Monthly Archives: April 2015

4.30.15 Insights from Amy Oden

Dr. Amy Oden is Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality at Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU. Teaching is her calling, and she looks forward to every day with students. For 25 years, Amy has taught theology and history, pursuing scholarship in service of the church.  

This story from Acts 15 always stuns me. How could these devoted believers give up God’s teaching from their own scripture? They don’t even require gentiles to follow the 10 commandments! Yet, together they sought the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and made this determination (Acts 15: 28).

The power of this testimony really convicts me when I grip my own views so tightly that I put them above my brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s so tempting to believe that I already know what’s right, that “No one can tell me what to believe!”

Seeking God’s will is something none of us can do on our own. We too often act out of unhealthy habits or self-interest, and then attribute it to God’s will. We need brothers and sisters who walk in God’s wisdom to help us see and hear that path. All around us the communion of saints points to God’s deepest desires for my life, for our common life, for all creation.

When I’m tempted to go-it-alone, I’ve found this image from one of our forefathers helps me. Dorotheos of Gaza, one of the desert fathers, describes a circle with spokes going to the center:

wheelThe center is God, and each spoke is a person moving toward God. Dorotheos says that as each person gets closer (or further) from God, each gets closer (or further) to other people. And vice versa, the closer (or further) we get to each other, the closer (or further) we get to God. This is our walk in Christ – together.

 

 

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

4.29.15 Insights from Steven Blair

steven-blairRev. Steven Blair is the Congregational Care Pastor of Live Forward and Live Well Emotional Wellness Ministry. www.cor.org/liveforward

“I found a ‘thingamajig.’”
“A what?”
“A thingamajig”
“Well, what does it do?”

The audience for 2 Timothy is eavesdropping on a conversation from Paul to his apprentice Timothy. Paul refers to this “thingamajig” called “Scripture.” He imagines their response: “Well, what does it do?”

Here is what Paul does not say. Paul does not say “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for piling more guilt on people who are already saturated with guilt.” Paul does not say “All Scripture is useful for making righteous people feel better than other people or making Christians feel like they have already ‘arrived’ at a superior plane of knowledge.” Furthermore, Paul does not say “All Scripture is useful for twisting and paraphrasing so that you can win arguments and others can lose them.”

Instead, Paul shares how he has been changed into being a person of greater love through experiences of persecution, suffering, and ultimately God’s Holy Word. This Holy Word is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. The letter is written to Timothy, with the intention that a community of believers will be reading it, too. The usefulness Paul speaks about refers to an internal usage of Scripture amongst the local church.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness.”

Teaching – Teaching shares knowledge of deep truths. Christian teaching shapes people into those who believe certain core truths about the faith, such as those we know as The Apostles’ Creed.

Reproof and Correction – These similar terms share that Christians can use Scripture as a railing on the path of Christ so that people do not get off track.  This is not an invitation to attack others.  Paul refers to “All Scripture” which refers to the entirety of the Bible and its big picture.  One verse may suggest that God has forsaken someone, but the entirety of Scripture shows that God is always present, always loving.  This correction is not done belligerently, but a loving correction.  It is a loving correction much like the correction a grandmother gives her grandchild that “we don’t say words like that in this house.”

Training in Righteousness – Scripture is useful for teaching us how to live a Godly life.  Teachings about forgiving people indefinitely and serving others as Christ served train us to live like Jesus.  Training is slightly different than teaching because the aim of training is quite clearly, not just informing a person, but forming them to become something different.  To be trained in righteousness means to allow the Bible to function as your field manual or spiritual exercise program so that you become a different person.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 raises the question, “What do you use the Bible for?” A weapon to attack people? A blanket to help you sleep at night (even when God may be wanting to make you uncomfortable)? A coaster?

Your house likely has multiple “thingamajigs.” What do they do?

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness” – 2 Timothy 3:16. Use accordingly.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

4.28.15 Insights from Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory is a volunteer for the worship and missions teams at Church of the Resurrection. He helps lead worship at the Vibe, West, and Downtown services, and is involved with the Malawi missions team at home.

In today’s passage (Colossians 1:9-14), Paul lays out a prayer for growing to be worthy of God and pleasing to Him. This is very different from the prayers we pray for a world worthy of us, pleasing to us. Paul’s prayer is focused on the people he is praying for, not their circumstances, or their jobs, or their romantic partners, or anything else around them–just them. The prayers we should be praying most are inwardly-focused, more concerned with what we could and should be doing than what God could do for us. Let’s take a closer look.

The first thing he prays is for this group of people to “[bear] fruit in every good work.” Notice this is the first thing he prays. I know, for me, it is often the last, if it makes the list at all. I’m often amazed how often this prayer works–when I pray on the way to lunch for God to use me and I bump into some coworkers and invite them to church, or a random store clerk opens up to me about her father’s divorce. But I still find it hard to remember to pray this. It should be the first thing I pray every morning.

Paul then asks God for these people to grow in the knowledge of God. I do spend some time in scriptures each week on my own; but intentionality goes a long way in learning. If I go into a study asking God to show me something, I wonder how much more I would get out of my quiet moments of contemplation.

It’s only once we do these first two things that we have need of the third: additional strength from God to accomplish what needs to be done. Tonight, as I’m writing this, I’ll admit–I’m exhausted. Right after work, my son had a doctor’s appointment, then I barely had enough time to get dinner before leaving for a three-hour band practice. I got home after 11:00 and I’m just now sitting down to write this. And my schedule is always this crazy. I know there are a lot of people out there that feel my pain–time and energy are precious. Instead of complaining about how busy our lives are, what if we first prayed for God to give us the strength to endure? What if we prayed for God to give us patience and endurance to even take on more? I know there’s a breaking point, and diminishing returns–but without praying that, how will we know? I can’t promise boundless energy and magical extra time in the day, but this should be our first response, not complaining about it.

Lastly, Paul prays that the Colossians would give thanks joyfully. How often do we start a prayer with a thank you? There are countless articles on the mental benefits of gratefulness, and we have so much to thank God for, but many of the prayers we pray focus on asking God for more things. I could thank God every day for something and still not have enough time to thank Him for everything He’s given me.

I’m still learning to pray these things for myself; but the amazing thing here is that Paul isn’t praying for himself–he’s praying for a church far away with people he’d met a long time ago. I don’t get around to praying much for others unless it’s about health, careers, or family matters. Praying these things for my friends, for my pastors, for my coworkers, could change the way I see them and live my life for them. This week, make Paul’s prayer your prayer, not just for yourself, but for others in your life you hold dear. Ask for real change and hope for the difference it will make.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

 

4.27.15 Insights from Donna Karlen

dkarlengpsDonna Karlen serves in Communications at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.

In my January insight illustrating how God brings good from bad, I wrote about my daughter feeling the call to go into nursing after her experiences with sick and injured loved ones being cared for in hospitals and nursing homes. As sure of her career path as my daughter is, my son is struggling to find his. He recently graduated from college and is passionate about sports broadcasting – unfortunately, that’s not the name of the degree embossed on his diploma. He is now determined to get into an ultra-competitive field, even though he has very little education or experience related to it.

So I’ve been praying a lot for God to guide and surround my son with people who can help him learn and grow and succeed in every good way – AND keep his great big, awesome, loyal heart. Because even though his career path may be starting out a little rocky, I’m not worried at all about the path for his heart. It’s true that he hasn’t been to church much (except for Christmas and Easter) for most of his college career, but when an uncle was recently diagnosed with cancer, my son got on Facebook to ask for prayers. He will text me the word ‘sunset’ so I don’t miss out on one of God’s Kansas masterpieces. He is fiercely loyal to his family, his friends and (did I mention his passion for sports?) his teams. To paraphrase today’s scripture: love and faithfulness are written all over the tablet of his heart.

As Pastor Adam said in his message this past weekend, each of us will have some dark or confusing chapters while figuring out our life stories, but when we invite God to write those stories with us, we can trust in our co-author with all our heart.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

4.25.15 Insights from Brent Messick

brent-messickGPSBrent Messick is Resurrection’s Managing Executive Director of Operations.

These Scripture verses are part of a larger Scripture passage where Jesus is saying his final farewell in the upper room on the night before his crucifixion. In this prayer, Jesus expresses his desires and concerns for his disciples and for the believers who have come and will come to faith through the witness of the disciples.

One of the things that strikes me about his prayer is its timing. Jesus knows that his death is imminent. And yet, he is not praying for himself. With his death just hours away, Jesus is praying for others and for the future of the church. His example of selfless love in the face of crisis is humbling and incredibly inspiring.

I have become a big believer in the power of prayer. I have tried to discipline my self to pray daily. For myself, I ask for forgiveness for my sins. I thank God for all of the blessings that He has bestowed upon me. I pray for wisdom and guidance that I may honor and glorify Him in my professional and personal lives. And I pray for strength and comfort in times of crisis.

But I believe the real power of prayer comes when I pray for others. I pray for my family, friends, co-workers, and others in good times and in bad. I believe that God listens to our prayers, but His answer may be different than what I am asking for. I fully realize and accept that it is His Will be done, not my Will be done. Nonetheless, I believe that others are still blessed through our prayers for them.

If Jesus, the Son of God, prays to God, then shouldn’t we do the same? Through his life and example, Jesus invites us into a life of prayer. And in the end, I hope that on my death bed, I will follow Jesus’ example and pray for others that they may come to know and love Jesus as I do.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions

4.24.15 Insights from Darren Lippe

Darren_LippeDarren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 7th-grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group & a men’s group, and serves on the Curriculum team.

Peace has been in the news as of late or rather the lack of peace has been newsworthy. On one hand, earlier this month we commemorated the 150th anniversary of General Lee’s surrender to General Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, which marked the beginning of the end of the Civil War, while on the other hand we have violent conflicts raging in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya, etc.

Of course, the idea of peace extends beyond geo-political conflicts. For example, we struggle to achieve financial peace. Like the story of the Dad calling his newly independent daughter & asking how her budget was going. She responded, “I must be doing pretty well, all my bills say they are outstanding.”

We also strive to find peace within our relationships, like the old Preacher story of the girl who was going to break up with her boyfriend because of his obsession with the musical group, The Monkees1. The young man said, “I was doubtful at first, And Then I Saw Her Face…” (Just how old was this preacher? – Editor. In hindsight, he wasn’t particularly old, but his jokes were – DL.)

And we even have to work at familial peace. Like the Dad, who wanting to have some family time, turns off the home’s Wi-Fi & waits comfortably by the router as everyone gathers.

We exert a great deal of energy seeking peace; we try yoga, meditation, breathing routines, nature walks, yet still find it to be elusive. But in today’s passage, Paul talks about a peace that is readily available to all. What might he be trying to tell us?

Last Friday, our family celebrated the life of my beloved Uncle Ralph. He had been on a business trip when he fell ill. He flew home early & when he landed he complained that his lungs felt like he was drowning. My Aunt took him to the emergency room – and 90 minutes later he was on a ventilator at 100% oxygen & in a medically induced coma. The Doctors ran a battery of tests to see what was going on with his lungs, but all tests came back negative. After 7 days in ICU & a roller coaster of good news/bad news, my 64-year-old Uncle’s body finally gave out.

The funeral opened with one of my favorite hymns, “How Great Thou Art,” but it was hard to sing, much less hum along with the melody. The speakers reminded us of Ralph’s childhood in Admire, Kansas, his fun-loving nature, his penchant for joke telling, his devotion to family, &, most importantly, his love of God. A long-time member of his church choir, he contended the toughest hymn to sing was “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” – because it was so tempting to shout the lyrics. He & my Aunt were in a Couples Small Group for 20+ years & he was a regular at a Friday morning Men’s Bible Study. (While laughing at a story, probably his own, my Uncle pounded the table so hard he spilled his coffee on several of his friend’s Bibles – so the next week they brought Saran Wrap to cover their Bibles.) The service, which had begun with grieving the loss of life, had somehow been transformed into a celebration of a life well lived. As the service concluded, I found myself singing along with the final stanza of the hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

What had just happened in those 75 minutes? Was I still grieving? Absolutely. Did I still miss my Uncle? Most definitely. But. There was a sense of peace that with Christ’s awesome assistance that, using my Uncle’s lingo, he had beaten the system & had pulled a fast one on death.

Perhaps this is the idea Paul was trying to capture when he wrote of a “peace that transcends all understanding.” Lasting peace isn’t something that can be accomplished via human hands – it is impossible. But when we choose to invite God into our midst, when we welcome the Holy Spirit into hearts, when we say, “Yes, Jesus,” we can begin to experience a peace that is beyond logic & reason. May it be so for each of us this day.

1 For our younger readers, The Monkees was a late 1960’s television show about a fictional band. As the show’s popularity grew, The Monkees began to record their own songs, including the #1 Billboard Hit, “I’m A Believer,” with the lyrics, “And then I saw her face, I’m a believer” – hence the humor attempt at humor (Editor).

 

 

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

4.23.15 Insights from Mike Wilhoit

mwilhoitMike Wilhoit serves at The Church of the Resurrection as Local Missions Director.

I understand the part about being persistent in prayer and that our good God is more likely to grant aide than a cynical judge begrudging a poor widow.  What intrigues me about this passage is the last sentence –  “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

My son excitedly told me that he was going to play in his next baseball game.  His playing time had been sparse.  I rearranged my schedule and texted him on the morning of the game – “Hey buddy, can’t wait to see you play today. I love you.” Games at his level are always double-headers, two games back to back. If he was to play, it would be in the second game.  As I was across town, I drove as fast as allowable and pulled up to the field just as the game began. I quickly put on a jacket, walked over to the stands and watched. I watched and watched and watched, hoping my son would get to go in the game. He never did. But here’s why I took him out for ice cream afterwards. From the bench, he cheered on every batter, picked up bats after every at-bat, warmed up the left-fielder in between innings and yelled encouragement to teammates who made mistakes for fourteen long innings, without ever getting to play. I didn’t take Ben out for ice cream to console him. I took him out for ice cream and told him that I was proud of him because he was faithful.

 

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

4.22.15 Insights from Angela LaVallie

Angela_LaVallie[1]Angela LaVallie is the Worship Logistics Program Director at Resurrection. She oversees preparing the Sanctuary for worship, supports Vibe worship and volunteers in the Student Center, provides oversight for Holy Communion at the Leawood campus, and assists with worship logistics at conferences.

 

We see in today’s passages of scripture that Jesus thought it was important to step away from everything to spend time in prayer with God. I know this is important, but I still find myself struggling to always actually take the time out for prayer. It almost seems unnatural in today’s society to withdraw from the busyness. We’re so used to constantly being surrounded by others – at work, in our activities, with our friends and family. Even for introverts who may be better about taking time away from other people, society tells us we need to be busy even by ourselves; there are books to read and tv series to binge watch, housework and creative projects.

Another hindrance for me to spending extended time alone in prayer is that I tend to compartmentalize my faith journey. I’ll focus for a season on Bible study or serving others or engaging in worship or developing my prayer life, but once that season is over, I fade away from the specific discipline I had been concentrating on. I forget that Methodism is about balancing both grace and social justice. Our Journey at Resurrection includes knowing, loving, and serving God – all three, not just one.

We see from Jesus’ life as illustrated in the Gospels that he used his time in multiple ways – praying, teaching, healing, and fellowshipping. He didn’t spend all of his time praying, but it was an important, regular, intentional part of his life.

In his book Too Busy Not to Pray, Bill Hybels (Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church) discusses the importance of prayer, especially in our increasingly busy world. He emphasizes the need to prioritize the different aspects of our lives so as to use our time wisely and to not waste our time on insignificant things. Hybels purports that making time for prayer is more than worth it when he says, “If you lower the ambient noise of your life and listen expectantly for those whispers of God, your ears will hear them. And when you follow their lead, your world will be rocked.”

Sometimes I feel a little ashamed that praying doesn’t come naturally to me and I don’t just fall into prayer, like I’m a bad Christian because I have to set a reminder alarm on my phone or add PRAY to my daily calendar. But I think whatever we need to do to plan for and to prompt ourselves to grow in faith, in multiple areas, will only serve to help us enhance our connections to God and to live fully as a children of God.

 

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.


4.21.15 Insights from Glen Shoup

Rglen-shoupev. Glen Shoup is the Executive Pastor of Worship and a Congregational Care pastor.

…”I’m very sad, it’s as if I’m dying”…(vs 38).  These words spoken by Jesus to his closest friends mere hours before he would be arrested and ushered into the events of Good Friday are raw and freighted with grief.  As you reflected on today’s scripture reading, I don’t know if these words jumped off the page at you…but if they didn’t…there will almost certainly come a time in your life when they will.

It could be when your routine checkup is anything but.  It could be in the blink of an eye when the unexpected intrudes with the suddenness and surprise that are its calling card. It could be when the one relationship you thought was reliable proves otherwise.  I don’t know if, how or when your “Gethsemane” will come, but based on 15 years of pastoral ministry, I can tell you that almost none of us will walk through life without—at some point—having Jesus’ Gethsemane words resonate deeply with where we are…“I’m very sad, it’s as if I’m dying”…

So for just a moment, I want to—taking the lead of Jesus—reflect with those of you reading this who are there (and those of you who are not, perhaps this gets filed away for you until a time when it is pertinent):

  • Follow Jesus’ lead and name it. Sometimes for the sake of trying to get around what we’re dealing with or in an attempt to hopefully bypass some of the pain, we sugarcoat it or in the name of being positive refuse to speak it or in denial seek to avoid calling it what it is. Don’t. When the truth is that you’re so sad that you feel as if you are (or a part of you is) dying—say so. Say so to those closest to you, say so to your pastor, above all, say so to God. There’s no moving forward in strength, wholeness and authenticity without naming the truth…at least to yourself, those closest to you and certainly to God. Jesus knew this and Jesus modeled this.

 

  • Follow Jesus’ lead and pray…but I don’t just mean that as some generic pastoral admonition to pray…I mean pray like Jesus prayed. Pour your heart out to God. Tell God how you feel.  Tell God what you want. Tell God what you hope for. Ask God to deliver you. Nothing less than this would be honest and God wants nothing if not authenticity and honesty from us—no matter what that honesty looks like. Nobody—including Jesus—wants to be in “Gethsemane”, nobody—including Jesus—wants to go through “Gethsemane”, everybody—including Jesus—wants to be delivered from “Gethsemane” so to say or act otherwise just isn’t true or authentic and God wants us to pour upon him…especially in these times…our truth and authenticity. Jesus knew this and Jesus modeled this.

 

  • Follow Jesus’ lead and know that no matter what—God will accomplish His will. As you’ve heard Pastor Adam say in recent sermons (quoting Dr. King) God will wring good from evil. And Dr. King employed this phrase on the premise of what the Apostle Paul told us is true about God in Romans 8:28 which is in everything God is working for our good. This—I believe—is God’s will above all else and this is what Jesus knew and was getting at when he prayed (after asking for deliverance)…“However not what I want, but what you want”. You see, while I know some in the Christian family see it differently, I don’t believe Jesus’ being arrested, beaten and crucified was God’s will. Rather, this is what the human condition and the human response chose when God came to us in Christ. Jesus didn’t come to us on our terms, rather Jesus came telling us our terms were self-addicted and needed to be forgiven and transformed and we weren’t interested so we killed him. However, God’s will to redeem us would not be derailed by human brokenness. Rather, God worked (even in our broken response to Him on Good Friday) for our good and He wrung good out evil by walking out of the tomb on Easter—so when Jesus kneels in Gethsemane and prays “however, not what I want, but what you want”—Jesus isn’t affirming that God’s will is for him to die, Jesus is affirming that even if he is not delivered from the choices of the human condition, he knows God will nevertheless work good out it. And my friend, you’re reading this today because God is intent on you knowing that He is still in the business of bringing good out of brokenness—so you can join Jesus in praying “however, not what I want, but what you want” knowing that you are surrendering your brokenness and pain to the One who is relentless in bringing good out of evil, healing out of pain and life out of death. Jesus knew this and Jesus modeled this…which is why you can follow Jesus…especially when his words in verse 38 of today’s reading are your words.

 

 

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

4.20.15 Insights from Chris Holliday

Chris_HollidayGPS[1]Rev. Chris Holliday serves as the associate minister at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection West.

Yesterday, Pastor Adam told the story of a young pastor who lost her baby, experienced a faith crisis and emerged transformed as she and her husband adopted three beautiful girls from Russia. This is my family’s story, and as a testimony to the faithfulness, grace and love of our amazing God, I would like to share a bit more of it with you today.

In 2002, my wife Lisa and I were pastoring a church together in a small suburb of Rochester, NY. We chose to try and have a baby. After over a year of no results, we went to see the appropriate doctors, received treatment and eventually Lisa became pregnant. We were thrilled! To top off the exciting news, the expected due date was Dec. 24th, Christmas Eve. How appropriate, we thought, especially for two pastors with the last name of Holliday!

From that point, though, it was a very difficult pregnancy. Lisa became very ill. She wasn’t just sick in the morning, but at all times of the day. After three months, we thought she would improve, but she didn’t. Lisa just became increasingly worse.

After a particularly rough night, the on-call doctor sent Lisa to the hospital for hydration. Some of the hospital medical staff became suspicious that something more was wrong, but they weren’t sure what. So they decided to admit Lisa.

Over the next two days, the staff did a myriad of tests. They finally discovered that Lisa had preeclampsia, which meant that the baby and the mother were rejecting each other. Often, if preeclampsia occurs, it happens in the eighth or ninth month when the baby can be saved. But because we were only in the fifth month, our baby would not survive; and if they didn’t get the baby out soon, Lisa would die, too. In fact, Lisa’s body was already beginning to go into shock. Preeclampsia and a disease called HELLP syndrome were shutting down her organs and vital life systems.

After surgery to remove the baby, Lisa was in the hospital for two weeks. During that time, she saw a doctor in almost every area of specialty. Her entire body had been affected and/or damaged in some way. She had immense physical recovery ahead, not to mention the upcoming emotional and spiritual journey.

I, too, had a lot of healing to do, and a lot of processing, questioning, learning and growing. Had God caused this, and if so why? I didn’t think so, but I wasn’t sure what to believe at that point. Who was God to me? Why did the prayers lifted by hundreds of people not give us the answer we wanted? Where was God in all of this?

We named our baby daughter Christina Noelle Holliday. Lisa had always liked the name Noelle, but once she married me and had the last name of Holliday, she figured we could never do that to a child. I mean, Noelle Holliday born on Christmas Eve – the kids would be merciless with that one! However, in this case, I told Lisa that we should use the name, because the kids in heaven wouldn’t make fun of her. She agreed.

Once Lisa was well enough to fly, we came back to Kansas City and had a memorial service for Baby Christina by the lake in Shawnee Mission Park. To this day, that is a sacred place for us to remember and celebrate Baby C. Lisa’s dad even collects shells from the edges of the lake and then gives the shells to family and friends, who in turn leave those shells all over the world, representing the loving spirits of both Baby Christina and God.

Lisa and I do not believe God caused the death of our baby, or that God causes bad things to happen.  What we do believe is that God walks beside us, cries with us and even carries us when we don’t have the strength to go on. And as we listen and are open to God’s leading, we believe God can and will bring good out of even the worst possible situations.

God’s goodness was revealed in countless moments throughout the very challenging journey of healing and transformation. The love and care of God was shown through the faithful support of family, friends, church communities, medical staff and our therapist. God’s people were instrumental in helping us rebuild and redefine our faith and grow into a deeper, richer and lasting relationship with God.

Nearly a year after the death of Baby Christina, God blessed us with three incredible girls whom we adopted from Russia and who became our daughters. We have no doubt that after the devastation and pain of our experience, God led us specifically to Kristina (with a K), Svetlana and Victoria. Lisa and I now have a forever family with three daughters here on Earth and one forever in our hearts. We can’t imagine our lives without any of them; for they bring us amazing abundance, fullness and joy every day. Thanks be to God for His amazing goodness!

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.