Adoption

One day last month, my oldest son arrived on an inbound Megabus. After breakfast on the final full day of his visit, I asked, “Do you want to relax at home today or go do something?”

“I could do something. Like what?”

“I don’t know. Maybe stop in at the animal shelter?”

“Okay, let’s do that.”

Moments later he was calling his landlord to ask if it was alright to adopt a cat. (The rental contract said clearly that no pets were allowed.)

“Yes, of course,” his cheerful landlord replied, “It’s your home!”

Well okay then, the landlord doesn’t abide by his own rental contract. So off we went to the local shelter.

It required all of two seconds for my son to spot his cat. Of the twenty or so felines in the cat room, only two were awake — the rest curled in cozy nooks and crannies, or sprawled on platforms and kitty trees, napping.

In the time it took me to pick up the other wakeful kitty and snuggle her under my chin, my son and his cat were already getting down to business:  Pictures were taken and sent to his girlfriend. Approval from her was promptly received. Forms were filled out. An interview was completed. The adoption fee was paid.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The shelter staff had named the big guy Pronto. It turned out that pronto exactly described his adoption.

A carrier was loaned to us by the awesome shelter people. Pronto was put in it for the short car ride to my house, and again the next day for the longer trip to his permanent home.

In his new digs — a spacious, sunny, third-floor apartment in the city — Pronto took a brief tour, spotted a room bathed in sunlight, jumped on the bed, groomed for a bit, and fell into a peaceful “I’ve always lived here” slumber. He was still there several hours later when I left for home.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am told Pronto is now called Lil’ Big Dog — LBD for short. He is so big his humans feel bad for the downstairs neighbors; his feet pound the floors on his frequent romps through the apartment. His impressive adaptability has continued unabated, with nary a moment of anxiety or need for an adjustment period.

He simply, instantly belonged.

Where my son and his girlfriend are in the apartment, there you will find Lil’ Big Dog. He could be alone if he wants — there are tons of great hiding places in his new home — but he likes to be at their feet or on their laps. From the second they met, they were family.

And now my point of sharing this story with you …

Did you know that God welcomes us into his family, and in the Bible it is explained as “adoption”? When you first read it in Ephesians 1, it sounds complicated, but it’s really not.

It’s as simple as my son and his girlfriend choosing Lil’ Big Dog, and Lil’ Big Dog letting himself be chosen. It’s as simple as Lil’ Big dog having the option to be alone but wanting to be at his humans’ feet or on their laps.

It’s called relationship, and we get to have it with God, the Creator of the universe. We are instantly adopted into his family and are heirs of all that is his. He chooses us. We have only to let him choose us, to accept our adoption. We have this option because of what Jesus did for us when he became a sacrifice for our sins — Jesus already paid the adoption fee.

Adoption by God happens in an instant – pronto.

It’s a simple as that.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ – Ephesians 1

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.


Cross references:

Heirs with Christ Romans 8:17
16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us.…

Acts 20:32
And now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.

 

2 Corinthians 1:5
For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Galatians 3:29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 4:7
So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, you are also an heir through God.

Ephesians 3:6
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.

Titus 3:7
so that, having been justified by His grace, we would become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

A Lot Can Happen

Cindi Gale

Mark 10:27 – “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

If the miraculous ways and promises of God haven’t appeared in your life yet, it doesn’t mean they never will.

If in three days the son of man died a prolonged death on a cross; the world went dark in the middle of the day; he descended to hell and back; a stone was rolled to seal his grave and rolled back again to find it empty; angels appeared there to proclaim “Jesus is alive!”; and he was in fact alive on earth again, conversing with two followers as they walked together on the road to Emmaus …

Imagine what can happen for you in just three days.

It only takes a minute to meet someone who changes your life forever; to open an acceptance letter or a…

View original post 373 more words

Let Your Heart Take Courage

God designed us to have free will. We are not puppets or pawns, not even of God who we have abandoned ourselves to. We are free to think and believe as we decide. Faith is ours to choose and ours to maintain.

Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. Genesis 15:6.

Believe or not believe. Keep faith alive or allow it to slowly drift away or be suddenly destroyed by explosive life circumstances. Soar above crises through confidence in the God who saves you, or be dragged to death through them.

God’s design is to implement his will on Earth through our faith. If we don’t remember that and stay diligent to determine to do it, we risk surrendering our lives to despair and evil.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6.

If we fail to do the thing that is our responsibility to do in this partnership with God, which is to choose to believe as God is and says no matter the circumstances, we opt out of lives called to overcome evil with good.

For we walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.

We must settle on belief in our God, who declared, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. 

We must make the choice to believe in his character, will, ways, words, directions, and intentions for us, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, for the remainder of our lives. We must do that in order to enforce and maintain the victory that Christ already won for us at Calvary.

We must not give up, as our acquiescence to despair could be mere moments before our victories. Let’s do all we know to do to not be destroyed for lack of knowledge. Together, let’s choose faith in our good God again and again and again, for as long as we take our breaths in the land of the living.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living. 

14 Wait for the LordBe strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.  

Psalm 27:13-14 (NASB)

Try, Try Again

Who could ever resist something grown by God?

Not that we can’t fail to be fertile soil for God’s seed. Sadly that’s common. We can disallow a seed to be planted, or after receiving it, we can later discard it. Many people do that when a promise no longer elicits the pleasant emotions it did at first. Once it becomes a challenge, the promise is thrown out.

Matthew 13:3-8 – And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.”Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.”And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Matthew 13:18-23 – “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Is it too late to retrieve rejected seeds or partially developed promises from God?

I doubt it is too late. I’m not referring to those people who will never, ever choose what God wants for their lives; I’m thinking of those who couldn’t hang in there as a field for God’s seed, promise, or word due to personal weaknesses. Would God give them another opportunity?

God is merciful, forgiving and understanding. Surely he wouldn’t reject a person aspiring to please him. Regardless his past. Regardless his timing. He need only try, try again to get it right, to be good soil from now forward.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

No, Just No

I opened my mailbox to a letter the other day. Personal, handwritten snail mail, the best kind.

It took a moment to place the name on the return address: a man I know only casually over the counter of a business outside my community. I was there last week. I remembered him: about my age, very nice, soft spoken, genteel.

Two sentences in, I learned his letter was a solicitation to “get to know him better”. I’ll give him this, he was forthright: He knew my name from my purchase; he found my address on the internet; he is married; his wife travels a lot; he would like a close female “friend” on the days she is gone; he will never change his marital status; he had noticed me; he felt comfortable talking with me; would I be interested in dinner and drinks when his wife is out of town? Blah, blah, blah … He was seeking an affair.

The sentences blurred as my reaction surfaced: I hate this. What the %&*@ ? What’s wrong with people?!” I called close friends and a son, “Help! This just happened. How do I respond? He was so nice, I didn’t see this coming. If you met him, you’d never guess he would do this.” My confidants were angry on my behalf, which helped, and they offered ideas on how to respond.

For two days I walked around with a face like one makes after eating a lemon, ruminating:

No, I don’t want to meet you alone … because … because … YOU ARE MARRIED! It is irrelevant what the state of your marriage is — as long as it IS a marriage, I’m FOR IT, not a pawn to be used against it.

Must I stop being nice to every married man because infidelity may lurk under his facade?

No, I won’t betray yours or anyone else’s wife. I AM her — I can easily put myself in her shoes — I am single because of an action like you are proposing. Worse, my young sons were forced to grow up in a broken home. Too late, he woke from his tunnel-visioned obsession to realize a domino effect of toppled lives, and actually said, “I didn’t think it would affect anyone.”

That’s all kinds of blinded and all kinds of foolish. Hidden attitudes turned into secret actions turned into irreparable destruction of a marriage, a family — innocent lives impacted forever without consideration, without say, without choice.

If only “the other woman” had stopped him in his state of blindness, with, “No, just no”.

And I’ll do that. But why have you put me in the position to have to? You are a grown man, a business-owner, a husband, a father … you should never have crossed that boundary.

Finally, today lemonade emerged from the lemons. Somehow I managed to respond, withholding my initial reaction and instead explaining that I would only root for his marriage, never jeopardize it. So no, just no, but not as sour as that — with added sugar:  a choice of words that “saved face” for him, assumed the best of his character, and hoped the best for his marriage.

In a separate glass of lemonade, I have a new appreciation for my good male friends who are married — they have always helped me keep us in friend zone, where we belong, and in doing so, they didn’t compromise their wives’ trust. My male, married friends have never put me in the position this guy did. I took that for granted, but today I am indebted to their right behaviors and characters, and value their upright friendships more than ever.

Now, how to turn other lemons of life into lemonade …

 DSCN0865

Harbingers of Spring

On this first full day of spring, I pray your hope is revived by harbingers of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Definition of harbinger

  1. 1archaic:  a person sent ahead to provide lodgings

  2. 2a:  one that initiates a major change :  a person or thing that originates or helps open up a new activity, method, or technology : pioneer the great legal harbinger of the New Deal revolution — Timea harbinger of nanotechnologythe harbingers of peace to a hitherto distracted … people — David Livingstoneb:  something that foreshadows a future event :  something that gives an anticipatory sign of what is to come robins, crocuses, and other harbingers of spring

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.  Psalm 5:3 

As The Snow

Cindi Gale

It was said of God, the Creator:

“For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”

Psalm 33:9

What has He spoken to you? Stand firm in it, wait for it, plan for it …

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there
without watering the earth
and making it bear and sprout,
and furnishing seed to the sower
and bread to the eater;
so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
without accomplishing what I desire,
and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
.
Isaiah 55:10-11
 .
DSCN2127 evergreen for blog
Believe that what God has spoken to you and about you, will yet sprout and grow to maturity, to accomplish the purpose for which He intended.

View original post