1 Out Of 132 Million

1 Out Of 132 Million

Seeking God's help to respond to the global orphan crisis.
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132 million.

That is the number of parentless or vulnerable children in the world. In "adoption" minded circles, such as the ones in which my family has become involved, somehow that manages to be an easy figure to throw around. We know about it--we care--we even wear the t-shirt. But what on earth is to be done about it?

We won’t really understand the reality of what it means to be fatherless, or vulnerable, until we see it. Not on a blog. Not on Google Images. Not on the Discovery Channel. We understand when God takes us, and makes apparent to us the “Actual,” as Amy Carmichael was fond of calling it.

What on earth can we do to offset and jostle our apathy?

I was once reminded of Jesus’ command to “deny ourselves, and take up our cross.” (Luke 9:23), in relation to the reality of the orphan crisis. The only way we will learn to see is when we die to our comfort: something that is embedded in our American Dream.

Whenever we step out on the painful, costly waves of self-denial and comfort-denial is when God will entrust us with the life-changing sight of what 132 million means. Understanding what it means doesn’t lie in crunching numbers, but in seeing one. The face of one eternal soul, that has eternal significance.

Within ourselves, we don't have even the capacity to stir ourselves, to leave our comforts, until we are brought to realize how the One who redeemed us that we might no longer be orphans (Gal. 44ff) left His comforts, the highest bliss that exists in all that is, whether divine or earthly (John 1:17). The manner is which this realization is brought about is by our crying out for that Spirit which is responsible for raising in us the Abba Cry (Romans 8:14ff).

When we were orphans, set against the Triune God, that God, in a Trinitarian effort, stooped to do all that was required to adopt us. Once we lay hold of that reality, we are able to lean on the Beloved in order to fulfill His command in Luke 9:23.

Of late, God has given me the opportunity to see what it looks like when the Abba cry is raised in the hearts of His people, and that is manifested in love to the Fatherless: love to one, or three, or a dozen, out of the 132 million.

I was helping some friends from church, and one lady received a call from a social worker regarding a four-year old girl who was needed placing for adoption immediately. Even as we accidentally overheard about it when she answered the phone, another lady exclaimed, “If you don’t want her, I’ll take her.” and I admit that I immediately felt the same.

I mean, this is a little girl. Not a number: a little soul. Who wouldn’t say yes? especially when we consider that the Lover of the souls paid the full price to say, completely, justly, and foolproof-ly, “I will take them. I will adopt them. For Myself.”

We can be grateful that God preparing His Children for missionary living through the rediscovery of the Abba Cry. Let’s deny self, run back to Christ as the only meeting place between God and Man, and pray that he would do so for us, by allowing us to understand His heart to reach out and capture spiritual orphans and rebels, and take them into His eternal family.


Cover Image Credit: Robbie Rowland

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15 Bible Verses To Calm An Anxious Mind

Finding peace in the midst of turmoil.
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Anxiety hits us from all directions. Whether it be school stress, work stress, a stressful family situation, or anything else in life that causes us to feel unsettled, tired, and afraid of the future; anxiety can feel like it's taking over our lives.

As someone who constantly struggles with anxiety, I know how hard it is to find peace in the midst of a stressful situation. When we feel anxious about something, we generally try to do all that is in our power to control the situation. When we can't control it, we become even more anxious. So how do we stop this downward spiral of anxious turmoil?

We must turn to the one who is in control of all things. God holds all of our lives in his hands and is the only one who can calm our anxious minds. When we frantically struggle to put the pieces of our life together on our own, we will fail.

The only way to gain peace in the midst of anxiety is to turn to God, trusting in His perfect will and His power to hold us in His hands. The best way to remember this truth is to look to the Bible. Here are some verses to help us remember God's provision in the midst of anxiety.

1. Philippians 4:6

We don't have to be anxious when we can freely talk with God about our needs. We can cry out to Him for help and He will hear us.

2. John 14:27

Peace is a wonderful thing. Notice how it says, "I do not give it as the world does." We have to remember that worldly peace is only temporary, but God's peace is forever.

3. Isaiah 41:10

Not only will God give us peace, but He will also strengthen us. The image of God "upholding us with His righteous right hand" is pretty powerful and very comforting.

4. Psalm 94:19

Anxiety can make us sad and upset, but knowing that God is with us can bring so much joy in the face of desolation.

5. Psalm 34:4

Freedom from fear is so empowering! Imagine God setting us free from all the fear that holds us back. Oftentimes fear can make us feel trapped, but God can set us free.

6. 1 Peter 5:7

God cares about us so much, that He allows us to cast all of our worries on His shoulders.

7. 2 Corinthians 12:10

Human capacity is limited. We can by no means do everything, in fact, we can't do anything without the help of God.

8. Philippians 4:13

Nothing can hold us back or scare us when we have the strength of God.

9. Proverbs 3:5

We always try to lean on our own understanding, but it will never be enough. We try to control everything, but it will always fall through. It is because of this that we need to trust in the Lord for everything.

10. Matthew 6:25-34

This passage, while somewhat lengthy, is such a great reminder that God is truly in control of everything. We don't need to worry about a thing because He has it all planned out. We stress out about things that were never ours to worry about in the first place.

11. 2 Timothy 1:7

We were not created to be afraid, but to be empowered and loved by God.

12. Isaiah 26:3

If we simply keep God in the forefront of our minds, we will have perfect peace. Trust in Him brings the greatest peace.

13. Matthew 11:28-30

How comforting is this? Anxiety causes a lot of weariness but knowing that we can rest in God is amazing.

14. Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan for us, so we don't need to worry about it. His plan is always good and always exactly what we need. His plans will always be better than anything we try to control ourselves.

15. Isaiah 41:13

When we feel anxious and afraid we can take comfort in knowing that God is reaching out His hand to us to help us trust Him and walk with Him.

While anxiety can feel overpowering or terrifying, we should not fear, but rather trust in the perfect and never-changing love and peace of God.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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Open Air Preachers Don't Belong at Marshall

There are appropriate ways to share about Christ, and these guys just don't get it.

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Marshall University has an absolutely beautiful campus. After spending 4 years here, spending time around the memorial fountain is honestly going to be something I miss. During the week, campus life was usually always so bustling and exciting. There always seemed to be something going on at the student center plaza, some of which was more pleasing than others.

This past year on multiple occasions, Marshall had a few unwelcoming visitors. Some preachers came in, usually with signs, and would stand along a path that most of the student body would take on their way to and from class. They would start yelling Scripture to anyone who might be listening, but they were very rude and derogatory in their proclamations. One guy had told a girl that she would go to hell for the shirt that she was wearing. Another one was shouting, "God hates gays!" It eventually got so bad that they were banned from campus, multiple times.

As a Christian myself, this makes me so angry to see other people that claim the name of Jesus treat others poorly. Jesus wasn't like that. He was gentle, kind, and loving. That's part of being a Christian. It's what you sign up for. I personally don't believe that these "preachers" should be allowed on Marshall's campus because of the way they represent Christ and how their actions might affect students.

As mentioned previously, I am a Christian myself. I believe that being a Christian is more than a label. It is a calling to live your life in a way that exemplifies Christ himself. I personally know that I do not live up to this calling and fall short of it everyday. However, I know there is a difference between someone who does wrong and recognizes it as such and someone who willfully acts a certain way.

These preachers coming off to nonbelievers in the way that they are is doing more harm to the church than good. People aren't going to want to be a part of something that involves being rude to others. I know some people growing up that have been turned off from the church by another Christian who didn't act like a Christian. Being a Christian doesn't mean you have to like everyone. There are definitely people I have met that I am not fond of; but I am called to still see them the way God sees them, whether that be a part of His family or part of the mission field. Either way, God loves them.

Also, words are very powerful. It is very easy to either lift someone up or tear them down with what you say. When the open-air preachers are telling the LGBT community that God hates them, that is just discouraging and pushing them even further away from the Lord, which is terrible. Also, criticizing someone for what they wear can be very destructive. You don't know what a person is currently battling. Maybe you're not the first person to make a derogatory comment about their outfit. Maybe they can't afford to buy new clothes at the moment. Maybe they are dealing with a much more severe storm and simply don't need unnecessary, petty comments.

Personally, I think it was a good move when these guys were banned. They are not doing themselves or anyone else any good. There are appropriate ways to share about Christ, and these guys just don't get it.
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