Tuesday, April 26, 2011

For the Orphan

This post has been a long-time coming.  Some things I have to mull over.  Since moving to Colorado, I have been challenged on so many fronts.  God has grown me and stretched me and keeps throwing me on that Potter's Wheel to learn.  He loves me so much.  So he challenges me!

For example, what does a Christian look like?  The guy with dredlocks serving me coffee also attends church and loves God passionately!  His hippy-dippy looks would have made me cross the street 7 years ago, now I want to invite him to dinner!

And what does worship look like?  Seven years ago I would have scoffed at the worship dancer.  On Friday night, I wanted to join her!  However, in platform heels I probably would have broken my foot so I just danced on the inside. 

And massive families!  Wow!  I know two large families and I'm so privileged to love both of them!  God uses each child so miracuously! 

Disclaimer:  I love my family of four, too.  God knows just what we need. 

Our family has been supportive of adoptions.  If it weren't for one very brave birth mom, I wouldn't have had my best friend and cousin, Angie.  My daughter wouldn't have her bestest buddy.  And I wouldn't be blessed with my younger friend either.  My step-sister was a brave birth mom who gave two children life and a family.  They are heroes turning potential tragedy into celebration! 

Note:  Do you know a mom who gave up a child to adoption?  Send her a Mother's Day Card thanking her for giving life!  Know a mom who lost a child to an early death or miscarriage?  Send her a Mother's Day Card - the pain does not go away.  Know a mom who gave a child to abortion?  Send her a Card letting her know God loves her!  She may be carrying a deep hurt too.

But I'd never really thought much about the orphan.  The abandoned, have-no-one-to-hold-me, all alone in the world Orphan.

Then came Colorado.  And our pastors whose hearts beats and bleeds for them.  They are very open with their passion for the orphan.

Not that I was raised completely ignorant of the need of orphans or of Missions.  Quite the contrary.  We've always supported the Assemblies of God Hillcrest Children's Home and Highlands Maternity Home.  I grew up with people like Benny Tipton and Bwana Tembo in my home.  The Assemblies of God Missions department is vast and organized and, frankly, they know what they are doing!  I studied French in high school and college with the dream of going to Africa with the Wakefields.  I never made it.  Maybe....

But my direct impact on the orphans of the world was not utmost in my mind.  Or my heart.

Then I met the Saunders.  More specifically, I met @Isaiah.  Then I was there the day @Elijah and @Elizabeth came home.  I prayed for @Jubilee.  And now she is home.  These little people got in my heart!  And then their older siblings @autumn and @jubilee - became best buddies and friends.  And I've met @ty.  All special kids.

Honestly, I've struggled with my role for the Orphan.  What would God have me do?  Adopt?  Ignore? 

Our family has also taken in College Orphans - kids attending school in Durango, striving to serve God and missing mom and dad.  Through Master Plan Ministries we have met some great kids.  Some needed a place to life.  Others a place to eat.  Some just to do laundry.

We've met Christian Orphans - those whose families have rejected them because they chose Christ.  We've met Locational Orphans - those who just need a Durango Family.  We've met some who have lost a mom or dad;  who have estranged relationships.  ~ Yup, we found or Orphans.

And I've learned that my caring for Widows and Orphans is sometimes just supporting those families.  Like the little guys mentioned above.  When their mommy went to get them and bring them home, I've been honored to have the other siblings over for cookie day. 

Recenlty their mommy was in @ugand@ to serve.  So - Here they came!  (keep reading after pictures)

(I'm the white one in the middle)

My Helper!

Always wants chocolate chip cookies!

Quiet but busy, busy!

She makes my heart happy!

The Big Girls!  They've  moved from the kitchen to
playin in the bedroom now.


I've found my role.  I'm Family Support Personal!

Can you imagine how much these families need our support?  They are bringing home kids who need clothes and hats and mittens!  They need meals and phone calls of encouragement.  Some of these kids have special needs - babysit!

And it's expensive!  Donate to Garage sales and then - shop!  Buy at bake sales!  Is the cost of $50 for a cupcake too much to see a child safe and warm?  And knowing Jesus!?!

Though God has not given me the passion for adoption that he has given others, he has given me a passion for families!  And I have a passion for seeing the God-sized dreams of otheres fulfilled!

What's your passion? 

How about widows?  There are literal widows and widowers who need you!  There are Christian widows and widowers - those who serve God without a spouse - they need you!

There's so much to do in this life!  So many who need you!  No matter your age! 

Get up!

Get going!

If nothing else -

Bake some cookies!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter Sunday 2011

I love Easter!
We celebrate with friends and Family of Choice world-wide the resurrection
of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We are reminded of His great love for us.

And we share that love with each other.

David Christopher

My Kids

Ashley Ruth

With their Dad

Me and my Sweetie!
(Prednisone for 8 weeks has not been kind to my face!)

Larry and Marilyn

(Chris had taken a trip home)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Favorite Easter Hymn

He Lives!

I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today;

I know that He is living whatever men may say;

I see His hand of mercy; I hear His voice of cheer,

And just the time I need him, he's always near.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!

He walks with me and talks with me

Along life's narrow way.

He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!

You ask my how I know He lives?

He lives within my heart.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,

Lift up your voice and sing.

Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the king!

The hope of all who seek him,

The help of all who find,

None other is so loving, so good and kind.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Dirty Little Devil

Here it is!
The evil little culprit!
The reason we can't breathe!
The reason our eyes are itchy and nose is running!

Death to All Juniper Trees!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's It All About?

What's this life all about?

Have you ever wondered that?  Really?  Why do we get up, get dressed, go to work, feed kids, come home, clean, fall in bed and do it all over again the next day?

People have been addressing this question for years.  Rick Warren did in in The Purpose Drive Life.  David pondered it in the Psalms.  Ecclesiates shouts it.  And each human being reaches a point where they say, "chuck it all!  I'm going fishing!"

But who truly answers the question?

God the Father

Our current Church-wide Book read is Radical by David Platt.  It makes you pause.  Reassess.  Question.  All the traits of good writing.

But it's really pretty simple.

God the Son.

It's about His glory.  Not necessarily our comfort.  Honestly, this book flies in the face of many of the things I have learned through the years.  Teaching on weath, prosperity, healing.  Honestly, some things I will hold on to and some things I will let go.  Some things just aren't important to me anymore.  Maturity I guess.

God the Holy Spirit.

It's about His gifts.  Our comforter.  Give by the Father, Promised by the Son.


What if we started with one Radical change in our life?  Just one.  A simple one.  How we pray.

My David once pointed out that many of our prayers are because life has become inconvenient and we are uncomfortble.  The headache.  The bill from where we overspent on a car or house or clothes or food. 

"Lord take his cup that I charged and filled with debt from me!"


It was around 4am this morning that I was contemplating prayer.  And requests.  And healing.  And health. 

Around the 1st of March,  one of my Little Friends at church share their viral infection with me.  Possibly RSV.  The result - can't breathe!  Two emergency room visits.  Two primary care doctors.  Two specialists.  Countless prescriptions.  Inhalers.  Massive steroids.  Muscle cramps.  Sleeplessness.  Wheezy.  Coughing.  Can't be outside. 

My lungs are weak.  I gasp for air in the middle of the nigh sometime.  Sometimes, the couch is my bed.

The doctor told me to take a week off from teaching my Little Friends.

I've been annointed, prayed for, prayed over, prayed at. 

He gives me Grace for each breathe.

Then Chris started coughing.  No.  Not him.  Asthmatic.  Soccer Player.

For Your Glory

"Father," I prayed, "heal my son.  Not for his comfort alone, but for Your glory.  That Chris may use his talents -atheltic and musical - for your Kingdom.  That he lift You up!  That you draw all men to your side!"

Wait.  That prayer was not about Chris!  It was about God!  It was seeing that these light afflictions of our life can be used to glorify God!


One change.  One prayer.  One step.  By step.

Father God, you saved me for your glory.  You redeemed me for your glory.  You have kept me, healed me "and loved me for your glory!  To you be all praise and honor!  Amen!"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Radical - Thoughts BEFORE Reading the Book

Our church is beginning to read Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt.  We've done several books as a congregation and they are always so intersting to see different people's reactions and understanding.

But the title struck me.  It has given me lots of food for thought.  Mulling it around so to speak.

The American Dream
         Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, Fourth of July

First, we need a definition to work with, so to the Internet:

"Definitions of american dream on the Web:

•the widespread aspiration of Americans to live better than their parents did

•The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States of America in which democratic ideals are perceived as a promise of prosperity for its people. ...

Find more definitions here.

Two words:  Aspiration and Prosperity jump out at me.  What about you?  Was it to do better than your parents?  Or were you more bent towards the democratic ideals?

What is my American Dream?

To many, we live a life that they only dream of - our own home, two cars and a third for fun;  two kids, one dog and an RV.  We like to camp, 4-wheel and watch movies. 

But those who know us, know those things have come at a price.  Long hours of work.  Sacrifice.  And a butt-load of medical bills we've decided we will always have so we may just as well learn to live with them and embrace them as our own secret cross.

What are we living our Dream?  Does our dream align with God's dream for us?

I always dreamed of having 4 children.  I've given birth to two and God sent me two wonderful college kids - Chris and Kayle - to adopt.  But it didn't stop there.  The relationship with Chris and Kayle brought Hedy and Leah.  And Nate and Erin.  And then their kids - Eliana and Kara.  And Hedy brought Mark and now Leah brought Malcolm.  And Mark and Hedy are having a baby!  God expanded my dream. 

Now back to my own two kids.  What a miracle!  Man said we'd never have children.  God said, "Ha!"   Chris is handsome and happy and has an understanding heart for God.  Ashley is a survivor!  She's beautiful and courageous and her heart bends to the broken.  They are more than I dreamed of in children.

In both scenarios, neither dream took place the way I had well, dreamed.  Or planned.

Years of fertility drugs and surgeries.  Then a pregnancy.  My son has battled allergies and asthma since an infant.  He was born with intestional issues that, shall we say, challenged us all.  He didn't believe in sleep until he was 2 years old and his nasty, diseased adenoids and tonsils were removed.

My 2nd pregnancy was tough.  Heart palpitations.  Hemorrage after she  was born.  Then at 6 months old, the unthinkable.  Our daughter survived a stroke.  Now she has cerebral palsy.  Surgery is a normal word in her vocabulary as are Medications and Doctors.  She struggles understanding nuance and sarcasm.  Some days her body just plain hurts.

Not in the plan.  Not in my dream.  Not in anyone's dream!

I'm reminded now of Joseph.  He was a dreamer.  Dreamed of ruling.  His dream didn't included being beaten to near death by his jealous brothers, sold into slavery and spending years in a dungeon.  Would Joseph tell us today that the journey was worth the reward?  Worth the pain?  The years away from family?

We all want the end of the dream.  Not the beginning birth pains;  not the middle struggle - just the reward.

I can't wait to see what God reveals to me in this book.  Where is he taking me?  Where is taking our family?  Where is He taking our church?  Where is He taking our ministry, our children, our marriage?

Honestly, I'm a little scared to.  I'm comfortable.  A little.  Not too much.  I want more than what we have now in terms of relationship with Christ.

How Radical to think - He wants more of me too!