“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalms 27:14 ESV
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” (Prob.3:5)
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Thursday, October 10, 2019
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.”
Monday, October 7, 2019
Here is a picture of Evie and me from our Ugandan culture celebration last week. Don’t you think this beautiful little girl would bring some cheer to her grandparents?
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up.” (Daniel 3: 16-18)
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Sunday, September 1, 2019
Saturday, August 31, 2019
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.”
Isaiah 43:1-5 ESV
The clinic in Jinja did some bloodwork, and as we waited for the results I walked outside with Evie and sang Isaiah 43. By this time she had recovered significantly, but was hysterically crying from the several attempts to draw blood. The bloodwork did not show anything abnormal and the doctor referred us to Kampala. After another long drive and more tests, the doctor there determined that Evie had a febrile seizure brought on by a fever related to a throat infection. It was 8pm by the time we reached home.
Thursday, August 29, 2019
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”Isaiah 43:1-3
Monday, August 19, 2019
(Above photo from our first day of school)
Today is the day! Evie is now permanently a member of our family! It is hard to believe it is finally true! For two years she has been our foster daughter and we have been working toward and looking forward to this day. The judge has granted our petition for adoption, but the written ruling had the wrong birthdate, so it feels a little anticlimactic right now. We are still waiting for the paperwork to get sorted, but we are celebrating!
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)Evie knows that her father loves her and has no fear to ask, “Daddy, can I have an ice cream?” Her father delights in giving her good gifts. How much more can I trust and freely approach my Heavenly Father? I hope and pray that Evie will be secure in her adoption and the love we have for her. I also pray that I will find that security, love, trust, joy and rest in the adoption I have from my Heavenly Father through Jesus.
Monday, August 5, 2019
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Sunday, July 28, 2019
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ in God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 ESV
It has always been our desire for our school to be a place of grace. A place where students know they are loved and safe and learn to live out the truths of the gospel in their daily lives. We certainly do not do this perfectly and our school is far from utopia, but this is our goal and what we are working toward with our students. We want them to have much more than knowledge when they leave our school. We want them to know Jesus more because of the relationships they have had at our school which demonstrate the love and grace of Jesus Christ. This goal is certainly not something that we can accomplish on our own. It feels overwhelming to try to create that type of school atmosphere, particularly when one third of our students will be new to our school. There will be new social dynamics, everyone trying to figure out where they fit, and all of this with kids who have experienced much more transition and sometimes trauma than the typical American kid. It is exciting to be able to love on and disciple these kids, but the task is definitely bigger than me.
This week the sermon in our church was on the passage above. I am not sufficient to the task of these upcoming challenges, but my "sufficiency is from God, who has made me us to be ministers of a new covenant." He made us teachers to be ministers to these students and He is sufficient to the task! One of my favorite worship songs that I learned many years ago is "He is Able."
He is able, more than able, to accomplish what concerns me today.So today, as I see how I am not sufficient, I am going to remember that Christ in me is sufficient and He will accomplish His good purposes for today. So even if I am not "ready," God is and He will give us the strength and grace to do all He has called me to do today. He will do much more than we could ask or image. (Eph. 3:20)
He is able, more than able, to handle anything that comes my way.
He is able more than able, to do much more than I could ever dream.
He is able, more than able to make me what he wants me to be.
Monday, July 1, 2019
"For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him (Jesus). That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory." (2 Corinthians 1:20)While David preached about how all the promises of God find their Yes in Jesus, he also talked about what it looks like when the yes we receive from God doesn't always feel like a yes to us. Our family got some opportunity to put this into practice when we found out on Monday that the judge who heard our petition for adoption has been called away to hear cases in Northern Uganda for a month. Apparently all his other cases are "on hold" for now. Later on Monday, we got word that the teacher is definitely not going to be joining us for this school year. David had taken time on Monday to pray specifically about these two things. That certainly seemed like two "no" answers to our prayers.
Going back to Sunday. Since David was preaching I had signed up to lead the Kids' Time. Sometimes that is a brief lesson before the sermon and sometimes it is incorporating the kids into the sermon. This week David and I had come up with a plan for the kids to read some of the promises of God that find their Yes in Jesus about halfway through his sermon. After one child would read a promise, all the children would shout "Amen!" Some of the toddlers even joined in with their "Amen." These are the promises of God that we affirmed at church:
Exodus 14:14 - “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Isaiah 40:29 - “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Isaiah 41:10 - “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Psalm 86:5 – “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”
Isaiah 40:31- “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Psalm 84:11 - "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly."While these answers to our prayers on Monday felt like a "no" we remember that these promises of God are all Yes in Jesus. God is fighting for us. He will give us His strength and uphold us. He is our God! He goes before us into this coming school year and has plans for our good, to give us hope. Our good Lord is with us and loves us. He will enable me to do whatever He calls me to do this school year. He will give me the strength to wait for this next month and will go before us in our court ruling. And he will give us what is best.
In David's sermon, he referred to John Piper's sermon on this same passage in 2 Corinthians. One of the main points Piper made was that, "God will answer our prayers in the way we ask or in a way that is better than what we asked." I don't see how it is better for us to need to scramble this month to find a new teacher or reshuffle the schedule, but I am going to trust that God has something better for us. I don't understand why waiting another month for the judge's ruling on Evie's adoption is best, but God does. He is good, abounding in love, working for our good. And even though we don't see or understand the "better" plan that God has, we will walk by faith and not by sight. And when our faith is weak, we will pray like the father in Mark 9:24, "I believe; help my unbelief!"
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Psalm 27:14 - “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 130:5 - “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.”
Psalm 33:20 - “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
Psalm 39:7 - “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.”
Friday, June 21, 2019
When we came back at 2:00, the judge was ready to see us, so we gathered everyone involved in the case and spent the next 2 hours in the judges chambers in one of the most emotionally taxing situations I could imagine. Adoption is a beautiful thing, but if there was not brokenness, there wouldn’t be any reason for it. Rehashing that story is heartbreaking and painful. I won’t share any of those details here. That is Evie’s story to share or not when she gets older. There were also some unexpected challenges that arose legally. Because Evie is two years old and was missing naptime and the judge needed to be able to hear each person speak, I was in and out of the room. As he was wrapping things up he asked if I wanted to come back in and had anything to add. I had been wanting to speak up at several points in the discussion, and now I had an opportunity. This is basically what I said:
“We love Evie Kisakye and want her to be a permanent part of our family. We live here in Uganda and we want her to know her birth family. But we also want her to be free to travel with us and to have all the rights and privileges of being fully our daughter.”
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”Galatians 4:4-7 ESV
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Saturday, June 1, 2019
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator or the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
“Lisa, did you forget Who I am? I am the God who created this whole world. I know exactly what these kids need and you don’t have to. I’ve got it. You don’t have the strength or wisdom to carry this situation, but I do. Trust me and I will give you the strength to love freely without feeling like it is up to you to fix things you are incapable of fixing. I am God and you are not.”
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 NIV
Here are our oldest two looking way too grown up as they go to our school Spring Formal. We were there as teacher/chaperones.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Saturday, March 9, 2019
At almost every check-in counter and several security check-points in the various airports we have visited over the past two weeks, they often ask this question, “What is your final destination?” It always strikes me as a funny question. On this trip, we travelled to one city, spent a week near there, to another city for another four days, then had an overnight layover in another city and are now on our way back home to Uganda. I understand that these security officers and airport staff are asking where we are headed to make sure they do their jobs properly in assisting us in getting to our destination safely. But every time I hear this question, I am reminded that my final destination is not any city on this earth. My final destination is eternity with my Savior.
Friday, March 1, 2019
Monday, February 25, 2019
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:25, 28-30, 33 ESVhttps://bible.com/59/mat.6.25,28-30,33.esv)
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Sunday, February 10, 2019
I recently listened to a sermon about suffering. This quote caught my attention. "God will graciously give you suffering and faith, so that you might enjoy making much of Him through the fearlessness of faith and the humility of love... In small ways and large ways, you will suffer... The design of this double gift of suffering and grace is humility, love and fearlessness." (John Piper's sermon on Philippians 1) God is graciously giving suffering and faith during this season. I am finding myself less anxious these days in the midst of many challenges. God is growing my faith. I'm sure my struggle with anxiety and fear is not over completely, but God is showing me that I can trust Him to sustain and even grow us through difficulties.
We are thankful that God has given us little glimpses of what He is doing in the midst of this challenging season. Sometimes we just move forward in faith, and sometimes God provides us with a little picture of his good purposes in the midst of it all. Either way, God is good, all the time. And all the time God is good!
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
“All the days ordained for me, were written in your book before one of them came to be.”