Saturday, May 28, 2011

There is joy to be had and glory to be displayed

My friends, the Masers, are in the adoption process and this week they received their referral call about a 9 month old boy in Ethiopia.  I have been carrying their family picture around this week to show my friends (along with a picture of Caleb, the little 9 month old they want very much to bring home), asking my friends if they'll join me in helping them raise the funds still needed in order for them to say yes.  I've posted and reposted on facebook.  They have many other friends doing the same.  On Tuesday, they still needed $6, they are down to just less than a $1,000.  Praise God!  And thanks to all those who have already come alongside them.  They are at their "now or never" moment (see my previous post), and they want very much to say yes.  We are happy to do all we can to help.  God already knows how He is going to provide and I fully believe He funds what He favors so I want to make it really clear to ya'll that I never post these things out of desperation, but rather as opportunity to spread the glory of God's name and to increase the joy of His people.

You see, I know both ends of the fund-raising adventure.  I know the humbling and sanctifying and awe-inspiring side of being a receiver (as well as the agony and frustrations of it)...we didn't fund raise with our first two adoptions, but with Paul we did (anybody who knows Mike and I very well know we are "buy only what you can afford, pay cash, no debt but the smallest mortgage possible sort of folks" was big time out of our comfort zone to fund-raise and we are in no hurry to do it again, but we would if God called us to because through it He taught us so much and drew us closer to Himself).  We also know the joys of being givers...our family has found great delight especially in helping other Christian families to adopt for a myriad of reasons, but we also like to give to missions and Christ-centered disaster relief, etc. because God gives us life and breath to transform this world for the glory of His name and being cheerful givers in these areas is one of the ways we do that.

When I was a kid, I used to steal quarters from my sister so that I could buy gum for myself (yes, she knows and yes, I have long since repented).  I was interested in me, and didn't mind injuring someone else to advance my own desires.  Sound pretty common to man?  God graciously offered me (and you) these corrective words in Eph 4:28: "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need."  Notice that the good work of our hands, our labor, is so "that [we] may have something to give him who has need."  God's word is gracious and we believe it?  Or do we listen to the world that tells us that our labor is about getting a bigger house or sportier car or whatever else we are interested in for ourselves?  Now I don't want to be wacky here...we are also instructed by God to provide for the needs of our own households (and some of you are struggling to do that very faithful there, dear friends!).  We're also told by God to enjoy the fruit of our labor.  So don't go feeling too badly if you enjoyed some ice cream with your kids and got your mortgage check in the mail on time!  But what I've learned is that there is a great joy in laboring to have something to give to others too and as we're enabled by the grace of God to do so,  I want everyone else in God's kingdom to know the joy that comes from cheerful giving.

SO, when I post an opportunity like I am today to come alongside someone, to give to them freely, I ONLY want you to do so if you can do so cheerfully and unto the Lord.  God owns it all...we do not need any reluctant or grumpy givers...we are not desperate!  God is our Father and He funds what He favors...I'm not one bit worried.  God's people are His instruments of mercy and He tells us that the world will know we are His by our love (which is really His love flowing through us...we can only give what we first received).  There is joy to be had...there is glory (the glory of our great God and King) to be displayed...if you desire and are able by the grace of God to help my friends say yes to Caleb, please hop over to their blog where you will find a Paypal donation button or you can email Melissa Maser at to get their address if you'd prefer to send a check.

Thank you,

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post! I love that you are apart of my Oregon family AND my Florida family! Love you so much!