Part of the Family

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

While our Pastors have been over in India, we have had a chance to listen to our newer Pastor speak. He has had a message for the past couple weeks about being a part of God’s family and what all that means. One of the parts that he has touched on, is that we are adopted into the family. This particularly has spoken to me because I am part of an adoptive family myself. Let me share what this has meant to me.

Growing up, I knew that I had a brother and sister. They are quite a bit older than I am, and they had pretty much already grown up and moved out by the time I really started living life and remembering things. So, for the most part I grew up as an only child, but I knew they were out there, living life. My sister would call and visit sometimes, and my brother would write letters, but I also understood that they were adults and they had their own lives. But, I was actually a bit older before I ever figured out that they were adopted.

I remember being really surprised. I had no idea, they were just my brother and sister to me. My parents explained that they had these whole other lives and families before they came to be a part of ours, but that it didn’t change anything between us, they were our family. So, as I was growing up there were several times where people would ask if I had siblings, and I would say yes, a brother and sister. And I would leave it at that, I didn’t tell people they were adopted. Because it didn’t matter, they were our family now. And, that particular thought has really struck home while listening to the Pastor’s messages these past couple weeks. That’s how God feels about us being a part of His family. Doesn’t matter that we had before lives, or other stuff, we’re a part of the family now. I actually had a moment not too long ago, where my son found out that my siblings were adopted and as he was trying to sort through that concept, he kept referring to them as my “adopted brother” or “adopted sister”, and one time he said it, and I cut him off and said, “Please stop referring to them like that, they’re just brother and sister. The adopted part doesn’t matter, they’re my family just like if my parents had them themselves. I don’t like you saying it like that, they’re not different just because they’re adopted, they’re my family.” Now, I don’t think my son was trying to mean it any kind of way, he was just trying to understand the concept, but it did really hurt my feelings. They are my family, I understand that they came into my family differently – but it doesn’t mean they are any less my family.

I’m really appreciative of being able to grow up like this and understand this concept of family different than most, I feel, because it has really affected how I treat people and what I understand a family to be. I have welcomed the concept of being a family to a lot of people over the years, it’s not hard to be a part of my family. And, I believe, a lot of people need that. I wish more people were more accepting of the concept, because it really shouldn’t be that difficult to feel a connection like that. And, if you think about it, it’s not hard to be a part of God’s family either. He doesn’t lay down a lot of rules, you don’t have to jump through a million hoops. You want to be a part of the family? Sure! Come on in! There’s plenty of room and love here.

The other part of all of this, is that my brother and sister have all the same benefits I do, when they’re hurt or struggling, they have parents to call on. They come to family holidays (well, the one doesn’t but only because they live so far away – not because they’re not welcome.) They get gifts and phone calls and cards. Their children aren’t treated any differently. They are family. Just like us being a part of God’s family. We get all the blessings and benefits of being a part of His family. He is our good, good Father, and together we are all a part of the family of God.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for the opportunity and the ability to be a part of Your family. Thank you, that you love us so much. Thank you for your blessings and your love. Thank you that we can all come into your family and feel loved and connected to one another and to you. I am just so appreciative of my experience, of the earthly family you have given me that I can better understand your love and what it means to be a part of Your family. Thank you for all that you do Father, that everyone may feel the love and connection that I feel, being one of your children. That you may bless me and bless those reading this all the days of our lives. Bless the works of our hands and the words from our mouths that they may bring glory and honor to you Father. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us, and all you will continue to do. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Surprise, surprise. This week I’m choosing an adoption mission. This group has the mission statement: “A Family for Every Child is dedicated to finding loving, permanent families for every waiting foster child.” Did you know, there are 430,000 children in foster care in the United States? That’s a lot of children waiting to experience the love of a family… If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what would. Take some time to read about this mission here. Pray for these children, they need and deserve love and a forever home.

And, you can always Donate

Featured

Here I am

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8

61 sThe Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has tanointed me

to bring good news to the poor;1

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and uthe opening of the prison to those who are bound;2

  vto proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

wand the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

  to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

xto give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

ythe oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

zthat they may be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the Lord, athat he may be glorified.3

  bThey shall build up the ancient ruins;

they shall raise up the former devastations;

they shall repair the ruined cities,

the devastations of many generations.

  cStrangers shall stand and tend your flocks;

foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;

  dbut you shall be called the priests of the Lord;

they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;

eyou shall eat the wealth of the nations,

and in their glory you shall boast.

  fInstead of your shame there shall be a double portion;

instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;

therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;

they shall have everlasting joy.

I have been enjoying just digging into scripture lately, and especially sharing some of my favorites with you. I heard this one for the first time a little over a year ago, on a podcast. The preacher informed us that we could borrow it, but that it was his. LOL. He was just kidding of course. But, this was also during a time where I was praying a lot of scripture in my prayers. And let me tell you, that when you start praying scripture in your prayers, you better be ready for what happens next.

I believe that this scripture is for everyone who follows Christ. We are to help everyone we can, and help be the hand that rains blessings on others, and bind up the broken-hearted. To recite this prayer on a regular basis and remind yourself what it is you are striving for, will most assuredly change your attitude, and your life.

I find it interesting, when I was growing up, we were broke. This is what my mom always told me, “we’re not poor, we’re broke.” We have enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table, but not a lot past that. So, as most kids living in that situation, I had great dreams and aspirations of growing up to get a job that was going to fix that issue. I was not going to be broke when I grow up. And, as we all know, easier said than done. But, I did, I set my heart to that goal. I have fought and struggled every step of the way, to try to not have that lifestyle. And, it’s finally starting to pay off – you know 14 years into being an adult, I’m finally getting there.

But what’s really incredible, what really blows my mind, is that every since I’ve renewed myself to Christ, and really started to walk in the faith. To take these goals, and smash them, and start taking leaps and jumps into where I’ve wanted to be. My mind has only turned to how can I use what I have, to help others. I find myself wanting to go do missions, to donate my time and my resources, to be about my Father’s business. I found myself compelled to write a blog even. <– It doesn’t always have to be money.

The point is, my Spirit has changed. It has aligned itself with the truly important things of this world, and the next. I always felt that once I reached my goals, I would feel this sense of satisfaction and completion, but now that I am here, quite literally living my dream, I only find myself wanting to do more. Not to have more money, or more things, or whatever, but to do more for God. This wanting, urging feeling that I need to go. How can I use all that I have, to do more for Him?

I’m sharing all of that, to tell you this. I believe that if you are not already praying scripture, that you should. You should find a scripture that speaks to you, and start praying it. Write it down on an index card, and start praying it. Once a week, every day, whatever you want, but just start aligning yourself with the Spirit of Christ. Another favorite scripture of mine to pray, is this one. Talk about “be ready” for what the scripture will unlock for you. This one is POWERFUL. Paul’s prayer for spiritual wisdom for the Ephesians.

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,[e] 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom[f] and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

Ephesians 1:15-23

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you, that you do not leave us where we’re at. That you bring us into your fold, and make us more like you. That you bless the work of our hands, and that you give us the need and desire to do your will. That you make ours lives forever more blessed and abundant through your Word. I pray today Father, that you renew in me a heart for you. That I will always rest-assured in you, and abide in your will. I strive to be more like you, and less like me. That you may bless the work of my hands, and the lives that I touch in such abundance that all will know your name, and know that you are the good, good Father who provides, who heals, who binds up and looses all things Father. I pray that I be a shining light for you and your will. That more may come to know you, through me. That I am the good, good servant who is about their Father’s business. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Our church supports a lot of missionaries and missions. Including our Pastors – Dave and Jeanne Kaufman! They are in India this next week to support the Pastors and Preachers there. They have held 21 Pastor’s Conferences all over India in the last 2 weeks! They have been pouring out blessings upon the people there, and have witnessed miracles and miraculous healings! Feel free to support this worthy cause and encourage them on their trip, and remember you can always pray for them! – Just choose “missions” in the drop down. 🙂

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165

God answers prayer

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

You know, when I started this blog over a year ago, my life was crazy. Not to say it isn’t now, but it was hard crazy. I was doing a lot of hard things. Working two jobs to try to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. I was still recovering from the loss of my dad. I was dealing with a lot. And, yet here was this still small voice telling me about how I should write a blog. And, to be honest, never a dream of mine. Always thought writing was cool, but I would much rather read somebody else’s writing. I always thought my life would make a cool movie, but not a book? But here, in the midst of chaos, I’m reading about bloggers, reading blogs, etc. and I could just hear this voice urging me to write. And, as I tell in my story, finally one day I did. And here we are, over a year later, still finding things to tell you about every week. Sharing the Good News, and explaining how you should be digging deeper, and telling everyone about when #Godshowedup.

Today and this week, I have been constantly reminded of how God answers prayer. Prayer is the most powerful thing we can do as believers. I think, as believers, we lose sight of all the prayers that He answers sometimes. That’s part of why I started my Prayer Box. A way to keep track of answered prayers. That’s why when I received a free prayer journal, I dedicated it to my Ladies’ Bible Study, so we can keep track of prayer requests – and so we can see all the answered prayers – many times-within the week! I think this truly conscious awareness of how much God answers prayer has really strengthened my faith, confirmed my beliefs, and encourages me daily. I know, that He doesn’t always answer every prayer, nor how you think He would answer them. But answers are answers, nonetheless.

This week, our candle business had a new growth opportunity, we entered into a consignment shop! I have also dedicated myself to trying to go to a Vendor Fair once a month, to continue assured income for my husband – who is making 95% of these candles. But here, a little over a year ago, I was praying to God. Give us answers, help us. And, I thought my new job was the answer, but that didn’t answer for my husband. Now, with the candle business, even more prayers have been answered. Then, of course, you pray that the business is successful, and in the 2 short months we’ve been open, we’ve made more than our first year. Are you kidding me?! God provides. God answers.

On Tuesday night, we prayed for our country. Prayed for discernment, understanding, and knowledge for the people in charge to help find resolution. We understand that it is not over, but it appears to be going in the right direction. We prayed for healing, and there was. We prayed for families, loved-ones, and relationships, and God is stirring in their hearts to fix things.

This year, I’ve prayed for so many things that I could keep you here for hours with my answered prayers. I encourage you to count your blessings, to track your answered prayers, because #Godshowedup in my life on a daily basis sometimes, and definitely in the lives of others I know. Answered my prayers and my prayers for others. God always wants to move, but you have to give Him an in, you have to bring His will down into your life. And you have to be ready to move, to open the door, to close another one, you have to be ready for the answer you get. Pray daily, pray when you least feel like it but need it most. That’s your direct channel to the one who can do something when you feel like you can’t do anything.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you! Thank you for being the God who provides. The God who is there, the Alpha & Omega, the Great I AM. I just appreciate each day so much Father. Each and every day is so rich in life and love, that we may all be so blessed. That you are the God who answers prayer. Thank you for sending your son so that we may have that direct channel with you. That we no longer need all the old ways to have to talk to you every day, and that you wanted and loved us so much that you sent Jesus to be our connection to you. That we can live and bask in the glorious light and love that you give. I am just so grateful, words cannot express. Thank you for all that you do for us, each and every day. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

With Australia being a big focus on the news, I decided to look for an Australian mission. Because, Australia needs prayers right now. Prayers for their fires, for the thousands of animals and people that are being displaced, but also for them in general. Australia has seen a sharp decline in church attendance in the past several years, and this group is focused on church planting and missions outreach. Take some time to read about: Operation Mobilization – an Australian based Mission Group that is reaching out to locals.

https://www.omusa.org/stories

Donate

Holy and Dearly Loved

“clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” – Colossians 3:12b

Last week’s post gave me the inspiration for this week. Although Romans 8 is a great chapter, and loved by many believers and followers of Christ. My all-time, favorite passage is Colossians 3:12-15. I know I’ve referred to it a few times before, but I’m not sure I’ve stated why it’s my favorite. I feel like this verse embodies a lot of what we as believers should be doing and believing.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:12-15

It gives us some of the fruits, it tells us to bear with each other, to forgive one another as God forgives you. Then, it tells us to put on love, the overwhelming supernatural love of God. To let yourselves be ruled in peace – the passage I originally memorized quotes the “peace of the Messiah”. And to be Thankful. In all things be thankful. I just feel like this passage really says everything we, as believers, should be striving for. I have used the memorization of this passage many times. Typically in moments where I’m not feeling very “Christian-like”. As I’m trying to subdue unwanted actions and feelings, to remind myself that this is who I’m trying to be. This is what God wants from me.

With all that being said, I do want to strongly recommend that you find a verse that speaks to you. You can use mine too. But, a verse, that you spend time with. Memorize. Use in times of need. It really helps. We are also told to “hide your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11. I believe that this is referring to being so in the word, and being able to recall scripture in times of need, that you can be more Christ-like, so that you can curb those old feelings and emotions of the “old you” to be more like who God wants you to be.

I had an example of this, this week. I was in the drive-thru, and the person in front of me, pulled up to the window…. and sat there. They didn’t even roll their window down to order. Now, a minute or two goes by, window still up. I see them trying to talk to someone in the backseat. Ok. Then, 5 minutes, 10 minutes…. What is going on? And, I’ll admit, after 5 minutes, I start struggling. I’m on my lunch break… I have to get back to work. What is happening, and after 10 minutes, their window is still up. They have not even ordered yet. I am inclined to lay on my horn, but I don’t. I’m telling myself, maybe they have an indecisive child in the backseat – they have to see the train of cars piling up behind us. And, it’s not a drive-thru that you can get out of, you are stuck there. Finally about 15 minutes in, they roll down their window. At 10 minutes, I reminded myself of Colossians 3:12-15. Peace of the Messiah in my heart. Peace. Peace. Peace. Then, I remembered an old song from growing up. ♪ I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul ♪ Sang the whole song, repeatedly while I was waiting. Because, then when they completed ordering – it took almost just as long at the pickup window. And, the whole time I’m singing, I’m also thinking, I have no idea what these people ahead of me are going through. Maybe they’re just as flustered and frustrated as I am. I’m not going to help the situation by honking or hollering out my window. I can just wait. I was also reminding myself of the little saying, “Jesus never worried, never hurried, and lived in the solution, not in the problem.” It was a total moment, where I had a chance to be the “old me” but I made the conscious choice not to. Purposefully decided to be like Christ. To wait patiently for my turn. It’s not the end of the world, it’s an extra 20 minutes in the drive-thru.

It’s important to make these conscious decisions. If you can’t trust Him with all the little moments, how are you supposed to trust Him with the big ones? And, it’s in all the little moments that we’re making our changes, all the little moments that we’re slowly changing our behaviors to be better, because the little moments happen every day. Compared to the big ones that only happen every once in a while. It’s a conscious decision to be more like Christ, all the time, not just when it suits us or when he’s convenient.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for being the good, good Father. Thank you for the teachable moments in my life, for the constant shaping and molding as the Potter to the Clay. Thank You for your incredible patience and supernatural peace that you give us. Thank you for giving us access to this peace, giving us the ability to tap into this patience and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for your incredible love. That we may all experience and know that love in our hearts. That we may grow and continue to be more like Jesus. Thank you for everything that you do for us Father. For all that You are, and all that You would have us be. IN JESUS’ NAME! AMEN!

Mission’s Circle

Our church supports a lot of missionaries and missions. Including our Pastors – Dave and Jeanne Kaufman! They are about to travel to India this next week to support the Pastors and Preachers there. Feel free to support this worthy cause and encourage them on their trip, and remember you can always pray for them! – Just choose “missions” in the drop down. 🙂

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165