Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore :: Book Review


I have Missy over at It’s Almost Naptime to thank for recommending this book and letting me know when the Kindle version went on sale for only $3.99. I snatched that deal right up. I have been drawn to the *idea* of adoption for as long as I can remember (at least since high school), but now that I am a mom it’s becoming more than just an idea. I’ve been following Missy’s adoption journey for a year and a half, and in just a couple short weeks she and her husband will be bringing home their new daughter from Ethiopia to join two brothers and two sisters already here. Her story has certainly inspired and enlightened me to the beauty, joy, heartache, fear, love, and blessing that is adoption.

Now, on to the book review.

Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell Moore
Kindle version here

In my preview last week, I gave this book 5 stars.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started it, but I quickly found that it was not a handbook on how to adopt a child. Rather, it is an illustration of how our adoption as sons and daughters into the family of God relates to the adoption of orphans into our families. Based on the title, you may think this book is only for families who are considering or pursuing adoption, but you would be wrong. Read on.

Russell Moore does a fantastic job of presenting God’s call to the believer to care for orphans in a very straightforward, yet graceful way. The tone of the book is not at all condemning toward those who do not have adoption on the top of their priority list, but he does implore you to reconsider becoming involved in some way. Moore himself was extremely reluctant to consider the possibility. Once you read his story and dig deeper into the relevance of adoption, you will likely find yourself grappling with how you can and should get involved.

We are invited to explore how “encouraging adoption – whether we adopt or whether we help others adopt – can help us peer into the ancient mystery of our faith in Christ and can help us restore the fracturing unity and the atrophied mission of our congregations.” Adoption is so much more than an *option* for infertile couples or couples who want more children, it should be a part of the culture within our churches that sees adoption as part of the Great Commission and an outward display of the Gospel itself. He urges churches to take the lead in promoting and supporting adoption.

“What if we as Christians were known, once again, as the people who take in orphans and make of them beloved sons and daughters? … Imagine if Christian churches were known as the places where unwanted babies become beloved children.”

A great deal of the book is focused on our understanding of our own identity as sons and daughters of God which came about through our own adoption in Christ. Both the doctrine of adoption and the mission of adoption are explored. I have read Bible verses about my adoption in Christ, but Russell Moore digs so much deeper into that reality than I ever realized was possible. Our adoption as God’s children is not a second-best solution which makes us sort-of sons and daughters. Through Christ, we belong completely to Him and are part of his real family and we have a real home with him. In the same way, when we adopt children and bring them into our family, they belong completely to us as real sons and daughters, not a fill-in or second-best to what we could have had. Adoption is absolutely a picture of the Gospel, in an authentic way – not just as a metaphor.

“The unbelievers in your community – or in the mission fields you serve around the world – are hungering for belonging. You know this. Show them, then, the beauty of what the Scripture says about adoption in Christ.”

This book has so much more great insight that I haven’t even touched on, so go ahead, read it yourself – and be blessed and challenged!

-Brit

Meet the Family!

Perhaps someday I will tell you “our story” – how we met, how we broke things off two…three….four…times, how I thought he just wasn’t my type, how God spoke to me more clearly than he ever had before (and possibly since) that he was in fact, exactly my type and THE one for me, and how I am grateful every single day that the Lord gave me a second fourth chance to make the right choice, and how Josh demonstrated Christ-like love and forgiveness when he also gave me another chance. Fast forward seven years…. we will celebrate our sixth anniversary this July (2013) and have been blessed with three lovely daughters. I really could not have imagined a more wonderful ‘middle’ to our story. So here they are:

Josh :: introvert – faithful follower of Jesus – loyal friend, husband, and father – authentic to the core – humble – generous – kind – gentle in speech – forgiving – laid back – patient – peacemaker – loving husband and father – talented graphic artist (hopefully he will be lending his talents to this blog soon!) – Cincinnati Reds and Indianapolis Colts fan – hunter in training – enjoys listening to Ravi Zacharias sermons – my *perfect* match

098 Josh and Britney

wedding pic: July 21, 2007

Halle :: born May 13, 2009 :: showing many first-born tendencies already – quite like her mother – loves to perform/dance (though still shy in front of large groups) – cautious – orderly – smart – learning to read (can read most three letter words and knows some others) – loves affirmation, especially verbal – loves talking about vacation (we went to Cincinnati 7 months ago and she still asks about going on vacation all the time!) – loves to role play, especially Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episodes – sleeps with her stuffed animals named Puppy, Big Bear, Medium Bear, and Little Bear, and her Winnie the Pooh blanket that she’s had since birth – happy, happy girl.

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Reilly :: October 1, 2010 :: brings a much-needed ‘spark’ to our home – adventurous – so funny – very verbal (always saying things that I cannot believe she came up with) – spunky – shy around anyone she doesn’t know well – not at ALL shy at home – independent (‘let me try’ or ‘i wanna do it’ are two of her favorite phrases) – loves to be tickled – hates having water poured on her head in the bath – loves animals – loves going to Mamaw and Papaw’s house – usually runs the opposite direction when called – silly (see below) – cute as a button, which makes it so hard not to smile when I’m trying to be serious with her in times of discipline…

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Karis :: August 15, 2012 :: sweet, sweet baby – spitting image of her daddy – quiet – wonderful sleeper – happy – an absolutely perfect addition to our family – can’t wait to see what other adjectives I can add to this list as she grows!

There they are.  So grateful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of this family.

-Brit

For He is Our God

for he is our god

When I came across Psalm 95:6-7, I found the inspiration for the perfect title for this blog.

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under his care.”

This, to me, is the crux of it all. I want all that I do to be done because He is my God. All the time, energy, effort, and attention I give in life should be born out of the Truth that He is my God. The quick answer to every question concerning my motivation for pursuing something should be, “because He is my God.” 

God is Love. God is Truth. God is Just. God is Compassionate. The list goes on. Because He is in me, love, truth, justice, compassion, and all the rest should be flowing out of my life in an ever-increasing measure.

If Christ is in you, the same is true.

We can love, for He is our God.

We know and share truth, for He is our God.

We promote justice, for He is our God.

We have compassion, for He is our God.

The phrase – “There is a God. You are not Him.” – evokes a feeling of great comfort and relief in me. We are not left to navigate this path alone, bearing the burden of trying to make all the perfect moves just to keep the world from crumbling around us. No, He has come that we might have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). He invites you to “cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you” (John 14:27). And he promises us “the peace of God which transcends all understanding” when we come to Him with our troubles and our thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7).

We can have life to the full, for He is our God.

We do not have to carry anxiety, for He is our God.

We can have true peace, for He is our God.

None of the goodness in my life is because of who I am. It all flows from who He is. Sometimes, though, I make decisions based on my fear, doubt, selfishness, or false information rather than the reality of who God is informing all my decisions. As long as I walk this earth, I will stumble. But God continually pours grace over me as He uses my failures to teach me, mold me, and make me more like Jesus. My hope is that this blog is an extension of my journey in life to continually conform my heart to His and thus be able to answer all of my “why’s” and “how’s” with “for He is my God.”

-Brit

Recent Reads & Upcoming Reviews

Check back soon for reviews on the following books that I’ve recently read. I’ll give you a sneak peak rating for each book to tide you over!

Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches
by Russell D. Moore
Format I read: Kindle
5 stars

Who is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus
by John Ortberg
Format I read: Kindle
4 stars

A to Z with C.S. Lewis
by Louis A. Markos
Format I read: Kindle
4 stars

Here’s what I’m currently reading or about to start:

Educating the WholeHearted Child
by Clay & Sally Clarkson
Format I’m reading: print book

Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die For Bigger Things
by Ken Wytsma
Format I’m reading: print book (find the Kindle version here)

One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces (One Thousand Gifts Journal)
by Ann Voskamp
Format I’m reading: print book (find the Kindle version here)

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home
by Richard Foster
Format I’m reading: print book (the winter book club selection over at (in)courage)

A few challenging books on that list. I will post on each one individually within the next week. If you have read any of the books I listed, let me know in the comments. Tell me what your thoughts are or feel free to ask any questions about a particular book if you want my input.

-Brit

 

Desperate :: by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

Desperate is a book written by mothers, for mothers. Sarah Mae is a mother with three young children and Sally has four older children. In this book, the reader is given a glimpse into conversations between Sarah and Sally (mentee and mentor). Sarah asks questions that most of us young mother ask: What if I fail my kids? How can I become a more self-discipline person? How do I put away selfish desires? How do I learn to lean into Jesus? How do I choose reality over escapism? The reader is given the opportunity to reflect on her own journey by answering the questions at the end of each chapter.

Motherhood is both beautiful and incredibly challenging. This book provides validation for those mothers who struggle to keep it together, helping you to realize you’re not alone. But it doesn’t leave you there in your fear and doubt. As you read Sally’s encouraging guidance to Sarah, you will be uplifted by the perspective of a seasoned mother who has not only been there, but has found thriving joy in this great calling. There is plenty of real life, practical advice alongside Scriptural admonition that will inspire and uplift you. In Desperate, you will find a mother you can relate to in Sarah Mae and a mother you can look to for wise biblical counsel in Sally Clarkson. This would be a great book to read with a small group of mom-friends. It is a quick and easy read, but one that I will likely go back to from time to time when I need encouragement.

BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy.

Check out the free resources  for the book and Desperate Mom community here!
Stronger Together - desperatemoms.com