True Religion

works for me wednesday at we are that familyJames 1:27 says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

I’m not sure where or when it started.  Perhaps it was last year when my church spent one Sunday morning talking about orphans, sharing statistics and opening our eyes.  Maybe it was even before that.  The adoption blogs I’ve been reading recently certainly have increased my care and concern for the plight of orphans around the world.  I’m learning that there are things I can do, steps I can take to help, and I need to do them.  Supporting other people’s adoptions is one.  Giving money is another.

But what worked for me this week was Kristen’s plea to buy powdered baby formula for orphans in Ethiopia.  She wrote a simple post about how desperately formula is needed, and how one woman in Arizona is trying to help.  And she asked her readers to go to Walmart, buy a couple cans and ship them.  I thought, “I can do that!” I hate Walmart, but since that’s what she asked for, that’s where I went.  And I hate mailing stuff.  Not kidding, I have a phobia of the post office.  Mainly because there isn’t one convenient to my house.  I don’t even have a normal mailbox, for Pete’s sake.

But I seized the opportunity to demonstrate love for people in need to my boys.  (This ties directly back to my post on teaching your kids good money habits.) They know we never shop at Walmart, so a special trip with them for this formula made it easy to explain the mission.  Nathan’s face looked really puzzled when I explained to him that some babies don’t have mommies or daddies.  “Who feeds them?  They can’t fill the bottles themselves!”  I talked about how the orphans live in group homes…I related it to how their daycare teachers feed them and help them through the day, but isn’t it much better to have your own mommy and daddy to hug and hold you?  I also shared with him that sometimes families here that already have kids will adopt orphans and then they DO have a mommy and daddy, and isn’t that great?

Another thing I hate about mailing stuff is finding the right box, so I immediately ordered some of those flat rate boxes from the USPS and prayed the formula cans would fit.  I was really doubting they would, I thought they’d be too tall for even the large size flat rate box. I bought four large cans and prayed they would fit.  When the flat rate box arrived a couple days later, I put it together, thinking it really looked too short for the cans.  What happened next seemed like a miracle to me, even though it really wasn’t.  The box PERFECTLY fit my four large cans, plus a small sample can that had been mailed to me!  Also I was able to include a $5 coupon that had come with the sample formula.

And because of how easy those wonderful flat rate boxes are, I could simply pay for and print the postage online and schedule a mail pickup right at my doorstep.  No post office visit necessary 🙂

Incidentally, the results of Kristen’s challenge were staggering.  We serve a BIG God.  Please, read this.

Link Love Monday

How to Escape Materialism and Find Happiness I struggle with materialism but these are some good tips I often employ. I don’t think finding happiness should really be the goal of life, but I still like this post.

I Don’t Want My Children To Be Happy This pretty much explains EXACTLY how I feel about why happiness is not the goal, not for me and not for my kids.

From a Father’s Perspective This is our worship pastor, who recently decided to adopt.  Praise God.  Adoption is ON my heart, y’all.  And the heart of God.

The Email I Don’t Know How To Answer As usual, Kristen’s posts know right where to poke me.  How can we live with so many blessings, knowing there are people starving and suffering?

Embrace Your Authenticity While I do believe we ought to live for God and not for ourselves, He has made us unique and embracing our uniqueness absolutely leads to good things. 

Is It Unbiblical for Moms to Work Full-time Outside The Home? I love John Piper, but he says this should be discouraged and I don’t agree with him.  I don’t always agree with Matthew Paul Turner but on this one I think his post is pretty much right.  It pains me greatly to see the guilt-heaping and divisivness this discussion causes in the body of Christ. (I’m not endorsing the commenters, only the post.)

$50/Week x 45 Years = $1Million Never thought you could really be a millionaire? Check out the math on investing for retirement and why you should be doing it. I may be wanting to use my money for the Lord to help others, but I’m still in favor of managing it wisely.