Tuesday, December 23, 2008

38 and still ticking

I read this passage this morning (my 38th birthday) from My Utmost for His Highest. I especially was moved by the last two sentences:

"That is why the bedrock of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. We mistake the ecstasy of our first introduction into the Kingdom for the purpose of God in getting us there; His purpose in getting us there is that we may realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means."

A subtle and beautiful reminder from my Lord of whence I have come. Born again in 1989 and full of that personal, passionate devotion, I later slipped into a Christian malaise full of bitterness, criticalness, and sin. Only to be reawakened about 5 years ago to Jesus, precious Jesus.

The subtle and beautiful reminder is to continue on faithfully! I so want to do that...to be ever devoted to my King who will one day return a Conquering King, yet beloved by all who recognized what an amazing thing he did for us on the cross and out of the grave!

May he be my heart's devotion in 2009 and beyond! Amen...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Journal Entry 1: Decisions, decisions

This is Journal Entry 1 in the series Adoption: The Wild Goose Chase. The only entry other than this one so far is the Intro, which you can find in the left hand menu bar.

So we decided to look into the whole adoption thing and found out there are so many different ways to adopt. In times like these I have found it best to start asking God what he wants, walk with him through it. He wants to reveal his will, we just have to listen.

There was one thing I knew for sure, God was not calling us to Fost/Adopt (famous last words as you'll see). Fost/Adopt is when a couple becomes Foster Parents and then takes in a foster kid or kids that are likely going to need to be adopted. There are no guarentees at all and it can be heart wrenching, thus my reluctance to go down that road.

So we started talking to people who have adopted. One couple from our church have adopted multiple children, so I was talking to the husband (actually about going on a motorcycle ride sometime) about adoption. To be honest I asked pointed questions about private adoption, where one party (us) could adopt someone else's child...usually a baby still in the mother's womb.

He gave me some great information, even about a lawyer who does private adoptions, if they stop an abortion, pro bono (which I think is lawyer talk for free). Then he ended the conversation with, "but you should really look into doing it through social services." I was like, "Oh yeah [inside I'm thinking heck no that's Fost/Adopt!] sure I'll look into that."

I remember saying a little prayer like, "Dear Lord, don't make me Fost/Adopt...that's so hard and I know you died and rose again so I could have an easy life, please!"

Then I was talking to someone else from our church who I work with about it. He says, "Hey so and so in the cubicle behind me adopted his sons, you should talk to him." Sweet. The next day I talked to him and guess what he says? Yup...Fost/Adopt. Dangit, God is thwarting me here.

So we went to Evos for lunch and discussed it. He confirmed that Fost/Adopt was one of the hardest things he's ever done in his life. He also told me how much he wanted to not recommend it, except for the fact it is one of the most rewarding things he's ever done...most difficult AND most rewarding.

I don't know about you, but God speaks to me and confirms things to me in threes. It's not an exact science or formula I just know if something comes up in my life three times that means God may be doing his wild goose thing. 

So this was two conversations about Fost/Adopt. I was still very against the idea, but I also knew if it came up again I would have to yeild...to a sovereign God who loves me and has great plans for me, even if that means it will be difficult.

Number three came in the form of some old friends who live down south. Now we consider ourselves Central Coasters now because we've lived here for 10 years! But we got on Facebook recently and are getting caught up with so many of our friends. 

This couple (Can you guess what comes next?) not only does Fost/Adopt, but they are advocates that go around Southern California churches to tell them how great Fost/Adopt is. Linda called up the wife and had an hour long conversation asking about every fear that I have with her, which by the way were confirmed!

So the picture above, at the beginning of this blog, was taken 11/29/08. It is of Linda and I sitting on the couch meeting with Janaan Miles, Foster Parent Recruiter from Family Care Network, Inc. (FCNI). They are a local non-profit, that I used to work for, that administers none other than...Fost/Adopt for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County. They do much more, but that's what we were meeting Janaan about.

We have started the paperwork process to become Foster Parents for FCNI, which is extensive. I can truly say that I am excited, mostly because I can see the hand of God upon our journey. 

I don't look forward to having my heart broken if/when they take a child from us. It will be harder to see my wife and kids heart's broken. But I do look forward to the fullness of the blessings and unspeakable joy that comes from following hard after God, like following a wild goose.

That concludes Journal Entry 1. The next entry will happen when something significant goes down...like finishing this mountain of paperwork and handing it in!

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Few DVDs to consider

Prince Caspian
Kind of Like Paper Airplanes
You Can't Go Back, And Maybe You Shouldn't Want To

I obviously love this second edition of the Narnia movies. As I watched it again, on DVD, I focused more on the idea of the children wanting so badly to go back to Narnia. When they do, they realize it’s not the same place they remember…

Jesus Loves A-words
And Thank God They Can Change!

Just because Jesus loves you as you are, does that mean you should stay that way? And by the way, that’s a pretty big assumption, because yes we are in a era of God’s mercy; but there will be a time when Jesus will not be so merciful…

Roman Holiday
Worth the Buy
Paramount Centennial Collection Scores Again

We often place blame on those who we perceive to have failed at a role that should have been our own. Roman Holiday subtly poses the idea that perhaps we have been fashioned for a particular role and have the responsibility to fulfill it.