Monday, September 28, 2015

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will" (Ephesians 1:5).

It was a beautiful wedding. It was a true testimony of God's love and faithfulness. We felt so blessed to be part of this beautiful couple's celebration.

However, the conversation at our table laid very heavily on my heart.

We are advocates of adoption. Despite the pain and hurt of early childhood trauma, grief and loss, adoption is a beautiful thing.

Ephesians 1:3-5 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ”.

A while ago, our pastor preached a sermon based on that verse at a couple’s baptism of their adopted son. Our pastor talked about the doctrine of adoption. He explained how being adopted as God’s children, which enable us to be close to God is as it says in verse 3, is the highest blessing. He chose us and made us righteous in His sight.

Pastor Paul mentioned the significance of adoption in the Roman times, which was the time that the apostle Paul was writing. In Roman times, a man would choose a young man to be his heir. This was done as a legal activity and was important event. The adopted son would carry the name of his adoptive family.

It was not a shameful matter, nor was it secretive.

Also, all of the debts of the adopted son would be cancelled, even thought this was nothing that he earned. Pastor Paul reminded us how this is similar to us, that God put His name on us. Furthermore, the reason why Jesus came to earth was for all who believe in Him, He chose to be His heirs! We were spiritual orphans and desperate for attachment. We have that through our spiritual adoption, because as it says in Ephesians, “in love, He adopted us as His children”.

Pastor Paul concluded his sermon with the application that through adoption, we as His children represent our Father and have an opportunity to be God-like.

The conversation at our table that troubled me so much was from a middle aged man talking about his older sister who had brown eyes and brown hair, unlike the rest of the siblings, and how they often refer to her as being adopted. It was something that they joked about and made fun of.

I wanted to tell him how we have been blessed by adoption and have a daughter whom we adopted.  I wanted to tell him about the joys, and pains and hurts that comes with adoption. I wanted to tell him that it's not something to joke about, but to be grateful about.  Regrettably, I didn't confront this man about this issue that is so important to me. I don't want to be overly sensitive to other people's comments, rather, I have a desire to educate and inform others of their ignorance. I'm the type of person that wants to educate others; I'm the type of person who's disciplining other people's children at the park; I'm a teacher- I can't help it.

It's my prayer that we will be our children's biggest advocates.  I pray that God will grant me the wisdom to know when and what to share with others when sharing the blessings of adoption.  I also pray that God will give me the same wisdom and desire to share the Good news of being adopted into Christ's family!  I am so thankful for Christ's unconditional love for us and that He calls us His sons and His daughters!

Continuing to give thanks...
-being adopted into God's family
-chosen to be His daughter
-the blessings of adoption
-progress with R.A.D.
-a beautiful couple sharing their love for each other and for God

-his testimony of faith and God's never ending love
-celebrating their wedding with them
-watching him grow into such a strong, Christian man

-another milestone (although she wasn't too thrilled about it)

-how she takes such good care of her teeth

-our date together on a Monday afternoon!!
-enjoying the movie, "the War Room" and being the only ones in the theatre!

-being so inspired by this movie and the power of prayer!

-having fun with my sister, no matter what we're doing

-sharing a common interest- droning

-enjoying the park across the road for so many different activities, including droning and ...


-how she enjoyed grade nine day and how she's loving high school

Monday, September 14, 2015

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16).
I'm not sure if this was the best sales pitch, but as I was promoting HDCH to a friend (also an alumni of HDCH), I said, "It's not what it used to be".  I meant that as a good thing, while trying not to disregard the value and importance of HDCH 25 years ago.  

I am so blessed and thankful to my parents for their dedication to Christian education and their commitment to sending their children to Christian schools.  

I loved my teachers at HDCH (most of them), and some of them played an important role in inspiring me to become a Christian school teacher.  I learned a lot at HDCH, and I made many great Christian friends at HDCH.  

However, 25 years later, it's not the same.  It's even BETTER!  I love their mission statement, "Cultivating character through learning for a life of service to God."  That's exactly what HDCH is doing.  Through every subject, school event, assemblies, etc. they are helping develop our children's character and helping them become kingdom builders in God's world.  

The staff is so dedicated to sharing the gospel in all that they do.  They are getting involved with various student activities, and walking around the halls and interacting with the students!  

The principal is so passionate about his job and about HDCH, is hard not to fall in love with HDCH after talking to him for only a minute.  

There are so many good things happening inside that building and outside of HDCH as the students' characters are being "cultivated through learning for a life of service to God.  

We are so thankful to have the privilege of sending our children to such wonderful Christian schools such as HDCH and PCS!  

Continuing to give thanks...

-starting a new school year
-the blessing of our Christian high school
-how she loved her first week of high school
-her openness and willingness to share about her days

-how he willingly admitted to "sort of" looking forward to a new school year
-our awesome Christian grade school

-smiles on the first day of school!
-that she wasn't too sad to see her siblings all go to school
-the fun stay home day we had together
-how she loves to play on her own, but still wants to do lots of things with me as well

-how she enjoyed her first day of SK

-how she enjoyed grade nine day

-the miracle of catching the bus on time every morning!

-enjoying his day off with his momma at the driving range

-that I am able to out-drive many of his shots!
-spending one on one time with my oldest
-his love for sports

-our loving, caring church community

-for over 10 years of pastoring, and shepherding our church
-for his incredible gifts and talents and passion and dedication to preaching the gospel
-her friendship
-the many, many things that we did together at church

-church friends

-our park, across the road

-an inspirational message from Beth Moore's simulcast and amazing praise and worship
-more children being sponsored and being released from poverty in Jesus' name through Compassion Canada
-getting together with family and celebrating another pregnancy (twins!)
-completing our updated dossier and bringing it to Toronto
-getting new pictures of our son (who's growing way too fast)!

Monday, September 7, 2015

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"And I pray that you, being rooted an established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ" (Ephesians 3:17b-18).

Sometimes I wish that I could be perched up high like this bird of prey.  I would be able to look down at my troubles, doubts, and worries, and they would seem so small.  

This is what God's love is like.  

Last night, our guest pastor preached from Ephesians 3:14-21 and reminded us  about how deep, wide, long, and high God's love is for us.  

Knowing that God's love is so high and that He is not perched up high, but that He is all around us, is so comforting.  His love is high and He sees the big picture of our lives.  

His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, but He knows what's best for us.  I need to keep trusting in Him, knowing that His love is deep, wide, long and so high!  Thank-you, Father!  

Continuing to give thanks...
-God's love that is so high
-that He sees the big picture of our lives
-that He knows what's best for our lives
-our fun summer, even though these weren't the plans that we were planning

-soaring to new heights

-trying something new
-conquering another fear
-his unexpected bravery

-how he participated in all the activities with the children

-trying more new things

-how she became such a pro surfer so quickly

-their excitement to explore a new amusement park

-such a fun, amazing resort that Paul discovered (Kalahari Resort, Sandusky)

-how they enjoyed the many different activities that the hotel offered

-her strength and determination

-our fun view from our balcony

-carving time to relax on the balcony

-his silly selfies
-enjoying the exotic animals right outside of our hotel room

-how Deborah loves to take pictures of us

-how she takes care of her stuffies and her dolls

-his excitement as he won extra tickets
-how he shared his loot with everybody

-how he used the pool almost daily
-enjoying play dates
-how he loves it when his dad and brother join him in the pool


-picnics and the park and activities for everyone to enjoy

-blankets and forts
-how he used his tools to make this awesome tent/fort
-labour day camp out (but in the indoor tent)!
-enjoying the beautiful flowers in our backyard

-how Nicole loves to spend a day canning peaches and how we love to enjoy them all year
-our fun summer and all the many different activities that we did
-so much family time!  So blessed!!