Monday, December 31, 2012
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me."
Q. 32. What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?
A. They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption and sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them.
Q. 33. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.
Q. 34. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of, the sons of God.
Q. 35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
Q. 36. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Pray for Russian orphans!
There are 10 times as many orphans in Russia as there are Russian families who want to adopt. Special needs orphans will go unchosen and unloved. Many will die of neglect or lack of medical intervention in orphanages or institutions.
Pray for Russian orphans!
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Visit this link from an adoptive mom's blog and learn more about the situation in Russia.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
I am sure you know as much as I do, but Russia is working on shutting down U.S. international adoptions.
This would be devastating for many children, especially those with special needs who are not desired at all in their country.
It would be heartbreaking for families whose adoptive processes would be shut down, no matter how far along they were.
Please pray that this politically motivated law would not be upheld.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
I feel like I am in slow motion. The world is rushing around me, and as I try to run to my little girl, I can barely move at all. I feel like I should be doing paperwork faster, but there are so many things that we are waiting on. I pray that I would be able to keep doing the next right thing and not get swamped or discouraged. I've never been very good at working through piles, and I think that this is the biggest one that I have encountered yet.
I am thanking God for my husband who encourages me to keep going (and also understands legalese :-).
Monday, December 17, 2012
Today we really started looking at paperwork, and I began to realize how complicated this is going to be. Fortunately for me, the Mr. is uncommonly good at such things.
Getting me a passport is one of the first orders of business. I have one, but it is in my maiden name. Which means that we need a certified copy of our marriage license. We figured we should pick up some birth certificates while we were at it. So that's what we spent the evening doing. Maybe next go 'round we will be able to actually start the actual paperwork.
If you are thinking about adopting, go ahead and start getting copies of certificates now. If you don't adopt, you won't be out that much money, and if you do, it will save you time and headaches.
While looking through the paperwork for Garnet's country, I found her given name. Seeing her name and knowing that it wasn't an alias made her seem much more real to me. Despite my dislike of paperwork, I will joyfully do it to bring her home!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Here's where maybe you should say "Hi M-!" and then the coordinator would have us all talk about our recent victories, things we wanted but didn't buy, times we threw away the BassPro and Cabelas ads without looking (they keep mailing them, though, like they thought we didn't have a problem). We'd confess falling off the wagon sometimes. No excuses or rationalizations or "I wasn't THAT bad, I just..." are allowed. Then we'd rehearse the twelve steps:
1) Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:19-21
2) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. - 1 John 2:15-17
3) Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven. - Proverbs 23:4-5
4) A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold. - Proverbs 22:1
5) As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. - 1 Timothy 6:17-19
6) The desire of the righteous ends only in good;
the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered. - Proverbs 11:23-25
7) And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets." - Luke 6:20-26
8) Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. - Luke 12:32-34
9) Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food. - Isaiah 55:1-2
10) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. - 2 Corinthians 8:9
11) Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death. - Proverbs 11:4
That last one's a doozy, because it seems to tell the materialist to become a legalist, but it's true. True righteousness delivers from death, and that righteousness is found in Christ alone. He laid aside his heavenly glory (I'm humming "Thou who was rich beyond all splendor" here) to take up a lowly life. Foxes had holes and birds had nests, but he had nowhere to lay his head. What he did have was life, full, pure, divine life, and perfect obedience and righteousness. And these two things he gave up so that we could have them. Praise Jesus, indeed! And yet in giving them up, like a farmer sowing his seed, he got them back, for it was impossible for the author of life to be subject to death, and in getting back life and righteousness, Jesus secured our inheritance in heaven.
Leading us to number 12: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. - Colossians 3:1-4
That's all for this session. Come back next week, and stay dry! God will help you through it.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
We mailed the first check to our agency today. It's a lot easier to lie about not trusting in bank accounts when there is plenty of money in them.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
But there's just no other place to repose confidence than in the God of Jacob, so here we go, trusting that the road to Zion is guarded by her King, and short or long, hard or easy, we must walk in His ways.