Unless or until someone is taking foster children into their home because of their parents illegal choices, they can’t convince me that they are truly concerned about children being separated from their parents. I have first hand understanding of being away from a parent in prison and have worked with many ladies that were unable to raise their children because they broke the law.
I was separated from my dad for 16 years before he finally died in prison for his illegal choices. This is life. There are laws. As believers we are to abide by the laws of the land unless they force us to sin and also hold others accountable to do the same.
Many of the people that are in prison believed they were doing the crime that they did to survive or to have a better life. Their children get separated from them. It’s hard on the families. Really hard.
The foster care system is in desperate need for people to take in children that are separated from their parents and Christians as a whole are not stepping up. I was a single mother living in poverty and they trained and accredited me as a foster parent and placed children in our home when I was only 25 years old. I took in several children over several years. I stopped when I realized that Forrest was being influenced negatively.
The American foster care system is desperate for help. Children are kept in group homes across the United States. Our system is taxed and have their hands full taking care of the children of American citizen’s that are breaking the law as it is. As far as I can tell there is very little outrage about the desperately needed prison reform. Many many parents that need rehabilitation from drugs, not prison time, spend their life in prison, and their children continue to suffer.
There is no country that has open boarders that allow people to just pour in at will. People that are harping on our system, as if the current laws are inhuman, are making their opinions based on exactly what the media wants them to. Hyped up sensationalism.
I haven’t watched the news but I’ve read enough statuses on facebook to have an idea of what is going on. What I am seeing is strategy to flip people on a political issue, strategy to put pressure on people to change their viewpoint on a political issue, strategy to manipulate people into being afraid to stand by their convictions publicly because they are afraid to appear callous towards innocent children.
I would rather be thought callous than not say anything and join in with the masses on this issue. It hits too close to home. I’ve seen too many codependent people make excuses for their behavior while convincing themselves they are just being helpful so no one has to suffer. No one is the better off for it.
I’ve been the child and I’ve been the parent. I was actually taken to jail pregnant. Women have babies in prison and they are not able to nurse their own off-spring. Where is the outrage about this? There are consequences to actions. Parental responsibility is a weighty thing.
It’s too easy to feel good about oneself (and appear caring to others) by lamenting and praying over the issues publicly that the media says if we are good people we should be outraged about.
And this is not about policy for me or that I do or do not believe there needs to be reform. It’s a call to think about the timing of these pictures and this story coming out. Encouragement to not just allow yourself to be herded in whatever direction media is leading. It’s strategy. The timing is strategic. I just don’t like people trying to brainwash me and I don’t like seeing well meaning people being brainwashed. I’m seeing prophetic people that I respect jumping on the band wagon with this one.
Join me today in taking up arms against the enemy of ours souls by having a thankful heart that expresses itself through attitudes and words that confirm our faith in God and His goodness.
Let’s go forward with expectancy; believing Gods favor rests on us; that He is working all things for good; and that His grace Really is sufficient for us.
If your feeling pressured or hounded to ‘figure things out,’ do not lean into your own limited understanding.
Pause. Close your eyes. Take a few deep, slow breaths and say, ‘Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus.’ Consciously breath in His peace and breath out your problem. Release control to Him.
Remember who you are. Remember Whose you are! You are a child of the Most High God, set apart and made holy by the blood of the Lamb. No weapon formed against you will prosper. Every tongue that rises up against you in judgement, you will show to be in the wrong, for God made him who knew no sin, to become sin, that you might be made the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ.
Got it? Okay, bask in these truths until your soul is settled down into His peace. Now in this clarity of mind ask God what He would have you do. He may speak something to you immediately. Do it without hesitation. It may not become clear right away. Do not worry. Ask in faith what your part is; ask for wisdom, now return to your daily duties in full confidence that He will reveal Himself and His way to you for whatever problems you face.
If you are not hearing God speak, or recognizing his guidance, look for ways to make more room for Him in your week. Inactivity does not always equal unproductiveness! Quiet time is the perfect time to reconnect with God and your own heart.
Don’t neglect to read God’s word! The exact wisdom, comfort, or encouragement you need could be tucked away in the pages of the Bible. Read it!
Ask for God to open your eyes to all of the ways He speaks to you throughout your days. Your daily lives are ripe with parables that explain the mind of Christ. Pray for ears to hear and eyes to see!
Finally I say, walk in love! If you don’t feel loving, that’s okay. Determine in your heart to act lovingly and to replace every unlovely or impure thought that pops into your head with loving and pure thoughts.
Exercise your love muscle! Your feelings will fall in line eventually. We are called to walk in love, not to feel lovingly.
If you are still not hearing God speak personally to you giving direction, consider that often, in order to hear from God, you must first be willing to do whatever He says.
Sometimes we want to hear first before we make up our minds to obey. That’s backward. Determine first to obey no matter what, at any cost, then you may find the way was clear all along and it was your own unwillingness or hesitation that obscured it.
Also, once you do hear, obey without hesitation.
Don’t stand on the shore waiting for the water to part when you have heard God say ‘Cross to the other side.’
Begin walking in obedience by faith!
The waters will either part before you as you step in or God will enable you to walk on the water to the other side
How can I pray for you today? There are strength in numbers!
Sometimes we need a refresher course on the importance of God’s grace in keeping us from living a lower, common sense life.
It is God’s grace that lifts us up out of what we can comprehend with our own limited mindsets and understanding into the unseen realm, where by faith, we can walk confidently through the things we don’t understand.
It’s important that we learn to ‘run with patience’ – doing our daily duties, keeping our commitments and serving God, even when we are full of sorrow and uncertainty.
Anyone can sit and wait for the emotional and spiritual storm to pass, but when we run and exert ourselves, in spite of our pain, we are strengthened in The Lord and gain endurance.
God’s grace empowers us to live victorious lives in the midst of great uncertainties and seeming injustices.
Grace enables us to walk in the certainty that God is a good and just God, even when our prayers seem to be going unanswered.
I believe this, even though I don’t always see the evidence or feel victorious.
I don’t trust my eyes or my feelings. Bridging the distance between what is fact and what is truth in my life is only possible by grace, through faith.
I thank God for his grace. I thank him for the joy that He gives even in the midst of suffering. I thank Him for the courage that I have found through Him.
I do not fear pain like I once did, because I know him.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Whisper the name of Jesus and remember. Remember His promise, that we are not alone. We are not orphans. He has sent the Spirit to guide and comfort us.
Do not be afraid to walk through doorways of pain on your path to healing and wholeness.
We are not subject to random coincidences.
God has a plan for our lives and will redeem our problems and pain when we put our trust in Him.
I see a large maze from a top view. Lots of paths with dead ends, lots of doors leading to nowhere. There is a person fumbling along through the maze. They realize there is a definite destination, and that the destination is good, and that the only way to get there is to go through the maze; taking wrong turns, making u turns, opening pointless doors.
After seeing the person moving through the maze, going down corridors, opening and going into different doors for some time, I notice that they now have a blind fold on. They are still having to feel their way through, but are beginning to realize they are blindfolded and completely blind to where they are going.
Realizing this helps them. They pause to assess the situation. They realize the blindfold is to train their ability to be led by spiritual, instead of physical, eyes.
I see a lot less pointless searching. Less frustration. Less frantic looking. Less anxiety. A door is opened, stepped into even, but instead of plowing ahead there is a pause. There is no need to go further because of a knowing, apart from sight, or even touch, that the door leads to nowhere.
Back in the hallway the person grows silent and contemplative, slowly beginning to trust their ability, until eventually they are at a complete stand still. They stand waiting; listening.
Measured, but confident steps, are taken down the corridor, hands still feeling the surrounding walls until they stop confused by the wall mounting up from the floor directly in front of them.
Standing in front of the wall a recognition that the path is straight through the wall arises. Hands pressing, groping for a possible lever that might open a hidden door finally fall to their side, defeated.
Having grown more confident in the silences, they listen. With a deep breath they step forward, straight into the wall, straight through the wall-it parts to make a way before them.
Things begin to make sense; the maze,the doors that lead to nowhere; the dead ends; the blindfold; they are all for training.
I still see the person in the maze from above, but I shift perspectives and see the blindfolded persons’s point of view:
They are being led by a Light. No walls, doors or corridors exist for them.
There is only darkness and Light.
They are learning to follow The Light.
‘Mourn with those who mourn’ should be applied to when someone is sharing their burdens and prayer requests with you. Its happy, faith filled Christians, myself included, that are most likely to offend in this situation. Love sometimes is best shown through just listening with empathy. Every time someone comes to us with a prayer need we don’t have to give our opinion or unsolicited advise. For starters, unless we are speaking the very words of God in and for that situation we may just be puffed up with pride believing we have all the answers. When someone is trusting us enough to share their heart and struggles with us its important that we show them respect enough to listen in humility and not jump on their position of vulnerability as a captive audience to spout off cliche Christian statements and affirmations or to preach about what they could be doing differently (that we often believe we are already doing better; after all we don’t have the problem they are sharing with us!)
It’s not always pride that motivates this annoying habit; genuine concern, coupled with enthusiasm for the things of God can cause us to blurt out whatever first pops in our head if we are not walking in godly wisdom.
This is not to say God’s Spirit will not nudge us to give a word of knowledge or even correction, but lets begin to take a moment to listen to people’s hearts and bear each others burdens when they are entrusted to us and not immediately jump to the conclusion that a prayer request is automatically an opportunity to council. Pause for a moment before plowing ahead with words and wait for discernment. Then, if the Spirit has a timely word for the person, speak it. Otherwise, remain silent and pray as was requested.
‘After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned…strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”’
‘Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” said Paul to Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:3.
I believe it is a fallacy that every bit of suffering and setback is due to something we are lacking spiritually speaking. God’s ways are often unfathomable. Lets encourage each other in The Lord. Instruction and rebuke have their place in the body of Christ but I am not so sure that their place is always to be in the moment when someone is hurting or lacking and shares a prayer need. Let’s be compassionate. If we must speak, perhaps a timely word about a situation where we have also been hurting or in need and how God carried us through would be most appropriate and helpful.
-Emily R Lewis, July 4th 2014