Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hold the Rope

July 29, 2006

Over and over again, we are thankful for the support our friends and family give us during our waiting time. Yesterday, a couple friends took me out to lunch, and gave me a small gift, just to show they cared. Today, I received several encouraging e-mails from my online scrapbooking group. It's amazing to see how God brought us together with an initial hobby, and turned it into a place of prayer support! So, my Paisley Pea friends, I thought of you as I read my daily devotional for today:

"Need A Miracle?" (from "Good Night, Lord" by Quin Sherrer)

"'Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.' The English clergyman William Carey, considered the father of modern missions, made that his motto. My writing mentor, the late author Jamie Buckingham, passed it on to me. Both of us kept it above our computers as we wrote.

How many times I've expected little because I've forgotten that with God nothing is impossible (see Matt. 19:26).

Take Carey for example. He faced monumental challenges. In 1786 he became an ordained minister at age 25. When he expressed his burning desire to be a missionary, one superior told him bluntly, 'You're an enthusiast. When God desires to converse with the heathen, He'll do it without consulting you or me.' Of course, this devastated Carey.

Carey's friends considered his ideas extravagantly imaginative, and he was branded a renegade. Everywhere he turned he faced oppression. Just as he was about to abandon his vision, he met a man who had been abroad- a man who enthusiastically encouraged him. Carey's dream was rekindled.

Finally, he knew how he could go to Inda: with the help of others. One day Carey sat down with some friends and held up a common rope.

'I will go down to Inda,' he said, 'if you will hold the rope.' By this he meant praying for him, supporting him financially and communicating to the churches back in England regularly. They agreed to be partners in his vision.

Carey went to Inda. As a result, the Bible was translated into 11 languages. By late 1792, a resolution was adopted creating the first Protestant mission agency. Carey knew he could not have gone to India without his partners back in England who were 'holding the rope.'

Sometimes God gives you a dream. You think it can't happen. It would take a miracle. Yet, many of us do not really expect great things from God. Sometimes when we get a little break-through we hesitate to say it was a miracle. But what if it was?

As Jamie Buckingham once wrote: 'Miracles reveal the nature of God. Thus, there are no big miracles and little miracles. All miracles are big- for they reflect the nature of our big God.'

What household doesn't need a miracle of sorts right now? Finances. Reconciliation. Decisions and choices.

The God we serve is not a helpless, hopeless God. He's the Creator of all the universe. Nothing is too hard for Him and nothing is too hard for us to believe Him for. "

"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

There is Always Hope

July 18, 2006
It's been something of a rollercoaster ride in our journey this week. Because we hadn't heard from our caseworker in awhile, I (Calvin) gave her a call for an update. Roxanne informed me that the birthmom who was looking at our album decided on another family. Michele and I figured that was the case, since we hadn't heard anything. To be honest, though, it was a little disappointing. We were already wondering if our albums truly reflect who we are. It was a year ago that Sheli made them, and much has changed during that year. How do you capture life in photographs and hope they are relevent a year later?

During our conversation, our caseworker asked me out of the blue if we would consider having our albums shown in Pennsylvania. There is waiting in foster care an African-American baby boy. He's 2 months old now, and still the Bethany office over there is needing adoptive parents to be considered. We hesitated at first because we really don't have a way to get to Pennsylvania if chosen, much less if the birthmom wanted to have a really open adoption. But Roxanne informed us the mom is interested only in keeping touch with letters and pictures. Michele's parents then said we could use their earned frequent flyer miles to fly out there, if we are chosen. With that assured, we gave our consent for our book to be shown to the birthmom.

Do we dare hope? Of course! Today I read in Malachi 2:15 that the Lord values godly offspring. In my prayer time, I held that truth before the Lord and rejoiced that this is His heart, His desire for us. It's not all about us. It's about us glorifying our Lord in the waiting and the receiving.

Little man, I pray for you as you wait for adoptive parents. May the Lord bless you and cause you to grow strong. May he plant in you a seed of conviction and strength that will someday grow into a stalwart tree under which others may find shade and refuge. Amen