February 5, 2013

Scripture for Today

HHS Mandate Revisions Will Force Religious Groups to Cover Abortions by Steven Ertelt 

The Tragedy of Viewing Birth of Down Syndrome Kids as Something to Fear by Eileen Haupt

Super Bowl QB Colin Kaepernick Says Being Adopted a “Blessing” by Steven Ertelt 

Sandra Fluke: Opposing the Contraception Mandate Is Just Like Opposing Leukemia by Kate Hicks – You have to read/see this to believe it. Then again, what else is new??

NFL: The Nothing-but Filth League by Quin Hillyer

How to balance technology and family by Julie Revelant – A good article–and a balance very difficult to achieve. 

10 steps to keeping your child safer on the internet by Miranda Suit from Safermedia

Russian Adoption Ban:

Russia Blew Up the Adoption Bridge. Now What? by Jedd Medefind

Siberian Conditioning – Okay, this doesn’t deal with adoption, but check out this program to help children deal with the extremely cold temps in Siberia!


This devotion was sent out by Buckner International on February 4. It’s a good one with application in many areas of life.

Seeing them as God sees them

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” (Romans 12:9)

The love of Jesus brought us to Buckner, but it was the Buckner kids who actually taught us what it means to “really love” others.

James 1:27 says: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” Our initial plan was to take ‘caring for orphans’ and go straight to becoming foster parents. As is often the case, God’s plans are not our plans and God took us on a little detour.

While waiting to start foster classes we decided to live out James 1:27 any way we could, so we became volunteers at the assessment center with the kids [who have recently entered foster care]. Going into it, we had no idea how God was going to bless us through the Buckner kids. That’s the beauty of our God – His plan is always perfect.

Before our first day of volunteering, could we have honestly said we loved these kids? No. We didn’t love them. We just knew the Bible tells us to care for orphans and we wanted to obey. With that one step of obedience, Jesus completely changed our hearts.

On our first day as volunteers we sat at tables and tried to help the kids with homework. It didn’t take long for some of the kids to cling to us, and get into our ‘personal space.’ Naturally we wanted to shut the kids out who didn’t understand ‘personal space,’ and naturally we didn’t want to be uncomfortable. That’s when the Holy Spirit started speaking to us: “Are you here only for yourselves – here for your comfort? Or here to love these kids like Jesus loves them?” So we decided to let our guard down and let the kids in our ‘personal space.’ We let the kids cling to us all they wanted!

After the first day was over we began to talk about our experience and feelings. We both agreed we felt the same way; by letting the Holy Spirit guide us we stepped out of our comfort zone, we were able to truly experience the kids the way Jesus intended us to. We felt the hurt these kids have felt. As if we had been through their experiences, we felt their pain like it was our own. This is what scripture means by “really love them.”

It was the first time we truly felt the pain of others. It was the first time we got a taste of the pain Jesus must feel when He sees His beautiful children abused and neglected. His heart hurts and we have been blessed to experience this hurt.

Volunteering with Buckner has changed our lives. Through it, Jesus taught us where real happiness comes from. It doesn’t come from achievements or material things; real happiness comes from serving others. We have found true fulfillment in our lives when we serve others with the love that comes from Jesus Christ.

Brandon and Summer Courvelle are volunteers with Buckner Children and Family Services in Beaumont, Texas.

Prayer of the Week: God, we ask for Your comfort and protection for all children who have suffered from abuse or neglect. Help them feel Your love through their foster parents, caseworkers, therapists, volunteers and all others who help them in the work of healing.