I have a friend that is witty - she is quick and cracks me up. We were chatting about the irritating comments that people have about having a big family. She said next time someone asks "Are you done yet?" I need to just look adoringly at Isaiah and say:
"When I look at him I just see him as my middle child."
8A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."
9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
I was listening to an old Francis Chan sermon and he was talking about those that take the mark of the beast in the last days. I stopped the sermon and just thought about what that will look like. The reality is, if you do not take it you will not be able to buy or sell food, etc. (Revelation 13:17). Wow - just think about that AND then think that God said DO NOT DO IT or you will drink the wine of His fury. I do not want that to be me - YIKES!
Think about what that will look like. Talk about making a stand, one that most likely will lead to death (but eternal life - whoo hoo :)).
And this is the part I was thinking about - the reality of taking this stand.
This is not a Sunday morning kinda stand, the kind that says "I go to church, I'm good." This is the kind of stand that says I am willing to die for what I believe - DIE, dead, no more - because I believe. Gulp - that is huge! I honestly have a hard time imagining it! But I do know that there are many that have - martyrs of the faith ~ courageous, just courageous - wow, how I look up to them. (there is a book by DC Talk that shares many of their stories - amazing).
So back to taking this stand.
I have a picture of what that may look like - maybe standing in line with my kids, waiting for food and then the option, the moment of truth - I say "no, I am a believer in Jesus Christ" and then I get in the line for the head chopper thing, what is it called?
I have no idea if this is really what it will look like - this is just my "Left Behind" mental images (love the series).
Are you prepared? Are you truly making that stand NOW? Now, before all of this?
I do believe in the rapture so I put myself in this as I think about it, but I know that I will be gone in a blink of an eye, before all of this - YAY!
But many will experience this moment.
Some, that have considered themselves as followers, true believers. And in that moment, will they obey God? God said DON'T DO IT, DON'T TAKE IT!
God tells us a lot of things. A lot of things for now too, do we listen? Do we trust that His way is right and leads to life not death? Oh I am thankful for grace and mercy as I rely on it daily - Thank You Jesus. But let's not make it an excuse to not move forward in what God tells us to do and not to do.
Taking a stand is for the now. Sometimes I think it is harder in the lukewarm society that says 90% of Americans are Christians (really?).....never the less, it is for the now.
We all have those "moments" - do I stand up for what I believe in? Or do I sheepishly walk away.
We have had lots of those moments since announcing that we were adopting....lots! We have been called "Jesus freaks", "on a Jesus kick", "weird", that we have "lost our minds", "changed forever" or "not the same" (Praise the Lord on that last one, amen?) and these are the ones we know about. :)
I am OK with that ... now - not to say it did not hurt, but it drove me straight to Him in prayer and to dive into His word - Praise His name.
Adoption has put us in a very different place. Our stand is clear and very visible - a city on a hill - that is a good thing (so thankful for the adoption journey). It has brought me to a place that I share my faith way more often then I ever use to. My life is very different because of my faith - shouldn't all of ours be that believe?
Shouldn't it be visible? Different? Obvious?
There will be a day that this stand will have to be made. Whether in a line for the mark or among your friend, peers and daily life - the choice will have to be made.
Practice the right choice NOW. Are you making the stand? Is your life reflecting Christ that lives within you? Is it obvious?
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
I love this post and think it is the best adoption advice I have heard! Everybody needs a "moving buddy!"
God was so good to give me a few online "moving buddies" and a few in Africa, through the process. I was so thankful. But when I got home, and the hard issues came, I needed a real life buddy - someone who understood and believed the same way I did. Christian views and reasons for adoption are VERY different from the world, so this was vital that my moving buddy be a strong Christian. I had not found a moving buddy but God knew, and 3 weeks after being home I got a call from a girl that had adopted 2 years earlier and wanted to get together and talk about doing ministry in Africa together - she really felt like the Holy Spirit was bringing us together. What she didn't know was, that I was really struggling and was craving someone who just "got it." Her and her hubby came over for dinner and hearing their hearts and struggles was like water in the desert. If I could have fallen on the floor and cried I would have.
If you are adopting or have adopted - get a moving buddy. If you can not find a moving buddy, start praying, I had never even heard of my "moving buddy" before - but God knew her well and he knows how to hook His children up! If you need an online moving buddy, I will be one - e-mail me or leave a comment.
Tonight I am feeling blessed. One of the scars institutionalized children can have is being "stiff." Physically stiff. This took me by surprise when I started packing Isaiah around in Africa. Honestly, I could not figure out why he was not fitting on my hip - this hip is use to having a chunky money on it all the time (aka Lily :)) - so why was this awkward and not working? - I could not figure it out.
Sadly I realized, and was educated by a friend, that this was lack of love and physical touch - he did not know how. Think about how we hold our babies, wash our babies - touch, kiss, carry - all of this he missed out on. Sure, there are volunteers that love on them as best they can but that can not be compared to the love of a parent.ever!
So I immediately bought a big bottle of lotion and started giving him massages, looong massages - every night. This is something I did with all my babies but by 2 it was hit and miss. With him it was obvious to me that this needed to be every night.
When I first started, he would giggle like crazy. His whole body was ticklish - he could hardly stand it (in a good way) he would laugh the whole time. Where as it was cute to see him laugh, it also broke my heart because I realized his skin was so sensitive to touch. Slowly he would begin to relax - sllllooowly.
This has been improving as he learns to trust and receive love. Tonight was a sweet victory I am savoring as I write this.
He crawled up in my lap tonight and just melted to by body. It felt so natural and comfortable - I was a happy Mama. :) We stayed like that for a good hour and I know it was a beautiful moment. Healing is happening - his little walls are melting.
Child of God, wife to a God-fearing, Christ-passionate man (yay me!), Mommy to 7 gifts from God (4 homemade, 2 Ugandans and 1 Born in the USA treasure). I love sharing our journey of following Christ. I love country living, serving in Africa and loving on my family. If you like typos, ramblings & run-on sentences - this just may be a place you enjoy! ;)