Thursday, July 22, 2010

i you know Him?

(JS) KT and I have been talking about the immense financial burden that this adoption is placing on us. We've been talking about how much of our own money to put away, different fund-raising ideas, all in an effort to raise money to help an orphaned child.

Then Pastor S.M. Lockridge reminded me of who my God is...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

you up for a fight?

(JS) It's been a challenging week. Okay...truth be told, it's been a tough week. And it's only Tuesday. (sigh)

As I've mentioned before, I grew up in the church. I know that God exists, and I have a relationship with Him. But there are some facts that I think we often forget and don't talk about because they make us feel uncomfortable, and even a little skittish.

We are in a war. A battle. It's for our lives. It's for the lives of our family. It's a battle for those in need. For those in poverty. And we need to be on guard. Some of you will immediately know who this war is against. Others may have forgotten, and even others will ignore the fight. But you are in it whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

It's a spiritual battle. It's a battle against truly epic forces. Holy vs. evil. For more details on the battle, go here.

We're not fighting in a physical war...we're fighting with our words. Prayer is one of the most important weapons we have at our disposal. We need to use that weapon everyday. Every moment. Paul mentions that there are even more weapons and armor to help us in this battle.

But we also can't be gripped by fear. We need to bask in hope and victory. The key word that comes to my mind is awareness. Are you aware of the things happening around you? Are you praying for your day? Praying for your family?

We've been on this adoption journey for a couple of months now. And we've felt bumps and bruises, hiccups, etc. But the other morning, we felt a big 'ole swipe...and it stung bad.

But you know what? We're going to win. He said it, and I believe it.

I'm going to stop typing, and I'm going to start praying. Let's win this battle together!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

the face of love...

(JS) Have you ever listened to a song and felt that the words you heard were actually spoken by God himself...directly to you? Okay so it may seem a bit far-fetched, but hang with me for minute.

I've been a Sanctus Real (SR) fan ever since Matt and the band won a local music contest in the "Big T" over 10 years ago. Their musical style matches some of my favorite bands...

A couple of years ago, SR came out with a song called "Face of Love". From the moment this song hit my ears, the words pierced the very center of my heart. Ever since I was a kid growing up in the church I knew that I represented Jesus. The parts of me that were good, bad, and ugly, were showing others what "Jesus" looked like.

But the words in this song connected to something in me that I had not thought of before. Have you ever looked someone in the face? Okay, not just looked at them, REALLY looked at them. Look into their eyes. There is something unique about looking someone in the eyes. You can't hide. They can't hide.

When I listen to this song, I think about Jesus' face. I imagine what His face looks like when He looks into the faces of others. The faces of the hurt, the lost, the orphaned. In His face I see care, concern, The words of this song have ultimately forced me to ask the question...

Is my face, His face?

These lyrics have changed my heart. Let them change yours.
You are the face that changed the whole world
No one too lost for you love
No one too low for you to serve
So give us the grace to change the world
No one too lost for me to love
No one too low for me to serve

Let us see...
Let us be your face
Listen to the entire song here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

you either get it, or you don't

(KS) So we've seen all kinds of body language and verbage (good and bad) in response to our big news of adopting a child. From jubilant squeals of delight to utter silence with a look of complete shock. We've heard questions like, "REALLY?" and comments such as, "WOW". One woman even said, in kind of an annoyed voice, "Why Ethiopia?" Then without giving me time to respond she continued, "Why not somewhere in Europe? like Russia, Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia?"

Okay, I'm not super up with the times, but I'm pretty sure it's not called Czechoslovakia anymore... nor is Yugoslavia a country.

I believe that her question was code for, "why not adopt a little Caucasian baby, like you and your husband?" The answer? Because God is leading us to adopt from Ethiopia. And, I'm super pumped about it! I'm very well aware that we will be a biracial family. And I'm ready to embrace it. If any of you have a problem with different skin colors, yet believe that you'll be spending eternity in heaven, you may want to get over it now... because there will be EVERY kind of nationality and skin color hanging out with you for eternity! God made all of us as unique human beings and it's pretty amazing.

We were at the police station getting fingerprinted last night for the adoption, and I was just hit with the thought that it truly is a miracle that each of us has our own unique fingerprint. I mean seriously. Have you ever thought about how many people there are in the world? Right now there are 7,024,994,285 people (and that number continued to grow as I was writing it down) Each of those people have a different finger print that is unique to just that one person.THAT is amazing! God made each of us in His image, and I believe that He's THE most talented painter, sculpter, and creator.

There's this REALLY old song that I just love. It talks about this very topic... it's called Colored People. What a great reminder that we are ALL part of the human race and how very exciting it is to learn about different cultures/ languages from people all over the world. I'm eager to meet our child that just so happens to have been born on the other side of the world.

Check it out here

It's time to realize that we all just have different tones of melanin in our skin. Think about it...

Monday, July 5, 2010

the least of these?

(JS) One of the verses that really struck KT and I as we discussed this whole notion of adoption was the famous "least of these" verses.

But you know what? I don't know if I've ever thought about "who" the least of these is. So scripture says that those who are hungry, thirsty, homeless, sick, and imprisoned are the least of these. I'd learned about them in Sunday school. I don't generally come in contact with the people described in those verses. But my heart has been telling me that this definition encompasses so much more.

I think it captures those who get ridiculed for the clunker car they drive. For wearing out of style of clothes. For lacking personal hygiene. What hurts me even more than this realization, is that I have taken part in their ridicule. I have laughed at their expense. I've mocked the clothes they wear. I've chuckled at their poor use of language. Well let me be the first to say...

I'm sorry. Forgive me.

The world had me believing that since they never heard the words I said, I wasn't actually hurting anyone. But He hears. He sees the attitude of my heart.

Help me to love. With my actions AND my words. I just hope that one day I hear this.