Monday, April 12, 2010

He rescued me.

Life is very busy and it is hard to write on the blog as much as I want to because I am always holding a baby! She loves to be held and is perfectly content in someone's arms so that is where she stays just about 24 hours a day. I am still not sleeping but seem to be getting a little more used to it. These days are hard and taxing but this is my dream come true so I will not complain.
Last weekend, I got to go hear Tim Tebow's mom, Pam. If you follow me on facebook, you know how I love Tim Tebow! It was an adoption banquet and she was the speaker. I loved listening to her talk about how she taught her kids the Word of God. I spent time with her afterwards asking her questions and soaking in all of her wisdom. She said if you teach your kids the Word of God then it will not only teach them now but will continue to teach them for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. She also said God will fill in the gaps so continue to focus on God's Word in their school. What an encouragement that was to me. We spend a whole lot of time on Scripture memory around here and it is definitely labor-some but I am seeing fruit pop up... mainly in my own life. I cannot believe God has helped me hide so much of His Word in my heart. What a blessing it has been to my prayer life and when I am counseling others. I spoke at a Purity Conference on Saturday and was able to share so many Scriptures that God has written on the tablet of my heart with the girls. I also got to share my story about meeting Tim and God's faithfulness to encourage them to WAIT on God's best.
When I was at the adoption banquet, one of the stories really stood out to me. A man spoke about how his wife had studied sign language and wanted to adopt deaf children. They called the adoption agency and told them they wanted a deaf child. The phone rang back in 10 minutes telling them about a little boy in China.
A few months later, they flew to China to get their new child. When they got to the orphanage, the speaker said it was the worst conditions he had ever seen and he had been to many orphanages as a pastor. All they had was a pot with a hole in it to use the restroom and that it was just horrifying to see. He went over and picked up his new son out of the filth and then decided to go back and tell his older children not to come in there because he didn't want them to see something so horrible. He was going to put the child down to go tell them not to come in and he said that his son squeezed so tightly around his neck that he wouldn't let go.
This child recognized his savior and he wasn't letting go.
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The speaker didn't relate this to the gospel but, wow, did the gospel hit me in the face through his story. What a stunning picture of the gospel! How Jesus Christ came into the worst of conditions to rescue us-- the ones who have NOTHING to offer. The unlovely-unworthy-totally helpless and unable to save themselves.
You and Me.
I saw ME in the life of this child so vividly.
If you don't see you in that child, you don't understand your helplessness or you don't know how much God loves you and has rescued you.
Colossians says that we "have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of the Son He loves".
He came for you. To save you from your sinful condition that was utterly hopeless apart from Him. He walked in that room and made a B-line for you saying... "this is the one I want". The only difference is that Jesus Christ had to DIE in order to save us. Not only did He humble Himself and become a man in order to get to us but He died saving us.
So, I told the girls this story while speaking at the Purity Conference and told them that once you understand what He has done for you, you WRAP YOUR ARMS SO TIGHT AROUND HIM AND NEVER LET GO.
I believe that is the essence of this verse in Titus 2...
"the GRACE of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age"
When you understand grace, it teaches you to obey. You WANT to obey. You WANT to be close to Christ. I can't convince them to not have sex before marriage, but GRACE CAN.
Our response to such a great love should be the same as the little boy's response. To wrap our arms so tight around Jesus out of sheer love and desperation!
This is a good reminder/visual for those of us who have been walking with the Lord for a while now. TO REMEMBER where we came from and never take for granted such a great sacrifice.
If you don't know Jesus Christ, please ponder these verses...
"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.... For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–" Colossians 1
He may be walking into your room RIGHT NOW and saying... "YOU ARE THE ONE I WANT." Respond to such a great love, please. Recognize your Savior.
It is so foolish to cling onto anything other than HIM!
And, Christians, let this remind you that our response should always be to throw off everything that hinders and never loosen our grip around our Savior. I have been very challenged by this beautiful story of love.
The man showed pictures of the boy at the time of adoption and he had a blank, lifeless stare on his face. Then he showed pictures of the boy now playing with his dad and full of laughter and joy. How awesome. What a picture of the love... what a picture of Jesus Christ.
I haven't stopped thinking about this.
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The boys are full-speed ahead with baseball. I love it. I love being at the field. Reece plays second base and Bubba plays left field.
Lake doesn't love being at the baseball field all the time but I have started taking his tricycle for him to ride and so he is happy riding back and forth a hundred times behind the bleachers. I am praising God for his health since we have had him on daily breathing treatments.
We are still spending lots of time memorizing verses together. Some days it is hard. I feel like God is telling me that I am in the hard part... the plowing stage of farming. Where it is hard work, mostly just sweating, and not a lot of fun. I do see glimpses of fruit but mostly we are just planting at this stage. I am believing by faith and by what the Bible says that His Word will produce a harvest in their lives and that it won't return void.
What I am realizing though is that I am creating "fat sheep". They know so much of God's Word but they aren't serving so they are just getting fat and kinda lazy. Our lives are revolving way too much around us these days. So, I decided I have to figure out a way to get them serving. I called the local nursing home today and told them I have a 5 year old and a 6 year old and we want to come help them in any way. Reece can read so I am hoping we can go and he can read the Bible to the elderly people. I can't wait to start going. We need this.
I also ordered 100 of the coolest gospel tracts for kids that Pam Tebow introduced me to. I am going to help the boys understand how to share the gospel and we are going to give them out at baseball games and downtown.
I don't want cute, fat, little sheep running around. We aren't serving enough. They have just been "consuming"... why wouldn't they be self-centered? I'll let you know how this goes but I am very excited about taking God's Word and living it out. Head knowledge is good but it can make us lazy if we aren't serving. Here goes nothin'! I love homeschool and spending so much time with the boys. It's like having 2 little buddies to learn about life with (soon to be 2 more!) ;)
I loved speaking over the weekend. I believe God has given me so much to share and I want to praise Him with a loud voice.
Oh, I also did another video with Mark about end times events but blogger won't let me upload it. grrrrrrr. I will keep trying.
We will be in Nashville this weekend to go to a parenting conferece with the Tebows and hear Tim speak that night. Let me know if you live in Nashville and want to know details.
Hope to post again soon! Gotta run.. Hope is crying. Love her.
She is getting SO big with lots of fat rolls. :)

6 comments:

Julie said...

Thanks for this beautiful reminder. You should be really proud of the wonderful gift you are giving to all those around you (especially your children) by sharing what you have learned and are continuing to learn about God's word with them/us. I know it is kind of our duty but too many of us don't equip ourselves enough to be used by Him to our fullest. I know I could do more in that department and I think your dedication to it is inspiring. Thanks! God bless you!

Adrienne said...

Stephanie,
Loved your ideas about getting the boys out to serve. I had a spiritual mentor tell me about a year ago that our Biblestudy should be weary about getting "spiritually fat." We were taking in so many studies, but not doing anything much to serve Him. Our group recently read the study "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker and went to hear her speak, and the book changed our lives in many ways. We are now volunteering at a low-income housing residence nearby doing a young girls' motivation and running program (much like "Girls on the Run" if you have heard of that). It's SO neat!

I'm still looking to do the purity night with the girls... Have to work on the details. Still love reading your blog and hearing about Hope and the boys. Glad all is well!

Adrienne

Erin Cabell said...

you are doing wonderful things not only with your life but with the lives of your children! sounds like a great conference coming up next weekend....wish i could go! e

Patsy said...

Can I get more info on the Nashville event. I live about 15-20minutes south of Nashville. phoughteling@gmail.com THANKS

Bonnie said...

I LOVE this post! Have revisited it many times. Hit me like a ton of (personally and maternally inspiring, purpose-affirming) bricks: Fat sheep, indeed.

Wow. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Steph,
Thanks for reminding me how much Jesus gave up for my freedom. I need to cling to Him much harder than I do:).