Sunday, March 21, 2010

We MUST do something...

I recently watched a video on the church's response the the orphan and the widow, in it, they were talking about how terrorists are now starting to target orphans, abducting them to train them up to be terrorists. Is there a more clear picture of the intentions of the enemy than this? The enemy is an opportunist and wants to take the most innocent and vulnerable of our society and do what he does best....steal, kill, and destroy. He is doing this in very overt and clear ways. What happens to those who do not get adopted? For many of them, their lives end up on a path of complete and total destruction. Sex-slavery, prostitution, drugs, child-soldiers (who, by the way, are often sodomized and infected purposefully with HIV upon arrival at these soldier camps), terrorists, alcoholism. Where the church does not step in, the enemy will and the results will be devastating and not just to these children, but to society. Contrast this to what happens to these same children when a loving, Christian family adopts and or takes responsibility for these children, then they are given the opportunity to get to know the One who loves them, made them, and has GOOD plans for their lives, not just here on earth, but for all of eternity. This is quite a contrast. It is the contrast we all face as humans spiritually as we chose to accept Christ or not. I know not EVERY believer is called to participate in EVERY ministry that has been formed. I personally don't want anyone to feel guilted into serving the Father in any way. However, there are certain things that scripture teaches are things that we should all be doing, things we don't need to wait for God to "call" us to. My job as a believer is never to convict anyone of anything. The Holy Spirit is fully capable of executing this job with grace and perfection. But, I cannot read the facts and statistics and not raise my voice in response. So, I am going to give you a list of scriptures that outline how we as the church are called to respond to the widow and the orphan. The way this response is explained in scripture denotes provision, concern, and consideration that was to be consistently incorporated as a way of life into the lives of God's people, not just a once in a while or and occasional when I feel like it type of response. Here are some of the references: Exodus 22:22-24, Deuteronomy 10:18, 14:29, 16:11, 16:14, 24:17, 24:19, 24:20, 24:21, 26:12, 26:13, 27:19; Job 24:9, 29:12, 31:16-18,21-22, Psalm 10:14,17-18, 68:5, 146:9, Proverbs 23:10-11, Isaiah 1:17, Jeremiah 5:28, 7:5-7, 22:3, Hosea 14:3, Zechariah 7:10, Malachi 3:5, John 14:18, Romans 8:23, 9:4, Galations 4:5, Ephesians 1:5, James 1:27 . Herein lies not only evidence that we are called to respond, all of us, but moreover and more importantly, look at how these scriptures reveal an intimate and precious portion of God's heart. God gave his most precious gift in Christ SO THAT WE MIGHT BE ADOPTED into his family. Clearly, adoption is centered in the very heart of God himself. To care for the orphan is to journey to get to know this portion of God's heart in a more clear and intimate way. I also have observed a wave going through the church (and also non-believers....for he reigns down on the just and the unjust) that He is burdening people in mass numbers to mobilize on behalf of the orphan and the widow to care for them, through MANY avenues, including adoption, foster care, sponsership, etc.... There are multiple ways to care for them. However, each of us needs to ask the spirit what that looks like in our individual lives, but rest assured, we are called to do something, not just look the other way. Jesus is always full of grace and full of truth. There is never a compromise of one for the other, so I ask and pray that my words will come across in the same way. But I do sense an urgency in my spirit for these precious children especially in light of what is also mobilizing against them. If you feel burdened, pray, press in to Him and listen, go to that meeting, make that phone call, start somewhere and God will begin to guide your steps, close and open doors. If you don't feel a concern, pray God gives you one. Ask that you might feel just a drop of what He does towards these children. I know GOd has to continue to soften my heart towards the things that He values all the time. Don't be afraid, for He will provide for you and in the process, you discover the greatest reward of getting to know Him more, trust him more and depend on him more. Please, Father, move in the hearts of your children, mobilizing them on behalf of the fatherless so that there won't be any children who don't know they are loved, and cared for, and made for a purpose.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What is the hub of your wheel?

God often puts pictures in my head to help explain truth to me. I guess I am a bit more impacted by visual images than just by words. One of the clearest pictures once was a wagon wheel. He was explaining to me that in our faith, Jesus represents the center hub and all of the spokes represented the life or expressions of our faith that flow out of the hub. In other words, the righteous acts, the good works, they are all centered on Christ himself and flow out from Him. I believe that all things we are called to whether it be adoption, or helping the homeless, or ministering to people of other faiths, that there is one ultimate unifying purpose. It is the same purpose for which God sent Christ, made the earth, and does all of what He does. It is the revelation of Himself and by that I don't just mean what He does, but the very essence of who He is. Whether He is proclaiming it to the world, or in a very intimate personal way to one person, His heart is the same. He is revealing Himself in all his glory, goodness, strength, grace and love to all of the universe. Knowing that helps me to stay centered. There is singular pursuit in the depths of my heart and that is to know more of Him and ultimately be able to help others see Him in their lives, too. I believe He is what our hearts long for more than anything else. I truly just love him and who He is. He is so gracious and patient with me. He doesn't get angry and mad at me when I make mistakes or am slow to learn as I often am. Because of how sweet He is to me, I just want to be with Him. He is the safest place my heart knows. He is FULL of grace and deals with his creation in the most graceful ways. It is always good to remember your chains. Remember where you were before God called you to some form of service. Remember the fears, the uncertainties, even the resistance. Remember the grace with which He called you to this. We are called to be no less graceful in our service to Him. We are ultimately here to reveal Him, in the fullest way we know how to. Whether that be through adoption or what ever you have been called to we are here to show His heart to the world. Having said that, I am here to say that our pursuit to adopt began as a graceful invitation. He pricked my heart as He opened my eyes the plight of the children of China many years ago. Later, He worked in my husband's heart to give us unity about it. He later provided the resources, the direction and the grace to calm all our fears in the process. He worked to bring us to a deeper place in our relationship with Him. We were painfully inadequate and sometimes downright afraid and unwilling. That is how each of us begin our journeys. We have nothing to bring to the table. God does it. So my hope is that through my story you can see God's faithfulness. How mighty He is. I hope you can see his sweet heart for the fatherless and how he goes to great lengths to show his love to them to make them feel wanted, accepted, and loved. I want our story to inspire you to trust Him more. If He is stirring your heart to adopt, just know that He will provide for all your needs: emotionally, physically, and in every other way. And in the process you will be blessed to know a deeper part of His heart. God is moving in HUGE ways right now to place the fatherless in homes and to revive the church so that we see our call to care for them. He is not only pouring out his heart and passion for this but releasing resources for it as well. He is just calling you to join Him! It is His call, His work, we are just blessed to be vessels for Him.