Sunday, May 26, 2013

You Worth is More Than Your Strength or Lack of. A Word for the Chronically Weak

Something happened to me a very long time ago that would forever change my health. I was bitten by a tick that was infected with harmful bacteria. My body could not fight it and to this day I feel the consequences it has taken on my immune system. This was not of my doing or anything that I could help. It is one of those things that just happen. Yet I believe that God is sovereign over all things so this thing that forever changed my life will work out for my good. I see this continually because I struggle often with it.

When you are a weaker person in general there are many feelings that accompany it. Since our society is very independent and values strength it is easy for others to just cut you off. I see this with myself and I often observe it when I see people with apparent disabilities. People want to just turn their heads and not see the weak. People discount you as worthless or invisible. Even if no one is saying this to you, as the chronic sufferer, you may be tempted to feel this way. Yet it is not true or how God sees you.

I am a mom of three and a wife. A mom is suppose to be able to do anything her kids need, keep the family fed, manage the house, keep things clean, keep up with the laundry, and etc. These things I cannot keep up with when I am down. I just cannot and I must accept this. It makes me feel like a drain on my family because I want to serve instead of having them serve me. I think it is easier to serve because receiving service is a very humbling experience. It goes against our society of strength and independence.

When I am tempted to think I am worthless or a drain on others or just taking up space with no apparent purpose I must remember what God has to say about me and weakness. After all none of what you are going through could happen unless first filtered through His hands of love. He is a loving and good Father who never leaves us for forsakes us. We must take those thoughts of hopelessness and take them captive making them obedient to His word of truth!

In fact despite the worlds special care and attention to those who are strong, God gives special favor to the opposite. He cares deeply for the weak. He is truth so renew your mind with these things.

"He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy" Psalm 72:13.

"The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust." Psalm 103:13-14.

"He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever" Psalm 136:23.
"Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless." Isaiah 40:28-29.

"He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged." Isaiah 42:3.
"In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary." 1 Corinthians 12:22.

"Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength." 1 Corinthians 15:43.

"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong" 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.

"Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone" 1 Thessalonians 5:14.

These are only a few of the Scriptures that speak of weakness. Most of the Bible is painted about God coming to the rescue of the weak. God used the weak in mightier ways than others! He uses the weak things of this world! God takes great care of the weak. He loves all creation. He values all life big or small. He loves you completely even in your weakness. He became weak like us by putting on flesh and becoming like us in the person of Jesus Christ. He can sympathize with our weaknesses. He came and died freeing us from sins grip on us. And through the weak, He can shine strong because the weak know how to get out of His way. The weak know how to surrender. The weak have a unique way to relate to Him in His sufferings. So do not discount your season of weakness. It is just as important as your seasons of strength. God will use them all as you stay submitted to HIM. Rest in Him and His love. Let Him wash the truth of His word over you!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Adoption and Ethics -- Our Story


Our new completed family for 2013. Will not say we are complete for any other time because you never know what God has in store. Remember, Isaiah Dakota William Parsley just came to us out of no where!

There has been much written lately in the blogosphere about adoption and ethics lately. Apparently there has been some criticism of Christian adoption? What in the world!? Criticism seems to happen every time people set out to do good in Jesus name. There is an attack. This evil world and those who follow the pattern of this world do not want to see good things done in HIS name. It makes sense though His word clearly teaches, "Remember what I told you: "A servant is not greater than his master."If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also," John 15:20.

It is sad but a great reminder that this is not our home. Our citizenship is in Heaven and this life here and now is just a small blip on the timeline of history. I want to make it count for something in HIS name, bringing Him all the glory. He is CHRIST in me the hope of glory. I walk this all out in Him.

Ethics are important to address and maintain in adoption. Regarding our adoption story. Well it is heart wrenching now. With adoption a brokenness accompanies. We fought to give these kids the security they needed when no apparent change was happening with the birth family. We came to an agreement to work out this new relationship with them. We are not required to ever see them again by order of the law, but the law of love overrides the law of the land. We agreed to see them with their birth children as long as they want. We essentially are tied together for the sake of family and adoption. This was our arrangement in love.

We set up a date to have a big reunion of all the family per the birth families request. A reunion where we would do photographs and celebrate family. A time of being together to celebrate life. Everyone showed up but the birth parents. It broke my heart. We had not heard from them for a while now. We continue to try to contact but nothing. I am not sure what next steps to take in this matter however whatever they are they must be done in love and dignity. I am praying they are ok. I am praying they are looking to Christ. Will you pray with us? Also that we have the wisdom as how to proceed in this situation? Relationships are messy. They always will be on this Earth.

I want his birth parents to know they are valuable. They are brave. I admire their sacrifice. I want them to know I love them and consider them part of our family. I want them to know God loves them so much. I want them to know they are important to us and important to their children. I imagine this is a hard time for them. They are not failures as they may be tempted to think. They made a hard sacrifice for the benefit of another's well being and good. That is love. The most loving thing a parent can do.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

An Open Letter to Victoria Secret

Dear whoever it concerns at Victoria Secret Marketing,

Do you have a daughter? I ask this question because if you do, certainly the answer has to be no, but if you do, have you imagined her sprawled out almost naked flaunting her most intimate and private parts on a larger than a billboard spread at the mall? Did you imagine that baby wrapped sweetly and snuggling in your arms like this? Did you hold this precious baby you gave life to and think, wow, I will expose her to this perverted and sex driven world in sexy underwear one day for the whole world to see? While you nursed her at your breast, if you are a woman, did you imagine all those creepy eyes of men gravitating toward her almost naked body. Naked, yes that is right because really in all honesty that is what they are imagining. It is true. Yet if it is a man of honor who sees it, are you trying to trip him up? Or marketing director are you a man? Do you have no sense of protection of innocence of your little girl? or any child who is exposed to this when they walk into the mall?

It could be that you have little boys. Do you want to start their problem with porn earlier in life? Maybe that is it. You looked at that baby boy so full of life and full of innocence and you decide hmmm, I know the best gift I can give this boy of mine, I will take the most risky and raunchy picture of a woman almost naked to advertise our underwear brand. That will make him proud. Because let's be honest it is in the open, in the mall where people take families. It is diagonal from the cookie shop. I wonder if this is a coincidence? Do you want to trip up this next generation of men? Do you want them to lack purity?

I have to ask these questions because honestly what are you trying to get across to people? Selling underwear at the sake of our children? We cannot even go into the mall any longer with the filth that is displayed. Soft porn displayed as advertisement for families to see because all things are ok if they are making money right? That must be how you think. Is that what you are thinking? Who are you trying to benefit? I am appalled by it because I know there are sex traffickers or child molesters who are out there in greater number than we know and the more we close our eyes or turn our heads to this blatant "advertising" the more we become desensitized to what is sacred. Then as these pictures of women are oogled baring their most intimates in open form people start to think this is natural, that they are suppose to look. After all a woman did voluntarily pose for these. But then you lead those bent on perversion on a slippery slope that takes advantage of others. It is a slippery cycle. We now hold nothing sacred. Is this what you want? It does start with one look you know. You have no idea the implications it causes to a whole slew of people out there.

I cannot only blame you Victoria Secret though honestly, a shoe store has a spread like yours in our mall. They are not even selling underwear. I know you were first in this type of open mall advertising though and they followed suit. And of course you have a sister company Abercrombie and Fitch who participates in this same sex-based selling industry. Why don't you go back to keeping Victoria's Secret, secret? Just a suggestion here. But who am I? Just a middle class consumer who will be making all the underwear and clothing purchases for my household and my well earned funds will not be going to you. I cannot consciously invest in a company who promotes desensitizing what is sacred. Sorry.

My young friend timidly but boldly asked me to write a letter to you. She thought that nothing would happen but voices need to be heard. So this is one mom's voice in this big world being heard. Take it however you want but it is my hope that you will reconsider this damaging advertising campaign.

I am so proud of my young friend standing strong for what is sacred. Our naked bodies are private and should absolutely never be exposed under any condition. This sacredness is for reasons. A gift for our marriage partner. We must start to respect it for our marriages now or future marriages for those of you still single. Keep the things sacred sacred. It's up to you.

A Concerned Consumer,

Letter was sent to them personally here at this link. Would you join me and send your own? For the sake of our children and my young, brave friend.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: Praying The Prayers of the Bible by James Banks

I received a copy of this title free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

This book is gold! I really loved it. It is a perfect book to keep close as a companion to aid you in praying the Scriptures. It is divided into sections that are filled with Scripture that are appropriate for various topics in the life of a Christian. These divisions are separated into nine sections which are:
1-Prayers to Praise and Honor God
2-Prayers to say Thank You
3-Prayers to Strengthen Faith and Give Ourselves to God
4-Prayers About Everyday Needs
5-Prayers to Confess Sin and Humble Ourselves
6-Prayers for Guidance and Direction
7-Prayers for Help and Protection
8-Wrestling Prayers
9-Blessing Prayers

At the beginning of each chapter the author gives good information about each type of prayer. Overall this is a book that all praying people should have. It makes praying God's word easier because of the quick and easy reference where it places these Scriptures which makes them easier to find. I cannot say enough about it. Get it! You will not be disappointed.

To get a copy from Amazon go here.

Book Review: Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

Humble Orthodoxy, holding the truth high without putting people down is a gift book size book. It is small and an easy read. Holding on and guarding right doctrine in the Christian faith is vital. This book takes a look at this along with the bible passage, 2 Timothy 2:23-26. This book also has a study guide in the back that goes along with each chapter. It could be easily used with people who know little or a lot about doctrine.

The heart beat or center of this book that I find most important is its admonition to keep the reader at balance in regards to truth and love. We must hold on to correct doctrine in those essential areas to the Christian faith but we must do it in humility and love. In our culture today I think we often see extremes on both sides. We have those red faced argumentative folks who only care about being right then we have those push over folks who don't care how you live because they love you. There is a balance in the middle where you can love others and uphold the truth unswervingly. This is what this little book is about.

To get a copy from amazon go here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: gods at war by Kyle Idleman

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

This book is great! I really think it is a must read for most all people. It addresses such an important topic that all Christians need to consider. Things in this life war for our devotion. This book breaks these potential things down into topics to help the reader see where their own heart is bent. Overall our hearts need to be devoted to God. Yet things in this life do try to dethrone God from His rightful place.

This book is not condemning it helps you assess the condition of your own hearts devotion. It is written in a fun, easy to read format. It includes questions to ponder and think about that are helpful. It also includes many examples and personal stories. It has witty footnotes and many biblical examples. I enjoyed reading this and the authors style. You will be better off for reading this title.

I love also that at the end of each chapter the author states that idols cannot be removed they need to be replaced. Two of my favorite Bible teachers say this as well, Dee Brestin and Tim Keller. Idols cannot be removed because as soon as one is dethroned another will rise up to take it's place. The only way to dethrone these things that war with our heart is to see Jesus rightly in all His beauty. When we do all other things are dethroned by HIM alone. As Christians we are in a process of sanctification. To become more and more Christlike in that process we must behold HIM and His beauty. This is what this book discussed and was about. 

To receive a copy of this book from Amazon go here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Review: Nate Saint, Operation Auca by Nancy Drummond

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

This book is part of the Torch Bearer series of biographies for kids. I was excited to read this title because I have heard some of Nate Saint's story before when I watched the movie titled, The End of the Spear.This biography was different because it was written for kids and it focused more on the life of Nate Saint who was one of the missionaries involved in the incident with the Auca Indians. 

This story was written as an easy but interesting read. It did not take me long to read through it so I look forward to passing it on to my kids or reading it aloud to them. The fluid of thought and writing style was excellent. It is one of those books that spur you on toward Christ. It helps you see the heart of this man who loved Jesus and how God drew him to Himself. It explained how he grew up and his unique interests and how that fit inside his family. It is neat to look back at a story and see how God was working all along. I really enjoyed this title.

If you are looking for a great and encouraging biography that will spur you closer to Jesus then this is a great one for you and your kids. You can get a copy from Amazon here. I do highly recommend it.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory by Jeremiah Burroughs

I received a copy of this title free of charge for the purpose of an honest review.

Jeremiah Burroughs was a preacher in his time period (1599 1646). This book was taken from his sermons on the topic of Contentment in Prosperity. He, chapter by chapter, takes you through assessing your own heart as you live in a time or season of prosperity. He takes you through focusing primarily on Paul's words from Philippians 4:11-12, "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need."

It is Burroughs argument that in times of need we are more likely to be drawn to God because we have been brought so low. It is God that we have to turn to not other things. Yet in times of prosperity we must also let it draw us to God in thankfulness.  For our hearts are so bent to lean toward missing God because we see that we ourselves have brought this time of prosperity by our hard work or other various things. It is a true test indeed when ones heart is full to see if it still looks to God for its source of all things.

This book is shorter than many but packed with much insight on this topic. I found myself being convicted several times of how I steward all of what God has given to me. One of these quotes that really resonated with me was this, "Surely God did not aim at this, that I should have more satisfaction for my flesh. There is something else that God was aiming at; let me learn to know God's end." Always in all things we need to focus on God and His end. That is in all situations.

I liked this book. I do recommend it for anyone living in America or other country where we are considered rich. It will indeed help your heart work through what to do with all of this prosperity. I love reading old sermons from preachers of the past. Sometimes I think that they just "get it" more than many today. It is amazing too that this would still apply to believers today. 

To get a copy of this book from Amazon go here.

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