Friday, March 23, 2018

He is STILL good

For the last few months I have been reminded over and over that no matter what happens God is still God and He is still good. For my Husband and I we have been praying for a child for years. Honestly, it's been hard. We have had times where we believed we were going to be matched with a birth mom and we have not been picked. We have been told we aren't country enough or that we aren't what the birth mom is looking for. We've even had 2 mom's pull out the day before looking at our book because they weren't ready. We have felt as though at times we had a miscarriage. We have sat on our couch weeping together. Our parents have weeped and people have tried to be kind and say things to help us, but really through those times words do not help.

This thought of God still being good started a couple of months ago at a women's retreat. The title for the weekend was "Broken Hallelujah." My Pastor friend Jane spent part of the weekend in Daniel. Daniel 3:18 describes Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendego's reaction of what their punishment was to be. They were brave. They said that no matter what God chose to do (save them or not) they would never bow down to the man made alters. Here's the kicker... No matter what God was still going to save them. So many times in our lives we forget how God works. We forget that we are IN His plan. We think that some how it's OUR plan and God is like Santa and gives us what we want. I've been reading a book called Barren Among the Fruitful. Amanda Hope Haley writes, "A child is not a reward for a woman's faithfulness to God. Meeting God face-to-face is the reward." I think we are almost programed to believe that faithfulness means God is going to do what we want Him to do as long as we are faithful to Him. That's not how this works at all. People, hear me here, God is going to do what brings Him the most GLORY. Wether we need to go through the fire or die in the fire, God will get the glory. I came away from the conference knowing that even if God did NOT bring us a child He was still good. That next week we had another failed match in which we told no one about. I thought since I had come to terms with this then God was going to bless us. Again, it was about ME and NOT about God. Ya'll I'm a Pastor and I struggle with wanting God to work on my timeline.

So, here I am a couple of months later... I have been to a conference for Youth Pastors and again the speakers were talking about how to believe in God we have to believe that the same God who was good on my graduation day from college, our wedding day and on FSU's National Championship (yes, it was a big deal in our family) is still good on the days that birth moms say, "No." He is still good when we feel like we will never become parents. God is constantly reminding us that He is still good. We had a teenager tell me last week that he is no longer going to use my name, but call me Church Momma instead. God is reminding us that we do have kids... right now 36 teenagers we see regularly. They need us to be real. They need to see that we struggle. They need to see the Christianity is not all rainbows, butterflies, unicorns, and glitter. They need to see that even in the hard times we still believe.

God has given us songs like Miracles by Jesus Culture and a new one by Michael Farren called Fighting For Us. (Please give it a listen below.) God has given us friends who aren't overbearing and just wait with us. He is growing us closer to him.  He is showing us more of His love than we have ever felt. Does that mean we have all great days? No, there are days I feel like I can't get out of bed because I am so down and feel broken... physically and spiritually. The song Fighting for Us has reminded me that God is still God, He is still good, and He is fighting for us! He is the God who defeated armies and He can make us parents - that doesn't mean He will, just that He can. The only way He is going to make us parents is if our story is all about Him and nothing that we have done. Our story is God's story! So, pray for us as we continue to try and make Him look good. Continue to pass the word that we would love to be parents to a child... no matter their race or gender!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Christmas and New Years Planning

Our small church has had the best Christmas Season! We had a church wide Christmas Party, the Youth went on the Tacky Light Tour, and our Children had a Parents Night Out!

I did a Christmas Wrap Up video for all of you other small church Youth Pastors! At the end I discuss my planning for the New Year!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday Night Wrap Up 12.10.17

Sunday Night wrap up!
  1. Sunday Night Wrap Up dealing with Christmas
  2. Talking about our upcoming events, a Tacky Light Tour and Parents Night Out.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sunday Night Wrap Up 12.3.17

A wrap up of our Sunday Night and how it is growing as well as our series on debunking of Christmas Story during youth!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Youth Ministry Suicide

This weeks Sunday Night Wrap Up deals with what my reaction was as a Youth Pastor after a suicide of one of our fringe kids. Our church and Youth Ministry handled it as best we could.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Youth Ministry Win

I've started doing a Sunday Night wrap up. It is a way I can get out everything that goes on inside my head. This video talks about what a Win in Youth Ministry looks like. You could have had the worst night in Youth Group and it could still be a win!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Why Adoption?

We are asked all the time why adoption? Well, for me, I like to say its in my blood. You see my dad was adopted as an infant. I was the only person he knew who was blood related to him until he was in his 50's. I saw the good in adoption. He always said he had 3 mom's. The first mom loved him enough to allow someone else to raise him. The 2nd mom who raised him as her own and lastly his step mom has loved him even though she didn't have too. My dad had 2 dads. One who didn't know about him until he was a grandfather and the other who placed him under the Christmas tree for that was all they could afford that Christmas. Some days I think that is how Jaron and I will be, placing our baby under the tree for that is all we can afford.

Adoption... Dictionary. com defines adoption as - to take and rear (the child of other parents) as one's own child, specifically by a formal legal act.

The word adoption happens 5 times in the New Testament. All used by the Apostle Paul. Paul uses this word to describe us (non Jewish people) being grafted into the family of God. We are adopted into God's family when we ask him to be the boss of our lives. We become family. I never realized how this applies to us until we met part of my dad's biological family. Some of them are believers. When we met them we were instantly like family. We felt very close very fast. I believe that is because we already had the bond of Christ. The part of the family who are not believers were very standoffish. We did not have that sense of already being family. You see we were already family through Christ. We were already grafted together because of our belief and trust in Jesus.

Here's the deal. Adoption is not only in my physical family, but in my spiritual one as well... Let us all follow God's example and adopt. Maybe you can't physically adopt for a lifetime right now, but you can help other families. Our church is helping 50 kids this Christmas from right here in our community. We are buying presents and providing stocking stuffers. These families aren't going to have to worry about keeping the power on instead of buying presents!

Maybe you need to think and pray about adopting for a season or for a lifetime!