Friday, June 5, 2020

Racism, Dwarfism, and the Renewing of our Minds

Among our 8 children, we have two African children, and two Chinese children with dwarfism. Having an international family has had a learning curve, and we were ignorant going in. 

We were told that we would have to teach our sweet, gentle Ethiopian boy a code of conduct someday that has been passed down to us by African American mamas in order to help protect him as he becomes a man: 

Keep your wallet on your dash. 
Hands out of pockets on the street. 

Just the other day, he learned a few items from that code after overhearing about Ahmaud. At first we thought we would be able to skip all that, but we learned quickly. 

And over the years, I have learned what it is like to fall asleep praying for the future safety of my boy.

A year after we brought them home, I had to wipe mounds of spit off of my Ethiopian daughter’s face at an indoor playground in a restaurant. 

A group of white children collectively cornered and spit on her for having “dirty skin”. I knew this because it is what they were yelling. She was two years old. It happened so fast. 

We have had to explain to frantic women at the playground on multiple occasions that this “unsupervised black child” is actually our son and is not “shifty” and “looking for trouble”. 

I could go on and on - these stories are true, they happened in slow motion in front of me, and they keep happening. 

As for our kids with dwarfism, people point and stare and move away from them. The burden that the public puts on people with dwarfism is unbelievable, and there is no “normal life” for them. 

We have to FREQUENTLY chase down grown educated adults and ask them to remove the pictures and video they just took without permission of our children off of their phones. 

“Sorry, I have never seen ‘one’ before”; 
“Sorry, I didn’t know she was with YOU”. 
“Sorry, I didn’t know.”

And honestly, “I didn’t know” is such a welcome response for us, because it is truth and it opens the door for us to share the Gospel. They didn’t know that my children were created ON PURPOSE by God to be brown, or to have dwarfism, or that God has created us all in his image. 

They didn’t know that all men come from one man, Adam, through Noah (one race) and that through that man every one of us is SINFUL and deserve hell. 

How’s that for an even playing field? Think you are above all this? Have you ever made fun of someone for the way they look? Have you ever felt better than someone else? Have you ever plotted your revenge? 

Jesus says hatred is equal to murder and lust is equal to cheating, and all that equals hell. He says we all fall short. He says if you break one of the ten commandments, you have broken them all. 

But Jesus is rich in mercy, and he is the true God and the Living God, the Everlasting King. He has made a way for you to be free. He says he is willing to trade your personal filth, which makes you unable to enter heaven, for his sinless perfection. 

He lived a sinless life, died on the cross, rose again (defeating death and sin) and says the only way to rid yourself of your guilt is to accept what he has done, repent (turn from and feel sorry for your sins), and believe on Him alone for your salvation. There is no other means for men to be saved. 

In short: “You must be born again.”

As for the racism, this is the expected mentality that comes from teaching several generations that they evolved from monkeys, in fact Darwin teaches that Lower races are “as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla”. 

This is what Americans have chosen as “science” instead of the Biblical account of creation. 

Belief in Satan’s lie of rebellion and evolution is the primary reason why people stare at or avoid my kids with dwarfism. 

It’s why this country thinks it’s “okay” to tear apart babies in the womb who aren’t “healthy”, and why every other child with Haven’s condition has been murdered in the womb. It’s a national sense of hopelessness. 

What can be done? You can end it today. 

You don’t have to put your faith in any president or plan. Turn off the news and the narrative you are being spoonfed, and open your Bible. End racism today in your own heart by turning to Jesus and believing the Bible. 

Read Genesis; see how he handcrafted your fellow man? 
Read John; see how he bled and died? 

Repent and let Jesus rebuild you. He gives out new hearts and new minds, and there is no racism in Him. Repent and live. 

Love your neighbor, and love your God. Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Tell the gospel everywhere you go. 

Tell them this instead of telling them about the president or the parties or the news! Be the Jesus-guy that everyone is sick of, not the politics-guy everyone is sick of. 

Tell everyone that Jesus has come and is coming, and with him comes justice and wrath and mercy and love. He is making all things new, and he will wipe away every tear. 

Oh Lord, come quickly! Oh friends, be ready! 

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 

And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” Rev 19

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Lies I Have Lived

A few times a year, we try to capture a beautiful picture of our family, and this year it all looks a little too perfect.  

His goodness to us shines in the faces of our children, but it needs to be told that there was another picture from the past - and it wasn't pretty.  God may choose to never recall that picture to HIS mind (Hebrews 8:12), but I want to recall it to yours, lest any of you have any misconceptions of who WE are.

The truth is that for the first 33 years of my life, I lived a lie.  Around middle school, I began to pull back from everything that was good - my Christian friends and teachers - and I ran headfirst into the world.  

I lived as a professing Christian, but behind the scenes, everything about Christianity bored me to tears.  I had no desire for Jesus, I never read or desired God's Word, but I believed I was "saved" because I went to church.  I had one foot in the world, secretly dabbling in things that were overtly sinful, and kept one foot firmly planted in the world of churchianity - just in case.  

I was a hypocrite, I was dead in my sins, and I was what God calls a child of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-10).

And I knew it, but I figured if I could keep an even balance, I might please God enough to prove myself a Christian. 

In college, my carefully balanced facade came crumbling down, and I went careening into a world of darkness and sinfulness.  Some of my oldest, closest friends know more about the extent of this than others, but let's just say that there was no fooling anyone anymore.  Of course, I was wise in my own eyes and continued to compare myself to others (who were comparing themselves to others, 2 Corinthians 10:12) and I figured I was still "good enough".

At a certain point, a few blessed people tried to intervene, bringing me the Gospel or saving faith, and I began to understand the terms more clearly...that Jesus does forgive and is rich in mercy, but He was calling and commanding me to repent from (turn from, change my mind about) my sins and follow Him.

"Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil." 
- Proverbs 3:7

I wouldn't do that.  I loved my sins.

The things that God showed me in my life that were sinful and dishonoring to Him - my partying, my barely-there clothing, my selfishness, my pride, my lies, my materialism and my covetous heart, my unspeakably awful acts of depravity - even my gossip and trash TV - these were things that I loved and cherished.  To follow after God would mean I would need to be willing to turn my back on these things, and I had no desire to do that. I held out hope that perhaps "carnal Christianity" was a real thing and I exchanged the truth for a lie.  

Ten years came and went, and I came out the other side beaten by the world.  My hypocrisy reached its full pinnacle when I began teaching middle school at private Christian school (and partying on the weekends), when suddenly, for better or worse....

Paul and I crashed right into each other.  

We both found what we were looking for:  a "Christian" spouse who liked to party AND attend church!  We got married, had our first child, and began laying our plans:  a nice Christian school for the kids, enough money for vacation here and there, matching gym memberships - and hearts full of emptiness.  It all meant nothing and it was leading us straight to hell (Proverbs 14:12).  

In 2011, it all came to a halt.  Within weeks of each other and both by different means, Paul and I heard and received the Gospel of Life.  

In the light of God's Holiness, I saw my filthy sins as God sees them, and the Holy Spirit showed me that no matter how much I tried to be a better person, my sins separated me from the Holy and perfect presence of God.  

My sins had to be atoned for.  I had spent half of my life trying to atone them myself, and the other half rejecting that atonement outright because I could not abide the terms - mainly the repentance part.  

But the Holy Spirit intervened, and the Cross became sweet to me, and my sins became sour in my mouth.  My former treasure was quite suddenly a trash heap in my eyes, and Christ was the prize.  

The truth about Christ is that He was God and man in one, and He came to this wretched planet and lived a sinless life and died a selfless death at the hands of sinners just like me to appease the wrath of God that is justly poured out on unrepentant rebels who break God's law (Romans 6:23).

He gives us His law, His Commandments, as a schoolmaster that drives us to the Cross of Christ in our inability to keep them (Galatians 3:24, Romans 3:24, James 2:10).  Jesus was the propitiation and the final Passover Lamb that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and He rose on Resurrection Day and defeated the death that every last one of us deserves as rebels to His Law.  

SO many years.  So much Grace trampled under my feet.  

I lived licentiously - using the Cross and God's forgiveness as a ticket to do as I pleased (Grace! God Forgives!) - refusing to examine myself in light of God's word.  

But this verse right here - an arrow to the heart:

"...Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, 
not knowing that his kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgement will be revealed." - Romans 2:4-5

God was so patient with me, and one afternoon while my babies napped upstairs, I fell quietly to my knees and surrendered my will for His, turned my back on this world and my sins - and the wrath that was meant for me was transferred to the Cross, and His righteousness was imparted to me.

It's not a fair trade.  It's a divine scandal, to say the least.  

My prayer for each of you is to examine yourself. So many of us are deceived, living under a false and imaginary faith that is built on sinking sand and is not of God.  If we worship a god of our own liking who differs from scripture, we are just worshiping an idol we made for ourselves.

In an age where professing Christians are willing to accept the god of The Shack as a reasonable representation of our precious Savior, and  46% of professing Christians believe that all world religions lead to God, (click HERE) we can't shy away from examining our own hearts.

Ask yourself:

Are you passionate about God's Word, willing to defend it, proclaim it, share it, or even die for it? Do you desire and see growth in personal holiness and discernment, bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8), and long to see others saved as well?  Is Christ your treasure, and all else "rubbish" (Phil. 3:8)? Is your life built around knowing Him and making Him known?

These are tough questions, but God wants us to do this:  
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves."  
(2 Corinthians 13:5)  

You cannot serve God and man.  And you can't live halfway for either.  (Revelation 3:15-17)

As you reflect on what Resurrection Day means to you, I highly recommend this video, which has led so many to the truth:

Here are some other resources we recommend:

Test Yourself:  Click HERE
How can we be sure of our salvation?  Click Here
True and False Conversion:  Click Here
What is the Gospel?  Click Here 
Charo Washer's Testimony:  Click Here
Don't Waste Your Life:  Click Here

I pray for each of you, and I'm here if any of you ever want to talk. May God bless you and grant you the unspeakable fullness of joy He has given me in knowing His Son, my blessed Savior, and the freedom found in walking in the Light of Truth. 

- Missy

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Our New Baby

In May of this year,
we were surprised
by God's Grace.

We were all so excited about this pregnancy,
and were filled with hope over this new life and soul being knit together for God's glory.

 We had no idea that this was going to be
the beginning of a trial for our family.

Two months into the pregnancy, I began hemorrhaging heavily, and found myself in the emergency room. 

And despite everything that happened with Baby Joshua's pregnancy, I was certain that we had lost this baby. 

This time...

I was the one
who was wrong.

I was diagnosed with another subchorionic hematoma, and given a 50/50 chance of carrying the baby to term. 

The clot was as big as the baby, and I found that when I stood up or walked around for any length of time,
I began to bleed heavily - so I stayed down. 

Any of you who have experienced this condition know that the amount of blood loss that comes with it simply makes it hard to believe that a baby would be capable of surviving it.  

During this time, our Bible reading group happened to be focused on Luke 8. I took so much comfort in reading the account of the hemorrhaging woman who was healed in an instant.  

 I was spending so much time laying down, unable to get up and mother my children in the way I am used to, and I just kept closing my eyes and reaching for the hem of His garment.

As sick as I was those first few months,
I was strengthened in knowing that Jesus not only saw but ORDAINED my affliction, and that the outcome was in His hands.

After 27 weeks of waiting,
we saw our collective prayers answered.

The clot had entirely dissapeared.  

The baby has continued to grow,
and by God's grace...  

we are now 34 weeks pregnant!

We have no idea what the gender is, either!

We are overjoyed - but in retrospect - this has been the hardest season of our lives as a family.

And yet everything we have experienced this year has been a reminder that we live in a fallen world, broken by sin and suffering, and that all of creation is groaning for our Savior's return. (Romans 8:22)

Each and every one of us has broken God's Law, given in the Ten Commandments, and by God's standards we will fall short.

The entire creation is fallen, and we need a Savior - because the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

And so He came, wrapped Himself in flesh, lived a sinless life, and willingly died the death we deserved (John 1:14), bearing our sins upon Himself. 

He rose again, defeating death, so that He can offer us the greatest gift that has ever been given... 

...a full pardon from all of our sins, given freely
when we call upon the name of the Lord in repentance, trusting Him alone for salvation.
  (Mark 1:15)

Friends, the baby who was born in that stable
is not a baby anymore.

He is the Risen King, ruling at the right hand of God in Heaven, and He is coming back to judge us by our own righteousness (and the Bible says we all fall short) or by His own perfectly imparted righteousness.

We need to take cover in the Cross.

(1 Corinthians 15)

In this crumbling world where babies die, children are abandoned by their parents, and everything spins out of our control - God has given us a refuge in the Gospel...

and a promise to make all things new.

A star pierces the darkness, 

lighting the way to the Savior.

The weary world rejoices...

Our family wishes each of you
a Merry Christmas.

If we can pray for you, let us know: 

Local friends - all the pretty pictures were taken by our dear friend at Alyssa Fenty Photography:

Check out this short video from Living Waters about the true meaning of Christmas:

Related posts: 

- Missy