Fostering an Adoption Mindset

Adoption MindsetI won’t pretend to even begin to say I know what it is like growing up in the foster care system. I’ve had friends and even some family members who tell stories of what it’s like when you’re on the receiving end of being a foster kid in the system and longing for the day you will have a “forever home.” In fact, many can’t even relate to the concept of having a forever home because they’ve been bounced around from place to place, and family to family. You’re always in a state of flux and you’re always bracing yourself for when the rug is going to be pulled out from beneath you.

When I was younger my grandparents fostered a sister and brother and they fought like mad to be able to adopt them. These particular children were my age and I had grown to love them like my own sister and a brother. When the fateful day came for them to be reassigned, it devastated our family because we had grown to accept them and were willing to adopt them as our own flesh and blood, but the “System” wasn’t having it. The tears streamed down all our faces. It was one of the saddest days of my childhood. The relationships we had quite literally “fostered” were abruptly and tragically ended. In the words of Little Orphan Annie, “It’s a hard-knock life,” don’t even begin to describe the nightmarish life of these children.

While we all may not be able to relate to the hardships of foster life, there’s a generation out there right now that lives this kind of life in a constant state of spiritual, emotional, and relational flux; always bracing themselves for the next big break-up. We get bounced from broken relationship to broken relationship, longing for stability, love, and a forever home. But friends, in this world, it’s just not meant to be. God did not send His only begotten Son just to scoop up a bunch of foster kids. Christ came that He could adopt us all!

Herein lies the distinction. Christ doesn’t just want to be a foster parent. He doesn’t expect His church to just be a foster family. And, He’s certainly not in the market for relationships that come and go. God is committed to being your forever Father. He wants His Church to be your forever family, and He most certainly wants Heaven to be your Forever Home.

This world, at best, can only offer to be your foster parent, but Jesus wants to adopt you into the Family of God through His supreme sacrifice at Calvary. He paid the dearest price to ensure you were not only adopted but that you become an heir with Him for Eternity.

In the grand scheme of things, being adopted may not sound like the optimal outcome for children in this life. Some grow to feel their birth parents abandoned them. So Christ takes it one step farther. He not only adopts us, He allows us to be “born into this family” through His Death, Burial and Resurrection, we become the Sons and Daughters of God!

This is bigger than “foster-care” or adoption; this is about a New Birth experience, where your old life is buried with Christ, and you arise to become a New Creation in Him as well. Your old life is passed away, and all things are made new!

Ephesians 1:3 – 6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational Sermonettes, Devotionals, and Sermon Ideas for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  ~ RD Mangold

To Bee or Not to Be

ToBeeThey may be an irritant at your local cider mill or picnic, but they’re a very busy creature. A small percentage of us are dangerously allergic to their sting, and when they swarm, they can be a vicious bunch, but the reason honeybees are so busy, is because they’re responsible for the essential pollination of some of our most vital food sources including fruits and vegetables. But, not just food is in danger, plants and flowers are as well.

Recently published reports from the EPA, Science Direct and ABC.net indicate that while there may be improvements in certain aspects of the bee population, we are still not out of the woods, or in our case, plants, yet. This news is staggering as it points to the potential endangerment of our food sources, and those who are responsible for ensuring the longevity of those food sources.

One such reason for the endangerment of bees is a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. This can be explained as a bee colony that has an inability to continue to grow or thrive. The EPA website characterizes CCD as the following:

  • Sudden loss of a colony’s worker bee population with very few dead bees found near the colony.
  • The queen and brood (young) remained, and the colonies had relatively abundant honey and pollen reserves.

And, here’s what really stung as the report continued, “But hives cannot sustain themselves without worker bees and would eventually die. This combination of events resulting in the loss of a bee colony has been called Colony Collapse Disorder.”

Could it be that we are seeing a similar disorder in our modern churches? An inability to sustain themselves without worker bees? These colonies had relatively abundant honey and pollen reserves, yet the colony lacked workers.

Your local Christian Colony, a.k.a. your local church and even our global mission to “Go ye into all the world” could potentially be suffering from not “Colony Collapse Disorder” but “Church Collapse Disorder” because of the lack of laborers, or worker bees. There’s an abundance of God’s anointing, blessings, and power. The Hive, that is the church, is not lacking in love, prayer, and vision, but where she IS lacking is in workers to carry out that vision and mission.

There are a variety of theories “buzzing” around as to why these colonies are in decline as follows:

  • Environmental (adverse culture)
  • Increased use of pesticides (destruction of Christian values and principles).
  • Diminishing habitats (churches being planted, people answering the call, and a post-modern world opposed to godliness)
  • Humanity encroaching on their areas where bees breed (an inability to reproduce)

May we as a church, or colony, never neglect to pray as Christ commanded, “for laborers” i.e. workers to be sent forth into the harvest to pollinate this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ effectively ending the “sting of Death!” May we be “busy” about our Father’s Business, and, may external influences never encroach on the Church’s ability to grow, thrive, and keep the colony and mission moving forward till Jesus comes!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational Sermonettes, Devotionals, and Sermon Ideas for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  ~ RD Mangold

WANTED! Willing to Risk Death Daily

Wanted
Stamp Art by Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Imaging by Gwillhickers – U.S. Post Office; Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Public Domain, Link

There were wanted posters everywhere throughout the Civil War Era of the United States. Not the kind in post offices because there weren’t any post offices yet! These “Wanted Posters” read as follows:

“WANTED – YOUNG, SKINNY, WIRY FELLOWS NOT OVER EIGHTEEN. MUST BE EXPERT RIDERS, WILLING TO RISK DEATH DAILY. ORPHANS PREFERRED. WAGE $25.00 PER WEEK.

The need for delivering information over long distances across the great divide of our troubled young nation was becoming more critical with each passing day. The Pony Express, now only in its infant stage was answering that call and was looking for some very special young men; men who were willing to make great sacrifices, spending long hard hours in the saddle. They had to be totally dedicated to the cause, making certain that the mail would reach its destination no matter what.

This was their Pledge of Service:

“I, (name), do hear by swear, before the great and living God, that during my engagement and while I am an employee of the Pony Express, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language; that I will drink no intoxicating liquors; that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employer. So help me God!”

In 1860, the newly minted Pony Express mail route would consist of nearly 2,100 miles. The service would start in St. Joseph, Missouri and pass through Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and end in San Francisco, California. The service guaranteed the delivery of mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to San Francisco, California in an incredibly short 10-day time span.

In their 1½-year history, the Pony Express encountered just one rider who refused to make his run. These riders were to face every type of natural disaster and danger imaginable, from crossing rivers with wild rapids, to parched desert sands, and every possible weather condition the Wild West could unleash at them. It was through this unpredictable world of nature that the Pony Express riders dared to pass. Steep grades, narrow canyons, howling winds, bone-chilling blizzards, incredibly deep snow drifts all were barriers to the progress of even the most dedicated rider.

Consider this a call to all Christians – We have no excuse for not sharing the Message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have social media, videos, blogs, and vlogs. What took them 10 days to travel 2100 miles takes us about 3 hours. We’re a generation engorged with opportunity, but so few are willing to take the risk, the plunge, or to dive right in. There needs to be an expediency and urgency to our message! Men and women who are willing to brave the harsh elements of counter-culture and controversy to stand up for the noblest cause there is, “Go ye into all the world…” 

The postman’s creed, which in truth there is no swearing in for, states this, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Our Mission is the Message! Let’s not allow anyone or anything to stand between us and a lost and hurting generation. Their lives depend upon it; their eternity depends upon it.

WANTED! Dedicated and devoted Christians willing to cross racial, social, geographical, and political, boundaries. WAGE: OUT OF THIS WORLD!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual Sermonettes, Devotionals, and Sermon Ideas for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  ~ RD Mangold