February 27, 2010

I am His

During the adoption process we receive many many well meaning comments. Some are hurtful and some are just out of not understanding and some give good advice.

A good friend sent me an email and told me to quit saying “yes, I’m crazy” every time I mentioned we were adopting again. His response was that we were following God and obeying His call. As I thought about why I kept doing that—I discovered my real reason was to deflect the comments ahead of time. To say it before others did.

Quite honestly, I don’t expect everyone to understand—it’s a calling God has given our family. But I do want everyone to know, that while I respect your thoughts, the most important thoughts to me are God’s. His pleasure is the one I seek.

I just read a blog post that answers some of those questions with grace and beauty. Check it out here

What I am ready for: SUMMER! and a day at Sherando Lake! Hurry up warm weather! How cool are these girls?

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Today’s Reading- Numbers 2:1 through 3:51

What struck me today 3:13

……I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord.

How blessed we are today that God we can also be included in that verse! As followers of Him we are His and we are set apart.

That is my prayer today…That I act accordingly to being set apart. That my life echoes the God whom I belong to. I am His…and so grateful to be so.

February 26, 2010

Guatemala Trip

Rebekah and I (& Savannah) are going on a mission trip to Guatemala at the end of June.

While there we will be working at an orphanage called Dorie’s Promise

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We will also do work across the lake in a temporary settlement (due to mudslides), a HIV home, and a women’s prison.

We will be taking Spanish Bibles and small gifts for the women at the prison (Chapstick, small lotion, small pad/pen)

For more on the group we are going with, go to Forever Changed International.

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Rebekah has been working hard to raise funds and has decided to make bags. Here is a sample of one. They are lined. She had several different colors she will be doing and selling. (will be posting more pictures as she makes them) If you have an image you would like to have her do on the front—or certain colors-- email her at gcknight@verizon.net.

The bags are $15 each ($2 extra for shipping if you need it mailed)

If you would like one—email me. You can either pay through paypal or by check.

Here is an example of one:

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stiching around the Africa..The raw edges have been treated so they won’t fray.

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February 25, 2010

Fingerprints and Stuff

We were blessed today by a friend who has a job of cleaning out a huge house. The lady of the house is going to a nursing home and there is no family or kids to claim her things so there will be a huge auction. All the things that aren’t being auctioned are being given to us to sell at our yard sale. Which is alot of stuff. A ton! As we walked around and looked at all the stuff, antiques, pictures, military medals, and Russian Orthodox artifacts…I just couldn’t help to feel sad. All their stuff just being gone through. No one to claim it for memory’s sake. Nobody who thinks it holds a special memory. Really drove home the point of what to live for. Stuff is stuff. Live your life for God—making a difference right where you are at.

Adoption Update: Got the fingerprint forms today and went to have them done. Greg will drop them off tomorrow at LFS and they will send them off to get our background checked, once again. We’ve had a lot of background checking going on between Ab’s adoption, foster care approval, and now this adoption. Too bad that agencies can’t share information!

I had trouble with getting my prints read for foster care…I have been using lots of lotion so I am hoping that they read. Please pray that they do!

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Today’s Reading: Leviticus 25:24 through 26:46

Verse that I love: 26:12-13

I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you will no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.

Reminds me of IJM and the work they do for the enslaved and oppressed. (see posts on IJM to see more or go to their website)

I also love that God wants us to walk with “heads held high” –not in pride or self-righteousness---but knowing that we are a child of God, that we are loved by the Creator of the Universe, that He enables us to do many things that we otherwise couldn’t, and that we are unique and so very special to Him!

Walk with your head held high today…because you are loved!

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February 24, 2010

Patience?—Yea right!

Okay, I admit….I am not a very patient person. I try real hard but my flesh just gets the best of me sometimes…(especially in the middle of weeks of yucky weather!) I was kinda freaking out yesterday and my oh, so patient hubby reminds me it’s only been like 2 weeks since we sent in our contract. “Yea, and so what?” was my response in my head… (at least I don’t think I said it out loud…probably did knowing me!) Add in the fact that I am rushing around getting this dossier done so I can hurry up and wait some more :) the joy of paperwork. I just would like to be on ‘the list’ so I can feel like I’ve made some progress! Word on the street is that the FBI clearances are taking around 4 weeks (which has to be done before our home study is complete) AAAAAHHHH! These forms should be here this week for me to do. Last 2 times I’ve done fingerprints there has been issues with my prints, so I am hoping that they will go through. I’ve been using lots of lotion to hopefully help all those lines that mess mine up.

What we’ve been doing in the meantime: Selling things on Ebay and cleaning house to have a gigantic yard sale that our good friends, Gina & Tom will host for us. Last adoption we made about $2000 so hoping we will do pretty good again. Our pile from home is getting bigger !

IMG_2121 I also have ordered t-shirts with the action verbs of Isaiah 1:17 on them which is this:

Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

Rebekah is also making handmade lined bags to sell for her Guatemala trip. Should have one done tomorrow to share with you.

Update on Dad: He did fine with the treatment yesterday and had no bad reactions (thank you Lord!) It did take a lot longer than expected. They were told a couple of hours and were there from 8:30 to past 5:30. Hopefully, the next one will be a little better. Thank you for your prayers for him.

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 23:1 through 25:23 & Yesterday’s Leviticus 20:1 through 22:33

I love the Feasts of the Lord. I have wanted to do a major study on them and haven’t done it yet…this renews my interest. One of the reasons I believe God calls for these feasts is to keep the Israelites (and our eyes) upon Him. To remember His faithfulness and His miracles. To remember that He is God and there is NONE like Him.

February 23, 2010

IJM Landmark Rescue!

From the IJM Institute—Bethany Hoang

Thank you for your prayers over these past few days for our team in South Asia, the local authorities, the traffickers and brothel keepers, and most especially, the girls who have been enduring such immense suffering. You joined us in fervent prayer for an operation about which we could give you very few details - not the continent, not the timing. But we can now tell you that one of the IJM South Asia teams, in their largest operation to date, secured a landmark victory this weekend.

Early Saturday morning, IJM and the local police in one particular South Asian city conducted simultaneous operations at two brothels, freeing approximately 30 trafficking victims, among them girls as young as 13. The rescued girls and women are now receiving care from IJM social workers.

Seven suspected perpetrators have been taken into police custody, and police have locked the brothels to prevent their re-opening.

Please continue to pray for each of the girls, as well as for the perpetrators.
We are so grateful, beyond what we can even express. Thank you for joining us in this work!

I am praising God for this work. 30 victims will now have a chance for a new life. A life with freedom. A life with choices. A life with healing.

I am so thankful for IJM and their work and their people who are on the front lines each day.

February 22, 2010

Prayer Request

My Dad starts his clinical study treatment tomorrow. Please pray that he will respond well to this treatment. 1 out of 5 in our area have a reaction to it. (this will happen during this first treatment if it happens—and is apparently pretty scary from the way the doctor talked.) Please pray for him tomorrow morning.

Adoption Update:

We are getting our medicals done this week and then we’ll just need to complete our home study. Hoping that we can get that one social worker visit we need scheduled soon. And then our dossier will be off! Rachel and I took a walk through the baby department at Target today…That was fun! and boy things sure have changed in the 9 years since I’ve had a baby!

Leviticus 17:1 through 19:37

Our reading today contains numerous verses on purity. I just wanted to quickly share several things that has helped us in talking about these issues with our older kids.

One of them is Family Life’s Passport to Purity. I also learned a lot and appreciated the perspective from Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle and Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle.

I am getting ready to begin with my 9yr old The Secret Keeper. I also did this with my oldest and is a great way to begin those conversations on their worth as God’s daughter. You take your daughter on dates and each one has a lesson behind it.

If you have a daughter or son at this age, take a look at these.

February 21, 2010

Just Blessed

I am blessed.

I am blessed to have a home. food. medical care. I am blessed to live in a country with freedom. I am blessed with a wonderful family and children. I am blessed with great friends who love and support me in all my adventures. I am blessed to homeschool my children. I am blessed to be able to worship God freely. I am blessed to have more than I need to be able to give to others.

Just blessed.

A picture of my Rachel who is still enjoying the snow (not the momma!)

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Today’s Reading:

Leviticus 14:33 through 16:34

Okay---I’m now wondering what I should have done with those mildew things I found in my laundry! (other than washing them sooner!) lol

Admittedly, a lot of the rules I don’t understand—however it is always very interesting to me when science (as a science lover!) shows how these rules were good and helpful to society.

And I am just amazed at the seriousness God placed on coming before Him in the Tent of Meeting.

Worship is a gift—to us and from us to Him. We are so blessed to be to be able to now come before the Holy Throne whenever we desire!

February 20, 2010

1 Step Closer—Ever Shouted for Joy?

Received today in the mail the certifications of 3 of our documents:

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Each piece of paperwork brings us one step closer!

Also sold some stuff on Ebay and got t-shirts ready to print! Be on the lookout for those!

Catching up in the reading plan: (if you want to join us where we are at—click on the right to download the chronological Bible reading plan)

Leviticus 9:1 through 11: 47 and 12:1 through 14:32

I LOVE these verses:

….and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown. 9:23-24

Have you ever been so overcome with the Lord that you just had to shout? Had to dance? Had to sing?

If so, I’d LOVE to hear your story of what!

Share in the comments, and give praise to Him!

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February 18, 2010

Tax Relief Bill

There is a bill - H.R. 213 Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009 that is in committee right now in congress that enables adoptive family to get a credit on taxes for their adoption expenses. If it doesn't pass, I have been told that it will go it will go back down to $5000 (this bill is for around $12,000 over a 5 yr period) This credit is what a lot of families rely on (including us) to use to pay off their adoption debt.

I did some research this morning. Here is a link showing where this bill is at

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-213 and to keep updated on it.

If you could take five minutes to go to the site below to contact our officials and let them know that you support this act, I would appreciate it (as will other adoptive families!)

Here is a link that will walk you through telling your elected officials what you think. You search by zip code for your officials and then if you hit contact you can use a web form to contact them.

http://capwiz.com/hslda/home/

Thanks!

Charisa

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 7:1 through 8:36

Details, Details, Details! God was very specific in these past few chapters we have been reading. One thing that stood out to me today was 8:30 when Moses took the oil and the blood and sprinkled them on Aaron and his sons to consecrate them. Just trying to picture that scene. The seriousness of it and the holiness of it. I wonder how they (Aaron and his sons) felt during this time…unworthy? in awe that they were the ones chosen? were they wrapped up in the moment? did the look out at all the people and feel such a burden for them? Were they worried about remembering all the details?

I again, am so thankful for the sacrifice that was complete for us. I am thankful that we can go directly to God ourselves. I am thankful that I be in fellowship with Him all day long. I love that I can worship Him in the midst of my day and when I need to, fall on my knees and repent and have His forgiveness that moment—with no need of sacrificing- because the greatest sacrifice of all was made for me.

As I read this morning, I am reminded of one of my favorite songs—Grace Flows Down


February 17, 2010

Lent and Today’s Reading

There is a Lent e-book that we use during Lent to help guide us in preparing our hearts for Easter—Last year we cut the 40 different things out and pulled one of the basket each day to do--or you can do them in order. Check it out here.

Last year w e enjoyed listening to these audios called “ The Twelve Voices of Easter”. They gave a fresh perspective to the Easter Story. Make you think. We are going to listen to them again.

Today’s Reading:

Leviticus 4:1 through 6:30

As I read through all of the offerings for each type of sin, I am so thankful that our sin offering was made for once and for all through Jesus’ sacrifice! His sacrifice was complete. Our sins are forgiven. We should never lose sight of the fact that His brutal death paid the way for our forgiveness. Be reminded and thankful for that today!

February 15, 2010

Boy or Girl?

I had a webinar with IAN last night and enjoyed getting to know even more about the program and where the children are from in Ethiopia and the orphanages.

We had originally thought we would request a little girl…but after listening and hearing how many more people wait for a girl (not that there’s anything wrong with that—I am just speaking from my own heart)…we will probably put we are open to either and let God decide (and more than likely it will be a boy). I just have a hard time standing in a huge line for a girl while there are many baby boys that need a home too.

So all of you who have a pink Africa on your jar…put some blue on it too! :)

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I spent most of the morning at UVA with my dad discussing treatment options. After having the heavy duty chemo and then the round of radiation with chemo—another tumor came up on the side of his face which also tested to be cancerous. Our options are now limited to 3 different things. None are guaranteed to work or cause minimal side effects. It’s going to be a ‘try this and see if works’ and then go from there.

It’s frustrating to say the least. We’ve had to make a decision on another course of treatment on another cancer before we’ve even see how well the other treatment worked on the other spots.

He is supposed to begin again on Tuesday. I ask for prayers for him. That this next treatment doesn’t effect him as much. It’s been rough and he just needs a little break. To feel good for a little while and to be able to enjoy life for a bit.

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Today’s Reading: Numbers 7:2-89

The offerings were given at the dedication of the temple. Moses entered the Tent of the Meeting to speak with the Lord and heard the voice speaking to him between the two cherubim (picture below of what he would have heard the voice between) …..and he spoke with Him.

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February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! May you know the greatest love that can be known…Jesus’ love exceeds any that you will have here any earth!

It’s Sunday morning—the house is quiet and I’ve got a nice cup of coffee...I had weird dreams all night last night (teach me to watch Alias before I go to bed!)

I spent most of yesterday doing our paperwork for the dossier. Adding our names in templates and printing them off and getting ready for notaries. The banks are closed on Monday (the nerve of them!) so I have another day before I go drive my notary at the bank crazy. I think I will bake her some cookies to take as well! :)

We still have a lot of snow here and it’s cold! I am very tired of all the cold and ready for some average temps.

But the little kids are still enjoying the snow…as is Bonnie, our little dog that is nuts. She dives into it and burrows down.

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Today’s and Yesterday’s Reading

Exodus 37:1 through 39:31 and 39:32 through 40:38
& Numbers 9:15-23

All of the construction for the items in the tabernacle has been done. We now make the priestly garments—down to the gold plate placed on the turban saying HOLY TO THE LORD.

As I read that I am reminded that Jesus has made a way for us all to wear such a plate. Through His sacrifice we are all made HOLY TO THE LORD. We are all now made set apart for Him.

Moses blesses the Israelites because everything in the tabernacle was done just as the Lord commanded. The tabernacle is set up and Aaron and his sons are anointed. The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the Lord filled the tabernacle. If the cloud lifted they Israelites moved.

You know, part of me would like to have such a cloud. :) To be able to look outside and say…’kids, the cloud has lifted let’s move today!’. A visual ‘yes or no’ for each day. However..I have something so much better…which is the Spirit inside of me leading me on. Are there days that it is hard to hear His voice? Absolutely..but I am learning the more that I listen for Him, the more I obey, the easier it is to hear Him. Listen for His voice today. Ask God to speak to your heart…and be ready!

February 11, 2010

Dossier Work Begins!

Well, the work begins in earnest! I am hoping to have this done with a couple of weeks. Other than maybe our home study done. We only need one visit because we are updating the one from Abenezer so I am hoping that won’t take too long!

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Below is the checklist of everything that needs to be included. Each piece also needs to be notarized.

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Past two days readings:

Exodus 32:1 through 34:35 and Exodus 35:1 through 36:38

How quickly we are to turn to our own means when we can’t see what’s happening. How quickly we desert what we know to be true when things aren’t happening as quick as we’d like. At first glance I’d like to come down really hard on the Israelites…but am I really any different? I may not be making a golden calf out of my jewelry (not that I have that much gold!) but I do the same. Lord, forgive for the times when I don’t trust you. Forgive me for the times that I refuse to wait on you. Forgive me for the times that I think I know the best way.

Chapter 33 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible! I love to imagine being Moses. I love his relationship with God and His boldness. I want to truthfully be able to say as he did “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” In other words, God if you aren’t going, neither am I!

And how does it feel to have God take you and place in you in the cleft of a rock and cover you with His hand? Imagine!

I could continue but it would take alot of room on this post so we will jump to vs. 34:29…Moses’ radiant face---May our face be as radiant from our time with the Lord…from being in His Presence!

The tabernacle’s construction continues….

A beautiful song on being in God’s Presence:


February 10, 2010

Prayer Request and Today's Reading

We have friends (family with 3 children) who suffered a huge loss last night. Their house was destroyed by fire as they watched. As my heart aches for them, I am reminded how much we are blessed and how quickly it can all be gone. For everyone who reads this, please say a prayer for them today.



Today's Reading

Exodus 29:1  through 31:18

Wow...I LOVE reading about the details of the tabernacle.  I smiled every time I read "where I meet with you"  I love the thought of God's glory consecrating a place. I love thinking of God's holy finger inscribing two tablets of stone.  I love hear how God sent His Spirit into craftsmen so they could make what needed to be made. 

By the way...vs 29:6 talks about putting a turban on Aaron's head.  You never really see that pictured do you? 

Again..Our God is a God of details.

February 9, 2010

Today's Reading--Feb 9

Today's Reading

Exodus 25:1 through 28:43

Making the tabernacle and all of its furnishings.  There are models of these that I'd love to do with my kids sometime.  Here is a link with some of them.  There is also a free paper version here.   You can also see pictures of a replica online at here.  There is an time-intense relication a church group of children did here.

I am not going to dive in deep with all of this other than to say that I love the fact that God is a God of details! I believe that is how He is with our lives. He is concerned with EVERY detail.  He is concerned with each of our feelings..no matter how small or trivial to others.

February 8, 2010

Snow, Snow, and More Snow!

I admit that I am tired of snow…but it does make for some good pictures!

The local tv station is calling for another 5 inches on Tuesday!










Today’s Reading

Exodus 22:16 through 24:18
Lots more of rules on every day issues of life.

What spoke to me was 23:20 “ See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”

As we enter into another adoption, this verse is very comforting and reassuring. As we are concerned with finances, paperwork, timing—I am reminded that God has called us to adopt again—and that He is bringing us to the place He has prepared. It’s all back to Him…He is preparing…He is bringing. Takes some of the pressure off of me! :)

Back to our reading:

The covenant is confirmed. Imagine this scene—Moses repeating God’s Words, the people responding “yes”, altar is built, sacrifice is slain, blood sprinkled on the altar, Book of the Covenant read—people respond “we will obey”. The blood is then sprinkled on the people. A physical reminder of the covenant the Lord has made with them.

Moses and the other elders go up and see God and they ate and drank! Whoa! Imagine that! Pavement of sapphire…

God calls to Moses to come up to the mountain so He can give him the tablets of stone—and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai which looked like a consuming fire to the Israelites. Moses stayed up there for 40 days and 40 nights.


Keep digging into God’s Word!

February 7, 2010

Bekah in Godspell / Today’s reading

Rebekah was in Godspell this past weekend. The storm really messed up the performance schedule but they were able to get one performance in.  They cast (and directors) did a great job and she had a great time.  Made me miss participating in high school drama.   Except there is enough drama in my own household!
Bekah’s part was the ‘goody two shoes’ girl.  This was a remake of Godspell with the setting being a classroom.  I would post her solo but she’d kill me.

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Today’s Reading
Exodus 20:1 through 22:15
The Ten Commandments are given to Moses.  All of the people are afraid (thunder, lightning, trumpet, smoke.) and stayed at a distance.  Moses tells the people to not be afraid.  The people remain at a distance while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.  Question for you—which are you?  Do you remain at a distance from God or are you like Moses and approach where God is?  What is holding you back? fear? the unknown? other’s opinions?  Friends, the walk with God is much more exhilarating than the walk without Him.  Approach Him today!
Below is a picture of Mount Sinai—the mountain where Moses received the Law.
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God lays out the rules for many issues in life to Moses. Rules that are meant to help the Israelites deal with each other fairly.
It makes me wonder how Moses remembered all of these. Was he writing feverishly as God spoke them?  Did God just give him a supernatural ability to remember them?  What was Moses thinking?
Again—I wish for more details :)  Just imagine the Bible if it had all the detail I wanted!  We’d need a wagon to carry

Snowstorm and Paperwork




What I did last night in a snowstorm:
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paperwork and more paperwork…thankfully a lot of the bio stuff I had saved from last time so some of it was just updating. 

Today’s Reading (Feb 6)
Exodus 16:1 through 19:25
Manna and Quail.  The Lord heard their grumbling..how many times does He hear us grumbling?  May our hearts be more likely to praise than to grumble. Far too often, I am quick to grumble.
Water provided  (grumbling again)
Amalekites defeated through the Lord. What a beautiful picture of holding each other up.  Without Moses holding his hands up, Aaron and Hur helping him, Joshua and the Israelites fighting—there would not have been victory.  God was all over that!  God was quick to remind them to write it down so it would remembered and so Joshua would hear it (Maybe so he wouldn’t think it was done in his own strength?)
The Lord is my Banner!
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Jethro visits and gives Moses good advice—to not wear himself out and try to handle everything on his own. Jethro goes home.
Mt. Sinai---again my imagination goes in overdrive. Wow..to have been there…..imagine….dense cloud, God speaking, consecration, thunder & lightening, very loud trumpet blast, smoke, fire, trembling mountain, louder trumpet blasts, voice of God….
Another scene that I would like replay button on!
Keep diving into His Word!  I am amazed at how God can make thing fresh and new!

February 6, 2010

Why Ethiopia?

Pictures from my 2008 trip picking up Abenezer:

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Well, mostly because that is just where are heart is!  But for those that want more of an answer—here are some facts.

I encourage you to visit the A Glimmer of Hope website which offers pictures and videos.

Ethiopia is one of the five poorest countries in the world, with four out of every five people living on less than $2 a day.

Subsistence agriculture a way of life for 90 percent of its population and yet, despite the prominence of farming, agricultural production is low and extremely vulnerable with cyclical drought.

The country’s persistently low rainfall totals are a major factor in the extreme poverty that exists in rural areas as well as period famines that affect millions on people.

Ethiopia’s population has grown dramatically in the last several decades, from 33 million in 1983 to more than 75 million today. Many of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas of Ethiopia that face acute shortages of basic social and an almost nonexistent economic infrastructure.

There is 1 doctor for every 100,000 people.

For example, access to safe drinking water in Ethiopia is at critically low levels. Just one in three people have access to clean water while just 13 percent has access to adequate sanitation services.

Waterborne diseases claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each year. One Ethiopian child in 10 dies before their fifth birthday; half of those die from diarrhea.

 

From A Glimmer of Hope website

February 5, 2010

The Journey Begins…Again!

Below is a picture of a statue that I bought in Zambia on our first trip. While I was there we were in the adoption process with Abenezer. In fact, I received his referral a week after coming home. I bought this statue knowing we’d have an extra person in our family. I bartered (or actually had a friend barter for me—once you get into millions in kwachas—I am totally lost-I do good to barter at yard sales with our money!) and then when I got home we noticed that it had an extra child! 5 children instead of 4! I joked that we are supposed to have one more. Greg joked that he would make the extra child into a dog by gluing ears on it!

Well……The statue will be right after all! Greg and I have prayerfully made the decision to pursue another adoption in Ethiopia. Are we nuts? Yep…I’ll confirm it for you so you won’t have to wonder.

One hard decision we made was to go with a different agency. Totally by God’s leading…We love AGCI and the workers. I wrote a hard email to them saying we were going with a different agency this time. We felt like friends with them—but we must go where God leads.

We covet your prayers as this time will be a huge step of faith financially. But we know that what God calls you to do, He will accomplish.

A funny thing—when I told Rachel she smiled huge and yelled “I’m having a baby?”

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Today’s Reading

Exodus 13:1 through 15:27

Chapter 13---What I love about this chapter is that we see what God thinks. vs 17—He did not lead them one way even though it was shorter, but led them another because He didn’t want them to change their minds and return to Egypt because of war. He took them one way even though the other way SEEMED better/easier/shorter. How many times does that happen in our own lives? What SEEMS better/easier/shorter is not best for us.

They take Joseph’s bones (they kept the promise of their forefathers to him.) God led them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. I would love to have seen that? How close could you get? Were the children longing to run through the cloud? Did the fire radiate heat? How big was the cloud and the fire? I would love to know more about that…I think I’ll ask God to show me in all that time we’ll have in Heaven with Him!

So Pharaoh changes his mind and follows in pursuit—and catches the Israelites. They cry out in terror to the Lord and pretty much say to Moses “What were you thinking bringing us here?” God answers and tells Moses what to do.

Now jump to vs. 19 “Then the angel of the God who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army , withdrew and went behind them” It doesn’t say…but could they see the angel? Did they even know he was there?

The miracle of parting the sea occurs and God thwarted the plans of the Egyptians. The Israelites see God’s great power and feared Him and put their trust in Him and in Moses.

singing…tambourine playing…dancing….

In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. Exodus 15:13

Back to grumbling people…God intervenes and instructs them to listen carefully to His voice, pay attention to His commands and keep His decrees. Good advice :)

February 4, 2010

I’m back!

I know I’ve been gone the past couple days. We had lots of things going on as a family and big decisions to make…and blogging was at the bottom of the list! (GASP!)

My dad’s cancer has came up in another spot the size of a penny. The doctors meet Thursday (today) to discuss the plan. I have no idea…but I am shocked it came up while on chemo (he was also getting radiation—but on another spot on his face) Please pray for him that this will be something that can be taken care of quickly with minimal invasion to his body.

and a teaser:

Greg and I made some very big decisions..that I will share soon.

Right now, we will begin with:

Today’s Reading:

Exodus 10:1 through 12:51

Pharaoh’s heart continues to be hard. Even his officials tell him to let them go worship. But---nope, won’t do it. So Moses stretches out his hand (at God’s command) and…

Locusts…and lots of them!

draft_lens6594562module53438082photo_1251100778LOCUST_-_SWARM_-_old_photo_-_GOOD Except imagine so many that the ground is black and everything is destroyed…nothing green remained.

He still won’t let them go…Moses’ hand is again outstretched and

Darkness

Darkness As a person who struggles with winter time dreariness…I can’t imagine total darkness for 3 days…Interestingly, the Israelites had light in the places they lived.

Pharaoh still give conditions on the Israelites leaving and even threatens murder to Moses. And a plague ensues that I cannot even fathom.

The death of the Firstborn

I looked at pictures and quite frankly just couldn’t put any of them up. The thing I have to remind myself is that there was a way out which leads us to the Passover. I love being involved in a Passover meal. We have a Jewish friend who has done it for our church and we have done it with friends. A blessing of remembrance of God’s faithfulness to the Israelites and to us. There is so much to talk about that…we’ll save it for another post.

And vs. 51 “And on that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions”

God is faithful to His promises. It may not be in our timing, way, or plans. It might not be the answer we want. But-He is faithful. Trust on that.

Blessings to you today…We are supposed to get up to 12 inches (some saying more) of snow in next several days….this gal who needs the sun is screaming “NO!!” At least I can get lots done at home :)

February 1, 2010

Enslaved

This post has special meaning for me today because of our work with IJM. Knowing that there are millions of people crying out to God under that same cruelty and oppression with the same bitter lives that the Israelites were living. I am so very thankful that there are still those who are a ‘Moses’ that answers the call to secure rescue for God’s people. Take time today to pray for freedom and restoration for the enslaved. They are husbands, wives, daughters, sons, grandparents,and sweet precious children.

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Today’s Reading

Exodus 1:1 through 2:25 & 1Chronicles 6:1-3 Exodus 3:1 through 4:17

Enslaved. Oppression. Murder. Bitter lives. This is now the lives of the Israelites. Joseph and all his brothers are dead. This Pharaoh who did not know Joseph was a cruel leader. I am thankful for the midwives who believed life was sacred and not to be destroyed.

Moses is born and hidden for 3 months (can’t imagine trying to hide a baby!) and is saved by the Pharaoh’s daughter. We all know this story well. Moses sees his people being mistreated and murders an Egyptian and hides him in the sand. Pharaoh now tries to kill him and he flees and goes to live in Midian. There he meets and marries Zipporah and has a son, Gershom. The Pharaoh dies and the Israelites are crying out for help in their slavery.

God hears their groaning, looks, and is concerned. The root word for concern is yada which means (according to strongs) to know, to experience, to discern, to understand, to perceive. I think this has a much stronger meaning than concerned. I believe it means He looks upon them and knows their pain and heartache. He perceives every bit of it. He understands their cry.

Moses is out tending the flock (from Pharaoh's son to a shepherd!) and sees a strange looking bush and decides to check it out. God calls to him and tells him to take off his sandals for the place is holy ground (love it! I would love for the whole church to remove their shoes one Sunday to recognize the fact the when we enter in and worship…we are on holy ground)

God declares He has seen His people’s misery and He is coming down to rescue them and bring them up to a good and spacious land. And…He is sending Moses to do it. (Imagine Moses’s expression here! what???)

I will be with you Moses!

Who do I say sent me? I AM WHO I AM!

God tells Moses to gather the elders and take them on a 3 day journey to sacrifice and shares what He will strike the Egyptians will types of wonders to make them let them go.

Moses still had a lot of questions show God showed Him the whole staff/snake thing. I do not think that I would have picked the snake back up by the tail. I think I would have asked to God turn it back into the staff first and THEN I would pick it back up. I don’t like snakes….at all! :)

God continue to show Moses the signs and wonders He will do. Leprous hand/clean hand, bloody water from the Nile…but Moses is still unsure if he is up to the task. God re-assures him that He will help him to speak and teach Him. (God’s pretty awesome like that) and Moses pretty much begs Him to send someone else.

All right, the Lord is starting to get irritated here but relents and allows Aaron to be part of the team. He will help them both.

I can so understand sympathize with Moses for when God calls you to do something that you don’t think you can do. I have had that happen several times. Scared to death. But God steps in and does the work. And the great thing is, because you know you couldn’t have done it---God gets all the glory. It was only through Him you were enabled. And when God calls you to do the unthinkable-- He will provide the way.

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