Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Because My Heart Tells Me I Must Adopt

How cool is this?

World Magazine profiles Jason Kovacs and the ABBA Fund:
When Jason Kovacs and his wife Shawnda were newly married, they developed a strong passion for adopting. "We were convicted by James 1:27, which said that 'true religion' involved looking after orphans," Kovacs said. But as a young couple on the staff at a church—Minneapolis' Bethlehem Baptist Church—the estimated $20,000 needed to adopt a child was simply beyond their means.

So they turned to the Abba Fund, one of a small but growing number of organizations that provide matching grants and interest-free loans to Christian families that want to adopt. Now, nearly 10 years and two adoptions later, Kovacs is the executive director of the Abba Fund.

Adoption funds are, in concept, simple: They provide grants and interest-free loans to couples who want to adopt but cannot afford the up-front costs associated with adoptions. "Most adoptive couples are relatively young," said Kovacs. "This is a great way for the church to come alongside these young couples to help with the adoption process."

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Mother the Thespian

Firestarter (1984) may be one of the worst movies ever made... But, skip forward to about 5:00 into this "Part 3" video & wait for the surprise. Oh, that Joan Dugan. She should've received equal billing with Drew Barrymore. That's for sure.

Joan Dugan, The Worst Babysitter Ever

Notes for a Missions Breakout Talk

These are the notes I have from a talk on missions I gave at this weekend's jr. high retreat:

Therefore, Go! Will We Choose Comfort or a Cross?
Whose are you?

We were created for…

1. A Person
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” –John 14:1

2. A Place
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you” –John 14:2

“…Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or crying or pain…” –Revelation 21:3-4

3. A Purpose (Christ is IN you FOR them!)- Pray & Preach!
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” –Matthew 24:14

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news’… Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” –Romans 10:13-15, 17

“I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb” –Revelation 7:9

“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you” –Psalm 86:9

Our two motives for missions:
(1) “For the sake of the name” (3 John 1:7)
(2) Compassion- “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown in the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15)

PLACES: HOME & ABROAD: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” –Acts 1:8

STATE OF THE WORLD STATS (from Momentum Magazine & The Joshua Project)
*An average of 160,000 people a day hear the gospel for the very first time. In 1800, 75% of the world’s population had never heard the gospel. In 1900, it was about 50% (879 million people). Today, 28% of the world remains unreached- still 1.7 billion people!
*2/3 of the world lives in what is known as the “10/40 window”- an area 10-40 degrees of the equator, and 95% are unreached or “least-reached” people groups.
*There are approximately 16,450 people groups (6.63 billion people) & 6,580 of them are unreached or least-reached people groups (2.67 billion people).
*30,000 children today will breathe their last breaths

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fear of FOCA

After months of reading into the candidates & trying to learn everything that I could about them, I think somewhere between watching Palin's first two television interviews & two presidential debates, I had thought that I had finally come to rest about my decision about how to cast my vote. But today, when I was supposed to be writing letters & further preparing for a talk that I'm giving tonight, I instead dove a little deeper into the issue of abortion. 

And, now, I feel like I'm at a terrible crossroads... I could use some help. Is the Freedom of Choice Act & Obama's willingness to support it reason enough to cast my vote to a pair I generally disagree with on most issues? Is he really that far out there?

Is Dr. George right to say that if I cast my vote for Obama, I am voting for the most pro-abortion candidate ever? Am I just so weary of hearing the issue that I put it on the back burner when, perhaps, it should be my primary political concern?

I need some help here... with apologies to my more conservative friends (and parents...) whose opinions I have sinfully discounted... and just in case I haven't put enough links on here yet, here are the blog banters between Randy Alcorn & Donald Miller... and Robert Greenwald is all over McCain on YouTube

Aside Update #1: Erin is back at work three days a week! Unbelievable! Praise God for all the healing she's had, and we're continually in prayer that her life will work it's way back to "normal" soon.

Aside Update #2: After a little over six weeks of support raising, I'm at 43% of my goal & am still waiting on 13 people who've committed to give, but haven't told me how much yet. Simply unreal. God's is growing my faith & my conviction daily in this...

Last Aside: I love Bob Dylan unashamedly. His brilliant, clever, convicting commentary on American military history in his song "With God on Our Side" seems relevant even today.  Here are just some excerpts:

"Oh the First World War, boys, it closed out its fate
The reason for fighting I never got straight
But I learned to accept it, accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead when God's on your side.

(And this verse has led to many-a-discussion for Warden & I)
In a many dark hour, I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you; you'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side."