Adoption is something that I can remember having a negative opinion of as a child. It wasn't because it was learned in the home, but there was something else that seemed to cause it to have negativity attached to it. Maybe it was the fact that it appeared the parents "didn't want" the child.  Maybe there was a sense of pity associated with the situation. I cannot nail it down to any one specific situation.

As I became an adult I discovered something new, fresh, and exciting about adoption. For one, my wife and I went through some trying times as we were wanting to have a child. We had an opportunity for a "shotgun" approach to adopting a bi-racial baby. We were excited and pursued the opportunity. Bottom line is that it didn't work out.

Then, as I had been in ministry a few years, I noticed something about the idea of adoption that I had not realized before. I had been adopted. I had not been adopted by my parents, as they were my biological mom and dad. However, I had been adopted by God. It wasn't because I was not wanted. Rather, it was because I was wanted and loved.

He had adopted me with my tattered past. He had adopted me with my deformities and subpar abilities. He had adopted me when most people would not want me. He had adopted me with such imperfections that made me feel giddy inside. Why, because of His love for me.

The other part of it is that He will adopt you, if you haven't already been adopted into His family!

I came across this video by accident. I won't spoil it for you, but it is amazing the love that is shown by two people to these kids. As I thought it was pretty special, I cannot imagine what it must be like to have my God love me that much more. I cannot imagine the human side of what it would have been like to feel no sense of hope and then receive this blessing of being adopted. So thankful for my adoption!

Now it's your turn...What is your view of adoption after seeing this video or reading this article?
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Today Counts - it can change tomorrow  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You may go through today and not have much to show for it. You may have finished yesterday with a similar endpoint. However, you may have an opportunity today that will change the course of your life, or someone else's life. To you, the decision makes no significant impact, but to someone else it changes their life, significantly.

Today counts, whether we like it or not. It may be tearing up the dirt to be ready for planting, it may be packing it down, establishing a firm foundation, or it could be simply making a decision to do something better in the future. Remember, today counts and this week's quote speaks to that such concept...

What you do today can change the course of your life far into into the future. Today is critical. Today really counts. ~ Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
Today may be the day you decide to quit an unhealthy habit. Today, may be the day you decide to read a book. Today, may be the day you decide you are going to marry the person you've been dating. Today, may be the day you decide you will start something you've been putting off. Today, may be the day that you turn your life over to God. Today, may be the day that you make ____ decision to do something different with your life.

Though there may be many days which, at the end of the day, there is not much to show for it, make today count. Make it a goal to have something to show for everyday that is "today." It could be something as simple as saying "Hello" to someone. Additionally, it may improve your health, as you help to imporove others' health.

It may also mean that you will make today count by doing a long-overdue project. To reap the benefits of that project will greatly impact your future and it will change the course of your life.

So make today count...it can change tomorrow!

Now it's your turn...what will you decide to do today? Or, what have you made a decision about in the past which has changed the course of your life? Share/Bookmark

My life has been filled with procrastination. Some of you can probably relate. If you didn't procrastinate in school, maybe you did with your household chores as a child. Most of the time that we tend to procrastinate or avoid an area in our life is because we view the task/situation much larger than the actual size.

It is similar to the light on a small object will project something quite large a few feet away. Also, depending on the closeness of the light the object will appear much larger. Sometimes life can be much the same way, which brings us to this week's quote...

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength you think they have. ~ Norman Vincent Peale
When situations are closer to us, or more present, they appear much bigger. It can be both the positive and the negative things. If success is near then it may give the false appearance that success will always be that big. When, in fact, it is the same size always and we may need to take a step back to see the reality of it.

Maybe it is a certain problem in life, it appears quite large because we are upon it, but if we take a step back or move past it, we see it wasn't as big as we made it out to be.
When I went to see Mt. Rushmore, I was "initially" disappointed. Not in the craftsmanship but in the size. When you see it at ground level, it doesn't appear that Washington has a 12-foot nose. If I were to be right up on the nose, it would appear huge. It is all about the view.

Let us take situations and obstacles for what they are, not necessarily what they appear to be. Maybe you need to take a step back (or a few) to see what is going on and not just what you see.

Obstacles are not gernally as challenging if you see them for what they are and start to do something about them. However, if you don't then you can get a false view of your obstacles and they will appear bigger (and possibly scarier) than they are in reality.

Now it's your turn...what do you need to take a different look at? Share/Bookmark

Most of us have some sort of dream or desire to do something in life. We travel through life reading others' quotes, seeing posters, watching them on TV, or seeing them in movies and we may want to be like them in some way. I would guess that your list is longer than 10 if you started compiling one. As you think of different parameters to determine your desires, your list will grow.

Maybe it is fame - you'd have a certain list. Maybe it is money - another list. Maybe it is a specific talent - another list. Maybe it is appearance - another list. Adding them all together would likely create a decent sized list.

There are only so many people in this world that will be known for something "great" they did. However, there are billions of people who will not be known for the small things they did to make someone's life that much better. That brings us to this week's quote...

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day. ~ Sally Koch
When I started my job at the hospital I went through orientation. One of the things I remember our CEO emphasizing was helping others out, with an unwritten emphasis on "no matter the cost." In other words, we could be late to a meeting to make sure customers were helped out.

Last week I was at the hospital and a lady was noticably lost. She was at the elevator and trying to get back to a classroom she was having a training at. When asked, she said she was looking for the classroom. She had taken a "wrong turn" and was opposite where she should have been. I told her that I would take her to the classroom (another suggestion by our CEO - don't just tell directions, show them). We had a brief but pleasant conversation and connected on several levels. I explained that I was relatively new, so I understood her being lost, as I am still learning the layout.

I like the philosophy of our CEO by showing them where to go, rather than just telling them directions. I like the fact that I doubt I will ever run into that lady again (as she was also from out of town), but I would like to think that if she were asked her impression of that portion of our hospital would be favorable.

Was that a "great" opportunity. By my definition, no it wasn't. To the woman who was lost, it may have been. So it definitely was a small opportunity. I think all people's lives are going to be filled with small opportunities. However, small opportunities can make great differences in the lives of people.

As you go through life, look for the opportunities to make the small differences in people's lives...as it may make a great difference to the people you meet.

Now it's your turn...what small opportunities have you taken advantage of to make a difference in someone's life? Share/Bookmark