Thursday, May 6, 2010

Faith: Today is National Day of Prayer

From a reader:  "I do have a question... how in the world do you afford to have such a large family, and animals, and a ranch, and adoptions?? We can barely afford our little family of 4 and our little house... I don't know how you do it?"

WE don't do it.  It's all God.  God equips the called; He doesn't call the equipped.  My husband is an insurance agent in a small town, and I am a stay-at-home mom.  Everything that God has called us to, He has always provided for.  That's the only way "we" do it... trusting wholeheartedly that if God has asked us to do something, He will provide and equip us for the task He has called us to.

A lot of people have commented about our faith, some have even questioned it.   K-LOVE Christian radio station dedicated the song "That's What Faith Can Do" to our Chrissie.  We had NO idea how God planned to use Chrissie's life to reveal Himself to so many people.  None.  But, we are so grateful that God chose to use our princess to make His name famous.  That's what faith can do.

Faith is wholeheartedly trusting that God has sovereign control over every circumstance, and believing that His outcome is always better than anything we can hope for.  Always.  No matter what.  Faith is surrendering all control, turning it over to Him, and trusting Him with the outcome.  Always.  No matter what.  Believing that no matter what happens, it's all part of His perfect will.  God doesn't mess up or make mistakes.  He is almighty, omniscient, omnipresent, alive, active, caring, loving, gracious and merciful.  Faith is giving up personal control and turning it over to Him.  Always.  No matter what.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that He will." ~Unknown

Faith is not something we can achieve for ourselves.  It is the wondrous work of our Lord and His Holy Spirit that resides in those who have accepted the gift of Jesus Christ.  If you want to have faith, the first step is salvation.  If God is knocking on the door of your heart to invite Himself in, all you have to do is open the door and answer the call.  You must first believe that Jesus is God's One and Only Son who died for you and me in order that we may accept His gracious gift of eternal life.  If you believe this, confess it to God.  Thank Him for His precious gift.  Let Him know that you want eternal life.  You want to know Him.  You want to allow Jesus to become your personal savior.  Then repent of your sin and ask forgiveness.  Ask Him to wash you clean by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Tell Him that you don't want to be the ruler of your life anymore.  Tell Him that you're ready to let go and let God.  That you need Him to help you.  That you want to have faith.  That you want Him to be your best friend.  Ask Him to help you to turn from your sin and walk in His light.  He will gladly take you by the hand and lead you, hand in Hand, down His path.  It won't be easy on your own, but with God, He makes the burden light and the yoke easy.  (Matthew 11)  We are the ones who stand in the way, making the burden heavy and the yoke hard.  Trust Him.  Wholeheartedly believe that whatever God chooses, it is always better than the best you could ever imagine.  He writes the best stories.  God asks you to come with Him, hand in Hand, to allow Him to write your story.  He is the  most amazing Author.  Trust Him.  You'll never regret it.  Oh, and just incase you're thinking there's no way God could love you or want to write your story, trust me...He's been waiting to hear from you.  He loves you so much that He sacrificed His One and Only Son for YOU.  While you were sinning.  He loves you regardless of your past.  He's waiting for you.  He's waiting to wash you clean and hold you close.  He's anxious to show you what faith can do.  Just ask Him.

Today is the National Day of Prayer for the United States.  Many will be gathering in public places to pray for our nation.  I ask you to go to a private place and pour your heart out to God.  He is longing to hear from you.  You are precious in His sight.  Blemishes and all.  Precious to Him.  He loves you dearly.  On this national day of prayer, my prayer is that you will come to know Him personally.  The Greatest Gift one could ever receive.  The blood of Jesus, shed for you.  That's what faith can do.  Let Him show you.

Here is Martin Luther's Definition of Faith, which is very worthy of your time, especially if you're interested in this thing called "faith".

An excerpt from "An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans," Luther's German Bible of 1522 by Martin Luther, 1483-1546  Translated by Rev. Robert E. Smith from DR. MARTIN LUTHER'S VERMISCHTE DEUTSCHE SCHRIFTEN.  Johann K. Irmischer, ed. Vol. 6 (Erlangen: Heyder and Zimmer, 1854), pp.124-125. [EA 63:124-125] August 1994

Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. ``Faith is not enough,'' they say, ``You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.''  They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working, creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, ``I believe.'' That is what they think true faith is. But, because this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn't come from this `faith,' either.

Instead, faith is God's work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn't stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. He stumbles around and looks for faith and good works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are.  Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many words.

Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it.  Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they're smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools.  Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.
_________________________________________________________________
This text was translated for Project Wittenberg by Rev. Robert E. Smith and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to:
Rev. Robert E. Smith
Walther Library
Concordia Theological Seminary
E-mail: smithre@mail.ctsfw.edu
Surface Mail: 6600 N. Clinton St., Ft. Wayne, IN 46825 USA
Phone: (260) 481-2123  Fax: (260) 481-2126



14 comments:

Anonymous said...

May God Bless Chrissie and your family on this National Day of Prayer with a miracle. I am sitting here at 12:57am working on homework with my son and I just can't keep myself from clicking on your blog every hour or so to see if maybe there is a new update on your beatiful princess whom I have so dearly fallen in love with along with the rest of the world. I do hope you get some rest. Know that I am praying for you and your family today and everyday.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

My favorite Definition of Faith has always been: Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him.

I'm going to be the Guest on Brent's talk show on Friday night ... talking about FAITH. Readers can join in at: www.themindofbrent.com at 10:00 Central Time on Friday night. I LOVED listening in on the show when you were the guest last week. :)

Blessings!

Laurel :)

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

AMEN!

So beautifully said.

Praying with you all...
Love,
Jill

Sweet Joni said...

Yeppirs, it is National Day of Prayer... Thank You God for bringing Franklin Graham into action!!!

Lorraine, I've not a question of your financial business or your Faith but do have to ask, are you a published author???

Wow, this is written up so well!!!

Thank You God for another beautiful day :-)
~Joni

Renae said...

Amen! I needed to hear this today...we are constantly hitting roadblocks in our adoption..the enemy is striking! And we're at the end..almost there...but still having to surrender moment by moment! My faith is shaken... Thank you for yours, it refocuses me on Christ and His love for our family and our Eastern European Princess! Still praying for Chrissie:)!

John Vaught said...

Thank you for sharing your family and faith with so many. I've been following Chrissie's blog for about 2 weeks and have been praying for you all. We serve a truely awesome God.
- from Pennsylvania

Anonymous said...

“Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain.” ~ GORDON B. HINCKLEY

Peggy said...

Thanks Lorraine! May many seek Him this day. I pray in agreement with you dear sister in Christ. I am continuing to pray for sweet Chrissie!
Blessings & Joy,
Peggy

Kat said...

Lorraine....Beautifully said...and a resounding "AMEN!" (Can I make that bigger?! :)) I think one of satan's greatest accomplishments (especially in the "silent" times where God seems at a distance) is convincing us that God could not love us, we are unlovable, and that we have done something so bad that even God left. We cannot let satan (I refuse to capitalize satan's name, so excuse the grammar :)) win.

Also, another "AMEN!"....we have seven children (two we are waiting to travel for-twins in Ethiopia), four are adopted. We have NEVER gone into the adoption with funds. God has provided through numerous sources. We have no debt over current adoption. We aren't rich (except in God) and have a four bedroom house. When you follow Him, he does not just drop us off and leave us, He carries us and provides. Thank you for sharing that...so many are afraid to begin because finances seem daunting.

HUGE P.S.-We pray for Chrissie night and day :)...and for your whole family.

Debi said...

So beautifully said.
You have been faithful in your walk of faith before a watching world. You have made so many wise choices of what you believe about God and how much you can trust Him before there was so many who knew of you.
God is changing many hearts and lives, including mine through your testimony.
Praying for your familyy and Warrior Princess Chrissie today.
Love and hugs and prayers,
Debi

Lori said...

Hi Lorraine,
Thank you for that post...and especially for talking about faith! Despite my having gone to church for years, accepted the Lord into my heart as my Saviour years ago when I was a child, I somehow have thought for the past several years that my faith wasn't all that strong because of something I am doing wrong--that faith had to come from MY effort and that NOT having enough is a character weakness on MY part! What you have shared has given me much "food for thought!"
It awes me as well that God is using your precious Chrissie to bring so many to Him! I feel that my own faith has grown since reading your story and ESPECIALLY since Chrissie has had her medical crisis and I've been praying soooo frequently for that precious little one! I OFTEN think of the Lord now on a daily basis and Chrissie's story has made me question "Am I STILL living too much according to MY plans and timeline? Is THAT why I am struggling MUCH more than I suspect I need to?" I am really going to focus on giving God total control and seeing where He takes my life and what I can do to help others along the way just like you all have done! I don't know if adoption can EVER be in my future--though I have ALWAYS yearned for a child to nurture and guide and love. I am not at all in good shape financially and they say adoption is expensive. Plus, I'm now in my late 40's. But I guess God doesn't care about ANY of that IF that is part of His plan!
Continuing to pray and can't wait to hear how Princess Chrissie is doing! Though I already know--it's gonna be GOOD! Hugs and prayers, Lori

Stephanie said...

I loved this post!!! so fitting on the national day of prayer. and I totally Love Martin Luther so i was overjoyed reading that again!! Thanks for that i really needed it today =) prayers still comin your way!!

Mama of 2 and Counting... said...

Lorraine,
You have blessed me beyond words. We are in the process of adopting from Ukraine and we started this process knowing that God would have to provide us with the financial means to see this out. Its HARD to commit to something so huge without being able to see HOW you will accomplish it and I have cried and prayed and cried some more over this. When I saw what the first thing you said on your blog today was in answer to someone asking HOW you afford to adopt I wanted to sqeal, YES! You said, "God equips the called; He doesn't call the equipped." I knew this, but needed to hear it from someone else :) Thank you!

We're still praying for Chrissie to be completely healed. My husband asks about her every day when he gets home from work and I always give him an update on everything you've posted!

Anonymous said...

God has been laying this scripture on my heart these past few days and it applies well to this:

"My blessing is on those people who trust in me, who put their confidence in me. They will be like a tree planted near a stream whose roots spread out toward the water. It has nothing to do with fear when the heat comes. Its leaves are always green. It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought. It does not stop bearing fruit." ~Jeremiah 17:7-8

God has obviously blessed you! I like the quote you have "God equips the called; He doesn't call the equipped."

I am so happy to see that Chrissie is doing well. God is so amazing and wonderful and awesome. Through your family's story--all of it (I have read some of the archives, like Kiefer's story)-- my faith has been renewed and I have been so blessed. Thank you again, for putting yourself out there and being real and open and honest and for sharing just a little bit of your family with the world so we can see what God really is all about!

Carissa Lanning

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