Baby A. is Officially Ours

11053691_451150641760475_8000524778489925718_nIt finally happened. It’s a done deal. If I had pixie dust and only needed to think up a happy thought to fly, today would by my happy thought.

Today, Sarabeth and I took our foster daughter to the courthouse one last time to solemnly swear to be Baby A.’s legal and official parents forever.

At 10:05 this morning, “Baby A.” officially became Katherine Anne Toy.

In the year and a half we’ve had her, I’ve never felt like she wasn’t our daughter, but now, it’s 100% official.

All I can say is, Katherine, as your dad, I will do my best to give you the life you’ve always deserved, full of happiness, love, and lots and lots of dancing!

Mom and I love you very much. We always will.

Get more updates on Kat and her foster brother on my Facebook Author Page

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Theo: Adopted Into God’s Family

I posted this a couple of months ago. Just wanted to remind some of you parents about this.

For those of you with little kids looking for quality entertainment less intense than Disney but deeper than Veggietales, look no further than this new Christian children’s series, Theo. Created by Mike Joens, the storyboard artist and animation producer/director for McGee and Me! and Adventures in Odyssey, this traditionally animated (2-d) cartoon series is centered around a friendly English gentleman who is a student of God’s Word and lives in a large house with two witty British mice. The series is faithful to guide viewers into the basics of systematic theology.

I want to point out an episode I had the opportunity to preview recently. It’s about adoption. The ten minute video does a very good job teaching on adoption’s basic foundational truths and the idea that people very different from us can indeed be adopted into our families and called brother or sister or son or daughter.

For families with kids looking into adoption, you might want to take special care to watch this video with your young ones. It can serve as a very good tool to help aid a discussion about what your family is preparing to do. It will help your kids not see adoption as just taking some outsider into the family, but how that is so significant of a move to the adopted one, and it ties in how we also, if given our lives to Christ, have been adopted into God’s family and how that is significant to us.

Check out the website here. You’ll find other videos you can order that deal with a few other doctrines of faith. McGee and Me! and Adventures in Odyssey lovers especially will find this series endearing and even a bit nostalgic.

Joyfully Ruined

Sometimes you just can’t help but thank God for social networking. You know how you have more friends on your facebook page than the number of people you see in a given day? Well, I didn’t even know I was friends with my youth group worship leader until I saw that he had been posting more statuses than others a few months back.

We didn’t have much in common back then. He was cool, knew how to dress like a true Californian and could jam like the Rolling Stones, and I was …not, and couldn’t, and still can’t. We’ll leave it at that. But the great thing about being brothers in Christ is that even though we may be as different as salt and sugar, common themes unite us. One such theme being adoption.

I was so glad to see that Todd, now a youth pastor at Christ Community Church in Idaho Falls, and his wife Summer were in their own adoption process and it’s been fun to watch their facebook statuses keep everyone updated on their story. They’re adopting two young boys from Africa, and aren’t quite there yet, so please, keep them in your prayers. And follow Summer’s blog, Joyfully Ruined. Here’s an excerpt from her latest post:

today was a joyful time in our house.
it was a time to look & say…
we see God’s goodness.

we have fervently claimed it all along.
i have tried to remember it when i forgot it.
we shared it with others.
knew it would continue to bless our family.
we were waiting for this moment.

tuesday at 11:28 am an email entered into my inbox without my knowledge.  & there it sat.  i was trying to clean my basement.  {it has been a while.}  after straighten up my desk i sat down really quick to check my facebook.  interrupted by an intense scene on REVENGE (a guilty pleasure), i refocused & opened my computer.  in my inbox was a message from an ALBB family.  it simply asked if i had heard anything yet.  a quick response to “not yet”, then spurred me on to quickly check my email…

To finish, check out her blog here and find out more about their story and how you can pray for the Roughtons. It really is a beautiful blog. Joyfully Ruined.

For Whom the “Bell” Tolls: My Thoughts on Velvet Elvis – Part 2

For the first part of this review, click here.

“Is the Bible the best God can do?” asks Bell. Apparently not, because he doesn’t seem to be sure God even wrote the Bible to begin with. He wonders if Corinthians, for example, is written by Paul or God or God through Paul or Paul through God. I wonder, as he’s standing at the pulpit on Sunday mornings preaching through 1 Timothy what he does with chapter 3 verse 16 (“All Scripture is inspired by God…”), but there’s really no reason for him to preach out of the Bible anyway, according to him. 

“The Bible is open-ended,” he says. “We cannot simply do what it says,” because it first must be interpreted. Meaning, “Someone has to decide what it means.” Yes, he’s saying that the Bible can be interpreted in any way we’d like. “When someone tells you what the Bible means, it’s not true.” It’s just their interpretation. Yes, this man is the pastor of a mega church. If you’re not yet wondering about the devastating effects of the gut-wrenching statements here, take the time to read some reviews on this book online. People really think this is deep, sound, theological teaching and many say it has changed their lives. I have no doubt their lives have been changed because Rob Bell the “superpastor” is releasing people from the obligation of obeying the Words of God. No one ever said a changed life is a holy life. 

To take this hellish theology further, he gives the example of a leader in his church who had a question about a section found in the Bible and after asking many learned people and consulting many references to no avail, she in the end, decided to just go right back to the Bible to see what it had to say about this topic. Bell’s response? That’s “toxic.” And if that’s not far enough, he says that Jesus Himself gives His followers permission to make new interpretations of the Bible (somehow he gets this idea from Matthew 16:9 and 18:18).

Earlier in his book he admitted that Jesus came to fulfill the Word of God by giving it flesh and bones. Now he’s telling his readers to do what they think Jesus is saying, not what He is saying. After all, it wasn’t until the 300’s the sixty-six books were agreed upon, according to Bell. “This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that ‘Scripture alone’ is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true.” 

If you want to irk Bell, tell him that you attend a church that teaches the Bible. According to him a church that’s growing has an easy yoke. Do you want to know why that church has “easy yoke”? Because it’s not holding its congregation to the standards of the Bible. The church may present an easier yoke on Sunday, but what are the attendee’s lives like the rest of the week, being starved for the Word of God, and having it withheld time after time?

Many yokes seem easy, which is what people will likely flock to. People want the easiest dieting books, the simplest instructions, the lighter load, the church that has very few standards and does not convict with the two-edged sword of the Holy Word of God. Many churches like this will grow. And why shouldn’t they? They’re giving out milk and honey! But over time that trampoline will get overcrowded and the few springs holding everyone up will give way and the party will end when the whole thing comes crashing down. Did I mention that not once, if my memory serves correctly, does Bell make any reference to Satan and the unseen world? 

To be concluded…

 

Fullness In Christ

The following is taken from The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett. To those of us trying to find fulfillment in passions, pleasures, satisfactions, cravings, needs, and wants other than in Christ: 

O God, though hast taught me that Christ has all fullness and so all plenitude of the Spirit, that all fullness I lack in myself is in Him, for His people, not for Himself, alone, He having perfect knowledge, grace, righteousness, to make me see, to make me righteous, to give me fullness; that it is my duty, out of a sense of emptiness, to go to Christ, possess, enjoy His fullness as mine, as if I had it in myself, because it is for me in Him; that when I do this I am full of the Spirit, as a fish that has got from the shore to the sea and has all fullness of waters to move in, for when faith fills me, then I am full; that this is the way to be filled with the Spirit, like Stephen, first faith, then fullness, for this way makes me most empty, and so most fit for the Spirit to fill.

Thou hast taught me that the finding of this treasure of all grace in the field of Christ begets strength, joy, glory, and renders all graces alive.

Help me to delight more in what I receive from Christ, more in that fullness which is in Him, the fountain of all His glory.

Let me not think to receive the Spirit from Him as a “thing” apart from finding, drinking, being filled with Him.

To this end, O God, do thou establish me in Christ, settle me, give me a being there, assure me with certainty that all this is mine, for this only will fill my heart with joy and peace.

Cast Your Vote Here!

As many of you know, my book, The Man in the Box, is getting ready to go to print with Blackwyrm Publishing. My good friend and founder of Enrich Design designed a couple of cover options for the book. And now, I would like for you to vote on your favorite cover to be used for publication. Feel free to leave comments bellow, and my publisher will be making the choice based off your votes. Click here for a description of the book. Click the link bellow for the covers. You can vote for either “Box in Jungle” or “Dinosaur Tail.”

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First Review

adoptingjames:

Here is the first review for my debut novel, The Man in the Box. Check out the rest of this person’s blog for other book recommendations.

Originally posted on Ariesgrl Book Reviews:

By: Andrew Toy. Format: eBook. Read: September 2012.

     Robbie Lake was counting down the days until his island vacation with his family. Everything was going as planned, until the unexpected happened. While dealing with the unfortunate consequences of being laid-off, Robbie stumbles upon a box that sends him to a whole other world. In Reveloin, people fear for their lives and they are excited to return Robbie to his throne. Only one problem, Robbie has no memory of this world or why the people are treating him like they have been waiting for his return. As his reality is turned upside down and as his dreams become reality, Robbie Lake must decide what is more important, his family or a whole civilization?

     Andrew Toy has created a unique and interesting story that spans several genres from mystery and adventure to fantasy. Robbie Lake is a modern-day adult Peter…

View original 194 more words

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