Sunday, March 13, 2011

a small but needed reminder...

"the lord has promised good to me.
his word my hope secures.
he will my shield and portion be.
as long as life endures."

i sang these words this weekend at a conference and they stuck out to me like never before. i wrestle with anxiety all the time. it is something that I have to proactively fight against or it beats me. i have learned that the best way to fight it is to remind myself of god's promises and truth.

i am excited about how fast all of this foster care license process is moving. but i'd be lying if i said that anxiety about the whole situation wasn't looming in the back of my mind. there are still so many unknowns and so many questions and i think about them all the time.

as we sang this verse of amazing grace this weekend it was as if the lord was speaking right to me. reminding me that he has called me to this and he has promised good (not ease or comfort, but good) and his word reminds me that my hope is secure. he will be my protection, my leader, and all that i need as long as my life endures. i will need this reminder again and again as this process continues. please pray for me and feel free to remind me with truth often.

"he who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Thursday, March 10, 2011

children desiring god [part one]...

some of our kidstuff staff team and volunteers are currently at the children desiring god conference in minneapolis - and let me tell you, it is cold here - we left 75 degrees in texas today to come to 30 degrees in minneapolis, but i digress. back to the conference.

the theme of this year's conference is "holding fast to the word of truth." tonight, they kicked off the first session with dr. john piper.  piper reminded all of us the importance of teaching our kids the truth, that there is absolute truth and that god is the only one who determines that truth.. he pointed out that those who do not know and stand on truth will perish. the bible says we are saved by grace through faith and faith by definition is a perception of truth that we are willing to lay down our lives for. if there is no absolute truth, then there is no faith.

in a time when all truth is "relative," one of the best gifts and blessings we can give our children is to teach the truth (the bible) in such a way that portrays god's glory.  so how can we get kids to believe this truth? how do we train them to know that the bible is truth and the bible pertains to all of life and reality? we have to teach the entire bible, cling to what jesus said and teach the children the gospel. and at the same time we have to pray and pray and pray.  we have to pray for the spirit to open their eyes and reveal to them the glory of this truth. otherwise it will always appear foolish to them. so we teach and we pray.

this means we have to trust the lord. i think this is why so much children's curriculum out there is moral based or behavior based.  we fear not being able to control the spiritual outcome of our children's lives and so we desperately try to change their behavior. and sadly it often appears to work for our compliant children, but later in life we see no fruit. that is because their behavior was changed, but not their heart. we need to pray that the holy spirit would change these little ones hearts and we need teach the bible in such a way that every time we teach could be a time the spirit uses to open the eyes of another child. we much teach jesus, the truth, and our need for it in every story we teach.   so portray the bible in simple stories with this prayer, “oh god do this miracle. reveal to them your glory!” and if and when this happens it will have far more significance than compliance to mommy and daddy’s rules.

conclusion for me: i think we do well teaching, but i have got to be praying more for these little ones. my time in prayer for them verses my time spent programming, reveals what my heart believes about who is saving them. ouch.

i am sure dr. piper's message from tonight will soon be posted on you should check it out.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

the hole in our gospel...

i am way behind on writing this, but i finished this book last month. i had a hard copy of the book but i listened to most of on audiobook. the author, richard stearns is the president of world vision.  he actually starts the book by sharing his story of how god called him to be president of world vision from being a ceo of another major corporation.  stearns then goes on to talk about how much of the gospel is about loving and helping those in need, in addition to telling them about jesus. he uses the illustration of a bible with all of the social aspect of the gospel cut out and says that is the gospel that most of us live by.  only a few here in america actually live in radical obedience to christ like he calls us to.  we often do just enough to look good and get by. stearns also bombards you with some pretty startling statistics of the state of our world. but I think what I like the best about the book was how he leaves you with how you can start helping now.  what you can do to get started on this daunting task. its a long book, but well worth the read or listen.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

i came across this song the other day and thought it would be great to share. its called "planting trees" by andrew peterson (who wrote and sings the behold the lamb of god album i love so much). the song uses the illustration of a tree to talk about parenting. i am not even a parent yet and i really like it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

new house...

well today was another big step. today is march 1st and today i get to move into my new place. i won't actually start moving my stuff in until this weekend. but it is another big step. this move is a little different because i am not only moving to a new place, but i am preparing a place for a kid. once i am settled in, i will be able to continue doing my homestudy and hope to be licensed for foster care by july or august. i am sure i will post some pictures of the place soon.