Monday, September 10, 2012


We are getting oh so close to October 5th-- Hope at Home 2012! So, we can't start any blog post without extending again the invitation to you to join us. Last week the Hope at Home Team met to plan and pray-- for you! It's going to be a great time, friends! To find out more details and to register, click HERE.

From Susan Hillis:
Every person I see walking off that ride is alive,"  I thought, as I stood terrified, disguising dread with a faint smile as the kids and I waited in line at the Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags.  Like David's Goliath, this giant made normal folks like me want to RUN away! Instead, I determined to be the moral support that my newly adopted 10 year old daughter needed to help her step up to this thrilling(?) ride.  "If they can do it, I can.  They are walking off alive, and I will, too."   What I didn't anticipate was feeling violent vibrations as I was thrust straight downward from a height of 200 feet (20 stories!) at 70 miles an hour, in parts of my insides I never even knew I had!

If He Can Do It, I Can

A similar conclusion had forever changed the course of my life at age 22.  While many have seen the story of Jim Elliot in the film, End of the Spear, it is the book that I dare you to read.  His prayer journals as recorded in Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot, revealed an INSPIRING depth of intimacy and transparency and confidence and trust and enduring affection that are available between God and man.  "I want THAT for my life," I decided when I was 22.  "If he can have that level of nearness with the Lord, I can, too." 
To use a child's word, I wanted to be a copycat. It's what Scripture advises, when we read in Hebrews 13:7,  "considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith." 

If I Can Do It, You Can

As a visionary with countless plans, I can also entertain many fears.  Now fear is NOT what I invite you to copy! But you probably already have entertained fear on occasion, even if against your own will.  Instead of fear, I want  my life and yours to be ones of trusting our loving Father to work all things for good.  To see the invisible.  To live with unshakable confidence in an unshakable God. Sure that goodness and mercy will follow us as predictably as our shadows.

T4A...Testimonies for Afflictions

What the Lord has so lovingly shown me again and again and again over many years and in spite a many fears is that in our steadfastly loving and faithful Lord, testimonies always exceed afflictions!  I dare you to pull out as ESV and count them in that longest psalm perched smack in the middle of our Bibles. In Psalm 119 there are 22 testimonies-- guess how many afflictions there are?!  Go see!
In fact, afflictions are the soil from which Gods testimonies flourish.
I just love you, dear reader, as one who cares for children in need. As I am preparing to speak at the conference, Together for Adoption (T4A) in Atlanta this week, the Lord keeps impressing on me that, like the great exchange, He offers us all a new T4A -- Testimony for (in the place of) Affliction. 
Its like the story of Oksana Masters, the adopted Ukrainian double amputee featured last week in "One Orphan, One Marine," in Sports Illustrated.  She won the Paralympic Bronze in mixed doubles rowing, inspiring the world.  Her affliction was that exposure to radiation in utero left her without tibias below her knees.  She refused to let the phantom pain of early abuse and early loss of limbs...real pain of a real past in the real present, define her.  She inspired a sonnet (by D. Shook) for the HUFFINGTON Post just before the event, with these lines,
You refuse to live an amputated life.
Your hope remains unradiated
as you row off toward Olympic gold,
past Ukraine, past America, the world...
aflame with hope -- a nation's, yours, mine.
So what if the worst that can happen does?  What if we or our children or those we love suffer, just as Oksana did, and still feel some of that phantom pain? Several of my worst-that-can-happen fears have in fact come to pass in our family-- death, jail, loneliness, and more.  Yes, they are heartbreaking.  But we have been loved by a Savior whose specialty is resurrection.  One who refused to stop with a crucified life.  And the truth is, that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, works in me and in you and in our marriages and in our children (Eph 1).  Wait for it, dear one.  See the invisible.  And experience the love of the Good Shepherd for you as you wait.
What I am sure of, the testimony of my life, is this: 
God is bigger. 
Momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory.
He loves our children more than we do.
Nothing can separate you or me from His love.
So Lord, we pray together these words Jim Elliot and his buddies sang one last time before entering heavens glory:
We rest on thee, our shield and our defender
We go not forth alone against the foe,
Strong in thy strength and in the keeping tender
We rest on thee and in thy name we go.
Strong in thy strength and in the keeping tender
We rest on thee and in thy name we go.
Yes, Lord, we rest today on You.  We go forth today with You.  We trust today Your strength and tenderness for us to keep us in H.O.P.E. -- Hanging On Passionately Expectant.  Because the tesimony of Your care today and every day transforms every affliction.  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

We are having a wonderful time preparing for Hope at Home 2012, October 5-6 in Atlanta! What a joy it is to walk together with the Lord in His wonderful purposes and plans for our children and our families. Register HERE

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