My Journey to Joy

July 27, 2013

Max Lucado on God’s Plan

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Sometimes God is so touched by what he sees in us that he gives us what we need and not simply that for which we ask. -Max Lucado


June 15, 2013

Randy Alcorn on Surrender

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The fulfilled life largely consists of unclenching our fists, releasing our plans & giving ourselves over to God’s purposes.  ~Randy Alcorn

March 20, 2013

She Chose Life

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Every adoption story has one thing in common: It began with a birthmother.

…Laura Davis is one of Lifeline’s Birthmother Counselors.  Her husband was adopted internationally in 1986.  His parents received little information about his birthmother-just some minimal health facts, a few physical descriptors, and one document translated into broken English.  It contained a bit of personal information, but was barely complete.  There was one line that was translated and gave insight as to why she wanted to place him with an adoptive family.  It read, “I want him go to America.  Have full love and complete life.”

Some adoptive families have little history about a birthmother.  Others are blessed to have participated in an open adoption that provided an abundance of information.  Whether a family knows the details of the birthmother in their story, or long to know about her-there is a common thread that is woven into the tapestry of adoption: each adoptee’s story began with a woman who chose life.

She chose life– Through difficult circumstances, judgment from others, and maybe without support around her, she chose to carry a child to give that child life.  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:13-14

What an amazing and brave choice to make!  Access to abortion services and other alternatives to end pregnancy are readily available and generally more obtainable than affordable prenatal care.  So, why did she choose life?  Through all of her reasoning, one simple truth remains: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11

She chose life, and God chose His people– God has a purpose.  Whether the birthmother has a personal relationship with the Lord or not, He is the One that moves hearts to choose life.  Then God chooses His people to be mothers and fathers.  He equips, entrusts and blesses families with children to disciple in His ways and His truth.

They choose love– Families love their children, and they love the birthmother of their story.  They lift her up in prayer.  They answer questions about her with honesty.  They share their adoption story with others and speak with the utmost respect of this woman’s choice to place a child.  And most importantly they pray for her salvation!  They seek the Lord on her behalf and cling to the hope that one day they will meet in heaven and thank her for choosing life.


From Coming Home, First Quarter 2013, the Lifeline Children’s Services newsletter


February 2, 2013

Christy Wagner on Matched Hearts

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Our skin doesn’t match. You don’t have my eyes or mouth, and our faces aren’t the same shape. I don’t know what it’s like to look at you and catch a glimpse of myself as a child. What I see in you is far more beautiful than that. I see the hand of God in my life. I see into the windows of Heaven and you, sweet angel, are by my side every single day. Our skin may not match, but we match hearts. -Christy Wagner

April 17, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Trust His Heart

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April 4, 2012

John Chapter 3

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John 3:1-30 As I sit here and read the scriptures of John, I am blown away afresh and anew by their power to transform. I am also blown away by something else: God’s patience in mentoring me along. I used to read and memorize scriptures and quote them like a parrot. I really did mean well in my young, excitable heart. I think back and can truly say I was trying my best to love God, but I also wanted to impress and maybe even win a debate or two. How foolish. Yet God would still say, “I will keep working with this kid. I have a plan for him.” How loving – how nurturing – how kind. What A Savior! So here are some thoughts on what I was reading today: John said to his followers in Chapter 3 Verse 30, “I am really happy that He (Jesus) is getting all the attention now. He must become greater and I must become less important” (my paraphrase). As I grow and let the Word (realize I’m not talking about letters formed together to make a book,) the true Word, the Spirit of Christ, blow where it wants, I am left helplessly small and yet empowered. How does this happen? Why just now? The second half of my journey should prove to be very interesting. Some may say I’m having a mid-life crisis. I have even joked about this with my wife. I’m experiencing feelings and hearing of things that I never dreamed I’d see or hear. My body is weak and my nerves are frayed, but I have to believe this is part of the decrease / increase phase of the Spiritual Walk of Faith. So, I am not having a mid-life crisis. I choose to think that I am having a mid-life Christ Excitement! All my little powerhouse maneuvers cannot and will not work for what true life has to offer. He must increase and I must decrease. I don’t have a clue where the wind will blow next. Back tracking to verse 8: Verse 8 says clearly what I should expect: “It is the same with every person who is born of the Spirit of God. You are going to be blown all over the place. Unknown but felt.” (Once again my paraphrase. Read the whole chapter to see the context.) At this point you and I can look at life and all its harsh, horrible realities (and the times of its lovely wonder and awe) and think “This is too much; I just don’t get it anymore” and cave in. Then spend the second half of our lives trying to feel young again and relive the glory days when life was not so complicated and harsh. Or, we can give in to the wind of the Spirit and let it take us and use us to help others who are still spitting into the wind. This is the great mystery of life. Should be an interesting ride. Gone with the Wind for sure. Love you all. Ernie

March 14, 2012

Disappointment- His Appointment

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“Disappointment — His Appointment”
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God’s better choice for me.
His appointment must be blessing,
Tho’ it may come in disguise,
For the end from the beginning
Open to His wisdom lies.

“Disappointment — His Appointment”
Whose? The Lord, who loves me best,
Understands and knows me fully,
Who my faith and love would test;
For, like loving earthly parent,
He rejoices when He knows
That His child accepts, UNQUESTIONED,
All that from His wisdom flows.

“Disappointment — His Appointment”
“No good thing will He withhold,”
From denials oft we gather
Treasures of His love untold,
Well He knows each broken purpose
Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
And the end of all His dealings
Proves our God is wise and just.

“Disappointment — His Appointment”
Lord, I take it, then, as such.
Like the clay in hands of potter,
Yielding wholly to Thy touch.
All my life’s plan in Thy moulding,
Not one single choice be mine;
Let me answer, unrepining —
“Father, not my will, but Thine.”

Edith Lillian Young

Job 23:14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me:
and many such things are with him.

March 7, 2012

Infertile, But Not Childless

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 Even in the dark womb of infertility, blessings can be found. Gary and Marilyn Purdy, for example, learned that “infertile” need not be synonymous with “childless.”

When the Purdys married in 1990, Gary was directing the Campus Crusade ministry at Baylor University. They dreamed of having babies and raising a family. Since she was 32, Marilyn was eager to get started, but after a year, she had not conceived. Three years later, after “lightweight tests” by her physician, consultations with infertility specialists, medication and a series of injections—still no baby. And worst of all, there was no medical explanation. “Everyone around us was having babies easily, and it became very stressful. It seemed so unfair,” Marilyn admits. In vitro fertilization was the next option, but with their limited financial resources, and given the long odds, the Purdys were reluctant.

They began to consider adoption. “The most appealing fact about adoption was that everyone we were aware of who had pursued adoption had gotten a baby,” she notes. Marilyn, having grown up around adopted children, was far more receptive to the idea than her husband. However, by faith he was willing to proceed. “I asked myself, ‘Am I desirous of becoming a daddy?’ Since my answer was yes, I agreed that we should try to adopt a child,” Gary recalls.

Five months later, in 1995, the Purdys received a phone call that their son had been born. “The moment we got that call, Gary engaged. It was beautiful to see him bonding emotionally with Davis even before he held the baby in his arms. What a confirmation from God,” Marilyn says. In 1999, mom and dad gave Davis a new sister, ClaraLane, adopting her when she was eight months old.

“Sometimes people used to ask, ‘Are you still trying to have one of your own?’ I can’t imagine having children more our own than Davis and ClaraLane,” Marilyn asserts. “We would never go back and choose to have a child biologically if it meant we couldn’t have them. It fills us with awe to think that before time began, God orchestrated all of the circumstances – even the deep valley of infertility – so we could have the joy of becoming their parents.”

Today Gary pastors North Shore Fellowship in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he and Marilyn have often shared comfort and encouragement with others also coping with infertility. –By Robert J. Tamasy

February 28, 2012

Songs for the Journey- I Wait

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December 27, 2011

Songs for the Journey- Rejoice in the Lord

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