Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A four-year-old tribute

Happy 4th Birthday, Hannah Karen!  You are a joy and a delight.  You make us smile daily with the many gifts you collect for us: rocks, flowers, various pictures you've drawn - all wrapped up in tissue paper and put in gift bags!  You have a soft heart and often pray for the "people who don't have homes and have to live in boxes."  You've shown a heart for Jesus as you have often confessed at dinner devotions how Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  You are a great friend and younger sister to Owen and a great help and big sister to Madeline.  Your boundless energy never ceases to amaze us as you practically skip everywhere, and if you're not skipping, you're running.  Hannah, we love having you as part of our family and are so glad God gave you to us to raise up to know Him.  May your life reflect God's goodness and grace and bring glory to Him!

We love you, Hannah!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Been thinking about something....

Last week was a draining week.

A week that wrung me out like an old rag, and left me crumpled up on the concrete, hoping for a little sunshine to come my way.

A week that I felt I poured a lot into a particular individual, got nothing in return, and ended the week in need of a very long nap...or cry.

It's so hard to see someone listen to, and believe lies.  And see them living with the consequences.

We see a lot of hurt come through these doors.  A lot of young lives messed up by others who were supposed to be responsible for them.  Supposed to love them. 

Instead they drug them through the dirt, abused them, then left them for someone else to take care of.

These kids have been hearing lies their whole lives.  And well, if all you hear is lies, then I guess you are bound to believe them.

So we just gotta show them the Truth.  Because, you know, the Truth will set you free.  And we often see the Truth crack through the rough exteriors, and start warming up the cold insides.

And we often see the change in these kids' lives as they start kicking the lies to the curb and start believing that Truth that just won't quit.

But oh, the heartache, when Satan starts getting his claws back in.  Lies.  Lies painted just the right shade so that they are believable.

But I am no better.  How many lies I have let myself believe over the years?

"I can do this on my own"
"If I just do enough good, then God will love me"
"Me first. God second."
"I have to earn God's favor, just keeping working,working,working"

We have the following verses on our white board this week:

You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free.....Everyone who sins is a slave to sin...So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.  John 8:31,32,34,36

How often are we allowing ourselves to be enslaved by Satan's lies?  My prayer this week is that God would open my eyes to the lies that I am believing.  Lies I have been telling myself for so long, that I believe them as the truth.

A song that keeps running through my head is a tune by Ginny Owens "Who are you listening to?"

Who are you listening to?
Who tells you what to do?
Who rules your thoughts at night?
Whose rules define your life?
Oh, you know it's up to you,
So who are you listening to

This is your life,
You have no choice,
You will rely
On someone's voice,
And it's all right
To question who,
Who are you listening to?
Do the words that you believe
Set your soul and spirit free

There's a quiet voice,
Whispering in your heart,
It's been there all along,
It believes in you,
It will tell the truth,
Can't you hear it call?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thank you.

Thank you, Jesus.

You didn't have to do it.  You didn't have to go through all that suffering.

You didn't have to take all MY sins upon yourself, bear them on the cross, causing you to be separated from God.

You didn't have to experience Hell.

You didn't have to go through all the shame and humiliation.

You could have just lived a perfect life and been a wonderful example for us all.

But then I never would make it to heaven.

Because I am full of sin and lead a very imperfect life.

Thank you, Jesus, for going through all that awful stuff for me.  You died and experience Hell so that I could live and celebrate in Heaven.

I don't deserve it, but I am so, so THANKFUL for it.

Thank you.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8