An Adoption Story

Today’s featured article is about one couple’s adoption story.

Andy and Sarah Justice wanted nothing more than to have a baby, but after struggling to conceive for years, they decided to look into other options. With IVF costing between $30,000–60,000, the Justices decided to adopt a baby instead and were soon paired with a birth mother. Learn more.

Nancy

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Heartwarming Adoption Story

Adoption is a very special thing for me. I wanted to share this heartwarming article with my readers.

When I was 5 months old, the two people who conceived me sat in an office somewhere and signed away their rights to raise me. They opted out of the chances to hold me, comfort me and watch me grow. They gave up the opportunity to know me. I don’t assume that was an easy decision to make, but they must have felt it was the right one. Whether or not they wanted influence in my life, their decision that day made a lasting impression. Learn more.

Nancy

Magdala – Lesson from the Promised Land

The Home of Mary Magdalene

One of the greatest treats of our trip through Israel was our stop at Migdal, more commonly known as Magdala. This stop was special because the site is not yet open to the public. The dig was still in progress.

My pastor happened to be friends with Father Kelly who oversees the entire project, hence, our ticket in, to see what had been discovered thus far. The Catholic Church purchased the plot of land on the shore of the Sea of Galilee with the intent to build a retreat for women. As they began to dig the foundation, they unearthed ruins. In Israel if that happens the project is halted until archeologists figure out what has been dug up.

It turned out they had discovered Magdala, the home town of Mary Magdalene. The most exciting find was a carved stone pedestal unearthed from inside the synagogue. A replica of the menorah had been carved into its side from the Temple in Jerusalem. This proves the existence of the Jewish Temple during that era, which some would like to discount.

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But what really caused my bells and whistles to go off, was knowing the chances are quite high that Jesus unrolled the scriptures atop that very stone pedestal. Scripture tells us He taught from synagogue to synagogue around the Galilee.

As yet, we don’t know much about the town of Magdala, but we do know something about a woman that was born there. Her name was Mary, who later was called Mary Magdalene. She had an encounter with Jesus that completely revolutionized her life. We don’t know the type of things she was involved in before she met our Lord, but one thing we do know.

Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed. She was possessed with not one demon, but seven. This was a woman who lived in torment. Most likely her life was hell on earth. Then Jesus came along, delivered her, and great was her deliverance. Her life was never the same.

Mary was one of the women who followed Jesus from town to town ministering to His needs and to the needs of the disciples. She did this at her own expense, because she had been forgiven and delivered from much, and she loved much. She was at the cross when Jesus died, and she was at the tomb soon after His resurrection.

Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene after He rose from the dead. What an honor! She was the first with proof that He had risen.

Are you tormented by something in your life or struggle with something you can’t conquer on your own? Take it to Jesus. He is the great deliverer.

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy

The Sea of Galilee – Lessons from the Promised Land

Jesus and the Sea of Galilee

The early morning sun peeked through the rising mist as we boarded the boat bobbing on the Sea of Galilee, also called the Lake of Gennesaret. The crisp air was full with expectation and whispered the name of Jesus. We were on calm and hallowed water.

The mere mention of the Sea of Galilee and one thinks, Jesus. It was on this body of water that Jesus manifested His divine power. He calmed the raging waves and howling wind with just a word, walked on water, and caused men to fall to their knees proclaiming He must be the Son of God.

From my boat, I took in the distant shorelines around me. Jesus began His ministry in the Galilee area and walked along those very shores. What did He do along them? A good share of His ministry happened on those beaches and in the various surrounding towns and villages.

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Peter, Andrew, James and John were picked to be Jesus’ disciples at the water’s edge. He told them to cast out their nets again, even though they had caught nothing all night. They followed His instruction and caught more than their nets could handle.

In small boats, He preached from the sea to get space from the pressing crowds. He healed the sick at its waterside and cast out demons restoring people’s lives. He sent Peter to throw a hook into its water to catch a fish. In the mouth of the fish, Peter found money to pay their taxes.

Jesus made the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding area a miraculous place. He changed the world from a small and insignificant spot on earth.

After His death and resurrection, He told his disciples to go to Galilee and He would meet them there, and He did, concluding His ministry in the Galilee area by appearing to His followers. Jesus came to His tired disciples, who had fished all night, but had caught nothing. He called to them to cast their net to the other side of the boat. When they did, their net came up full. As they came ashore, Jesus had fish and bread cooking on a fire, and He served them breakfast.

Jesus died so that man could approach God from anywhere on earth. He is always near. What is your need? Seek Him. Follow Him, just as the crowds of the Galilee did, and He will meet you.

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy