The more and more I look at people's lives and stories, the more I find that we are created for something bigger than us. Yes, to the core we are selfish human beings. But at the end of the day, no matter what you believe; people love community. There is enjoyment and satisfaction that comes out of being with others. If you have ever served another human being, you can probably relate to the saying that " you gained more then you gave away." There is something very rich about "giving your life" (time, resources, energy, etc.) away for someone else. I think that is what will make parenting so rewarding. All this to say that there are millions + ways to give your life away for others in the name of our Jesus. This is not to say "do" more, try harder, etc. I am a true believer in Romans 3:23-24 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified FREELY by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ." Jesus does not need us to do more. But He has asked that we follow in His foot steps... Matthew 20:28.. "Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Jesus gave up His life for me and EVERYONE else who accepts His precious gift. I am humbly learning to model His life. For so long (and still), I lived inside a "bubble." The Bubble of the United States, a small Christian school for 13 years, a place to call home, family and friends who love me dearly. Are these things in my bubble bad?.... Should i feel guilty for them?.... By no means!! They are blessings from our Jesus. But that also doesn't mean stay inside the bubble, only make friends with people like you, assume everyone lives in the same way you do, watch shows and media stories that make you "feel" good. I have slowly and reluctantly at times asked the Lord to slowly "open my eyes", peel back my bubble, and break my heart for what breaks His. Is it hard?... absolutely... but it is incredibly rewarding. Awareness is a beautiful thing. It can also be extremely overwhelming. When I read "The whole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, I wanted to crawl in a hole myself and pretend things didn't happen. Statistics can be extremely overwhelming but there is power and comfort in the story of ONE life....
All my sweet friends when Jennifer and Joshua (Enrique) came home :) Jan 2006
Annalea and Jenny (cousins)
Joshua and Dario before our wedding
Almost five years ago, My mom and Stan (step-dad) adopted 3 kids from Guatemala. The statistic of 147 million orphans becomes a little less overwhelming when you look at the life of ONE or THREE!! My life has been changed forever because of these three. Did our family give up some stuff... yes... but we gained so much more. I know everyone is not called to adopt but if you claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are called to care for the widows and orphans. James 1:27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
If anything sticks with you from this post, please take this: Educate yourself. Become Aware. And Spread the Word. It is Scary but so WONDERFUL.
Like I said before, I am volunteering for an organization called 147 Million Orphans. Go to www.147millionorphans.com if you want to read about it. Go to www.childinfo.org and read the statistics. When you look at them, don't just see numbers, see names and faces. For my birthday, Jeremy got me a huge world map so when I read stories, I can look at the map and find the places and specifically pray for the places there. If you don't have a map, google "world map", print it off and hang it where you will see it everyday. The more you know, the easier it will be to find where you can serve. Your story won't look like mine. Evaluate the gifts and resources the Lord has blessed you with to bless others. I have a friend Bennett, that I have known since Kindergarten. He is investing in something bigger than himself. He is working for a company called "Safe Water Nexus" Go to their website and see what they do... www.safewaternexus.com. I have taken a youtube video from their site to stress the importance of AWARENESS. Let's impact the world so the media starts covering radical stories about people giving their lives away. BTW.. this does not have to be "big" actions. It is small, baby steps from each of us. All of us need each other to make us aware of what is going on in the world. Please comment if you ever have something to share... places to serve, AWARENESS, or prayer requests.
Speaking of prayer requests... Please pray for my oldest step- brother Dale as he marries his love, Noel, this Saturday!
Here's the video...
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!