Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Adoption as Sons

Hi Everyone:

Recently, our pastor has been doing an amazing study of the Book of Galatians. We have some friends that we believe have become confused about our responsibility at Believers in regards to the Law. This is the absolute best explanation I have ever heard as to the purpose of the Law and our responsibility. It is indeed all of Grace, praise be to our God.

Last week's message was from Galatians 3:26-Galatians 4:5. It is a beautiful picture of God's adoption of us as Sons. I remembered a favorite Sarah Groves song of mine where she (quoting the Word) refers to the fact that "we are are no long slaves, we are daughters and sons." That is an amazing truth that all believers should really come to understand.

As "contemporary" Christians, we have become so entrenched in a religion of "checking off the boxes," to help us be "good" Christians. That is not what the Christian life is all about. For example, I went to church this week - 3 times, check. I read my Bible every day, check. I prayed for an hour every morning, check. I gave my tithe, check. I witnessed to someone at work, check. Do you see what I mean? We have created a system of works, God help us. We are indeed free from the curse of the Law, and from works of any and every kind.

Read the scripture below, and then I invite you, especially the adoptive parents reading this blog, to hear the sermon regarding our adoption as Sons. It will truly touch your heart. Our pastor is himself an adoptive father, and so was able to really draw some fantastic parrallels. You can enjoy that sermon by following this link: You can watch the message in video, download an MP3 file, or get it as a podcast. The sermon was entitled "Free, As Sons" dated 12/21/08.

Galatians 3: 23 "Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Galatians 4:1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."

Happy New Year!
Abiding in His Amazing Grace,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Children's Safe Drinking Water

Dear Friends:

At this time of year, our hearts are most turned toward giving to others.

As most reading this will know, we own a plumbing company, and for years now the Lord has laid on our hearts the importance of providing clean drinking water to those who do not have it.

We have been involved with ministries in the past, providing clean drinking water by drilling wells. Once this most basic need is met, the opportunity becomes available to tell them about the Living Water, that is Christ.

Recently, Todd and I learned about a water project that is being done by PUR, the drinking water filtration company. I wanted to share the information with you and encourage you to participate through giving to this organization. More children die each year from drinking contaminated water than die from AIDS and Malaria combined. For pennies you can help provide water for children and families in poverty stricken countries.

You can see a demonstration and learn how you can help at Your children will love the interactive demonstration on their website. For $7.50 you can provide clean drinking water for a child for ONE YEAR !!! And for around $30.00 you can provide safe drinking water for an entire family for one year. While this is not a Christian organization, it is an easy and inexpensive way that you and I can become involved in helping others around the World.

Merry Christmas,

Christmas Photos

Okay, taking Christmas pictures this year was a JOKE! Poor Anna endured quite a lot. She did her best to try to get the wild thing to be still for a picture. We took one picture of Anna by herself in case we couldn't ever get one of Sarah with her. We liken her to a greased pig when she doesn't want to be held. LOL :O)

Here's what we got. The top one is the one that finally made the Christmas card cut. You'll notice different clothing on them because we had two days of picture taking before we finally got something I would send out.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

One Year Today and Christmas Parades

Today marks one year since we first saw our precious Sarah Beth for the first time! It was today in Guatemala, just outside of the US Embassy in Guatemala City that we met this precious one. Quiet and shy she came to me without crying or upset. She was calm and sweet, snuggled up in my arms and was my daughter. It felt just as it did when I held my two biological daughters for the first time. INDESCRIBABLE!

It's amazing what a difference a year can make. In the past year we've enjoyed the addition of a new family member, countless hours of laughter, snuggles and smiles, and a few restless nights. We never had any issues with bonding, it was completely natural for us and for her. I know that this is not the case for all adoptive families and for our experience I am most thankful. This precious one, now two years old loves us as much as we love her, and it is wonderful, beautiful, amazing. I will pull up some of those old photos so that you can see them again, photos of our first days with her.

On another note, today Anna participated in our local Christmas parade. She walked with her dance group - 2 miles! She was expecting to ride the float, but at the last minute was asked to help carry the banner. She'd rather have ridden than walked, but she survived. :O)

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and to those of you who are still waiting for your children to come home from other lands, I am praying especially for you. I know your frustration. It will happen, and when it does, I pray that for you it will also be wonderful, beautiful, amazing. As you pray, please remember some dear family friends of ours who's father is ill with cancer, the Lord will know who you're praying for.

I wonder how Mary must have felt that night long ago as she held that precious one in her arms, Christ - my King and my God.

Christmas Blessings,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Growing Girls, Christmas pics and Doctor's Visits

Hello everyone:

This week I took both of my girls to the doctor. Sarah Beth had her 2 year old check up. She is in the 75th percentile in height and weight, for American babies!! She's going to be tall we think. That comes as a bit of a shock since Guatemalans are typically shorter than "average". She weighs a whopping 30 pounds! She is a chunk! We had 4 shots for her that day, she pitched a fit!!

Anna is now almost as tall as I am and weighs what I weighed when I married at 19 years of age. Dr. Bill says she's right in line with her height and weight, and should top out around 5'4"-5'5" tall. She'll be looking down at her 5'1" Momma one day soon. Anna also had the privilege of receiving 4 shots that day, seems 12 is a time for boosters (and she turns 12 in a few weeks) and she had to have a flu shot. She took them with a smile to keep from upsetting Sarah Beth. She continues to be a fantastic big sister.

Today, I made a failed attempt at taking Christmas pictures. It was quite hysterical really. Sarah Beth was screaming and crying and falling out flat in the floor everytime Anna tried to pick her up and hold her. She tried putting her in her lap, standing with her beside the Christmas tree, holding the dog, and more to no avail. It was a ridiculous site! If I can come up with a decent picture, some of you might actually get a Christmas card this year with a picture in it. Otherwise, well, you get the picture. :O) Hee Hee.

Last, but not least, I saw my Neurosurgeon yesterday. The x-rays show that the bone fusion is going great. The plate he put in is right where he put it and hasn't moved or slipped. The discs above and below it look great, and he said he didn't think I should have any further problems. Yipee!! The most wonderful thing is that I haven't had a single headache in 8 weeks !!!!! I was having a headache every 2 to 3 days. Praise the Lord, I feel like I have been given my life back!!!

Now, on to the effort of trying to lose the 25 pounds I've gained over the last 9 months. YUCK !!!

Merry Christmas and blessings to your families during the holidays,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finally the Pictures are Here!!!

Sorry it's taken me so long to get these pictures up for you all.

These are Sarah's Second B'day pics. We'll be making a trip to the Mountains soon, so I'll share those pics after we take our trip!!

Love to you all,