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January 2022 Newsletter

Adopt a Family Stories

Families in the Valley are overcoming obstacles for numerous reasons but this Christmas we all helped to make a difference. Due to the compassion and generosity of so many of you, we were able to adopt 58 families for Christmas this year. 134 children were provided gifts and families continued to make memories over Christmas dinner. We are continually blessed to facilitate this program as part of our ministry but it is through your giving that we are able to help individuals and families all year long. Here are just a few stories from families who received a hand up in love this Christmas.

First, I want to say thank you for having such a caring heart to want to help others in need. May the joy of giving keep on giving. I am a single mom of an amazing 2-year-old girl named Kaylynn. She was born blind, so every day is a time of learning for the both of us. She has speech therapy, physical therapy, and orientation & mobility therapy regularly. It takes up a lot of our days and unfortunately limits time for me to work. Any and all help for Christmas would be greatly appreciated. God bless.

~Alicia

I am a single mom to two amazing boys. Tristan who is 7 and Weston who is 4. We lost my husband and their father when he passed away unexpectedly in July of 2019. He was our sole provider and we have continued to struggle ever since. I have just recently been able to finally get us into our own apartment, but I continue to struggle financially. I have no extra funds for Christmas and it breaks my heart to think of the boys having no gifts under the tree Christmas morning. To be adopted for Christmas would be such a blessing and greatly appreciated. God bless.

~Brittany



I am a busy single mom taking care of my twin girls. Marisa and Mirena are 7 years old. 2020 has been especially difficult for everyone. The virus and lost hours at work have made this a tough Christmas for my kids and I. I would be very grateful, thankful, and blessed with your help this holiday. Thank you and God bless.

~Becky


I am on maternity leave over the holidays this year. Being unable to work this time of year has made funds incredibly short. To be adopted for Christmas would give my kids the Christmas they deserve. I am grateful for any help available to my family. Merry Christmas.

~Samantha



We are the Sneeden’s. There are 8 people in our family, 2 adults and 6 children. Like many other families, our family has been impacted by the Covid pandemic. The head of our household lost his career and as a result our family has been struggling to pay our bills. Also, during this difficult time, my husband and I have become separated. This has put the children in a situation they did not ask to be in. Christmas should be a joyful and cheerful celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ both spiritually and physically. When he was born, he came to life within our hearts. We also believe that Christmas should include family togetherness and that it teaches little children the value of giving receiving gifts in the remembrance of the grace we also get to give and receive from others during a lifetime of faith. Although our family is in need today, we promise to extend the same giving spirit to others any time in the future, we are able to. Merry Christmas!




My Family has been through so much in the last six years. They have been fighting to stay alive and pay bills without my help. I fought a pretty major battle of addiction. It took being in prison, helpless to fight for my family and to see how much harm I have done to them. I’m now picking up the pieces, trying to become actively employed so I can contribute to my family’s wellbeing.

I am actively working a strong program. I’ve just completed a CDL course and now have a commercial driver's license. I finally have a job lined up with LHC to work for them driving a concrete truck.

With 5 years of sobriety and a strong career choice, my family now has a fighting chance. But this Christmas, although it is my first with them since prison, there isn’t any money to do anything. I have 3 children and 2 of them are handicapped. Any help is greatly appreciated and may God bless.

~Moore


 

From the Desk of Dave McLean

What kind of God are you looking for? I encounter many people who are bitter toward God, or they malign Him because He’s “let them down”; others find fault with God in order to justify their sin. If God isn’t meeting their expectations or desires, He must not be as perfect as Christians think He is, right?

When I ask them to describe the perfect God, if they could create Him, there are several typical responses.

Inevitably they say He would allow no sin in the world, not realizing that there goes man’s free will! After all, we largely use our free will to sin. Another frequent comment is that He wouldn’t allow illness, suffering or death in the world. No free will there, either, since that comes with man’s sin.

They also want His creation to be perfectly loving, which is another limitation of our free will. We want others to be loving, but we, ourselves, come up embarrassingly short. Huh. It seems the problem is not God, after all, but in not having perfect man.

We want the perfect world; we just don’t do our part in contributing to it. Real love is an act of the will, a conscious decision of the soul. Love is a choice, otherwise we’d all have perfect love! With the decision to love comes the risk of the decision to not love, which is the decision to sin. Herein lies the problem! God has made us free within. Sadly, out of our lust, we use our freedom to choose bondage, and that bondage comes in many ways. We willingly trade the love for the lust. The problem is US, not God!!!

James 4:1-3 “From whence come wars and fighting's among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.” And yet, IN Christ we have hope in loving Him as we should!

The next criticism I tend to encounter is that God is harsh in His judgments. I then ask them if they would like the kind of God who doesn’t judge sin. In other words, we know we’re going to sin, but is judging that sin un-loving? Can you imagine living in a world where there was no law, justice or judgment of sin or crimes? I could take your truck, your home and your money (and maybe your life so you can’t take them back)- no judging means no recourse for you and no consequences for me. I would keep them until someone took them from me. If this were the case, our world would disintegrate into chaos and anarchy in short order. You can see it headed that direction in this country today; life without law, justice and judgments does not look like love! On the contrary: law, justice and judgment are the restraining element against lawlessness and anarchy in a society.

Even when they concede that law, justice, and judgment make sense, they will argue that some of the laws or moral codes don’t fit their paradigm of what is right or just. My answer to this is that perhaps this position leaves little room for God’s wisdom in creating His laws. If He is wise and powerful enough to create the world and all that is in it (us included), and He’s given us His wisdom in codes of conduct, then maybe we, the creation, ought to trust Him and His wisdom, even if it doesn’t add up in our wisdom. From everything we see in the world and His Word, does He seem like the kind of God Who is going to throw in some laws and commands that have no intrinsic value, just to see if we’re willing to jump through the hoops for the sake of obedience? I’ve studied some of those “questionable” commands and, as you come to understand them, they make perfect sense. They are for our good and well-being. They are good for society and are sound in wisdom.

Psa 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

I have personally found this passage to be true! I may not understand my Savior’s heart and mind, but I know He’s trustworthy. He created us and everything around us- He absolutely knows how we and His creation should be honored and cared for!

Last, there’s the often-asked question of whether God has the “right” to butt into our personal lifestyles, influencing decisions like who we marry or what we do with our bodies, etc.

To begin with, He loves us enough to care about our decisions. Our Creator has established and knows what is good and right, as well as what is bad and harmful for us. He is wise and just to instruct us in His Way and provide consequences to discourage us from leaving that path, drawing us back to His righteousness. Our Creator has the right to establish His moral code of what is right and what is wrong, and they are not burdensome. He put the whole system together and, while we may think we are wiser than He, in truth, we are not. He has established what is righteousness and sin, what is freedom and bondage and what is love and what lacks love. We can choose our own way, but like God’s law of gravity, if we defy it, we must be prepared to pay the price.

Just about all of our guests are seeking answers to these questions, and the same is true with all of mankind. Is there a God? And, if there is, what is He like? Can I love and trust Him? We must take responsibility for our own actions and be ready to receive and accept the consequences when we don’t. I’m thankful for the freedom He has given us, and I’m grieved when I use that freedom to make the wrong decision. Ugh! I cannot blame Him for my foolishness, but I can praise Him for His relentless pursuit of me as I fumble through life. That is more than I can ask for, and certainly more than I deserve. My encouragement to our guests, and to you, is to pursue God in His Word and Spirit. I am fully convinced that, as you come to know Him as He truly is, you’ll see He is not the God that many say He is. He is much, much better: He is truly perfect in His love, and you can’t improve on perfect!

I am able to walk in this fallen world because He walks with me and is the love of my life, my hope for now and for eternity. So, what kind of God am I looking for? The One and only God Who is perfect love, the one that I have!!!

Hold these thoughts because I will be expanding upon them next month.

Blessings, Dave