God is not a kill-joy!

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. – John 3:17
Many have heard of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” You see it written on t-shirts, bumper stickers and even on bathroom stalls. In fact, it has become so cliche that even many Christians give it little thought. But this verse is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. It holds all hope for humanity. God’s love for us is so great that He would personally sacrifice in order to purchase our souls. This jaw-dropping truth should amaze us and at the very least intrigue us. But, the world would tell us that God is a kill-joy. That He wants to limit us and take the enjoyment out of life. But this lie could not be farther from the truth. In fact it is God’s great love for us that longs to protect us from evil, wrong doing and personal harm. Jesus did not come to condemn us. No! Instead He came that we might receive salvation through Him. It is a free gift. 

Not of this World

I’m traveling today. I wasn’t planning on being a non-conformist. I just was not aware that there was a dress code. All day long, I have only seen 4 other people that are not wearing either jeans, black or brown pants!! I, however, am wearing bright red pants. I think I might wear them more often, just because I can. But considering my company, I’m not sure what my red pants say about me. 

There was the short chubby woman in the airport with maroon leggings. The 6 year old boy in red pj bottoms. The girl with bright blue hair & blue striped stretch pants to match. She was accompanied by the guy with the Mohawk and the other guy with two white skunk stripes down the sides of his head. He resembled a badger. And finally the ASU student wearing her ASU jacket and maroon joggers. 
No one seems to be as amused by this phenomenon as I am. No one seems to even realized my pants are red. Well, no one except my husband, who laughed heartedly when he first saw me. Aside from the pants, I did get a compliment on my shirt. The compliment came from a woman wearing a red t-shirt with the silhouette of a sexy corset (fitted in all the right places). When she complimented my shirt, I simply said that I had noticed her shirt too and that she must be very confident to wear it. It couldn’t help but wonder what inspired her when she selected her travel attire this morning. At any rate, I have been thoroughly entertained today, which has made the flights go by pretty quickly. I think I might wear these red pants next time I travel too. They remind me that I am not of this world. (John 17:16) Meanwhile, I’m keeping my eye out for other non-conformist.

They call me Mama, A name I don’t deserve. 

In a home in the mountains of Mexico there are 22 boys. The oldest is 20 and the youngest is 2. When I walk in the door, they greet me. Some run to hug me, others just catch my eye, and some simply say: “Hola, Mama Kina.”
They are not mine. And yet…they are mine. Each birthed from another mother, yet because of circumstances beyond their control they now live here in a home that I have helped to create. A home created for them. 
I never asked for them to call me Mama. In fact, I have fought against it. Not because I don’t care about them, but rather because so many have let them down, abandoned and disappointed them in the past, I don’t want to be part of that cycle. I don’t want to be part of that disappointment. 
The title Mom is so great, so awesome. It carries with it such responsibility. And I am so limited, so frail, just flesh. There are so many things I can’t do. Things, in my mind, that are just “Mom basics”.
 I can’t always be there to hold them when they cry, I can’t be there to wipe away those tears, to kiss their boo-boos. I’m not the one who tucks them in when they go to sleep, nor wakes them in the morning. I do not lay out their clothes. I don’t bathe or feed them. All these things and more are done by others. So it’s difficult for me when they call me Mama. 
Even so, I feel a great responsibility for them. Precious souls, placed in our care. Souls rescued from unimaginable circumstances. Souls longing for love, longing for something constant and dependable. 

Somehow in God’s Grace, with all my deficiencies and imperfections God has allowed me to be the Mom, to be their Mama…and I am humbled. 
They call me Mama, a name I don’t deserve.