Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A "Me Party"

I admit it....on my birthday this crazy, ridiculous, fleshly, ugly selfishness creeps up and grabs hold of me. I begin thinking the world should stop revolving around the sun...and revolve around me instead. I take "me-time" to a whole new level. Of course, I can't find this type of attitude anywhere in the Bible...but, for some reason and somehow, I have made an "exception clause" within the pages of Scripture called "my birthday".

To steal a line from a Muppet's movie....it really has become a "me party"!

With that in mind, and knowing the tendency of my own sinful heart, last night I asked the Lord to help me have a day filled up with His fame, His renown, and His glory. A day where my world...my life...revolved around His Son. A day of taking servanthood to a whole new level.

To steal a line from Casting Crowns...."Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done. Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are."

How gracious of God to answer that prayer by placing me in the midst of the book of Isaiah for my Bible reading and meditation today.  You see, there is only ONE who is not selfish to have the whole world bow down and worship Him. Only ONE who is not greedy or fleshly to make all of life about Himself. Only ONE who is not sinning by exalting Himself. The King of kings and the Lord of lords....Jesus Christ. Yet, look at what Isaiah 53 says about Him:
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;
He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.
Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses,
and He carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded Him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds.
We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished Him
for the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter
and like a sheep silent before her shearers,
He did not open His mouth.
To appease the Father's wrath and make a way for me to be clothed in His righteousness...He humbled Himself and bore all the punishment I deserved. It's staggering. It's mind blowing. It's amazing grace!

So today, just as in days gone by and in all the days yet to come, my prayer is the same as that of John the Baptist....that Christ would increase and I would decrease. And on this, my 34th year of life, may my actions and my words be filled with "proclaiming the excellencies of Him who called (me) out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Precious Memories....How They Linger

We have had an amazingly wonderful, crazy month. It's been full of laughter, memory making, and family fun. What an incredible gift it is to walk heavenward with not only our church body...but our family. So thankful!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Four years ago right about now....

....we walked in the door of our home, no longer a family of six but a family of eight.

No longer wondering what it was like to travel to a foreign country, greet children we had never met before, and bring them home with us...not for the weekend, or a month, but for always.

Four years ago we adopted...and, in a moment, our lives changed in little ways, big ways, and all the ways in between.

All because of Jesus and all for His glory!

Samuel Aaron Pichura and Caleb Moses Pichura.

Once they held a last name of Aziz, and now they are Pichuras. We can't imagine what life was like without them. It's hard to remember the days when we were just six. The number eight just feels right...and it should since it was a number planned out before time began.


Once I, too,  had a different name and a different father. My situation, like many, was desperate. I was a child of darkness and my father was Satan. Then, one day, it happened...


In the moment of my salvation, I received a new name, child of light, and the perfect Father, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I can't imagine my life without the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, the blood of Jesus covering all my sin and guilt, and welcome I have into God's very presence through His Word and prayer. My new life in Christ feels right...and it should since it was planned out before time began.

Twenty-three years ago I was adopted....and, in that moment, my life began changing in little ways, big ways, and all the ways in between.

All because of Jesus, and all for His glory!

(and, if you want to read more about our homecoming, the precious help of so many who made it possible, and the adjustments that took place....just head back to July of 2009 on my blog. Plus, there is a hysterical video of Caleb "rapping". We had so much fun tonight eating brownies, sharing memories, and looking back at the blog and all the pictures from 4 years ago :))