Tuesday, February 26, 2013

his footstool

He is the Lion and the Lamb. He thunders and whispers. His footstool is the earth, yet He knelt down and washed the earth off His disciples' feet.
- Matt Redman 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

the drop box

The Drop Box is a documentary that is coming out soon about orphans in South Korea and how one man, Pastor Lee Jong-rak, saw a way to be used by God to be a part of the solution to the problem of abandonment of disabled babies there. My husband found a trailer of the documentary at Justin Taylor's blog at the Gospel Coalition's website.

The following is a description of the documentary with information pulled from the film-makers and an LA Times article.

Pastor Lee lives in South Korea and leads the Jusarang Community Church.  Since 1998, Pastor Lee and his church have saved nearly three dozen infants. They were all abandoned because of disabilities. Pastor Lee knows first hand about the pain that comes from having a child born with a disability. He and his wife have a son born with cerebral palsy. His eyes were opened after caring for his son.
In 2009, Pastor Lee installed the drop box on the side of his home with the words: This is a facility for the protection of Life. If you can't take care of your disabled babies, don't throw them away or leave them on the street. Bring them here. The box is lined with pink and blue blankets and a bell rings when the little door is opened. A group of Christ followers saw a need and met it. There are other locations in South Korea that care for the abandoned and vulnerable but this place catches the ones who might otherwise "fall through the cracks". The Drop Box is the story of how God uses just ordinary, willing people to accomplish his purposes. 

If you want to read a more in depth article about Pastor Lee you can go here and read the full LA Times article.

But please take a moment to watch the trailer for the documentary.  Grab the tissues. The documentary is set to be released this summer. Be on the lookout for it! It just won two awards at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. (the director's acceptance speech is well worth the read!!)


steadfast love

“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust. (Ps. 143:8)”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

the next 40 days

Today is the first day of Lent! Our family will be using The Jesus Tree and A Place at the Table by Chris Seay to help us focus our minds on Christ. Lent is not mentioned or commanded in the Bible, but prayer, fasting and denying ourselves are certainly mentioned. As Christians we obviously celebrate Christ's resurrection every day. However, if I’m honest, what really happens in my life is that somehow, even something as miraculous and all-powerful as the Son of God rising from death can sometimes becomes rote. I let things become a habit. But when I take the time to pray and fast and focus on these last days of Jesus' life here on earth it becomes so much more. I feel so much more connected to it.  When our family methodically goes through the scriptures and spends time in reflection on Jesus' time in the wilderness and the events of his last week it changes us! How can it not? 

Lent loosely mimics the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness wrestling with Satan. For me and for you it is a time to retreat with our father and remind ourselves how utterly dependent on Christ we are!

"Lent begins with this realization. That we are a people in exile. That we are wandering far from our true home. And thus the beginning of repentance isn't merely the terror that one finds wandering in a strange land; the beginning of repentance is homesickness. 
Lent teaches us to fess up to how often we
 settle down in the land of our exile as though it were our true home; 
attempting to still the yearning 
the Spirit has created by throwing at it physical or psychological pleasure,
 and how it never works."
- Pastor Will Weedon


Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Monday

happy monday
On a rainy Monday after a great weekend who doesn' t need a good laugh?
I love these cards.

And how about this free printable over at Seeing Joy!  A great reminder! :)


Monday, February 4, 2013

It's time to open our white umbrellas

If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.
-Matthew Arnold
British poet, 1822-1888

Based on the TV ratings from Sunday night, most of us watched the Super Bowl.  Our family certainly did, and while we didn't have a strong rooting interest either way, it was an enjoyable game to watch.  And, while it's still enjoyable, watching the game isn't quite the same for me anymore for one reason:  the Super Bowl is the largest sex  trafficking event in America.  Girls from all over the country, who are being held against their will, are brought in for the big weekend.  So, while I sit in my family room and have a party, they are living in hell.      

The US Department of Justice says that the average age of girls who are trafficked is 12-14 years old (Rescueher.org).  Their life expectancy after they have been kidnapped and brought into the trafficking trade is approximately seven years.  Last month was Anti-slavery Awareness Month and I highlighted a book, Rescuing Hope by Susan Norris.  Susan Norris interviewed survivors of the sex trafficking business and combined their stories into one.  As disgusting as the details are in the book, they are true and call us to action.  In the book Susan lays out exactly how trafficking happens.  These young girls are preyed upon, and they do not even realize what is happening to them until it is too late. These girls are then held against their will, they are beaten and abused, and they are fed lies, such as being told their family will be killed if they try to escape. They are held in apartments or other non-descript buildings. Obviously, a 12 year old out on the street would draw attention...so these girls are kept in these apartments and the men come to them. Not just once a night but 20-25 times a night.  They never leave their prison except to make a special trip like to the Super Bowl.  It is evil, it is sickening, and  it is hard to believe that it happens, especially in this country of ours, but it does.  

These girls are you and me, they are our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, friends.  But what can we do?  When I first starting reading about this problem...I felt overwhelmed.  What can one person do to help?

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
-Mother Teresa

Well, I'm wrong for having ever believed that. This is where the white umbrellas come in. Wellspring Living has started the White Umbrella Campaign. The campaign is a way to bring awareness to the plight of girls who are caught in the sex-trafficking industry.  Mary Frances Bowley has written a book entitled The White Umbrella.  It is full of stories about survivors and the women who came along side them and offered what Frances-Bowley calls the white umbrella protection.  We can be their umbrellas too...we  may not be able to be phyiscally present to help these girls who have been rescued but we can cover them, like an umbrella, with prayer!  We can also pray for the girls who are still waiting to be rescued.

Will you join me in their challenge?  Please do not read this post and not do anything.  I beg you.  This is all we have to do...download the prayer guide here  and spend the next 40 days praying the names and attributes of God over those who have been victimized.  That's it!!  But if you want to do more there are lots of ways to help.

Check out all that Wellspring Living is doing and check out the awesome work that is going on not only in our country but in India and Cambodia at RESCUEHER

Each one of us needs to look after the good of people around us, asking, How Can I Help?
Romans 15:2

Please join me in praying for these sweet girls over the next 40 days!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Life, Valentine's Day, Maps and Quilts

14 weeks ago Jonathan and I stepped off the plane here in Charlotte.  I can't believe it has been that long.  I'm still in a fog...the newborn fog but adoption style! I am so thankful that I have taken lots of pictures to help me remember.  If you are adopting or have adopted internationally and you haven't read Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen...I highly recommend it!  It is long but worth your time.  Jason and I have used alot of the suggestions and methods from the book to help us parent Jonathan and we will continue to use the book as he grows!

Valentine's Day is approaching quickly.  If you are looking for some cute printable cards for your kiddos to give away or you are looking for some intentional activities to do as a family for Valentine's Day.  Carrie has some super cute ones on her blog.  You can go here and here to check out her printables and ideas!

My friend, Meg and her husband, are adopting again.  I am super excited for them. I met Meg because our sons were in the same orphanage. To help with the costs of  this adoption, Meg has opened an Etsy shop.  It features her beautiful handmade creations...quilts, wall hangings, embroidered maps, and necklaces.  You can go here to check out her store! 

I'm reading through this plan right now with She Reads Truth. It is good..that's an understatement. :) 

Have a great weekend!