Practice Hospitality.

The Romans 12:13 Life : Pursuing the Love of Strangers

Teach Your Kids To Share The Bread.

The Bread of Life is gluten-free. So why are we acting like the world might be allergic to it?

As parents, let's model 1 Peter 3:15-16 for the next generation of Christ-followers:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

How do we give an answer? We let Christ answer through our testimony.
Simple, truth-in-love evangelism is the natural result of sharing the living Word of God.

How do we let Christ answer? We keep extra swords in our belt.
Our family loves the resources and training available from The Pocket Testament League. The folks there have a passion for sharing the Good News all over the world. On their website you'll find training and tips for sharing God's Word, as well as pocket-size editions of the Gospel of John. The pocket testaments are available for a small contribution, and you're free to share them however the Lord leads.

We keep pocket testaments with us - when running errands, going to the park, and shopping at the mall. There are opportunities all around us to share hope, and our friendship with the folks at The PTL has equipped us to make the most of every opportunity.

The funny thing I've found is that my kiddos are often more aware of those opportunities. While I'm digging in my purse for my debit card or distracted with the busyness of life, they're tugging on my belt loop and whispering, "Can I give a Bible to that man?" Those moments are ridiculously humbling.

The resources from The Pocket Testament League are also great for short-term missions and church events. Make plans to include a Gospel with whatever freebies you might be handing out at a Back To School event or other holiday gathering.

So, come on all you families of beggars! Let's show the world where we found Bread!

Adoption and Grace.

I thought it was going to be an adventure.

Modern science meets curiosity - albeit naive curiosity.

I'm twice adopted. Adopted on earth by wonderful parents and adopted into an eternal home by an amazing God.

The heavenly adoption is easy to navigate. Sometimes the earthly adoption surprises me with emotions and weirdness I can't easily put into words. Overwhelming gratitude, inexpressible love for my adoptive family and pure joy are the usual emotional surprises. But it's wonder that most often catches me off guard.

I know we adoptees have many ways of navigating the biological realm of our lives. I've read about ghost kingdoms and primal wounds, but the risk in experiencing rather than learning has always put my feet to pavement and made me ready to run.

So when wonder welcomed itself into my mind a few weeks ago, I made a move that was completely out of character. I ran head-long, and with purpose, straight into wonder's grill. With a DNA test.

Why do I care about my biological heritage? I feel complete and completely loved. What inside me is yearning for this? 

My adoption is a love story. My biological mother loved me sacrificially in her gift, and my adoptive parents loved me in receiving her gift. Nowhere in this journey has my adoption testimony been anything but a striking, living, breathing picture of grace. 

I think sometimes, though, the enemy works to place a wound where there was no earthly intention for harm. Wounds are made to steal from, kill and destroy our life-pictures of grace.

So I spit in a test tube to rip off the bandages and find where I'm not healed.

The last few days have been littered with pain and elation. After the lab received my DNA sample, a steady trickle of emails filled my inbox.

Email one : You are female and have xx as your sex chromosomes. The y chromosome is needed to discover information regarding your paternal line. No daddy details for you.

Email two : We've discovered that we may be distant cousins! But you really need to take all that adoption stuff off your profile because people will block you. Because people don't want to know about adopted kids. It's best that some secrets stay secret.

Email three : The family member you've invited to share genomes with has blocked your request. Ugh. Maybe they saw the adopted stuff. 

And through it all I'm telling myself "Lady, you're crazy! This mess was SO not necessary!"

I know how deeply I'm loved - by adoptive parents who had nothing and have nothing to offer but grace - while I had nothing to offer except all the helpless abilities that come with newborn life. I was a package deal of crying, sleepless nights, bills, diaper changes, reciprocated love, hugs and, as I grew older, the occasional (and very under-said) thank you. I was costly. And they were overjoyed to receive that cost. 

Yet even the awareness of the beautiful, sacrificial love of my family wasn't enough to keep me from opening myself up to brand new pain and rejection.

A wound created in an other-worldly realm can't be healed by a worldly truth. No matter how beautiful that reality is. The truth-revelation of genetic testing can't even heal it.

These kinds of wounds crave the satisfaction of belonging and love that can only be found in the arms of Christ.

I need to know, intimately know - deep down in the DNA of my soul, that I'm loved. Twice loved just as I am twice adopted. Loved on earth. And loved with an eternal, other-worldly extravagant Love - Whose balm for my wounds is a continual flow. Flowing for wounds that don't make sense. Flowing for wounds that may still seek to cause pain until the return of my Savior.

Nobody's perfect.
How true that rings with each whisper of rejection and shame.

Nobody's perfect.
But the Gospel - the GOOD NEWS - is that my imperfect life is hidden in the Only Perfect Life.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

The Good News is that despite the bumps and bruises, the cross of Jesus Christ has made me flawless.
Once again, my adoption story brings me to grace.

Even if you woke up this morning feeling like you're the 40 year old family secret. 

The cross has made you flawless.

No matter the bumps 
No matter the bruises 
No matter the scars 
Still the truth is 
The cross has made 
The cross has made you flawless 
No matter the hurt 
Or how deep the wound is 
No matter the pain 
Still the truth is 
The cross has made 
The cross has made you flawless 

Take a breath, smile and say 
Right here right now I’m ok 
Because the cross was enough