The journey continues...

July 28, 2011 0
This blog was started to keep others informed of our pending adoption of our son.  Those who know me know that I like to keep a journal of thoughts and  questions which I am struggling with in regards to learning about who God really is and who is that He wants to be.  I also wanted to document the journey for Emmanuel so he could clearly understand our hearts, mind and purpose.  This is that journal...the journey to find him...

I walked into Buy Buy Baby the other night to pick something for Emmanuel and was immediately overwhelmed by the variety and selection.  I mean come daughters are 19 and 15. We were thrilled to have Wal-mart. I was looking for ONE thing…yet in the midst of the clutter…I really had no idea where to go. I knew what I wanted…but didn’t know how to get there. 

I guess people wonder why we are adopting at this point in our lives. We are so close to being empty nesters and being able to come and go as we please. Honestly, we have been discussing the idea off and on for over 12 years.  However, in God’s infinite wisdom, the notion of adopting started to make more sense even though it made no sense at all.  One night earlier this year, I was sitting in evangelism and missions class being taught by one of my mentors and as he started discussing the urgency and necessity of discipleship to reach the nations…the thought starting crossing my mind…is God calling me to adopt to disciple through me?  The thought of sitting down and going through the Gospel with my son, so that he would be equipped to teach to his homeland or preach the Gospel to the nations was overwhelming and empowering.  Hours later we were on the phone. 

Recently, I have been reminded of men who have poured themselves into me in various contexts.  Men who have had a huge profound impact on my life and affect my decision-making process. Men, like my father who helped define my competitive character and passion for business or men like Andy Good, Bryan Johnson, Ron Phillips, who taught me what it means to be a Christ Follower.  In this day of fades and watered down Christianity it’s easy to get lost in a mystical religion non personal relationship with God. 

Over the past five years, the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me through various mentors.  Several, I consider close personal friends, and others are simple men with special anointing to be speak a biblical truth.  I want to introduce some of them to you.  I know it may be tempting not to watch all videos or feel like you don’t have time.  However, I am convinced those of us who grew up the Bible belt are perhaps the greatest risk of going to hell.  I know that sounds a little crazy but the more I study scriptures the more I am confronted with the reality the Jesus of the bible is very different than the Jesus we think we know. So, here's my challenge...what is the answer to THE most important question you will ever answer?

The is video from the book I am currently reading called Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. 

David Platt - a pastor, friend and mentor.  There is a great interview of David by John Piper on Desiring God.  The link below talks about having Radical Faith.

Francis Chan - author of Crazy Love, Forgotten God. One of my small groups is starting his new series called BASIC.   Crazy Love is great book...when you just need to stop and get clarity on who God really is.

Adoption update:  No updates from the government.  We were able to send a care package to him and hope to have more pictures very soon.  Sorry, we can't post them at this time.

In other news:  Jessica is home from Peru.  Shannon is getting excited about her first car.  As far as Kathy I go...well...we are left wondering where did the time go and will we only adopt one child.

No one...just like you!!

July 18, 2011 0

I am thankful for the opportunity I have through technology to write and tell you a little of your life story. Admittedly, as you can imagine I spend a lot of time thinking about you and wondering what your life will be like. I have spent time reading and studying your social report. The reality is people will try to label you and even now call you orphan. However, labels don’t tell the real story behind who you are and who you will be. No one else has your eyes, nose, smile or even your laughter. No one will be able to hug, hold my hand or call me daddy just like you. No one will be able to play, laugh and cry with your sisters just like you. No one will be able to look at your mommy and tell her you love her just like you.

Emmanuel you were never fatherless. The creator of all things formed you and molded you into his image in such a unique way, there is only ONE you. I pray over the years we become very close, and I can be the Father you need me to be. Most importantly, I pray that I lead you to the cross. I pray I disciple you in such a way you know and love the authority of God’s perfect written word. Whose authority should never be questioned but worshiped. I pray as I teach you to fish, he teaches you to be fishers of men. I pray as I teach you to follow through on your jump shot, he teaches you to follow him in every step of your life even when it doesn’t make sense.

You see Emmanuel you were never orphaned or fatherless. God has been unmistakably weaving this masterpiece together for thousands of years just so we can be together so I can call you son, and you can call me Daddy. My heart beats and yearns to meet you, but I also know with each passing day our bond grows stronger and stronger. Some call you orphan…I call you my son. I love you!

Adoption update: 
None at this time.  We are praying the suspension ends soon.

Personal note:
Patience is not easy, but patience is forcing me to answer life-changing questions. Which Gospel do I believe in? A prosperity gospel that tells me if I name it, I can claim it. A watered-down gospel that teaches if I repeat a few man-made words, I can live my life my way and still receive all that God has to offer without any true sacrifice. The biblical gospel is teaching me. He is Sovereign over-all things and my need for submissiveness, repentance and true heart change has never been more important.


July 09, 2011 0 sound except the rain coming down outside.  In these moments I tend to be very reflective.  This  was the toughest week yet in regards to our adoption.  The last three weeks have been amazing with my family and I have enjoyed every minute...but we know...we don't have to say a word...we just look at each other with a certain glance and we know that we thinking about Emmanuel. 

Adoption update: 
Fortunately, this ‘hold’ only applies to our region, not the other areas of African country we are adopting in.  So, adoptions are still processing elsewhere in country, it’s just that any families with children in our immediate vicinity must wait until the policy regarding residency is hashed out. In case you missed it, they are trying to change the law which would require us to stay in country for three months prior to bring our son home.  Hopefully this will be an issue that resolves quickly. 

Thank you:
As I said before...this has been a tough week but I am so thankful for those who reached out or allowed me to lean on you.  I am so blessed to have you in my life.

Question of the week:  Who is the Jesus we pray to?  This is the question I have been wrestling with this week.  It's really a powerful question. Do we pray to the Jesus of our youth or the Jesus of the bible.  For me, those are two different people.  The more I study and learn the scriptures the more I see a God of conviction and of absolutes. A God focused on the mission and intolerant of excuses. Spend time reading and reflecting on John 10.

In other news...
Jessica boarded a plan bound for Peru for three weeks this past Monday.  Shannon was named All American at an Auburn Cheerleading camp.  She was also asked to cheer in London on New Years day.  Unfortunately, due to our pending adoption costs we were unable to afford the trip.  Shannon understood and once again displayed her big Christian heart and attitude.    So proud of both our girls. 

This week has been about healing...

If not me who...a poem from the heart

July 02, 2011 0
Sounds fill my head from all directions
The beating of my heart
The voices crying out in the darkness

If not me who
If not you who

Faces flash before my eyes
Their cries fill my head
My heart begins to overflow
The sounds begin to grow louder
I am overwhelmed

If not me who
If not you who

Who will go to the voices crying in the darkness?
Who will go to the faces?
Who will walk them through the storm?
Who will show them the way home?
If not me who

You cried out and said
I will go! I will go to then!
You heard the voice crying in the darkness
You heard the voice of the Great I Am.

Alone in the quietness of your room
God heard your prayer
As you fell on your knees
God watched as the tears fell down your face

Before time began, God selected you
God, in His infinite wisdom
Knew in His heart you were the one

You were the one who will care for this special
little boyl. HE created her by hand just for YOU!

God heard your prayers
God placed him in your hands forever.

Well done, my good and faithful servant,
In whom I am well pleased
You heard the voice crying in the darkness
Now, tell the rest of world.

I wrote this in 08 for a friend who adopted a little boy.  Praying for patience as my love grows for our Emmanuel.