Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back on 2009

Wow, what a year! I can't believe that there are only a few hours left until 2010! How 2009 has flown by!

Though it flew by, 2009 has brought many changes for my whole family.

1. We have moved 3 times in the past year.
2. My dad lost his job.
3. We are now a family of 5.
4. There is a possibility that my family could be moving to Washington. (I'll write about this in a future post.)

Even though there has been much uncertainty, pain, doubt, and joy throughout 2009, God has been teaching my family and I through each major change in our lives.

God has been so faithful to us! As I look back on this year, I marvel at how God has been working in intricate and always amazing ways!

Yet, even though I am excited by how God is working in our family, I know that God needs to do so much more in me to make me more like Him. In other words, while being amazed at his goodness, I am also amazed and awed at his mercy to me. So many times throughout the year I said things, thought things, and did things that I regret, things that were not pleasing to the Lord. But praise God that "as far as the east is from the west,so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103: 12)

Looking ahead to 2010, I pray that the Lord will grow me in even greater ways. Not only me, but that the Lord would grow this generation up to serve him. Oh God, let 2010 be a year of revival, a year in which your name is glorified and exalted throughout the world. May the Church of Christ be emboldened to step out of our comfort zones, get out of our comfortable pews, and spread the gospel throughout the world! Equip us with compassion for the lost. Grant us hearts so in love with you, that that love would pour out into our actions, into our thoughts, into our words. May your light shine through us, that we would be as a city on a hill. Use 2010, Lord. Use it for your majestic and holy name, I pray! Amen

Or, as Paul says in Philippians 3: 13b-14, "Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Thursday, December 10, 2009


God is so good!

After 14 months of learning to wait on the Lord during our adoption process, we "got the call" on November 25! I know...I should have written about this when it actually happened.

Unfortunately, I've been a little busy. Getting Charity's room ready, cleaning the house, and making sure everything is ready for her to come home has taken up my time...on top of schoolwork. ;)

Since my dad lost his job, Ariana and I won't be able to fly to Hong Kong, but praise the Lord that He has blessed us with the finances to adopt her and have my mom and dad pick her up.

I would love to describe the journey that our family has been going through over the past few weeks, but because of time's sake, I'll have to write about that later.

My mom and dad will be flying to Hong Kong on the 16th and getting home on the 22nd, in time for Christmas (that was one of our answers to prayer). The time difference is tremendous, so we would covet your prayers! Most likely, that will be the hardest part of the adjustment period.

So, it's finally happened...we're finally going to be able to hold her in our arms!!! How exciting it will be! Our God is so good!!!

Hopefully, I'll be able to post more info soon and some family pics when she arrives!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quotes from Mighty Men and Women of the Faith

Quotes from a person's life are one of the few things that will last after their death and for possibly, hundreds of years afterward. A quote can often provide a window into the soul of a person that might never be seen elsewhere. They come straight from the heart and mind. Many times they reveal the key purpose, desires, or needs of a person's life.

As you might have concluded already, I find quotes quite intriguing. Through the reading of a quote, I can understand more fully the life of someone who has passed away, whereas I could not elsewhere.

I have been spiritually refreshed, encouraged, and challenged by many quotes from mighty men and women of the faith.

Since I have enjoyed certain quotes so much, I thought I could share them for everyone's encouragement, challenge, and refreshment of their soul.

Life Quotes:
"God send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours."
-David Livingstone

"Lord, make me a crisis man. Let me not be a mile-post on a single road, but make me a fork that men must turn one way or another in facing Christ in me."
-Jim Elliot

"Let us not glide through this world and then slip quietly into heaven, without having blown the trumpet loud and long for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Let us see to it that the devil will hold a thanksgiving service in hell, when he gets the news of our departure from the field of battle."
-C.T. Studd

"God save us from living in comfort while sinners are sinking into hell!"
-Charles Spurgeon

Prayer Quotes:
"Pray often; for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan."
-John Bunyan

"The prayer power has, has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see mighty wonders of divine power and grace wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God's standing challenge, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not!'"
-J. Hudson Taylor

“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”
-Samuel Chadwick

“What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use— men of prayer, men mighty in prayer."
-E.M. Bounds

Character Quotes:
“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”
-Charles H. Spurgeon

Evangelism Quotes:

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell."
-C.T. Studd

"'Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world."
-William Booth

"It is of no use for any of you to try to be soul-winners if you are not bearing fruit in your own lives. How can you serve the Lord with your lips if you do not serve Him with your lives.? How can you preach His gospel with your tongues, when with hands, feet, and heart you are preaching the devil’s gospel, and setting up an antichrist by your practical unholiness?"
-Charles Spurgeon

“A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them.”
-Richard Baxter

"Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don't wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work - to wake people up."
-Catherine Booth

"I think a good rule of thumb to follow would be to presume the Lord wants you to share the gospel with everyone unless He leads you not to."
-Danny Lehmann

"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light."
-John Keith Falconer

“Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of ­eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.”
-J. Hudson Taylor

"If sinners be dammed, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for."
-Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Sister!

As most of you probably already know, my family is adopting! We started the whole adoption process back in September 2008. We weren't planning to adopt a special needs child, at first. After much prayer and God changing our hearts, we started the adoption process to adopt a Down Syndrome baby from Hong Kong.

It's almost been a year since we began that journey.

Naturally, I was excited. I was getting another little sister! I never really thought about what God might teach me through this process though. He definitely knows what His children need to learn, doesn't He?!

For me, it was patience.

My family was hoping to have had Charity (my new sister's name) by June, but after some complications, we weren't able to. Of course, I was disappointed when we couldn't fly to Hong Kong in June. But, we are now hoping to be able to get her around late September, early October. Who knows?! It may be this month, late October, December, next year for all we know. But, the promise we can hold onto is that God is in control and His timing is perfect!

So, the Lord knows what I need, when I need it! I thank Him for that! He has been teaching me to rely solely on Him for everything! We ARE getting closer to the day we will finally hold her in our arms and be able to bring her home.

Lately, we got some updated pictures, medical information, and a 15 minute video of our beloved girl. It was so exciting to watch her crawl around, smile as she plays with her toys, and walk with assistance. It was encouragement we needed! We praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness even in this little trial!

By the way, I'll make sure to keep everybody posted.

Here are the updated pictures of Charity Anne Johnson.

Explanation for the Title of My Blog

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I'm found

Was blind, but now I see

My chains are gone

I've been set free

My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy reigns

Unending love, Amazing grace

I am pretty safe to say that the first verse of 'Amazing Grace' describes so eloquently, the state that every human being resides in before they are saved. We are wretches, lost, and blind; desiring only the furtherance of ourselves. The Bible describes the unsaved person as someone who is not seeking after God, a slave to sin, and whose life will end in spiritual death. In our own strength, there is nothing we can do about it. It doesn't matter how many good deeds we do, how much money we make, or how kind we are to the less-fortunate.

That's where those two words come into play; amazing grace! Since Christ died on the cross taking our sin upon Himself and paying the penalty for the sin that we have committed, we can be free! Free from sin, and alive in Christ! Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Then we can sing with overflowing hearts of gratitude,

My chains are gone

I've been set free

My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy reigns

Unending love, Amazing grace

That is why I have named my blog "Unmerited Redemption." There is nothing I can do to repay Christ for His sacrificial death. As an unworthy sinner having broken God's commandments, I don't deserve anything from Almighty God, yet He has made me His daughter and co-heir with Christ! Truly, amazing grace!

Truly, unmerited redemption!