A Kingdom Purchase

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU AS ORPHANS; I WILL COME TO YOU.” John 14:15-18

A promise filled with Hope!

So what does this little guy…..

 

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And this table have to do with this promise??

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The sale of this table will contribute to his homecoming!!!

His name is Ike Eskridge.  He is currently living in an orphanage in China, but not for long.  You see, his forever family is waiting on their travel date to go bring him home, and the sale of this table will help them do that.

We started a silent auction for the 6 foot Trestle Farm Table at The Chapel Market last Saturday.  The bidding started at $450 and is now up to $625.  We will continue to take bids until 4pm Saturday November 1st at The Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair.  The table will go home with the highest bidder, and all the money will go directly to this sweet family.

Meet The Eskridges…..

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Dexter grew up with Martha Hunter in Camden, AL.  They went to school together from Kindergarten through 12th grade.  Martha Hunter also became a nurse and helped deliver 2 of our children.  We are so excited for her and her family, as we know the joy set before them!  We cannot wait to meet Ike and see the transformation God has in store for his life as his feet are planted in Acres of Hope.

Anchor of Hope

hope candleHebrews 6:8b-10 “…we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.”

An anchor, something heavy attached to a vessel to keep it in place, and hope, a desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.  These two combined are why Jesus came.  He is the heavy, mighty, strong anchor that God sent to earth so that His plan would be fulfilled, for man to be reconciled to God!  Christ lives in us, he attaches Himself to us, His vessel, and keeps us in the place where God wants us to be.  The waves crash, the wind blows and tries to steer us off the path, but our faith is convinced of what we hope for and certain of what it cannot see (Hebrews 11:1)  all because He came.

Our hope ushers us into the very presence of God where Jesus, our anchor, is waiting, watching, and interceding on our behalf.  Without Jesus there is no hope, nothing to long for or be confident in.  Without Him we are tossed by the waves, blown off course by the wind, and oppressed by the darkness of this world.  Our hope comes from a desperate place, deep in our soul, that is calling out to the light.

The words below are from the heart of our 16 year son, Parker.  This is what the Holy Spirit has revealed to him after the death of one of his best friends, Gray Godwin.

“We have hope in eternal life because of Jesus’ death and especially his resurrection. I don’t think a whole lot about the hope we have until something happens that makes me think about the future. The future is a very scary subject, in that it feels unknown and out of our control. With the death of my friend Gray this past week, I for one have definitely thought about his future and mine. Knowing that Gray loved God so much, reminds me that he is happier now than he has ever been. By his death, he has entered into the gates of heaven, and is living out what we are all hoping for, eternal life. Once I wrapped my mind around that concept, I was jealous that I was not in heaven yet. I wouldn’t say I was suicidal at all, but simply put, I was ready to get out of the corruptness of this world and be with Jesus. But that also made me think of how selfish it is to think like that. Though the world is corrupt, it doesn’t have the hope that I possess. Holding onto what I knew and not sharing the great news of Jesus Christ is not right. If keeping Jesus to myself was satisfying me, then my heart is not in the right place. My number one job as a Christian is to get closer to God, and grow in Him. So many people die, who are unlike Gray, in that they are fearful of what will happen to them before, during or after death. We need to bring those people hope so they are no longer anticipating or fearing death. The Word of Jesus Christ is that hope.”

IMG_1048Parker, Gray, Hudson, Hammond

The Lenses of Justice and Compassion

Safe in Mommy's ArmsBack in September my best friend went on a retreat for a few days.  Upon her return, she was not only refreshed, but it was like God had breathed on her.  As she was sharing one night, we got to talking about the specific way God designed each of us uniquely.  In discovering some of her gifts and the perspective she sees life from, there was a test involved.  The more we talked, the more discouraged I got.  You see, I so wanted to walk through her experience, but I am the worst test taker.  I wanted to know my personality traits, gifts, perspective, etc., but I knew if I tried to take that test it would be disastrous.  During test taking, I get locked up and feel like I am desperately searching for the right answers.  I just want someone else to tell me all these things about myself:)

Well, that’s exactly what happened.  A few days after we talked, I sat down and asked the Lord, out loud, to begin to show me the unique gifts He has given me.  As I was going through my day, the words Justice and Compassion kept coming to my mind.  The Holy Spirit was answering my question! I went home and looked them up, of course cause I’m the word nerd, and I had understanding almost immediately.  Compassion, in my own words, is relating to the emotions of others and being moved by that.   Jesus was moved by compassion in Matthew 9:36.  Justice is basically wanting things to be “right” and “fair”, and oh boy, is that me.  Now because I believe these are gifts from the Lord, I know He has a plan to use them in His Kingdom; however, I also know there can be a downside to both of these.  You see sometimes I “take on” the emotions of others, and that puts ME in a place of trying to fix things versus allowing the HOLY SPIRIT to lead me in my response.  Also, when things aren’t right or fair, especially with my children, mama bear can definitely come out, and this robs my joy.  Micah sums up how the Lord intends me to walk these out, “…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8  So God is calling me to be an agent of justice and compassion,  but this requires deep, prayerful humility.

So in my discovery of this, and as I am receiving the breath of God in my own life, I understand now why I am passionate about orphans, the overlooked, missions etc.  These are the areas where I feel one with the heart of my Father in heaven.  When we were on our way to the airport to greet our best friends coming home with their daughter from Guatemala, I remember specifically asking the Lord, “what is this feeling welling up in me?”  His response, as I gazed at the stars from the car window, was “you feel My heart”.  It’s the most incredible feeling to be One with the Father.  As you see in the picture above, the Lord has graciously given us a child through adoption, and this picture was taken when I was experiencing that oneness once again.

Today, my heart continues to be drawn to the fatherless.  And yes, I am humbly praying about it every day.  Just because we have already adopted one child, doesn’t change the perspective I view life from.  However, what I am learning is, there are many ways for me to minister to orphans.  I don’t know God’s plan for more children in our home, but I do know that God designed me to see life through the Lenses of Justice and Compassion.  As I yield my heart to Him, He will make us One!