Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Indiana Jones


Just in case there are any chicken fans out there,
I thought you all might enjoy an update on Indiana Jones, the Therapy Chicken-hopefully-not-a-rooster.

Indiana is growing and I admit to enjoying having a quirky chicken for a pet. Well, maybe I'm the quirky one since my pet is a chicken. Anyway, Indiana is kind of interesting and humorous.

Misha is doing very well as a chicken Papa. He never complains about his duties. And, fortunately, Indiana is not adverse to being held even though I would never dare label this pet chicken as cuddly! Maybe "tolerant" is a better word. I.J. does follow us around the yard ( I guess we are the "flock" to Indiana) when we are out there and, no joke, when we have left him/her outside while we were away, our return has always been heralded by Indiana Jones hurrying in run-hop-flap fashion towards our car! Haha!
:-)

I didn't take a picture of it, but Steve built Indiana a coop in the back yard. Regardless of the fact that our feathered friend likes the coop just fine, our house is sooo inviting that he/she tries to walk in on occasion! I am not kidding, we have six or seven steps up to our front door and the other day I heard a loud peeping from outside. When we opened the door to see what was the matter out there, there was Indiana Jones on the threshold, peeping to come in. When I opened the door his/her little chicken feet and clumsy wings got busy as he/she "marched" right in!
And then the other night we finally had to close the door because every time it opened there was Indiana! And, last night I heard a light knocking on the glass door in the back. Our neighbor occasionally comes to that door if she drops by but I suspected it might not be Myrtle. Sure enough, Indiana Jones was "knocking" on the door to come in. "Knock, knock, knock." Then pausing, assured that we would shout out, "Come in! All chickens welcome!"

Didn't happen.

Melissa

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adoption and the Christian

Here is another excerpt from my recent writings.

Steve


Adoption and the Christian

The purpose of Christianity is redemption. The means God chose for redemption was adoption. Adoption [by God] is, in fact, the very basis of Christianity. Adoption has been described by John Piper as being “greater than the universe” and he goes even further and says “adoption is the purpose of the universe.” These are bold claims and assertions but the book of Ephesians solidly backs this up. Adoption is not only the purpose of the universe; it is a recurring theme throughout scripture.

The Hebrew people were living in Egypt and had grown so large that the Pharaoh perceived them as a threat and ordered all male babies to be killed. The mother of one young boy, unable to bear having her child killed, placed him in a basket. She then slid him into the river near where she knew the princess would bathe. The Egyptian princess was touched with compassion when she saw the infant. She took him as her adopted son, and named him Moses.

It was Moses to whom God presented Himself to mankind as "I AM." It was this same adopted son of the queen of Egypt who led the Exodus from Egypt and was given the Ten Commandments. It was Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible.

Later, the Messianic line was preserved through adoption. The Jewish people had been led into exile. A young girl, Hadassah, lost her parents and her uncle took her in. He adopted her, and raised her as his own daughter. The Persian king Xerxes was compelled by this young woman’s stunning beauty and took her as his wife.

The king’s evil advisor, Haman, hated the Hebrews. He plotted to destroy them and wipe them off the face of the Earth. It was the courage of the adopted daughter of Mordechai, better known as Queen Esther, who "at such a time as this" rose to the occasion. It was this adopted daughter who risked her very life to approach the king to seek his favor to save her people. Through her actions not only were her people saved but also the Messianic line and eventually, through the death of Christ, all men.

Jesus, The Christ, was the adopted son of Joseph. It was the adoptive father of Jesus who refused to have Mary, the mother of God, stoned or put away privately. It was the adoptive father of the Christ who took Mary to Bethlehem fulfilling the prophecy of Micah. It was Joseph who fled to Egypt with Jesus, saving the adopted Christ Child’s life. It was the adoptive father of Jesus who brought Him "up out of Egypt.”

The adoptive father of our Great God and Savior had every reason and right under the law to refuse the responsibility of a child he had not fathered. However, Joseph knew that God’s plan was greater than his own. He raised the Son of God as his own.

As Christians it is by adoption that we cry "Abba" or "Papa" Father. Our adoption was known even before the foundation was laid for this universe. Redemption is by adoption. We were desperately "lost children." It was through the most evil and vile act in history that our adoption into God’s family was facilitated. Through adoption we have a heritage we don't deserve and a destiny forever altered. It is by adoption that we are “joint heirs” with the Messiah, Jesus.

Today there are nearly 150 million lost children worldwide. The outcomes they face are staggering. Almost 2/3 of the children who age out of foster care in the United States will end up in the prison system. In Eastern Europe estimates run as high as 1 in 10 orphaned children killing themselves before their 18th birthday. In Africa millions of lost children will die of AIDS. In South America the orphan is often conscripted into violent street gangs and militias. In Asia young girls are left wholesale on orphanage steps due to oppressive laws of tyrannical regimes only to later end up on the streets as prostitutes. Regardless of where a lost child is, he faces an almost certain untimely demise if parents never come for him.

St. James wrote “… Pure religion is to care for the orphans…” The lost child has a simple need. A family! Some say it is na├»ve to expect to find families for 150,000,000 children. However, there are an estimated TWO BILLION people worldwide who claim to be followers of the adopted Christ. If just one of every eight us were moved to action by the plight of the lost child the problem would be solved!

Without adoption we have no chance for eternal life. An orphaned child who is not adopted has virtually no chance for earthly life, much less eternal. God gave adoption to us; can we offer any less to them?

Adoption is not natural; it is supernatural!

Earthly adoption of lost children is one of the highest symbolic forms of worship one can offer a Holy and Just God.

Steve

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Ukrainian in the South

Our neighbors are great. They are dyed-in-the-wool southerners. His name is Cletus and her name is Myrtle. They have a grandson named Will.

Will was out the other day and Max saw him and said to Melissa "His name is Wheel." Melissa told Max that his name was Will. Max responded, "His dad calls him Wheel!"

Steve

Monday, April 06, 2009

Too Old: A Rwandan Adoption Story

15 years ago today the most efficient genocide in history began. On April 6, 1994 under the impotent noses of the UNAMIR troops a slaughter of innocent Tutsi Rwandans began. This slaughter turned the hills of Rwanda into graveyards and the rivers ran red from the blood of nearly one million murdered souls.

The French were likely involved in the execution of the genocide. The UN was impotent. The USA knew within hours what was occuring and specifically Richard Clarke blocked early attempts to stop the genocide. The Clinton administration went so far as to prevent this butchering from being called a genocide.

While the world did nothing one women became an unlikely hero. This is a short essay that I wrote about that women; Rosamond Carr, it is titled Too Old

I'm Too Old!

Rosamond Carr was a New York City socialite who married a young photographer during the 1940s and moved to the country of Rwanda. Some time later, Roz and her husband divorced but Roz never left Rwanda. Roz stayed in Rwanda until the 1994 genocide when in a period of 100 days nearly 1,000,000 people were slaughtered.

At the age of 82 in 1994, Roz Carr was the longest living foreign resident in Rwanda and one of the last non-native plantation owners. When the awful violence of the Interhamwe descended upon Rwanda, Roz did the only thing she knew to do. She sheltered her neighbors from the genocidal madmen. When the mobs learned of this Roz was forced to flee to the Democratic Republic of Congo. She then returned to her native United States.

Roz was already a hero for saving her neighbors and nobody would have thought less of her had she decided to live out her days in comfort in the USA. What happened next though is one of the most amazing stories of modern times. Rosamond Carr returned to her “home” in Rwanda.

When Ms. Carr returned to her home she found her country in shambles. The bodies were stacked up. The rivers ran red from the blood of a million Rwandans. Roz’s personal residence was ransacked. There was absolutely no reason to stay and every reason to just go back to America.

Instead Roz walked to the road in front of her plantation. She found an orphaned child and a short time later another. A kind hearted woman, she tried to find help for them but the more she looked for help the more children she found. It soon became apparent to Roz that she would need to be the help. At the age of 82, single, and never having had children Rosamond Carr became a mother to 40 children in a matter of days.

Roz Carr was 96 years old when she died in 2006. At the time of her death Roz had become the mother to over 400 lost Rwandan children. Roz Carr in her memoir Land of a Thousand Hills wrote “I can only surmise that God didn’t feel I was ready to have children until I was 82 years old. Then he sent me forty all at once.”

There are many reasons that people think they can’t make an impact in a lost child’s life including that they are “too old.” Fortunately for hundreds of lost children in Rwanda, Rosamond Carr realized that even an 82 year old divorcee with no kids and every reason to leave could be a mommy.

Scripture verse:

Genesis 21:1-8

Steve

If you have not seen the movie Hotel Rwanda please consider watching it