Monday, January 31, 2011

Christian Services of Oklahoma

I found this video about adoption and foster care on the web site of Christian Services of Oklahoma ( Christian Services of Oklahoma helped us through our adoption process.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remember Those Who Are in Prison

Christian prisoner Said Musa in Afghanistan

"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body" (Hebrews 13:3).

"On May 24 (2010), Said Musa was arrested by government authorities in Afghanistan following a television broadcast that showed Christian baptisms and worship, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

"Musa has openly professed his faith, and he was interrogated about his conversion to Christianity on national television in June" (

Said Musa is one among many Christians worldwide who are in prison for their faith in Jesus Christ. Like Mr. Musa, they are being abused and mistreated simply for believing in Christ and refusing to deny their faith. Like Mr. Musa, they are facing the death penalty for their faith.

Recently, I discovered that free Christians can write letters of encouragement to some of these persecuted believers in their own languages. If you would like to write to some of these fellow followers of Christ, check out

Please let them know that they are appreciated. Let them know that they have not been forgotten. Keep them in your prayers. Life is difficult for them. And they could use a little encouragement.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and Other Gems from Proverbs

"Prize (wisdom) highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her" (Proverbs 4:8).

Last month, Beth Herring held a drawing on her blog ( for a copy of Warren Baldwin's Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and Other Gems from Proverbs. I received the book in late December.

As the title indicates, this book is full of gems of wisdom from the biblical book of Proverbs. The 201-page book is a collection of short articles, each one dealing with a different proverb, making it an excellent resource for personal or family devotionals.

As the author explains, "Wisdom in Proverbs has to do with skill in relationships. Wisdom means knowing when and how to encourage, rebuke, soothe, or scold. To be wise in a relationship means not demeaning people, mocking them, or hurting their feelings. Wisdom means knowing how to communicate value, love, and dignity to others. Wisdom also means caring about others in your life and working to serve their needs" (page 27).

In Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and Others Gems from Proverbs, Warren Baldwin consistently encourages virtues like honesty, kindness, faithfulness, and humility. I can highly recommend this book, because as I read it, I kept thinking: This makes me want to be a better man. If you would like to be inspired to be a better person, this is a book for you.

Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and Other Gems from Proverbs may be ordered from,, and

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Birthday Letter to My Son

Dear Christopher,

Tomorrow will mark your 8th birthday. With that in mind, I would like to share a few thoughts about your birth and adoption. You may not completely understand everything that I am writing today, but someday you will.

First, I want you to know that God answers prayers. Your birth and adoption were the answer to 9 years of prayer by your mother and myself. We had hoped and prayed for a long time for your arrival. God was preparing us to become your parents, while teaching us patience and perseverance during those years of waiting. Then God answered our prayers with the son of our dreams.

Second, your birth and adoption crossed racial barriers. You were born on the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2003 to a young black woman who chose a childless white husband and wife to be your parents. It was appropriate that you came into our lives on the day after a day set apart in our country to honor the memory of the man who had dreamed of racial barriers being broken.

Third, your birth and adoption signified the value of choosing life over abortion. You were born the day before the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing all abortions in the United States. Your birthmother made a brave decision in choosing adoption over abortion in her situation. We have been honored to have been entrusted with protecting, nurturing, and helping to shape your life ever since.

Finally, I want you to know that Christopher means Christ-bearer. We were unaware of the meaning of your name when we chose it, but we look forward to seeing how you will live out its meaning. We pray that you will follow Christ closely all the days of your life, and take him with you wherever you go.

Christopher, you are a special child. You are loved. You are blessed and a blessing.


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Weekend to Remember Winner

Congratulations to Kathleen Johnson on being the winner of our Weekend to Remember registration! We hope that you and your husband enjoy the marriage conference as much as we did.

If a reader would like to attend one of FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember marriage conferences but did not win the free registration, I have some good news. From today through January 31, 2011, you can take advantage of a "buy one/get one free" offer for listeners to the FamilyLife Today radio program. When you call 1-800-FLTODAY to register, mention that you are a listener to FamilyLife Today and you will be able to register for half the normal price. If you register online, type "BOB" in the key code box on the registration form for the discount.

If you would like more information about the Weekend to Remember, please click on this link:

About the Weekend to Remember -

Monday, January 10, 2011

Our Second Annual Weekend to Remember Contest

Four years ago, I won tickets from a local radio station to attend FamilyLife's A Weekend to Remember marriage conference. Janet and I had a great time.

During the conference, we learned about the biblical plan for the role of husbands, the role of wives, valuing each other as God's gifts, sexual intimacy, communication, and many other subjects. The speakers were insightful and humorous. They even set aside time on Saturday night for couples to have a date night together. It truly lived up to its name. It was a weekend to remember.

Since we enjoyed the conference so much, Janet and I have decided to pay the registration for another couple to experience A Weekend to Remember. The conferences are being held across the United States and in Canada this spring. You may find information about dates, locations, and other details at

In order to win registration to A Weekend to Remember, please leave a comment on this post. The contest will be open until 12:01 am January 17, 2011. Next Monday, I will randomly draw one name from the comments section of the reader who will win the registration. (Sorry, but we cannot pay for your hotel room and meals; but the registration fee is valued at $318, so it is still a very valuable prize for a blog contest.) If you are the winner, we will get your mailing address and instruct FamilyLife to send a gift certificate for you and your spouse to attend the conference of your choice.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

A World of Hurting Souls

Recently, our preacher, Ron Babbit, sent a question to one of his friends in another state who teaches high school students. He asked the teacher to pose this question to his students: "What is the most difficult thing you have had to deal with growing up?" These are the responses from those students:

Boy (10th grade): "If I said that I have not looked at pornography, it would be a lie. My mom and dad have blockers on the Internet, but I know how to get around them. I wouldn't say that I'm addicted to porn; I just enjoy watching it when I am in the mood."

Girl (12th grade): "I am unsure of my sexuality. Sometimes I feel that I like guys and sometimes I feel that I like girls. I am attracted to both, and I just need to figure out which sex I like more."

Girl (9th grade): "My dad tells me every day that I am not pretty. He asks me why I can't be pretty like the other girls my age. He won't buy me any make-up because he says it won't help me look any better. He says it's a waste of money. I just want my father to like me."

Boy (12th grade): "My mom and I don't have any money. My dad is gone and my mom and I barely get by. We have had to move over 6 times in the past year, because we cannot pay our rent. It is very embarrassing for me because my friends are always asking me why I move."

Girl (10th grade): "I was raped over the summer two years ago and my dad didn't believe me. He said that I probably asked for it. To make matters worse, I became pregnant. Once my dad found out that the rape resulted in a pregnancy he just accused me of being promiscuous and told my family that I made up the rape story so that I wouldn't get in trouble. I had to change schools for a semester, and my father made me abort the baby."

Girl (10th grade): "I cut my thighs all the time. Every time that I feel pain or any time that I feel disappointment, I cut myself for punishment. I have been cutting myself ever since my mom and dad split up. I should have done more to keep them together. My dad is gone now and I never get to see him. It has been over three years since I have last seen him. I feel that my mom resents me but I don't know."

Girl (10th grade): "I have grown up in the church my whole life, and my dad is even a deacon in the church, but I hate church. I just go through the motions. I have to go to all the church functions and I have to put on my church face at school because everyone expects me to be that girl. Honestly, I have times where I can't stand God. I haven't prayed in over two years. I feel bad about it sometimes, but that is just how I feel right now. I'm tired of God being pushed on me from every direction."

Boy (12th grade): "I never feel that I am good enough. No matter what I do, I feel that I could do a better job. I want to succeed but feel that I can never please anyone. I just want to be successful, go to college, and follow in my sister's footsteps so that my folks will be happy with me."

Girl (12th grade): "My mom is a drug addict. My brother and I have to stay with my papa and meme sometimes. My mom never comes to any of my games and, when she is home, is just worried about getting her next fix. She can't hold down a job and is embarrassing. I put on my happy face at school, but really I want to just cry."

Girl (12th grade): "My uncle raped my sister and me when we were younger. We lived in Seattle and all of my other family lived here. We were raped over and over for a period of three years. Finally my aunt found out and got us help. My uncle is now in prison, and our family has no contact with my aunt. My father is in prison and my mom is dead. My sister and I now live with our aunt on the other side of our family. I struggle with trusting men. I actually hate men, all of them!"

Boy (9th grade): "My parents are divorced. It sucks...all my mom does is bad-mouth my dad and my dad just bad-mouths my mom. They don't even try."

Girl (10th grade): "My parents don't have any money. A lot of times, we don't even know where our next meal is going to come from. My dad can't even hold down a job. I guess that it's not all his fault though because he had some medical problems. My grandparents help out a lot but they can only do so much."

Girl (10th grade): "My dad just left mom for a younger girl. My sister and I caught him texting his girlfriend, and when he was sleeping, we stole his phone and showed my mom the texts. I don't get it. Why do men cheat? My mom cries a lot and now we live with my grandmother. I miss my dog the most. My dad won't let me bring my dog to my grandma's."

Boy (12th grade): "All I do is smoke weed. I love weed! My mom and dad know. They found out about four months ago. They were (angry) but I guess that they kind of got over it. My sister still gets me weed and we sometimes do it together. I don't think that it is bad. I just do it for fun and I don't feel that anyone is getting hurt from it. They actually say that weed is better for you than cigarettes. I don't know..."

These are the responses of kids in one small high school in another state, but it reflects life everywhere. We live in a world of hurting souls.

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12).

Friday, January 07, 2011

Making a Positive Impact

Sometimes Christians are best known for what we are against. We oppose same-sex marriage, abortion, and sexual immorality. We speak out against those sins; and that's absolutely appropriate. Those sins (among many others) are destroying us and the people we love. We can't remain silent. We care too much.

However, we cannot be satisfied with a purely negative approach when dealing with such issues. We need to be eager to do good in these areas.

How can we make a positive impact? We can...

*teach the biblical message about marriage, life, and sex.
*invite friends to marriage enrichment seminars.
*support a local crisis pregnancy resource center or adoption agency.
*mentor young husbands and fathers or wives and mothers.
*adopt a child.
*extend forgiveness and encouragement to those who have failed.
*let everyone know what Jesus Christ has done to take away our sins and to give us new lives.

The possibilities are nearly endless; and they have not been exhausted.

"And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful" (Titus 3:14).

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Change of Plans

Change of Plans looks like a good family movie about adoption. It's scheduled to air on Fox at 7:00 PM (Central) on Saturday, January 8.

2:30 Change Of Plans Trailer from on Vimeo.


The Hope for Orphans ministry shared this trailer on Facebook yesterday.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Resolving to Do Good in Anonymity

"Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:1, New Living Translation).

Last year, I resolved to memorize the book of Titus. Regrettably, I failed. However, on the positive side, I spent time in Titus every day, trying to memorize it. As a result, I was thinking about its Spirit-inspired words every day.

In the short book, the apostle Paul emphasized the importance of believers engaging in good works because "our great God and Savior Jesus Christ...gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works" (Titus 2:13-14). It's a way of honoring Christ and showing his glory to the world.

While continuing to try to fulfill last year's resolution, I want to add to it by resolving to find some way to do something good every day without drawing attention to myself (Matthew 6:1). Instead, my goal will be to draw attention to God (Matthew 5:16).

Of course, I will not be posting any of these deeds on my blog, since it would defeat the purpose. However, I'm posting my resolution today so that perhaps someone else will join me in doing something similar (Hebrews 10:24).

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).