Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mustard Seed

I've recently been asking myself, "Is your faith as small as a mustard seed?" Such a tiny thing, but when it comes to faith it can seem gigantic.  I must admit, I am a bit of a control freak.  I like things to go according to plan, on time.  You would think I would know better.  God has done a good job of telling me where I can take my plans.. I have learned that His plans are far greater than mine, it's this timing thing I have a problem with.  bib

I recently joined a women's Bible study.  We are reading the book One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer.  Funny God.  Real funny.  Just when I need a swift kick about being impatient you give me this book.  For those of you who haven't read it, go buy it!  It is a great study about the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promiseland.  I will admit, when it comes to Bible reading I prefer the New Testament.  But I am thoroughly enjoying this study.  So here's how it goes.  God delivers the Israelites from Egypt.  He parts the Red Sea and they wonder the desert for 40 years until they become spiritually mature.    Time after time God provided for them.  Time after time they doubted Him.  Talk about failing a test. 

I have been forced to look at our adoption journey as our journey through the wilderness.  Right now we are walking through the desert and its hot.  There's no water in sight.  And I'm thirsty! Man am I thirsty.  I just need a small drink, just a sip.  Then we come across this Marah, nothing but a mirage.  Looks like water, but tastes like beer(yuck).  I can't drink that stuff.  And just when we are about to give up, God brings us a miracle.  Ok, we aren't to that miracle moment yet, but man I know it's coming.  It's just around the corner and I feel it coming.  And I know when it happens, it will undoubtedly be God.  It may come in the form of a much needed zero interest loan, it may be a generous donation, it might even be a very successful fundraiser.  Heck, I would just settle for that job promotion I am up for.  I know I can't pick what it is, but I know God is faithful. I just pray he doesn't make us walk this for 40 years! I'm learning I swear!

The burden God gave Eric and I for orphans was so strong.  We felt it come on strong over a year ago.  We have questioned many times whether we were doing the right thing.  But each time we knew that God would not burden us if he didn't want us to move.  We have run into many roadblocks, and I began to ask, "How are we suppose to support a passion regarding our purpose and keep a sense of enthusiasm about our journey when morale is low?  He answered that.  He has brought people into our life that support us and love us, and we've never met them face to face.  He has given me this Bible study, and he has called us to lead our own small group at church. 

I hope that if you're reading this and you're walking through the wilderness of adoption that you just wait, wait for that miracle to happen.  It's coming!  It's just around the corner!  Have faith, even if it is as small as a mustard seed.

Tara

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's time for my Soapbox..

Faithful.  That is my goal, to be steadfast and faithful.  I knew that when we started our journey it would not come easy.  Why?  Just because God gave us a burden and we obeyed didn't mean Satan wouldn't attack us.  And oh has he attacked us.  I have had close friends and family accuse me of baby buying, of neglecting my son because we have to leave him behind in the US for almost two weeks.  I have been attacked as a mother, as a Christian, as a provider.  I have been told that if we don't have the money to adopt we should just have kids of our own.. I have second guessed myself and God.  I have prayed.  I have meditated.. I have felt like giving up.  And after all of this I realize the more my life becomes conformed to His, the more I receive what he received.  It's easy for us to forget that the world hated Him.  But I love Him.  I adore Him and I will obey him.  Jesus said, "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."  I have found it friends.  And I can tell you that the most atrocious things have been said to me by people who claim to be Christians.  I feel like the Bible is very clear about how we are to care for the orphan and widow.

James 1:27

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.

Jeremiah 22:3

3 This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

Isaiah 1:17


17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
   Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
   plead the case of the widow.


John 14:15-21

    15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
 
These are just a few passages that I have found.  There are over 20 verses in the Bible that I have found that tell us how to treat the oppressed, poor, desolate, and orphaned.  In none of my reading did Jesus say, "Only the barren shall take care of the fatherless."  I didn't find a place where God told us we would meet every need.  In fact I truly believe the attitude of "I can't do it all so I won't do anything" is straight from Satan.  (I wonder how many emails I will get about this statement.)
 
My hope is that someone comes across this post and realizes that it doesn't matter if others believe in what we're doing.  It doesn't matter if people think we won't succeed.  What matters is that God put us on this path and He will continue to carry us through it until we are successful.  This life requires more of Him and less of me.  
 
David Platt said it best, " Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms.  But once you do, everything changes."
 
Tara

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month I thought I'd post a blog about where you can get more information about Human Trafficking and how you can make a difference.

Not for sale creates tools that engage business, government, and grassroots in order to incubate and grow social enterprises to benefit enslaved and vulnerable communities.

 Rapha House  is a public benefit 501©3 nonprofit committed to ending the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. Founded in 2003, Rapha House continues to rescue and rehabilitate children, while bringing them to lasting freedom. Love • Rescue • Heal is more than a slogan to us. It’s a way of life at Rapha House

International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems - police, courts and laws - effectively protect the poor.


Polaris Project  is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children.

Please take some time to look into these organizations and pray about how you can make a difference.