You Have Me

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I love the song “You Have Me” by Gungor.

It’s a great reminder for me to give myself to Christ every day - sometimes several times a day. I am His. Yet, its a constant battle between truly following Him and wanting my own way in things.

24 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.25 For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self? Luke 9


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Priceless With Knowledge Comes Many Things Part II

The other day I wrote about my adoption experience, the things I learned, and the decisions that come with knowledge.

Today is part 2 - and it deals with “Sex Trade” in our world.

I grew up in small town USA - Southern Illinois to be more exact. My dad was a coal miner and my mom a nurse. I had an older brother and younger sister. Life was simple and we rarely left the county let alone the state. I graduated from Bible College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1990 and have lived in three other states. I’ve traveled to Panama, Cuba, France, China, Mexico and across most of USA. But, until recently - like the last couple of years - I had never heard of the sex trade industry - or maybe I just refused to hear about it. I lived in a box and I have to be honest - it was easy to live in that box - maybe easier than having the knowledge I now have. But, remember, with knowledge comes many things.

This past year at Catalyst this topic was highlighted. And, it was brought to light as an issue here in our own country. I’m not sure about you, but for me it was easier to think of something so terrible happening in some third world country on the other side of the planet rather than in our own back yard! But that’s not the truth.

Then, a few weeks ago I won a book from Robin Stanley called Priceless. The book is a novel written by Tom Davis the president and CEO of Children’s HopeChest.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this read. I had set a goal of reading one book per month this year and you can’t beat a free book! So I dove in and to my surprise I couldn’t seem to put the book down. I was captured and transported into the lives of those I was reading about.

Being a father of three daughters and an adoptive dad, my heart was crushed as I turned the pages and imagined this unbelievable social injustice that is taking place in the lives of so many innocent little girls. As hard as I tried not to, I couldn’t help but imagine my own little girls facing such despicable and inhuman treatment. As I continued to turn the pages I traveled across a plethora of emotions from anger, deep sadness, hope, fear, excitement, and shame.

Even though this is a fictional account the author estimates at least 80% of the book is based on truth in his research. It’s hard for me to imagine and even harder for me to accept.

I’m thankful for Tom’s gift of writing and his heart for orphans. I encourage you to read his book and consider how you can get involved in helping make a difference in the lives of orphans.

Here are some helpful links.

Children’s HopeChest


Not For Sale

International Justice Mission

Stop Child Trafficking Now

With Knowledge Comes Many Things

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Four years ago my wife and I along with our two daughters boarded a plane bound for China. It had literally been twenty-four months in the planning. God had spoke to us about orphans and adoption. And, after all the praying, planning, fund-raising, crying, and more praying, we were on thirteen hour journey to the other side of the world.

I thought I knew a lot about orphans and adoption. But I was wrong. The truth is I had read some about the topic. I had talked with people who had been adopted or adopted. But I only understood things from the surface.

That journey four years ago changed me and my family. As we literally opened our arms, eyes, and hearts to a little girl with dark brown eyes and black hair, God began to reveal Himself to us in so many new ways.

Part of that sixteen day experience in China led me and three other dads on a one day journey into the deep south to see our daughters orphanage. We were the very first Westerners allowed to visit this new site. It was an amazing trip and I could go on and on about all we experienced. That’s another blog post.

For me, that day was the first time I had ever stepped into an orphanage. The vivid memories make it extremely difficult for me to write or talk about even four years later. The tears are flowing even now as I type this blog. I saw first hand the babies, the cribs, the toys, the incredible nanny’s that cared for the children. And I saw the faces - faces of little boys and girls that I so desperately wanted to bring home but couldn’t. I felt helpless and that feeling still haunts me at times today.

You see, with knowledge comes many things. With knowledge you can take action or still refuse to get involved. With knowledge comes accountability or the ability to run from the truth that you now know.

For me, I thought I knew about orphans and God’s call to care for them. But until I stepped out on faith, followed His call to the other side of the world, and brought this precious little girl into our family, I had no idea.

Now, I know adoption is not for everyone- I’m saying that at all. But God’s word is clear that true religion does include a call to impact the lives of orphans.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27 ESV
With knowledge comes many things - I hope for you it’s means the opportunity to help make a difference in caring for orphans - maybe through adoption - maybe through helping support someone else who is led to adopt - maybe through visiting an orphanage here in the states or on the other side of the world and volunteering your time to impact lives. I can tell you this from personal experience, you won’t regret it!

Snowman Building Competition 2011 - you could win $20!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In celebration of Global Warming (yes, sarcasm) and record snow fall across the USA I would like to throw out a little snow challenge.

Here it is; create and post a photo of your best snowman - be creative -make it a family, office, school, church, organization, or youth group event. Create your snowman and post your picture by Saturday, February 12th.

On Monday everyone will have an opportunity to vote on their favorite. And, the winner will receive a $20.00 Visa check card to use as they wish!!! So here's your chance to make the most of the snow and win $20. Fill free to pass this on - the competition is open to anyone around the globe. If you don't have snow - well then it's your chance to really get creative! Winner will be announced on Tuesday, February 15th.

Pictures of your snowman can be posted on my Facebook "Snowman Competition" event page.

What are you practicing?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The following video of Jordan McCabe is pretty cool. The kid has some serious basketball skills. What impressed me was the fact that his dad and grandfather both took the time to work with him on developing these skills. He was coached or discipled in the game and now it is paying off in his ability to play above just about every other kid his age.

My question to you is this; what are you practicing? If you are a parent or grandparent; who and what are you coaching?

Don't get me wrong. I love basketball. I'm seriously crazy about the game. I have coached and worked with my own children in this sport. I'm not knocking Jordan or his family in anyway. I'm just impressed by the fact that they took the time to work with him in this sport. And, if we can learn anything from this story maybe its that we are good at what we practice. So, what are you really working at? I would love to hear!