Saturday, March 28, 2009

2000 verses

My thanks go out to Tom Davis for recommending the Poverty and Justice Bible. I ordered a copy about a month ago and just dug into today. Wow. I absolutely love it.

If you've been following my blog for any amount of time now, it's probably obvious what area the Lord has been working on me lately. :-) Getting outside of myself and starting to really see the world through His eyes.

There are over 2000 verses in the Bible relating to poverty and justice. Depending upon your Bible, that's basically at least one verse for every single page. No kidding. I heard it said somewhere that if God actually repeats something more than once, then it's VERY important to Him. Guess that tells us a little bit about where He stands regarding the poor and oppressed, eh?

The really cool thing about this Bible is that they scoured through the Word and highlighted the verses that directly related to how God feels about poverty and justice - in BRIGHT orange! Can't miss that. They've also included a section of "in-depth studies practical suggestions on what we can do to tackle poverty and injustice in our world today." (taken directly from their website) After only a day of digging into it, I have to say that I highly recommend this Bible.

Do you actually have to buy a copy of this Bible? No, definitely not. I think it would be worth finding a unique colored highlighter and working your way through the Scriptures highlighting anything that relates to the poor, widow, and orphan -and God's heart towards them.

However, if you are interested, the Bible is published in the UK. For those of us here in the US, you can order a copy through Christianbook.com or Amazon.com. I used the free-shipping offer through Amazon when I bought my own copy and it arrived in less than a week.

(And no, I'm not making any revenue off the recommendation - at least not in this world! ;-) I just happen to feel strongly that it's already changing my life and wanted to share the blessing.)

Let me know if you decide to grab a copy and if so, what you think.

Praying that you are LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Sweetest blessings,

Friday, March 27, 2009

BEADforLIFE

Isn't this a beautiful picture? I happened upon their website yesterday and was so inspired. I have seen many different approaches to poverty~many of which, I admit, have left me feeling sad and discouraged.

This is a little bit about their work that I found on Facebook:

"Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful bead jewelry, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads.

The beads thus become income, food, medicine, school fees -- and hope. It is a small miracle that enriches us all.

BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens.

All profits from BeadforLife are invested in community development projects that generate income and help people work their way out of poverty."

The mission of BeadforLife it to create "sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone."

How can you and I help them reach their mission? We can purchase their beautiful handmade products, buy a CD or host a bead party. How fun would that be?

When I was at the adoption seminar last weekend, Michelle shared that the average life expectancy for an Ethiopian is 43. People who have reached this age can actually appear to be twice their age because of the poverty, malnutrition and disease they experience.

Michelle went on to say that the women she has met during her time in Ethiopia could very well be her sister. As she watches them pass on custody of their children because they are either dying or unable to feed them any longer, she wonders, "Why her and not me?" I cried as soon as she spoke the words for I feel the same way.

There are so many, many ways we can love our brothers and sisters around the world, my Friend, this is simply one.

Praying that many others may be LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

daily opportunities

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’"

Matthew 25:31-40

LIVING A BLESSED LIFE,

Monday, March 23, 2009

following the three month rule

So, most pregnant women wait until they are three months along before they announce that their big news. Along those same lines...GUESS WHAT?!? :-)

You guessed it. Our family is growing - AGAIN! And we are EVER SO EXCITED! We are currently three months into our process of bringing our beautiful son HOME FROM ETHIOPIA!!! If only I could share his handsome face with you.

Would you believe that aside from his beautiful brown skin and gorgeous curly black hair - he looks an awful lot like Liam? No kidding. Same face shape and big chocolate eyes. He's as close to a twin as my other son could have. And guess what?!? He's seven('ish) as well! I soooo wish we could post a picture, but until it's all official, you'll have to trust me when I say that he is gorgeous! I know, I know, already speaking like a proud Mama...but, HE IS! :-)

The adoption process can bring all kinds of delays and unexpected changes. We are still completing our paperwork and have not yet been officially referred to our new son. However, we feel an incredible peace that God led us to this precious boy and that even before we have met him - we believe with all of our hearts that he is truly our son. Adoption is an amazing thing.

Geoff and I just returned home from attending a life changing seminar through Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministry in Spokane, Washington. We were blessed to learn all about Ethiopia and adopting older children, along with 12 other couples. It is absolutely amazing to see all that God is doing in the hearts of His children.

Geoff and I have been learning so much lately about God's hearts towards the widow and orphan. That is where His heart is. That is where we want our hearts (and lives) to be invested. Working in the fields of the fatherless. Ministering to and caring for the widow.

"Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows."
Isaiah 1:17 (NLT)

If you have felt God knocking on the door of your heart, I strongly encourage you to open the door and allow Him to speak His truth to you. Search the Bible for all of the Scriptures that refer to widows and orphans. I agree that not all families are called to adopt. But, every single one of us is called to do something on behalf of the 143,000,000 (PLUS) orphans worldwide.

It takes courage to step outside of our comfortable lives and take a risk. I guarantee you, however, that every step you take will be more than worth it. You will be blessed in ways you never could have imagined.

If you have felt a nudge towards giving a child a home, please don't be deterred by the countless fears and worries that will begin to overwhelm you. God will provide the finances to cover the fees to adopt. God will meet your every need (and then some!) God will go ahead of you and prepare the way. God will open just the right door at just the right time. God will close all of the other doors that may try to distract or discourage you.

If you aren't feeling the nudge to adopt, please consider helping someone else adopt. There are countless Christian organizations that provide scholarships to help families raise the necessary funds. There are countless amazing organizations that can match you with a child that you can sponsor on a monthly basis for only $35 (or less.) You may also want to consider joining the Mocha Club (only $7 a month!)

Please know that my heart's desire is to honor and give glory to the God of this universe. I'm not trying to be pushy - just encouraging. I haven't figured all of this out yet, nor do I really hope to (in this life.) :-) But, I can share what my personal experience has been---it's been phenomenal. God is doing incredible things in our family and I am LIVING A (VERY) BLESSED LIFE. My hope and prayer is that you are too, my Friend.

Sweetest blessings,