Our Family

Our Family

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Birthday!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

Today is our little girls 7th Birthday. In the Philippines her birthday has come and gone. We hoped so much to be there with her. We are ready to bring her home. All we need is a release to travel. We have begun to pack. We are watching plane tickets daily. We are so ready to move to the next phase of our lives.

"One year ago today we submitted paper work requesting to adopt you. I never thought it would take this long. Daddy and mommy hope you had a great birthday. I am happy to say it will be your last in an orphanage. When we get home, we will throw a big party for you. I can't wait to meet you and hold you. I know God has blessed you today whether  or not mommy and daddy were with you. We will see you soon. Happy birthday Joy Noelle!"


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Stress of Silence

Here we are, still waiting. I am convinced that the Filipino Government is being used of God to teach me patience. For the last several weeks we have been waiting on that final call giving us permission to travel. But still we wait. It looks like we will defiantly miss our little girls 7th birthday (Sept. 21). Please pray that we will hear soon and for our sanity. I know in the end it will be worth it.

On a side note. We have started an online consignment store through eBay. Please check it out at the link below. All the money raised goes to missions work and orphan care.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Our little girl will celebrate here 7th birthday September 21. It has been our hope to have her home by then. Our agency advised us to have a box ready to send to her in case we do not hear in time. So this weekend we went birthday shopping for our little girl. If we do not hear by Friday of this week, we will have to send the box to her, as we will not make it by her birthday. Please pray with us that we hear soon. We are waiting on her visa interview and our travel release. That's it. We're so close. Thanks for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Expecting Trials

Each morning I have a basic routine. Once the kids are off to school (thank God), I settle into my office for the day, make a cup of coffee, and spend a half an hour or so in devotion and prayer. Today I felt led to write the devotion, rather than read it.

A few weeks ago a preached a two week series on the attacks of the enemy.  As believers we should not be surprised by these attacks. We should expect them and to some extent welcome them. Contrary to many in the church world today, I believe attacks are a sign that we are doing what is right. If you are not where you need to be in God, the enemy does not need to bother with you.

When a Christian couple seeks to adopt a child, attacks will come. You see not only are you fulfilling God’s will for your life, but also for the life of the child you will adopt. So in a sense when trials come you are really fighting the fight for your child.

As my wife and I have moved through these 28 months of paperwork and waiting, we have continually been under financial attack. Why finances? In short, if you don’t have the money to adopt…you can’t.  So here is a partial list:

Emergency Appendectomy $3,000

Tires $500

Dental Work on me $300

Emergency room visit and follow up for our son $1,200

Dental work on my wife $1,200

Air conditioner on vehicle that was 200 miles out of warranty $600

Scans to check my liver function $500

These are a few of the major things. There are a host of smaller expenses like car batteries, doctor visits, etc., etc., etc. We also had a freak hailstorm that caused $12,000 of damage to our home. (Thank God for State Farm.)

 Do you see a pattern of weirdness here? Now I am never one to blame all of our trouble on the devil. Some things are just life. That said, when you experience a constant barrage of trials, it’s probably not a coincidence.  This list equals $7,300.

Think about it. The devil knows who I am. He knows where I live. He knows I need money to adopt. He also knows that if I am willing to adopt, God has control of my wallet. If I were not spending money on the adoption, I’m likely to give it to God anyway.

Here is the point. I’m not writing to you as an appeal for money. God has faithfully provided for our adoption. I am writing to help prepare you for what is to come. Expect it. I now laugh about it. How am I going to pay all these bills (some are already paid)? I don’t know, but I do know a God that can help me pay them. He will provide as I have need. He always does.

“So Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, I affirm again today that you have complete control of every aspect of my life: my marriage, my family, my finances, and my future; therefore, there is no need to worry or fret. I will instead rest in the knowledge and peace of my God. I will seek You and find You as Your WORD says. I will serve only you with my full heart. If one day I have nothing at all, I will remember that I am still rich because I have a relationship with You. Help me to be a positive influence on those seeking to adopt. May I always be willing to share our story.  Now Lord, bless those reading this that are in the midst of a storm. Be the lighthouse on their stormy sea. Keep them safe and as with Jabeez, may they prosper in all that they do.  Thank you for the opportunity to adopt Joy Noelle. May your peace reign in our home and lives, Amen.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Visa and Medical

Just a quick update. We are waiting for our little girl's visa and medical appointments. Once these are finished we will be able to travel. It is still our goal to have her before her B-day, Sept. 21st. Please pray with us to that end.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Give 1 Save 1

As our adoption comes to a close, we are pleased to take part in one last fundraisier. Give 1 Save 1 is an organization committed to helping familes like ours raise much needed funds for adoption. Please take a moment, watch our video, and if you are able doante a dollar or more. We are so close to bringing our little girl home. Thanks you for being a part of her story. http://www.give1save1asia.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Quick Note

The light is appearing at the end of our adoption tunnel. We are in the very last stages before we can travel to bring home Joy Noelle. We are excited and ready to begin this new phase of God's plan. I am writing less often now because there is very little to say that I have not said already. My plan is to keep the blog going until after her adoption has been finalized, about 6 months from her arrival in the US. At that point I can post picture. Until then I hope that you will check in on occasion. For now we wait to have our fingerprints updated...because it's obvious to everyone that our fingerprints change every few months. We are also waiting for her visa approval. At that time we will be cleared to travel. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Letter to My Daughter

Dear Joy Noelle,

I like being able to write my blog to you by name now. It was such a great surprise to receive pictures of you openeing the box we sent you. The smile on your face makes all the waiting worth it. We can't wait to meet you for the first time. Your room is ready and you have a closet full of new clothes.

Today will beign the last stages of your adoption. Yesterday we recieved an email that your birth certificate is here. It should make it to us today. So tomorrow morning we will apply for your Visa, the last step before we can travel to get you.

We are so excited to have you as a part of our family. Our Christian heritage will become part of your story. You will be loved and taught to love others no matter what they look like. Jesus cared for people from all walks of life and from many cultures. We will do our best to keep you connected to your native culture, but we also want you to be a part of ours.

In the days ahead you will have many, many firsts. Your first day of school in America, meeting your family, and our church family, as well as so many foods that will be new to you. I hope you will aclimate well.

Mom and I know that you will be scared. Natalie and Micah will be traveling with us to make it more easy on you. Once you are here, we will do everything we can to help you become whatever God wants for your life. I'm already praying for His divine will and call to be placed on your little heart and mind.

We love you so much already. I can't wait ot hold you soon.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Guess What?

Guess what? We are working on more paperwork and we are waiting more. Isn't life grand. Now that we know our little girl is coming, it would be nice if the paperwork would move on already. But this, as most other aspects of the adoption process, moves at its own pace. We have all the forms filled out and ready to go. All we need is a copy of her birth certificate so we can make formal application for her visa. Our prayer is that we will be able to travel by the first of September. Please pray with us that all our other paperwork will not expire as we wait. This, of course, will add more time. 26 months and counting :/

In the mean time, fundraisng has gone well. We are only $600 short of our $6,100 goal. We so appreciate all who have donated to make this dream a reality. I hope each of you will have an opportunity to meet our little girl when she gets here.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

God will provide as we obey.

Today there is urgency in my heart. I met with a missionary last week. He has dedicated his life to the children of Cambodia. A few weeks ago he received an email notifying him that they will be loosing 90% of the funding for his orphanage. There are 62 beautiful children in this home. Here they are feed, educated, loved, and nurtured in the things of God. While it is true that my wife and I need $3,000 to complete our adoption expenses, I believe that as we are obedient to help raise these urgent funds, God will be faithful to provide for us.

The orphanage must bring in $100 per month per child. What we are seeking to do is find 100 people, churches, or businesses that are willing to donate $500 per year, each year, for the next four years. These funds will ensure the orphanages stability for four more years. If you would like to help us with this project, please fill out the attached pledge form and return it with your donation. This is an urgent need. The funding source will run out in the next few weeks.

Help us save this orphanage.


100% of your donation is tax deductible and will be sent to Cambodia through our Orphan Care ministry, Mission 1:27.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Surprised by Joy

As I sit in my office today, the words to that old Etta James song rings through my head, "At last". Monday afternoon, while waiting in line to pick up the kids, my cell phone rang. It was the call that we have waited for......for 25 months (here I'm yelling). We are officially approved to adopt our little girl. At this time we are not allowed to post her full name or picture, so I will just call here Joy....which is one of her names.

As my head spins around the final paperwork and the final payment of $6,100 due by the end of this week (ouch), I am reminded of a book by C.S. Lewis, "Surprised by Joy". In his case, Joy was both the emotion and the name of his wife. The theme of this book is finding Joy in this life. Lewis recounts the ups and downs of mortality and our never ending search for happiness.

Though we have time of great emotion, true Joy is only found in Christ. It is because of the grace and direction of Christ that we are adopting. It is an honor to be used by Him in this way. To imagine that the God of the universe would entrust us with such responsibility is indeed humbling. Joy is now and forever will be part of the Lewis clan. Her life will be dedicated to Christ. Through the journey, I have no doubt we will continually be "Surprised by Joy".

We can't wait to meet you!


"The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."
                                                     C. S. Lewis, "Surprised by Joy"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It has been a while since I have been able to write. Spring break, ministers meetings, and the busyness of life. I wish I could write today about our approval, but I can't. I wish I could tell you that our little girl is on her way to us, but I can't. I wish I could tell you how I'm not frustrated by all this, but I can't.
I know all the sayings we use, "All in God's time", "You don't want to rush it", "His time is better than ours"...blah blah blah. I know all these things are true but platitudes don't help. Really there is only one thing that does, WORSHIP.

When I'm down and frustrated worship lifts me back to reality in Christ. Those things that I set aside temporarily are brought back into their rightful place. I know God is in control but sometime I want to forget...so I can have a little pity party over in a corner all by myself. While there, I despise happy people. I'm sure none of you experience this. After a time of self doubt and frustration I pull myself up and make myself focus on what really matter in this life...Jesus.

Once I am lost in His grace and mercy, He reminds me that He is in control. Worship causes me to sense the arms of Christ wrapping around me, loving me, calming me. Yes, this process is really annoying me. In the end it's just that, only a process. When the process has come to a completion and our beautiful little girl is in our arms, somehow I bet that the wait will no longer seem long but worth every minute.

We do thank all of you for your continued prayers and for the support that you continue to give us.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Something Bigger

God has placed within human nature the desire to accomplish something greater than ourselves. Most would not think twice about switching jobs if the new opportunity would fulfill them more...even if the money was less. Money does not equal happiness. It is a fact of life we all desire to give back, to change a life, to make a difference. Those who do not have this desire are viewed by society as selfish. Still as much as we think we would do the right thing, when God brings opportunity we find many reasons to say "no". You might say we find baggage to hide behind. "I don't like change." "I think I'm more suited for ___." "But I've been here forever." "I'm really in over my head."

There was a famous king who dealt with this problem as well.
1 Samuel 10:20-23 "So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the Lord, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the Lord, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! 22 So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” 23 So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else."
We can all identify with Saul. He was not ready to become king. Israel had never had a king before. How was he to know what to do? The point is when God calls us to do something beyond our scope of reason, He intends for us to do it. Sounds obvious right? But it isn't. We often forget who God is and what He is capable of. Verse 24 says, "Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the Lord has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him! “And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!" When God directs you, follow.
Don't look at your inabilities, rather, look at God's ability. He is bigger and stronger. He has the power to change you into what He wants you to be. It is not rocket science but we tend to forget.
Two years ago, God called us to start the process of adoption. Some days we wonder if He will ever finish it. In our humanity we ask if He knows what He is doing. Our faith tells us that He does. We know that He does all things well in His timing and in His way.

"So today, I submit myself again to Your will. I ask you to take the baggage of self-doubt, worry, confusion, and money out of my way. Don't allow me to hide behind it. Instead push me to step into the divine purpose you have for my life. Amen"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Turn From Your Sin

There is a very concerning trend occurring within the church.   People will admit their need for Christ, but they will not turn from their sin. This is not how it works. You do not come to Christ but keep doing all the sinful things you have always done. True repentance is coming to Christ with an open heart acknowledging that you are in need of forgiveness and turning for your sin.
(all references form the NLT)

·         Matt. 4:17 “From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

·         Matt. 18:3 “Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

·         Acts 20:21 “I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.”

·         Romans 2:4-11 “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?  But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. 9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.[a] 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.”

No one gets into heaven by the skin of their teeth. You are forgiven and changed or you are not. It is that simple. Much of this is the churches fault. In an effort to not offend, we have become soft on sin. We need to return to a balance of preaching grace and judgment. Heaven is real, but so is hell.
Heaven is forever, but so is hell. Some of you may need to come back to God and say, “I want you in my life and I don’t want to sin anymore.” We are not judging by making sin apparent in a person’s life. That cry is a cop out and expresses the human desire to half do what’s right. God desires, He demands, our full repentance. I freely take of the chains of sin and put on the chains of Christ.
May we always be ready to speak the truth, teach our children, and spread God's love. He is a God of love, but He does not tolerate disobedience.

"God give us the strength to live as we need to live, to stand as we need to stand, to teach as we need to teach. May our families not be lost, but may every member come to know you for who You are; a wonderful and merciful God who gave His life for us. May we be willing and ready to share this good news with our world. May you use our lives to touch the world...whether it be through adoption or loving those around us. Amen!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Two Faces of Disney

My wife and I have been struggling with television lately. "Kids" channels are now introducing to our children many things that we disagree with. There are good things too, but those are becoming fewer. When I was a kid cartoons were on Disney...not today. Now they are all situational comedies. Most of which portray middle school age kids kissing, young ladies wearing very little, attitudes that would have gotten me smacked, and much more.

As an example; the other day my kids and I were watching "Good Luck Charlie". This is a show that revolves around the Dunken family and their toddler Charlie. Great and innocent premise right? Not really. In last episode I saw, the mom kept lying to prove to her husband that she did not need his help...bad from the start right. Well in the end, he finds out, but is there any remorse, no. In stead she says, you mean I can't lie to you, what kind of a marriage is this. (Not a direct quote) This is a normal theme for this show. Perhaps it should be called, "This is How You Lie Charlie".

On another show, "Sweet Life on Deck" gay characters are often portrayed. All of this is done to cause our children to be comfortable with what the world sets as right. Instead, we should be following what the Word of God says is right. Humor is a dangerous thing when it comes to our kids. If they can get us to laugh we become comfortable with the issue being pushed on us.

Disney needs to remember that they are here to entertain, not push sociaital issues at our kids. They need to return to the basics of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. If not, soon Christan parents will be forced to turn it off; thus loosing a large portion of their base. I love Disney World, I love the old cartoons, but something is seriously a mis.

Philippians 4:8 says "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about these things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
"God help us to parent wisely, as you would have us do. Help us to trin our kids in the truth of Your Word, not in what society dictates."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Know and Do

Ephesians 5:17 "Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do."
I have read this verse many many times over the years, but today it really jumped out at me. This is great advice from the apostle Paul; however, it is not easily accomplished. We go through seasons in our lives where, as the word says, our prayers feel as if they are hitting a clanging ceiling and falling back to us. At other times we know quickly what we are to do. The variation of these times in our lives teach us much about the character of our God, about our faith, and about what God wants us to learn.

The Word also says, that sheep should know the voice of their God. What do we do in the times that we are praying and waiting but all we hear in return is silence? What do we do when this is an extended time? The simple answer, but hard action, is to wait. Wait on the right time, wait on His voice, wait to see if our situation changes or a way is made clear.

In those rare times that we hear God speak quickly, we need to jump to obedience and act. There are a few times in my life I knew quickly what I was to do and never really questioned it. One was my calling into ministry and along with it the school I was to attend. Second, was marrying my wife. Third, was our adoption. Fourth, was my returning to school. There have been other more minor things. These times are great, to hear God's voice and do it. There is no greater pleasure.

If you are in a season of silence. Remember that your confidence and your faith is in an eternal and loving God. Remember the words to the old hymn, which is also taken from scripture; "For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."

Take heart seasons of silence often develop into seasons of great joy. Seek to know God's will and do it!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

John the Beloved

There is a song written by Kari Jobe that I love.
"The more I seek You, the more I find You. The more I find You, the more I love You. I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand, lay back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat. This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand, I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming."

This beautiful song puts a picture of John the beloved laying on the chest of Jesus in my mind. I see him as a young man, maybe only 13 or so, just loving His master. There is nothing improper about his love. It is just the opposite. His love is how we all should feel about the Savior. There should be a deep connection between us. It is a love like a father and a son.

I love it when my kids sit on my lap and lay their not so little heads on me. It is a sign of complete surrender. It is us saying, "I trust you to do what is best. I know you will protect me." When we have a love like this for Christ we will also have a love like this for people. They cannot be separated. You cannot love God and hate people.

I can't wait to sit and have our new little girl on my lap laying her head against me. This child that may not trust anyone in the world, rightfully so, will come to know me as her protector. In that relationship we will also have an open door to connect her to the real love of her life...Jesus. May we always make Him our focus and the center of our lives, our love, and our families.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Heritage of Hymns

As a worship leader I am keenly aware of the debate between hymns and non-hymns. It is really a silly discussion. First of all, God doesn't care in what style we worship as long as we worship Him for who He is. Secondly, the answer is doing both. We do not do a hymn every service; however, during extended altar times I pull out a lot of the old hymns. We use them during offering and for the occasional selection during worship. You see, I realized one day that I wanted my kids to know the old hymns that my grandparents knew. Don't get me wrong I love all the new stuff too, but there is something of our spiritual heritage that will be lost if all hymns are set aside.

When we sing a hymn we are joining our voice with millions of the faithful through the ages. Many hymns that we sing are 200 plus years old. Think of the great men and women of faith who sang and worshipped through these hymns.

Here are a few words from some of my favorites. Think about these words and the depth that are in them.

"How marvelous, how wonderful! And my song shall ever be. How marvelous, how wonderful! Is my Savior's love for me." - My Savior's Love - Charles Hutchinson Gabriel

"When peace like a river attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows role. Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul." - It Is Well - Horatio Gates Spafford

"I need Thee, oh I need Thee; every hour I need Thee. O bless me now my Savior. I come to Thee." - I Need Thee Every Hour - Annie Sherwood Hawk

and my favorite hymn - I Am Thine, O Lord - Fanny Jane Crosby (I love Ms. Crosby)

"Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where thou hast died; Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to Thy precious bleeding side."

As I sit and think this morning of my Godly heritage, while listening to Crystal Lewis' Hymn CD, I can't help but look forward to sharing this heritage of hymns with our little girl that will be coming to us soon. She has been chosen by her mom and I. Just as we were chosen by Christ.

Sometimes I don't understand why God has allowed the Lewis family to have such a rich heritage of faith. Then I remember, it is because God forgave and called a poor man from Lake of the Ozark, MO. When he took his family into a small Assemblies of God church in Jefferson City, MO our family was forever changed. He, my grandfather Rev. Harry Lewis, prayed for his children, his grandchildren, to the 4 and 5th generation. A testament of that faith is that all of us, every Lewis, are serving God.

My prayer is what G-pa's was, "May God continue to keep us to the 4, 5th generation, and beyond. May we pass this heritage to those who were born of our flesh and the ones who will be grafted in. May every Lewis remain faithful until Jesus returns. May our heritage of hymns teach us of our great God."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

His Throne of Grace

My evening devotional time this year will be spent in Hebrews. There is so much insight in this short book. It is like the entire Bible written in 13 chapters. I love it. If you can have a favorite book of the Bible this would at least be my New Testament pick. As I was reading last night this verse jumped out at me. I have read and heard it many times, but it is still encouraging to read it again.

Heb. 4:16 "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."

Grace and mercy are two things that we are always in need of. As humans, we live like Paul when he says, I do what I should not and I don't do what I should. Can I hear an amen. Life is tough. Circumstances drag us down. This is why the writer of Hebrews reminds us to meet at a body often and even more often as we see the day of Christ's return drawing near. In these trying times, we need to immerse ourselves in His Word and prayer, meet with fellow believers for encouragement and love, and be willing to boldly approach our God.

Most of us miss that little word "boldly". Our minds tells us that we are not worthy. So if we approach we do it timidly. "Your right mind, I am not worthy. If I was I would not need Christ." Tell yourself this and move on. Go into His presence expecting to receive. I do not approach Him as I did my parents when I was at home; asking for money but expecting a "we'll see". And don't we all know that is code for "NO". I know it is, that's why I use it with my kids...keeping the tradition alive as it were. 

With God it should not be like this. I come to Him boldly, not out of disrespect or an attitude that I am owed, but knowing that my God is big enough to answer my need. So if you need grace today, I do, or if you need mercy today, I do, run to His throne. The one who set the world into motion desires your request. What's more He is willing to meet it.

I have tired to make this a practice; to boldly ask God to move in our adoption process. I don't come to Him each day asking for Him to answer sometime in the next six months; rather, I come each day asking Him to move on our behalf today. One day, when His timing is right, He will.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Abortion and Adoption

As conservative Christians we often vote and state that we are against abortion. We believe abortion is an abomination to our God and to humanity. While we might support a women's right to choose what effects her own life; when another life is involved, no one but God has the right to choose between life and death. There is only one way I can support an abortion with a clear conscience, that is in the case where the mother's life is in danger. This of course is VERY rare and very controversial to a world that puts more value on a cat than an unborn human.

Christians are quick to let everyone know how we feel on this issue. It's simple, life begins at conception. From a Biblical perspective at the moment dad's seed meets mom's egg God creates within in that tiny life the ability to develop all of their character traits: hair color, eye color, height, weight, propensity for strength in areas and weakness in others. But in that moment we also believe that in whatever mysterious way it happens, God places within that life a soul.

We find it sad that someone could abort a baby at 8 months of pregnancy. You see it's not out of the womb. Yet, if the baby came early, say 8 months and a day, the law and humanity suddenly declare it human. How illogical.

In all my disagreement with the abortion rights people, I do agree with them on one thing. Often they stand in their lines declaring the right to abort. They also stand as an indictment against the church rightfully saying, "you say you support adoption over abortion, but how many are willing to adopt?" Ouch! We say we believe in life and adoption as a better alternative, but how many Christan's Foster or Adopt....very few.

We go to the polls to vote our conscience on this issue but we leave it to someone else to care for the unwanted child. A Pastor friend of mine often said before his church that he was against abortion. One day the Lord spoke to him and said, "that's good, but what are you doing about it." A few months later his church opened a crisis pregnancy center to care for unwed mothers.

Today in Kentucky, the state where we live, there are 6,500 churches. There are 800 children in the Foster Care program that are ready and waiting to be adopted. These are kids that have had mom and dads rights terminated. They are not in danger of being taken back once the process is started. So let's say the average church in KY runs 50. That would equal 325,000 members (this is a very low estimate). It would only take 2.6% of these to step up and have 100% of these kids adopted. 2.6% (I typed that hard for emphasis).

What are we doing as a church? It is time our beliefs are backed up by our actions. I realize that not all can adopt. Surely 800 families across our Commonwealth could. We have chosen by God's direction to adopt outside the US. It doesn't matter, what matters is our willingness to stand up for the fatherless. To put our money where our mouths are (literally). You may not be approved to adopt, but you can try. You may not be at a place that you can bring another child into your home, but you can help someone else who can.

The same man that said (James), "true religion in the sight of God the father is caring for widows and orphans in their distress" also said "faith without works is dead". Let us rise up as Christians and answer the call to adopt. Let us not simply say we are against abortion but provide a loving home for the child whose mom made the right choice...LIFE!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Healing the Hurt

The adoption process is long and lonely. It can at times be overwhelming and very, very frustrating. This month marks the second year since God spoke to us to adopt. It is a two year period marked by the ups and downs of life. I lost my mom last year. I graduated with a Masters Degree last year. These are examples of each. This process has taught us a lot about God and His timing. Can I be honest and just say, some days God's timing really stinks! This is why He is God and I am not.

Patience and the process that requires it can be very taxing. Some days you wake up hurting. It's not a physical hurt as when you break a toe or something, rather it is an emotional hurt. Not depression or something that severe, but a constant aching in your soul that reminds you that a part of you is waiting on the other side of the world. Some days are better than others. Circumstances of life that are tough seem to bring it out more (Read my last blog titled "The Shadow Within".) Today I am missing my mom as she passed away 11 months ago, almost at this very hour. It seems that when other things pull on our emotions the longing to see the adoption completed, or in our case just to hear that we can adopt, becomes urgent.

We hurt through this process as we think of a beautiful little girl getting ready for bed as we are preparing for our day. She knows nothing of a mom and a dad that have been waiting for two years to meet her and love her. The fact is that some days this just hurts to think about. Perhaps God in is infinite wisdom allows this. Perhaps this is His way of preparing us to deal with the hurts of a little six year old girl that we so long to hold and love as our own. We have been waiting for two years. She has been waiting for six year wondering when and if someone will ever love her. She was abandoned and left for someone else to care for. She has seen many other kids come and go from her home. All the while she is waiting and hurting.

God, may the hurt that we have in the waiting prepare us to love her more than we ever thought we could!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Shadow Within

I have been reading a series of fiction books by Karen Hancock called "The Guardian King". They are Christian allegory and fantasy, on the order of  "Narnia" or "Lord of the Rings". In this series the second book is called "The Shadow Within". It is a very interesting thought. One that I want to connect to our lives as Chrisitans and to Adoption.

When we accept Christ, His light lives with in us. No longer are we viewed by God as sinful, rather He sees Christ's light in our heart. In the book those that accept God receive a golden shield above their hearts. As the story unfolds you quickly realize that those who wear the shield must still fight the shadow within. This is not some overt demonic attack from the outside, but rather an inner struggle that we have with ourselves. We all deal with it.

It's like this, one day you're working in your office and  receive a phone call that makes your heart drop. You have been interviewing for a better job. This call says that once again you have been passed over. The shadow within in us rises to say, "You did'nt get the job because you aren't good enough. There will always be someone better than you. You think because you serve God, He will really bless you. He knows how sinful you are and how often you fail Him. Why would He ever honor you for that?"

In that moment we have a choice. Either the shadow overwhelmes us and we begin our pitty party, or as in the book, we allow the light to rise and burn out the shadow. We realize once again that we are not worthy in and of ourselves and there may always be someone more qualified. But our worth, our value, and our success is not solely rooted in what we know of ourselves. Instead it is rooted in our knowledged of who our God is and what He is capable of.

This puts our lives in perspective. It is never me, it is always Him. It is not my ability or my talent. It is God working through my life. It is God taking my weakness and showing His strength. It is God looking at me and not seeing my failure and sinful desires, but seeing the very reflection of His Son.

Adoption is a process where the shadow rises within us often. There are days that we awake knowing that all will come out fine. There are other days when you know it will all fall a part. Most likely because of your own unworthyness to adopt. In those moments we look to the light of God in our hearts an our lives. We put away the thoughts that the shadow of our own doubt brings against us. We rest in the knowledge that He, the one that lives within us, is stronger than any shadow!

So whatever shadow you are dealing with. Know that God's light is more powerful. Focus on Him and rest in the knowledge that He does all things well in His perfect will and timing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

May My Life

A few years ago I went through a time where God gave me several worship songs. We sing them here in our local church. One of these songs is titled, "May My Life".

 "May my life bring glory to your name, may my life bring you praise. May my life bring glory to your name, may my life bring you praise. With all I have within me I bless your holy name. With every word that I can sing to you. For you alone are worthy, Lord. Worthy to be praised and my heart I freely give to you. Oh Lord you are wonderful to me. Make my heart and life an offering. Lord, how I love to sing your praise. Oh Lord you are wonderful to me."

This simple chorus that the Lord gave me almost 10 years ago, expresses my deepest desire for my own life. I desire to bring God praise through time of happiness and peace and through the storms as well. In the midst of an adoption that seems to be going no where fast, I am reminded of my own song.

"God in all that has happened, all the delays, all the stress, all the waiting. In the end I ask that my life will bring you praise. When the adoption is completed, I pray it will be for your glory and yours alone. As the child you place into our family grows, I pray her life will also bring you praise. May our testimony and our lives bring others to a decision point of salvation and others to choose adoption. May those who watch our lives see your glory, your peace, and your divine provision. May my life bring you praise." Amen!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Maybe Today

Dear Daughter,

This morning I awoke to your picture in my head. With it was a since of urgency and desperation. As we move through the adoption process there are swells of emotion that move in and out like the tide. One day you feel completely at peace, the next you feel helpless to change the slow progress. Each day brings new hope, each evening brings new disappointment. Since our paperwork reached the Philippines in November, every morning the first thought I have when I wake is, "maybe today will be the day". So far each night I go to bed with the hope, "maybe tomorrow". Then you hit Fridays (Saturday there) and realize that it will be at least Monday before any word could come.

Up and down the tide of emotion comes. One moment you feel that you are in a large ship easily moving through smooth water. The next it feels as if you are in a dingy with 50 ft swells. None of it stems from hopelessness, but rather a sense that you are our daughter and we hate waiting to get to you. Governments seek to protect you, to make sure we are a right match, but all of that means more time to wait. You don't even know we are out here waiting yet. Rightly so. They would not want to get your hopes up until they know we are coming to get you.

Today as I sit at my desk trying desperately to grasp any thought that will help me work. My mind is filled with excitement, hope, and frustration. In the end we place our confidence where it has always been, in the God who orchestrates all things well and in His time. Sometimes it would be nice if God would allow our timing to also be His :) But we don't know the future and He does. So once again for now I have to sit back at my desk, seeking the illusive thoughts of upcoming events to be planned. Sitting here thinking, "maybe today will be the day and if not, maybe tomorrow."


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Praying for a Quick Approval

As many of you may have read from my an earlier post, the Filipino Government came to us around Thanksgiving needing more paperwork. As of yesterday that paperwork is now in their hands. We are praying that the rest of the process moves quickly. A friend of ours that applied at the same time we did were approved last week. We are hoping and believing that with the clarifications in hand our approval will be very fast.
In the mean time we are thinking of all there is to do. First and foremost we have a LOT of money to raise in a short amount of time to do it. Second, Natalie wants to redecorate her room in preparation for her new sister arriving. We of course will not do this until we have approval. Third, there is more US paperwork to file before we can travel.
Please continue to pray for us. Our God has provided all that we have needed. I know He will continue to do so. We are appreciative of all your prayers and support.