Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dogs vs. children

I am watching television and a commercial came on for Pedigree animal shelters drive.  The video is called "Heroes."

It was talking about how animals in shelters are not broken. They have lived and have stories to tell. They have not done anything wrong. The commercial tugs at your heart to adopt one of these little dogs. The message: These dogs whether they were abused, neglected, abandoned, or unwanted are placed in a shelter because of the original home was not able, willing, or fit to continue to care for them.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. I haven't seen any commercials for this. I haven't seen a campaign to raise public awareness, let alone millions of dollars. In fact, child welfare is facing major budget cuts, which impacts each family and child.

Where is the commercial that shows the half a million children in foster care or the estimated 16% of those children that are currently waiting for someone to adopt them?

I wish that the compassion that people have towards animals would be placed with children that are in the same situation. We no longer place children in orphanages, we put them in foster care. Having worked in the field for ten years, I can not begin to tell the stories, the stigmas placed on these innocent children - placed on them by other kids, school systems, community members, etc.

Where is the commentary that tugs on the hearts of those who are able to meet the needs of these children. Where is the story that these children are not broken? These kids are hurt, but they haven't done anything wrong. The did not ask to be abandoned, abused or neglected.

These kids have done nothing wrong. Yes, many act out the things that they have been through, but it is because that is what they have known. It takes time, love, and encouragement to overcome what they have witnessed and to be able to come out on the other side to tell the story they have. It takes time to overcome things.

As I looked for the video online at YouTube, I was offended at comments on other videos that said these dogs need voices, and that children have a voice. I love this great nation we live in, but it seems to me that we need to step up and meet the needs of the innocent children in our society that have the responsibility of making sure that this nation continues.

Friday, April 23, 2010

If your gonna walk on water, watch out for speedboats

A few weeks ago in the our Wednesday night discipleship roundtable we were discussing what we had learned through the series that we just completed in church by John Bevere.

Brother John made a comment that he learned "We (Christians) need to get out of the boat and start walking on the water. That we have that ability, just as Peter did, we just have to have faith, and keep our focus on God." As he said that my mind immediately pictured walking on water, but out of no where came a red speedboat and knocked me down.

When I got home I read the story of Peter walking on water in Matthew 14:25-32 verse 29-31 say "Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "Why did you doubt?"

The fact is Peter was not the only disciple in the boat, but he was the only one with faith enough to step out. Yet Jesus said of him "You of little faith." I wonder what Jesus would think about his followers of this day. He had one follower in twelve that stepped out in faith. One only needs to look at the state of this nation, founded on God to determine that the church has not had the faith to stand up in faith, let alone walk it out.

Peter got distracted by the waves and took his eyes of God. But today's Christians have allowed the fast speed of the world - whether it is the problems we face, the business of life, the accumulation of goods or political correctness - to knock us out flat.

It is time for the Church to stand up in faith, and step out on the water, watch out for the speedboats and walk out our faith.

A promise for the future

When I see a rainbow I think of God's promise in Genesis 9:13 "I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."

I was driving home from work today and in front of me was a gray sky. Upon second look, the clouds parted and a rainbow came from the midst, and the sun peaked through the blue clouds. It was beautiful. I turned the corner, and the sky was black before me, clearly a storm ahead. It started to sprinkle. To the right the sky was bright and blue, the storm was already past that area. To the left the clouds were moving and the rainbow was brightening in color.

I have been in an emotional storm so to speak. It has been hard for me to see with the dark clouds around me. I feel overwhelmed and flooded by the emotions rising up within me. But the rainbow reminded me of God's promises to me, promises like:

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus". (Phil. 4:19).

God has promised that His grace is sufficient for me. (II Cor. 12:9).

God has promised that His children will not be overtaken with temptation. Instead, He assures us that a way of escape will be provided. (I Cor. 10:13).

God has promised that all things work together for good to those who love and serve Him faithfully (Romans 8:28).

I was encouraged in my spirit. I was reminded that no matter what storm I may be going through, or may be lying ahead, I need to keep my focus on the promises of God, and what he has already delivered me from.