"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Friday, July 22, 2011

Be Still My Soul

This is one of my all time favorite hymns. How good, faithful, and loving our Savior is! My favorite line(s) is: "Be still my soul; your best, your heavenly Friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end." 

Be Still My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shall you better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe your sorrow and your fears.
Be still, my soul: your Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Text: Katharina von Schlegel, 1752
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1855
Tune: FINLANDIA, Jean Sibelius, 1899

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not Unwanted

Angelina and 10 other children visited this  church last January--all but one of the other children had hosts on that trip, and 8 of the other children (3 of them my siblings) now have a forever family. Angelina remains an orphan. 
          No wonder she is shy and insecure. Rejected times innumerable by her birth family, by school mates, by potential friends at her orphanage, mocked and ostracized often, Angelina feels entirely unwanted by all the world at the ripe old age of twelve.

        This young girl was in my brother Alexander's group in his orphanage, but their lives could not be more sharply contrasted now. Alexander is universally loved and admired. Angelina is ignored or made fun of. Alexander has a family. Angelina has no one to call Mom or Dad, no sisters and brothers to play with, no grandparents to remember her birthday or her favorite color. Alexander's future is bright with possibilities and opportunities. Angelina's future is bleak, if not even grim.

          Yet Angelina is not unwanted. Her future is not without hope. Little though she may know it, she has a Heavenly Father--the self-proclaimed Father of the Fatherless-- who is looking out for her and loves her more than anyone ever could here on earth. This Father calls us, His adopted children, to look out for those who are vulnerable and orphaned.

          Would you be so good as to take 5 minutes and read the article about Angelina below (written by the very same Becky who assisted us so much in our adoption), and would you please pray for this precious little girl? Would you pray for her shattered heart? Would you pray for her salvation? It is more than likely that she has never heard the true Gospel, which alone can give her never-ending hope. And, would you please pray that God will give Angelina a godly and loving family? After all, it may seem unreasonable and impossible by human standards, but nothing is impossible with God!

Angelina--Crushed Little Blossom

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Abide with Me-Video

This hymn was written in 1847 by Henry Francis Lyte on the day he preached his last sermon; written knowing that he was dying of tuberculosis. It is a beautiful hymn of trust and love for a merciful and compassionate Savior. I've played it maybe five times already today-and who knows, maybe it is what you needed to hear today too.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

At Long Last

When my parents traveled to Moscow in January 2010 to meet my now-siblings Daria, Alexander, and Oksana, they also met a couple who were to become our close friends. Marcos and Jamie instantly captured my parent's attention with their joyful attitudes and deep love for all the orphans on the trip.

Jamie with A. and my brother Alexander
Marcos and Oksana
Jamie and Marcos, photo from their blog

One of the things I have grown to love most about these two is their sweet Christ-like marriage. It is easy to see that they love each other very much. Another amazing thing about this couple is their strong faith-their firm belief in the goodness and wisdom of God.

Why this post? I post because, eighteen long months after starting the adoption of their son (I can't say much about him because their adoption is not finalized yet), Marcos and Jamie are in Russia right now. They are preparing for the court date Monday (Sunday night for those of us in the States) that will, God willing, make them legal parents of the son they have been waiting to adopt. I'm beyond confident that they will be capable, loving, fun parents; yet I know they would treasure your prayers. I remember vividly how daunting the court date is: it is the culmination of months of paperwork re-work phone calls and emails and prayers and...well, you get the point.

Specific prayer requests:

  • Help dealing with jet lag
  • No mistakes in the paperwork the judge goes through!
  • Faith and peace for Marcos and Jamie as they go through their court date on Monday
  • That the judge will approve their case!
  • Wisdom and grace as they spend time with their son; quick and deep bonding
  • Healing for their son's heart after all he has gone through in his young life already
  • And most importantly, that the name of the Lord Jesus will be honored and glorified through Marcos, Jamie, and their son officially becoming a family

The countless prayers friends blessed with during our adoption meant worlds to us. We saw some amazing answers to those prayers! Your prayers for Marcos and Jamie will be treasured as well.