Thursday, December 31, 2009
If my calculations are correct, tonight will mark the eighth time I've read through the Bible. Impossible, I thought, years ago when we embarked upon a plan to complete it during a discipleship course called Master Life. Many failed attempts followed. But somewhere along the line of my life, I began to make progress, and what had seemed to be choking became instead gasping. Oh, it's life! It's food! I must have it! Just as we wouldn't think of going a day without remembering to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, we find that we can't make it through those same twenty-four hours without feasting on the most phenomenal words that have ever been written. Start savoring His supply, and you'll always want to come back for more.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
On Christmas morning, I hurried down the stairs with a nativity that I wanted to set up on a table before we got the girls out of bed. I carefully placed Joseph, Mary, three wise men, a camel and two sheep around the focal point, baby Jesus. Then, John came in the room carrying the huge box that held a Radio Flyer wagon, and he set it down right next to the table. Covered in a variety of wrapping paper and topped with ribbon and bow, it seemed to scream, "Look at me; look at me!" It was time. We opened the door to the girls' bedroom, and as we like to lovingly say, "set the captives free." "Come see what Mommy and Daddy got you to celebrate Jesus' birthday," we exclaimed with enthusiasm. Jesse ran into the room and was instantly captivated. By baby Jesus. And Joseph and Mary. And the wise men and camel. Even the two sheep. It took a while, but eventually we got her to open the box. Oh, Lord, how my heart longs for these girls to be ever so captivated with You. May it be so, forever.
Friday, December 18, 2009
She's a bit rough around the edges. Foul language. Poor parenting skills. Secular worldview. And such were some of you. She doesn't know the right words to say to fit in or the right convictions to hold to be held in high esteem. And such were some of you. She doesn't try to pretend to be something she's not and that can result in an uncomfortable silence in a group where everyone knows how to act. And such were some of you. And, in all honesty, I grow quite uncomfortable myself. Until I remember, and such were I. Help us, Lord, to remember that before we were washed, before we were sanctified, before we were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, such were all of us. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Monday, November 30, 2009
Amidst the mayhem of Thanksgiving morning, we paused to thank the Lord for all that He has done for us this year. I started a new tradition of having each person present write down in a journal at least one of the things that they were thinking about. Since two-year old Jesse hasn't quite grasped the concept of penmanship, I asked her, "Jesse, what are you thankful for?" Ready to record whatever she might say, I listened intently, yet not really expecting a reply. Slowly, she began. "I'm thankful for..." Pause. "I'm thankful for..." Pause. "I'm thankful for...special treats." My surprise that she had heard me and understood me could not be contained! Special treats are what we call candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, and just about anything else that we know will bring glee to our little girl. So she knows, I thought, that these are the things she's thankful for; she understands that these are things that bring her little heart delight. And, I began praying fervently that the Lord in His saving grace would begin to transform her special treats from the fleeting joy of food to the everlasting joy of making much of Him.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Oh, no! Not again! Almost every day I put a 2-quart pot of water on the stove to make iced tea. When the water comes to a boil, I add seven tea bags, let it steep for a few hours, and then I add a cup of sugar. Ahhh. Our favorite drink. In the time it takes the water to boil, I often convince myself that I can get some other things done about the house and still remember to come back to put the tea bags in. And yet, I don't always remember. Many times when I return, the water has almost boiled away, and at least four times, I've returned to find a completely blackened pot. (By God's grace, I haven't burned the house down!) How can I continue to make this dangerous mistake? Because of my stubbornness to believe that this time I won't forget. Too often, we can be this same way with our belief that we don't need God and His Word to live the Christian life. "Oh, I know what the Bible says; I've read it before," we mutter to ourselves. "I'll remember." No, just like my boiling water requires my immediate attention, so our souls need constant care. "With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!" (Psalm 119:10)
Friday, November 13, 2009
Listening to the wind whip through the willow oaks outside my window, I begin to grow tense. What if one of those towering trees topples right onto our roof? "Preach truth to yourself," I say in response to my fears. Do not be anxious about anything. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Cast your cares upon Him. You are in no greater danger right now than you were when the sun was shining and the winds were at rest. The Lord holds me in the palm of His hand, and not even a sparrow will fall to the ground apart from His will. As the storm outside rages on, the storm inside grows calm.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Nine days with a nasty cold topped off by a twenty-four hour stomach virus. I tend to get a bit discouraged when I don't take a quick turn for the better, but the Lord always uses this down time for empathy building. As I lie so still trying to avoid the feeling of nausea, my thoughts go to all those who struggle with chronic illness. Prayers are said, and true compassion is felt. Heal them, oh, Lord, that they might be healed. Strengthen them with your grace. Help us to be patient in affliction. Enable us to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds. Let our sufferings prepare for us an eternal weight of glory that far outweighs them all.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Our trip to the apple orchard turned out just as I imagined. Picture perfect weather complete with blue sky, wispy clouds, and cool mountain breezes. Hot apple cider and warm apple cider donuts. Spectacular fall foliage as a backdrop to row upon row of apple trees. Well, maybe it wasn't just the way I imagined. Did I fail to mention that Jada literally screamed for 40 minutes on the way there? Or that yellow jackets enjoy apple cider just as much as I do? Or that people, lots of people, seem to gather at places where their imaginations have led them? Or that plans can be interrupted anywhere by what we have aptly named "baby blowouts?" At one point, John said the most profound thing that was uttered that day, "It's a good thing we put our hope in God." Imaginations can dream up all kinds of "perfect" days, "perfect" people, "perfect" vacations, "perfect" anything, but in a fallen world we are sure to be disappointed in all of them. Let's put our hope in God and praise Him, our Savior and our God.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Having play dates helps to keep the day from seeming too long, and it's encouraging to be with other moms, sharing life in community. So, I try to schedule them as often as I can. This day, though, plans changed, and I found myself without a friend to join me. Three phone calls later and still no one was available. I pondered the unthinkable: striking out on my own, two toddlers in tow. As I drove to our destination, I prayed aloud, "Lord, let us be a blessing; bring someone along whom You desire us to meet." A couple of hours later, I was having lunch with Elizabeth, and her son, Henry. While our children had been playing earlier, we had discovered we were both Christians, and she is in the adoption process with the same agency through which we adopted Jesse and Jada! I hope that we were a blessing to them, for they were certainly a blessing to us. "Thank you, Lord, for friendships in You that build instant bridges and bless our lives with joy."
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Litter. Lining the roadsides. Litter. Lying on beaches. Litter. Piling up in parking lots. In fact, every place that I have ever been, from the most beautiful to the most remote, has been tainted by trash. God's creation has become to some nothing more than a receptacle for rubbish. As Christians, we are servants, and servants keep things clean. Recently, I was encouraged by a friend who stopped to pick up a plastic bottle as we walked together, and I was reminded that I should be willing to do small things for Jesus. If we find ourselves tripping over trash before we'll stoop down to pick it up, then maybe we need to ask ourselves if we've become too proud to do the humbling job of trash removal.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
"I wanta get in," Jesse said, lifting her tiny toes toward the pages of her Jesus Storybook Bible. I smiled, realizing she was trying to climb onto the sand where Goliath of Gath had just fallen, smitten by the stone from David's sling. Oh, Lord, I thought, how precious that she wants to be there, among these ancient words, living the story instead of just hearing it. And what a lesson for me not to just read this beautiful Book, the Bible, but to imagine myself in each scene, meditating on what it might have meant to have been a small shepherd boy facing a giant or an Israelite seeing victory from the sideline. Father, may the words that we've read and reread come alive as we see them anew through the eyes of a child.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
"Where are you from," I asked the friendly man making my sandwich. "The Philippines," he answered, smiling. "Oh, we sponsor a child in the Philippines. Do you know what I mean?" "Yes, and because you have said this to me, I will tell you a story. I, too, was sponsored by a couple. I grew up poor and abused, but because I was sponsored I was able to get an education and eventually to come here to America." "So, do you know Jesus?" "By God's grace, yes!" Graciano continued to tell us his story, how he came to know Christ through the love of these two people who had supported him not only financially, but spiritually and emotionally as well. He saw them as parents and told us that they had stood as such at his wedding here in the United States. What an incredible return on their investment: a life changed for eternity! For $38.00 a month, a child can be sponsored through Compassion International. That may add up to several thousands over the course of their childhood, but one more life loving Jesus and spreading a passion for His name: that's priceless! "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:19)
Friday, August 28, 2009
We have turned off the ringers on our telephone, and we don't have a television. So, after the girls are asleep, a sweet silence begins to seep into the house. By the time my head hits the pillow, all that's left are the quiet noises. The gentle whir of the ceiling fan. The faint chirp of the cricket. The shrill sound of the cicada. The hoarse croak of the frog. The occasional hoot of the owl. My mind is finally free to meditate on the One who made me as I rest in the wonder and stillness of the moment. "On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night." (Psalm 63:6)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It was about 10 a.m. on a Saturday, and I was sitting outside a Subway while John picked us up some sandwiches for a picnic lunch. Adjacent to the sub shop stood an ABC store, and I couldn't help but notice the steady stream of customers that came and went in the ten minutes we were there. No one comes out of a liquor store empty-handed. It's obviously a place you go with intention to buy, but what you buy remains concealed behind a brown paper bag. It's a rare thing to see a plain, brown paper bag used for purchases since plastic seems to have become the preferred method of packaging. Somehow, though, it seemed fitting to me that something that has contributed to alcoholism, broken homes, car accidents, sickness and death remains hidden in the dark with all that rejects the beauty of the Light. "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise." (Proverbs 20:1)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Too trendy. Too tight. Too costly. Too curvy. Too short. Too showy. Too low. Too little. What we wear matters to God, and for women there is the added responsibility of not becoming a stumbling block to our brothers in Christ. What we put on can make a difference in their day to day struggle with lust. As this problem grows, so grows the urgency to educate ourselves on what would be pleasing to the Lord. Read the results of The Modesty Survey on Alex and Brett Harris' website. Begin a study using the book Worldliness, edited by C.J. Mahaney. Carefully mull over The Modesty Heart Check written by C.J.'s wife, Carolyn, and their three daughters. Prayerfully meditate on the many verses in the Bible that address the issue of modesty. And as you learn, spread the word to other women. Lord, let our beauty not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, let it be that of our inner selves, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in Your sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
An entire room filled with fishing poles. An expansive wall glittering with guns. An elaborate building arrayed with accessories. As I strolled through the Bass Pro Outlet that recently came to our area, I was amazed at the extent of equipment that could be purchased for the hobbies of hunting and fishing. All of this to snag a smallmouth bass or kill a quail. All of this to search out prey that often provides little more than a day of fun and a free meal. We are called to be fishers of men, hunting for hearts that have yet to believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead. Our passion and zeal should far outweigh those who seek after something that will not last. The souls of men will live eternally, either in Heaven with God or in Hell, separated from Him forever. The sign at the entrance of the store read "Sportman's Paradise." Oh, Lord, help us to boldly tell sportsmen and all men that the only real paradise is knowing You.
Monday, July 27, 2009
One of my favorite scenes in the movie "Mother Teresa" depicts the aging nun in a board room surrounded my members of an association that was formed to further the cause of her "Missionaries of Charity." In front of each person sits a bottle of Perrier, and as an attendant walks by, she asks, "How much does a bottle of water like this cost?" "Three dollars," he replies. "For three dollars I could feed a child in my mission for a year," Mother Teresa mutters to herself. As the director of the association calls for a decision on a crucial issue that faces them, the Mother of the "poorest of the poor" stands to her feet and declares that a decision does not need to be made because "This association no longer exists!" Something inside me shouted for joy when she made that move to dissolve what had become a bureaucracy, and I resolved again in my own heart to be mindful of the money the Lord has entrusted to us. For ten dollars I could buy another toy that my child doesn't really need or another book to sit on a shelf with the others that I haven't yet had time to read. But what could ten dollars do for the poorest of the poor? Help me, Lord, to remember the least of these.
Friday, July 17, 2009
After about two hours of taking turns rocking and soothing, we finally have Jada down for the night. Well, not really. Two hours later, the first cries crush our hopes for waking up when we're rested. More rocking, more soothing. Back to sleep. Then we may have just one more wake up call at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., but sometimes it's a few more, and sometimes it takes an hour or two before she's back to bed. When morning comes, I find myself figuring out how many hours of actual sleep time I've had, wondering if it will be enough to be coherent that day. Advice has abounded on how we can secure ourselves some more slumber, but perhaps the best advice that we have received has had less to do with catching more z's and more to do with counting up blessings. In my wakeful moments, I start counting, and as the list grows longer and longer each night, I grow more and more thankful each day. Lord, help us to keep counting and to keep fixing our eyes on You.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
My weekly strolls through the retirement center with the girls have given me great cause for reflection and some time to forge my own hopes for the future. I hope not to live in one. I hope to never be labeled "retired." I hope my last years are filled with the joy of giving gifts and sowing seeds and bearing fruit. I hope my children will wonder if I'm going to have time to come to see them instead of my wondering if they'll have time to come to see me. I hope I'm given the grace not to complain about all that ails me but instead to count my blessings and give glory to God. "So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come." (Psalm 71:18)
Monday, June 22, 2009
The delivery driver pulled up just as I sat down on the front porch to read Adopted for Life by Russell Moore. "What are you reading?" he asked as he approached. I explained that the author compares God's adoption of His children with that of Christians adopting children, and thus began an hour long conversation. The excitement of being able to share with someone what Christ has done for me can not be compared with any other joy I've ever known, and as I am often home now, I miss being out and meeting people. But on this day, the Lord brought one to me, encouraging my heart, refreshing my soul, and spurring me on to love and good deeds. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be a part of Your story. What a beautiful story it is!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I've been contemplating the clause "out of character." We often say it when we see someone behave in a way that doesn't seem consistent with what seems usual to us. Most likely they've done something that we would deem inappropriate or bad. "That sudden outburst was out of character for him." But, is anything really out of character for us as Christians? We are wretched creatures, completely dead in our trespasses until God gives us new life. Our default setting is slavery to sin. If we do anything good, it's by grace alone; it's His character that others see, not ours. So, if I'm behaving badly, I'm just back to being me. Lord, transform me! "Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51:5)
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Our neighborhood lies adjacent to a retirement center, and I have been sensing the Lord leading me to stroll the girls over there seeking out ways to serve. So far, we have met Dorothy who was scheduled for cataract surgery the next day, and Ethel who says she's lived there for eleven years and rarely sees children. A friend who works as a physical therapist says that she has patients there who've told her she is the only person that ever comes to visit them. Yet, most likely, these older Americans will soon meet their Maker and face the judgement. They are sinners like the rest of us, in need of a Savior and His saving grace. Lord, send us to Your sheep in the forgotten places.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
In the early years of my marriage one of my favorite summer pasttimes was parking myself poolside and working on my tan. Now twenty some odd years later, I have greater goals for my girls than piling up endless hours of pool time. There are other problems with the pool besides the pilfering of precious time, but if we are in a war (and we are are) with a cunning adversary (which he is), our time may be the most important loss in pool play. The Bible bids me to be busy doing good works. Jesus gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14) Lord, help us to sense the urgency of the Gospel and to believe that the real joy lies in living it.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Holding two baby rattles in one hand, I quickly answered the door with the other. "Let's make this quick," I was thinking, as I smiled at a neighbor and sister in Christ on the other side of my mess. John had taken Jesse outside, and I was on a frantic mission to straighten up and bring order to our inside world. Though our friend had just come by to drop something off, she began to chat, and then she started to talk about spiritual things. My mind was flying from room to room as she shared some things from her heart. Though I did slow down enough to engage her in the conversation, it occured to me much later that I had never even thought to invite her in. Oh, Lord, help me to put people before projects.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Only hours after reading a blog written by a missionary in Japan, I met a lady from Kobe, Japan! In all the years I've lived in this area (46), I can't recall ever having met anyone from Japan. My mind was freshly filled with all things Japanese, and an easy conversation began to flow between us. Though she has only been in the U.S. for five years, her English was very good, and we parted with promises to get together again. Throughout God's Word, I see His Hand working to have people right where He wants them right when He wants them to be there. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Two people talking. Are they listening? Two people talking, occasionally taking a call on their cell phone. Are they listening? Two people talking, occasionally taking a call on their cell phone, occasionally texting. Are they listening? Two people talking, occasionally taking a call on their cell phone, occasionally texting, occasionally tweeting. Are they listening? Listening requires great skill and patience. It is rarely done well even in a quiet room with no interruptions, yet it is something we all long for and desire. Being heard, being understood. Lord, help us to love each other with lavish listening.
Friday, April 17, 2009
By the end of summer, our lawn lacks luster. The long dry days, the multitude of moles, the frequent fights with fungus result in a less than appealing appearance. Nevertheless, as fall arrives my husband aerates, overseeds and fertilizes. He puts out mole traps and slug bait. He waters, transplants, and works! Not much happens...at first. Around December, he usually comments, "I think I'm going to give up on this lawn. It looks terrible, and I can't get rid of these moles!" But, then there's spring! Beauty, the fruit of his labor, blossoms at last. And, suddenly he is ready to get back to the business of making a masterpiece out of his mole hills. So often, in my efforts to share my faith with others, I don't see any fruit, and I am tempted to give up. Then the Lord will send the beauty of those first signs of growth in someone I've been praying for, and suddenly I'm ready to get back to the business of making His Name known among the nations! "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them they should always pray and not give up." (Luke 18:1)
Monday, March 30, 2009
Can I confess to you that I fail quite frequently at living like Jesus? I was watching my one-year-old daughter trying to walk and run in a new pair of shoes. She was falling repeatedly, yet each time she would quickly jump up and continue on with the same zeal that she had had before she fell. My own failures often lead me to discouragement and despair. Lord, when I fall help me to get up and get going for Your glory! "Do not gloat over me my enemy. Though I have fallen, I will rise; though I sit in darkness the Lord will be my light." (Micah 7:8)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
He sat on a barstool behind the counter reading a book. "What are you reading?" I asked. He proceeded to tell me it was a novel a neighbor had loaned him and that it was "hard to get into." I responded by remarking that I liked Christian books. "Do you know anything about Christianity?" I asked. He did. He grew up going to a Pentecostal church. A door opened, and I shared my testimony. I sensed God had His hand on this young man's life, and it took me back to the days that the Lord gave me eyes to see more and more of my Master through the lives of ordinary people who were willing to tell me the Truth. He uses each of us to be His messengers to clerks behind counters and strangers on the street. I gave him a copy of "Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die," and I've been praying for him ever since. Will you join me? "I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ." (Philemon 6)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Two rows of parking. One long line of cars. The guy in front of us pulled out of the line to look for a space in the second row. Good idea. We followed and found a spot in seconds. As we were struggling with the stroller and digging out the diaper bag, an SUV stopped alongside us. "You know, we were all waiting in one line to get parking," exclaimed the lady inside. "We didn't know," my husband calmly remarked. "Do you want this space?" I asked. "Yes!" came the quick reply. We packed up and pulled out. "That was a good idea," my husband said to me just after calling out "God bless you" to the woman. Fifteen years ago it would have been a different day. Where did what I said come from? Grace. Where did what my husband said come from? Grace. Where did what that lady received come from? Grace. It's a good idea every time. "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18)
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Mulling over the ministry reports of the missionaries our church supports helps me to put my life in perspective. As they log their life for accountability, they relay information about their day, and it is evident that these servants stay busy. But it's not the busy we often know best , busy running here and there: shopping, exercising, playing. It's busy self-giving: prayer, teaching, discipling, relationship-building with those who don't know Jesus. So often when someone in America says, "Maybe I should be a missionary," the return comment is "Why, you can be a missionary right where you are." Yes, we can be; but Lord, help us to see we have a long way to go. "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (Mark 9:35)
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
What began as a home for an aging parent became a home away from home for missionaries. A small house tucked behind another house, barely visible from the road, serves as a place for missionaries who are in the U.S. on furlough or for other reasons to live and rest and restore. A living area, a dining area, kitchen, bed and bath. A plaque hangs on the wall honoring the mother who had lived there, and tucked away in the corner a bookcase holds items from countries all over the world, left behind by the missionaries who have been blessed by this little lighthouse. As I sat on the well-worn sofa and heard the voices of the saints that had prayed in this little place, I dreamed a big dream to have a missionary house someday, a haven that can be a a little slice of heaven to those who are carrying the Gospel to the unreached people groups around the globe. What a beautiful way to serve the feet of those who bring Good News.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I recently read about the raunchy ads that were played during the Super Bowl. An urgent plea was sent out to write to the NFL, to the network, and the FCC telling them that we had seen enough of this type of advertisement. I understand the reasoning behind this type of action, and I do think we are to fight against the things that our precious Lord died to save us from. But at the same time, I am not surprised when sinners sin; I am only saved by grace and would have no desire to do right but for the blood of Christ. So, why should I expect the secular to conform to my standards? An alternative to writing and urging them to change is to change ourselves and stop watching. Spend the time seeking the greater joy that's ours in giving. We have found that international students or neighbors have little interest in American sports, but they greatly enjoy dinner and some conversation. Also, single women often find football less appealing than a evening shared with your family. "Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called." (Ephesians 4:1)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
His small white truck pulled up in front of our house at 7:20 a.m. I was watching from the playroom. My husband had already gone outside to meet this friend who was giving him a ride to a men's breakfast at church. In the past several months I have given thanks for this man who loves my best friend. One night last week, he spent several hours working with him on a project. The end result was my husband securing a landscaping job with potential for more. But, that's not what really fills my heart with gratitude. It's the prayers they pray together, the time they spend studying God's Word, the phone calls for accountability. It's the love. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I've decided to divorce; I just don't love him anymore. Down. My marriage is difficult, but I'm committed to it; I want the world to see the way Christ loves the church. Up. I just got a big pay raise, and I'm going to celebrate by buying that new car I saw. Down. I inherited a large sum of money this year, and I'm using it to support missionaries who are going to the unreached people groups. Up. I have this weekend free, and I'm going to sit back and watch the big games on television. Down. I got some time off from work so that I can go on that medical mission trip to Honduras. Up. Lord, help us as Your children to encourage one another and build each other up; protect us from bringing each other down, away from You and Your ways.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The call came just before Thanksgiving. Jesse's birthmother had another baby. "Would we consider adopting her, too?" The agency tries to keep sibling groups together. After all these years of waiting, hoping, wanting a child, suddenly there could be two. I could hear Sarah's laughter in my own heart. "Lord, I am 46 years old. Will I really have another child now that I am old?" Nothing is too hard for the Lord. He plans; He orchestrates. He adopts us, so we adopted her. Welcome with us Jada Abigail, and pray with us that we will raise her in the discipline and instruction of the Lord that she might someday bring glory to our Great God and Savior!