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Friday, August 24, 2012

Midnight Bread, or, Audacious Prayer

Well, I just Skyped with Anastasija, and we have a prayer request.
All of the paperwork is in Latvia, just waiting to be looked at and approved.
All we are waiting for is for a judge to refer Anastasija to our family and give us a travel date.
This usually takes 2-4 months. There is a lot of room for a miracle in there, don't you think? All we need is for our file to miraculously appear at the top of the pile, and for the judge to think, "Hmm, let's send that referral out today. Maybe those folks would like to come in September."

Because, we serve a very big God, who can go all 007 on that court (you know- sneaking in there, hanging from a rope, putting our file on the top of the pile, zapping folks on the head with good ideas like, "Let's do this one today! They seem like lovely people"...use your imagination here) and get our referral done whenever He wants.

So, pray that audacious prayer with me that blows 2-4 months out of the water and gets us there before you can say "Little Anastaija from Latvia is going to be a Rebisz in America."

XO
Joce

A Friend Comes at Midnight

5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Communion Affirmation of Faith

Brilyn has been asking for about 2 years if she can participate in communion at church. We have held off, because we take it seriously. "Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (1 Corinthians 11)
So, I was waiting to see fruit in her life that absolutely would confirm her faith and commitment to Christ. And, then, I started seeing it. Real heart change. Real fruit of the Spirit that cannot be faked. Love, joy, and peace just flowing out of her. And generosity! Such a giving spirit. She's at the age where "Me and Mine" usually reign supreme, but she is all about caring for others. So, it's time for her to join the body of believers in communion. Oh happy day! To mark the day, give weight to the importance of the occasion, and to make sure she has a solid belief and understanding before partaking of the elements, we will ask her a few questions before the church on the day she receives communion for the first time.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the
Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now
seated at the right hand of the Father?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* Church, the communion of
saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life
everlasting?
Do you understand that the bread and the wine represent Christ's body and blood
which was shed for you, that your sins might be forgiven?

To each question Brilyn will answer, "I do."
Celebrant:  "This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess
it, in Christ Jesus our Lord."
All: "Amen."
I was going over these questions with Brilyn, to explain anything she might have questions about, and to clarify any complicated language.

What a beautiful conversation we had! How blessed am I to have a lovely daughter who loves God, and who, in the communion of saints, is also my sister! She was so excited when we talked about that. She said, "So, you're my sister, daddy's my brother, and Jesus is our brother, and God is our Father? Cool!" She also observed, "So, the communion of saints is like one big party of all the people who ever believed in Jesus that goes forever and ever?"

At the end of the conversation, we were talking about baptism, and I said that you get baptized when you decide to follow Jesus. She said, " Oh! I want to follow Jesus. I want to be a disciple, just like Jesus' disciples a long time ago, and follow Jesus around for real."  And then after a pause, "Does that mean I need to give away my ponies? Because Jesus said to give our stuff away and follow Him. But, that would be hard because my ponies all have personalities and if I give them away I would really miss them." We talked that one over for a long time, and then she said, "Well, I could give them away for a really important reason, if God told me to."

Hallelujah!  We should let her preach, she puts things so plainly. Praise God that He has given her such understanding of spiritual things.

XO
Joce

*of, relating to, or forming the church universal

Monday, August 06, 2012

Now. Don't that beet all?

I'm pickling beets today. I bought them at the LeRoy farmer party. Joe's pickling pickles and hanging tree stands. Jessup's playing on top of Joe's car, which he is not allowed to do -on account of my cousin breaking her arm falling off a car when I was little.
I walk outside in my apron, take that little naked-heiny, potty-training boy by the hand and start to bring him on into the house when I think, "I'll go get the mail while I'm out here."
So, Jessup, with his nakeybutt, and I, with my lovely apron and frizzy, just-washed-a-hundred-beets hair-do, walk down to the mailbox.
I told Jessup he could carry the mail, but there is a big, fat Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services envelope in there, so I take that out and see what those folks have to say.
I yell over to Joe, who's just watering the cow like nothing exciting is happening, "Hey! I think this letter has something good to say!"

Yeah. That's right. We are now a USCIS approved family to adopt a child from Latvia. Yup. Mail that dossier, baby!

XO


Friday, August 03, 2012

The darkness and the light

Sometimes I write with the fact that other people read what I write in mind. Sometimes I just write what needs to be written. Today is an example of the latter.

I am overwhelmed. I have prayed to God that He would "break my heart for what breaks yours." And, He has answered. Sometimes grief for this world just washes over me. It happened early this morning as I was tucking my sweet fat baby into her crib, and she was smiling and eating her feet and just looking at me with the greatest trust. I felt a twinge of sadness for the number of women who do not receive that gift- but prevent it through various methods of birth control or who have their child murdered and allow that awful violence against their own child to occur inside the God-given ultimate safety of their womb. They have believed the lie that their life is better with few or no children, and that bearing children is not as worthy as other pursuits. And their lives are barren, not blessed, because of it.

And then, at breakfast, I was reading World magazine about China's one child policy. They mentioned the story of Feng Jianmei, who was violently forced to have an abortion at 7 months; a photo was taken of her dead baby lying next to her on the hospital bed. How can I just go about my day when that is happening? My heart is broken. My stomach is in knots. My hands are balled into fists and my teeth are clenched.

God have mercy on China. God have mercy on the US. God have mercy on us who do little or nothing to turn this tide.

If we do nothing else, I pray that we will at least take this Proverb to heart:
31:8"Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy."

When this latest story of China's aggregious human rights violations came out a while back, I did not want to learn more about it. I did not want to think about what happened to Feng. I did not click on the links. I did not look at the picture. But God's heart is broken and He has broken mine despite my efforts to turn away from that kind of pain. It's too close to my heart. It's too much.

But God has a good plan. There is hope. There is life. There is light. And it's me. It's you. We are to be hope and life and light to this world. I pray that God helps me to shine in the dark places. That He leads me today to the person who needs light. That this grief in my deepest soul will be productive. That I will not turn away from the pain in the world and hide in my comfy space.
God has lit a fire in my soul and I will let it consume me.

Would you pray? Will you get on your knees and pray for the end of forced abortion in China? Will you pray that women's eyes will be opened in America that children are not a "punishment" but a gift?

Shine out children of God. Let's shine.

About Me

About Me
I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.