Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Comfortable Christian

Comfortable Christian.

This should be an oxymoron.

But here in America, I think we have it a bit mixed up. We think that the evidence of God's blessing is that we are comfortable.


Jesus never modeled comfort for us. In fact, He basically said that to follow Him was an invitation to come and die.

Well, that doesn't sound too appealing. How do you get followers when that is your tagline?

He even said strange-sounding things like, "...whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:39)

What does that mean? I read an illustration this morning that explained it perfectly. A horse trainer was describing the 'breaking' of a horse. "Until horses are broken they are only consumers. When they are broken they are not less alive, they are more alive. It's as if they have found their purpose, what they were made for. There is such a unity then between horse and master. Wild horses might seem spectacular as they race across a canon, but they are of no use to anyone but themselves. A horse that has been broken with love and respect is an animal in rhythm with it's destiny." (Gifts For Your Soul, pg. 129)

There is a popular brand of Christianity right now that is teaching that life is all about feeling good, being entertained and staying comfortable.


In my personal experience, I only feel alive when I am bowing to the will of the Master...the One who created me...the only One who knows what makes me tick and what will make me live in exhilaration and freedom. Yes, freedom. It is a perplexing paradox to come and die so that you can be free. But try it my friend, and you will experience it. Die to your own desires, die to your longing to be comfortable..and let's face it--we all love comfort.

And how does one do that?

It's not easy. Another paradox is that we KNOW what we should do, but we often don't do it.


It's a constant struggle with our selfishness. But God will help us if we ask Him.

So ask...

Come and die...

And be free to live a life of purpose, meaning and excitement. I promise you, you will not regret it. There is emptiness in our own comfort. There is fulfillment in following Christ.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Amy Wenzel Workshop Giveaway


Amy Wenzel is giving away an amazing gift to the person who sends her a story that inspires her.

I think everyone has a story, so here is mine. My husband and I experienced one miscarriage and seven and a half years of infertility before being blessed with our first son through the miracle of adoption. Four years later, his little brother joined our family, also through adoption.

We had a comfortable life. God had blessed us so much that I almost felt guilty about it. Challenged at a women's retreat to pray for God to break my heart with what broke His, I began to pray that prayer.

A few months later, God brought the plight of baby girls in China to my attention. He sent us to bring a baby girl home. And I was changed. My eyes were opened to a new world--one in which there was poverty, pain and loneliness. A few months later, God told us He was sending us back to China for another. We brought her home and thought we were done. We felt REALLY done! Yeah...like as in old, stressed and tired!

But God... He put another little one on our hearts. Instantly, our hearts changed and we were invigorated with the joy that following Him into the wild unknown can bring. This time, He opened our hearts to kids with special needs. We brought a daughter with a limb difference home. A year later, another little one came home. She would have died in China from her heart condition except that God miraculously ordered events to keep her alive. And we were done. Right, God? Right?

Nope. Not yet. There was another. A little boy who was missing his ear. But God...I am tired and I don't even like kids! But that little boy's face haunted my every waking thought. And so we brought him home.

Two weeks before we went to China to get him, God pointed us in the direction of Guatemala where another little boy with special needs was waiting for a family. Six months later, we flew to Guatemala and right before Mother's Day, I was made the mother of 8 children. What in the world?? God is so funny!

Months later, another little girl with special needs was waiting for us in China. After our paperwork was there, God brought another little one with a severe heart condition to our attention. Miraculously, rules were relaxed and we were allowed to bring both girls home on the same trip.

Last year, we had three, 3 year olds, one of whom had open heart surgery a few months after coming home, and then our family moved from Michigan to Massachusetts. Early this year, our oldest son headed of to Army boot camp. God directed our every step and gave us the strength we needed to get through each day.

I never would have imagined I would be the mom to 10 kids, but God has chosen this path for us and we are on an adventure! I have learned to stay close to Him and that He is totally, utterly trustworthy!

I started taking photos of my kids and it became a passion. My dream is to provide free photos for families whose children are in the hospital and for seniors who cannot afford a professional photographer. I am involved with a calendar project to take photos of children with special needs who have been adopted to use for a fundraiser. We want the world to see that kids with special needs are beautiful and wonderful--not something to fear. I have had the privilege of helping other families adopt children with special needs and I am so thankful God has allowed me to help in some small way.

I also want to go back to China to photograph more of the precious kids who wait for families. Pictures of children speak to hearts. I know because God used the photos of some of my children to grab my heart and want to bring them home. I am dying to learn more about Photoshop and would love to learn all the cool tricks the 'real' photographers use.

Please go read all the other entries at I Heart Faces and be inspired today!