Sunday, December 30, 2012

Little Duckies

Plane tickets purchased.....check
Hotel booked....check
Travel money....check
Dog sitter....check
Gifts to bring....check
On and on....check

Yesterday I posted this Facebook status:  "spent all morning lining up my duckies."  You can often hear me saying that I like to have all my ducks in a row.  Clearly planning for an overseas trip qualifies for one of those times.  I thrive in organization and order.  Having a well laid out plan relieves stress.  However no matter how much I prepare I cannot shake this anxiety over leaving the kids for 2 weeks.  We have planned and prepared for a whole year to bring a child home.  We have stepped out in faith into the unknown.  God has done a great work in our hearts for a child we do not know and yet fear haunts me.

It is time for me to let it go.  God has chosen this time, these days for us to travel.  Even with all MY planning, HE has diligently been paving the way, directing our steps and taking the lead.  My days belong to him alone.  He has started this awesome work and He alone will complete it.

It is in Christ alone....that we have purpose
It is in Christ alone....that we find life and order
It is in Christ alone....that we are saved
It is in Christ alone....that we have peace
It is in Christ alone....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rend Your Heart

I am currently using Morning by Morning, devotions of Charles Spurgeon during my personal devotion time.  This morning was very pungent and to the point, convicting and motivating.  It put me on the spot and led me to ask myself if I am willing or able to truly "rend my heart and not my garments."

"Even now, "declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."  Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  Who knows?  He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing- grain offerings for the LORD your God.  Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast.  Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.  Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar.  Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD.  Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations.  Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"
Joel 2:12-17
 In these early days, tearing your clothes was an outward sign of grief and distress over some disaster or calamity. It was also a sign of deep sorrow and mourning over someone who has died. Sometimes it indicated a holy indignation (righteous ANGER) against sin and what is contrary to God’s Word.  
Outward signs are NOT enough!  God wants more!  He wants us to give our hearts to him!  This however is no easy task.  We cannot give him part of us and then continue about our own agenda apart from him.  According to this passage, returning to him will be followed by fasting, weeping and mourning.  I believe this is a direct result of our sin.  When we turn around and gaze on his beauty and majesty our eyes are truly opened to our own troubled state.  We are also told to call everyone together; and to worship the LORD.
Have you heard in recent days "Where is their God?"  I have too.  Suddenly a people who have rejected God are blaming him for "not being there".  Though our nation is a nation rooted in the Gospel of Christ, for many generations it has only been an outward display of loyalty to him and more recently a complete rebellion of his truth.  I believe this land was given to us by God to be a blessing to us and to others, a place where we were free to worship Him in spirit and in truth.  God lead people here who were tired of just outward signs and religious piety at surface level.  They gave up everything to follow him.  And He blessed them.
Little by little we have forgotten why we are here.  God gave us this land to honor Him and not ourselves.   We are not going to be able to keep expecting his blessings, without first rending our hearts to him and not just our garments.  A time has come that if we do not turn back to him there will be more and more sorrow. 

"May we never be content with having only the form or pretense of devotion, which may be no better than Orpah's kiss.  Instead, may the Holy Spirit do such a work in us that we will cling with our whole heart to our Lord Jesus." -Charles Spurgeon

Friday, December 14, 2012

For Those Who Mourn

For those who mourn, for those who grieve, for those who wonder why.  Scripture, God's holy word is our only source of truth and peace.  We can find temporary comfort in the embrace of a loved one or a soothing song on the radio, but only God can bring lasting healing.  As a writer I see words as a balm to the soul especially those written by our Heavenly Father.  He tells us to remember him!  When nothing makes any sense and we hurt so bad, remember his goodness. 


Psalm 77[a]

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.

I cried out to God for help;
    I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
    at night I stretched out untiring hands,
    and I would not be comforted.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
    I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.[b]
You kept my eyes from closing;
    I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
    the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
    My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
“Will the Lord reject forever?
    Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
    Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
    Has he in anger withheld his compassion?
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
    the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
    What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
    you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
    the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God,
    the waters saw you and writhed;
    the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
    the heavens resounded with thunder;
    your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
    your lightning lit up the world;
    the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
    your way through the mighty waters,
    though your footprints were not seen.
20 You led your people like a flock
    by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Dear Jesus,   You are the God of mercy and peace.  Please today bring that healing balm that only you can give.  Pour out your living waters upon us that we may be washed in your Spirit and renewed with hope for the days to come.  Turn our eyes to you.  When pain is all that is felt and sadness is all we see let us remember your good deeds.  Lead us like you did Moses and Aaron, show us the way that leads to life.  Your promises I will hold onto.  Hear the cries of your people, dry their tears and heal our land. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not Just a Dream

Somebody pinch me!  Am I dreaming?  Did I really just book tickets with a travel agent?  Yes I did!  After the holidays in January we will be starting off on that long flight to Taiwan to pick up our son!  There were days I doubted it would actually happen.  You may think I am silly, but when one of your children is half way around the world or even in your own living room and things are not finalized legally peace is hard to come by.  An email or a phone call could change everything you know for better or worse.  For parents out there who have done domestic adoptions, you know exactly what I am talking about or from countries who do not have a clear timeline or who change the laws before your process is complete.  It is a road filled with many uncertainties.  It has given us the chance to "test" our faith and put into action not walking by sight.

For this child, I have prayed so hard!  I have cried and rejoiced.  And soon I will hold him.

The Sights and Sounds of the City

Both craziness and beauty await us, not only in the city of Taipei, but in the joining of two cultures as we unite our family come January!