Sunday, June 30, 2013

Waiting Stinks -Adoption Update

We've jumped through all the hoops, filled out all the paper work, and completed the medical tests and blood-work. We've been approved to adopt and now the hard part...waiting. Waiting stinks! Whether it is waiting in traffic or waiting in lines or waiting in a doctor's office, waiting is never fun. Waiting to adopt your child is even worse.

But maybe there is a purpose in waiting. In fact, the Bible tells us in several places to "Wait on the Lord." I've never fully understood what that meant. I am by nature a doer. I don't like to wait. I'm a patient person until my patience is tested...which means I'm not really patient.

Perhaps waiting is how God prepares our hearts for something special. Maybe waiting helps us to realize that everything is in God's timing, not ours. Waiting forces us to depend on God's strength and God's wisdom. Waiting is a reminder that we do not complete acts of faith in our own ability. We play a part, but God is the main participant. Waiting teaches us to trust. God is working in this world for good. God cares more about our future child than we do. God is love and he will bring our adoption to completion.

Don't get me wrong...waiting still stinks. But waiting does have a purpose.

"Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Quitting "Normal" -Learning from Mission Trips

In a few days I will be taking some Senior High students and our youth team to Haiti. Other than myself, this will be the first international mission trip for everyone in our group. I am very excited to be going back to Haiti, but I am even more excited for everyone else in our group. My hope is that the mission trip will have the same impact on them as it did on me several years ago.

Of course our prime objective is to serve and encourage the church we will be visiting. Our desire is to love on the children and give support to their ministry team. However, there is no doubt that we will receive way more than we give. One of my biggest desires for our group is that this trip will ruin them from having a "normal" life. I've always loved the phrase: "Jesus wrecked my a good way!"

My hope is this trip is more than just a "cool" experience. I hope we see what life is really about and that returning to "normal" is no longer possible. I hope we begin to realize that God wants more than normal. I hope we realize that God wants more from us and that we begin to want more of him. Normal is making life all about us and what we want. Normal is accumulating stuff because we think possessions make us happy. Normal is turning a blind eye to the needs of others. Normal is about getting instead of giving. I want to quit normal because normal is not good enough. I don't think normal works very well.

I pray and hope that what we do for one week would change us forever.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Reading

Below is my summer reading. As a discipline, I typically read 3 books at a devotional, one theological, and one fiction. Granted, I'm a nerd and love to read. However, I believe reading a variety of books has helped me both spiritually and as a youth minister. What are you reading this summer?