And God Did Think Twice

Exodus 32:14a (The Message) – “And God did think twice.”
This is a small “snippet” of God’s conversation with Moses about when the Israelites sinned and made the golden calf and worshipped it.

Most of us would believe that God had the right to wipe out the evil people from in the middle of the Israelites.   After all they had seen and heard and been a part of – then they decide to do this?   Ugh.

But think about it, God thought twice.   God was willing to listen to Moses and changed His plans because of what Moses said.

I’m not willing to say that God is going to be willing to change His plans every time we ask him.   His ways are way better than ours and beyond what we can understand.

But, if God was willing to listen to Moses, don’t you think that the least we can do is talk to Him and tell Him what’s on our minds and what we’re thinking?

May we all spend more time talking with God about the things that bother us in this world.

Tom

The Next Question–Part 2

The next question that almost immediately came to mind was, “How do we tell the kids?”

How do we tell them that we’re going to add to the family – and we don’t know who, how, where from, what age? There’s a lot we don’t know.

We decided to tell them at Christmas time. So I wrote a letter addressed to all three of them.

In it, we told them how proud we are of them. How well they are doing and how much they have grown up. How grateful we are that they all love Jesus and are beautiful on the inside (and outside – but that’s not as important).

We also told them how we are feeling that God is telling us that we have more room – more room in our hearts, more room in our house and more room in our family. We said we didn’t know what that really meant. We didn’t know if God was calling us to:

Adopt an infant domestically.

Adopt from the foster care system.

Adopt internationally

Become a foster family

Do the “Heal the children” thing for a series of kids who need a host family while they are in the US for medical treatment.

But we were feeling God’s call and we wanted to share it with them upfront and right away because it was something that would have an impact on them as well.

The letter then finished with the StarFish Poem. You know the poem? The one where the kid is throwing starfish back into the ocean and an older gentleman says, “Why even bother, there are thousands? What’s the difference?”

It made a difference for that one.

How did they respond?  Stay tuned……

A Private Audience

Psalm 18: 6 (The Message) –  A hostile world! I call to God,

I cry to God to help me.  From his palace he hears my call;  my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience!

Think about it.   David is saying that if we call to God, He will hear us.   Not as a cry from off in the distance, but a private audience.

We can have a private audience with God.   We can have a private audience with God to talk to Him about our concerns.    We can talk to Him and bring our concerns and about the injustices in this world.

And He listens.   He listens like it’s just the two of us sitting down talking and having coffee.   A private audience.  

Now that doesn’t mean that He will do everything we want, He knows way better than we do.   But He will listen.

And if He listens and is willing to give us a private audience, we should really spend a lot more time talking to Him.    Don’t you think…..

Tom

My Story – Boy Was I Naive! (How Haiti Changed My Story)

As I told you before, this is the first installment in “My Story.”    I hope you remember that is my story from my perspective – and is not indicative of anyone else’s story.  Enjoy!

(How Haiti changed my story)

by Tom Vanderwell

I’ll never forget the day.

It was a Sunday afternoon in October of 2002 and the kids were off doing what they do on a Sunday afternoon, reading, playing, just relaxing. My wife and I were sitting in our four season porch reading the paper like we often do on Sunday afternoons.

She said to me, “Did you read the “Child of the Week” segment?” The local paper, in conjunction with some of the local adoption agencies, did a “Child of the Week” segment about kids in foster care waiting for families.

“I did.” I responded. We looked at each other and said, “We could do that.” Suddenly something that we had talked about “possibly” doing “some day” became now.

Our older kids were old enough and great kids. We had room. Room in our hearts and room in our house.

And just like that, a journey started.

And boy was I naive.

Nothing Makes Sense

“I say to God, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense.”  Psalm 16:2 (The Message)

I’ve talked to numerous people going through tough times, whether they be financial, physical, emotional or other.   I’ve talked to numerous people who live and work in 3rd world countries (like Haiti, Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh) who deal with and see suffering on a daily basis.   Suffering that most of us in the first world will never see.

“Without you, nothing makes sense.”    How could you see and deal with that type of suffering without knowing that there is a God?

“Without you, nothing makes sense.”    I don’t believe that means that as soon as you become a Christian, everything will make sense.    I do believe that when you become a Christian, you can rest in the comfort that God has a plan and that one day, maybe not until we get to heaven, but one day we will see what God’s plan is.

I also believe that we are, in many ways, living in a time similar to the period of WWII between D-Day and the end of the war.    After the initial landing and infiltration was completed, the final outcome was certain.  We knew who was going to win the war eventually, but we had a lot of really nasty nasty fighting to go through yet.

We know that Satan has been defeated and that he will not triumph, but we are still in a battle – a battle that we will win – but a battle that will be painful…….

Keep the faith, keep fighting.

God is faithful.

Tom