Archive for the Uncategorized

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Christmas Reading 2011

Galatians 4:4-7
In the fullness of time, the Christ was born so we can be adopted. 

When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son,  born  of woman, born  under the law,  5  to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive  adoption as sons.  6 And because you are sons, God has sent  the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then  an heir through God.


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Thursday, November 10th, 2011

National Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. So this is a good time to give away some more adoption-related books.

At the Together for Adoption Conference last month, the folks from Focus on the Family gave me a pair of gifts for 5 of you.


Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family: Real-Life Solutions to Common Challenges


Thriving as an Adoptive Family: Real-Life Solutions to Common Challenges, edited by David and Renee Sanford




Wait No More: One Family's Amazing Adoption Journey


Wait No More: One Family’s Amazing Adoption Journey, by Kelly and John Rosati




To be eligible for the drawing:

  • Visit Focus on the Family’s I Care About Orphans site. If you’ve adopted or are thinking about it or if you care about adoptive families and children who need homes, there are an amazing array of resources here.
  • Comment just once at this post and let us know some way you were affected by your visit to that site.
  • Deadline is 11:59 pm this Sunday, 11/13.
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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Finally announcing winners

This is terrible. I’ve left you hanging so long. No excuse, except that life happens.

The winner of a set of Tom Davis books is:

  • Branden Aeling

The winners of a copy of Awaiting a Savior, by Aaron Armstrong, are:

  • Seth Hale
  • Hannah
  • Mitchell J Kim
  • Kayleen
  • Maggie

In case you’re not sure if one of these names is yours, it will be confirmed if you receive an email from me asking for your mailing address.

If you didn’t win a book I do hope you’ll find them on your own.


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Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Aaron Armstrong book giveaway

Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation and the End of PovertyAs we think about how to help orphans, we come face to face with poverty at every turn.

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

Here’s what to do to get your name into the drawing once:

  1. Visit Aaron’s blog–Blogging Theologically.
  2. Comment once at this post to let me know you’ve done that.

To enter your name an additional time:

  1. Subscribe to Blogging Theologically, or follow Aaron on FaceBook or on Twitter.
  2. Comment once at this post to let me know that you’ve one of those.
Deadline is Tuesday, 10/25, 11:59 pm.
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Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Goodbye and more to give away

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
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Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

But what can I do?

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.

Second time: What can I do? God did make me just one person, so how does he want to work through me? What gifts did he give me that he can use to make a difference for orphans?

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?


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Friday, October 21st, 2011

Tom Davis book giveaway

Tom Davis is the CEO of Children’s HopeChest, whose ultimate goal is to give every orphan the chance to succeed in their home culture and know God through a personal relationship with Jesus.

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.

Red Letters: Living a Faith That Bleeds

Fields of the Fatherless: Discover the Joy of Compassionate Living

Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World

Priceless: A Novel on the Edge of the World

Here’s what to do to be eligible for the drawing.

  1. Visit the Children’s HopeChest website.
  2. Tell at least 5 other people about the website.
  3. Comment –once only– at this post to report that you’ve fulfilled #1 and #2.
  4. 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.

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Friday, October 21st, 2011

Home-based orphan care

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.

(You can see more pictures of Pastor Pierre and some of the families his church is connecting with and supporting.)


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Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Together for Adoption Conference

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?

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Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Adoption changes families

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.

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Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Today only: free T4A registrations

Shaun Groves, award-winning musician is participating in the Together for Adoption Conference as emcee. He’s also doing a concert on Friday evening.

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.

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Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

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.



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