Where is the last place you went that you really didn't want to go? Work? Home? The grocery? Wal-mart? A dental visit? A meeting? The DMV? The mall?
Certainly there are places that we don't prefer to go. But yet we find joy nonetheless after having been there. Our work brings provision. Our homes bring healing and community. A meeting hopefully brings resolution. A visit to the dentist or doctor brings wellness and prevention. A trip to the mall can lead to smiles from those who receive the gifts we purchase.
But when was the last time you went into a place where you KNEW you'd be ridiculed, persecuted, tortured and eventually killed?
THIS is the age old story of Christmas- that Jesus, the God of all, came to a place that was unlikely (A Bethlehem stable), to people that were unworthy (Shepherds), in a way that was unheard of (A virgin birth).
Oh, but this is STILL the story of Christmas today. You see, Jesus STILL comes to unlikely places-bars, jails, brothels, slums, the White House, government, MY house, YOUR house, schools, churches, street corners, everywhere.
He STILL comes to the unworthy-thieves, murderers, addicts, prostitutes, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, pastors, politicians, attorneys, doctors, janitors, coaches, rich, poor, you, me.
And He STILL comes in an unlikely way- entering the hearts of ALL who surrender to His will, follow His leading and desire His Lordship.
Folks, this is huge. This is Christmas, not the presents we fret over or the trees and decorations. It's not the songs or the traditions. It's not snow covered yards and snowmen, not Charlie Brown or Rudolph. Christmas is Jesus, in the flesh, come down for me and you. This propels me not only in December but each and every day of every year to live a life of Hope.
I have been married to my best friend for 22 years. We have an 19 year old son and an 8 year old daughter. I am overwhelmed by how much God blesses me! My desire is to be more and more like my Creator every day.
10/30/07- orientation meeting with home study agency 11-12/07- gathering documents for home study 1/28/08- home vist #1 2/1/08- immigration application and finger printing 2/5/08- home visit #2 2/22/08- accepted by placement agency (Adoppt, Inc) 2/27/08- received completed home study 2/28/08- home study received at USCIS office in Louisville 3/20/08- received I-171 H form! 3/26/08- KY state seals received for all dossier documents 4/4/08- dossier sent to Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco for Vietnam Embassy authentication 4/8/08- dossier received in San Francisco 4/22/08- received confirmation from the Consulate General's office that our dossier was sent to Vietnam on 4/21! 4/28/08- dossier received in Vietnam; sent for translation 5/19/08- received word that our dossier was logged in sometime last week. WE ARE OFFICIALLY WAITING A REFERRAL NOW! 8/8/08- officially told we will NOT be getting Ellie from Vietnam 9/1/08- Deadline for referrals from Vietnam... none for us. 9/3/08- requested our dossier be sent back to us; researching other options for adoption; getting info on changing our home study and USCIS forms; LOTS of prayers on where God wants us to go next 9/8/08- Approved by Celebrate Children International to begin the process of adopting from Ethiopia! 9/15/08- Ethiopia contract and fees sent in. Our homestudy has been amended, and we are waiting for our amended 171H form as well. 9/30/08- received our amended 171H! 12/20/08- saw picture of a little girl; waiting for more info. 12/27/08- received video footage of little girl; waiting on medical info to make our decision. 12/30/08- received word that she is healthy 12/31/08- dossier returned to us with US Dept. and Ethiopian Embassy seals! 1/1/09- received complete medical evaluation on child; we will accept referral!! We have found her! 1/7/09- signed the papers to accept the referral of our Ellie. 4/9/09- re-fingerprinted for our 171H, as they are about to expire. STILL waiting on a court date... 6/5/09-Ellie has been moved to the Transition House in the city! Still no court date assigned 6/9/09- Court date assigned for 6/18/09!! 6/19/09- court date reassigned to 7/2/09 7/2/09- PASSED COURT!!! Awaiting travel dates! 7/29/09- Embassy date appointed for 8/11/09. Tickets purchased to travel on August 7th!!!!! WOO HOOO~~~ 8/7/09- left for Ethiopia! 8/9/09- met Ellie face to face for the first time! 8/15/09- HOME at last!!