wait for her new family. Her new Daddy and big brother Alex were kind enough to bring her to Adama for a final farewell. Everyone here loved her so…she was the little queen. We know God has great plans for her life! This is what it’s all about …an orphan being adopted into a new forever family …a wonderful family doing their best to fix what this world has broken. God bless you “R” family!

Friday, November 27, 2009


I can’t believe my little girl has been around for a decade! Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! I love you goose…have a great day!

“10” Things I love about you…

*I love to hear you play the piano and sing. I am so glad God gave you musical talent.
*I love that you sit and make plans for how we can feed the homeless.
*I love that you have a heart for children and that you are so good with them.
*I love your imagination. You create so many fun things.
*I love your smile. It always brightens my day.
*I love to watch you give what few possessions you have to those who have nothing.
*I love your heart for the orphan. That you “get it” at such a young age.
*I love to hear about all the dreams you have for the future.
*I love to cook with you. It’s fun to make new creations.
*I love to witness your faith in the Lord…the faith of a child. It’s a joy to see you grow in Him.

I could write a million things I love about you!!!! I look forward to many more decades!!! I pray you always trust in the Lord. He is your strength and your guide. Remember, we must follow Him…even if it’s hard!!! Following Him is what life is all about!!! I am so grateful to God for the gift of YOU!!!

Happy Birthday to you…
I love you,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

You Are Being Monitored...

The “I am Thankful” list is endless….so I decided to focus on one thing. That sent me to thinking …what has God been discussing with me lately? Well, many things…but something stood out…The “Christian” of today. No, that’s not what I’m thankful for. Honestly, I’m quite the opposite. Lately, I have noticed unsavory trends among Christians. Maybe they’ve been around for a while, but I haven’t been hanging out with church people for too long. Anyway, where does the typical bible thumper get off? I’m not talking about divorce rates, “Sunday Christians”, bigotry, prosperity gospel lovers or even orange kool-aid drinkers (although all these things need to be addressed). I’m focusing on the new, scripture-spewing, judgmental, “us against them”, Pharisees….if you will. This new generation who are growing up in perfect, Mommy and Daddy married forever, quiver-full, liberal hating, don’t go near the sinners cause the stain might rub off on you-type families. (and before you bust a forehead vein…if I could go back in time I’d be married forever with a quiver full of home schooling, garden growing, skirt wearing, green bean canning, goat raising, farm living, Jesus loving little ones…you can have all this and not raise what I described above!!!!!) Unfortunately, that’s not normally the case… many such families are raising biblically proficient, socially illiterate kids whose one-sided opinions are a dime a dozen, but their doing nothing to make a change, much less are they living it …and the above situation can be changed to describe any family in any situation. So…to the point….are you raising road blocks or salt and light? Many are raising road blocks even if you want to think you’re not. Just a few years ago I was playing for the other team (Satan’s Flamethrowers)…and about 90% of “Christians” that I encountered were ROAD BLOCKS ….they in no way, shape or form demonstrated Christ to me. I was going to hell (even though I didn’t think so) and they knew it and they did nothing to stop it. Now that’s just stinkin’ sad. They looked down at me and treated me as if I were beneath them….like my sin might be catching. They had no interest in my salvation or eternal destination. And for the few who left me little prayer pamphlets ….I think you could have tried a bit harder. I know this is all critical …that there are some who try…but I can count on one hand those who made any effort at all ….and I was living deep in bitterness, hate and sin for about 23 years. These statistics bother me…maybe I take it personal …or maybe I’m just a pushover. Or maybe it’s because all those liberal, pro-choice, bitter people who live to satisfy their flesh represent my past…I was one of them …and proud of it. Enough testimony babble …What I was trying to say is that I know what it’s like on that side. I know how they feel about me (disciple of Christ) and I know nothing I can say will change their minds. But that doesn’t mean “give up”. I can pray (which I do desperately for some I left behind) and I can be their friend (even if only casual) and I can stop judging them. They (referring to ALL lost people in the world) do not care how many bible verses I have memorized. They care if I speak to them like an equal, they care if I reach my hand out to theirs, they care if I listen to their story and their opinion …they know if I am genuine …and if I am they will eventually look at my life …and THIS my friends is where Jesus likes to work. God will pursue us but He won’t force us …so when He has us cornered He likes to place people in our paths to SHOW us truth. God knows what we need to see and that is who He will use. I think this is where so many fall short (including me). Someone IS watching you …what do they see? Please take time to think about this. Do they see hypocrisy? Do they hear laughter as they walk by? Do they become part of your gossip? Do they feel the judgmental stare? Do they witness your excess when they are in need? How are you representing God to them? I think this is very important!!! Most people who are lost truly don’t know God. So you may be the only God they ever see…..most who represented God to me would have never encouraged me to want to know Him more (luckily I had experienced God as a child, so deep down in me was the truth) . This isn’t so for many others. God chased me for a long while and placed many in my path …most, I never noticed. But one man and his family were obedient to God. By that, I mean they were living Jesus out loud. God knew that I needed to see this family and their lives…this is part of the way God was winning me back. This man could have been rude to me or I could have witnessed him be a hypocrite …but that never happened. He would bring his family to the restaurant I worked at. I already knew him from my childhood …and respected him greatly. Over a two year period I watched them. They always said hello, they always asked how I was, and they always treated everyone with the same kindness and respect. When I was pregnant (and not married of course) they never made a rude comment and they never stopped treating me in the same kind manner. They didn’t knock me over the head with the bible and if they judged it certainly wasn’t evident. God used this man and his family to show me a better life. God knew that I wanted to give my daughter something more and He knew exactly what I needed to see. But what if Pastor Jim wasn’t living it out? What if he wanted to keep his children away from me…because I would be a bad influence? What if he thought himself so much better than me that he quit being nice? I know that he doesn’t even know that he played a significant role in my coming back to the Lord …but the Lord knows …and more important …now I know the Lord!!!!! So, I am thankful for Pastor Jim and his amazing family (some are now even my friends)….and of course they are a quiver full, home schooling family!!!!! So see, I’m not a hater….I was just giving an example before. I must keep in mind that some of you may not actually know me …so you should know that I also home school and share many of the values of the family type I was tearing apart before …it’s just a real example. Have a blessed Thanksgiving over there in America!!! Remember, God WILL use you and you probably WON’T know it!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Receipe for a Full Day of Fun

Some old bottle caps
Handful of dirt
Eight children
Endless Imagination

Give an equal amount of bottle caps to each child. Pack dirt into one of your caps (this will be your throwing cap) and stick the others in your pocket. Divide children into groups of two. The first group can each lay a cap on the ground (side by side) and stand back behind the line. Each child gets one throw (with the throwing cap prepared earlier) to hit the caps. If they miss, than each child can flick their cap from where it landed to try and hit the caps again. Whoever’s cap landed farther away goes first. You may capture one or two caps depending on if they move. Repeat until smiles occur. (This is similar to marbles). Enjoy this homemade fun!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

If He Comes

I’ve been searching for my purpose…..well my human (in my own mind) purpose …..God’s purpose is played out as long as I obey him…and keep my eyes on him …..follow his commandments….I couldn’t wrap my mind around it anyway. Actually it is probably more simple… God with all that you are and love your neighbor as yourself …..this is what Jesus said you know ……simple really. I want to love the neighbor who is about 5 years old and the dirtiest child I’ve ever seen in person….living on the street ….but with a smile that made my heart happy. What did she have to smile about? Maybe seeing the white person was a good enough reason ….she ran after me….unashamedly….I hugged her and moved on. I want to go back and see her…maybe take her an apple and some water and a hug. She literally is my neighbor, living just around the corner from my gate….but she is my neighbor regardless of where she lives ….so are you. So really, it is simple. Why can’t I chase after Jesus the same way that little girl chased after me? It really is a likely parallel ….to that little girl maybe I was hope or change…someone to lift her up out of her despair…a reason to smile. That is what Jesus was to me (and still is). One day I looked up from my dirty, boring life that was leading me down the road to death….and I just happened to see this cool guy walk by. He was different from anything I’d ever seen. He noticed me….not like the others. He embraced me….he offered me something different and new and it filled my heart with hope. So much so that I couldn’t help but smile. I by no means am comparing myself to Jesus …..but I am called to be as much like him as I can be. Maybe I can be Jesus to that little girl…if not me, than who? God knit her together in her mother’s womb…he created her with a purpose…a plan for her future. God doesn’t make mistakes….she wasn’t an accident….she is not a burden. She didn’t mess up ….we did. That’s right…. “we” did….all of us. By being part of a society that allows there to be 147 million orphans (does anybody really believe God made that many extra children…whoops). The apathy is tearing me apart …mine and everyone else’s. I know it sounds so cliché, but what if Jesus did come back today. Do you think He just wouldn’t notice the 147 million? Do you think He would accept our excuses? Heck no, I think He would be mad…really mad …knocking tables over mad. Why do you have so much extra room in your house …why do you have so much extra money in your bank account? Why are MY children starving? Why are MY children dirty? Why are MY children alone? Why do you have plenty and MY children have none? Did I not tell you to care for MY sheep? Did I not tell you to do to the least of these what you would do to ME? Did I not tell you the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these? Did I not tell you whoever welcomes a little child in MY name welcomes ME? How in the world do you come up with an excuse good enough to make Jesus say, “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right, that is more important than MY children”. It breaks my heart and it hurts my soul…deep inside of me. Where I question God and man. I become still…not because I am thinking of something great or even spending time with my Lord …but because I feel empty. So helpless …I just sit and listen to a constant whisper in my ear. The lies are overwhelming but they make sense …because Satan seems to be winning this one. I absolutely refuse to give in!!!!!!! I “MUST” do something to make a difference in that little girl’s life. I have to step out of my comfort zone…take a chance ….be unashamed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tis The Season...

Tis the season to overspend
Suddenly each coworker becomes a friend
Even the relatives you never see
Must have a package under the tree
Not to mention the kids with their lists
Taking great care so that nothing is missed
There are stockings to hang and cookies to ice
Way too much naughty and not enough nice
A tree to trim and bows to tie
The same for each so no one will cry
It's more about get and not about give
Forgetting the babe and the life He lived
I wonder how Jesus would spend Christmas Day
I'm guessing He would give Himself away
No strings attached, No pretty bows
Just simple acts of kindness wherever He goes
Giving to those who are really in need
Doing something that will truly plant a seed

Maybe this year you would like to buy a chicken, a school uniform, or a pair of shoes...for a child in Ethiopia. Maybe you would like to help an orphan have Christmas. Maybe you would like to buy an awesome t-shirt from a family after God's heart, so that they can bring an orphan home to his forever family. Maybe you would like to sport a bracelet that shows your support of a family who are orphan advocates. Maybe you might purchase one of many great items that are sold to help families finance adoption and to feed hungry children in Uganda. Maybe you would like to contribute to one family's dream to pay for "someone else's adoption". Maybe your family would give up one gift each...or all their that someone less fortunate could experience the love of Jesus Christ. May you be blessed in this season...May we all reconsider the price that was paid ...May we truly give so that we May truly receive all that He has for us. Amen.

Please check out these sights for any of the above ideas:
Gift Catalog/Buy a chicken
Christmas for orphans
My friends who are adopting
Orphan Advocates/Adoptive family
Orphan Advocates at 147
Funds for "someone else's adoption"