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Laurie Coombs Christian Blog and Commentary

Laurie Coombs

Laurie Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the blessings associated with following Jesus. Her story will be featured in Billy Graham's new film, "Heaven," (November 2014) part of the "My Hope with Billy Graham" series broadcast nationally in an effort to reach people with the message of the gospel. She is a featured writer and blogger for and and is currently working on first book, Letters from My Fathers Murderer: Ajourney of forgiveness (Kregel Publications, Spring 2015). Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Reno, Nevada along with their two daughters, Ella and Avery.

For more information about Laurie or to book her for a speaking engagement, please visit her blog, And be sure to connect with her on her blog, TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.


It was Orphan Sunday yesterday, a day for Christians to take a stand on behalf of the world's orphans. To be a voice that cries out for redemption and justice for those most vulnerable. Orphan Sunday holds greater significance in my family than in most. It's a special day. A day to remember why we're doing what we're doing, giving us perseverance to stay the course toward adoption despite the many challenges we've confronted and the innumerable unknowns and uncertainties we continue to face.

Travis and I were asked to participate in the sermon at our church yesterday along with another couple who is pursuing the adoption of a little boy through foster care. Our pastor preached an incredible message illustrating the heart behind adoption by Christian families, which is certainly something that Travis and I are passionate about. Not all churches bring this aspect of the Gospel to light, but ones that embrace, encourage, and support adoption display the Father's heart beautifully, and so I am thankful to my church and my pastors for allowing God to cultivate that heart for adoption in our community.

The sermon got me thinking.

I just love the doctrine of adoption, the evidence of God's relentless pursuit of you and me. Ephesians 1:4b-5 says, "In love [God] predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will." John 1:12 tells us, "But to all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." You and I, we've been adopted (provided you're a follower of Christ). We're part of the family of God.

Have you ever seen a little girl or little boy imitate their mom or dad? It's ridiculously cute to see a little girl walking in her mommy's heels or a boy in his daddy's cowboy boots. From birth, it seems, we're wired to imitate our parents. Ephesians 5:1 tells us, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children," and how better to display the heart of God than to adopt children ourselves? 

Now, I think I've made it clear in other writings just how trialsome our adoption journey has been, drawing on the spiritual growth it's cultivated in my family and me along the way, but quite honestly, I don't think I've spent much time sharing some of the gospel truths we've been able to see illustrated along the way. (On a sidetone, most adoptions that I've seen have gone much smoother than ours, by the way, so don't let our experience deter you!)

The parallel between our adoption journey and our adoption as sons and daughters of God the Father that sticks out most to me is relentless pursuit. Travis and I thought our adoption journey was going to be quick and relatively easy, but boy were we wrong! If anything, it's been long and messy and hard. But what's incredibly neat about that is that this long, messy, hard journey has required us to relentlessly pursue the child God has for us to adopt. This is precisely what God does with us. He pursues us relentlessly, and that pursuit isn't quick or easy either. It's long and messy and hard. God the Father has pursued us with determination and passion. Scripture tells us that  relentless  at all cost. 

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us[b] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:


Francis Chan For Orphan Sunday from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.


What Can You Do?

The other couple who participated in the sermon yesterday said the question they faced when deciding whether or not to pursue adoption was not, "Why adopt" but "Why not adopt"? I think it's a valid and profound question. Why not adopt? Why not take open hearts and willing hands to the throne of God and ask whether or not you're called to adopt. He may call you to adoption or He may not. But either way, we are all called to do something. James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." We're to be imitators of God.




“ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” - John 14:18

We are all called to care for the world’s orphans. If you don’t feel called to take an orphan into your home, consider helping another family do so, but there are many other ways you might be able to pour your time, money, or resources to help the least of these. Let’s all be God’s hands and feet to ensure His children are loved and cared for.


  • Foster to Adopt - To receive more information, contact your local foster care adoption recruiter.
  • Private Domestic Adoptions - For more information, research your local private adoption agencies. If you live in or around Utah or Nevada, Premier Adoption is a wonderful agency.
  • International Adoption - All God’s Children International is an incredible agency that primarily considers themselves to be an orphan care ministry. My family’s experience with them was amazing. We highly recommend using them if you feel called to any of the countries AGCI work in. Embracing Children Adoption Services is a reputable small agency who several local families have used.


Federal Tax Credit - There is currently a federal tax credit of $13,400 per child adopted for the year 2015. Please note that this is a tax credit, not a write off. Be sure to check the adoption tax credit each year, as it changes.

Grants - There are many ministries and secular organizations who offer grants. Some of the most noteworthy are:

Fundraisers - An adoptive mom put together a great list of fundraising ideas on her blog. Check them out by clicking here!  Some are additional ideas:

  • Garage Sale - Have friends and family donate all their unwanted goods and host a huge garage sale. My family was blessed with $4500 with their garage sale back in 2011!
  • Craigslist - Sell big items you have hanging around the house on Craigslist.
  • - Are you crafty? Make and sell things on Etsy.
  • Spaghetti feed

Collect Tax Deductible Donations - There are some non-profit organizations who will collect donations on your behalf, allowing donors to write off their donation on their income taxes. Contact the following for more information:

Other Ideas:

  • Revise and cut back your current budget
  • Borrow against your 401K
  • Ask about employer adoption benefits
  • Get creative!!!


Lifesong for Orphans - A wonderful Christian organization that seeks to mobilize the Church, His body, where each member can provide a unique and special service: some to adopt, some to care, some to give.

Christian Alliance for Orphans - CAFO represents a group of Christian organizations and churches joining voices to care for orphans.

Abba Fund - Resources and grant information.

Show Hope - A great ministry that seeks care for orphans in various ways, including supporting adoptive families.


Adopted for Life – Russell Moore
Orphanology – Tony Merida & Rick Morton
The Connected Child – Karyn Purvis
Kisses from Katie - Katie Davis


“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ’Abba! Father!’” - Romans 8:15

“In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will…” - Ephesians 1:4b-5

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” - James 1:27

“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.” - Psalm 82:3

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” - Psalm 68:5-6

“In You the orphan finds mercy.” - Hosea 14:3

While We Wait

The following is an excerpt taken from chapter 12 of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness.


While We Wait

I trust God even though He doesn’t usually operate on my timeline or do things the way I’d like Him to. I wish I could say that I began trusting God like this the moment I gave my life to Christ, but I didn’t. Trust came with time as I saw God work in my life. As I witnessed God’s hand begin to work all things for good in my life, I came to believe that God does, in fact, know what He’s doing. So when things aren’t going my way, I now trust that God must have a better plan—a better way.

I think that’s why I decided not to send that letter. I figured God knew something I didn’t, and I was pretty sure that God’s way would turn out far better than my own.

I was hoping God would tell me what to do quickly, but He didn’t. I began praying the moment God told me not to send that letter, but God wasn’t answering. So once again, I had to wait, trusting that God would give me direction in His time. I didn’t really like to wait for God—I wanted God to answer my prayers right away—but I had learned to be okay with it. I had come to understand that there is purpose in our waiting.

Waiting seems like such a waste of time. But really, it’s not. When God makes us wait, He is moving. He is drawing us closer to Himself, showing us that we need Him, molding and shaping our hearts, preparing us in every way for the journey ahead. While we wait, God actively carves out the path He intends for us to take. He goes before us, working in the lives around us, softening hearts to give us favor, fighting unseen battles in the heavens—all so that our path may be unhindered and His will can prevail.

Waiting allows us to demonstrate our trust in God. It is not a waste of time. It is time well spent and an opportunity for us to actively and prayerfully wait on God, who is faithfully working all things according to His good will, for our good and His glory.

So yes, God doesn’t usually operate on my timeline, but I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

Any thoughts? Join the conversation on my Facebook page.


Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness––which tells an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God––is available wherever books are sold. Be sure to pick up your copy today!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | ChristianBook | Books-A-Million | Powell’s | Parable

Do It Scared!

The following is an excerpt taken from chapter 4 of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness.

Do It Scared

Do It Scared

One of my favorite phrases in the Bible is “but God.” I have it posted beside my bed, and every so often my girls ask me why I have those two little words there. I tell them, “All through the Bible bad things happen—people sin or something goes wrong—but over and over two words make it all okay: ‘but God.’”

You see, no matter what happens in life, no matter how bad things seem to be, God is still the constant. He is still working all things for good. The psalmist wrote, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26, emphasis mine). Joseph echoed this sentiment when he said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20, emphasis mine). Yet in my mind, the ultimate “but God” statement in the Bible is, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8, emphasis mine).

Jesus truly is our Redeemer. Seeing Him as such allows us the freedom to trust and surrender ourselves to Him. We need to know our God. We need to know who He is and what He has done. It is only then that we are able to understand that He is for us, not against us, which frees us to obey, knowing He will work all things for our good and His glory.

Coming to understand God’s heart toward me—that He loves me, that He is for me, and that He is my comforter and my guide— suddenly empowered me to live life differently. Sure, I was a newbie at this whole Christian thing, but I knew I served a faithful, loving God.

I knew I could trust Jesus, for He had proven Himself trustworthy. That didn’t mean God’s call to love and forgive Anthony was easy to embrace. I was scared. I didn’t know where this was going. And I certainly didn’t know how it would end. But I also knew I had allowed fear to motivate me far too long.

Fear is a God-given emotion. Its purpose is to protect us from harm. This kind of fear is good. But so much of the fear we experience is irrational fear—fear that holds us back from living the full life Jesus died for us to have, fear that holds us hostage, never allowing us to see true growth of character. This kind of fear never brings good. And if we choose to live in irrational fear, we will never see the promises of God fulfilled to the extent they’re given. We will never follow Christ into our hard places and come out greater on the other side.

Here’s the truth. Sometimes, we simply need to do it scared. Over and over at this time, well-meaning Christians told me to “follow peace.” I wasn’t to move forward if I didn’t feel peace about taking a step. But the whole “follow peace” thing can be a ploy—shrouded in holy words— used by Satan to bind us and keep us from following God. Jesus calls us out of our comfort zones into places of discomfort. And in these areas, we’re not going to feel peaceful all the time. Yes, there is the peace of God that surpasses all understanding and is available to believers at all times, but often our propensity to rely on ourselves and do things our own way hinders us from experiencing that peace, which means sometimes following Jesus feels a bit crazy. A bit unsettling. Oftentimes we will feel scared to do that which God calls us to do. But make no mistake—fear does not negate the call. Fear is simply a by-product of our desire to control. When following Jesus into our unknown, scary places, God doesn’t usually clue us in on the big plan. And this can feel anything but peaceful at times. But still, we must move.

In my prayer journal at the time, I wrote, “I am seeing more and more that the Christian life is not a life of passivity, but a life of choices empowered by the Holy Spirit. I pray, Lord God, for You to help me to walk in Your Spirit.”

I heard it once said we can choose to live each day motivated by fear or by faith. It’s a choice we must all make. Christian reformer Martin Luther wrote in the preface to his translation of the epistle to the Romans, “Faith is a living, unshakeable confidence in God’s grace; it is so certain, that someone would die a thousand times for it.”* I needed this kind of faith. I needed great faith to move beyond my fear and follow Jesus where He was leading. I needed the kind of faith that allows us to step out of the boat and walk on water toward Jesus when He beckons, knowing that we can do all things through Him. The kind of faith that confidently says to Jesus, “Only say a word, and I shall be healed,” knowing full well that all things are possible with God. The kind of faith to follow Jesus into the unknown—into my scary places— regardless of the cost, knowing He will work all things for good.

Any thoughts? Join the conversation on my Facebook page.


Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness––which tells an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God––is available wherever books are sold. Be sure to pick up your copy today!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | ChristianBook | Books-A-Million | Powell’s | Parable