Posts Tagged ‘christian growth’

Pure Religion – The Lloyd Family Adoption Journey

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This post is dear to my heart.  I have personally been praying for this sweet family for quite a while.  I know I am in good company, because I know there are many others lifting the Lloyd family and little Samuel up in their prayers.

This is from a post on April’s page…

I was asked today why we were adopting and why Africa. Honestly I love that question. It allows me to brag on God! I am not perfect or anyone to follow I am not posting this because I think I am good. But to tell a little of our story and answer why to anyone who we call a friend. My quitting work full time was a huge leap of faith and a test that we passed. One month and one day later God changed our lives again. That day we did a newborn session and I pulled out a scarf I had brought back from Africa. I told the mom that it was special because it was from Africa. Little did I know she too had been on a mission trip a few years ago. As she spoke I kept hearing God say the time is now. I actually had to sit twice and try and compose myself. After the session I had to hurry home to pick up our kids from school. Jason stayed behind to shoot a Senior session. During that 45 min drive I argued all of the logical reasons why we can’t do this with God. Then as I arrived to Dyersburg I heard him very clearly say you have a baby in Africa. You are the mother. You can waste time and tell me why you can’t do this but I am telling you, you have a baby in Africa. The longer it takes you to realize that is the longer he goes with out his mother!
So I pulled over and cried and apologized to God! Little did I know at the same time Jason was also having his own God moment. I thought I would surprise him but he already knew! So that’s it. We are following God every step of the way no matter how crazy or illogical and we could not be happier. One day soon hopefully we will have an update that we can post but for now it looks like we will be home with our baby in 10 months to a Year.
Thanks for reading and please keep our complete family in your prayers!

God spoke to their hearts almost a year and a half ago, and they are still waiting. Following God is not always easy, but the Lloyds have decided to do just that. No matter how difficult or expensive, they are on the journey to their son. #waitingforu

Take a moment and watch their Journey… (Warning, have tissues ready!)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=san3BvMudJs&feature=youtu.be

 

The Lloyd Family Adoption Journey Timeline

Nov 12 2012 Heard separately, but at the same time that they had a baby in Africa …
(don’t you just love when God does that)
Nov 14 2012 Signed with an agency
Nov 28 1012 Announced to family and Facebook that we were adopting
Dec 27, 2012 Homestudy done
April 2, 2013 All documentation complete and approved. Officially waiting for a referral
April 10, 2013 Samuel was born
May 20, 2013 We got THE call. We have a SON!!
Aug 27, 2013 Passes court and CONA!! Samuel is now a Lloyd!! Told Gavin and Addie
you have a brother. Announced to youth group, we have a son, and told family and
friends!!
Sept. 27, 2013 Our adoptive country stopped issuing exit letters, for up to 12 months :(
Oct 10, 2013 I-600 Approved!!
Oct 17, 2013 Embassy received I-600 and Visa investigation started.

Currently they are waiting on the visa investigation to be completed. This can take from 3-6 months. They are at month 4. Since passing I-600 Samuel has been in foster care.
It is expected that both parents will have to travel to pick Samuel up and are expecting a 3 week stay. Currently they have not received any grants, in spite of applying for many. At this time they  have paid all agency and lawyer fees. However they still have monthly foster care fees, travel cost, and re-adoption fees to pay as those arise.

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What you can do…

Pray for the Lloyd Family and little Samuel as they go through this adoption season.

Sign the Petition to Congress to help resolve pending adoptions to the Congo…  www.petition2congress.com/14960/please-help-resolve-pending-adoptions-from-democratic-republic-co/?m=5272303

If you feel lead to help in a financial way please donate using the go fund me link… www.gofundme.com/lloydsadoptionafrica

Pray for all the orphanages around the world, Pray for the children who are hurting, and families who are waiting to selflessly receive them into their home. Pray that these children will come to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and that they can be used as an instrument to further the gospel to the United States and even to their native lands.

May God give us an open mind and open hearts…may we desire and seek a pure religion.

James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 

Marriage Retreat 2014

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March 16th marked our 12th Anniversary!  Lee is a great photographer, don’t you think?  We haven’t always “gotten away” for our Anniversary, but we have for the last few years and it has been a great investment in our family.  Last year we enjoyed Fort Rock so much, we decided to go back.  This year we were joined by our friends the Mashburns.

 

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Fort Rock is an awesome Christian camp!  We can’t say enough about the awesome time we always have there.  We went last year for Family Camp and had a blast then too.  This year we enjoyed sermons from S. M. Davis.  We always enjoy his messages and we came back home with many more dvd’s to watch.  You can check him out at Solve Family Problems’ website www.solvefamilyproblems.org .  On the first night he preached “12 Reasons Why I Am For The Permanence of Marriage”.  It was very good!  Its so sad how so many in our culture today start out their marriage with the thoughts that they are going to “try it out” and when they encounter their first problem they are already gone.  Another great sermon was “Are You a Giver or a Taker”.  It was really eye opening and caused me to evaluate everything I do!  I have always considered myself a giver, but I thought of many more ways I can be a giver, and ways that I can take less.  He also preached on the demonic nature of anger.  When you think of how yelling and anger destroys our families and children, and gives place to the devil, it is much easier to keep your cool!  It is much easier to raise children with tenderness and compassion than it is to repair broken adults.

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His last sermon was about the two paths a person takes when they go through a trial.  He called them the garbage trail and the golden trail.  God allows and sends trials in a Christians life to refine us like gold.  It is up to us to choose the right path.  So many will take the garbage trail and pick up garbage along the way.  They will pick up a why me attitude, anger, doubt, fear, jealousy and come out defeated carrying all their burdens with them on the other side.  Then God looks down and sees that they have learned nothing and sends another test to see if they can get it right.  Most people will habitually take the garbage trail.  Most will try to walk through life alone and never will experience the blessings that are found on the golden trail.  On the golden trail you pick up things as well like…patience, peace, compassion, understanding, love and joy.  When you take this trail through your trial you learn and grow in the Lord and come out a better person, ready and able to help others when they go through a similar place.  Let us pray now that when the next trial approaches we will choose the right path!  Let us pray that people will remember us for our smile not our frown!  Let us be a giver instead of a taker!

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We enjoyed the trail ride!  It brought back memories of our honeymoon in the Smokey’s 12 years ago!

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Baby Stella enjoyed “hanging” out with her Mom and Dad

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Target shooting with friends

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Jake and Jess were kind to babysit Stella while we were shooting

 

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What’s a few tomahawks between friends?

Tomahawk throwing is much harder than it looks!  It is a lot of fun though! I actually got 2 out of 6 this time! Last year I scored a 0.

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Bow and Arrow fun!  Between our shooting, tomahawks and bows, Don said he knows why the Indians lost!

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Saturday evening we were  also joined by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.  They are great speakers and are very encouraging.  Michelle is such a kind hearted lady and has a special heart for young mothers.  It was sweet to watch her taking time with so many women at the retreat, encouraging, offering wisdom from God’s word and praying with them.  She is very petite and has a sweet voice like a whisper, but man can she WHISTLE!  I guess you would need that with 19 children!

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The view from our door

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Well that’s it!  We missed our babies and were ready to come home, but it was an awesome time of much needed fellowship and re-commitment!  We look forward to Marriage Retreat 2015!

Be A Builder…

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“Every wise woman buildeth her house; but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

I think we can all agree that none of us wants to be the foolish woman described in Proverbs 14. There are the obvious things such as anger and arguing, but what are some everyday things that we overlook and are not so obvious that might be tearing down our homes without us knowing? Let us take a look:

1. Putting other things before God.

This can be anything from your career to housework.  Anything that takes a priority over God’s Word.

 2. Children more important than husband. Husband neglected.

 This is a common teaching in modern day America.  In God’s order, the husband comes first, you are his helpmeet.  The kids need to see this example of a wife loving and putting her husband first to have their own strong marriage one day.

3. Ministry at church (or other things) becomes an idol and first priorities are disregarded.

A wife’s ONLY ministry is to her own husband, Secondary, if she is a mother…her ministry is in her own home, to her own children.

 4. Not staying within your budget.

 This is bad stewardship and shows a disrespect to your husband who is working hard to provide for you and to God in whom all things belong to.

5. Downcast countenance.

No one wants to be around a pouty Polly.  You have Christ in your heart and an eternal life in heaven…be happy, go and tell!  Look like your redeemed and thankful for it!

 6. Discontentment with the Lord’s provisions.

Whatever God provides, be it big or small, have a grateful heart and learn to be contented like Paul.

 7. Listening to lies from the enemy.

Why?  Really!

 8. Being so enticed by the world (through music, media, magazines, tv shows, you name it) that it leads you to sin

I shall set no wicked thing before my eyes…or my children’s!

 9. Focus on self or self pity.

Jesus First, Others Second, Yourself Last!!!

 10. Not asking husband before taking on new things.

There is a reason God has provided you a leader, rely on him…it’s to your advantage!

 11. Not managing our homes well.

Nothing says “I Love ya honey”  like a nice clean nest, and a warm meal when he comes home from work.

 12. Neglecting to train our children.

 Too, often neglected with the ease of free government schools and all those childless hours to do with as you wish!

13. Never being home.

How can you be a homemaker when your are not home?  Keep your feet at your own house!

 13. Gossip and slander.

 The tongue is mighty and it will destroy your home and family if you let it!

14. Not filtering everything through scripture.

Everything must be filtered through God’s Word!

 15. Coming up with excuses as to why we do the above.

Excuses come easy don’t they!

This list is not exhaustive as many more could be added to it and it is not meant to discourage but be a starting point for looking at how we live our lives on a day-to-day basis and what God expects instead.  Feel free to add some more in the comments section below as the Lord leads you.

When we are actively plucking down our homes we are not exalting God. Titus 2 actually teaches women to be ‘discreet, chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their own husbands so that the word of God be not blasphemed.’

Amazing, is it not, to think that our actions are so powerful that they can actually exalt God or blaspheme His Word. I don’t want to go through life knowing that I had a hand in blaspheming His Holy Word, and that I only lived up to half the potential He had for me.

Home builders should lift up  God’s words just not in word but in deed.  Our lives  need to preach the gospel Actions speak louder than words. Actions require commitment and self discipline, a dying to self. So where ever you might be on this list, ladies—-let us strive to be home builders. Building up our homes for Christ and His glory alone.  We are accountable…to our husbands, our children, other Christians and most of all to our heavenly Father!

This marks the conclusion of this series.  For more on this topic…you may want to check out Part One and Part Two.


 

A Self-Seeking American Woman

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A Self-Seeking American Woman – Throughout the years

In the 40′s…

Women left the home to help the war effort.  With their husbands gone away to war, Uncle Sam recruited the American Housewife to fill the vacant jobs left by their husbands.  When hubby came back…a lot of women stayed in the workforce.  Besides, they had came out of the depression, and they liked having that second car, and extra money that came with a second paycheck.  She sought to find her own self-worth being an equal earner.

 

In the ’50′s and early ’60′s…

If she managed to stay out of the workforce, her dream would have been to own a cute little home with a white-picket fence, and share it with a husband who came home to us every night. We would have had a few well-dressed, well behaved children, who attended boy and girl scouts (sure can’t do that anymore!) and government school, so she could focus on her homely duties while they were away and maybe catch a few soap operas in her spare time. Her leisure time would have been spent at the garden club, and window shopping, through it all her ultimate goal would have been to compete with the Joneses’ and to fulfill herself through her children’s dependence on her. 

In the late ’60′s and early ’70′s…

after she began to understand that having those things could not, in reality, bring her true happiness (because they were not Christ-centered).  She then threw out the baby with the bath water and, instead of looking to our own selfish tendencies, she decided that men were the problem and they were keeping women from personal fulfillment.  There went the family. There went God’s order.  There went our Country.  Free Love, without consequences, abortion, birth-control, and bye-bye prayer in schools.  Women no longer needed men to raise their family, because good old Uncle Sam would send you a check to help pay for that fatherless child.  Unwed birthrates began to skyrocket.  The woman needs no man to fulfill herself.

In the ’80′s and early ’90′s…

many children live in blended families with several step-siblings or half-brothers and sisters, because of the climbing divorce rate.  Many children don’t know where there daddies are or even who they are.  Women meet their “babies daddies” in neutral zones aka “parking lots” to drop off their kids every other weekend, all the while working and scraping to get buy…and crying on a new shoulder about how hard life is, with no though to how she got there.

 

In Modern Day America…

Most women see no need for men, except for their own selfish pleasures, or to feel pretty (because they are being advanced upon by them). Some women have come to the conclusion that men are necessary, sometimes, but they can only be tolerated on our own terms.  It is God’s command that the woman should be the help-meet to the man in his pursuit of purpose and success in this life, but nowadays, women expect men to serve them.  We are not satisfied unless pampered.  We are not content unless lavished upon.  Housework and mothering becomes drudgery because of our selfish hearts.  It’s not really a fear of doing without nessicesities, It’s a fear of not having what they want, and they want EVERYTHING!  Satan laughs through it all.

 Satan’s lie prevails, TRUST ONLY YOURSELF, You can’t trust God.  This lie has been white-washed, however, in order to become politically correct. In an attempt to keep us from religious guilt, we do our best to explain away the “hard” verses, Pastors have led the way in  paraphrasing or even outright changing the Bible to please our own desires.

God loves women, and He gives us the most profound, moving picture ever presented as to how men should treat women–He sent His only begotten Son as the Bridegroom, who laid down everything, from His life to His reputation, to save His beloved bride!  In the “Bride” we see women as God sees them. They are to be loved, cherished, protected and provided for. And yet, the Heavenly Suitor does not force Himself on the object of His affection, but rather, He leaves her with the ultimate choice.

He leaves us with that same choice. What will we do with this choice to trust Him completely?!  First of all you have to belong to Him…then…

 

  • Will we lay down our life to serve Him?
  • Will we sacrifice our desires to serve others?
  • Will we joyfully put ourself last?

 

When we truly worship God…we will in turn serve joyfully. There will no longer be room for worshiping OUR Own FLESH!  Stop seeking SELF and start SEEKING God!

Read the first post in this series…

Homebuilder or Home-wrecker  and tune in tomorrow for Be A Builder

A Homebuilder, or a Home-wrecker

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There are only two ways to live–in total trust of God, or in rebellion.  You can either be a home builder or part of the wrecking crew.

 “Wait!” you might say, “I don’t always completely do what’s right, but I am certainly not a home wrecker! I try to live like the Bible says !”  “I go to church!” “We homeschool, I’m a stay at home mom, that’s enough right?”

We have to be be intentional as Christian wives and mothers and there is no time in the schedule for rebellion.  We must not  get to stressed by the work before us that we break the strings we have tied to our children and mate in rushes of emotions.  It takes just a moment to cut those strings and loose your child’s heart, and often weeks and months to re-tie them.

It is exhausting work being a mother and wife. (When you do it right)  God promised that He would never leave us or forsake us, and that gives me peace in those hectic moments.

Sometimes this seems like a hard lesson to learn for me!  Keeping calm, holding my tounge, talking in that sweet Michelle Duggar voice and keeping my face pleasant looking when all is crashing down around me!  I’m reminded of what God said to the  Israelites…

“For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck…” (Deuteronomy 31:27a) 

I don’t want my children to have “stiff necks,” and I know God doesn’t want me to have one either!  When we are offended (even by our little ones) we have no right to rebellion.  We are daughters of the King and we are raising His children, we should act appropriately in our words and deeds.  We cant show our kids that we can trust God to fight our battles, when we are quick to pick up the sword in our strength.

As parents we are given the sacred duty to Train up our kids in the Lord and this is not something we can do on our own.  Our only textbook should be the Bible, and we should never forget that our ACTIONS often speak louder than our words.

“Do as I say, not as I do!”  That’s the mantra of a home-wrecker.

 God will not hold back on us!  When He has called us to something…like motherhood, He will go with us!

Remember Eve…the mother of all living…

She is standing by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, listening to the tempter as he suggests to her that God really doesn’t have her best interests in mind, and that He has been holding out on the greater blessings available to her, if she will only take things into her own hands…

“Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4b-5)

The real question that makes all the difference between obedience and rebellion, is a matter of trust–is God trustworthy?

 If He is not trustworthy, and if His Word is full of half-truths and fabrications, we would be foolish to follow and obey Him.

 But, if He is TRUTH, and LOVE (1 John 4:8), then we are fools not to trust Him.

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

This scripture looks great on paper and we all would agree to it’s merits…but what about in actual daily practice?

  •  Can we, as women, live as though we trust Him to help us be the best mothers and wives we can be?
  • Can we believe that He will not leave us, and that He will work everything out for our good?
  • Can we swallow our pride when we are hurt, and use our actions and words to glorify God?
  • Can we remember to keep peaceful in stressful situations, knowing that He is with us?
  • Are we honestly willing to glorify Him by following His order and disciplines, in complete agreement with His intentions as expressed in the very beginning?
  • Are we going to be a Homebuilder or a Home-wrecker?

 In the garden Eve’s disobedience and lack of trust cursed us into being constantly self-seeking and self-reliant.  Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience…we are cursed, we need a Saviour.

 

Tomorrow we will look at the degradation and downward spiral of self-seeking women “Rebels”  in the last 75 years.

Then we will conclude our little study with Be A Builder…

 

Verse of the Day
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” — 1 John 5:14-15 Listen to chapter Public Domain. Powered by BibleGateway.com.
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