Monday, August 20, 2012

Some things to check out

I wanted to share some books that I am currently reading, and I wanted to give a few links to maybe check out in some spare time. Soon in the future, I will be featuring some friends of mine who are going through the adoption agency. It's funny because we're in the same parts of the process. Just thought I would give you some things to check out if you're interested! Have a fantastic day! 
 This book is in response to some of the universal ideas off hell not existing. It's been quite interesting so far. 

This is another book in response to the "is Hell real" debate. Christopher Morgan and Matt Kearns went to seminary together, so Matt suggested that I read this book. It's really intense, and there is a lot of history about the progression of the debate. It's going to be good, but for sure challenging! 

  I think the cover speaks for its self, but it's about the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and it's amazing so far. Since I am reading 3 books right now, I have said that I will only read this one before bed because it's my "fun" book right now. It's long, but it's kept me up too late some nights because it's very intriguing. 

       The link above is a blog that I've started reading. I just finished her book. It's interesting because in many ways I connect with her. She moved to Uganda, and through a lot of craziness has adopted 14 little girls. I read the book, cried through the whole thing, and I have wanted to keep up with her life. She posts when she gets a free moment between running an organization, raising 14 children and helping need in her village. Check it out. 

     This link is to a site that I found after watching the movie, "The Machine Gun Preacher" with the one the only Gerard Buttler. It was a very odd movie, and I finished feeling pretty empty inside. So, I went to do some research. This guy saves children who have been forced into the army as part of the civil war in Sudan and northern Uganda. His means of doing this are very controversial, but at the same time he's doing a lot of great things. I haven't formed an official opinion on the matter, but I think the result is making a difference there. Also, I think it's worth just visiting the site to read his story of redemption and the children's as well. 

      This link is to a ministry that I firmly believe in. They are doing great work in places throughout the world. It's run by Vernon and Amber Burger (you can follow on twitter at @vernonburger @amberburger @hisvoiceglobal). You can support a child by paying 10 dollars a month, and it can feed that child in an orphanage for the entire month. Only $10! I was amazed! Check them out, they are pretty awesome! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Overwhelming Bliss

Yesterday was quite an overwhelming day for me. It was just one of those days when life seems to be too much, when I'm too confused, when there's too much to do, the list goes on. I sat in the the living room with piles of paper work to fill out for my new van, my new personal insurance policy, my taxes and still more paper work for foster care. I found myself really having no clue what I was doing. I didn't know what to tell the insurance consultant on the other line that was really trying her hardest to help me out, nor did I know what it looked like to fill out paper work to register the car in Jeff City rather than Festus. I started to cry (which isn't a big surprise because I do often but this was a little different of a cry), yeah I had a little pity party. I boo hooded on the couch all alone because I didn't know what I was doing. Really thinking about it now, it was totally silly because there are so many more things that I don't know how to do, and if I start sitting around and crying about all of them then I'll never accomplish anything. Needless to say Holy Spirit jumped onto my bad attitude, kindly reminding me that I was probably overwhelmed because I was not heading His word very well, nor had I spent a quality amount of time with Him that day. He brought to my mind the great passage that often wrecks my life -
              Philippians 4. 4-8: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. 
Holy Spirit reminded me that this is really the answer to my overwhelming days. It's not to cry about it on the couch, trying to figure out what I should do, but it's bringing it before Him. Yeah, I will probably still cry because lets face it for some reason Jesus saved me and when He did my heart transplant, when He made me a new creation, He made my heart the softest heart imaginable. (I cry when a commercial is too good for goodness sakes!), but in the midst of those tears I really have to bring it before Him and press in.
After I got over myself, I was spent a little time reading Kisses from Katie, which will make anyone realize they need to suck it up! Then I spent the rest of the evening reading the book of James. I love and hate James all at the same time. It's so practical, but it's so convicting. I was reminded why I do what I do, because Christ saved me and He calls me to a higher life. He wants people to know and love Him, and I have been called to be a person to show Him. A verse really stood out to me while reading it, one that I've read many times before, but by being where I am in life and beginning to work with the people I do, it really came alive-
              James 2.5: Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised to those who love Him? 
I want to see a revival in the trailer park that our church ministers to. I want to see revival in the lives of the children that are entrusted to me. I believe it can happen, and I believe God will use them to really show others the kingdom of heaven. I'm excited to witness the moments when Jesus transforms someone's life and makes them rich in faith, though they can be seen as the outcast, poor or orphaned. Yesterday is just one day on this journey where God is going to wake me up and remind me that I am nothing without Him, and that I deserve hell, but He chose me. I wish I could say that it's a one time deal and never again will I find myself complaining and being in the pride seat again. However, I am a realistic person, and I know there will be times when God will kindly remind me that it's not about me. And, I'll probably whine a little about that too, but I will keep stretching out to hopefully be closer to God's heart and have His desires mold into my desires, the desire to see the poor in the world become rich in faith.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finger prints, TB test and life history

I had my second face to face, first in-depth, meeting with my worker today. We laughed, shared some stories and I asked a lot of questions. In return he slid a packet of craziness across the table. The picture is a all inclusive foster care packet, jammed full of a life history paper I have to write, a TB test, background checks, finger printing, behavioral classes, STARS classes, payment plans, home visits, attorney qualifications, judge hearings, class schedules and last, but certainly not least, reference forms. When John, my case work, flopped this in front of me, he chuckled and said "welcome to the world." It's a little overwhelming honestly. But as I walked out of the office and sat in my truck I was reminded of a verse that I have begun memorizing. It's Acts 20.24: However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and completely the task, the Lord Jesus has given to me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Well I can say the packet that lies before me now is looking like a large task, a 3 month task to be exact. When I was reminded of that, it didn't seem so overwhelming. God didn't make the promise that this process was going to be easy, nor did he promise that it won't seem like a lot. But, he did promise he would never leave nor forsake me, and he asks me to lay my anxieties at his feet. I think I am going to get a good taste of what laying my anxieties down really means. In all of this though, I am very excited. There were some foster children running around down stairs while I was there, and it made me a little bit more excited. God's heart is for the orphans, and I believe he is making my heart more and more like his in that aspect. 126,000 children are waiting in foster care right now in Missouri, and it blesses me that Jesus is going to use me to fix that problem. I just wanted to update you on the happenings in this hopeful life. I want to leave you with a song that continues to touch my heart through this process:
Bless the Lord, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Monday, August 6, 2012

Adam Dunn

Well Adam had asked for me to take some photos of him, so before we went to a Chevelle concert we went out. It was interesting because he's very much a free spirit. So, I followed him around and just shot. All these are straight from the camera and not edited.