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Friday, October 31, 2014

Increase our Faith: God has a plan for you

It has recently been made clear to me all over again that God is at work among His people. As Mr. Beaver might say, "Aslan is on the move." You can feel it in the warming wind. See it in the greening wood.

Imagine it being always winter and never Christmas.

Well, that is not too hard to imagine for some folks. For example- orphans in Ukrainian orphanages. They can imagine always winter never Christmas. Or, North American Christians...our hearts are heavy and stiff with the cold of spiritual stagnation...always winter never Christmas.

Even Christmas isn't really Christmas in our souls. Every year we long for more...we try to create magical holiday things to fill our longing. But all we really end up doing is spending a lot of money and energy without the true joy of Christmas dawning in our souls. We end up with lots of clean up and garbage and maybe some extra fat from all the treats and goodies. But in the end it was winter and never Christmas.

But like I said, I have seen that Jesus is on the move. That means that we can expect to have Christmas this winter! We can expect to hear the sleigh bells of Father Christmas in our hearts. We can anticipate the joy of the Gift we will receive. I can assure you it will be just what you've always wanted, always needed. It will be just what you need to get you through this adventure of your life.

But, like the children in Narnia, we have to trust the message that Christ is really on the move. We have to obey Him and take some risks in order to find Him. We have to follow a talking beaver we just met (hearing the Holy Spirit and following His direction can be a lot like following a talking beaver- you keep wondering if this is really real and if it is wise to take advice from such a person). We must resolve to not be distracted by luxuries and lulled to indifference and ultimately disobedience.

Our family heard from the Holy Spirit in October 2011.  I clearly heard that Christ was coming this Christmas if we would open our hearts and home to an orphan from Latvia. We were about as confident as the Pevensie's, we truly felt like children in a strange land following a talking beaver. But the reward was amazing. Christ came at Christmas! Christmas morning dawned in our hearts that winter. Now we know what it's like and we can't get enough of following the Holy Spirit any direction He takes us, because whenever we do, we see Christ. The real Christ, bringing spring to a winter landscape. Thawing our hearts of stone and giving us hearts of flesh.

And then, over the last few years, I have watched the Holy Spirit speak clearly to people who have not heard so clearly up to this point. People who are called by His name who were nonetheless stuck in winter with no Christmas. And it all comes from hosting orphans. I have seen God do BIG THINGS with folks as soon as they start to follow the iffy directions of the Holy Spirit. Did I really hear that? Was it really from God? Is this really the best way to spend my hard earned money? Is this really good stewardship? Is this going to harm my family? Those doubts and more plague every one of us who have followed the lead of the Holy Spirit. But the reward is Christmas in your soul. That lasts all year, even longer!

That's why I want to write this post. I want to somehow let you know that YOUR SOUL stands to gain or lose a lot, based on your willingness to listen for and follow the call of Christ in your life. And I just have so many AMAZING God moments and Jesus magic to share that all revolve around hosting orphans. Obviously, there are lots of ways to hear and follow God's Big Plan for your life, but hosting is way that I have seen with my own eyes the way God works in the hearts of those who say yes.

I've got names and numbers of lots of folks who have said yes to hosting and now know Jesus as well as if they had met Him in the woods and walked miles by His side.

I will tell you those stories, or let them tell you through guest posts so that you can get the idea.
If your heart longs for Christmas, truly joy-filled and lasting, listen closely to their stories and listen carefully for the Holy Spirit to guide you into a magical land....where Christmas comes and warms the heart like springtime.


Jennie Allen sums it up in three lines:

"The only exercise that works 100 percent of the time to draw one close to the real God is risk...
...To risk is to willingly place your life in the hand of an unseen God and an unknown future, then to watch him come through. He starts to get real when you live like that.” -Jennie Allen, Anything

That's what hosting an orphan does- it willingly places your life in God's hand.

It's like when I was trying to describe to some folks about getting more Holy Spirit in your life. Well, this is a loose analogy, so don't analyze it too closely, but your life is like a car. And you have a choice. You can let it sit in the driveway, or you can start driving down the road. The Holy Spirit is the gas. If you just have your car sit in the driveway, God will give you enough gas for that. And you'll look at the gas gauge and say, "well, I can't go anywhere anyway, I hardly have enough gas to make it out of the driveway." But, if you are willing to maybe drive around the block, you find that there is always enough gas to get you where you are supposed to go.

Hosting an orphan is a drive around the block. It shows you how God supplies all your needs. It shows you how real the Holy Spirit is, how real God is. Like what Jennie Allen said in three lines.


#'s 10 and 12 from left are kiddos who changed my life...and whose lives have been changed. Talk about setting the lonely in families...Yeah. Hard to be lonely with Joe's family. :)
Forever family is a gift only God can give.

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About Me

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