Daily Archives: November 21, 2008

From the Inbox

The following is from Kristie Rutzel of Crosswalk.com. With her permission, I am sharing this e-mail. Perfect thoughts and ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Ya’ll have a blessed weekend! ( the picture is mine…my sweet Cy!)

This coming Saturday, November 22nd, is National Family Volunteer Day and we want to inspire you and your family to share Christ through volunteering in your own local community or as part of an international volunteer program!

Here is just an example of how one of our contributors at Crosswalk.com, Sharon Brani, and her family were led to volunteer their time and energy together as a family mission. How will your family be blessed through embarking on a new family outreach? I look forward to hearing your stories of how God has and will work through you and your family this Family Volunteer Day and throughout the year! Help us spread the word by blogging about Family Volunteer Day and giving your blog readers examples of how they can offer their time and service.

The Gift Goes On: Choosing a Family Outreach

Editor’s Note: November 22nd marks National Family Volunteer Day. Below, Crosswalk.com contributor Sharon Brani shares the blessings she and her daughters experience through their involvement in family outreach. If your family is interested in locating family-friendly volunteer opportunities, resources with links can be found at the end of this article.

It all began in 1993 when I, a single woman in her early forties, adopted a six month old baby girl from Russia. God’s Hand was so evident in even the timing of her adoption. On Christmas Eve of 1993 my life was changed when I became the mother of Noelle. And although many people refer to the blessing that my daughter received through adoption, I have always known that the gift was mine.

The miracle of adoption always shines with the wonder of God’s plan and purpose. There are no accidents. No mistakes. The little one wrapped in a pink blanket was His Touch to my life, breathing fresh hope and healing. He knew all about the pain of my divorce. He knew about the shattered dreams and broken heart. He knew and so graciously provided the gift of a very special child who for years afterward would bless me with incredible joy and laughter.

In 2000, God whispered within my spirit once more that there was another little girl that needed me. I questioned. I prayed. And after long months of waiting and even a failed adoption, I finally came home with my second daughter from Russia. Jenny, too, became His very special gift of grace and love to my heart. My two daughters continue to bless me and the lives of many others. What precious gifts from the Father’s Hand!

But it does not stop there. In fact, the story is only beginning.

In late 2007, my girls and I talked and prayed about a family mission for the new year. We tossed about various ideas. We were already supporting a child in India. We participated in the yearly Christmas shoebox ministry where shoeboxes are filled and sent to another part of the world to bless a child at Christmas. What else could we do?

After searching the internet and speaking with other adoptive parents we finally decided to adopt the Shoes For Orphans Souls project led by Buckner International Adoptions in Texas. Their website explained the process clearly so with open hearts we agreed to make this our own project for 2008.

I was so touched when each girl asked to go to the local shoe store to purchase their first pair of new shoes. My oldest, after much deliberation, chose a small pair of white DCs. She not only took them into her church youth group the next day to promote the shoes for children idea but also continues to keep them attached to her book bag. With brown eyes sparkling, she tells everyone that this is only the first pair that she will buy to help an orphan somewhere… Continue Reading Here

God Bless You and Your Family,

Kristie Rutzel, Salem Web Network Marketing Coordinator

Line: 804.205.9700 Ext . 152 Fax: 804.205.9648

111 Virginia St., Suite 500 Richmond, VA 23219

Day Eighty-Two

Read Luke 22:63-71
The rejection Jesus must have felt is heartbreaking. Maybe He had healed some of their own family members, and yet, here they are spitting on Him, slapping Him around. The shame of all the mocking. . . . Thinking on these things reminds me again of the love He truly has for us. This was only the beginning of the suffering we will be studying. The story we know so well is painted again before me today a-fresh.
Beth reminds us that our Lord and Saviour is the “King of the mountain.” I remember that game, too, as a child. No matter if you are on the mountain or down in the valley, He is there. I read one time about mountain climbers and all the enormous amount of stress a person puts their body through just to reach the top. Climbing up, they risk falling and injuring themselves. As they climb, the altitude changes making the air thinner and harder to breathe, therefore, they could possibly even suffer a collapsed lung. Climbers, sometimes lose a finger or toe due to extreme temperatures dropping to frigid levels. Recovery time from the mountain experiences could be difficult, also. Climbing a mountain is very hard work- however, being on the mountain does have some rewards. The view is awesome! The feeling of accomplishment would be felt, but the climber can never stay long- can’t live there, but must either come down and work on climbing another or stay in the valley most of the time. I heard someone say recently that it’s in the valley where we grow and our roots grow deeper.
Beth comments of Jesus being our “Bright and morning star, the Lily of the valley, beloved son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the Prince of peace, King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords!” Who is He right now for you? No matter what mountain you may be facing…”He is the King of the mountain!!!”
When I read of Jesus responses to His taunters, I think about what response I would have probably given: “You touch me again and I’ll call fire down from Heaven!” -or- “I’m telling my Father on you buddy!” He had the power to make them all stop, but He chose to take all the suffering for us. I’m trying really hard not to get ahead, but it’s so hard when I know the rest of the story. I’ll stop here and just say…..He loves you!
Dear Lord, thank you for loving us when we were the ones that hurt you. Thank you for loving us today when we still hurt you or let you down. Remind us today of who you are- our King of every mountain. Wherever our sisters are living or whatever they are facing be near them. Bless them all I pray. Cover them, and help them today see you in everything. Touch them, by once again reaching your hands of mercy out. In Christ Jesus’ name I pray—Amen.
Love all you sweet sisters. Be blessed! And Keep climbing!
Keeping the Faith,