Friday, November 12, 2010

My Wife

Proverbs 31:10-12
10An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

Last night a little after midnight my wife got a phone call and within minutes she was dressed, hair fixed up and out the door she went.  She was on her way to pursue a dream of her's.  Most of us have our dreams as we sleep, but my wife is a lady who has taught me much about dreaming.  My wife has taught me to spend waking moments dreaming of what God has in store, what He desires, what He can do, what He wants to do thru willing people.  
   Calley has dreamed for a couple years now of helping pregnant women have awesome birth experiences, believing that a new life coming into the world should be beautiful.  Last night when a dear friend in labor calls as most of us were sleeping, Calley jumped up to chase her dream.  The dream last night was encouraging a good friend to draw closer to Jesus, and at the same time to have a beautiful birth experience. 
    This morning as I was driving to work I was thinking about how amazing Calley is, how blessed I am.  I had many thoughts, and memories that I ran thru my mind.  My memories ranged from the times I knew of Calley before we were courting up till last night.  I reflected on her desire for Jesus that lured me to her, and her physical beauty that was no doubt the icing on the cake.
    I remember when I was ready to propose to her 3 weeks after we began courting and God gave me a verse about her.  It was
 Proverbs 31:29 "Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all"
Calley gave her life to Jesus earlier in her life than I did, oh how I wish I would have been there.  Somehow I almost feel like I was though.  Calley and I have only been married 8 years, but as each day passes it gets harder to imagine there was any part of my life that she wasn't apart of it.
    The day she gave her heart to Jesus is so important to me, cause that is when Jesus became #1 in her life.  As a result of her relationship with Jesus she learned even more of how God wants her to dream big.  When we dream big, we realize our every decision impacts our future.  As we dream big God sized dreams, the temporary lust of the flesh and worldly desires have less influence. When we dream big as teenagers we realize that God has a specific special someone in store so why waste time chasing the other over hormorned people of the opposite sex that are teenagers. 
     Calley dreamed of a day that God would give her His man for her.  Praise God I got to be picked. THANK YOU JESUS!!!

I know wedding days are supposed to be beautiful and I believe ours was. The greatest part of my life with Calley though, wasn't the wedding day but the time that has passed since that day. I am so blessed that I not only married an amazing Godly lady, but I married a lady who has grown in the Lord, in beauty, in love.

Cally has remained faithful to best friends

I must confessed life the years have brought a few other changes. Calley can be a cow girl when need be.

She has learned how to get the cows back in the pasture.

She has become increasingly atheletic the older she gets.  Most people get less active, but Calley gets more active.

Our looks have changed a little as well, and yes our family size has grown.

Playing the guitar is still a passion of hers a dream that she pursued and is amazing at now.

I love that she has become more joyful & beautiful as time goes by.

As I love the fact that I am hers and she is mine. 
Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,

And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.

My wife milks a cow in the morning, cooks breakfast for our household, teaches our children thru the morning and has lunch on the table in a clean house by 12:15 most days. 

I know this blog has went over several different extremes and for that I am sorry.  My wife normally proof reads my blogs before they are posted and so she makes them look good. 

My wife has taught me that when we dream God sized dreams, the older we get doesn't close pages of our life, it creates a larger adventure with each passing year.

The greatest of my wife's dream which I also share is for a mighty move of God in Vidalia, LA.  The dream is of the thousands that live around here to be redeemed, restored, delivered and walking in the joy of the Lord.  The dream is for people to live out a redeemed life in Jesus Christ realizing that the adventures He has in store for them on this earth are far greater than anything they have ever experienced. 
   The earthly life of my Lord grew in activity and adventure until the day of His death.  Every day Jesus became more active and more known and did more to grow the Kingdom of Heaven.  Calley has modeled this in her life.
     Calley thank you for bringing a faith that believed God could do more than humanly possible in a person's life.  Thank you for dreaming while awake instead of while sleeping.

I love you dearly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This Pastor's Favorite Spot At Church

This circle of chairs is to the left of the front door of Cornerstone Church. Most of the time it looks just like this unless the wind causes some chairs to be temporarily relocated.  This is the area I look at first every time I pull into the parking lot.  This may seem strange to you, but this is probably one of my favorite areas on the church grounds.  Since I am the pastor I guess the pulpit is supposed to be my favorite spot because that's where I preach from.   
    The chairs are special to me because there is a growing group of adults that sit in these chairs about 20 minutes before church time each week. Sometimes there is a group sitting here after Sunday service.  There are many things discussed in this circle. From details of a family's activities, how a lady's day at work has gone, to the simple, "Here come some more kids!

 I know the pastor is typically consumed with the area of the building he preaches. This preacher does like the pulpit area. I love the chairs, though, because that is where relationships grow.  Those who choose to come early to sit and talk amongst each other at the chairs, establish a bond. They support, encourage, & help one another.  The preaching time should certainly teach others about the greatness of Jesus Christ. His plans, His calling, His commands, His promises. But in those chairs a family is formed, a support group activated. In those chairs people are able to see authenticity- and learn of Christ and His Word from other everyday people in an ordinary setting amongst simple conversations.

As pastor, I love this circle of chairs. I remember when there were just 3 chairs. Tonight there were 13 chairs, and I saw someone come and sit in this circle for the 1st time, though it seemed as if he had always been a regular.  Sure there are others who stand. But for those who prefer sitting, we will make sure they have a chair to sit and visit for a while.  If you haven't before, you should come try a chair. Who knows? You just might find help, support, encouragement and a new friend.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The closer the more excited

It is with much excitement that I post this blog, words cannot describe the awesome works of God.  A few months ago we began the process of adoption, and a few months ago God started growing my family's faith like crazy.
     One of the big questions Calley & I had in the beginning of this process was should we borrow money for an adoption or not?  Well we know God gave a confirmation thru scripture and spoke to us to "Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages." (Exodus 2:9).  I can still remember the day that God actually gave that scripture to Calley one Sunday morning sitting in the recliner.  So as anything that is a move of faith begins we started taking steps. We called the home study agency, the adoption agency, and then the bank.  A lady was prepared to do the home study within one week, which is a miracle because it's normally a 3-5 month wait.  The homestudy timing was awesome, but we didn't have the $1800.00 needed for it at the time, so we went to the bank. 
There has been around $4,300 paid on out so far, but only the first $1800.00 was borrowed. Every other dollar has came from one miracle place or another- along with some hard work.  I write this blog to say as of this point we still have payments to make to the agency at different time intervals during the whole process but as of now the adoption agency is paid up to date and the bank note of $1800.00 is paid off. 
       I give the details of the adoption money and not my personal income- but let me just say we do not have the near $6,000 extra ever laying around that God has provided in the last few months.

    All this broke my heart yesterday as I was thinking about the excitement of bringing our newest addition home, and the privilege it is to be trusted by God to raise this child.  Yesterday was the day that the FBI is supposed to have mailed our clearance to our adoption agency, just another miracle of fast timing.  I was thinking about the things that are already done to finalize this adoption, and how we are so much closer to being joined with this new child of ours.  As I thoiught I wondered if God is like this with mankind. He knows us better than we know ourselves- He knows He can fix us, though.  I figure God recognizes the steps He sees a person taking as they are getting closer to calling out to Him for the salvation of their souls.  How amazing that would have to be to actually see the excitement of God as He is overwhelmed with this anticipation of knowing a person's heart is softening and coming closer to the point of being His child.  He gave His Son in order to buy our right to be adopted into His family, so it has to be a great day when He sees the ones that He has bought and paid for actually getting so close to running to Him.

I am no fool. Raising another child will not always be a bed of roses. Obviously, there will be some times that are such a blessing and there will be trying times that only depending on Jesus will bring the true resolve to the issue.  It is a strange mindset our culture has. We have been trained to be so selfish that if something is hard, then it is not what we should do.  I am so glad Jesus didn't live the American dream. He gave of Himself till the death. I am so glad that God gave His only Son in payment for our adoption- always willing to walk the hard road for us and with us, to bring about salvation and victory.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Understanding Adoption

Galations 4:4-5
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

So the days are counting down, and the FBI has our background check forms now and we are currently doing a 8-10 hour class online to qualify for foriegn adoption, there are lots of things going on in the Reed house lately.  I must confess as we began the adoption I was saddened by all the hoops that we were going to have to jump thru and the money we were going to have to spend in order to bring our newest addition home.  But still no matter the details and the money required I have been excited about persuing adoption, it is a burden that has been in my life at least 4 years and is now becoming a fulfilled God given dream.
    Now that larger amounts of money have been invested and late night on line curriculums are a normal part of life, I notice my views changing drastically towards what adoption is.  I once saw adoption agencies as people selling children who had a real need, and it saddened me for children to be used for someone's financial gain.  I am getting more of an understanding of the whole process and find myself falling in love with the steps it takes to adopt.  I no longer believe adoption should be easily attainable, I think anyone who has a God breathed dream of adopting should be able to adopt, but I think the process is a very needed and great thing. 
    I have read about how as a believer in Jesus that I am adopted into His family and I have always thought to myself, that there was more in those scriptures than what I was getting.  I love those scriptures that we read and God always keeps us searching the depths of a particular passage and wondering until that one day He floods our spirit with the answer.  Well I don't know that I have the full answer but I think He is definitely flooding me with the deepness of
   (that we might receive ADOPTION)

   I see adoption in John 4:14-18
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." 15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." 16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." 17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly."

I see Jesus jumping through major hoops to get to earth to meet at an absolute perfect time with a very troubled lady, who had been left behind and cast aside by others.  This was the kind of lady that other men weren't seen with in public, if you know what I mean.  This lady had a very troubled past, she had been abused by those that she had given her trust too, she too had been neglected but she was still a LADY in the eyes of Jesus.  Jesus was aware of her past, and he was aware of her location and though no one else wanted her.  She probably had a defensive personality that learned to survive but was going to make sure no one ever hurt her again.  But none of that mattered to Jesus.  All that was important to Jesus is that no matter what, He was willing to leave heaven, the protection of all the comfort He was accustomed too for this lady at this particular time.  Jesus knew her past, he knew there would be some tough decisions for her to make, that she would have to drop her walls of protection that she had developed.  But He also believed the great love of His Father could heal any wound, any fears, any abuses and truly give her a new life.
    The lady gave Jesus excuses, but He wouldn't hear them, He acknowledged her obstacles and confronted her that He could wash it all away, Jesus offered living water that last.

    Truly the adoption process of late nights and hard work for extra income is very insignificant compared to the process Jesus went through to adopt us into His family.  He left comfort, left his father, came to be rejected, and nailed to a cross by the ones He longed to adopt. 
    No longer do I think the process of adoption is a big and overwhelming process abused by money hungry people.  Jesus gave the example of the difficulity of the adoption process, He stayed up late many nights and traveled long distances often, even suffered great heart ache on many occasions for the ones that were not a part of His family by birth. 

    Prasie God that we recieve adoption by Jesus Christ because He was willing to go thru the long overwhelming process for the lost, hurting, distant ones that He loved.  I am so glad I am an adopted child of God, I too had walls, I too rejected, I too gave Him reason for a heart ache yet in the end His love has won and healed every hurt of my past, broken down my walls of protection and I have great trust in Him now for my future.  To be adopted into the family of Jesus truly is overwhelming with hope, healing, and love.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Breakdowns, Limited Funds & One Big Bull

Get the firewood ready for when it gets cold.  That has been my thoughts for the past couple weeks, I am so looking forward to winter.  I spent a good bit of time this past weekend, cutting and splitting wood. I can feel the warmth of the fire in the woodstove and the food being cooked at the same time as I am stacking the wood.  I am really excited about it, excited about the future, when the cool comes.  While the wood stack is growing though something wonderful happens, the A/C decides to break, lol.  I was reminded of a long time truth as the A/C wouldn't work last night, and that is no matter how much wood you have, it is impossible to build a good enough fire to cool the house down.
    Sometimes I think we are so busy preparing for the future that we neglect the present.  The reality is that God can take care of everything for us whether it is past, present or future, He is just that big.  The human nature tends to want to plan things of the future that we can make happen I think.  If I want to go on vacation, I start planning on how to save money for a particular time that I would like the vacation.  If I want to wake up in the morning at a certain time, then I set my phone to make loud noises at that certain time.  The future is always uncertain and God is in control of it, but if just the normal circumstances happen on a daily occurence then we can plan and be prepared for these physical needs and wants of the future.
    I love the way God constantly reminds my household that no matter how much planning we may do for the future, He is the only one who can completely take care of the present.  Only God can truly take care of the present when a leg breaks or the house catches fire, or the job is suddenly lost, or the unexpected loss of a loved one, or maybe as in our case the simple loss of an A/C and the lack of funds to fix it.  I agree air condition in definitely not a necessity but it sure is very appreciated.
    Yesterday the sudden need of the present had me in the yard getting ready to load some scrap iron (old washing machines, etc) to carry to the scrap yard for some funds.  As I begin my task, I have 2 boys that have to get their boots on and get in the truck with me, I have fences to tear out of the way, and trailers to move, and trying to get to work by 8:30.
    There is alot more detail and to tell the truth I love my life and the sudden things that arise.  The short of the story is the AC man came by and it ended up being a $30.00 fix instead of a $630.00 fix.  As I start to put the windows down, I hear Calley screaming for help in the barn.  As I get closer I see the bull is trying to knock the barn wall down to get in there with her and that sweet feed she has.  I run him out, shut the gate and the boys walk out just in time to meet me in the driveway and look out to the pasture as we watch the bull push the gate open and run for the barn again.  Isaac's immediately with his mouth dropped says, "cool!"
    Well the A/C was fixed, Calley quit milking and went inside to find Amaus drinking down a half full cup of coffee in the kitchen. 
    It was a very fun morning honestly, and God took care of every sudden need of the present.  This is all just another day in the life of a dad, husband, preacher, business man and friend.  I love this life, and I love mornings like this, it would be a pretty boring life if all the future planned events worked perfect and no immediate situations ever happened.  How boring and lame to try and fix a life that can operate without God's intervention and providing.  I think when we delight in the sudden occurences and situations, that when it was all over God is problably thinking it was all pretty fun as well, after all He is a perfect Father that loves the interaction with His creation.
    Thank You Jesus for this awesome life, please don't quit giving the sudden events.

Matthew 6:31-34
 do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Below is the result of a crazy morning, smiling faces. God is good.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I have been going over a few blog ideas this week and was going to do some blogging today, then I opened my email.  Below is an email that I recieved from our adoption agency today, I thought it was great and so I decided to just share it instead.

Praise God He doesn't need cents to make sense.

A Note from the Director - It Doesn't Make Cents (or Sense)

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.' Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" 1 Corinthians 1:18-20

Earlier this week a 23 year-old young man, a stand-out running back from the University of Alabama, and a current member of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers retired and walked away from the game of professional football. Reportedly, Glen Coffee walked away from a contract set to pay him upwards of $1 million over the next three years, not to mention a lucrative $828,000 signing bonus.

When interviewed by Matt Barrow's a Reporter for the San Francisco Bee, Coffee said, "It was a struggle for a long was no longer my dream. I found Christ in college (and) it changed my views on everything." reporter Mike Sando commented on Coffee's sudden retirement, "if he does have regrets years later, he will have missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

As believers so much of what we are called to do is seen as radical, crazy, insane, and even demented to the world in which we live. Everyone has an opinion, and most aren't too shy to share it with you, especially when you're a making a decision that seems like a radical abandonment.

Reading the Bible, we soon learn that a life devoted to Christ is a life that looks foolish to those who don't know him. Isaiah was asked to prophecy to a people who would not listen or change their hearts. Hosea was asked to marry a harlot. Moses, slow in speech and despised, was asked to speak for and lead his people to a seemingly impossible task. The disciples were asked to lay down their nets, to leave their jobs and family and follow the Messiah. Jim Elliott was asked to go to Ecuador to a savage people whom later killed him, but received the Gospel in part to the faithfulness of his wife Elizabeth and their children. Glen Coffee was asked to leave football and millions of dollars. Countless numbers of families are called to rearrange their families, to travel to far off lands to graft orphaned children they've never seen into their families. Foolishness. Radical.

Meanwhile, the world exclaims, it doesn't make cents - why throw away money, the American Dream, your life? The opinions and comments come from every direction urging you, pleading with you, to follow the path of the world. It can be deafening. I urge you brothers and sisters, listen to the still small voice of your Savior who pleads I have something so much better.

So the questions you must ask yourself are, "do you believe that Jesus is worth abandoning everything for? Do you believe him enough to obey him and to follow him wherever he leads, even when the crowds - and even your church - turn the other way?"

Adoption and orphan care are hard. They are life altering and life changing. Caring for orphans challenges your faith, yet strengthens your resolve and hope in your creator. Parents, friends, co-workers, and even those within your church will challenge you and question you on your commitment. It doesn't make cents or sense at times, unless God calls you to it and then you have more cents and sense than ever.

In a recent article Dr. Russell Moore, the Dean of Students at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, likens adoption and orphan care to spiritual warfare. And the analogy is true. Satan does not want Christian involved in taking care of impressionable foster children who need stability, love, care, and Christ. Satan doesn't want a radical Christian family impacting an orphan not only for today but for an eternity. Satan detests when Christians organize to spread throughout the world training orphans with life skills and the Gospel. It is a war, but we serve a victorious God.

"On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, 'Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.'" Isaiah 25:7-8

So the last question since we are fighting a war, "Will you join the ranks?" We need families to help us rescue children from literal perishing at home and around the world through adoption and foster care. Any good army enlists many volunteers and we need people to stuff packets, answer phones, recruit families, mentor birthmothers and orphans, etc. And lastly every good army is well funded - can you share the resource of Heaven with Lifeline as we seek to eradicate the word "orphan."

Partner with Lifeline today. Visit or contact Deanna Crist at today to donate to the cause, to apply to adopt, to sign up for a trip through our (un)adopted ministry and visit orphans in need, to apply to be a foster parents for a child in US foster care, or to volunteer in one of many ways for the sake of orphans.

Oh beloved, will you allow God to use you to impact the life of a child? Please do not hesitate to give Lifeline a call because we are here...

On behalf of the orphans.

Herbie Newell
Executive Director
Lifeline Children's Services
giving children a hope and a future