Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blessings upon Blessings

I recently began reading The Elijah list. I LOVE this website. Its changed my whole perspective on my relationship with the Lord. I know that many people think that Chuck Pierce is a crazy guy, but you know, I actually like him. I like many of the things that I've been reading. So today when I woke up I was dumped on. Oh no, a GOOD DUMPING. God heaped blessing on us.

Rob and I just sent out our support letter this last week for our adoption. Talk about major trust. It feels like it was one thing when I was in high school going on a mission trip to send out a letter saying, "hey, have about $2000 to raise, can you help me?" Okay so I didn't write it like that, but you get the point. We've all gotten them and hopefully we've all had to experience the humility of writing such a letter ASKING for help. But I must point out one HIGE difference between the high school mission trips to Mexico or wherever and adoption: this 'mission' trip of adoption is a LIFE LONG trip...there is NO turning back! LOL So if you have not written a letter such as this then let me enlighten you. First of all, knowing that you cannot in any way generate the kind of money that an adoption costs, which if you do not know the typical domestic adoption is usually around $20,000 to $25,000(for us it'll be around $18,500), is incredibly hard to swallow. I believe the costs for foreign adoption are even more. I find this to be COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS!!!! UGH! Why, if there are OVER 147 MILLION orphans in the world would a family have to come up with this much when their hearts are OPEN to taking a child in and love them and raise them???  Just makes me frustrated.  Second of all that there isn't much that you can do to get help until your home study ready. Anyway, Rob and I struggled with the idea that we should just 'take out a loan' and pay it back as we go. I had a hard time believing that the only way to begin the adoption process is to go INTO debt. That makes no sense to me whatsoever. Which is why when we began talking with Colorado Adoption Center they did not encourage us to get a loan or put it on a credit card(in fact they highly discouraged it), they suggested garage sales, bake sales or whatever kind of sale that we could do to raise the money without going into more debt. I was absolutely sold for CAC at that point. Thats exactly how I felt. I would love to be in a position some day to have a way to help families who don't have the money to even begin the process but have a heart for adoption pay for the inital fees. I found it really frustrating also, that there wasn't any way to really cover the costs at the beginning, which is why we had to wait for tax season. But now there is at least help that comes after you finalize your adoption and in the year that you finalize the government is going to help you. I need to just say, I do not care for our President. HOWEVER, he has done one very good thing: he took Bush's Adoption 'credit'  and turned it into a REFUND of $13500. So, I must give him credit there. That is AWESOME and many of the families we know who have adopted in the last 4 years will get that money(eventually). So back to the support letter.

We wrote our letter on the 18th of July and sent it out...praying over each and every letter and person that would be receiving it. We prayed for open and gracious hearts. We prayed that God would increase our profits and show favor(yes Debby Romey, thats all you). We prayed for wisdom and understanding...we asked in humility, knowing that God absolutely called us to humbly ask for help in two areas that are usually difficult to open up about: God and money.

Rob and I not only need financial support for our adoption fees, we need prayer support~ desperately. There are so many aspects to adoption that many people, who are not in a process or ever considered one, have NO idea what I'm talking about. its not just money...its a complete issue of trust. Trust that when we are chosen by a birth mom that she is telling the truth about what she's done through the pregnancy regarding drugs and alcohol. Trust that God's going to guide us through every loophole and over every mountain. Trust that God's timing IS perfect. Trust that the child that once we are chosen is actually our baby. Trust that my prayers ARE heard and DO matter. God honors our hearts. He honors the hearts and mouths of the people who are praying for us while we wait. I admit it right now, I'm abit of a control freak. I like knowing things. I despise surprises. You can ask anyone, I hate being surprised...I mean I like the initial surprise because its fun for me, but knowing theres something that I don't get to know drives me NUTSO. That's why I found out as soon as I could what the sex of each of our kids was! So waiting through this adoption process, not really knowing anything about anything, has been very difficult. God has made huge steps with me in the area of trusting Him and His sovereignty.

So knowing that people have been receiving it and getting really good feedback was encouraging. But then I opened my email and found two emails that brought me straight to my knees in worship and gratitude. One was from a family that only my husband has met when he was in Montana for a men's retreat. This email was full of generosity and love. I'm still in awe over how much some people really open themselves up to God's leading and therefore, bless those whom God shows them. To the Paez's...a public THANK YOU. To those who are praying for us: a public THANK YOU. You cannot understand how much it truly means for us in this moment. What it means to us when we are seeking God on our knees with no timeline, no notice, no idea of what our next step is...especially while we are just WAITING. To those who have supported us financially through our garage sale and the donations provided...another public THANK YOU.

The second email I received was through the Elijah List with a word from Catherine Brown. I wanted to share it with you in hopes that it too, would bless you greatly!

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV)
Catherine Brown
Today, we continue our study of the life of Jabez, a young man who refused to accept a negative word spoken over his life and instead demonstrated to us the power of appropriating godly blessing through prayer and proclamation (click here to read previous word).
At this point it is important to lay a Biblical foundation of our understanding of God's nature and divine will in the realm of "blessing."
Strong's Greek #2127 Eulogeo (compound of 2095 and 3056): to speak well of, i.e. (religiously) to bless, (thank or invoke a benediction upon, prosper): bless, praise.
Strong's Greek #2128 Elougetos: adorable, blessed.
Strong's Greek #3106 Makarizo (from 3107): to beautify, i.e pronounce (or esteem) fortunate: call blessed, count happy.
Strong's Greek #3107 Makraios: supremely blest; by extens. fortunate, well off: blessed, happier.
The Origin of Blessing – The Father Heart of God for All Families
It has always been God's original intention to bless His children. Indeed the blessing of our Heavenly Father produces fruitfulness as an outflow of His presence and power operating in our lives. God's heart is to nurture and bless the family unit so that His glory may be revealed in all the earth.
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:28
In 2 Samuel 6:20 we read how David returned to bless his household after the ark of the Lord had been established and set in place. King David sent his people back home with a blessing and then he ensured that his own household was also blessed. David had a revelation that blessing is for all families everywhere!
God's Nature is to Bless!
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Genesis 12:2-3
God's promise to bless Abraham and all the nations of the earth through His servant is first for the nation of Israel. However, since we (the Gentile Church) are, "heirs together with Israel, members together of one Body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 3:6b), we are all positioned in Christ both to receive blessing and to release blessing in the name of the Lord Jesus to the nations of the earth. Abraham was called into a covenant relationship with God, through which global blessing was released to all tribes and cultures.
The blessing of God is not limited to our nationality; our heavenly citizenship becomes a conduit of spiritual blessing to our natural lineage regardless of our culture or nationality. Our sonship in covenant relationship with God through Christ positions us to inherit a legacy of grace blessing.
Perhaps Jabez, who was described as "more honourable than his brothers," had discovered this priceless pearl, and his cry to God to bless him was the result of a personal encounter with God through which he came to understand he was heir of a promise of blessing of astronomical proportion!
The Father Loves to Bless!
Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. Matthew 25:34b
Jesus spoke and demonstrated blessing, acknowledging that such blessing flows from the Father heart of God to His children. Jesus placed this blessing from His Father in the context of the Kingdom being graciously given in an inheritance to the children of God. We see a correlation here that those who are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven are indeed heirs of blessing.
Furthermore, Christ's words establish a firm foundation that blessing is for a purpose. We are not blessed to be narcissistic in reception of such grace. Rather, as we are blessed we fulfil the Abramic mandate to be a blessing to all nations: "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you." Genesis 12:2-3
Jabez may also have gained some understanding by divine revelation about the aspect of blessing bringing increase as he prayed to God. In the latter part of his prayer, Jabez goes on to ask the Lord to enlarge his territory. Such a prayer ought to flow from a life that is yielded and walking in obedience to God, so that any increase that God grants is for the furtherance of His Kingdom on earth and not for selfish endeavour.
Reciprocal Blessing Flows Between Heaven and Earth
A quick search of the Psalms reveals that they are replete with many examples of God's people ascribing greatness, glory and blessing unto His name. We also see a clear principle being revealed in Scripture that blessing is reciprocal and flows between Heaven and earth. God blesses His people, and His people bless Him with hearts that flow with adoration and thankfulness. We are required to engage in the process of blessing God and acknowledging ongoing blessing from God.
I will bless the Lord at all times... Psalm 34:1
For You, Lord, will bless the righteous... Psalm 5:12
May we bless God with all our heart, strength and mind and experience the blessing of God in all that we do for His glory.
In His great love,
Catherine Brown
Founder/Director Gatekeepers Global Ministries
Co-Founder, Scottish Apostolic Networking Enterprise


No comments:

Post a Comment