Sunday, January 25, 2009

He Came From His Mommy's Heart

Bil Keane's Family Circus Adoption Strip 1993 'We came from Mommy's tummy.  But Joseph is adopted, so he came from his mommy's tummy'I think about adoption a lot. Recently there has been somewhat of an adoption explosion in and around my church which is soooooo cool.

Today, after finally getting motivated to clean, I was going through some old memorabilia and found something that I had hung on my refrigerator door for years. It is something I cut out from the newspaper in 1993 from the comic strip Family Circus by Bil Keane.

My motivation to clean ended quickly.

I treasured this strip for all those years and then lost it somewhere in all my moves. I Googled for it a couple of weeks ago and never did find the strip, but only found other people like me who cherish this thing called adoption recalling what the strip was from memory.

Well, I found my newspaper cutout of the strip and I am probably violating some copyright law by posting it. Oh well, it's a classic! I'll pull it off if need be, in the meantime, enjoy!

Romans 8:14-16 (King James Version)
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God"
Ephesians 1:4-6 (King James Version)
"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

When You Have No Moral Standards

"If someone is that depressed and wants to kill himself because there is no hope of life getting better, I don't see any reason he shouldn't do it. Many times there is no hope of life improving." I paraphrased that from an interesting conversation I had with a friend one day.

The person, who I will call Louise, said the above and also says that she has an easy time accepting people for who or what they are; whatever race, color, creed, sexual's just easy to accept people. This, I think, is very noble.

She also sees no problem letting people do whatever they want even if bad behaviors allow them to destroy themselves, like drugs and/or suicide and figures they get what they deserve. If a bad behavior such as smoking kills people, yet someone still chooses to smoke, then no one should say anything to that person. That person has made their choice and no one should say anything, ever, even if someone cares enough about them to ask them to stop. (This post only mentions smoking because it is the "catalyst" of the conversation point I will make below. It in no way excludes other life threatening behaviors including bad nutrition and gluttony of which I struggle myself!)

Then Louise told me that a friend of hers told her that it probably is easy to do because she has no moral standard by which she lives. Louise agreed.

The whole "no moral standard" is interesting to me, but that's a topic for another post.

Then Louise told me she was going outside to smoke. I said "I knew you would wimp out and not quit this New Years." She said "I'm not wimping out!" and I reminded her "remember what you said about having no moral standards makes it easy to accept people however they are? Well, what is the opposite of that?" and she expressed at first a quizzical but thoughtful look and then pondered it a moment before she confessed "I see your point".

I believe it is right to accept people how they are and lovingly help to restore them to a healthy life when they are in a destructive pattern. Whether the lifestyle they have chosen is alcohol, gambling, gluttony, sexual promiscuity, etc., we should not blindly "accept" this and say or nothing, especially with those we care about.

Christians are commanded to love. We are commanded to love fellow believers, but Jesus explained that this isn't anything special. It's easy to love people who are loveable. Jesus commands us to love our enemies. If an enemy is depressed and suicidal, we should not think like Scrooge in the Christmas Carol "good! Let them do it, less mouths to feed and it will help decrease the surplus population!", but instead we should react with love. Sometimes love is tough. Sometimes love means removing the drink, taking away the cigarettes, coaching someone through a nutritional dietary change, and maybe even closing the doors on a destructive relationship.

So, having no moral standard, I guess, can make it easy to take a person however they are and accept it, no matter how destructive their behaviors may be to themselves and those around them. It's also a lot less responsibility.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


This is from a post at my work blog site.....

I am unable to access my normal daily work today due to a problem in the registry. I don’t mess with the registry that is bad…very very bad. So, I will be waiting until tomorrow to have my computer fully functioning again (I hope). So, since I can’t access my calendar to update the website, I thought I’d at least update the blog a bit.

Aside from my computer troubles, I’m having a bit of trouble focusing today. The doctor seems to think I have vertigo. Yay. I just love getting older! I have an appointment this afternoon to find out why it is I’m so "out of sorts" (more than the usual). But, this inability to focus causes me to think about the struggles I have had in my walk with God. Over the past year, circumstances in my life have made it difficult for me to stay on the right track in Christ. I have a tendency to place my focus in places it doesn’t need to be (relationships, career, school, family, finances, circumstances, worry, etc…). In doing so, I have found myself in a place where I have lost sight of the Father’s face….where I have repeatedly wandered from abiding in Christ.

There is so much in God’s word to help us keep focused. Problem is, often when we lose focus, we have a tendency not to run to the Word. Actually, we are more likely (at least I know I am) to run from it. Sometimes, even when we run to the Word, because we are not focused, we do not receive the direction it gives. I am speaking from personal experience as well as from what I read on the pages of the Bible. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

So, how do I stay focused? I keep in the Word even when it doesn’t seem to be clear to me. I try my best to pray without ceasing. I hope in the promises hidden there even though my situation seems hopless. I try to go on what I know in my head instead of what I feel in my heart. I am in a place where I am weary and troubled…as many of you probably are as well. The only rest we can find in these times of despair is in Him.

So, I offer you some words from the Word in hopes that you may find rest, comfort, and focus in Him:

"I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing."-John 15:5 NIV

This scripture is such a source of life for me. It is one of those things I have hidden in my heart that God uses to remind me when I am not abiding. It brings me back and tells me that I have my focus in the wrong place (which is why I am bogged down because I am unable to let go). This brings me to another verse I hold dear…

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." -Matt 11:28-30

The gentle and humble heart of my King…this is the love mentioned in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. We can learn from Him because He is gentle and humble in heart. We don’t have to be afraid of him being harsh when we come to Him all broken and confused. He speaks words of love and life from a gentle, humble heart. This is how we need to be towards those who come to us for help. We can not rightly teach anyone anything if we are doing it in Christ...with a loving spirit. We can not learn from those who treat us harshly when we go to them for help. But we can always run to Jesus and lay our burdens before Him without apprehension…for He is gentle and humble in heart. Oh how He loves us!

So, with that being said from an imperfect human who gets of course more often than not, here are some things to keep in mind when you feel like you have lost sight of the One who will never leave nor forsake you…

Put Him in the center of your focus. Do this by staying in the Word and praying ceaselessly. Remember the words of Paul:

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -Phil. 3:14 (That is another blog in itself!)

"Let your eyes look straight ahead, keep your gaze directly before you. " -Prove 4:25 NIV

Where is your gaze? Is it on your problems? Is it on relationships? Is it on Christ? Fix your eyes upon Jesus…then let them look straight ahead at all times. Let Christ be directly before you! As the beloved hymn sings, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face…and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

"So, be careful to do what your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess." -Deuteronomy 5:32-33 NIV

A Prayer:

Psalm 119:33-40

33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.