Category Archives: God Stuff

More Kisses

Last week started with a personal disappointment. Not life altering, but still… However, less than 24 hours later God sent me yet another kiss.

A couple years ago my son got me hooked on soccer. I have two favorite teams: Sporting KC and Chelsea. (I’m allowed to favorites because they are in different leagues. I’m sure that’s an official rule!) The afternoon after the disappointment I got a call from Brian. He asked if we had plans for the next evening, and I said, “No, why?” He said, “You wanna see some futbol?” I said, “Well, I guess so…” No, I tell a lie. I believe I said “Heck yeah!” Then he told me it was the International Champions Cup, being played in DC between Barcelona and Chelsea. Double heck yeah! I asked how much it was going to cost us, and he said, “Nothing.” Someone had bought some tickets for the game then decided not to use them, so they were giving them away. Hot dog!

The fun magnified when I found out where the seats were. I took a couple pictures. This is the section we were sitting in: 

seats

Yep. The  seats were so good they are in the “Dream Seats” section. Here’s a pic of how great the seats were:

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So, yeah. The week started with a disappointment, and God turned it around. Did we have to see a match? No. Did we have to see Chelsea? Nope. Did we want to? Oh, yeah… And God knew. It was a whisper in my heart, that I never spoke out loud, because what’s the realistic chance of me getting to see an English soccer team play? With God, all things are possible. Thanks for the kisses, Lord. And if it’s OK to ask, keep ’em comin’!

A bonus photo: this is how I felt the whole night.

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Filed under God Stuff, God's Love and Mercy, Uncategorized

Kisses from God- Part 1, In which we both become blithering Idiots

Last week we took our second trip to Alaska in two years. We had such an amazing time on the first trip we just had to go back to share it with our kids. Amongst everything going on there were a few little incidents that were kisses from God. You know, those events or moments that weren’t by any means necessary but tap you on the shoulder as being put there by a loving Father to remind you of His love. Yeah, we had several. The most spectacular one was for Brian. I mean, we were all thrilled, but it was definitely put in place to touch Brian’s heart.

Brian has a thing for whales; for years he wanted to go whale watching. In fact, that was what prompted us to take our first Alaskan cruise: his desire to see whales in the wild. That first trip we had a beautiful time hanging out in a cove with one mama whale and her baby, watching them repeatedly bubble feed. This time was different. It took a while to find the whales, but when we did, there six of them. Six! One showed up just as we were leaving to wave its tale at us as we drove away in the fishing boat we had hired, but the other five swam around, spouting and showing off their tails. (The photo above is one of these whales when it was positioned just right in relation to the sun and us to make a beautiful spectrum appear as it spouted.) I didn’t know until later that Brian felt like, as awesome as the experience was, it was a little incomplete because we didn’t get to see bubble feeding. But God knew.

After a lovely lunch of freshly caught fish and chips sitting on a restaurant deck overlooking the water, Brian and Amanda decided to take a walk on the rocky beach below before heading back to the ship, and Adam and I opted to stay on the deck enjoying the cool breeze. I was enjoying the view, thinking back on the morning’s adventure, when I noticed something strange in the water. There was a ripple. A huge, circular ripple, not more than 30 or 40 feet off the shore. My first thought was that it looked like bubble feeding, but it obviously wasn’t, since it was so close to shore. I kept watching and noticed the ripple was intensifying, and finally saw a huge bubble along the ripple, and realized it was in fact a whale about to have lunch.

At this point 3 conversations broke out in my head. Conversation #1 was with Brian and Amanda. It was “Hey, guys, look! There’s bubble feeding just a few yards off shore right in front of you!” The second was with Adam: “Hey, look, Adam! Down there by where your dad and sister are standing. See that ring in the water? That’s bubble feeding. If you watch, you will see a whale burst up through the center of it grabbing a giant mouthful of fish!” The third was with myself: “I can’t believe there’s bubble feeding so close to shore, but there’s no other explanation. You need to pick up the camera, turn it on, and get the settings right. You need to hurry; there are just a few seconds before it’s too late.” Yes, I had all those thoughts, all at once, as the world seemed to switch to slow motion. In the heat of the moment, though, all I was able to say, while reaching for my camera with my right hand, pointing with my left hand, and pushing my wheelchair out of the way with my foot, was “Look look look look look!” Not very erudite, but it was effective. Not only did Adam manage to look just in time to see the whale above water, but 100-200 of my closest friends/total strangers heard and ran (yes, RAN) to the railing to see whatever it was that was causing the crazy old lady in the wheelchair to freak out.

Brian and Amanda had a front row seat (to everything except my freak-out). The whale surfaced directly in front of them. Not up the shore a ways, but directly in front of them. What I didn’t know until later was that Brian noticed the bubbles right away, and knew Amanda might not notice since she hadn’t experienced bubble feeding before. Being the good dad he is he wanted to say “Look, daughter. See that ring of bubbles? That might be bubble feeding. Watch closely and we might see a whale.” Instead, he pointed and said, “Bubbles bubbles bubbles bubbles bubbles!” Once again, not eloquent, but effective! Amanda looked in time to see the whole event unfold right in front of her. After that the whale swam along the shore a ways, gave us a wave of his tail, and was gone.

The whole family knew this was for Brian. It was God saying, “I know what moves your heart, son. I’m here. I love you.” Like I said, it wasn’t a necessary part of the trip. None of us prayed for it, or was even looking for it (before the babbling started, at least), but what a beautiful token of affection we were given that day! God is faithful and really knows how to throw a party!


Brian and Amanda, pointing excitedly as the whale swims away.


Brian and Amanda (lower left) watching as the whale waves good-bye

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Filed under Family, God Stuff, God's Love and Mercy, Photography

A Matching Grant!

As you might know, we have been fundraising for a few months to get a van for John and Tracie Loux . If you aren’t familiar with them, you can read about them here: Even a Hero Needs Heroes . Since we started the fund, they have adopted another little boy, Mattie. Mattie was born with Downs Syndrome and has spent the first three months of his life NICU. Once he comes home (which could be any day now) they will no longer be able to squeeze into their minivan.

All of this means this exciting news came just in time! A matching grant has been offered toward the purchase of their van! Every donation, up to $5000, will be matched, dollar for dollar! So if you have $10 to give, your donation will become $10. Pretty cool, right?  The grant deadline is February 9, 2011. Please consider giving to this great cause! Four former orphans are counting on you!

How to Contribute:

You can give by sending a check made out to Tekoa 211 to:

Tracie Loux,
12312 Askew St.
Grandview, MO 64030.

If you’re sending a check, it would be a good idea to let Tracie know to make sure it gets tallied in time for the grant. Or you can let me know, and I’ll get the message to the grant holder. Together we can make this happen!

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Filed under Benevolence, Body Of Christ, God Stuff

Even a Hero Needs Heroes

It is no secret Tracie Loux is amazing. I’m guessing everyone who has ever met her realizes she’s amazing. Who else could champion the cause of a newborn with Down’s Syndrome to the extent that not only did he have adoptive parents before he was discharged from the hospital, but the whole bill for his adoption was paid for by an army of total strangers? Who else would spend the night at a hospital to pray for and love on a newborn baby girl so that she wouldn’t feel alone until her adoptive parents arrived the next day? Who else could have a newborn found for a homestudy ready family even before the family has completed their paperwork? Yeah, she’s like that, and we all know it.

You probably know that Tracie and her husband John, along with their three children, moved to Kansas City, Missouri a few years ago to be part of the International House of Prayer. (This means that, rather than having a full-time good paying job, complete with benefits, they have a full-time ministry job and live on missionary support, which they raise themselves.) You probably also know that three years ago they adopted a newborn baby girl domestically, and then adopted two special needs toddlers from Ukraine a year and half ago. You may even know that while she was busy adopting three little ones herself, she was helping 37 families complete their own adoptions, and has several more families in process, including three that are already matched and waiting for their babies to be born.

What you may not know about Tracie is what kind of vehicle she drives: a ’99 minivan with almost 140,000 miles on it. Yep, a minivan with seating for seven, for a family of eight. Being ever resourceful, Tracie and John ditched the middle two-seater seat and replaced it with a three seater seat, and now they are able to squeeze three teenagers and three toddlers in car seats into the back of their minivan. I can only imagine how fun it is to climb over the middle seat  to get to the back, either to sit or to buckle a toddler into a car seat, realizing that the aisle the manufacturer left to access that back seat is now occupied by seat #8! You probably don’t know the condition of this poor, overworked minivan, either. To be honest, I don’t know any specifics, but I heard how it sounded last year, and even I know a car isn’t supposed to sound like that!

So why am I telling you this? Because this family has been praying for a larger, more appropriate van ever since they became a family of eight, and I believe it’s time. They don’t just WANT a new van; they truly NEED a new van. As I wrote in my last post, so much good be done when we all get together and give even small amounts. Let’s join forces and get this family the van they so desperately need! What they really need is a 15 passenger van because, not surprisingly, they hope to rescue more orphans. When the right van becomes available it will be important to act fast, so I’m starting the money end of things right away. Our initial goal is to raise $10,000, but the more we raise the better van we will be able to get them.

There are a couple ways you can give to the Loux van fund. The first is to use the PayPal button on Tracie’s blog. The second, in case you need your gift to be tax deductible, a check can be sent to: Tekoa 211, PO Box 214, Beaver Crossing NE 68313. Attach a note to the check (don’t write ON the check) that the check is for “Loux Van”. Whichever way you choose to donate please contact me with the amount you gave so we know when we know what we have to work with. You can contact me on Facebook (Dorean Beattie) or through email (dorcb@yahoo.com).

Tracie has been such a hero to so many of us, and this time she is the one that needs some heroes. Together we can do this!

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Filed under adoption, God Stuff, God's Love and Mercy, Social Justice

Stone Soup Babies

It’s common knowledge that there are many children who have no permanent home and no “forever family”. Worldwide the estimates are in the millions. In the United States, numbers run upwards of 100,000. Like many Christians, I want to be part of the solution for these little ones, but have found it a daunting task to figure out how to help. The need is so big, and what we are equipped to do seems so small. While costs vary widely, the average range for an adoption in the U.S. is about $20,000-$40,000.

In the last week, I witnessed a financial “miracle” which enabled a family to do an emergency adoption. There was no wealthy benefactor that paid for the adoption; there were 182 heroes. These people gave anywhere from $5-$1200, with about half of them giving less than $30. All together, it was enough to fully ransom this little life, saving him from a life potentially spent in foster homes. Watching the Facebook updates posted by the amazing Tracie Loux over the course of a week, and seeing just how quickly we all could find money when properly motivated was amazing. (Click to visit Tracie’s personal blog here , and click here to see her adoption blog, where you can find information on newborns needing familes.)

All this got me thinking. Sure, $40,000 is a ton of money, but if we all consistently did a small part, we could make a major difference. For instance, the community at the Intertnational House of Prayer in Kansas City is made up of about 4000 people. This  includes IHOP-KC staff, IHOPU students, and FCF congregants. Sure, the missionaries don’t have piles of money, and the students don’t either. But, I’m guessing nearly everyone would find an extra $10 a month to throw in the adoption pot. Do you realize, if all 4000 of us gave $10 a month that would be $40,000, or one adoption a month fully paid for? When you add in the fact that some adoptions are closer to $20,000, just this one community could fully fund anywhere from 12-24 adoptions a year!

I realize that when you’re living on a tight budget even $10 can be a stretch, but think of it this way: The following are all about $10. Make one of these sacrifices in your monthly budget, and you could be part of a couple dozen kids having homes this year.

Things that cost about $10

a trip to Chipotle
two trips to Starbucks
a movie ticket
a sale price pizza
an everyday Tshirt
a cheap seat at a Royals (or other team) game
a car wash (with wax)
1/3 of getting highlights in your hair
1/2 a pedicure

Things $10 is less than

a  CD
 a bargain video game
a cheap haircut
a DVD
a trip to the zoo
a monthly gym membership
a shirt from American Eagle

So, what do you say? Can you spare a pizza to give a kid a home?

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Filed under adoption, Family, God Stuff, God's Love and Mercy, God's Wisdom, IHOP-KC, pro-life, Social Justice

A New Year’s Challenge

Well, here we are again. A new year, full of promise, hope, and dreams. At least for this week. If all goes as normal, by this time next week everyone will have gone back to thinking and feeling just like they did last year, and the year before that. My guess is that this happens because we get all excited at the chance to “start over”, only to discover that this year is pretty much like last, failing to realize that it is our decisions that shape how the year goes. One of my favorite bloggers, Randy Bohlender, founder of The Zoe Foundation, has an awesome idea of how to make this year better than last year. He published a challenge which, if you are brave enough to try, will not only change your year, but your life and the lives of others for years to come. Read about it here, and then give it a try. You’ll be glad you did!

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Filed under adoption, God Stuff, Social Justice

Adoption is Greater than the Universe…

While I’ve been silent on this blog for quite some time, it hasn’t been because I haven’t had much to say. Quite the opposite, really. I have so much in my heart it’s hard to weed it out and put it in any form that makes sense outside my own head.

The last few months have been a time of focused attention to the plight of orphans and to the topic of adoption. The reasons these topics matter so much to me is rather involved and really too personal for such a public forum, so suffice it to say it fills my mind and heart, day and night. While adoption isn’t an option for us at this point in our lives, that doesn’t keep it from burning in my heart.

I recently finished a photography project to help raise funds for an organization that is about bringing together birth mothers and adoptive families called The Zoe Foundation.  You can see the project here (then click on “buy a calendar”. While you’re at it, why not pick up a copy? One hundred percent of the money goes to The Zoe Foundation, and you’ll be blessed with a whole year of photos of beautiful children and their adopted families.

The title of this post comes from a teaching by John Piper on the subject of adoption. It’s a beautiful teaching, and only takes five minutes to watch. You won’t be sorry!

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Filed under adoption, God Stuff, God's Love and Mercy, God's Wisdom, Photography, pro-life, Social Justice