Five

On Friday, we celebrated Zan’s 2 and 1/2 birthday. We missed his second birthday by 2 weeks. It was a low key event. Just dinner at a local Japanese Steakhouse, a little cake and a couple of small gifts. Saturday, we met with a couple pursuing adoption. We shared our story and showed them the baby books the caretakers gave us (such a blessing). The boys threw blocks and wrestled…

All that threw me into an emotional time of reflection. I am amazed at the difference 5 months has made, both in our lives and the lives of our boys. D exhibits a level of compassion that I never had at that age. The boys have gotten so big. They talk, laugh, eat, sing, and dance. They tell me they love me. E’s eyes disappear when he smiles. Z runs so fast I cannot catch him (something I never thought I would be able to say). Today, we enjoyed the simple pleasure of eating lunch at Sonic and enjoying the breeze through the open windows. (A pleasure our “twins” would not be enjoying if they were still in China.)

If you think you would ever consider adoption, either domestic or international, message me. We would love to share our story. God’s story.

Love,
Lori

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Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

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Luck

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These clover are growing under our trampoline in the backyard. This space is D’s “garden”. His hiding place when he is upset. The place he asks me to come when he wants to talk.

Speaking of talk, he asked me in the car on Thursday if God has a wife. I immediately said no. Then, I had to correct myself. The Church is the bride of Christ. Do we deserve Him? Do we respect Him? Do we follow Him? Do we OBEY Him? This is how I should disciple my children, by obeying Christ. Teaching them the scriptures. Oh, how unworthy am I.

I am reading Discipleship by Bonhoeffer. This book is so deep, it makes my head hurt. It also makes my heart hurt. I have just started the section where he discusses the Sermon on the Mount. David Platt (author of Radical) started a sermon series in December on Matthew. Can’t wait until I get to his sermons on Matthew 5-7. David and his wife just returned from China in December with their baby girl. I highly recommend you Google him and read their story.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick was born in Scotland in 387. He lived in Britain until he was 16, when he was captured by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. During his time as a slave, he turned to God, praying to him a hundred times a day. He learned the culture there, which was pagan. After 6 years, he escaped Ireland and went back to Britain. He began studies to become a priest. After becoming a priest, he returned to Ireland to bring the Gospel there. He died on March 17, 460 or 461.

St. Patrick used the shamrock to discuss the Trinity.

Here is the prayer of St. Patrick or “St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate”:

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today                                                                                                                                                                                      God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,                                                                                                                                         God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me,                 
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,            
Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,          
Christ above me,
Christ at my right,            
Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Luck?

Meek

If you have been reading my blog, you know I am studying the Sermon on the Mount. In fact, I am going to attempt to memorize it. What a wonderful passage to have etched in my mind and heart.

I am not meek in my human nature. I like to be right. I am quick to speak and quick to get angry. Personality aside, this is NOT what Jesus wants for me and my relationships.

Here is a great sermon by John Piper that delves deep into Matthew 5:5:  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/blessed-are-the-meek

That is all for today. Time change and taxes have got me beat.

Lori

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Forgiveness

Yesterday, I talked some about forgiveness. Here is some clarification based on further prayer, study and intense conversation in our small group.

From what I understand, forgiveness is to be given in the way Jesus forgives us. The forgiveness Jesus gives, and the forgiveness we should give, is in response to repentance. If someone is unrepentant, you are not required to forgive them.

Oh, but wait. What comes before repentance and forgiveness? We are loved. Love leads to repentance and forgiveness. Not mushy gushy feelings. Love as an action. If someone is perpetually unrepentant, give it to God.

Here are some verses for thought:

Matthew 5:38-48 ESV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even n the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Colossians 3:1-17 ESV

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew,circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

James 3:13-18 ESV

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Galatians 5:16-26 ESV

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Charity

Today at church, we studied the section in Matthew 6 which covers how to pray, how not to pray, and the Lord’s Prayer. We are taught to pray in private, to praise God, to pray for God’s will, to ask for forgiveness, to pray for protection, and to forgive others.

Forgiveness. That is tough. Asking for and giving. My little mind just can’t get that God cannot/will not fully use me if I bear unforgiveness in my heart. The Bible says we are to forgive 7 x 70 times, if that is what it takes.

I decided that I might need to do more indepth study. Matthew 5-7 is the Sermon on the Mount. St. Augustine calls the Sermon on the Mount the perfect standard of the Christian life. Chapter 5 verses 2-12 are the Beatitudes. I got caught at vs 3. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are the humble. Those who are not attached to this world. Those whose spirits are at peace.

St. Augustine sent me to 1 Corinthians 8. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. Did you know the word charity and the word love are both from the Greek word “agape”? A loving-kindness that has little to do with feelings. So, when I forgive, I am humbling myself to my Maker. Extending agape. Quieting my spirit.

I have a lot more studying and submitting to do…

Don’t you love this face?

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