Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Words

Typically, like most people, I make a list of resolutions for the new year. However, for 2014 I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of making resolutions, I decided to pick three words that I hope are a huge part of the upcoming year. I want these three words to give this year direction and guidance.

1. Devoted--I want to be a devoted father to my two children. I want to be a devoted husband to my wife and a devoted pastor to our young people. Devotion does not require perfection, but it goes beyond the ordinary. Devoted means loyal, faithful, constant, and committed.

2. Worship--I want to spend more time in prayer, adoration, and praise. I pray for a greater desire for God and the things of God.

3. Compassion--I want to spend more time in the service of others. In our service to the least of these our brothers and sisters we find Jesus. Sometimes the older we get the more bitter and resentful we become. Life can harden our hearts and make us fearful. I pray that increased age would only make me more kind and caring. I want my heart to be tender and accepting. I pray for the spirit of Christ to increase in my life.

What about you? What three words would you choose for 2014?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Worth the Wait -Adoption Update

Meet Caleb Kyrie Dasinger! For those who don't know, our family has been on the journey of adoption for some time now. This has been a long and sometimes difficult journey. Tedious paper work, unexpected expenses, and a few disappointments have come along the way.

However, as soon as we held Caleb in our arms we knew he was worth the journey. All the disappointments and difficulties faded to the background as we immediately fell in love with our second child. Caleb is healthy and doing well, and our daughter Kenzie loves being a big sister. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Our bodies are tired, but our hearts are full! God is good! 

Our family has chosen to document and write about our journey as a way of raising awareness for adoption and orphan care. We've often been asked the question: "Why adopt? Why go through this messy and expensive process when you can have kids the old fashion way?" Glad you asked! There are several reasons really...

1. God cares for the orphan and therefore we should too! The Bible speaks about this in several places. (see Psalm 68:5-6, Isaiah 1:17, James 1:17)

2. Adoption is at the heart of the gospel! Through Christ, God not only declares us not guilty, but he then adopts us as his sons and daughters! Our adoption cost God a lot, but he believed we were worth it. Adoption is our highest privilege as Christians. 
(see Romans 8, Galatians 4, 1 John 3)

3. We choose adoption because we believe every life matters. And I don't mean this in the pro-life bumper sticker kind of way. I mean we believe every kid deserves a family. Every kid deserves to be loved and cherished. Following Jesus means loving others, especially those who have been marginalized and forgotten. This truth can be lived out in different ways: visiting prisoners, foster care, serving the poor, or assisting widows (just to name a few).

4. However, the best answer I have is sometimes there are moments in our lives where we do not reason things out, we just know in our hearts that God has called us to do something and so we do it. I believe these are the best moments. If we walk by faith, we will get to be a part of some amazing opportunities. Don't be mistaken, following God's call will probably make life more challenging in some ways, but in the end it will be worth it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Give Us Grace

A Prayer for Advent:

Merciful God, you sent your messengers the prophets
to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation.
Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ, our redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer)

Scripture: John 1:10, 12

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Make Ready Our Hearts

Prayer for Advent:

Eternal God, in your providence you made all ages
a preparation for the kingdom of your Son.
Make ready our hearts for the brightness of your glory
and the fullness of your blessing in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(The Book of Worship 1944)