Jesus said “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” - Mark 9:37

Monday, April 30, 2012

Hope and it's companions Faith & Love

Ok, so I haven't really gotten the hang of this blogging thing.

My posts maybe have not always be entertaining.

But if you'll bear thru this long one, if I can put it into understandable language...

I believe you will be encouraged as I was in prayer tonight.

In the last week I have been reminded of the words

Faith

Hope

Love

several times.
Our family made a trip to Austin, TX to take documents to be authenticated by the Secretary of State for our Dossier. So we turned the day into a field trip... 





 
On the way home we stopped at one of those nice big travel stops to potty. 
Hanging on the wall was some very nice wooden engraved and painted plaques.
Now, I do NOT normally buy stuff like this... mostly because I am cheap. lol
But this sign screamed "Buy me!"


and it now hangs in our living room.  :)
Then the next morning I was cleaning Eli's table off... that's a long table we have set up in our den with all the adoption folders, paperwork, fundraising stuff, his change collection can, etc. Anyway, there was a gift bag from my secret sister at church last Sun. I had taken a pretty picture out of it the day before, but did not realize there was something in the bottom of the bag.

Yep, more Faith, Hope and Love...


Coincidence? I think, not!

April has been a hard month for me. A lot of stresses and life junk have just gotten in my way. Not to say God has not still been working and blessing. Oh, he has!

We finally got the last of our background clearances. Our home study was finished and approved. We received pictures and an update on Eli.

You may remember a couple weeks ago a dear sweet fellow adoptive mom (named Dawn) blessed us by sending us pictures from her waiting daughter's birthday, which had Eli in several shots. Well that same mom is currently in China, in Eli's same city, adopting her daughter. Yay!

Well she very generously offered to take Eli small gifts from us when she went. So we created him a new photo book, wrote him a letter (which a sweet friend translated for us) and Dawn got him a drawing pad & colored pencils for us.






And we sent a Mother's Day card and gift to his foster mom.



Not sure if she will get it, but then not sure if Eli will get his gifts either. We are HOPING...

Well things in China haven't gone exactly as Dawn planned, but I found out tonight that she was able to give our gifts to the orphanage director who seemed sincere in planning to get them to Eli.

And also that Joy (Dawn's newly adopted daughter) and Eli are indeed friends. Yay! More praises!

So you see there has been plenty to praise God for in April.  But still life has gotten me down. I have let the enemy take one too many shots at me. And lately, I have walked around in a blinded stupor.

So now, I'd like to share somethings I got out of a bible study I did tonight.

There are many key terms and concepts like faith, hope, and love which we come across as we read the Word of God, but often these are just vague concepts for many people.

What is hope?

The world's idea of hope is “to wish for, or to desire much, but no assurance of getting your desire."

According to the Hebrew and Greek words used in the Bible, the word “hope” is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.”

Hope may refer to the activity of hoping, or to the object hoped for—the content of one’s hope. By its very nature, hope stresses two things: (a) futurity, and (b) invisibility. It deals with things we can’t see or haven’t received or both.

In the Bible, hope is never a static or passive thing. It is dynamic, active, directive and life sustaining.
Looking up Hope in the Bible will show that hope is not an escape from reality or from problems. It doesn’t leave us idle, or drifting. If our hope is godly and based on His promises, it will put us into gear. It will give us strength, courage, and boldness.

Psalm 31:24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.

We need to HOPE in the Lord...

Let God take care of us,
and all the details of everything He has called us to...
including adopting orphans from China :)
and everything else this life and the devil throws at us.

We need to stop worrying about caring for ourselves, and trying to get where we think we're going.
Just trust the Lord to be there for us.

Think about it... 
If we don't have the hope that Christ has got us covered, then we'll be busy trying to save ourselves.

But if we trust God to provide all we need, then we can be free to love...
Him
ourselves
our families
and our neighbor.

Thus Hope is the birthplace of self-sacrificing love.
When we allow God to satisfy us so much that we're free to love other people,
which is one of God's greatest commandments,

GOD is magnified...
GOD is glorified...
God is lifted on high.

And that's a calling I want to fullfill.

Faith

2 Cor. 5:7 "For we live by faith, not by sight."

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Hope

Romans 8:24 "But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?"

I Cor. 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

1 Thes. 1:3 "We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."

Love

I Cor `2:4-8  " Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."



And if the above verses don't sound like this adventure to take a leap of FAITH to obey God and adopt a chinese orphan boy; HOPE you get approved, HOPE you get the money to do it and HOPE it's all gonna work out; and LOVE this boy as your own... already and no matter what...

I don't know what else it could be called other than...

FAITH

HOPE

LOVE

And right now,
as we eagerly wait for the mailman to deliver our completed home study
so we can in return send off our I-800A to USCIS;
and while we fundraise for $4,000 our agency requires before they submit our Dossier To China;
and while I pray Eli receives the photo book, letter and small gifts we sent him 

I have HOPE... and I am encouraged by things around me that God has been speaking thru.

Like tonight, at a church movie night, we fundraised $70. Praise the Lord!

Rom 8:25 "But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it."

Lord I am waiting eagerly in FAITH that this adventure you called us to, and began, will happen;
and tho I can't see it, I trust you
I put my hope in you
that every detail will come together,
every penny needed will be there,
and I know that we have a LOVE in our hearts for Eli,
and I HOPE he will love us too,
in Jesus name, Amen

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