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I think God calls us into different churches at different times in our lives... sometimes because He knows of a church that will fill our needs, and sometimes because He knows of churches that need us to help fill others' needs... what matters is that we keep going until we find a church where we know we're home, because Home is where God is, regardless of the church name on the sign out front... and I'm putting up a praise for every Abrazo family who takes their child to church/temple and teaches them the importance of faith and worship, because those are gifts I am truly grateful to my parents for sharing with me!

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What a blessing this was for me to read this morning. Our church has been through a lot (that's an understatement) of turmoil in the last 8 months. It's not the same church God led us to four years ago. My faith and church family have always been extremely important to me, so the last 8 months have been a very unsettled time. We have been going to a new church in the last few months, and yesterday, I felt hope for the first time that our journey of searching for a new church home may be coming to an end. It was such an encouragement to read of your journeys, Karen and Sabrina, and your words of wisdom, Elizabeth, and know that God wants us to find a church home as much as we want to find one. I have never been one to "church hop" so leaving the church I grew up in four years ago was a HUGE step of faith, but God blessed us tremendously in our new church home. It has been heartbreaking to be in such turmoil these past 8 months, but God is faithful. I am learning too about the different seasons of our faith, and the different purposes God may have for us at a particular church.

Thanks for sharing ladies!

Susan

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A funny story...

Well I have already told you how going to church as a child was not always the best of experiences (for me). To top it all off, we had to arrive very early to ensure we sat in the front pew. My Mother would say she liked to sit there because then we would all (three) behave. There were several families that wanted that front pew, but we mostly got it. I would sit there and think we were on display, for the congregation, for the whole world (remember I was a child). I can even remember thinking that I would never do THAT to my children.

Fast forward to today.

My baby Lexi (5 years old) marches into church and doesn't stop until...you guessed it....she gets to the very front pew!!!! She will not be swayed to sit even in the second row. She will sit up front with or without me, she makes that clear. So I/we sit, with nothing between us and the minister but holy space. Does she have a clue what that does to me, flashbacks to my childhood? (I know she doesn't because I have never shared that with her.) We sit with the youth choir director and the associate pastors' family like we are v.i.p.'s of the church.

Some things never change! Or God has a great sense of humor! :P

(Amanda, she is way too cool to start out in the front row. She asks me to let her sit in the balcony, of which I have no problem with since I would prefer there too. I see her up there visiting with friends and then right as the service begins, she quietly comes back to sit with us.)

Karen

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I have a praise.

Monday night during Homecoming activities at The University of TN at Martin there was a Christian concert. Normally during Homecoming week the student body council brings in a rock or rap group. Last year they brought in The Ying-Yang Twins.

This year the student council voted to bring in Sonic Flood. There were over 800 people there who got to hear about Jesus in a public university. Over 50 people made a formal commitment to some type of missions.

On a side note, it was a awesome concert. If you ever get a chance to see Sonic Flood, I would do it! :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had the most wonderful experience at church today. I am attending a new church and am starting to get to know a few people. I was amazed and overjoyed to find the number of children in that one church alone who are adopted. I met four other families besides myself and my good friend Nancy(also and adoptive mom via Abrazo) who adopted their children.

I was sitting with my two good friends behind three little girls who were too cute for words. They ranged in ages from 8-10. The 8 year old caught my attention immediately because she was dressed so cute...get this she had a black sequined beanie sort of hat on( a girl after my own heart). She was quite the sassy one. I thought to myself she could easily be a little version of me becaused she did'nt stop talking. I just smiled all throughout the service because she was such a little lady.

After the service my friend Karen informed me that the little girl that I had fallen in love with was adopted. She was adopted from Russia by a family here. Well after a several months the family decided they did'nt want her anymore because they thought she was possessed by the devil :o . I could'nt believe what I was hearing. A family who attends the church where I have been going adopted her and she is thriving wonderfully. She now has a little brother that was adopted from Guatemala. He too has an amazing story. He was in an orphanage all his short life. He is two and cannot walk because he was kept in a crib. The doctors told the family had he been there another 3-4 weeks he would not be alive. He too is thriving and improving everyday. His adoptive family is amazing and has such a love for their two beautiful children. I was so emotional when I left church because this was something that I had been praying for. A church where my children and I could learn and grow. The fact that there are so many other adoptive families in the church are just the icing on the cake!

God is Good all the time...all the time God is Good!

Sabrina

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Sabrina,

The Lord led you to this church for a reason! Perhaps you could help to start a support group within your church community for those families blessed by adoption!

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I was so emotional when I left church because this was something that I had been praying for. A church where my children and I could learn and grow. The fact that there are so many other adoptive families in the church are just the icing on the cake!

Wow, Sabrina! So awesome!! ^_^

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I cannot imagine returning a child nor thinking they are posessed! :o

I can't either Jean! This little girl seems so sweet! I am glad she now has her FOREVER FAMILY!

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  • 1 month later...

Like everyone else, I have been saddened and somewhat sobered by all the prayers requests for our extended Abrazo family that are written in another thread. We are earnestly lifting up those in need as the New Year begins ...

To put a small bright spot in the midst of all the darkness, I have my own special praise to lift up today as 2007 begins -- I rec'd the results of my labwork that show I am still in remission (6 years now!) with that nasty 'ole Hepatitis C virus! :D

Thank you, God, from whom ALL my blessings flow! AMEN!

Edited by FeelingBlessed
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Like everyone else, I have been saddened and somewhat sobered by all the prayers requests for our extended Abrazo family that are written in another thread. We are earnestly lifting up those in need as the New Year begins ...

To put a small bright spot in the midst of all the darkness, I have my own special praise to lift up today as 2007 begins -- I rec'd the results of my labwork that show I am still in remission (6 years now!) with that nasty 'ole Hepatitis C virus! :D

Thank you, God, from whom ALL my blessings flow! AMEN!

AWESOME NEWS, KAREN!!

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What wonderful news, indeed!! I think we've all felt somewhat overwhelmed by all the hardship that's struck folks we know, lately... I was mentioning it to my dad, and he said "well, honey, you've got a bigger family, now." I didn't understand, initially, but then I did.

With a big family, we're bound to have more folks with more things happening in their lives, so what a blessing it is to be able to turn to each other for support and encouragement and yes, prayer. But how important, too, to remember that for each of life's sorrows, there are joys, as well.

Sometimes I think we're hesitant to share good news, for fear that it's not "as significant" as the needs are, but thank you, Karen, for reminding us to count our blessings and celebrate them together, too! What a bright note on which to begin a bright New Year!

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Congratulations, Karen! Thank you for sharing with us! What wonderful news!!! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Putting up a praise today for a wonderful man named George, who made his wedding vows to me 25 years ago today and faithfully has kept them ever since.

He has given ... and continues to give ... me a million reasons every day to be FeelingBlessed!

:D

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Happy Anniversary Karen... Always nice to hear about marital committment.

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And here's a "thank You, God!!" that the good Lord sent a player like George an angel like Karen to settle him down and keep him on the straight and narrow way! :P (I'm no Karen, God, but I'm volunteering to do my part, if you've got your eye on another tall, handsome fella out there in need of tending...) But for those of you who may not know the story of how "Feeling Blessed" met her match, read it here.

Happy Anniversary, George & Karen! And many, many more...

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