Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Behind the Title

"Instead, when we sacrifice, give and even suffer, we can rejoice because we know that God rewards us.  We are always the recipients of His great and manifold gifts.  Not the givers.  Never the givers."
~Francis Chan, 'Crazy Love'

Why does it bother me and make me feel so uncomfortable when people say, "It takes a special family to do what you do." or "I could never do that.  I just couldn't give them back." when they hear we care for foster children?  I think it's because it brings the focus to our family and takes it off of God.  It brings "glory" to us and not the One who is really taking care of them!  We are just His hands and feet.

The only way we can love and care for these babies (and yes, usually have to give them back) is because Christ showed us what it means to truely love by giving His life!  I thank God for revealing that love to me and for saving me.  To think we care for His little ones on our own initiative is an arrogant attitude (and one that pops up in my evil heart all too often).  I am wretched and Christ adopted ME because, for some reason, He loves me!  How then can we not turn around and extend that same love to others?  We can do nothing if the Holy Spirit isn't the One doing it.  Everything sinful, selfish and ugly is me.  But anything good or praiseworthy is God in me.  I shudder to think what my life would be like apart from Him!

All it takes to care for the orphans is a Christian.  Someone who believes in God and in His Word.  If we are Christians and believe the Bible to be God's Word, how can we NOT help orphans when James 1:27 says that is true religion?

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to look after orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:27

I'm not saying everyone has to adopt, go into missions or care for foster children (although I highly suggest you pray about it!) I am saying that we are all supposed to care for them in some way.  Many families we know help out with clothing, babysitting, transportation, prayer etc, but aren't in a place to do so in their homes or family at present.

"But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
James 1:22

"So whoever knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
James 4:17

God has shown us great love and mercy.  He is the greatest example and we should all strive to be like Him.  So many people think it takes someone "extreme", but God asks ALL of His followers to love others the way He does.

Any yet another quote from Francis Chan book, 'Crazy Love' (can you tell I love his speaking and writing?)...
"Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for "extreme" Christians, not average ones.  Lukewarm people call "radical" what Jesus expected of ALL His followers."

"It is not only what people do that matters; the good that they fail to do is equally important to God."

I'm not saying all this to give a guilt trip , but the American church does need a wake up call!  If the number of Christians there are in America would adopt, there would be NO orphans!  The numer of orphans, "143 million" is staggering and overhelming, yes.  But look at it in another light.  We Christians can and must help these children.  We are too comfortable.  If we believe God and His Word, then we should DO it.  Simple as that.  I'm speaking mainly to myself here!  This post and the reason I started this blog is a reminder to myself of why I'm here, why I'm still alive, why God saved me.  I only had a 30% chance of even being born and because of that I really feel like God has me here for a reason.  And because I know God's amazing love, I MUST show, serve and tell others.  And hopefully through loving others, they will be pointed to Christ and the love He has for them.  I write all this while holding a precious, sleeping 3 week old in my lap.  I can tell you that through the hard times and much heart ache, I have been the one most blessed and have learned so much!  I know this is where God has placed me right now (as an older single girl, in my parent's home) caring for these foster children.  But I can't help but wonder where God will lead me as I learn to trust Him more and more and say, "Not my will, but Thine be done".

And that, is why I named my blog, "By This I Know Love"

By This We Know Love by Soverign Grace Music

"God of all creation, Lord of heaven's light
Descended into evil's darkest night
Infinitely Holy, Your perfections know no end
Selflessly You died my rightful death

Forsaken man of sorrows, hated by all men
You willingly surrendered for my sin
Scornfully derided, yet in silence stumbling on
Bearing wrath for all that I've done wrong

By this we know love that He laid down His life
God's very own Son came from Heaven to die
Suspended He hung, as He shed His own blood
What grace in His pardon,
by this we know love!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Blog

I've wanted to try blogging again for a while now.  Not because I have anything profound to say, but because I wanted a place to keep my thoughts and share a little of what I'm learning as God leads me along the path He has set before me.

I don't want this blog to take up much of my time... I'd rather be spending it with the babies, but I'll aim for a once a month posting!