Archive for October, 2011
Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
Where does poverty come from? What are we supposed to do about it? How can we look at poverty and not feel defeated? How can we see the needs of the world and not be disheartened? How can we weigh the clear responsibilities we have to care for the poor and not be overwhelmed?
These questions have an answer: To see the end of poverty, we are awaiting a savior, as Aaron Armstrong shows in Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation, and the End of Poverty.
Aaron has donated 5 copies of his book for us here at NoelPiper.com.
Here’s what to do to get your name into the drawing once:
- Visit Aaron’s blog–Blogging Theologically.
- Comment once at this post to let me know you’ve done that.
To enter your name an additional time:
- Subscribe to Blogging Theologically, or follow Aaron on FaceBook or on Twitter.
- Comment once at this post to let me know that you’ve one of those.
Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
Right now is the last music-worship time of Together for Adoption 2011. In just a moment, Tim Chester will speak the last message of the conference.
But this will not be my last T4A-related blog. I encourage you to subscribe if you haven’t already, so you don’t miss what’s coming. For example, off the top of my head:
- notification when the audio downloads are available from the conference
- at least 3 more book giveaways (including one you’ll be especially interested in if China is in your future)
- info from some more T4A exhibitors
- a link to our personal adoption story
Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
There are millions of orphans in the world–163 million, I heard yesterday at the Together for Adoption Conference.
What can I do? That is exactly the right question to ask–twice.
First time: What can I do–what can just one person do? That’s the normal feeling we have when we learn about such a widespread, huge pain that seems to need millions of people working to make a dent. The only problem with that question is if it expresses hopelessness–”I’m just one person, so I can’t do anything.” To that, I say, If God had meant for me to be a committee, he wouldn’t have made me just one person.
That’s the question I see people asking and answering here.
Dawn Patterson’s church, Grace Covenant in Austin, Texas, has a partnership with Food for the Hungry. The church’s focus is with children who have become the heads of their households because of the death of their parents and other adult members of their extended families.
Dawn wanted to raise money to sponsor one of those child, so she asked herself, “What can I do to raise $600 a year?” She told me, “God has given us all gifts and talents to further his kingdom. I can make jewelry, so I’m doing that–making jewelry out of African beads.” In the first year, the sales of that jewelry brought in her goal of $600 . . . plus another $24,400 for orphan ministry.
Tulio and Kara Portilla, of Into the Streets of Ethiopia, say, “When we went to Ethiopia to adopt, we looked around and realized that when God makes us aware of needs, we have a responsibility. Also, we wanted to do something to honor our daughter and her birth nation.” They are associated now with the adoption ministry of YWAM, acting as a sort of channel for the talents of others who are using their gifts for the sake of God’s kingdom among orphans in Ethiopia.
So, the question for today: What CAN I do?
Friday, October 21st, 2011
Tom blogs at Red Letters.
He is also an author. He has donated a set of 4 books–2 fiction and 2 nonfiction–to be given away to one of you.
Here’s what to do to be eligible for the drawing.
- Visit the Children’s HopeChest website.
- Tell at least 5 other people about the website.
- Comment –once only– at this post to report that you’ve fulfilled #1 and #2.
- Bonus: For each of your 5 (or more) who actually visit the HopeChest website, you may comment again to report.
Deadline: Monday, 10/24, 11:59 pm.
Friday, October 21st, 2011
This morning’s session began with a video of World Orphans‘ work in Haiti, focusing on Pastor Pierre of Mission Eglise Evangelique El-Schaddai in Port-au-Prince. That especially caught my attention because Johnny and I visited with Pastor Pierre and he took us to visit some of the church-related families in a tent village.
Pastor Pierre is part of World Orphans’ home-based orphan care work in Haiti. World Orphans works through local churches to provide resources, education, and support in homes that have folded an orphan into their lives.
The bigger-picture vision of World Orphans is that through the body of Christ communities be transformed with the church as an integral part of that society.
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Tomorrow–the day before the T4A Conference begins on Thursday–several pre-conference events are happening. I’ll be taking part in the Day of Encouragement for Adoptive and Pre-adoptive Moms.
These next 3 days, I hope to be tweeting during sessions (@NoelPiper) and posting blogs other times to tell you about people I’ve met, stories I’ve heard, information I’ve learned.
Check out some of the other featured bloggers as well. With so many of us, there’ll be impressions, thoughts, reactions, responses from lots of different perspectives.
Do you have a question or topic you hope to learn more about from the conference?
Sunday, October 16th, 2011
It’s no surprise that adoption changes a family. At the most obvious level, the family grows larger. With every addition to a family, interrelationships multiply. Every child, whether adopted or born into a family, brings his own personality and look to a family. And every child, whether born or adopted into a family, may also bring health or disability challenges into a family.
Often when a child is adopted, accurate birth family history may be scant. This means that it is important for an adoptive family to realize their dearly loved child may have hidden disabilities that will become more obvious as time passes.
What is true for the nuclear family is also true for the church family. This is where John Knight begins and ends in an excellent recent post.
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Shaun is a partner of Compassion International, one of the exhibitors at the conference.
Today at his blog, Shaun is offering four free registrations to the conference. The deadline for entering is tonight.
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
I’ve done 16th birthdays 4 times before today–one for each son. As far as I knew from them, 16 meant just one thing: Driver’s License!
Now with the 16th birthday of Talitha, I find out my education has been stunted. Haven’t I ever heard of Sweet Sixteen? Yes, but I guess I have a lot to learn. Driver’s License? Yes, but it doesn’t have to be today. Sometime is fine. This birthday is a landmark.
Are you seeing lots of italics? That’s the way conversations have been for a year. Planning and replanning. Exulting over finally reaching the age when Mom and Dad said it would probably be time for a cell phone (somehow probably became promise). Beginning months ago scheduling a day that works for family to be together for birthday dinner. Counting and recounting how many people that will be.
Today is finally the birthday. Waking up to big 16s plastered all over the place. Breakfast cake in the morning. Abraham and Molly dropping by. Opening cards. Lunch date and shopping with Mom. Phone calls and messages. Cards. Facebook greetings. That’s so far.
Now, just to show how sweet our Sweet Sixteen daughter is, she’s using her own coupon for free pizza to get supper for us 3 tonight. She’s planning to decorate the dining room herself for the family celebration this weekend (0nce I get the room de-cluttered). And she’s already packaged small gifts for each of the families who’ll be here.
I can’t tell you what else is in store for Talitha. Let’s just say there are some surprises that are waiting for her this weekend.
In the meantime on this day that is the 16th anniversary of Talitha’s birth–Happy sweet sixteen to our sweet daughter.
Thursday, October 6th, 2011
FaceBook knows how to press the emotion button, don’t they? Someone asks me, “Will you be my friend?” And I have only 2 choices: Yes or ignore (=No, I won’t be your friend). How can I do that to so many people that I do like?
Here’s what I wrote in my profile info, to try to soften the turndown (or at least to ease my conscience):
Dear real-life friends, I wish I could be FB friends with all of you, but I’m too finite. I’m using FB mainly to connect with my huge, widely spread-out family. Please know I’m sad every time I press “ignore.”
Well maybe here’s a way to acknowledge the reality of my finiteness and to draw the friendship circle larger — the Noel Piper FB page.
Now it’s your turn to decide: Do you like me? No, really, if you choose not to press Like, I won’t take it personally.
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
I was moved by a video we saw last night at the FIEL Conference for Pastors and Church Leaders. We’re just about to head out the door, so I hope you’ll go to Tell Me When to Pack to see what I wrote about it.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
I just saw this tweet, and assumed they were talking about the vigorous (shall we say?) speaker in the family: “You wouldn’t believe this picture of Piper speaking. dsr.gd/pY0D3n“