Friday, February 20, 2009

More foster updates

We've been joined by one more. Thursdy we welcomed an 18 day old infant to our home as the ninth foster child to join us in some way. We don't know the circumstances that put him "in the system," and I couldn't share them even if I did, but he is a cutie. We now have a full house once again (RevDon, MrsRev, T 24y/o, a 10y/o boy, 5y/o boy, 3y/o girl and the new little guy. Without a doubt, I have the hardest time with the babies. I'm a light sleeper and they don't sleep much at all. MrsRev tries to keep him quiet, but I'm usually awake before she is.
Anyway, he probably won't be with us much more than a few weeks when his case is heard in court. Just pray that I can get the sleep I need, because he gets to sleep anytime he wants and I don't. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Show but...

I'm sitting here watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition. I must admit that I really do enjoy this show. It makes me feel good to see people who have experienced serious tragedy get rewarded for their perseverance and selflessness. The people behind this show do things on a large and public scale that I have done on a smaller and private scale on mission trips. That is the good side of the show.

But not everything in EMHE is quite so good. I fear that there is an element of this show that reinforces the entitlement attitude that pervades society today. I'm certain that there are people out there who watch EMHE and think, "Why aren't they coming to build me a new home? I've had a hard life! I've suffered losses!" Last week my oldest son expressed that he wanted a home and amenities like the people on EMHE got. I asked him if he was willing to make the tradeoff for it. What? I said, "Are you willing to have your house burn down and lose your dad and older brother in a drowning accident in order to have a new home?" I think he learned a little something.

One more thing that bothers me about the show. When one goes on a mission trip in order to help others, one sacrifices. You give of your personal vacation time, usually pay money, sleep on church or gym floors, and work outside in the elements usually without shelter. I don't see a lot of sacrifice from the workers on EMHE. This is their job, they get paid to do it. The main crew, Ty and the designers are certainly not sleeping on the floor, and everyone working on projects for the house outside has and EZ Up for cover. Even the major sponsors "give" items for the home and family, but they receive promotion for their products in the midst of the show. The builders probably put out a lot and their employess often work at a reduced rate, but in all, I don't see the kind of sacrificial giving portrayed in this show that I know we all receive in Jesus.

Nonetheless, I still can't take my eyes off this program. It never fails to bring a tear to my eye and joy to my heart. And in the end, there's nothing bad about that.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fostering update

While I'm at this, thought it would be a good time to update on the fostering adventures of MrsRev and I. Since we became foster parents in the fall of '07 we've had eight different children come into our lives. The first two little boys that came to us in October of '07 left in November '08 and January '09; one to a special needs home and one to be adopted by family. The little girl that joined us in December of '07 will be staying with us as we will be adopting her as soon as the courts approve it. Another young man (10y/o) joined us in April of '08 and is still with us. All the others have been short term or vacation placements. Right now we have a 3y/o girl and two boys 10 and 5.
I've been asked numerous times over the last 16 months about why we do it and why we take in so many children. The simple answer is, because we can. Yes I am in my fouties, but I'm not dead yet. Yes, MrsRev is a full-time student, but she's a home study student with University of Phoenix. We have room in our home and room in our hearts to accomodate chidren who need love, consistency and stability in their lives. Why wouldn't we share it? How could we not share it? Foster parenting has been one of the most challenging but also one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. My heart and my life is so completely full when that little girl looks at me and says, "Daddy, I love you." Who could ask for more?

Love on Valentine's day

I can't help but think that this society has little to no concept of what love really is. We just don't have enough words. Ancient Greek had more than ten words for love. Ancient Hebrew had at least three. Modern English has one. Something is missin there. I mean, I just talked about how I love my wife, but I also love Chinese food. Not in the same ways of course, but what other words does the English language afford me?
The modern world really doesn't know how to love like God knows how to love, that's for sure. We love with expectations. We expect to be loved back. We expect favors for loving someone. "If you love me..." or even better, "If you really loved me..." God loves without expectations. God says, "I love you." We respond with, "Then why am I unhappy? Why don't I have everything I want? Why do I still have needs? If you really loved me God, I wouldn't be unhappy." And still God says, "I love you." No conditions. No stipulations. No expectations. Agape = unconditional love, that's what we all need on Valentine's Day. Save the chocolate and flowers for somebody else.

Friday, February 13, 2009

OK, so I'm not so good at this

Yes, it's been a long time since I last posted a blog. Yes, more than a year. I know. I get so busy and I just forget to even look. But I've been thinking recently that I need to be more reflective. In talking to a friend about this she suggested that I start a blog. Well, I have one already! Do you? What is it?

I had to admit my shortcoming when it comes to blogging. But it did get me to thinking that this would be a good way to "think out loud" a little more and thus be more reflective about things going on in my life. So I'm scrapping the idea of posting my sermons. Instead, this wil become my place to ruminate on "stuff." Maybe there's no one in the whole world that wants to hear what I have to say except me and my lovely wife. That's cool too.

And speaking of MrsRevDon: I was in the Blockbuster a couple of weeks ago (Blockbuster is a dying breed by the way. Netflix will bury them soon), and I came across a film called "I Think I Love My Wife." I thought to myself, "I KNOW I love my wife." Maybe this comes out of it being just before Valentine's Day, but MrsRev is the most beautiful person I know. She has a heart the size of a major metropolis. Her first and last thought of every day is for the care and well-being of someone else, usually me. Aside from being a full-time college student, she is a stay at home mom for three foster children, a husband and an adult daughter. All that and she's studying to become a family therapist. There are so few good people in this world that I just have to crow about this one.