Friday, December 31, 2010

When Truth Collides with Tradition

It is easy to get stuck in a rut. And it is super-easy to cuddle up in our comfort zone.

So often tradition is this way. And, of course, many different kinds of traditions are good.

But when Truth confronts our tradition, do we easily re-adjust our thinking?

In Acts 10 and 11 I noticed an incredible example to us of how we should respond to Truth, even when it goes against everything we have ever thought, believed, or even valued.

Remember when Peter was on the roof and saw the vision of the animals on the blanket? God was teaching him that everything He called clean was, in fact, clean. Then (in His perfect timing, of course) Peter was visited by Cornelius' messengers, asking him to come and meet with Cornelius, a Gentile nonetheless.

As a result of his visit and the Lord's grace, Cornelius and others there, who also heard the word, were saved.

"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word" (Acts 10:44).

So here is Truth colliding with tradition. What tradition? These Jewish disciples and followers of Christ had no idea salvation could come to the Gentiles the way it had come to them.

"And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also" (Acts 10:45).

Now, if you think they were surprised, imagine the response of the Believers back in Jerusalem!

When Peter returned, they complained against him because he had eaten with the Gentiles!

(I wonder how often we judge and complain against our fellow Believers before we have heard the whole story or considered what God might be doing, in spite of us . . .)

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Peter explained the whole story and testified of God's work with the Gentiles.

"If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we beleived on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God" (Acts 11:17)?

(Don't you just love Peter? Despite his glaring faults, when he recognizes Truth, he just says it! I have a "Peter" in my house. His brother is a "John." And they are just awesome together. :-) But anyhoo. . .)

What was the response?

"When they heard these things they became silent" (Acts 11:18a);

What do they think? What do they do with this new Truth? It sure doesn't line up with what they have always been taught. It doesn't match their idea of God.

What would you do? Would you try to keep God in the box of all your pre-conceived ideas? If so, then you would fail to worship the God of the Bible. You would turn to the god of your imagination. The one that fits who you felt more comfortable serving.

Thankfully, these New Testament Christians were convinced that Truth was worth changing for, worth repenting for, worth altering everything they had ever understood before.

"and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life" (Acts 11:18b).

And, boy, am I glad.

So when Truth collides with your tradition, what is your response?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bonding with Boys

So hubby easily spends guy time with our sons in the woods, hunting and camping, or talking Alabama football.

Me? Not so much. I mean, I can talk a little Alabama football. You know, like, "I remember when the Bear was still alive!"

But I'd rather just listen to my sons talk and watch them get excited about it anyway.

So what's a girl to do? I mean, when she wants to bond with her boys?

Play Axis and Allies!!! What else??? :0)

I mean, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

Lovin' my boys who are so quickly becoming men.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Since You've Been on the Edge of Your Seats. . .

We definitely had an interesting Christmas. We thought we had escaped a full run of it b/c we were all virus-free on Christmas Eve Day. But, unfortunately, seven out of eight of our dear family eventually suffered from the dreaded stomache virus, including yours truly on Christmas Day.

I remember lying in bed on Christmas morning (I had already managed to sit in the living room long enough to see everyone open their Christmas presents) and hearing a few sounds here and there from children playing.

I was thinking, "I can't believe I am missing all this on Christmas Day!" But before I fell into the black pit of self-pity, the Lord reminded me that it was for sickness that Christ came anyway.

It is the sickness of sin that put us all in such a need for peace. A need for a Savior. And in all our sickness, the Lord God already had a plan.

His plan didn't look like the world expected, as do so many of His plans, but His plan was for God the Son to come to earth in the form of a human to save us from our sickness. . .the fatal sickness of sin.

And for that I am thankful.

But here we are. . .on the other side of the valley of the virus. . .washing and cleaning and cloroxing. Tomorrow we will take down the tree.

Mama Hen and her family were supposed to come visit tomorrow for our monthly get together, but there is flu at her house. So she doesn't want to come here and get the stomache virus, and I don't want her to bring the FLU here! So we are just giving hugs through the phone and waiting a bit on that visit! ;-)

Before the onslaught of the Beast, we did get a few Christmas pics, and my children snapped a few shots of the very rare White Alabama Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thankful for Sickness???

Well,. . .I'm thankful they are throwing up on Thursday and not tomorrow or Christmas Day. . . .

Would be sad to miss our family tradition of celebrating with my brother's family, my dad, and my aunt and uncle on Christmas Eve. . . .

Would be sad to miss our family tradition of celebrating with my hubby's family on Christmas Day. . . .

But so far, we only have 2 down. Four more to go. . . .(I refuse to think I need to include hubby or myself in the count, LOL.)

Okay. . . . . . . . . . .I guess we are waiting to see. . . .(we're pretty good at that one by now. . .)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Matching Grant Goal Has Been Met!!!

I do not know what to say! I am almost speechless! But I can say, "Look what God did!"

Praise Him!!!

And thank you to so many of you who were used by Him to helped us raise the $3500 needed for the goal but also made it possible for our grant to be maximized to $7000!

And thank you to Grace Fellowship--Micah's Hope and Lifesong! Isn't it awesome to know that even in this slumping economy and during the financial crunch of the holidays, people still care about what God values?! There are those who are not only "aware" of the plight of the fatherless and the worldwide orphan crisis, but they are willing to do something.

What does this grant total mean to us? It means we are now fully-funded for 2 adults (guess who that would be ;0) to go to China and bring Hai Hai home! So we can now focus on the $10-12 K needed to bring Zheng Zheng home.

Thanks to several precious friends and their donations, we are already $2635 on the way to Zheng Zheng!

Lifesong will still receive donations and direct the funds to our agency for those who are interested in being a part of Zheng Zheng's "homecoming." And since Lifesong is a non-profit, all these donations would be tax-deductible!

Thank you to all who have helped. Many, many that I do know and some who I do not. You all have blessed us, and we are humbled by your sacrifice.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

To the Tune of Jingle Bells. :-)

LOA on it's way.
Oh what fun it is to say
Second LOA on its way!!! Hey!

LOA on its way.
Oh what fun it is to say
Second LOA on its way! Hey!!!

Dashing through the rain
In a great big FedEx truck
Headed to immigration
Let's pray it doesn't get stuck!

Next stop--National Visa Center.
Then they should quickly cable
All our info to Guangzhou.
Then we should get our Travel Approval--Ooohhhhh!!!

LOA on its way.
Oh what fun it is to say
Second LOA on its way! Hey!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Does it Start in the Mind?

Little Sister is a hoot. Have I mentioned that?

But she also adores Little Brother. So it was quite unusual when she became frustrated with him the other day. But he was messin' with her birthday present so the gift seemed to be at stake. . . . .

When she told me she was mad at him I was a bit surprised but reminded her how often she had probably messed up her siblings' belongings. After a smidge of counseling I then suggested she should forgive.

Well, she thought about it a minute then announced, "Ok Mama, I am now forgiving him in my mind."

That sounds like a good start, I think.

Actually, I think there is a lot of truth to her reasoning. Literally.

We must focus on Truth. Focus on the Scripture and God's way of doing things.

"I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplateYour ways" (Psalm 119:15).

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Philippians 2:5).

So just like Little Sister, I am thinking Truth, meditating on His Word, and trusting God to work in her heart and mine.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

LOA on Its Way!

Yesterday we had the joy of going to our agency's Travel Meeting. It was so much fun to meet other China families in the same process and to hear more details on what to expect in this last leg of the process.

(I also got to enjoy being away with my husband for nine whole hours!!!

And the icing on the cake for both of us was to hear the words from our sweet social worker that Zheng Zheng's LOA was coming to town!!!!

Did you hear us celebrating all the way where you live????

It was quite a surprise to all of us, even to our social worker, as we all were afraid we might have a wait ahead of us.

(And let me tell you, nothing in our adoption process has ever before moved quickly, LOL! Hubby and I kept looking at each other saying, "Are they sure they meant the Hixons?")

Soooo. . when it gets to Birmingham, our sw will overnight it to us (unless I just drive on down there and meet their courier guy and take HIS picture, too ;-) and then we will sign with another great fanfare, and get it back to Lifeline with all Zheng Zheng's immigration forms and visa application ASAP!!!

Hopefully, there will be a nice immigration worker who will put Zheng Zheng's file with Hai Hai's. :-)

We are thanking the Lord for this little gift of news and continue trusting in His sovereign timing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Came Early

Yes, Christmas came early to my inbox. I received some very anticipated pics yesterday!

I've been waiting to receive some more recent pictures of our son Zheng Zheng, and they finally came!

Now, let me tell you, this just about melts my heart. Isn't he ADORABLE!?!

We were oooohing and aaahhing over this little darlin' all day. :-)

Look at that amazing smile!!!

Buddy, we're coming as fast as we can!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Little Sister's Big Day

Today our sweet baby girl turned six! I just can't believe our Little Sister is six years old!!!

She has been such a joy on our lives. Little Sister has such a fun personality and a free spirit.

Life is never dull with Little Sister around! She has such a quick wit and easy-going personality. We are always entertained with her around!

Here she is on her birthday with her long-awaited Pillow Pet. (Has anyone else heard enough about these yet???)

Happy Birthday, Little Sister.

We love you so very much!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Get a Look at the Thermometer!

Yea!!! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us and our sweet waiting sons!

We are so thankful to see our grant total growing!

Every dollar will me matched, and when it reaches $3500, we will be at or very close to fully funded to bring Hai Hai home! We are so thankful for this matching grant!

Meanwhile, we are planning a few fundraisers to help raise the $10-12 K for Zheng Zheng! Please pray for miracles!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guess Who Dropped By!

And he had a very anticipated package!

Yes! Our LOA is here! Yea!!!

The disappointing news is there was only one LOA in the package. :-(

So we are still waiting on Zheng Zheng's LOA. The question of the day, or week, or whatever, is "When will the CC*A send Zheng Zheng's LOA?"

No one seems to know.

But we are so thankful to have Hai Hai's!

We signed it with great fanfare. . . .

And we will be sending it off Monday!

Next stop: another rendezvous with immigration!

Please pray that Ch*n* will speed Zheng Zheng's LOA along. We hope it will catch up to Hai Hai's paperwork soon at one of these last stops. (Travel approval is typically 8 - 10 weeks after LOA.)