I like themes. Don’t you? So…if today’s post were to have one—it’d be just that! Happy day! I have all kinds of great stuff to share…still haven’t even gotten around to showing you the fun/funny auction purchases from last weekend. One day–they will make it on here;). But better stuff just keeps getting put ahead of that post idea. Like…sloppy joes for example! Well…this one my friends–is WAY better. For 2 months we have sat and waited on our list with little…very little…movement. This was to be expected as Hannah’s Hope (the orphanage in Ethiopia) just moved to a NEW, larger, safer home. Of course they were waiting to bring in more babies after the big move (which took place just after Christmas). SO…today movement began again. And that is reason to say OH HAPPY DAY!
I’m really rejoicing because my sweet friend, Angie, got her referral yesterday! She has sat on the top of the list since Thanksgiving…waiting and waiting…and waiting. And I just love how God works. She thought she was #1—then found out she was #2…and the family actually at #1 was…guess where? Just a few blocks down the road from them!!! THEN…today these two families plan to meet for the FIRST time. And so finally they meet…and guess what happens WHEN they meet? Yep–Angie gets here phone call! You can read about it here: http://www.ephesians-one-five.blogspot.com/
What I really love is that they chose to keep the baby’s name as the middle name and his first name will be Micah. So his initials end up being…THE SAME as his dad’s. That of course is SO GOD to work it out that way. He has a way of confirming His perfect, pleasing, good plan for us in the neatest, sweetest ways! I’m so thrilled…giddy…ecstatic for the Walters family…and I can’t wait to SQUEAL on the phone with Angie later today! SO EXCITED to celebrate this time with their family!!! And so thankful for all the sweet friends I have made with our agency. Our agency rocks by the way;). Love my listserv friends!
I can’t wait, wait, wait for the day when we see our little one’s face…but even more—I can’t wait to see him face to face! To think that is how my SAVIOR feels about ME! My heavenly Father LONGS to see ME face to face! Do *I* also long to see Him face to face?! I mean, do I think about it all the time? Do I DREAM about it? Do I make decisions based upon it?! Oh–that we would live LONGING to see Him! How sweet this adoption journey is for me…drawing me closer to seeing His face.
Okay–might I add to my previous Photography 101 post? I encouraged you to try shooting at low aperatures. Some of you are frustrated thinking WHY won’t my camera go down that low?! Well, my friends—every lens has set focal ranges. SO–your lens might NOT go that low. You can look on the side of your lens and there should be a ration. For example, for that particular lens in this shot it says 1:2.8 meaning that lens will go down to 2.8. SO, you might need to invest in a lens that goes lower in aperature range to get this shot. I would recommend the 50mm lens–a must have for every photographer, amateur and mommy. It’ll go down to 1.4 and up as high as you need. No, there’s no zoom—but let your feet BE the zoom. This is the BEST lens to learn and practice manual settings and natural light photography with. And until you learn how to work with available light—you can use the 50mm and just set your kiddo right smack dab in front of a window during this winter freeze your head off time;). I have Frankie-poo facing the window and just turned a wee bit to the side here. But you’ll need a lens that you can take lower to pull it off first:)
January 6 – Bible Reading – Genesis Chapters 18:1 – 21:7
Once again–today’s reading is SOOOOO good! If you are joining me this year reading through…let us really get EVERYTHING we can out of the Word this year! Let us not read to just check it off our list–but this is God’s WORD! It is sharper than a double edged sword…may it sharpen US this year…grow us closer to Him…and today’s reading—is another WOW. So much MEAT. How can I possibly cover it all? But once again…some of my highlights (and I’d love to hear yours too!)
Ch 18 – So we have Abraham sitting outside the tent waiting to entertain tired travelers. He sees 3 travelers–and can tell they are special. He was quick to entertain, wash their feet and feed them the best he had to offer. These were heavenly beings in human bodies. We are to be examples of the Lord’s love to others. Check out Hebrews 13:2. Remember this when someone needs help, knocks on your door, an opportunity to serve arises! Let us be quick to serve, gracious to entertain…for some may be angels and if they are not–the Lord tells us when we serve the least of these…we are serving Him! Either way you go—our hands are to be open in service to others.
On a funny note–I just have to say I *LOVE* the dialogue between Sarah and God in verse 15. MAN, she is such a GIRL. Sounds just like me. “I did not”. And what does God say back to her…”Yes you did.” OUCH.
Ch.18:16-33…these verses ROCK MY FACE OFF. Yes, it’s literally off this morning and I am reminded the POWER OF PRAYER! So Abraham listens to the angels and the LORD (yep–all caps so in Hebrew it’s Jehovah) talk about Sodom. It’s turned bad…and Abraham knows if it’s bad enough the LORD will distroy it. Then Abraham starts his plea. PLEASE Lord, for the sake of 50 don’t distroy it…if there are 50 righteous spare the WHOLE place. God agreed. Abraham knows there might not be 50…so then he pleas for 45…then 40…then 30…then 20—then he sticks his life on the line (I’m getting scared FOR Abraham here being so BOLD) and he asks for 10. AND…God AGREES! OK, if there are 10 righteous I won’t do it. WOW!
What an example of the power of prayer!!! A prayer of a righteous man avails much! But we must also remember that the Lord hears and answers the righteous man…and if there is ANYTHING in our own hearts with sin…we must confess that—so He forgives us—so we are forgiven and righteous through His forgiveness. And what can wash away my sin?? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! I love that hymn:)
I also love verse 19 here. What a call on us to grow our families in the Lord. As a mom, I want to pour scripture and Biblical teaching into their lives. In order to be able to do this though–MY HEART has to be changed first…MY HEART has to be yoked with the Lord’s heart…MY HEART has to be open and soft…MY HEART will be what influences my husband and children—because my actions, my words, the way I live will be an overflow of my heart.
AND THAT WAS JUST CHAPTER 18!!!
Ch. 19–OH MY…this is where it gets crazier than MTV beach party or whatever that crazy stuff is. OK…actually I think it gets crazier than anything that comes on our tv!!! CRAZY! The angels go to Lots house. The wicked men of Sodom surround the house and start demanding Lot send the men (yes…ANGELS!) out so they can have sex with them. SICK. I’m just saying…the Bible can be full of drama. I feel like this is Double R rated here…is there a thing? Lot refuses and OFFERS his two virgin daugthers to the men. HORRIBLE. THEN…the angels pull Lot BACK in the house and ALL the men are struck with blindness!!! The angels urged Lot to get his family OUT of the city–Lot stalls because his son-in-laws (the men pledge to marry his daughters) don’t believe that the Lord is going to do anything…yet the Lord continues to pour out his mercy. They are told by LORD to RUN–DON’T LOOK BACK…JUST RUN!
And I think Lot has lost his freakin’ mind because instead of immediately running he starts trying to make a deal. “Please, I can’t run to the mountains! I’ll die from the disaster! Please let me run to a small town instead!” And the LORD says, “Okay, Lot…I’ll give ya this one too…I won’t distroy the small town…but go quick.” MERCY! GRACE! MERCY! GRACE! Can you BELIEVE how full of these our LORD IS!
And sure enough, Sodom is distroyed—but Lot’s wife looks back and DISOBEYS…and verse 16 says it—as crazy as it sounds…she turns into a pillar of salt. Hard to believe. But that’s what it says. I’ve never understood it and find it as hard to believe as Jonah and the whale…but it happened. Oh LORD–help us to NOT look at the world and live according to the world–but instead to look to the heavens…TO YOU…and live for you.
verse 30-38…as if it couldn’t get worse…here it does. I don’t even want to write about this one. You’ll just have to read it yourself. Sin is just sick. And women are just as capable of men to do horrible sick things. Lord, how we need you! Help us to cling to you and to live righteous lives…to live how YOU want us to!
Abraham is officially driving me insane. For real—do you have to say Sarah is your sister…AGAIN? Did you not learn the first time? But some HOW the Lord did not let Abimelech touch her…and finally I feel like we are introduced to a decent character again in Abimelech. He confronts Abraham in such a mature, healthy way—and even though Abraham has put him in a horrible mess–Abimelech forgives him and GIVES HIM sheep, cattle, slaves, UM–HIS WIFE BACK, and the freedom of ALL his land. Is this guy for real?! And in his obedience–the Lord healed Abimelech as the LORD had closed up every women’s womb in his household because of Abraham’s wife. Abimelech did the right thing–and served Abraham 10 times over. Wow, wow, wow. Doesn’t this make you want to obey right away like we talked about yesterday…and serve abundantly…10 times over?!
I am reminded today of the Lord’s goodness! His mercy and grace are more than I can imagine. He is just so good. Think about his mercy and grace throughout today—and remember Abraham’s petition to the Lord. The Lord wants you to come before Him with your requests. The great, High Priest, Jesus wants to intercede for you when you don’t know how to pray…just tell Him your heart…He longs for you to!!! Oh Lord, hear our prayers today. Help us to live for you, live through you and be used for you. AMEN!