Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's National Adoption Awareness Month--Part 1

Have I ever mentioned how much I love adoption!! I earnestly urge every Christian who reads this blog to carefully, prayerfully consider the adoption option. But this request comes with a WARNING! Adoption is addictive. It is kind of like eating potato chips--no one can adopt just one :) I should know, we are working on our 6th.

Last year, March 18, 2007, I had the privilege of speaking at our local church to promote life and adoption. I have since made some slight changes to put it in its present form. I realize some of the data and stats are a little old but they are still compelling so over the next few days, I'd like to type it out here on my blog.

Uncomfortable, Inconvenient Christianity
If you know me, you know I like to be comfortable. I much prefer loose T-shirts, fleecy sweatshirts and cushy athletic shoes to frilly blouses, flouncy dresses and high heels, I'm not into gnats, mosquitoes, flies, 100-degree weather, negative-degree weather, oozing mud or billowing dust.
And I really don't mind convenience either. ATM machines, e-mail, Hamburger Helper (TM), wrinkle-resistant pants and Scrub Free Soap Scum Remover (TM) are each a much-appreciated part of my world.
I could go on and on with examples but I think you get the point: I enjoy comfort and convenience.
But this morning I have asked to talk to you about a subject that is not comfortable, and a situation whose solutions are not convenient. Those of you who know me well, know God has given me a passion for the unborn and for the orphan.
My passion for the orphan began at least by Junior High and was greatly influenced by a book I read called The Family Nobody Wanted about a Methodist pastor and his wife who adopted twelve children of varying racial backgrounds. My deep concern for the unborn, on the other hand, did not start until I was in college. I don't think I'd ever thought about the ethics of abortion very seriously. I guess until then my opinion was pretty much "I'd never get an abortion myself, but it's a free country--you make your own decision." But as I began a more in-depth study of fetal development in the CSI RN program, an important fact became apparent: human life begins at conception. Once convinced of that truth, the next step was obvious: nobody but God has the right to terminate that life.
I went on to volunteer for a year as live-in Staff Assistant at New Life Center in Vienna, Ohio. (New Life was a residential program which could house about 12 young ladies--mostly between 12 and 25 years old--experiencing a crisis pregnancy.) I worked as a nurse for two years on the postpartum (after delivery) floor at Magic Valley Regional in Twin Falls. My husband and I were foster parents for about 6 1/2 years and we have adopted four beautiful children with a variety of very mild to moderate special needs. As I look back I can see that these experiences, along with others, have led me to this platform today.
The Pentecostal Evangel quotes the Assemblies of God statement concerning the sanctity of life as follows: "We believe that human life is of inestimable worth and significance in all its dimensions, including the unborn, the aged, the widowed, the mentally handicapped, the unattractive, the physically challenged and every other condition in which humanness is expressed from conception to the grave."
I'd like to share with you what God's Word says about the sacredness of human life. I'm reading from the New International Reader's Version, written for kids 6-10.
Human life is valuable because:
1. God created mankind in his own image
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness. Let them rule over the fish in the waters and the birds of the air. Let them rule over the livestock and over the whole earth. Let them rule over all of the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own likeness. He created them in the likeness of God. He created them as male and female.
And God's creative work did not end in Genesis:
Psalm 139:13-16 You created the deepest parts of my being. You put me together inside my mother's body. How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well. None of my bones was hidden from you when you made me inside my mother's body. That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth. When you were putting me together there, your eyes saw my body even before it was formed. You planned how many days I would live. You wrote down the number of them in your book before I had lived through even one of them.
2. God loves every human being
John 3:16 God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.
3. Jesus died for every human being
I Timothy 2:5,6 There is only one God. And there is only one go-between for God and human beings. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave himself to pay for the sins of everyone . . .
4. God has a good plan for every human being
Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you," announces the LORD. "I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come."
Scriptures show that God had a special, specific plan for the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah even in the womb:
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in your mother's body I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart to serve me. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.
Isaiah 49: 1, 5 People who live on the islands, listen to me. Pay attention, you nations far away. Before I was born the LORD chose me to serve him. He appointed me by name . . . . The LORD formed me in my mother's body to be his servant. He wanted me to bring the family of Jacob back to him. He wanted me to gather the people of Israel to himself . . .
(more to come)

1 comment:

Charissa said...

Joy, that was so beautifully written, thank you for sharing it!