Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Not To Say To An Adoptive Family

In the spirit of National Adoption Month I'm sharing some posts centered on adoption. 

Margaret, an internet missionary with Global Media Outreach, adopted a sweet little boy from Russia in the Spring. She shared a great post on what not to say to an adoptive family based on her own experiences. I highly recommend jumping over there and checking it out.

Focus on the Family provide the following recomendations on what to say:

Accurate Language Less Accurate Language
Birthparent Real parent, natural parent
My child Adopted child; own child
Choosing an adoption plan Giving away, giving up your child
Finding a family to parent your child Putting your child up for adoption
Deciding to parent the child Keeping your baby
Person / Individual who was adopted Adoptee
To parent To keep
Child in need of a family Adoptable child; available child
Parent Adoptive parent
International or inter-country adoption Foreign adoption
Child who has special needs Handicapped child, hard to place
Child from another country Foreign child
Was adopted Is adopted
Birth relative Blood relative

If God hasn't called you to directly serve orphans be sure that you are doing all you can to support those who are called to this ministry.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Does God Want to Use You in Orphan Care?

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I wonder does it make you want to live everyday of your life differently? Should all our days be a radical holiday? In the spirit of National Adoption Month would you stop what you're doing right now and pray? Simply ask God how he might have you make a difference in the life of an orphan. That's it it's simple. One person can make a difference.

Orphan Sunday 2009 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

We’re Hosting a Colombian Child!!!

 (November is National Adoption Month. Along that vein some of my posts the remainder of this  month will focus on adoption.)

I am so excited! Can you tell? Between 31 Days of MissionalLiving and Allume I’ve been sitting on this post for so long and can’t wait to share my joy with you. Jason and I will be hosting a Colombian boy between the age of 10 and 14 during the month of December. We are so excited we can hardly stand it.

We have partnered with an adoption agency, Embraced byGrace, to serve as an advocate to help our Colombian boy find his forever home. There will be twenty-one children in Central Florida and Colorado in the month of December that are adoptable. Here are some quick statistics for you about the world’s adoptable children: 

  • There are 163 million +  orphans worldwide
  • Of those 60,000 + are in Colombia
  • Of those 9,000 + are adoptable internationally

Colombians are a people that are passionate dreamers. Most of them are hopeful for a peaceful world.

If you’re interested in the learning more about the need for forever families for Colombian children please contact me or Embraced by Grace directly. If you’re local to Central Florida and would like to attend an event we’re hosting to hear more about Colombian adoption please contact me as well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Election Blues? (A Guest Post)

The election is over. Whew! It was a long stretch.

Now we can move on and get our focus back on a few other things — some things that are more important than a presidential race. I know, I know — it’s important, we have a Christian responsibility to be vote and be involved in the political process. I believe that so much that our family stood in line for nearly 4 hours just to vote yesterday. Somehow, though, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we Christians were as passionate for the Kingdom of God as we are for our politicians.
We’ve all heard a lot of overstatements by fellow believers…and may have even stated a few of our own:
  • “This is the end of things if this election goes bad.”
  • “God will have to apologize to Sodom and Gommorah if he is elected.”
  • “This will be God’s judgement on America if he is our president.”
So–in this post-election morning when we awake to our President’s re-election victory–let’s be reminded of a few very important truths:
  1. God has been deeply involved in this election. Isaiah 40:21-22 states, “Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God— the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant? God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!”
  2. God knows what He needs to accomplish and how to get it done. Romans 11:33-34 reminds us, “How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?”
  3. Consistently and sincerely pray for our President and other leaders. God calls us ”therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty,” 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
  4. Our true hope and ultimate focus must be Jesus. Remember John 16:33? “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
All is well. God is on the throne. We have work to do. Peace, brothers and sisters…

Ivan Veldhuizen was a pastor for 25 years and currently directs international church planting for Converge Worldwide. He writes Escipleship and lives in Orlando with his beautiful wife, Susan, and mission driven son, Shane. You can follow Ivan at @Plveldhuizen.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How Allume Changed My Life (or The Day An Introvert Stopped Hating Conferences)

 (Perhaps I’m the last person in the world to write my Allume post?)

In October 2011 when I started Church Planting Confessions all the others bloggers in blogosphere were going crazy over The Relevant Conference. I decided at that moment that I would be attending in 2012. A year later and the conference is now Allume. Additionally I suddenly remembered that A.) I’m an introvert and B.) I hate conferences. You see for the last several years I’ve attended more conferences than I can count many of which I've helped staff. The rare times I had the chance to attend a session I was too drained or too underwhelmed to enjoy it.

As the weeks before Allume grew closer, these realities made me question even attending at all. Should I get someone else to buy my ticket and get the money we need so desperately?  Would it be just another trip amidst a busy fall travel schedule? Could I hack it among bigger, better, more experienced bloggers? Would my pension for anxiety and natural introversion leave me locked in a hotel room alone having wasted time, energy, and resources?

I finally bought my plane ticket the first week of October and I’m so glad I did. I knew this conference was different the moment I picked up my crazy full bags of free gifts. Every detail was done with excellence. Sarah Mae, Jessica Heights, and the rest of the team truly thought of everything.

What was most amazing about this conference was the keynote sessions. It wasn’t just the caliber of the speakers that blew me away but what they shared. All of them (successful bloggers and writers) took the stage as broken people. They all shared stories of being imperfect, unqualified, or even losing it all. 

My biggest takeaway was from Darren who reminded me to spend 90% of my time doing what will get the largest return (not the other way around). This really lifts the burden of feeling the need to do everything well all the time. 

I have to tell you that meeting the fabulous Jacqui from Faith and Simplicity alone would have made the entire trip worth it.  Jacqui’s story of tragedy and loss is so similar to mine. Her friendship alone was worth the layover. 

To all of you who made Allume what it was, I sincerely thank you. Here’s to lives of intention, writing blogs that are more than words, and investing our time in things that reap eternal dividends.

If you’re a blogger who wants to make an impact through your writing you simply must join us at Allume 2013. I promise you won’t hate conferences any more…

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Missional Living is Easy (31 Days in Review)

Can you believe we made it through October? Phew! What an amazing month of living missionally together. We focused on missional living in the spheres of your neighborhood and your city. As you continue on your missional journey remember the following:

  • Do what you love. Remember doing mission out of passion increases your capacity.

My hope from the beginning was for you to realize how easy it is to live missionally. When I say ‘easy’ I don’t mean that fulfilling the Great Commission won’t require time and sacrifice. But the best way to live missionally is to do what you’re already doing with intention. 

I hope the past 31 days have been helpful and encouraging to you. I would love to hear your stories of how God has moved through your relationships as you walk the path of living as a missionary in your community.