Friday, July 25, 2014

Eden Restored

Today is the 3rd day since we were forced to abandon our trip to the midwest to meet and bring home our new children.  We spent the first day just trying to figure out what just happened and the 2nd day trying to climb back on the horse!  We've now had a chance to rehearse things and a chance to regroup.  And the result?  Climb back on the horse and find a way!  I now want to share with you something from the prophet Ezekiel in chapter 36.  I think there's something here for us.
Ezekiel 36:33-38   Adonai Elohim says, “When the day comes...
I will cause the cities to be inhabited and the ruins to be rebuilt.  The land that was desolate will be tilled, whereas formerly it lay desolate for all passing by to see.  Then they will say, “The land that used to be desolate has become like the Garden of Eden, and the cities formerly ruined, abandoned and wasted have been fortified and are inhabited!”  Then the nations around you that remain will know that I, Adonai, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted what was abandoned.  I, Adonai, have spoken; and I will do it!”  ...So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. 
Whenever you feel that God has called you to follow Him and you accept that call, a strange journey will always follow...always!  Certainly Moses got more than he bargained for when the enemy pinned him in at the Red Sea.  Abraham must have been a bit dazed when God was asking him to offer up the promise of a great nation on the altar.  I'm quite sure that the disciples sat there the day of Jesus' crucifixion in something of a mental stupor, questioning the whole deal and wondering why they had given the last 3 years of their life for this outcome.  These are moments of desolation.  They lend themselves to feelings of total abandonment...much like when your stranded on the side of the road in an RV that won't run, 2 little children anticipating meeting their new family and the guy at the dealership says they have no other available replacements and you must cancel your trip!

But look what God says about such things.  At the end of ourselves a beautiful transformation happens.  Its a restoration of Eden.  Things that were ruined, hopes that were abandoned and things that have lost their energy will be inhabited and have new life breathed into them!  But this time its God's life not yours.  It was the Lord’s doing.  He's showing off and demonstrating His great love and compassion towards us.  He's causing the trees to yield fruit and the fields to increase their production, the grains to abound (vs. 29-30) and your sheep to increase (vs. 37)!

What is it that has been ruined in life?  What hopes have been abandoned and have wasted away in their lifeless energy?  The Lord has spoken 4 powerful words:  I WILL DO IT!  So we will go back to square one, await further instructions and abandon ourselves to faith & trust in Him all over again.  What we learned here is that when God calls you to something the most unfruitful question to ask along the journey is "why?" when along the way things don't go like you thought they should.  That one word only leads to an empty, vacuous silence.  The more productive question is "what now?"  It is from this place that you hear all over again the voice of God.

Until we speak blessed!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Perplexed.......But Not Abandoned.....

This morning we expected to wake up in an RV somewhere in western NC on our way to the mid-west.  But instead, I woke up in my own bed here in Southeast NC wondering what just happened.  But here it is in a nutshell:  Sunday the RV dealership called us to say that the RV had been turned in over the weekend per schedule "with the oil light on".  I insisted that they take Monday to thoroughly check out the unit and that we would push our leave date back by a day.  On Tuesday morning I picked up the RV, we packed and headed out.

We didn't make it far.  About 100 miles into the trip we received a revelation:  it wasn't the oil light that came on over the was the transmission light warning.  The transmission malfunctioned and we found ourselves on the side of the road wondering what to do.  We called the RV dealership who instructed us to return to Wilmington with the unit if possible.

We were able to limp home in the RV and fell into bed a little after midnight.  But what now?  We can only think of the disappointment of 2 little children who already have enough disappointment for a lifetime.  There were no other RVs available and we are at a loss as to what to do now.  At this point we are mentally exhausted and are retreating to our prayer closet today to try to sort things out.  I understand the words of the Apostle Paul in II Corinthians 4 when he said, 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 

We will keep you posted...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good things come to those that wait...

Don't you just hate that saying!  I don't know about you but waiting doesn't really flip my switches.  Recording artist and minister Jake Hamilton has a song that says "The King of Glory always comes at midnight..."  But why for crying out loud?  I wish I could explain it with a brilliance that would reflect an incredible pool of wisdom residing in me.  But I can't.  Such a pool does not exist.  Not in me anyway.  The only thing I know is that He is in control and that He promised. 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious.  Here we are less than than 24 hours before we are to leave and we remain about $5,000 short.  I keep throwing that anxiety back to Him (I Peter 5:7) but like mud on a wall it doesn't seem to stick very long.  So I wind up and throw it again!  And while I find myself on the edge of agitation with the whole thing, I know that He works all things to good and that many, many inner thoughts and yes, fears, have surfaced in me that without the pressure, would never get addressed.  Things like...

  • Do I really trust or is my trust limited to things that if I fail its no big deal and the disappointments are small and easy to digest?
  • Is my faith strong enough to head out to the mid-west state with only $200 in my account?  
  • Is my faith in God or is it in others...or even worse, myself?  
  • Does all this speaking the truth in love, declaring His word and clinging have an effect?
  • Do the fervent prayers get heard?
  • And then the granddaddy of them all...What if I missed it completely and am in the flesh?
These thoughts swirl in my head like a tornado over open land.  Its one thing to sing and sway in the comfortable confines of my home and church but what about when God calls you to step out of the boat and walk on the water?  

While I can't explain all the why's and what-abouts, I can say this:  there is a refuge and a hiding place just like David claimed there was (Ps 25:20; Ps 32:7).  It is found not in what you see but in that place in the soul that is occupied by Him.  It is He who has authored and finished the deal.  So in the midst of pressure, facing an unknown and uncertainty that is not years or months or even weeks away but is right here, right now...I can lift my hands and proclaim "Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  [He] who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."  (Ps 103).

So we continue to wait for God to show up and show off.  I do as the old Native American prayer says, and Paul proclaims in Romans 12:9..."cling to that which is good".  So I hug Karen extra tight this morning and take a lesson from my younger children as they excitedly await our departure to meet their new brother and sister.  They aren't worried about a thing:  Dad's got it all under control!

Let me close today by saying that it now seems really appropriate that we introduced this entire adoption thing to others with Billy Joel's "You might be right, I might be crazy" playing in the background. 

But even in the tenseness of the moment I'd rather be found crazy attempting to walk on water at His beckoning, than be found sane in the "safety" of my own logic, playing it safe and living life only for myself!

Keep praying for us.  Until we talk again...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Update on Bringing Our New Kids Home!

So here we are.  24 Hours away from beginning the process to meet our kids and bring them home with us. Leaving the farm behind is stressful but knowing our police officer son will be here to house and animal sit while we're gone is comforting.  Anxiety mounts, but its a good least most of it.  Will our new children like us or will they be disappointed?  Will they take to us quickly or will it take a while to capture them?  What will our other young children think?  What will they do?  What is going through their little minds as they watch 2 other children being grafted into our family?

While it is difficult at times to determine what our 3 youngest boys are thinking, I think its safe to say they are both excited and nervous.  True to their history, they handle emotional stimulation with regressive behavior.  All kinds of things are popping up this week that we haven't had to deal with much over the past 6 months.  This is somewhat predictable and it is why we knew that we could not travel to meet our new children and not take them with us.  It would have ignited their worst fears in life and we simply could not do that to them.

In spite of the increased anxiety, the boys have also shown amazing resiliency and compassion for our new children.  Each evening at the dinner table they ask "when do we leave to get our new kids?"   They are genuinely excited and this adoption has served to help them expand their worlds beyond themselves in order to think of others.  We are proud of the progress our boys have made and especially proud of the acceptance that they have already demonstrated for our new children.

We can't fathom how little children comprehend how this works. It is so unnatural for kids not to have a home and family from the start and to see them getting excited about getting a family or adding to our family in this way is still so strange. We are glad that they are excited, it is just amazing that they can come to any kind of understanding in their little minds about it. To our boys, families just add more people/children at different times and to them "getting" these two is normal. They are not phased by that part at all. They are definitely more excited than anything.

I think there is a spiritual lesson here.  When one is born into God's kingdom, isn't one of the things that He asks of us is that we share His love and good news with others?   In other words, think of somebody else long enough to help them in life?

That's where we are today.  We wait expecting, excited and, yes, anxiously for the rest of God's provision, which as of today is $5,000.  We continually remind ourselves to not get sidetracked by what we see in the natural and re-focus on what we see in our mind and spirit's eye...and we break out all over again with thanks and gratitude to be a part of something so special as to take care of His little ones!  We are reminded of Pillar 12 (see my book, 12 Pillars & a Prayer) and we join with the Apostle Paul in "being anxious for nothing, but by prayers and petitions, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God...and His peace will guard your hearts and minds" (Philippians 4:4-8).

You can go to and scroll down to donate to help us bring our 2 children home!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Smooth Sailing or Walking on Water?

Anyone who has followed our blog for awhile will know that it is no secret we have had struggles in our adoption process. some may even think we are crazy to do what we have done. There have been times that we might have agreed with you. However, when God calls you to do something it isn't always easy and it doesn't always work out like you planned. We have learned this over and over and all we can do is keep moving forward. We have also learned so much about God through this process and how much He loves us and is with us all the way through all the struggles.

As most of you know, in 2010 we adopted 3 severely neglected children, ages 2, 3 & 4 at the time.  It has been the ride of our life!...absolutely one of the most challenging things we've ever done and at the same time absolutely one of the most meaningful things God has ever asked us to do!

Our boys are flourishing now and just when we thought we had smooth sailing, God has again called us get out of the boat and provide a home for 2 special needs children, ages 2 & 3. There are prominent medical needs involved secondary to severe neglect, starvation and hypoxia (the 2 year old literally starved to death but was revived).  

The only piece of the puzzle left now is the funding.  At this time, we still need to raise $10,000.  We should be nervous but we're not!  We are confident that God is calling us and believe that He will provide. We are keeping our eyes on Jesus and walking on water to meet Him.

He asked were we willing? and we put our Yes! on the table. He has challenged us to abandon ourselves to faith & trust that the need would be met.  We are simply to put our need out there to various groups, churches and individuals.  We believe somewhere in this process is a miracle of provision on behalf of these 2 little children.  

We are asking you be a part of helping us raise these funds by praying for us, donating if you desire and sending this need on to others? We only have one week to do this!  

We should be nervous...but strangely we're not.  There is a deep overwhelming peace and excitement that somehow goes beyond our circumstances.  It is a special time.  Never before has our faith been so tested and so much "blind trust" required.  It is a strange feeling knowing that you're doing everything you can but understanding that no matter what we do its not enough.  We must have something bigger, something greater, something supernatural operating in order to give these 2 children the home they deserve.  And somehow we understand that this is not about us.  And Its not just about the 2 children getting a home.  There are others at stake here too.  We believe that others will not only participate in our adoption process and be blessed, but that still others will step up and say "well if the Thomas' can do it, we can do it too".  We know not everyone is called to adopt. We are all called to take care of widows and orphans. James 1:27 but that doesn't mean that everyone is called to parent an orphan. It may that be that you are called to help others adopt, or serve and support missions to orphans. There are so many ways to serve God and we all are in this together. It is to this end that we recognize that this is not our adoption.  It has the feel of something bigger than us.  I've always heard that everybody needs a "why" in life in order to motivate them.  Ours is coming into focus. 

We have 2 ways set up for people to get involved with these children's future. First, people can go to and scroll down on the home page to the donate button.  Second, people can go to and donate. Both sites are secure. I'd like to thank you in advance for any help, prayers, donations and ask that you please pass this one to anyone that you may think is appropriate.