The Harvest Show

May 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Adopted Children

May 19, 2014 — Leave a comment


My wife and I have friends who recently adopted two children from Ghana. After months of paperwork and two trips to Africa, they came home with a four-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother.

Excited as the adoptive parents were, the transition wasn’t easy. They had the challenge of assimilating the adopted children with their three biological kids. But the biggest challenges stemmed from behaviors the adopted children had acquired in their first years of life. Before being taken in by an orphanage, they lived on the streets. Their short lives had been marked by scarcity and neglect.

As the adopted children settled into their new home, the deprivation manifested itself in puzzling behaviors. Initially, they found sharing nearly impossible. Just the sight of another child playing with a toy they wanted was enough to set off a forty-minute crying fit. Once they finished playing with a toy, they would sometimes break it to ensure no other child could play with it.

At mealtimes, they would gorge themselves. If they saw the cereal or milk running low, they got nervous. “Is there plenty, Mommy and Daddy? Is there plenty?” they would ask. Despite their parents’ assurances, they drank milk till they were sick. At one point, their parents took them to the grocery store and pointed out the rows of refrigerated milk. “See, there is so much milk. We will never run out.”

Despite these challenges, they are seeing progress. The children are beginning to bond with their new parents and siblings. They are learning the rules of the house. Slowly they are gaining confidence that they are loved, that they have a family, and that their needs will be always be met.

I think we’re a lot like those children.

We’ve all picked up bad habits along the way—and it’s not hard to see why. We’ve been raised on the “streets.” By the streets I mean this world. It’s a place where only the strong survive, where you have to scratch and claw for everything you get. The powerful, talented, beautiful, and wealthy are rewarded. The weak are crushed.

It’s a reality reinforced in every arena and stage of life: on the playground, at school, in sports, in dating, in social circles, in the job market. So we jockey for position and angle for opportunities and look out for number one. We know life’s not a zero-sum game. For every success some else has, one disappears for us. So we learn to build ourselves up and knock others down. We’re conditioned by a system engineered to foster fear and selfishness. We become survivors.

Then one day something miraculous happens. God adopts us. We join his family. Suddenly we find ourselves loved, cherished. We’re introduced to a whole new way of living, one in which the last are first, the meek are blessed, and we love rather than hate our enemies.

But old habits die hard, and we find ourselves reverting to old ways. We doubt God’s love. We cast sideways glances at our dwindling resources. We drink all the milk. We wonder if God will really provide for us. Not just possessions but meaning, pleasure, and most of all, love.

I’m convinced that there’s really one big question at the heart of life and that our answer to this question will ripple throughout our time on earth and out into eternity. The question is simply this. Are you going to believe that God loves you?

The Bible says again and again that you can. It says that God has loved you with an everlasting love, that at his right hand are pleasures forevermore, that he owns the cattle on a thousand hills, that he goes to prepare a place for you, that he’s coming back to get you.

There will always be plenty for you. Not the spoils of the street, but the treasures of your Father. You can trust him. Rest in him. Breathe.

He’s always loved you. And he always will.

* This post was excerpted from Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying

* photo credit: v i p e z via photopin cc

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How Do You See God?

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
– A.W. Tozer

How do you see God? Perhaps no question is as important, yet we rarely take time to explore it. This short assessment is based on the new book, Yawning at Tigers, and is designed to give you greater insight into this crucial topic. I hope that taking the quiz and reflecting on the results will give you a deeper awareness of how you think about God—and a desire to know him more.

Yawning at Tigers- Quiz-2

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Ed: “Yawning at Tigers” is a strange title. What does it mean?

Drew: A few years ago a man who owned a private zoo released all his animals—tigers, lions, bears—before taking his own life. Most people probably remember the news coverage. The zoo was located near Zanesville, Ohio. Suddenly this small town was overrun with large exotic predators. Residents were ordered indoors while local law enforcement scrambled to protect the public … Read More!

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The Book Trailer

April 30, 2014 — Leave a comment

Like most good ideas I’ve had, the one for my book trailer came from my wife, Grace. Rather than merely giving an overview of the book’s content, she suggested telling one dynamic story from the book. The story she recommended using comes from Chapter 4. It’s about a janitor who created one of America’s greatest works of art–and gave us all a glimpse of heaven. Enjoy!

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