Friday, November 9, 2012

Father of Lights

For Family Movie Night we had the privillage of watching "Father of Lights!" Friends, I must say this is a very powerful documentary that truly captures the power of God. In 98 minutes we watched the hearts of a Chicago gang leader and a Hindu holy man transform. The boldness of these men going to the ends of the earth to share the message of Christ was inspiring. To see God at work as they encountered a witch doctor amazing. My heart has been impacted in a mighty way. I hope you will take the time to check this film out. It would be a great stocking stuffer for your hubby this holiday season:)

 




 

About Father of Lights

FATHER OF LIGHTS chronicles the journey of filmmaker Darren Wilson and his team as they fearlessly travel the globe, far from the daily existence of the typical evangelical believer in the West. By thoughtfully documenting the stories of extraordinary believers and candidly filming miracles, visions and other supernatural occurrences, Wilson engages viewers in modern day examples of the true nature and character of God.


Wilson gives honest access to his own spiritual questions as he tackles the religious misconceptions he has struggled with throughout his life. “I went into making this film by asking the simple question: who is God? I wanted to know His character, His personality, and who He truly is. To answer this question, we had to peel back the many layers of religious garbage that has been passed onto him through generations. That He is angry. Vengeful. Wrathful. And in general, that He doesn’t like you very much. The truth, as you will see vibrantly in this film, is that He is the most loving, compassionate, and wonderful Father you can imagine.”

 

About Wanderlust Productions

Wanderlust Productions is a video production company focusing on creating content for various media that highlights, informs, and is designed to spiritually stretch our audience. Created by Darren Wilson, Professor at Judson University, Wanderlust’s focus is on telling stories that inspire and agitate, that are unwavering in their honesty yet are emotionally compelling. While our content will always be Christian in nature, we are not afraid to explore themes, concepts, or areas that may be considered “risky” by the Christian establishment. Wanderlust prides itself on its willingness to put the story above the message. That being said, the message will never waver.

 

 

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

 

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Sparkle Box

 
I always take great joy when I find a treasure that helps my family stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. I found that treasure in a book called The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie. Not only does it have a powerful message, it is beautifully illustrated by Christine Lornacki!
Sam is a young boy excited about Christmas and especially curious about a sparkly box his mother has. Throughout the book he asks about the box but his mother reminds him they will have to wait until the box is filled. On Christmas morning Sam and his family open the box to find a special gift. I hate to leave you hanging but this book is so good you must read it for yourself! It would be a wonderful gift to give to anyone with children. Oh, and did I mention… the book comes with your very own sparkle box!

 The Sparkle Box is definitely something we will add to our family traditions!
To learn more about the book check out the following links! You can also have a chance to win one for yourself by leaving a comment below or on my facebook page: HERE
 Author Bio
Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace. Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.
 
Illustrator Bio
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.
 
 
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

HEAR ME!

For the past two weeks I have been kicking off my morning quiet time with a new CD that is being released TODAY!

Kyle Sherman is not only handsome:) but talented as well!  He has a heart for the Lord and uses his talents to praise Him! This is his first album and it is titled HEAR ME. This album is an eclectic, authentic mix of rootsy, southern soul! You must check him out:)

I also have a copy of the CD to give away today so be sure to leave a comment on my blog or on my facebook page for your chance to win! Like Kyle on Facebook and Twitter and I will add your name in the drawing for each like. Just leave a comment below letting me know:) Good Luck!
 

 


Album Bio
Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter Kyle Sherman recently signed on as the flagship artist to brand new label RayLynn Records, an opportunity that presented itself during a time period when a record deal wasn't even on his radar.
"It's crazy how God works," Kyle says. 'Five years ago, I pushed pretty hard to do my own thing as a singer-songwriter, but every well I approached would dry up. It clearly wasn't the right time." So Kyle continued on a path of leading worship, taking a full-time role as worship leader at Lifechurch.TV's Fort Worth campus under the leadership of renowned pastor/author Craig Groeschel.
Just 3-years later Kyle made it back to Nashville, pouring his heart into a microphone at Sony studio with veteran producer and country singer-songwriter Mark Collie making his first album. God is faithful. Hear Me, the result of those sessions, is an eclectic and authentic mix of rootsy, southern soul.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Come on over:)

I'm still here... just posting on our adoption blog! Please join us over at

Friday, May 18, 2012


Happy Birthday Nathaniel!

Hope you have a very special day in China!
Can't wait to get you home

We have lots of goodies waiting on you!

Love,
Mom, Dad, Bethany "Sissy", Colin, and Dylan

Friday, May 11, 2012

Celebrate:)

Will you help us make Nathaniel's 2nd birthday special?

Visit our adoption blog to learn more:

Click HERE

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Little History

Click on the link to visit our adoption blog:
http://www.ajourneytomyboy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I just finished reading The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and absolutely loved it! The book discusses the 5 love languages for children: acts of service, quality time, gift, physical touch, and words of affirmation. Dr. Chapman provides examples and strategies to help you learn to speak their love language successfully!

I asked my children what love language they thought they had and they all came back with “GIFTS!” What kid doesn’t want gifts, rightJ after reading the book it was abundantly clear that ALL of my children respond best to: quality time.
Just the other day we came home from school to find 3 huge boxes on the front porch. Our home school curriculum for next year had arrived. The kids were excited to open the boxes and look at all the books. Then I sent them on their way to play so I could make sure everything was there and sorted. It was a daunting task that took the rest of my evening. The kids really started acting out (agh, can’t they just get along) and I knew they each needed their love language. I stopped what I was doing and spent some time with each one. By the end of the night they were back to hugging and loving on each other! All they needed was a few precious moments with mom.
The book is a wealth of knowledge and is filled with many examples of how to incorporate your child’s love language into each day. The positive results I’ve seen in my own children after reading this book has been priceless! This book is a wonderful guide for parents and can make a difference in behavior issues as well.
If you would like to learn more about the 5 love languages, you can visit this website and take an assessment quiz to learn your child’s language.

Leave a comment sharing your love language and you can win a copy of the book today!


You can also checkout the following links:

The 5 Love Languages: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ /


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/5LoveLanguages

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/drgarychapman















Monday, April 9, 2012

Eggstra Special:)

We had an amazing Easter weekend!
How about you?

On Good Friday, we attended Secret Church!
We did a 7 hour study on
The Cross and Suffering.

I learned so much and
I hope to share
more later. 

Saturday we had an eggstra special
Easter Egg Hunt
at our home.

We stuffed 150 eggs with
Scripture, prayers, Bible quizzes, acts of kindness,
and candy of course:)

The kids could earn
Knowledge Points
and
Compassion Points.

Before running on to the next egg
each kid had to open their egg and complete
the task in order to earn their points.

The kids had so much fun.
You could hear kids giving compliments,
high fives, helping each other find eggs...

You could see my sweet babies
stop what they were doing
and take time to
pray
for the orphans
 for the missionaries
for the poor.

They shared their favorite stories from the Bible
and what they learned from that story.

It was precious!

They cashed in their points for cash
to help our missionaries
here and around the world!


Then on Sunday we joined together
with our church family
to worship our Savior
the
Risen King.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,


That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

Friends, no matter what you have going on in your life...
Jesus Christ is the answer.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.



Jeremiah 29:13

He is so worth it!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Perfect Pet for Peyton Giveaway!



Wow, 14 years ago I received the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman as a wedding gift! Learning each others love languages has really strengthened our marriage over the years and helped us to get through some very difficult times. I don’t remember who gave us that gift but- what a gift!

Today I am excited to share that Gary Chapman along with Ross Campbell have also create a book to help parents understand their children’s love languages: “The 5 Love Languages of Children.” I am currently reading this book and it provides such a wealth of knowledge! I will share more about it in the near future and you just may have a chance to win your own copy!

It gets better:

Gary Chapman also teamed up with Rick Osborne to create a book for kids to help them learn the importance of love. It is titled: “A Perfect Pet for Peyton”

The book is a beautiful hardcover book with bright and imaginative four-color illustrations by Wilson Williams, Jr. The book tells an entertaining and playful story of five children who each, with the help of Mr. Chapman and the unique pets at his special emporium, discover their own personal love language. The book was a little long so we divided it up into two nights. My children (ages 2, 7, and 13) enjoyed the extra cuddle time with mom! They also enjoyed the extra activities in the book!! It was a little two much for a two year old (although he enjoyed looking at the pictures) but my older kids loved it! They had a fun time picking out their love language at the end. I can’t help but wonder if they truly have the love language “gifts” or if they just really liked that cute little monkey:)

This is a book you do not want to miss out on and I am giving one away!!

Mandatory Entry:
• Simply leave a comment below letting me know why you’d like to win a copy of “Perfect Pet for Peyton”
Additional Optional Entries: (Not required to win, leave a separate comment on this post for each additional entry.)
• Like 5 Love Languages on Facebook
• Follow Dr. Gary Chapman on Twitter
• Follow my blog

Nitty Gritty Giveaway Details:
• The give away will be open until midnight EST Sunday, April 1, 2012. Winner will be announced by Tuesday April 3, 2012.
• No purchase necessary to win.
• Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
• If prize winner forfeits or does not claim the prize, prize will be re-awarded at my sole discretion.
• Void where prohibited by law.
• Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry, winner will be chosen at random!
• This giveaway is offered to US and Canada residents only!
• Odds of winning based on number of entries.
• This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
• NOTE: In order to enter the contest you must leave a comment on my blog post.
Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary book to review on my blog. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.


To learn more about this fabulous book:

*Free interactive app with in-book experience COMING SOON to the Apple App Store A Perfect Pet for Peyton and The 5 Love Languages of Children

A Perfect Pet for Peyton: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/resource/a-perfect-pet-for-peyton/
5 Love Languages of Children: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/resource/the-five-love-languages-of-children/
The 5 Love Languages: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

To Answer Your Questions....

These are questions that we have been approached with, not all necessarily from friends or family but we will address them none the less. We hope this gives you a better pictures of our hearts and will allow you to understand better what the Lord is doing in our lives. If you have other questions you may leave them under the comment section and we will address those as well.

What happened with Anna Li?


To make a very long and complicated story (that most will never get unless they have been in our shoes) short: The Lord called us to bring Anna Li home. Bringing her home was far from a mistake. It was actually one of the best things that could have ever happened to us. The Lord used this period of our lives to open our eyes to so much and to bring us closer to Him. He also worked through us to share the gospel with Anna Li and as a result she is now a Christ follower. Letting Anna Li go was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do. It was done in the most Christ honoring way possible. It was decision made after much prayer and guidance from the Lord. He placed her family in our path. He knew it was exactly where she needed to be. It was what she wanted, and it was what she needed. We still consider her our daughter and she still considers us family. We keep in touch with her on a weekly basis. She is an amazing little girl (who is now 16!), and she is thriving in her new environment. She needed to be in a large family with many adopted brother and sisters she can relate too. We have said many times- we did not lose a daughter… we gained a family. God is good and God is faithful. This story isn’t over. He is still working in our lives, Anna Li’s life, as well as her forever families. We have a feeling that the Lord is going to do great things through Anna Li and we are so proud to share that she continues to be on fire with Jesus and shares Him with everyone she meets!

What makes you think it will work this time?

We do understand that losing Anna Li was not just hard on us but for many of you. This may be the very reason you are having trouble embracing our new son…fears of it not working out and being left to explain it all again to those in your circle. Will it work this time? Our hope is in Him. We have sought the Lord with all our hearts in this. We were not seeking adoption but seeking a closer relationship with the Lord when this little guy came into our lives. We were willing to give up the dream of adoption (asking Him to take the desire away if it was not His will) when the Lord made it clear that Nathaniel was to be our son. It wasn’t subtle, it was loud and clear. It is not about our wants and desires but about being obedient to the Lord. We hold on to His promises (Matthew 6:33; Proverbs 3:5,6; Hebrew 13:5…) and put our trust in Him.

Why adopt? You have your own children.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40

These are just two of many verses that pierce our heart and call us to act. It’s what we feel the Lord commands us to do, as Christians. The Lord specifically gave us a heart for the orphans and we want to be obedient to Him.

Why China? There are plenty of orphans here to care for.

Our hearts ache for orphans- here and around the world. I wish everyone’s heart did and then there would be no more orphans in the world. We are taking care of “our own” because we are taking care of a human being. The body of Christ is made up of all colors, all races, and all nationalities. As Christ followers, we have to love and care for all humans not just the ones that share the same color of skin or the same zip code. From the beginning we looked at all our options as we prayed about bringing an orphan into our home. The Lord led us to China both times. Why? We are not sure but we do know the Lord has given us a heart for the people of China. Our hearts long to see the gospel brought to these people. We pray that as we take another journey to China the Lord will give us many opportunities to share the gospel. As we travel this journey of adoption our hearts want to be focused on our own personal adoption story… how Christ came to this earth for us (all of us- no matter where we live or what color skin we have) so that we could be adopted into His family.

Why are you fundraising? If you can’t afford to adopt you shouldn’t!

There is a great need- a great need for people to step up and care for the orphans. I could go on to tell you of the terrible conditions they live in, how many will die needlessly due to lack of medical care, or how they will never feel the loving touch of another human being. I could tug at your heart strings in hopes you too would see this great need and act- through adopting a child or supporting a family that has answered the call to adopt. But it’s not about guilting you to do something you don’t believe in. We are acting in obedience to what the Lord has called us to do. We know He will provide- If not through you, through someone else. What we ask you to do is pray about it. Seek the Lord in this matter and be obedient to what he leads you to do. He may lead you to give, to send words of encouragement, or to become a prayer warrior for our son. We cannot afford to bring him home without the help of others, but we can afford to care for another child. We can afford to open our home to a child that doesn’t have one. We can afford to give him clothes, food, medical care, and most importantly love. I can’t see how fundraising to give a child a chance to experience the love of a family is a bad thing. I can’t see how fundraising to give a child the opportunity to be raised in a home that will share the love of Jesus with him is a bad thing. I can’t see how fundraising to make one less orphan in the world is a bad thing. I can’t understand why so many want to take the attitude of “if you can’t afford to adopt you shouldn’t do it.” Can you not hear the King… “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25:45) Would you say it to the King?

How can you put your kids through this again?

It has been a joy to watch my children grow to love and care for the orphans even though it has not always been an easy road to travel. We don’t take parenting lightly and feel that we have a huge obligation to the Lord to raise them to be arrows for Christ. They are not our kids but His and we pray that He will use each one to make a mighty impact for Christ in this world with the time they are given. There is only one thing we want for our children and that is for each of them to have a true relationship with Christ. In Matthew 10:16 Christ says, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” It is our job to equip our children with the word and to teach them to walk in His ways. Our children know and have seen first hand that life can be hard but they have also seen the work of God in our lives. They know God’s word is not meant to be brought out on Sunday morning and put away during the week. They know God’s word is meant to be lived. As James 1:22 states, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” They know if we fall down the Lord is always there to pick us back up. So, yes like all of us, our children will experience trials and tribulations and it is our responsibility to equip them with the tools to survive.

Again, if you have any more questions please leave them in the comment section or email us at grayfamilyof6@yahoo.com.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Adoption Update

A little adoption news....
Click the link below to visit our adoption blog:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Woodcarver Giveaway!!


About the movie:

Matthew Stevenson is a troubled kid from a broken home. When he vandalizes the local church to get back at his parents, Matthew has to repair the damage to the church to avoid criminal charges. While working at the church, he meets Ernest (John Ratzenberger), an accomplished wood carver who created the intricate woodwork decoration that Matthew destroyed. Ernest has become something of a hermit, but reluctantly comes out of reclusion to help repair the church. Now Ernest and Matthew must work together to preserve the church's beautiful antiquity, and along the way, they also manage to restore their faith in God and in life.


My views:
 
Can I just say.... I LOVED this movie! Really, I loved it! It was a great family movie that send a powerful message of forgiveness! It gives a perfect example of what a difference you can make in the life of a child through mentoring. My husband teaches in the inner city and on a daily basis we see hundres of children in need of a positive influence in their life...someone willing to take the time to encourage them, be patient with them, and show them the love of Christ. I can only hope that this movie will inspire you to reach out and make a difference in the life of a child!
 

To learn more or to purchase your own copy of  The Woodcarver click HERE

 
or leave a comment below for a chance to win your own copy today!
 
“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mighty Macs' Giveaway



My family had the pleasure of watching “The Mighty Macs,” which was released on February 21,2012. Our family loved the movie and could relate to the characters in many ways. Like the main character, Cathy Rush, my husband recently started coaching! Whereas Cathy was coaching basketball for a Catholic college, my husband is coaching a softball team in an inner city school system.




Cathy's many challenges in her new job as coach, such as, not having a gymnasium on campus, no support from the school, and the school is in financial straits. My husband has faced many challenges in his new role as coach too! To name a few they play on a rocky lot with one helmet and one borrowed bat. The students live in poverty and many of their parents can only afford tee-ball gloves that do not fit the girl’s hands.

We can only hope that our first season of softball is as rewarding and successful as team Immaculata!


“The Mighty Macs” is a very inspiring film! My favorite part was when Coach, being a pioneer willing to buck cultural norms, makes a comment that goes something like this:

“There are always going to be people out there that think their ideas are better than yours but sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in!”

Gave me chills!

To learn more about the movie you can go to:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Mighty-Macs/103765496328333


Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MightyMacsMovie





Great, great movie! You need to run out and grab a copy today!



Or…..



You can leave a comment below and you may be the lucky winner of your own copy of “The Mighty Macs!”




 
“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or

services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, February 13, 2012

Look who turned 16 today!!!


Happy Birthday
Mary Katherine Poko
(our Anna Li)

We love you! 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blog Update

Just posted an update on our Adoption Blog:)
Jump on over
and see
our handsome guy!!