Monday, September 28, 2015

Hope Still Lives

When Shawn Seely's fingertips touch the keyboard a hush fills the room and peace enters the hearts of all his listeners. From a very young age, this master musician has been sculpting masterpieces of tranquility. As he grew to adulthood, his passion for music ministry grew with him as he discovered his music brought peace to many listeners.

While volunteering at a hospital for children in Sacramento, California, his music echoed throughout the floors, offering a temporary solace for worried parents, sick patients, and busy personnel. The hope carried along by his melodies filled hearts and offered the hope that God still lives and loves. Now a husband and father of six talented children and foster father of a few more, Shawn's passion for music ministry is finding new outlets as he continues to share his belief in a God who cares about the smallest details in our lives.

Listen for a moment and you will find yourself swept away to a place where God still reigns supreme and calls you by name to worship Him, to commune with Him, to know Him better. Do you have trouble? Do you have turmoil? Sit for a minute and listen. Let your heart soak up the strains of comfort. Let HOPE inspire you.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.

And this, more or less, is what I wrote for my husband's CD description. We are using it to raise money to bring home
our daughter from Ukraine -- not through adoption, but by process of student visa. Ukraine determined she was too old to adopt when she turned 15. But, we don't think finding a family should have age limitations. We have told her she is one of our family and, even though she had previously lost all hope of ever finding a family, she is beginning to believe that there is still hope for her.

That is the main reason behind the title of the album, because every song we sell brings us one step closer to bringing her home.

Take a moment to listen. Take a moment to be inspired. Take a moment to picture her smile when she finally comes HOME.

Thank you!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Check from Heaven

Flipping through the mail my husband handed me, I noticed familiar handwriting on the return address of one of the envelopes. Pulling it out of the mix of bills and advertisements, I recognized the name of a childhood friend. A smile spread across my face as I pulled out a short note and began to read. But before I could finish the note, a check fell into my lap. The amount written on the check took my breath away.

We are a family formed by adoption and have welcomed children into our home from such faraway places as Eastern Europe, Asia, and Central America. We are not rich and sometimes pennies get pinched extra hard in order to make this happen. But, one way or another, it does happen and the miracles have been endless. More than anything, our faith has been pulled and stretched in so many different directions it isn't even recognizable anymore ... which is probably a good thing.

Forming a family by adoption makes us a little different than most. While others are vacationing in exotic places, we are fundraising like crazy and when the funds are raise, waving welcome posters at an airport anticipating the arrival of a teenager we've never met before. Hearts in our throats, stomachs in knots, we wonder, yet again, what we have gotten ourselves into. What we've gotten ourselves into is loving the fatherless. And it costs.

Truthfully, only a handful of our friends really understand what we do and why we do it. They know that to love means to give sacrificially. They realize that we are not crazy, but just trying our best to bless those whom God asks us to care for. These special friends are always the first to pitch in when we get ready to welcome another child. These friends are indeed heaven-sent.

"Use this to help the fatherless..." the note read and my jaw dropped. That they helped out with our current fundraising effort was not what surprised me. The amazement I felt came because these particular friends didn't even know we were raising money to bring over our girl on a student visa. They had no idea that I was exactly $1000 short on our payment due that day. They were clueless to the fact that I had been doubled over in prayer the previous night, pleading with God to provide a miracle to bring our girl home.

"Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." Isaiah 65:24.

But God knew what we would need. He also knew that I would need to have my faith stretched and strengthened. In a way that only He could orchestrate, God provided both, leaving me in total awe of who He is.

"What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?" Psalm 8:4.

And so, we go forward in bringing our precious girl home. I don't know how we are going to come up with all the money needed, but God does. And I have learned that He can do some pretty amazing things. Here we go again...