It's Finally Here! Pre-order Your Copy Today

It's Finally Here! Pre-order Your Copy Today

We’ve waited and we’ve waited and it’s finally here! The Crucible’s Fire: A Story of God’s Faithfulness is ready for Pre-Order. Get your copy on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble. If you are not a subscriber to this blog or The Potter’s Hands, our Disciplemaking blog, Use the buttons to subscribe and receive a FREE PREVIEW CHAPTER of the book.

Embers from The Crucible's Fire

My wife saw this comment on a post on the Humans of Foster Care Facebook page.

 "My 6 year old adopted from foster care asks me when he sees a mom with a baby 'I wonder if she's a safe mommy or if he needs a new family' "

This is the tragedy we walk in every day. These little ones have seen so much and have such a tragic worldview. Consider foster care today. Show them a redeemed world that looks nothing like the one they know. We would love to show you how to get started.

 

Beauty for Ashes

Beauty for Ashes

Just over a week ago a new foster placement came to our home. He is five. It feels weird to call a child a “placement,” but that is the term. He is small and lovable. As I stated in last week’s post, each new face brings to mind the heaviness of a world broken since that fateful act of disobedience in the garden. However, from time to time, out of the ashes of abuse and neglect we are privileged … no, blessed and humbled … to see a flower of life and redemption sprout where once there was only desolation.

My Thoughts on ThoughtFull by Dorena Williamson

My Thoughts on ThoughtFull by Dorena Williamson

In her charming and insightful book, ThoughtFull, author Dorena Williamson shines light on something we desperately need more of in our world; thinking of others and appreciating our differences. This delightful children’s book is a wonderful teaching tool and conversation starter as we attempt to teach them how to be more like Jesus as they relate to the world around them.

How to Ruin Church Volunteers in One Easy Move

How to Ruin Church Volunteers in One Easy Move

When I was in college I learned something that has stuck with me ever since. It's called the Peter Principle. It was developed by a fellow named Laurence J. Peter. In simple terms, his theory states that people tend to rise to the level of their incompetence. You could say it another way:

People are often promoted one level higher than they are capable of performing.

8 Ways the Church Can Minister to Special Needs Families

8 Ways the Church Can Minister to Special Needs Families

Loneliness. Fear. Guilt. Hope. Anxiety. Anger. Bitterness. Despair. 

All of these are emotions a family goes through when trying to be an active part of a church family. It's even worse if they are coming in as visitors. Depending on the severity and type of the disability, the emotions are different. 

Why Do You Pursue Holiness?

Why Do You Pursue Holiness?

"What is your motivation for your struggle for holiness?

"If I do things around the house like clean up, do the dishes, or laundry because of fear that if I don't my wife will go bananas and yell at me, how much joy do I find in doing those things?  However, if I do the very same things out of love for her and out of a desire to serve her and for her joy, then how much joy do I find in doing those things?

"It is the same way with God.  If my motivation for holiness is fear, then there we find no joy.  If our motivation is love, then in that we find infinite joy."

Don't Worry About It, It's In the Past

Don't Worry About It, It's In the Past

One of the things I love about scripture is the divinely inspired tensions that seem to riddle its pages. One of those moments comes from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14. In it, Paul says, 

"13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

What Do You Worship?

What Do You Worship?

Many years ago I heard a sermon where the preacher pointed out how we could tell what was important to us by what was in our checkbook register. Apparently at that time, as now, Wal-Mart is EXTREMELY high on that list. It isn’t that I worship Wal-Mart, it just so happens the bulk of what we buy for our family of 7 comes from there. I mean, they carry everything!

Expectations and Perspective

Expectations and Perspective

If there is one thing I have learned as a foster / adoptive parent it is that my perspective is often wrong, or at least different. By often I mean almost always, it seems. As we prepared to go on a short little vacation with our boys, we started noticing strange questions, packing sequences that didn't make sense, and other oddities. It didn't take long to realize that once again, our perspective was off. I'll explain what I mean by sharing some conversations we had before and during our vacation.

The Trauma Informed Teacher - The Silent Front Line

The Trauma Informed Teacher - The Silent Front Line

If you are an educator, you NEED to read this. As an educator, parent, and foster parent of children impacted by trauma this is spot on, needed,and under-trained. You guys are the day to day front line from 8 to 4. Seriously. Read it. Please. This concept should be in every Professional Development package an administrator puts together.

12 Ways Our Children Described Our Family

12 Ways Our Children Described Our Family

Have you ever wondered how other people think of you or your family? I have. As my kids have gotten older and our first grandchild came on the scene, I have wondered what they think about our family and how they would describe it to someone else. So, a couple of weeks ago I asked them to list a few things they think of when they think of "us", things that defined who we are through their eyes. This isn't a complete list by any means, but here is what they said...

She Said So Herself

She Said So Herself

So, tonight we put Brynna to bed, it was uneventful. You know, only 4 meds tonight instead of 5; no shot today. Even on simple nights I'm sometimes reminded, and saddened a little, that normal for us is "how many meds are we giving tonight?". But times like this make that a short-lived thought ... you see, when we brought her home they said she would never love, know love, show love, let alone speak love.

My Daughter's Nurses are Family

My Daughter's Nurses are Family

As the parents of a child with chronic special needs and foster/adoptive parents, we have had someone in and out of our home almost constantly for over a decade. Even before we ever brought Brynna home from the hospital we had to meet with social workers, DME (Durable Medical Equipment) companies, doctors, nursing agencies, and eventually, the nurses themselves.