Thursday, April 8, 2010

Beautiful illustration of Grace

My sister sent me this story in email,  I have no idea if it is true or if someone gave a wonderful example that nearly anyone can "get".  Here it is:

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught
at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course
their freshman year, regardless of his or her major. Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate
the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the
course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to
take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve
was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary
for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was
an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on
the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk
with him.
"How many push-ups can you do?"
Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."
"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr. Christianson said. "Do
you think you could do 300?"
Steve replied, "I don't know.... I've never done 300 at a time"
"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.
"Well, I can try," said Steve.
"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and
I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can
you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.
Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it."
Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday.. Let
me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room.
When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts.
No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra
fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone
was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were
going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia,
do you want to have one of these donuts?"
Cynthia said, "Yes."
Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you
do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"
"Sure!" Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then
Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe,
do you want a donut?"
Joe said, "Yes."
Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can
have a donut?"
Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott
was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He
was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.
When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"
Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"
Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."
Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."
Dr.. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve,
would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"
With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten push-ups.
Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"
Dr. Christianson said, "Look! This is my classroom, my class, my desks,
and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want
it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just
stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be
getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around
his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning
to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"
Sternly, Jenny said, "No."
Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups
so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?"
Steve did ten....Jenny got a donut.
By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students
were beginning to say, "No!" and there were all these uneaten
donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the
class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten
push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work
for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve
was so Robert count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row.. During his class,
however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down
on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the
professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were
34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next.
Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He
was taking a lot more time to complete each set.
Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on
each one?"
Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups.
You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want."
And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room
and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO!
Don't come in! Stay out!"
Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and
said, "No, let him come."
Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you
will have to do ten push-ups for him?"
Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut."
Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out
of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"
Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes,"
he said, "give me a donut."
"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"
Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered,
was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors
seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up
in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this
time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except
his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders,
and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last,
and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"
Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."
Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups
so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"
Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan,
do you want a donut?"
Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr.
Christianson, why can't I help him?"
Dr Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do
it alone; I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that
everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not. When
I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade
book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone
else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve
told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups.
I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the
price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"
As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding
that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350
push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said, "And so it was, that
our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, 'Into thy
hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done
everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And
like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk,
uneaten. "

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted,
but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding,
"Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might
understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that
have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. He spared not His Only Begotten Son, but gave Him up for
us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we
choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

Share this with someone. It's bound to touch their heart and demonstrate Salvation in a very special way.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I LOVE Veggie Tales and highly recommend them to any parent who needs some life lessons for both themselves and their children.

M and E each received a new Veggie Tale DVD for Easter.  Last night I was cutting out some material for a bag (I have finally gotten started sewing again!) and was listening to what they were watching on TV.  It was M's new DVD Abe and the Amazing Promise, we thought it would be a wonderful learning tool about patience, something that I realize all of us our lacking.  As I was listening along I began to realize how much I needed this video as much as my kids do.  I mentioned in an earlier post how I was feeling like a microwave Christian, I want to pray about it and have an instant answer to my prayers.  I have been having such a hard time waiting for our homestudy approval, in the grand scheme of things the homestudy process has gone so quickly.  When I think about how long ago I felt the Lord putting this adoption in my heart, it has been a long time but when I then reflect on how long we have been actively working at making it possible He has answered my prayers quickly. 

Thank you creators of Veggie Tales for teaching this mamma a lesson on PATIENCE!  Hopefully, I can help teach it to my kiddos!

Thank you Lord for giving the biggest sacrifice, your Son, for our sins to be forgiven.  May we never forget the true celebration of Easter, the Resurrection. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Adoption paperwork update

In January at E's last post placement visit we began talking with our case worker about a third child.  At the end of February I saw her again when she came to present at our Love Justice OVC event and again I told her we were still waiting to get started until we knew more about a special little ones file.  Fast forward less than one week and CC@A announced a change to the Waiting Child program.  I had heard rumors of it earlier in the week and emailed our China Coordinator at BAAS to see what she knew.  Although the official announcement wasn't made for another day or two she let me know if was coming and that we should get started on our dossier.  With the new rules we now have to have an LID (log in date) meaning our dossier has to be in China before we could petition to adopt a child on the shared list if their file had been on the list for less than 30 days.

Things this month went by fairly fast for us with all the paperwork that needed to be done.  We submitted our local application to A New Beginning on March 5th, mailed our application to BAAS on March 8th, met with our caseworker on March 9th, state fingerprinting done on March 12th, fingerprinting approved on March 17th, met again with our caseworker again on March 19th after our doctor appointments for our medical exam.  Now I am pleased to say that the month of March is over, all of our paperwork is in our hands except for our homestudy that is currently in review with BAAS.  This is a record for us as far as the paperchase goes.  For M's dossier we couldn't send it in until July 2005 and we began the process in January 2005.  For E's dossier we began our parent training in October 2007 but didn't get our dossier complete submitted to CC@A until August 2008.  With a lot of prayer we might be able to get our dossier submitted for this one by the end of May. 
Hopefully, we will have our approved and completed homestudy by the end of next week and then off to USCIS it goes with our I800A application.  I would have loved to have our application sent off by today but even if we are another week out all will be well.  We have already started sending our other documents off to be certified and authenticated.  We have one document that goes out of State so it was sent off on Monday and the rest are ready and waiting to will be done once we have the homestudy to go with it.  Can't wait until we can give a completed packet to our agency to get sent to China.  Keep us in your prayers for speedy I800A approval.

Thank you caseworker C for all your hard work and going with the flow as we sprung our change of plans on you. We so appreciate her and know none of this would have been possible this month without her. She rocks! Thanks goes also to our wonderful family and friends, we appreciate your willingness to get our referrence letters to ANB right away, we couldn't have done it without you. Our greatest thanks goes to our Father for telling us to step out and get it done. It would be so easy to sit back and say we were waiting for the Lord to bring us our next child when what he is telling us to do is get to work. There is so much that we have to be faithful to him for but at some point we have to take action in order for Him to work His miracles. Thank you Lord for laying this on our hearts that this is your desire and plan for our family.