ADOPTION UPDATE

Mission: Ethiopian Paperchase
Status: Complete – that’s why the picture of the paper stack is so tiny 🙂

That’s right! I have mailed our dossier and it will possibly be traveling to Ethiopia within a week or so. The Ethiopian courts close from Aug. 15-Sep. 30th, but I’m fairly certain that won’t really affect our adoption because we probably wouldn’t be ready for court until after that anyway.

So now…we sit…and wait for our referral. I am not really anxious about this waiting period. We have been trusting the Lord throughout and know that He has what is best for us, in His time (and waiting is part of the gift in my humble opinion, amen?)

Weekend Stuff

I’ve been slacking with my posts lately. We’ve had family around and visits from friends, etc..

So here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to!!

Here is my precious little guy. He turned four last week and had a birthday party with his cousins and aunt & favorite uncle, Joel. He got this tackle box and was ready to fish!

Ruth came along for the trip. Except for a few pickerel caught by Daddy, the fish were safe.

Daniel also got this awesome tricycle from PapPap & Grammie for a birthday present. He really moves on it!

AND – Ruth learned to ride a two-wheeler – the training wheels were removed and she improved greatly. It was really amazing watching her ‘get it’ and just start riding. Now she has to work on stopping!

Off they go!

Morning Coffee…

“Though you have not seen him,
you love him.
Though you do not now see him,
you believe in him and rejoice with joy
that is inexpressible and filled with glory”
I Peter 1:8

Fountain of Never Ceasing Grace

Augustus M Toplady
1740-1778
Preacher, Writer
Augustus Toplady, an unflinching Calvinist, wrote this hymn four years before he died of tuberculosis. I am familiar with A Debtor to Mercy Alone and Rock of Ages, but this is much less familiar (to me, anyway!) I picked it because it offers some wonderful teaching on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and justification (and it goes along with Rebecca’s recent discussions.)

From the last verse:
We claim salvation in His right,
Adopted and forgiv’n,
His merit is our robe of light,
His death the gate of Heav’n.

Fountain of never ceasing grace,
Thy saints’ exhaustless theme,
Great object of immortal praise,
Essentially supreme;
We bless Thee for the glorious fruits
Thine incarnation gives;
The righteousness which grace imputes,
And faith alone receives.

Whom heaven’s angelic host adores,
Was slaughtered for our sin;
The guilt, O Lord was wholly ours,
The punishment was Thine:
Our God in the flesh, to set us free,
Was manifested here;
And meekly bare our sins,
that we His righteousness might wear.

Imputatively guilty then
Our substitute was made,
That we the blessings might obtain
For which His blood was shed:
Himself He offered on the cross,
Our sorrows to remove;
And all He suffered was for us,
And all He did was love.

In Him we have a righteousness,
By God Himself approved;
Our rock, our sure foundation this,
Which never can be moved.
Our ransom by His death He paid,
For all His people giv’n,The law
He perfectly obeyed,
That they might enter Heav’n.

As all, when Adam sinned alone,
In his transgression died,
So by the righteousness of One,
Are sinners justified,
We to Thy merit,
gracious Lord,
With humblest joy submit,
Again to Paradise restored,
In Thee alone complete.

Our souls His watchful love retrieves,
Nor lets them go astray,
His righteousness to us He gives,
And takes our sins away:
We claim salvation in His right,
Adopted and forgiv’n,
His merit is our robe of light,
His death the gate of Heav’n.

John Piper on the Prosperity Gospel

In the middle of this hard-hitting video that rightfully attacks the prosperity gospel, is a stirring reminder of the sufficiency of God during heartbreaking loss. Very convicting!

The Prosperity Gospel

I forgot to mention that I first watched the Piper video above on Recover the Gospel.

Recover the Gospel is full of videos, audio and sermons that are excellent. They also have a ‘bad theology’ section where you can find some extreme examples of the prosperity gospel being boldly preached.

And now to comment on the prosperity gospel

Our Christian predeceasors would have no part of the prosperity gospel. Think of the examples of the suffering church before us from Foxes book of Martyrs (recommended!). Paul, Stephen,Polycarp, Justin, Tyndale, to name a few.

Listen to John Huss when he had a final opportunity to recant while tied to the stake by a chain, “No,” he said, “I shall die with joy today in the faith of the Gospel which I have preached.” As the flames leapt around him, he could be heard singing, “Christ, Thou Son of the living God, have mercy on me.”

Or consider John Bunyan. If his faith was resting in the health/wealth gospel, would he have spent 12 years languishing in a prison while his family (including Mary, his blind daughter) struggled to survive? The lock of his jail was a paper he could sign stating that he would refrain from preaching.

First John Williams, then John Paton to follow, going ashore at New Hebrides, fully expecting to die (and Williams dying at the hands of cannibals immediately). Paton’s wife and child died and were buried on the heathen island and Paton continued to preach the gospel to an unreceptive tribe after his losses.

Not forgetting the suffering and difficult lives (not due to the prosperity gospel) of Brainerd, Martyn, Taylor and countless and nameless others, who surely considered the cost!

We recently purchased a copy of The Triumph of John & Betty Stam by Mrs. Howard Taylor, depicting the 1934 events of their cost to follow Christ in China. It is worth looking into their story, if you haven’t heard it before.

The prosperity gospel suggests that the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ were foolish in their faith and their choices. Perhaps as weightless as a literal cloud in their testimony and effect.

Thankfully, men like John Piper are boldly unmasking the heresy and provoking the hearts of all who would hear to consider the true and glorious gospel of Christ!

Grandma and Jim Elliot (re-post)

While I’m reminiscing about my grandparents, here is an earlier post about them and about Jim Elliot…

Jim Elliot came to dinner, but not to my house (although we did have a GREAT time with Kim, Christina, David, Bryant, Troy & Melissa on Sunday).

The guest book above belonged to my grandmother. It was a gift from my grandfather’s brother for Christmas 1946 and Uncle Ebby was the first to sign it. Five days later, Jim Elliott and his friend, Ron Harris, were the 2nd and 3rd to sign. (If you click on the picture, it’s alot easier to read.)

THE FAMILY RELATIONSHIP:

My grandmother’s mother Jane Elliot Sangster was born to a family with double cousins. That means that Jane Elliot (my great grandmother) & Jim Elliot’s father were first cousins and double cousins. Which means – and it gets tricky here – that their parents & aunts & uncles were all siblings. Four siblings from one family married four siblings from another family (rural Ontario). Those unions produced children that were called double cousins because they have aunts & uncles in common on both sides of the marriage. Make sense???

So…my grandmother and Jim Elliot were the same generation and were 2nd cousins. It was their parents that were the offspring of the sibling marriages.

THE DINNER:

Anyway, my grandmother knew Jim and had him for dinner at their home in Toronto. It was the Christmas break of Jim’s sophomore year at Wheaton. Jim’s companion for dinner from the guest book, Ronald Harris, ended up boarding with my grandparents in Toronto for some time while attending college (seminary?) (based on my grandmother’s 90 year-old memory). That summer, Jim went with Ron to Mexico for a 6 week missions trip. Not long after he met a missionary from Brazil and his calling was further solidified in his heart.

THE BOOK:

I don’t know why I took a picture of the page of the guest book while I was in Toronto. I have always known that my grandmother was a relative of Jim Elliot’s. I suppose Christians have their “heroes of faith” (Hebrews 11) and Jim Elliot’s testimony and experience is certainly something that has been used in the lives of many people. Because of his martyrdom (along with the four other faithful men) in Ecuador, so many missionaries heard the call to service.

Truth be told, my Christian “hero of faith“, was at that dinner in 1946 — but she was the one faithfully serving the dinner, just as she faithfully did for the next 60 years.

My ‘new’ piano

I am so blessed to have my grandmother’s piano! I can’t even begin to tell you what it means to me…but let me try. I have wonderful memories of time spent with my grandparents in their home. One picture I have is when I am probably 18 months old and I’m ‘playing’ the piano while on my father’s lap.
My grandmother would occasionally sit at her piano and play some hymns. It wasn’t too often and if I made a big deal about it, she would find something else to do. As I grew, I would sit at the piano and try to play some hymns too. When I was in my teenage years, I remember playing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ (yes, really!) from my lessons. My grandparents were full of patience. I really can’t play, but I know that I will sit down at this treasure and at least play a hymn a day.
My Aunt Ruth spent a lot of time going through my grandmother’s home after she died and put together boxes of memories for each of us. Once the piano was settled, I began to go through the boxes and found lots of treats. Aunt Ruth even included some of my grandmother’s study notes that were written on scraps of paper. I am very thankful to have everything because it reminds me of what a lovely, godly woman my grandmother was. Thank you, Aunt Ruth, for taking time to preserve and share the treasures and memories.

Morning Coffee…

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD;

I will take joy in the

God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.

Habakkuk 3:17-19