IN ALL ERNESTNESS


God…boring…really?
February 12, 2010, 4:57 pm
Filed under: adoption, family, friends, fun, justice, life, love, ministry, missions, people, religion, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , , ,

Why don’t people like going to church? Although there are many different answers to this, one of the ones that I have heard the most is that church is boring…

Now, I was thinking about this on the way to work this morning and I really don’t think God intended for church to be boring. God is not a boring god. When we look to Scripture we don’t see Jesus, the disciples, or any of the other followers of Him leading boring lives…so why do we?

We are the ones that make church boring. We are the ones that make God boring. If anything has been reiterated in my life during the recent events, its that following God is not boring…God does not write boring stories…we make them boring with our mundane, safe lives of complacency and comfort.

Church isn’t boring due to the lack of programs and activities, or the style of music that’s played, the version of Scripture that’s used, etc…it’s boring due to the lack of passion and unabandoned love for God and our neighbor.

When we throw aside selfish ambition, when we throw aside the pursuit of comfort and complacency, when we realize following God is more than showing up to church on Sundays and Wed. (or whatever days you go), when we realize that following God is more than throwing a check into a plate as its passed by, when we realize that following God is more than putting a fish emblem on our car or listening to Christian radio, when we throw aside our own agenda and fully sell out to God’s it is then the true adventure begins…

May we all climb out of our cocoon of safety and complacency and join the wild adventurous life of truly following God and living lives of true love!!!

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God’s Grin
February 10, 2010, 12:14 am
Filed under: adoption, family, friends, fun, Haiti, justice, life, love, ministry, people, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , , , ,

It had been a long night. I hadn’t slept in over 34 hrs and even then only for a short spell. My mind is tired and my body exhausted. 9 days I’d been away from home and 8 days I’d camped inside the U.S. Embassy. Cold, hard tile doesn’t make the best of beds. Just 24 hrs earlier all hell had broke loose inside the Embassy (or should I say Consul General Donald Moore’s house) and we were being threatened to be removed by military force. We had all been told our paperwork was finalized and approved and we were ready to go. There were some beaurocratic issues with the military flights but if we could get a private flight we were good to go. We got the planes; they kept us there…they had lied. In fact, our papers hadn’t even been sent to Haitian PM. With limited sleep and high emotions our frustration poured out. The voices had been heard though because after things settled down we began to see progress and within 24 hrs we were being loaded onto a C-17 and headed for Miami. Now after 5-1/2 hrs in customs and immigration we were bussed to His House Childrens Home. Here the kids were all taken to be bathed, cleaned, an allowed to play while we, the adoptive parents, had to fill out paperwork to finalize the guardianship process for the humanitarian parole. I finished the paperwork after only a few hours and got to go play with R while they processed it all.
It’s almost over an we can’t wait to get home but minutes turn to hours as we await the call telling us we are released and free to go. We watch as family after family is released. There were 2 flights headed to Houston that night…we already missed the first and the 2nd is leaving at 6p. Time is slipping away and people are telling me there is no way we are going to make the flight. It’s now 5p and I look over to find R with his face buried into his hands. I have flashbacks of us in the Embassy when his eyes filled with discouragent as he told me we were all lying and we really weren’t going to get to leave. Please God, make this happen.
A car pulls up and a lady steps out to pick up another family who just got clearance…”Mam, I’ve really got to catch a 6pm flight, will you please see what the hold up is?” She calls the front office, talks for a little while then hangs up. “Mr. Parker, you’re finished now. You just need to get your paperwork and sign out, but you’ll never make a 6p flight. We are about 45 min from the airport.” “Thank you, I just want to try. Will you call me a cab?”
We drive to the front office and there is a man about to leave. He happens to be going to the airport an says we can hitch a ride. I ran inside, grabbed my paperwork, signed out, and jump into his van.” I felt like I was in an episode of the Amazing Race. My heart was beating so fast, sweat was dripping down my face, and prayers were going up. I get a message with my flight details. We are going first class, are you kidding me? It’s rush hour and we run into traffic…I gaze at my watch, it’s 5:35p. My heart is in my throat…please God, get us there.
We finally arrive at MIA and it’s 5:45p and we still have to get our tickets and go through security. We are definitely cutting it close.
We run to the ticket counter to find they have given our seats up…are you kidding me? “we are sorry, Mr. Parker, but we can get you in coach.” “Just get me home!” i tell her. She calls a guy over and tells him we are first class passengers and need to get on that plane. He takes us over and helps get us through security quicker than Ive ever made it before.
The race is on. We are running like crazy and poor R doesn’t understand what all is going on. “Papa!” “Papa!” “What?” I ask. “Papa, gotta pee pee!” Really? I see the desperation in his eyes so we find the nearest rest room and “go”.
As we finally reach our gate i realize the door to the Tarmac is closed…my heart falls. “Mam, can you get us on? We’ve got to make this flight!” she calls the captain, turns, smiles, and opens the door…we’ve made it!
At that very moment I knew we were going to be home that night. We would see Mama and Carly and Colton and Jude and many others. No more Embassy floor, no more fighting governemnt officials and beaurocracy, no more racing against time…we were going home! I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve.
As I sat and thought of all the prayers going up for us to make the flight, of the Amazing Race to the airport, the worries, the anxiety involved in making that flight to get home…all of the excitement…I thought of God. I imagined Him like a father who eagerly awaits for his kids to open thier gifts on Christmas morning…
He knew I was going to make the flight. He didn’t have to wait until the absolute last second to release us from the Childrens home…but He did. It added to the excitement…added to the story…and made making the flight that much sweeter!
I imagine Him as I was growing anxious an stressing an questioning…that He was sitting back with a grin in his face waiting for my gift to be opened…and what a great gift it was!



REALLY?
January 18, 2010, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING EMAIL TODAY, I DID NOT KNOW THAT GOD WAS LIMITED BY EMAILS NOR THAT HE WOULD CAUSE ME TO BE BROKE ON 2010 IF I DELETE IT…

Broke?  This time of the year??  Count on it!
This actually works, and I didn’t get around to opening it until today…
Had a money windfall on Saturday after receiving this on Tuesday.

1 Kings 8:23
A blessing is coming to you in the form of money.

Do not ask questions just forward to
eight people and TRUST GOD!

(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)(8)

These are money bags,
send them to 8 good people
& receive money in 4 days.

I’m not joking…

Delete and be broke in 2010…



Haiti…in the shadow of the quake.

As I sit here at my computer in the safe comforts of my home I find the words hard to come by. What do you say when a country you love so much, when a people who have stolen your heart, when a son you long to hold and bring home have been through so much…are going through so much? We have watched CNN and other news sources basically non-stop, Anderson Cooper has become a fixture in our home, our twitter and facebook accounts have been on overdrive and our computers are being tested as we scour blogs from friends and acquaintances looking for information.

The mixtures of emotions take their toll as fear ravishes us as we wait without word to find out that our son in Haiti is okay, elation follows when we finally find out that he along with others we greatly care about are okay, then heartbreak as we think about those under the rubble and of those crying out in agony because words can’t express the depth of their loss.

I have been fortunate enough to walk the streets of Port Au Prince and other areas in Haiti. I have looked into the faces of those who live there, I have climbed the mountains and swam in the waters. It is a country with little when it comes to possession but much when it comes to pride and resilience. Their smiles light up the place despite their lacking and you heart is warmed as each person you pass greets you with a pleasant “Bonjour!” I love that country, I love those people, and now my heart breaks for them. A friend of mine once shared a Haitian proverb with me that I found to be true. It says, “When you go to Haiti it will break your heart and you never leave with all the pieces.”

As I think about the quake two questions came to mind…

Why? Why did this have to happen? I can’t fully answer that but I do know that my God is good and He is in control and He can make beauty from the ashes…I see this as I witness the needs of the Haitians being brought to the forefront…not just the needs from the quake but the needs they face everyday. The fact that 80% of Haitians don’t have access to clean water, the unemployment rate is estimated to be around 60 percent, the literacy rate is approximately 45 percent, 80% of the population lives in abject poverty and the unemployment rate is estimated to be nearly 90 percent as half the population of Haiti earns $60 or less per year. The fact that there were 1.2 million orphans in Haiti (who know what that number will be now). The fact that we live in such comfort as there are those such as Haiti who live so much without.

What? What can we do? How can we help? It is not feasible for you and I to jump on a plane and run over there. In fact, their resources are so limited that if we were to how would they feed us and provide shelter for us when they can’t provide the same things for themselves. So what do we do? We pray! Then we pray some more! Pray for the Livesays and McHouls in Port Au Prince. Pray for Lori and Licia and the others at the Rescue Center in Cazale. Pray for Pastor Henry and Mrs. Gladys and the others at Canaan. Pray for all who are in Haiti. God is able to do exceedingly above all we can ever ask or think. Then we give! Give of your time getting the word out. Give of your finances. As Americans we whine about the recession we are experiencing but we are still a blessed people. Give to organizations like Compassion who are providing for the needs of the Haitians. A $35 donation to Compassion can provide food and water to a Haitian family for a week. Buy a Help Haiti shirt in which 100% of the proceeds go directly to those in Haiti. Don’t forget. As the days began to pass don’t allow the everyday hub of life cause you to forget the people in Haiti that need your help and prayers. And then, if you can, adopt. As previously stated there are over 1.2 million orphans in Haiti. They need a home…could that be your home? They need a family…could that be your family? They need love…could that love come from you?

God, we pray that your love and mercy will flood the country of Haiti. We pray that your greatness and your glory will be shown. We pray for the loss and teh devastation the people of Haiti are experiencing and pray that you would fill them with the peace that passes all understanding. We pray for us, as we live in the comforts of one of the richest nations in the world and watch these events take place in one of the poorest, that we will moved to action. – Amen



Instant Love
January 6, 2010, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

How is it that in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, you can love someone so much? Introducing my new son…

My Little Man



This is what Jesus looks like…

My wife directed me to this video today. It directly fits into the many conversations we have been having lately regarding our own family and our own lives. This is what Jesus looks like. Too many times we go to church and we play church but what if we actually were the church? What if we truly became the church to the world around us? What would that look like? What impact would that have? What if? What if I, what if you choose to be Christ and to be the church to those around us?



And 1 more makes 4!
April 20, 2009, 9:25 pm
Filed under: adoption, family, friends, fun, Haiti, life, love, people, prayer, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , ,

Yes, 4. We will be going from 2 to 4 just like that. As most of you know we are adopting a boy from Haiti which would make our 3rd child. Well, we just found out that Debra is pregnant again! Yes, pregnant! I am actually very excited and couldn’t be happier! Thank you God for your many blessings!