ultimate reward

What's the proper goal for Christian foster parenting? The answer may surprise you! As the author shares from her experience, it's not just about the kids. (Isaiah 26:8) http://adivineencounter.com/ultimate-reward

I’m happy to be at Satisfaction Through Christ today, writing about a subject that’s very dear to my heart. I’m offering an honest and personal look at foster parenting, based on our own family’s experience. Here’s an excerpt:

“We didn’t realize it at the time, but when my husband and I began to consider foster parenting, we may have had an slight ”savior complex” going on. Ahem.

We knew there would be sacrifices involved. But we counted them worthwhile as we anticipated swooping into places where children were being severely abused and callously neglected, scooping them up into our arms and whisking them away to a safe and happy place, our superhero capes fluttering behind us in the breeze as we dashed back to the security and comfort of our home.

The children. It was about helping children. We wanted abused kids to be safe. We wanted hungry kids to be fed. We wanted dirty kids to be clean. We wanted hurt kids to be healed. We wanted sad kids to be happy. We wanted lonely kids to feel belonging.

And we still want those things.

But not quite in the same way we used to…”

Read the rest here, just a click away!

What's the proper goal for Christian foster parenting? The answer may surprise you! As the author shares from her experience, it's not just about the kids. (Isaiah 26:8) http://adivineencounter.com/ultimate-reward

Written by Jennifer Clarke

monday minute: irresistible prayer

What's the prayer God loves to answer more than any other? Discover the essential key to praying humbly, using one simple phrase God won't ever refuse. (Psalm 51:17) http://adivineencounter.com/monday-minute-irresistible-prayer

“God, please change my heart.”

The beauty of this prayer is its simplicity. Just a handful of words, with truckloads of meaning…

It’s all those beneath-the-surface and between-the-lines meanings that make it a prayer that is irresistible to God.

God, please change my heart.”

It’s a plea…a request acknowledging God’s complete ability and my complete inability.

But it’s more than just acknowledging…

it’s trusting.

Trusting that God is able to act on my behalf, and loving enough to want to.

But you know what? It’s also a confession. Sometimes God’s Spirit reveals to me an area of sin, and I want nothing more than to confess it and forsake it and never pick it back up again. Because I can’t bear to have anything between me and my God, the Lover and Restorer of my soul.

God, please change my heart.”

But other times I’m sorry to say that I’m more like a pig who really likes the slop and sludge I’m wallowing in. So I’m slow to sense God’s Spirit and even slower to respond. When I’m in that spot in my life, I don’t even want to be clean again.

Let me just encourage you that even if the “want-to” isn’t there, pray anyway. Ask God to help you want to.

God, please change my heart.”

I pray this when I have a bad attitude and an unthankful spirit.

I pray it when I have a wrong view of my husband.

I pray it when I’m irritable and unkind and unloving.

I pray it when I’m not extending grace to others as lavishly as I’ve received it.

I have prayed it when I’m not encountering Godand when I’m not even really wanting to.

“God, please change my heart.”

It’s the cry of a humble heart — one bowed in submission before her Master.

It’s the plea of a yearning soul — one hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

It’s the longing of a wayward spirit — one that recognizes the distance between her and her Savior by her apathy toward that distance.

“God, please change my heart.”

It may take place in a matter of moments. It may happen over a period of days or weeks or even months. But when you ask God to change your heart, I can promise you that He will.

What's the prayer God loves to answer more than any other? Discover the essential key to praying humbly, using one simple phrase God won't ever refuse. (Psalm 51:17) http://adivineencounter.com/monday-minute-irresistible-prayer

Written by Jennifer Clarke

 

missing

  An intimate look at God's care for each individual, relating our human feelings about loss to how God feels when He misses the fellowship of His children. (Luke 15:4) http://adivineencounter.com/missing

My oldest daughter is away at camp this week.

One would think that with five kids still in the house, the absence of one wouldn’t be felt as keenly.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I miss her so much, the thought of her brings tears to my eyes. And those tears made their way down my cheeks many times yesterday — it was my birthday, and I didn’t think it would be a big deal that she wasn’t here.

But it was.

And trust me, my brain is aware of how silly this is. I mean, really, she’s at church camp, for heaven’s sake! For four measly little nights! And telling myself the truth does help me get my act together and dry up my eyes (and my cheeks) and get on with my usual routine.

But my brain can’t make my heart stop missing her.

I miss the way she brings specialness to the ordinary, and the way she brings over-the-top to special. I miss her baking and her crazy ideas and her smile and her creativity and her enthusiasm.

Missing her this week has given me the slightest insight into how empty-nesters might feel. I don’t envy them. If I didn’t trust God so completely to give me the grace I need when I need it, I might even dread the whole kids-going-away-to-college thing. But instead, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there, and be grateful I’m not there yet.

I’ve also come to see the utter foolishness behind some of my previous thinking about loss. Whenever someone has lost a child, I’ve found myself thinking, “Well, at least they have other children. It will help with this loss.”

Maybe it does help in some ways, but I’m now pretty sure that the help of having others is probably pretty minimal when compared with the loss of the one. No matter how many others there are.

Perhaps the best lesson of all this week has been a teeny glimpse of God’s care for each of us. Personally. Individually. I think He misses us when we’re not in fellowship with Him.

He misses you in particular. And He misses me in particular.

Because in spite of the fact that He likely has millions of followers in the world today, not to mention the company of billions more in heaven…

the company of the others doesn’t erase the loss of the one.

I understand a little more clearly why Jesus spoke of leaving ninety-nine behind to search for the one (Luke 15:4).

Because even when you have ninety-nine…

you still miss the one.

Are you the one He’s missing today?

But while he was still a long way off,

his father saw him and felt compassion,

and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

Luke 15:20

An intimate look at God's care for each individual, relating our human feelings about loss to how God feels when He misses the fellowship of His children. (Luke 15:4) http://adivineencounter.com/missing

Written by Jennifer Clarke