Monday, November 28, 2016

Best of Facebook: November 2016

With all the stress I am seeing during this election let's lighten it up with some adorable pictures of our mama hen and her new babies!

We were walking inside and a chicken was laying under our porch. I looked, shook my head, and yelled to one of the kids, "hey, come catch this chicken and put her back in the fence!" Just as I am setting down my keys ready to sit for a short moment I hear what sounds like a thousand feet come trampling in. I can feel myself beginning to boil over because they were disturbing my very momentary peace with their elephant stampede and obviously not catching a chicken like I asked. I took a deep breath and just as I was about to let out my tirade they interrupted, "MOM! MOM! MOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!! You have to come SEE!!! Don't ask, just COME!"

This better be good.

And it was. That chicken I was disgruntled with was also trying to get some peace away. But for different reasons than I. She wasn't wanting a selfish escape like me. No, under her puffed up feathers she was keeping, not one, not two but, eight tiny babies warm. While I was ready to scatter all my kids hearts in the cold by yelling in my selfish frustrations this hen was keeping all her babies warm and so close that all their little hearts and hers beat as one.

I grabbed my camera and the kids and I all laid flat on our bellies in the dirt gathering close to capture in our memories the beauty of new life.

Let's spend more time being light in the darkness and less time pointing out the fact that it is dark...

We were all up far too late last night watching as polls come in. We woke up in a new day in the same world. We woke up with the same call to love our neighbor in a very immoral world run by immoral leaders.

Our new president isn't going to personally free the oppressed, help the suffering and feed the hungry but we can. Sharing love, helping others and spreading the gospel of Jesus is our command. Let's focus more on being the light in darkness and less on pointing out the darkness.

"If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail."
Isaiah 58:10-11

We had the opportunity to teach friends how to process a sheep their family raised. We spent hours skinning, cutting and grinding meat. We were able to pray over the preciousness of life, learn about the intricate anatomy God created and express great thankfulness for the meat He provided.

It was a process that makes you express a multitude of emotions and one in which many of us are very disconnected with. Everytime it is a somber reminder that we are all created for a purpose. A purpose, not to live the "American dream" (focused on our own prosperity and what president will give us the most of it) but, to give up ourselves up to serve others.

We all know the verse:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

And God in flesh being our example we are to be imitators of God: "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2

So our reminder: "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." 1 John 3:16

"Forgiveness looks wrong in the eye, it names wrong for what it is and feels the sting. Then it consciously acts "unfairly" in return. Anger is all about fairness. But forgiveness is mercifully unfair. You choose not to give back what seems fair, just or reasonable.

Forgiveness does not ignore what's wrong. It does not excuse it. It does not pretend the person didn't really mean it. Instead, it recognizes that a debt is owed and it forgives the debt.

Forgiveness means you don't get what you deserve. Because God is "unfair," we have hope. Instead of fairness, you get someone who is deadly serious about wrong but acts on your behalf in ways that are inconceivably unfair."
- Good and Angry by David Powlison, pg. 80, 81

"The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;" Dan. 9:9

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace" Eph. 1:7

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8

Goodness, look at this little lady! Some days I just can't believe that my youngest baby is five. This morning I was going thru and donating lots of clothes when Maggie liked one of my knee-length skirts. So we quickly added a little elastic waist band to fit her and it turned out adorable!

So proud of our sweet AnnaBritt girl! When we first put her on Cherrio, our mini horse, she yelled, "!" She was afraid, had no balance and would slip off from side to side as the horse walked. I would have to walk with her and hold her on to reassure her she could do it.

Now she uses her feet in the stirrups to balance herself as the horse's natural sway tilts her body gently from side to side and she uses her hands to clasp the saddle horn and hold on as she rides. But best of all she loves it! Smiling, laughing and cheering all the way   She don't let her Cerebral Palsy get her down!

Amen! Posted by my super friend with 15 kiddos (12 adopted)!

The last post we shared caused a little rift so let me see if I can clarify. Christians like to throw around the word "calling" like Jesus will audibly express His great call for your life one day. This misconception leaves many young Christians I talk to confused and often thinking they aren't "called to ministry" or the "missed their calling." When the Bible uses the word "called" it is almost always referring to God calling His people to Himself through salvation.

Once we are saved we are no longer called but commanded to minister to fellow believers, to share the gospel and to love (in an active way by doing) all the people God created. Some Christians are not called to minister and share and love....we are ALL commanded to. How each of us uses the gifting God endowed us with will look different. Different not non-existent. For if our service to others is non-existent we are called, excuse me, commanded to examine ourselves! See 2 Peter 1:1-15

The most unloving thing to do is to sit by and let our churches continue to flow at lukewarm temperatures. God says, "you were neither hot nor cold so I spit you out of my mouth." If there were no homeless people to be found on the streets, if every sick and lonely patient in the hospital or nursing home had a visitor, if hunger and thirst was not something people knew deeply, if babies and children were no longer languishing in overcrowded institutions and orphanages then this post would have no ground. Where are our churches?

I will speak up. I see these little ones without mommies and daddies. Too many. I see these little ones growing up knowing more about hurt, pain and loss than about love, joy and gain. Too many. I see these little ones wondering why has God not loved me enough to send me a family. Too many.

But many more are the Christians I see. Churches full with many mommies and daddies. Many who have a little joy to share, a little more love to share and an eternity of gain to share. Many I see could be a family for a little one....but many say they are not called.

This is not a judgment declared. This is an observation proclaimed. We adopt, not because we were called, but because we were adopted. In other words, we actively love because we were actively loved.

Posted by Shannon