Devotion, Fasting, Kids, Uncategorized

Day 18: “Children are God’s Best Gift.”

fearfully-madeToday’s children are bombarded with more information than any previous generation. Just go to a shopping mall you’ll see iPads strapped to prams and realise even two year olds are filtering messages coming at them at breakneck speeds. The pace doesn’t slow as they get older.

The most important data young people need is God’s word which tells them they are precious in his sight. An urgent affirmation of the Lord’s plan for them is due.  Timely reminders that they aren’t in your way nor too naive to make a difference.

Today, focus on praying for the children and youth in your life. Maybe they live with you… Look them in the eyes and say, “God loves and cherishes you. You are SO SPECIAL and worthy of love, perfectly made in his image and fully equipped to change the world.”

If you have grandchildren, nieces and nephews, kids at church over whom you have influence, don’t take your position for granted. The world will tell them everything they aren’t and will reinforce what they lack. As Christian leaders, parents, grandparents, you have a responsibility to speak and pray into the lives of the precious ones in your life.

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
    the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
    are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
    with your quivers full of children!
 (Psalm 127:3-4 MSG)

Uncategorized

It’s the Little Things

Applying for an Australian Visa gives new meaning to the scripture “To whom much is given much is required” (Luke 12:48).  I guess since the Australian government is granting me (God willing) the right to live and work there FOREVER, it is entitled to make the process as difficult as it wants.  Last week, we finished up the crazy visa application for me to migrate. Until now, I was only familiar with a travel visa for vacations to see our family.  I had no idea the detailed and expensive process applying to migrate permanently would be.

I applied for a Partner Migrant Visa and since my marriage to Greg is legit I’m sure I’ll be approved. We don’t have any stray children or divorces.  We don’t have adoptions, criminal histories, custody battles, or extra people living with us that we are trying to bring over. Believe me, the application asked!

We did our part to complete the forms as accurately as possible, sending notarized copies of birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, proof of Greg’s employment, and more! We retrieved letters from friends stating our relationship is true and genuine.  Greg and I each had to write an essay on how our relationship began filled with significant memories throughout its 14 years.  We made copies of bank statements and life insurance policies. Greg filled out his “Sponsor” packet as well.

We have sent off for criminal background checks, state and federal.  The children and I also have to have health checks which I thought were nothing more than physicals from our local doctors like you get for Pop Warner football.  Oh boy was I wrong!  Only 5 physicians in the state of Texas (none of which are in Austin) are approved to do these health checks.  There’s a packet of paperwork they have to fill out along with urinalysis, blood work, and chest X-rays.  It added another $1000 to the fees on top of the $2200 for the overall application.

The process is indeed lengthy.  I keep reminding myself that it’s only once in my lifetime that I have to go through it.  And, after two years of living in OZ, I’ll be able to apply for citizenship if I so choose.  Although the Embassy won’t make any promises on how long approvals have been taking, they did say to expect about 9 months. That puts us at July before we can move.

We are praying everything works out just the way it should.  I know God’s hand is in the process and He will open doors in His perfect timing.  We are a long way away from our God-given dream of planting a church.  It’s my job to trust Him and to do my part to handle the details I can control.  Sometimes, what we have to walk out in the natural is what God is waiting for in order to open doors in the supernatural.  Long before we can have a church service or lead someone to the Lord in Australia, I must have approval to live and work there legally.

Whether it’s a teenager who wants a prestigious job, a single woman who wants her “dream man,” or a pastor who wants a platform before thousands, there’s always a not-so-glamorous process leading up that must be dealt with.  Passing the tests before us, day by day, can very well be the missing keys to the open doors we all desire.  God promises that when we are faithful in little, he will give us charge over much!  The “little” visa stamp in my passport will give rise to much responsibility and many lives changed someday!