Book Recommendation: I Choose to Forgive…

i’m going to do an unusual thing today… i’m going to recommend a book which i have not yet read. You must be wondering how can i recommend a book which i have not even broken its spine to read.

Well, it is because i have heard the author of the book speak, twice. i spent last Saturday morning and this morning at Day Away Association for Women events, listening to this amazing lady speak of forgiveness and her story is all at once heart-piercing and uplifting.

She speaks of how God led her on a journey to forgive the murderer of her son. It is one of the most amazing stories i have heard and it leaves me no doubt that our God is living; alive and truly working in this world today. Her name is Dianne B. Collard and her book is called “I Choose to Forgive”.

My take-away from her talk is this:

There are many layers to forgiveness. What does this mean?
Remember the story of Peter coming to Jesus and asking, “Lord, how many times should i forgive the man who wronged me? Seven times?” And Jesus answered, “Seventy times seven”?

Did  Jesus mean that we count the number of times we forgive someone and then take revenge once the 490th “crime” has been committed? No. i have learnt that when Jesus said 70×7, He means 70 to the power of 7, which means you take 70 and multiple by 70 and do that for 7 times. Does it make sense? If you are like me and have no head for numbers, then simply take my word for it that it is a number greater than you can count. And what that really means is every time, all of the time we need to forgive, which should be a normal way to respond for someone who has experienced God’s marvelous forgiveness.

Then she brought it to another level. We can forgive the person who wronged us (but that doesn’t mean the other person is right or that the person is getting away with the “crime”). But if some time down the road, we start to feel the emotions of this “crime” again and start to resent/hate this person or the consequences of his/her action, we need to forgive again. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t forgive that first time around. It simply means that there is another layer of forgiveness we need to take it to, a deeper level. A friend reminded me: it is just like peeling an onion, every layer we peel back makes us cry but brings us closer to the core.

My eyes have been opened and there are issues i have to deal with. But it has also explained to me why i sometimes feel the way i do in certain situations. i have to take it another step further. It’s going to be hard but another important point she made was – the choice to forgive lies with ourselves, but the power to obey (follow God’s commandments to forgive) is in God.

If we are obedient to forgive, just as God commanded, then powerful blessings can flow from the throne of God into our lives and into the lives of others around us. Read to the book to find out more about these fantastic blessings which Dianne experience in her journey of forgiveness.

If you have the desire to hear the talk i heard, then leave a comment with your email and i will try to see if i can get you a copy of her talk on CD. Or visit her blog or her ministry website to find out if she is going to be speaking somewhere near you.


NOTE: All profits from the sale of her book goes to getting translations and getting the book published in countries which cannot afford to publish it. And the profits for those sales (if there are any) are given to a ministry in that country which helps people in great need. It’s a gift which keeps giving. Her statement is that she could never make money from the death of her son.


Practical Help for Precious Ones…

If you have been following my blog for a couple of weeks, you would be familiar with Reece’s Rainbow, an advocate ministry for the adoption of Down Syndrome orphans and orphans with special needs.

Today i would like to highlight a practical way we can help these orphans – fundraising/donations, specifically for families who have committed to bring home a child/children.

Adoptions are terribly expensive within one’s own country but the costs of an international adoption simply skyrockets! Anywhere from US$25,000 to US$40,000. That is a lot of money. Many of the families who commit to adopting a child do not have such cash lying around. They commit because they love the child/children. They fell in love and God led them to adopt. Some have a bit of money to start with but not enough to complete the process. Others are families who have adopted before and have depleted their resources. Still others are brand-new to adoption and have simply jumped in, just because they know with all their hearts these kids need them. Whether or not they have some money to start with or not, the adoption process is long and more will always be needed. So today i’m listing but a few of the many families who are fundraising to meet their goal of bringing home their beloved child/children.

The first fundraising effort i would like to highlight is the Mulligan Stew Giveaway. Julia and her family have recently adopted a lovely little boy (from the same orphanage as my little Heath, who is still waiting for his forever family – is that you?) but their efforts to help these little ones continue. They are now running a HUGE Giveaway, which would benefit several families as well as waiting children. It may sound complicated as they are trying to help as many as possible. But don’t get bogged down with the details – simply know this; when you donate, you earn a certain number of entries (there is a list on the blog). You will need to donate to the Heim Family, who have already adopted 6 children and are in the process of adopting another 4. They really need our support. Then donate to any other family or child/children listed on Mulligan Stew Giveaway. Leave a comment to say to whom and how much you have given. That’s it. You are entered into the Giveaway. Remember to check back for results and share with your friends.

The next fundraising effort i would like you to consider is for Samuel’s and Duncan’s family – the Mortons. (i posted about both Samuel and Duncan here.) Theirs is a wonderful story of simple desire and faith. They had wanted to adopt both Samuel and Duncan (both are aging out of the system). They were confirmed for Samuel but felt that Duncan was someone else’s. However Duncan’s family could not adopt him in the end (they are extremely sad about this). So the Mortons stepped up and committed to Duncan as well. So they are bringing home 2 boys to add to their family of 6. So now they require twice as much as they initially thought. So do support them. Go on to their blog to follow their story and take part in their Giveaways. Once again, do share with all your friends.

The third fundraising effort is with the Prayer Warriors at Reece’s Rainbow. And i’m sure they don’t mind if you give, even if you are not yet a Prayer Warrior. This one is called Puzzle Piece Fundraiser, run by Tonya over at Praying Them Home. i ask that you consider becoming a Prayer Warrior and take part in this fundraiser. If you don’t feel led to be a Prayer Warrior, then i ask that you consider donating just US$5 for a piece of puzzle. Again it will benefit a family in the adoption process. This family is yet to be identified – when we finish the puzzle then the most urgent need at that time will be met. We have lots of puzzle pieces so spread the word amongst your friends.

There are soooooo many many more fundraising efforts going on, it is just not possible to list them all. Here are a few more highlighted on the Reece’s Rainbow blog. You may also want to look at the Family Sponsorship Program.

No amount is too small. We appreciate every little bit which contributes to a whole and helps greatly.

Find out other ways to help the precious ones listed on Reece’s Rainbow.

Please do continue to love and pray for my beloved Heath and Heather as we ask God to bring them their forever families and also help their grant to grow so that their forever families can get to them sooner.


Enjoying Spring…

We sprung forwards one hour yesterday, which means Spring Time has began! So add a little spring in your step and enjoy Spring and the wonderful sunshine it brings! 😀 Here’s some lovely flowers to help you along the way.

Don't know what the yellow flower is called but that tree is always the first to flower after Winter. The white one is a wild flower called Snowdrop, also the first to poke it's head out after the cold.