Total Fail Presentation

So I gave a little presentation to a foster and adopt small group tonight. The reception was quite less than enthusiastic. Most attendants either got up and left while I was talking or played on their phones. Sort of a let down. I put some good work into it and wanted to share it on here. Hopefully you will enjoy it instead!

Blessings my friends!

High Level

We are all headed toward one destination in Christ: union with God and being made perfect as Jesus is and we are heirs to the kingdom of God. And in this journey we need tenacity, we need grit and an unyielding determination. This is Philippians 3:12-17 in action in real daily life in us.

And why? Why do this? Simply because at the end is one thing: our heart’s desires fulfilled in Jesus.
Psalm 37:4,
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

In the larger story God is after something. Malachi 2:15 clears up why he puts people together in marriage,
Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.

And to others he calls to something else, something beautiful and close to his heart, yet searing like a double edged sword at times, James 1:27,
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

We here have been called to a certain path, that of fostering and adoptive parenting. It’s incredible and beautiful and messy and painful, and it’s worth it.

How Do We Respond?

Since we’ve been called and thrown into this story of fostering and adopting, how do we respond to it?

First we commit to it. We commit to bringing our children to Christ for eternity. Which we all have. There is wisdom in this, Proverbs 16:3,

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Notice as Tim Keller brilliantly pointed out, it does not say pray and wait for God to tell you what to do and then he will establish your plans. No it says you commit your own plans to the Lord and he will establish them. God has entrusted his kids to us to love and help grow up in him. We are here to do just that and God will see them established.

But its hard! And we have to estimate the cost…it’s a big one.
Luke 14:28,

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

We have the resources in Christ, we will pay deeply to do this, but it is the right thing to do. It is the desire of our hearts. And if we do it, they will follow Jesus when they grow up. They can and will be healed.

Proverbs 22:6,
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

When We Fail

When does this not happen? When we do not do TBRI parenting. When we lose our temper. When we struggle emotionally and feel off balance ourselves. Thankfully our God will accomplish his purpose regardless.

Proverbs 16:9,
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

God will direct our steps. No matter what to his purpose. We have to believe God’s purpose for these children is great!

Romans 8:28,
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

God is working for our good, our children’s good and the good of the world through us fostering and adopting these sweet children.


39 thoughts on “Total Fail Presentation

  1. Hi Joel,
    You got a good thing going here. I really liked the Tim Keller punch 😉
    Sorry friend, if you feel like you failed the presentation. Just remember that giving a presentation is easy, it’s keeping the attention of people that’s the hard part. Especially if cell phones are allowed…
    Blessings back to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks friend 🙂 small groups – at least over here in America – have a bad tendency to go silent or get disorganized when it’s time to talk Scripture. Odd right? But I’ve been either leading or involved in small groups for 11 years and inevitably, regardless of how tightly knit the group is, seem to go silent when it’s time to talk about the Bible and share each other’s walk with God.

      I’ve always wanted to read deeper into that…but that just leads to judging and is just useless. Anywho…

      I love Tim Keller! Do you listen to him or read his stuff at all? He is a fantastic pastor and one of our great modern day Christian thinkers.

      Hope you have a good Sunday! About to turn in for the night over here on the other side of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙏🏼 there are perhaps many reasons why people go silent when it comes to discussion of scripture. I don’t know if it necessarily has to lead to judging but it can be a fine line to walk.
        Honestly friend, I’ve been out of touch with the Lord the past year and haven’t read a single life book, such as Tim Keller. I know a wee bit about him and like what he stands for though.

        Enjoy your sleep! There’s a happy week ahead ❤️

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m sorry I’ve been through seasons like that myself friend with God. They are hard.

        To me it has to be one of two reasons: 1) spiritual warfare. Almost like a spiritual dampening field is activated making fellowship in conversation about Jesus very awkward. Or 2) there are a lot of very spiritually young christians (and non Christians coming to church) and they are just too insecure to discuss and fellowship in the Word.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Really?! That’s so weird. Why is that? I feel like a lot of the people I’ve had in small groups are legitimate Christians, they just go silent when we talk about God in a small group setting.

        What do you think it is?


      4. I just read how Nicky Cruz described the same thing in the UK. Bear in mind, my country is 82% Christian but support neo-Marxism. I am not sure if people even know what Christianity is any more and there is a very prominent cold shoulder given to anyone using the name of Jesus. Also a sure-fire way to lose Twitter followers.

        The Bible and its Jesus isn’t welcome. Want conversation? Discuss the ball game. As, mentioning Jesus will have you branded as a radical, homophobe, racist, dictator or whatever, in no time.

        People left their first love. In Europe, 2-3% of the population are reborn Christians.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Here if you want conversation in small group you talk about work. And then you talk about kids. Mention Jesus and it puts a little touch of oddness in other person’s appearance, like, should we really be talking about that? Even though its a church group.

        Isn’t that horrible about Europe?! How they have fallen! They used to be a stronghold for the Kingdom, bit now they are essentially the epicenter of spiritual babylon. It’s sad.

        People have left their first love. And they dont miss him. They don’t want him back. They want to appease their conscience.


      6. Without fail!
        My one doctor forbade me but a visiting Cuban doctor told me it is safe, as did my two Muslim doctors. Smart girls. I had heart attack & stroke end of September 2017.

        A warning: had severe tachycardia, all signs of heart attack but never went to see my doctor, asked someone to take me home. That was after three cups of Robusta…..about a year ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. 3 cups of robutsa! 😂 That’s a pretty stout amount of caffiene, even for me! Props to you sir!

        Pete I’m glad to here there’s one other coffee lover (who loves Jesus) that would say those exact words, “Withour fail.” Same here. I’m going strong. I stopped home roasting around the time we started fostering – not enough hours in the day. But I found a wonderful cafe next to my office that has very high quality coffee. Just opened a bag from Kenya this morning that had tasting notes of white grape, sugar, and peach. I’m sipping a French press of it right now. Absolutely wonderful


      8. I have become veeery lazy and only keep 100% Jacobs Kröning at home, but I am surrounded by roasteries half a block away in three directions. Location. Location. Location.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Yes, really not bad, the Germans know their stuff. I see Jacobs bought out the Dutch D’Ouwe Egberts (the Old Egberts is what the name means.)

        Liked by 1 person

      10. My friend’s coffee traders deliver personally from Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. I have met some of them there. The Kenyan Blue Mountain is very tasty with rich chocolaty undertones, a hint of hazelnut. Just love it.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Oh my goodness that sounds wonderful. I’ve never heard of Jamaican blue mountain grown in Kenya!! I had to Google that when I read your comment! Crazy! I will have to try this one day!!

        What’s your favorite?


      12. No, Kenyan Blue Mountain is something different and I don’t think that the use of that name is exactly okay. After all, there only is just one Jamaican Blue Mountain.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. I once knew a retired British actor who had retired to growing Jamaican Blue Mountain. Sadly lost touch with him but he taught me a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Just gave you a link to Cafe Hugo, they are in a league of their own. Especially with organic coffees from across Africa. A recommended visit.


  2. This is timely Joel. I think God is really working on me regarding this subject of adopting because it keeps coming up in my face. It scares the living daylights out of me, but yet my heart is becoming more open to it. We don’t have kids and I’m turning 40 this year. You really laid it out in your blog. God has already made his word clear. Now it’s about action and faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! That’s awesome!! I’m so glad that God used this to speak to you. (I think that’s so cool especially because I posted this mostly on a whim and slightly out of frustration that my audience was so bored and unengaging – I kept thinking the whole time “You know, this might just be meant to be blog post instead haha) I highly recommend adopting. You are a mature and strong Christian – you and your husband would rock it at adoption I bet! It will have it’s difficult times – but it is so worth it. It is truly worth it. If you ever have any questions about how we did it or anything like that feel free to ask me. It is a journey! Adoption is an epic journey – one such that if it was written out in book format John Eldredge would make a good narrator! Haha!
      Can’t wait to hear more about how God leads you down this path! I’ll be in prayer for you and your family about this!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My wife and I “adopt” youths who come from all over Africa and as far afield as Germany, act as surrogates when they need a “parent.” While we cannot practically adopt, we can still be there for the young.

        Also, on Google+ I had given countless American teens guidance and led many to Jesus over the past twenty years, without ever meeting them. Also counseled a survivor of an earlier school shooting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That must have been rewarding and difficult the survivor of a school shooting. We have those a lot nowadays I’m the states. Heartbreaking!


      3. Yes, that one also was in the States. Columbine. It is quite rewarding to see someone accept Jesus. Another soul slipped into the pockets of my death robe. We don’t need much space to take lots of treasures past Customs in heaven. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s pretty bad over here. Media has to keep putting in more extreme content to stay profitable and competitive as everyone becomes more and more desensitized. It’s sad.


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