Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Letters to orphans.

As a young girl I was captivated by adoption and caring for orphans. It started when I saw a young family in our church going through an adoption process (don't ever think young children in your church aren't paying attention to what you do!). The whole idea that a family could open their hearts to a hurting child with no family and show Christ's love - rescuing them like Christ has rescued us - amazes and excites me.

As I've read the Bible I've come across so many verses showing how dear orphans are to the heart of God.  I was also struck from reading in the book The Bravehearted Gospel by Eric Ludy, how Job sought out the orphans, instead of waiting for them to knock on his door.

I've desired for a way to reach out to orphans in this time of my life - even if it were a small way. But many ways to help were closed for various reasons. I thought even an opportunity to write letters to them would be wonderful, but, I was mystified at how hard it was to find a way to do that.

So I prayed. Gave it to my Heavenly Father. And let it go.

In December I received an email from some friends who do missionary work to Russia through a certain organization, about writing letters to orphans. I was a little skeptical (why is it that I'm often skeptical at first to answers to prayer?!? )... plus I was busy that time of year. I did go ahead and write one letter.

The lady that I sent it to (she took my letter and the others with her to Russia) sent me a postcard thanking me for writing the letter and telling me to feel free to write more and that they could be used for other countries...

Hmmm... so I was still a bit skeptical.

Finally, a few months later, I couldn't let go of the thought to send this lady a message and ask her if she still could use some letters. She wrote back telling me "Yes you can write lots! We could use 10,000 by June! Thank you!" =) I was amazed! The Lord had flung this door wide open!!

So I wrote out several letters. Grateful that the Lord would open a way for me to reach out to those I haven't seen, but still care about... from my home! =)  (And no, I didn't write 10,000. ;-)

I know this may seem like a simple thing. Most people I've talked to recently have sent a letter to orphans at some point in their life. But I have to say, every time I look back and see how the Lord answers a cry of my heart, it makes me rejoice!

The Lord is so faithful to answer our prayers ~ whether they're little or big!

Monday, May 28, 2012

To love you as I should.

To love you as I should, I must worship God as Creator. When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.
~from a letter C. S. Lewis wrote

 I think it's so true that when we love the Lord first and foremost, we will love others the way we ought. Oh, to truly love my Savior with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Confident, Cheerful, and Content!

Resting in the sovereignty of God, brings a peace and calm that helps us to remain stable and sure.

Photo credit: here
I believe that this is a truth worthy of holding onto for the rest of our lives! I'm not sure about you, but I have moments when I wonder why a certain area of my life can't be different. When I was younger I spent so much time worrying. But I've found that these wonderments and worryings quickly pass and fade away when I realize that every single thing that has and will happen to me was planned by our all wise and knowing Creator. This is the key to a restful heart and a confident, cheerful, and content young woman!

This reminds me of Proverbs 31:25, "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come."  

Yes! We can indeed laugh and rejoice at the future! Because the Lord is sovereign, we can be confident through storm or sunshine, trials or triumphs. This is a confidence that lasts. Confidence in ourselves is such a shaky ground to build on, and it's sure to fail and bring us to sadness, as I've experienced!

Let's rest in our Savior's arms, and smile joyfully at the future, because He is in control! 

"In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge."Proverbs 14:26

{Participating in Encourage One Another Link-up}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

learning more about humility...

You can find it here: Amazon
A month or so ago I read a wonderful book called The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. I was greatly benefited by the whole book, but the last two chapters called Conversations with the Contributors (they're transcripts of talks from a Desiring God conference), opened my eyes to some things I've been missing. I wrote this post out soon after I read it and just haven't posted it until now.

So without quoting the whole section of the book I would like to share with  you a few bits and pieces from it! I hope they will serve as a refreshing reminder!


I've read books about humility before, and I learned much from them, but the explanation of humility from this book made so much more sense to me.

The bottom line: Humility is essentially self-forgetfulness.  

Mr. Piper says: "...the way you experience humility is by not experiencing it - which is self-forgetfulness. The really humble person is not thinking about himself. He should be thinking about two other things: one is how glorious God is, and the other is how he could help another person, being involved as a servant and being really active."

I found this paragraph surprising: "Our church is located two blocks from a major mental health institution. One of the things that all the folks there have in common -- and we love them to death and they come and do funny things at our church and some of them we know really well -- is that they're all wrapped up in themselves. All mentally ill people are consumed with themselves. They don't connect right with what other people are praying. They don't understand what's going on in the situation. Everything is just in their minds, swirling around with guilt or fear or panic... But all of us are that way a little bit. And so, to me, mental health is very largely finding out how not to be that way."
Humility is good for mental health!

There are two ways Mr Piper suggests to help us move toward humility. One way is to ask for it. And the second way is to familiarize yourself with greatness (focus on God, other people, a story... something greater than yourself).

I think humility is the key to a truly happy and productive person. When you're not caught up with yourself,  there won't be the fear, self-consciousnesses, and the ease of getting discouraged. I've discovered personally that when my focus is on Christ... productivity increases dramatically!

This is my ever increasing desire in life: Treasure Christ above all things. That's where the joy is, and that's when I'll be truly helpful to others.

"Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
~1 Peter 5:5 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Who should our friends be?

Credit to: Phaitoon
Through my growing up years I have known people who were extremely picky over who their friends should be - trying to get the best of the best or being afraid they will be brought down. But I have to ask myself, is this really right? Is it Biblical?

 We are instructed in Proverbs 13:20 that, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” There is great wisdom in this verse that we would do well to head, but, does this give us a ticket to pick and choose? What if I happened to need someone wise to walk with and I happened to not yet be “wise enough” for the other and they turned their back on me? Let’s look at another verse a little closer.

 For most of my life I’ve read Proverbs 12:26 as meaning we should choose our friends carefully. After all, that’s what my version of the Bible said: “The righteous choose their friends carefully,” but after reading a commentary and getting advice from a friend who is more experienced in the Hebrew language, I found out that the word “choose” in Hebrew is more accurately translated in this verse as meaning “guide”.

This means something totally different than I had thought! Instead of trying to encircle ourselves in all of the
people who we think will benefit us the most, we’re really supposed to “guide” our friends. What a responsibility!

If God is sovereign over the daily events of our lives, (and I believe He is), I think it’s safe to assume that the people He places into our lives are there for a good reason. I love how C. S. Lewis communicates this: “In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”

 As children of God we should desire to be around those who are actively striving to grow in their faith and who can strengthen our walk with the Lord (walking with the wise). But let’s not exclude those who don’t give us what we need (we may possibly be the person they need to walk with). Let’s strive to build up those in the household of faith who are struggling, bear with those who are weaker than us.

There may be unbelievers whom God has placed in our lives who are not the best to spend a lot of time around, but we can be a faithful friend to them when we do come in contact; guiding them and being salt and light to them.

 We’ll know how to best guide our friends when we look to Jesus because our best example of a true friend is found in Him. All friendships are perfect opportunities to image forth grace, selflessness, and joy in Christ. Yes, even when it hurts. May we strive to be a good companion to those God has chosen for us and guide them with wisdom and find the joy and smiles it can bring to our lives.
~Ana Wolf