Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Love that Lasts Forever

Artist Jean Keaton
Isn't this an amazing picture? Doesn't it give you such an warm, comforting, secure, joyful, peaceful feeling inside? This beautiful image of Jesus raising up a precious child reminds me of the love Christ has for each of us. The pure Joy that is exchanged between two people who love one another so deeply & without reserve. It is such a deep connection between the love of a child and parent. A love that gives it all, and holds nothing back. 

It reminds me of how when I go to pick up my little daughter from school and she is filled with anticipation as she waits with the other children as one by one they are picked up by their parents. Each child eagerly waits his or her turn wondering, Will it be my turn next? My daughter lights up the second she sees me, and runs directly into my arms. She is completely focused, determined, and nothing is going to distract her from her desired destination to be held by her loving parent. When her Daddy comes home from work she stops whatever she is doing to run up into his loving arms. It is such a blessing to love a child, and to receive the love of a child.

Isn't GOD's Love soooo Amazing! The very second we turn to Jesus we find He has been waiting for us to run up into His loving arms. Christ is always so excited to spend time with us and longs to be with us. That is soooo Awesome -- GOD longing to be with us. I hear some people repeatedly say over and over and over again that they are not worthy of GOD's love. I wonder how a Holy Parent feels when He hears His precious child repeatedly say to Him just about every time their together, I am not worthy of your love. I can just imagine our Holy Parent telling the child; Please stop saying you are not worthy of My Love. You are My child, stop all the negative talk about yourself, and just run to Me, I have been waiting to hug you all day.

Can you imagine what it is like to be a child, and go all day without a hug from your parent? Imagine how horrible it would be to go all day without having the love of your parent wrapped around you telling you how precious, important, and valuable you are to them. Imagine having to endure that for a week, a month, for years, and for the rest of your childhood.

Ever wonder what it is like to be an orphan or foster child? Imagine one day you drop your child off at Day Care or at School, you are looking forward to seeing each other again soon. Your child is anxiously awaiting your arrival, but you don't show up, so your child continues to wait. Unfortunately something tragic happens, and you & your spouse are not able to be with your child ever again. Your precious child is suddenly dependent on the mercy of others. Sure family or friends said that they would look after your child should anything ever happen to you and your spouse. The sad reality is many do not keep their promise. Either way your child is left in the care of others. As good as they care for your child, it is not the same as your love, a parent's love. If you could not be with your child again, Would others simply caring for your child be enough? Wouldn't you want someone to love your child as their own? If anything would ever happen to us we would want others to love our child just as much as we would love our child. We would want others to see our child with the eyes of a loving parent whose love is unconditional and everlasting.

If the Church Body is the Body of Christ, then as Christ said we are to be parents to the parentless children. We are to be parents to the orphaned children. There are over 300,000 churches in American, and currently 126,000 American orphan/foster children who are standing in line waiting for their loving parent to show up, wondering, Will it be my turn next?Their biological parents will never show up. They need a loving parent. They need us to be their loving parent. If only (1) church out of every (3) churches had only (1) family from within their entire church family who would adopt an orphaned child, then every child in America who has been abandoned would have a Forever Family

As Christians we have all been adopted into GOD's Forever Family, because Jesus paid the price for our adoption. Do you remember your Adoption Day? The day you became apart of GOD's Forever Family -- the day your life was changed Forever.

Imagine if Jesus was not around to pay the ultimate price for our adoption, then we would not be able to be apart of GOD's Family. We would never know how awesome, amazing and totally wonderful it is to be loved by GOD, and for GOD to call us His Child. There would be no close intimate relationship of a Loving Holy Parent & Child. No Parental Love. No Ultimate Joy. No Blessings or Gifts. No Comfort. No Protection, No Help or Healing, and No belonging & connecting to a Loving Forever Family. We would just be an outsider alone desperately longing to be apart of GOD's Amazing Family. What if GOD said, I will care for you, but I can't be your permeant parent. This arrangement is only temporary & has an expiration date. This is what it is for orphan/foster children. In the best situations they only get to experience love for just a short amount of time.

Would just being cared for a short limited time be enough, or would you want, long, desire, and need to be loved for a life-time?

What if instead of you that we are talking about it is your child who needs the love of a parent, because you can not be there physically taking care & loving your child.

What would be your choice for your child -- Love for a limited time or Love for a Life-Time?

Each orphan/foster child is GOD's child. What is the choice or will of our Holy Parent for the orphaned children who are His children? We need Christ, but do we truly realize that Christ needs us to be His physical body to do things He longs to do like adopt the orphaned children, love them, and call them His own?

GOD blesses each of us with loving us not only for a Life-Time, but a Love that lasts Forever.

As Christians, the representation of the physical body of Christ here on earth, shouldn't we make it our priority that every child experiences the love of a parent not for just a very short temporary limited time in their childhood, but throughout their childhood & into adulthood years until their earthly parent goes home to be with GOD, our Holy Parent.

This is the Spirit of Adoption that has no age limit. We do not age out of the Spirit of Adoption as Christ demonstrated while He was being brutally sacraficed on the cross, while enduring His own pain His priority was for the needs of others when He united His birth mother Mary with His Disciple & Friend John to be a Forever Family for one another. We are all blessed to be apart of of an Adopted Love by Jesus that lasts our entire life here on earth and for eternity. 

If Christ never came to earth, died for our sins, reconciled us to our Holy Parent, we would never get to have the Ultimate Blessing of being GOD's child and experiencing a Love that Lasts Forever.

While each and every person is not called for Adoption, each and every person is called to support & encourage the Spirit of Adoption, some how some way. How do we each participate in the Spirit of Adoption? I am not sure, but what I do know for certain is that the Lord Jesus Christ will show us the way.

Thank You Lord Jesus for the Spirit of Adoption. May the Spirit of Adoption be poured out over the entire church body, and may we be blessed to manifest Your Love & Spirit of Adoption for the orphans in our life in the specific ways that You have called each of us to do, so that they have the blessing of being apart of our Loving Forever Family & enjoy a Love that Lasts Forever.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giving Dreams Wings

I would like to introduce to you one of the youngest Philanthropist who definitely has the WOW factor. Her name is Carissa Stark, and she is 4 yrs old, and I am blessed and honored to call her Daughter. Here is how our morning went . . .

(last night Carissa asked her Mommy, What birthday present do you want? Her Mommy said what she always says each year, "You and Daddy are the greatest birthday present God has given me").

This morning while Carissa's Mommy was preparing breakfast, and packing her lunch for school Carissa said, Mommy I want to give one of my dollies to a Friend that doesn't have any. Carissa's Mommy asked her, Which Friend doesn't have a dolly? Carissa started naming Friends, and her Mommy said those Friends have lots of dollies. Then Carissa paused for a second and said pointing a finger down at the table, "Mommy there is a girl in this land that needs a dolly. Mommy I want to give one of my dollys to a little girl that doesn't have a dolly or Mommy. She went to go pick out one of her dollies and said, "I want to give this one to her" Then she thought a moment, looking at her dolly with messy hair, and smudges on her face said, "I think she would want a brand new dolly of her very own. Can we go and buy a new dolly for a little girl who doesn't have a dolly or Mommy?" Carissa's Mommy's heart overflowed with sooooo much Joy that she could no longer contain the happy tears. Carissa concerned, and a bit confused asked, Mommy why are you crying? Her Mommy said,  Watching you Love Others like Jesus, giving from your beautiful heart, and putting love in someone else's heart has made Mommy's heart overflow with Joy that the happiness is coming out of my eyes. Carissa asked, So Mommy those are Happy Tears? Her Mommy said, Yes my Love those are VERY Happy Tears. My Beautiful Daughter you have given Me the Best Birthday Present EVERRRRR!

Before Carissa headed off to school she said, Mommy I am going to ask my Friends if they will get a new dolly for a little girl who doesn't have a Dolly or a Mommy. Carissa asked her friends at school, at church, and at dance class, if they would like to get a Dolly for a little girl without a Mommy.
And this is the beginning of Carissa's Dolly Drive.  And there is much more. . .

A couple days later Carissa asked about the little boys who don't have a Mommy, and what we could do for them, because "Mommy a little boy does't want a dolly". Carissa's Mommy asked her, What do you think a little boy would like? Carissa said a truck, no I think he would like more better a Teddy Bear to cuddle & love. So now Carissa's Dolly Drive has turned into
Carissa's Dolly & Teddy Bear Drive.

And there is more. . . To top it off. . .

A few days later, Carissa was putting all her Beautiful Bows in her hair, and said, Mommy I have so many bows, Can I give some bows to little girls who don't have any pretty bows?
Yes, of course you can Sweetheart.

What's a Mommy to do to make her Daughter's Dreams come true?

Carissa and I shared all her dreams of bringing blessings to others by having a Dolly & Teddy Bear Drive, and a Bow Drive with her Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Raymond. While talking with Mrs. Raymond we were further inspired & developed ideas which later became. . .
The Giving Dreams Wings Around the World  Outreach Programs.

The Lord placed it in my heart to ask friends, family, churches, schools, organizations, and businesses to help & get involved in Giving Dreams Wings Around the World, so I am asking you. . .

Will you please ask the people in your life to support Carissa's Dreams to bless other Children?

This year with the support of our home church Sanctuary, and Carissa's Kindergarten Class at Calvary Christian, as well as her dance group from Spectrum Dance, and our Giving Dreams Wings Sponsors, we are hosting a Christmas Cupcake Party for the children locally at ChildHelp USA where each child  will receive Christmas Blessing Box filled with special toys, goodies, and hand-crafted cards. For the girls we have Carissa's Bowtique where each little girl will be able to select a beautiful hair bow. For the little boys we have Carissa's Car Collection  where each little boy will be able to select a Matchbox or HotWheels car. Each child will also receive a Compassion Card made by one of Carissa's Friends & Classmates. Compassion Card are hand-made cards by kids for kids.

We are asking everyone we know to help us bless these children who don't have a Mommy & Daddy, and share the love of Jesus with them. We want them to know that they are loved by others, that we love them, that Jesus loves them, and that they are apart of GOD's Forever Family. We are also asking Family & Friends Nationwide to do the same in their schools, churches, and organizations, and to share the Love of Jesus with foster/orphan children that don't have a Mommy & Daddy.

We also have Missionaries who are going to Thailand in January 2012, Africa, Mexico & India in the upcoming months to bring Blessings of Love to Children in need around the world. If you have Missionaries that are planning a Missions Trip, when possible we would love to help supply them with Blessings to give to the Children in the country GOD is sending them.

What once began as a  Daughter's Dreams has turned into Great Outreach Events blessing children locally and around the world. We are so thrilled to announce that: On Christmas Day Carissa's Dreams to share love around the world will become Carissa's Foundation called
Giving Dreams Wings

We are currently collecting donations for our Giving Dreams Wings Around the World  Outreach Programs which include:

 * Art Supplies -- these support our Compassion Cards Program as well as donated items to Children around the world, so that they can create cards and send them back to our children.
(colored pencils, crayons, markers, card stock, stickers, fancy decorative scissors, paper punches, etc)

* Hair Bows/Headbands/Hair Accessories -- to support Carissa's Bow Drive Program.

* HotWheels/Matchbox Cars -- to support Carissa's Toy Car Drive Program.

* Dolls -- to support Carissa's Dolly Drive Program.

* Teddy Bears -- to support Carissa's Teddy Bear Program.

Please contact Anissa at GivingDreamsWings (at) gmail (dot) com on where to send your donations and/or how to implement Carissa's  Giving Dreams Wings Around the World  Outreach Programs in your school, church, business, organization, or corporation.