Ponderings, While In Sofia Bulgaria January 2016!

This blog post originated from four Facebook posts I shared while in Sofia, Bulgaria for a Deaf adoption in January of 2016.  
Christopher Collicott – September 2015

January 22, 2016

“Much to ponder these days! These are just some of the verses His Spirit is bringing to mind, tonight. The concepts that He is impressing on me:
What is our “reasonable service”? To be a living holy sacrifice to God. Notice this is reasonable, because of what Christ has done and is doing for me, not radical.
The life I now live, is not mine. It is Christ’s. It does not belong to me. When I think it does, I have stolen it from Him, for my glory and not His.
“Therefore I exhort you, brothers, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy to God, well-pleasing, which is your reasonable service.”

~Romans 12:1
“I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

~Galatians 2:20
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
~1 Corinthians 6:19-20″

January 23, 2016

Something to ponder…

God did not reveal the truth of these verses to me until He called me into Orphan Care. And even then, it has been a process of revelation. He never called me to adopt, but He has called each of us to care for the orphan and the widow. AND He calls us to keep a tight rein on our tongues so we are not deceived by our own careless words. In addition, we are called to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. What if you and I started making a list of how the world has polluted us; how long would our lists be??? And what should we begin to eliminate from that list???

While adoption has it’s place under the umbrella of Orphan Care, if we, His Church were caring for the widow (and her children who are at-risk of becoming orphans) and the at-risk-fatherless family, as we should be, the number of orphans and those in the foster care systems in our world would decrease. Do not misunderstand me, “caring for” means walking alongside of them, connecting them to a variety of sources of support, empowering them to care for their children and discipling them. It does not mean paying their way. We will be held accountable.

“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
~James 1:26-27

January 24, 2016

Sofia, Bulgaria – Only 7 days left!

What my eyes have seen, these last 6 days!

THE UNKNOWN!! That seems to be what causes the most fear, sometimes. Once the unknown becomes known…that fear often is completely dispelled!

Watching Lisa, the PICU nurse who God sent here to help Doug, Lynda and Erikka learn how to care for Christopher has been an experience I will never forget. While I am not surprised by all that is taking place, I am moved that our God has chosen to reveal so much to all of us during this time together. When you do life this close with others, He delights in it and He shows up in ways we cannot think or even imagine. You are a part of all of this as you pray, tear-up over the pictures and videos and as your heart is softened toward our God and His unconditional love that cannot be explained.

So many of you prayed for Lisa without knowing who she was, but God knew her and He knew she was the best for this family. Several of you prayed and asked God if YOU were the one to be with this precious family, but you were not. Thank you for asking Him to show you clearly. Lisa’s experience in other countries with hundreds of children (maybe thousands) is invaluable and that experience makes training the Collicott family seem like just an every day event. The flexibility and confidence Lisa has translates into helping these three learn how easily NG tube feeding can be accomplished…and it can be done just about anywhere. The knowledge she has and is giving to them is vast, it is freeing and it will be life-changing as they move forward caring for their new son and brother, Christopher Collicott.

Watching Christopher’s transformation in just 6 days has taken my breath several times. Some of what we see reflects on the positive care he has had for the past, almost 6 years of his life. No, not all of it has been positive, but some things that he can do and does reveals someone did care along the way and that cannot be ignored. Be assured our God is keeping all His promises to the least of the least, even though you and I do not understand fully, how that possibly can be true.

If we stormed heaven with prayers, daily and without ceasing, for these children and their caregivers, I dare say our God’s response would be far more miraculous than any other action we could initiate. The eternal impact would also be destiny-changing for many. Please refrain from passing judgement as that is NOT our responsibility, instead our responsibility is to PRAY continuously and without ceasing for God’s Spirit to touch hearts that are hard, so they can become soft, not just toward these precious children He has created but for the Creator, Himself. And our actions toward not only these children, but also toward their care givers must reflect the love of Christ, as well. We are the ones mandated to share the love of Christ with everyone we meet. He is the One responsible to give the increase for lives to be changed forever because they have been exposed to a God, through you and me, who loves deeply and forgives completely.
At the same time, we must ask God to make us ready and willing for whatever it is He has planned for us to do in this process. Be assured, as we pray for those we believe to be the enemies of these children, God will give us His heart for them. If you think about it, you and I were once in the same place, with hard hearts against Him, enemies of God, and that is when Jesus Christ came and died for us all…while we were yet sinners! ONLY GOD!!

January 25, 2016

Who is to BLAME!?!

This morning, Monday morning in Sofia, Bulgaria, I was checking FB to see what was “new” since I went to bed last night. We are 7 hours ahead of ET in the US. As I have been catching up on your lives over night and on Christopher’s night, to see maybe if he slept well or not, God’s Spirit brought a familiar story to mind.

Placing blame on others for another’s pain and suffering or injustice is something we humans do constantly and very well, sadly. This is not new to our generation or to our country of America. In fact, the disciples did it long ago. I believe I have much to learn from their human desire to place blame… somewhere. This story mandates that I must gain a better God-perspective, not just on Christopher’s life, but on everything and…”What My Eyes Have Seen”.

“As He [Jesus] went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
~John 9:1-3

This is one of the Biblical stories God has revealed to me as I try constantly to understand His perspective and not trust my human/limited perspective on pain and suffering He allows in this fallen world because of sin. I have a couple of blog posts about this journey beginning in 2012 entitled, “Pain & Suffering…His Plan?” on the Signs for Hope blog. www.signs4hope.blogspot.com

Here is a blind adult man (blind from birth) who has endured many years (surely at least 20) filled with much oppression, depression, full dependence on others even into adulthood possibly, and only God knows what else. Jesus is clear, neither he nor his parents sinned to cause this life of darkness. Instead God planned this blindness for the explicit purpose He had planned for this man even before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) “so that the works of God might be displayed in him”.

So often, when we hear of “innocent children” being abused in whatever ways, our first thought is one of disdain for those who are “guilty” of such atrocities. Who is to blame?
Had this blind man been born, today, in many countries of our world his life might look much like Christopher’s. As an infant he would possibly have been placed in an institution as his mom would feel she could not adequately care for him. Yes, her heart would break, but…
What if…our thoughts went FIRST to “this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” instead of…? You fill in the blank with your first thoughts of blame surrounding Christopher’s history.

And if you and I still feel the need to “blame” someone, maybe it should be God that we blame?!?! Who do you and I blame for the pain and suffering and death of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son? Maybe the Jews or the Romans or maybe we take blame because of our own sin. Acts 2:23 is clear, God Himself takes full responsibility for the pain and suffering His Son endured for you and for me. And He is God and He is the One who chose the details of His plan of salvation for you and for me and He chose it to include pain and suffering for His only Son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.

“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.”

What will by my response?  What will be your response?


The Collicott Family picks up Christopher in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria!


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