Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grace

Not long ago, I had some complaints about “Jay’s” level of gratitude. Although, who can blame him? Even as an adult, I cannot imagine life without my family. I cannot BEGIN to imagine that level of pain as a child.

All that said, he is still blessed. And, to my extreme joy and pride, he is beginning to realize it. Sweet Jay has matured more each time we have seen him. We take turns telling what we’re thankful for at the dinner table, and he rarely bats an eye at his turn. I could take a lesson from Jay and mend my own weaknesses a little faster!

I admit, though, that I am sometimes overwhelmed by all that he still needs to learn. One minute he is charming and charismatic, and the other minute he is about to (accidentally) break something or is ignoring us as we try to introduce him to someone. The most nagging issue is my own impatience… I want to build trust and a bond with him YESTERDAY.

The most freeing thought I can think in these moments is that GOD is able to do for Jay ALL that He needs. I cannot and WILL not impart a single good thing to that precious young man except for what God empowers me to give. It is entirely possible that God will shower His love on Jay through something OTHER than me, and I will be nothing but a joyful bystandard.

Grace is so freeing. It requires nothing of me. Thank God.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

16 Days til "Mid-July" =)

Still no referral.

I think God has blessed us with many distractions to keep this wait from being unduly painful. We have currently been waiting on our Ugandan adoption for longer than anyone I am aware of, and probably still have a good many months left before our little one is home.

Oh, sweet baby… who are you, where are you, how old are you, what do you look like?

(I do feel like I’d be irresponsible if I failed to disclose that our long wait is not by a “fault” of our AMAZING agency, but due to many factors, including a pause we had to put on our own adoption at one point!!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

HMMMMM....

I
have
a
question.


I know a few others who have read my blog before are also in process to adopt from Uganda. Has anyone heard what the typical time gap is between when you get a referral and when you travel? I'm dying for some estimations!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fit to Parent?


Our pet fish committed suicide. He jumped out of his bowl several weeks ago.

My mom admits that she’s more nervous to leave their dog with us than we are to leave our daughter with them!

Caroline has never EVER cried about going to mother’s-day-out. She has, however, cried on a Friday night as we excitedly exclaim that “there’s no school tomorrow! It’s a family day!” (ha!)


These (silly) tidbits did not make it to our completed home study. While home studies are pretty exhaustive, they can’t cover every fear, and every area where a parent may fall short. As hard as they try, I’m not sure that they answer this simple question: Are you ready to parent this child?

I was pretty frustrated at myself yesterday. I probably shouldn’t share my dirt on a public forum, but I’m going to anyway. My intent in blogging is not to present myself as a glowing example. If you’re looking for that, there are many blogs I’d be happy to point you to. I am very aware that I am on the rougher-edged side of “in-the-works.” But I think there can be good in showing my ugliness so that others can watch as a mighty, compassionate God eventually transforms the tiny bits of who I am.

I was disappointed in myself because I found myself worrying MORE ABOUT WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK OF US as we follow the “less popular” side of our adoption calling than about DOING WHAT GOD HAS FOR US. I know this is vague, but it was a powerful sin in my heart yesterday.

It is a sin that I thought I was “above.”


You see, adopting a precious, tiny baby – even one of a different race – is kind of a popular thing to do. But what if God calls us to something less “cute”? Medical special needs, or an older child, etc… Will family and friends think it’s “cute” then?

But God reminded me of some simple truths yesterday… Adoption is just one tiny piece of our journey to follow Jesus. As we grow in Him and live more boldly for His glory, Jesus PROMISED that others would despise us for it. As EVERY BIT of our lives someday look more like His, (and not just because we adopted a child,) the more those who forsake Christ will also forsake us.

No one has EVER despised me for living too boldly in Christ.

So if I REALLY want Jesus to grow me into a FULL disciple of His, then I better get over the popularity contest.


MATTHEW 10:16-42...

16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

17"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub,[c] how much more the members of his household!

26"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny[d]? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

" 'a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -

36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'[e]

37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Romans 8:14-17

"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are
sons of God.
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!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that
we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,
provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."
- Romans 8:14-17

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coming Soon: A Referral!

We received some great news from our social worker recently... the orphanage that our baby will come from said that OUR REFERRAL IS COMING. They should email it to us by mid-July.

If, by mid-July, they mean that we will hold a picture of our baby before July 15 has passed, then we have no more than 22 days before we see our little one's sweet face! Of course, this is not what they mean... they mean to send a rough estimate. In spite of that, I couldn't help but count the 22 days until the midpoint of next month.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Adoption Movie for Kids!

Thanks to the Life Together blog for posting the following:


We recently saw a sneak preview of the movie, “Despicable Me.” Much to our surprise (because the trailers did not hint at this), it is a movie about adoption. It is, in fact, a powerful and positive movie about adoption. The content is appropriate for all ages and we strongly recommend it for the entire family. It hits the theatres on July 9. For those of you who are Steve Carell fans–he is the voice of the lead character, and with a Russian accent!


Looks like a great movie for the whole family coming soon.


Written by Doug Wolter


Monday, June 21, 2010

The Difference

Not many hours after saying goodbye to our tiny Kenyan friends, Brad and I went to pick up "Jay".  I forgot to mention to you that I was wrong about the Kenyan choir being composed of orphans... a few of them were, but most of them had families. Large ones. 
It was fascinating to note the difference between Jay and these Kenyan boys. In my estimation, the Kenyan boys live with EVERYTHING they need -- Christ in their hearts, families, love, community. And the Kenyan boys live with LITTLE of what they don't need -- electricity, abundance, distractions, ease, etc. I would argue strongly that their poverty may be one of their greatest blessings.


Jay, on the other hand, lives in the opposite manner. He lives in a fantastic group home in the sense that they provide him with endless experiences, and more than meet his physical needs. Those kids go to baseball games, fairs, amusement parks and malls. They get allowances and are fed three square meals a day, plus delicious desserts, snacks, and junk food. 

But the kids at Jay's home still have no families. They don't know where they belong. Furthermore, they seem to have little responsibility and are left feeling purposeless and bored.

Perhaps the most disheartening thing is that they have learned that THINGS and EXPERIENCES are a replacement for love.  Or, if not a replacement for love, then the evidence of love. Jay pouts and gets upset at us if we don't let him eat dessert before and after dinner. Or if we take him somewhere that wasn't his pick. Or if we don't have time for him to go swimming because Caroline is napping while he's with us one afternoon. He has never learned to receive the gifts of enjoying a family's company... perhaps because he's only been offered gifts of food and fun.  And he has never learned the beautiful lesson that it is far better to GIVE than it is to RECEIVE.

Don't get me wrong... Jay is an incredible boy. We love him. He is strong, doesn't live like a victim, and handles life better than any boy his young age should have to.

But I am reminded of the great disservice we give to our children when we fill them with THINGS and BIG EXPERIENCES instead of filling them with Christ, love, and teaching them service and sacrifice.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

USE YOUR TOOLS!

Our precious visitors from Kenya are gone.  They were such a joy!!!

I loved them the moment they walked into our house. And I don't mean it in the "Jesus filled me with his love for them in spite of something" kind of way... I just mean that those were THE MOST LIKEABLE children I have EVER met in my life!!! They were outgoing, respectful, giggly, curtious, polite, singing, dancing, serving, helping, beautiful children. We hosted one 9 year old and two 12 year olds. I do not exaggerate when I say that I have NEVER in my life met any boys as amazing and likeable as the three of them were.

And here is the kicker... CJ, the intern who also stayed with us, said that it is simply the culture of Kenya. As far as Kenyans go, these children were the norm.

Um...

What!?!?!

What are we doing wrong as Americans? And can someone from Kenya PLEASE give me lessons on how to raise a child!?!

From left to right: Julius (12), Mahinda (12), Caroline (2), and Peter (9)
They were on a mission to serve us, and everyone they came in contact with in America. Their show was amazing, and yes, that was a blessing to see. But I heard CJ tell the boys on Thursday night, “You are here to preach the gospel when you sing at concerts, but you also must preach the gospel all day and all night. Use your tools when you meet people… your joy, your smiles, your hugs, your kind words.”

As American Christians, our “tools” to open the door for ministry in other countries often begins with finances or business knowledge. I loved it that the “tools” these boys used to pave the way for the gospel to be preached were so simple… joy, smiles, hugs, and kind words. We could learn to use those tools more often.

Take it from someone who was blessed by these simple tools… THEY WORK! My heart praises God more for these Kenyan boys having visited us.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spend Yourselves

We Christians come up with the silliest ideas of what God thinks is holy... as if a face void of make-up and Friday nights watching G rated movies makes Him proud.  He cares about much bigger things. He cares about how we LOVE. Him. And others.

"Is not this the kind of fasting I [God] have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

THEN your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
THEN your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

THEN you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
THEN your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:6-11

Friday, June 18, 2010

Just Because You Can't See It Doesn't Mean It's Not Real

Having these beautiful Kenyan children in our home is more perspective-changing than I thought it would be. To them, we are just a stop on their journey. But to me, they are gifts from God, reminding me of the world we forget is there...

Isn't that one of Satan's greatest lies? It's like we believe that the world is only as big as what we see with our own eyes.  Sure, we know there is war, or famine, or disease, or poverty. We see blips of it on TV and online, right before we're bombarded with ads that sell us on our own selfish desires.  But Satan's victory is that we don't grasp how REAL the world outside of our own life is.

Which of us, if we saw an orphan dying of AIDS, wouldn't cradle them in our arms and take them into our homes? Very few Christians, I hope. Yet, because these babies aren't physically lying before our faces, we ignore these sweet children every day. We spend our money on our own extras, and our energies on our own empty pleasures... while they die. 

God has equipped American Christians with everything we need to help MULTITUDES in the name and by the power of Jesus. He came, not for the well, but for the sick... in the physical AND spiritual sense. My heart is broken that we act lilke the desperation of most of the world is not real.  Just because something isn't in our face does NOT mean that it doesn't exist.

My prayer is that my heart begins to break for the things His breaks for, and that my eyes see GLOBALLY the things that He sees.

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from earth into
Eternity

-Hosanna, Hillsong United

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Daraja Children's Choir of Africa

My sweet husband knows what makes me happy... which is why tomorrow, three or four Kenyan orphans are coming to stay at our house through Saturday!!! They are part of an African children's choir tour. I expect it will feel a bit like heaven on earth for me to live, even breifly, under one roof with them.


Why is Africa so captivating? A preacher from Zambia spoke at our church last Sunday, and every word nearly moved me to tears.  Sure, much of my love for Africa is that our child is in Africa right now.  But I also think that there is something SPIRITUALLY special about Africa. God has blessed them... yes, BLESSED them... with poverty, sickness, and other circumstances that help them remember that they rely on God for everything. All the while, we in America are fooled into believing the lie of self-sufficiency.

Americans are rich in THINGS, while Africans are often rich in humility and openness to the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps in God's eyes, Africa is one of the richest places on earth. I wonder, based on Matthew 20 and other passages, whether many Africans will be some of the shining stars in God's heavenly kingdom.

"The last will be first, and the first will be last." -Matthew 20:16

"For he who is the least among you all -- he is the greatest." Luke 9:48 

Monday, June 14, 2010

WE NEED YOU ASAP!!!

If you love Jesus and/or orphans, we need you this Saturday!
(This would also be a great way for Montgomery area adoptive parents to meet each other! I'd love to meet you!)




The United Methodist Children's Home is hosting a lunchtime awards banquet for the foster children in their care THIS SATURDAY. They do not yet have the funds nor volunteers necessary for the event.

There are two ways you can help. If you are interested in either, please email me ASAP at rachelgoode1@gmail.com.

  1. They need donations to cover lunch for 60 - 75 people. (Even small bits help!)

  2. We need people to help us serve food.  The event is at Frazer UMC in Montgomery, AL from 10:30 - 12:00.  I can get you further details such as room number when you email me.
Thank you for your faithfulness! We appreciate your help!

Adoption Funding

Adoption is expensive. But God is faithful. When I think of all He has provided, enabling us to make large and frequent payments into our adoption fund, I am floored. We still have about half of our adoption expenses remaining. If paying the first half is any indication of the second, then we're in good Hands!

Housing – Our small apartment would’ve made for a tight squeeze for a family of four. So when we found a half-built house on foreclosure, we went for it and got a steal. But foreclosures are tricky, so we were thankful for the advice of church member friends: bankers, real estate attorneys, builders, etc. So many helped us build that house, and they saved us THOUSANDS of dollars. In fact, our builder didn’t take a penny from us. In these economic times, I can’t fathom that kind of generosity.

Child care – Caroline goes to Mother’s Day Out so I can work. We’re thankful for the flexibility Brad and I both have at work, allowing Caroline to spend most of her time with one of her parents. But here’s the kicker… we pay a FRACTION of the Mother’s Day Out costs… and by fraction, I mean a sliver. A teeny, tiny, nothing bit. Shew. (Plus, even though my parents don’t live in town, they have taken care of Caroline SO many times when we otherwise would’ve had to hire a sitter.)

Clothing – I can’t remember the last time I bought Caroline clothes. Not only has she been showered in TONS of beautiful hand-me-downs, but grandparents and family have filled in her wardrobe with new items. Caroline’s not the only one who has gotten gorgeous hand-me-downs. I have, too!

Adoption donations – One family (who is also adopting & whom I’ve NEVER met in person!!!) sent us a donation from across the country!!! Another missionary family graced us with adoption money – and I mean a LOT – TWICE. Missionaries and fellow adoptive parents are not people who have money to spare! A childhood friend sent us a random check at Christmas. Human beings offering us undeserved love from God.

Vacations – Brad and I got to use a friend’s beach condo several months ago. Recently, we spent the night at another friends’ lake house. I realize vacations aren’t “needs,” but wow, are they nice. And we wouldn’t take them if they drained adoption funds.

Pretties – There are some talented wood workers at our church. One made our mantle, and another group made our dining room table. Where did the payments for these items go? Straight to an orphan ministry in South America. Now those are some pretties we can feel good about!

We are so humbled by the generosity of so many!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Forgotten God

“Without him [the Holy Spirit], people operate in their own strength, and only accomplish human-sized results. The world is not moved by love or actions that are of human creation, and the church is not empowered to live differently from any other gathering of people without the Holy Spirit.

Francis Chan
Forgotten God

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Not Nuts Yet, But Praying To Be Soon!

My prayer is that I live radically for Jesus. (My brother pointed out that “radical Christianity” is simply “Biblical normal.”)

I wish I could remember Francis Chan’s exact quote. Chan essentially says that we may want to question ourselves if our lives don’t look absolutely NUTS to non-Christians, and possibly to many Christians.

So part of me wants to love so well, and so insanely, that I look as bizarre as Jesus must have. And the other part of me worries a lot about what other people think.

Thank God for the grace I know He will send, teaching me to someday (soon!?) love a lot more like He does.

Friday, June 11, 2010

African Lullabyes

For those of you adopting a baby from Africa, (or if you need a great baby shower gift idea,) here's an African lullaby CD. My brother got this for Caroline and in preparation for the next "Goode baby."  The songs are beautiful... and for those of you who love Uganda, there is one sung in Lugandan!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Last King of Scotland

All we know about our baby is that he/she is Ugandan. So understandably, I have a hunger for all things UGANDA! For that reason, Brad and I watched the movie The Last King of Scotland a few months ago. It was difficult to sit through.

     Unlikeable characters.
     Graphic violence.
     A dark mood void of the tiniest redemptive light.

On the up side, it did open our eyes a little more to the history of Uganda. The movie portrayed the Hitler-esque era of Idi Amin, and I grew in appreciation of how much turmoil the people of Uganda have handled with the grace, dignity, and courage to rise above the muck.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lake Day, Oooh La La

Ahh… life doesn’t get sweeter than this.

Last night, Brad and I came to stay at a friend’s lake house with our sweet Caroline, Brad’s brother & sister-in-law, and their brother and sister-in-law. PLUS, (and here’s the kicker…) “Jay” got to come with us!!! We were SO excited to get approval for him to spend a night with us, ESPECIALLY when it was a vacation-style night!

I hope I’ll soon have some pictures to post of our fun, but for the moment, I’m FAR too busy getting a tan, laughing, and eating well. It’s a rough life, but somebody’s gotta live it. Ha!

(I do have some pics of when my sweet sweet friend Toni came home from OREGON last weekend!)

PS - Brad and I had a great anniversary weekend in Birmingham, partially visiting my parents, and partially spending time as a couple. I learned that I’m not as good at mountain biking as I like to think, and that I wish I had more one-on-one time with my husband!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why Is “Adopted” A Bad Word?

This is not my question, but the question I first heard as a child when an Alabama football star came to our church to share his testimony. I don’t remember the details of his sermon, but nearly two decades later, I can still hear him ask,

“Why is ‘adopted’a bad word? People whisper, ‘Were [your children] adopted?’ as if it is a shameful thing. But if Christ died on the cross so that we all could be adopted as children of God, then why is ‘adopted’ a bad word?”

A white mother to a black child once commented on my blog that someone asked her, “Will you tell your son that he is adopted?” Hmm. This is OBVIOUSLY not an option for those adopting transracially! But I wonder: Why it is an option for anyone? Adoption is beautiful. It is a miracle.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

2 Corinthians 6:18

"I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty." - 2 Cor. 6:18


Thank God that we were adopted as His children!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Ugandan Film

A new movie is being filmed this summer in Uganda.  Butterflies of Uganda portrays the true story abduction of a little girl, Christine Akello, who was forced to live the brutal life of a child soldier in the LRA.

There is also a play by the same name. This blog made me really wish I could see it. Apparantly one person whom the story was about played herself in the play!

Speaking of films on Uganda, let's not forget the best one ever, War Dance!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sleep to Dream

Ahhh... what a great night's sleep.
I dreamed all night long about getting our REFERRAL!
It's been 1 1/2 months since our social worker roughly guestimated that the referral would come in 1 to 3 months. HALFWAY!!! (Or any day now!)

After dreaming through many possible scenarios last night, (getting the email in various locations, our child being various ages, sometimes a boy, and sometimes a girl,) I have come to three conclusions...

1. I am READY!
2. I am excited!
3. It can only be GOOD!

Ok Lord, when will it be!?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another Victory!

Another victory!
We have been hanging out with “Jay”!!!! In fact, we will pick him up from his group home every Wednesday now for day visits, plus day visits on the weekends as possible. (If you don’t remember who I’m talking about, click here.)

Yesterday was the start of our “weekly Wednesday” time together. Saturday was our first day ever with him. Brad & I were both a bit nervous on our ride to pick him up. We asked God for several things regarding Saturday, and all were answered!
  1. That the day be easy, and that a bond between us all come naturally.
  2. That we know what to say if he asked us difficult questions about whether we’d adopt him, etc. (and yes, he asked…)
  3. That for this one day, there would be no need to discipline him, but that we’d be free because of his sweet behavior to pour some much needed love of Christ into his life.

By the time we dropped Jay off at his group home on Saturday night, Brad and I were forever changed. It’s funny… you think you’re doing a charitable thing because you take an 11 year old for lunch, hang out with him, and cook pizzas with him for dinner. But WE were the ones changed.

After Saturday, I will be shocked if Brad and I don’t someday adopt an older child. Sure, we were already concerned about the “world-wide orphan crisis”… but the urgency of that true CRISIS has never seemed more relevant than in the moment that we dropped Jay off to a home of mostly teenagers. Teenagers who looked back at us with sweet baby eyes. Teenagers who are less jaded than they pretend to be, because they’ve lost all if they can’t cling on to some hope. Teenagers who are at a critical age where they can either find love NOW, or feel like orphans for life.

I write this to anyone willing to read it: If you have the tiniest twinge in your heart for the broken of this world, then DO SOMETHING. It’s scary. It may pull us out of our comfort zones. Praise God for that. We have a Mighty Savior whom we can lean on, and point these precious broken ones towards. We may not feel like there is enough of US to give. Not enough of US to go around. Good news… WE are not who they need. Christ is. And He is more than enough.

(Happy 4th Anniversary to my sweet husband!)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

www.happygirlhair.com

I don't know whether we're adopting a boy or a girl, but I know this: If it's a girl, then I need some SERIOUS advice on how to fix African-American hair!!!For those of you who are interested, there is a precious & helpful website on the subject.

*too cute!*



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Marrying Whores and Adopting Illegitimate Children

Oh dear God, we are so broken without You.

Please read this entire post. You will miss God's love if you only read about His anger in the first paragraphs.

My heart hurts at how we Christians try to tone down Truth in order to make it easier for the world to swallow.  We are afraid of making God appear cruel, so we close our mouths about how outraged He is that we ignore Him.  We chase after our own selfish desires, possibly while claiming to love Him, with backs turned to our Maker and Savior.

God is outraged. Here's an even tougher pill to swallow... God lets bad things happen.  We tip-toe around this fact, thinking that most people would like a God who is similar to a powerless, sweet grandfather who can do nothing more than pat our heads and shake His head sadly at the mess in this world. But God is not a feeble old man. He is all-powerful. Sovereign.  If anything happens on this planet, it is because He allowed it to be so. I am not saying that we have no free will. But we have it because God gives it to us.

Why do we think that God's outrage reflects poorly on Him? God's outrage displays His love.

I am currently reading the book of Hosea, and as I do, tears pour down my cheeks.  I see my own sinful self in every verse, as well as God's unending love for me.  The story is both historical as well as metaphor...

A prophet of God is told to marry a prostitute. A whore. So he does, and he loves her. She continues her adulterous ways, bearing illegitimate children who are literally named "Not Loved" and "Not My People."  

Don't you see? We are the prostitute. The church is the adulterous wife of God.  And the children of the church are not of God. We are illegitimate, born of greed, vanity, materialism, and a million other evil fathers. We are not His children.  But that is exactly where the story gets beautiful.  God tells the prophet, 
" 'Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other Gods.' " Hos.. 3:1
So the prophet literally buys his wife back from her pimps.  Just like Christ buys us back from sin through the cross.  He not only buys her back, but He loves her. He "allures her" and "speaks tenderly to her." And she learns to fall in love with her Husband.

What about the illegitimate children?  I can only imagine how the prophet must have felt about them.  Imagine if your beloved wife prostituted herself out and became pregnant by pimps and other men. Could you love those children?  Can God love us? Here is what He says about the children named "Not Loved" and "Not My People."

"In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' [...] Say of your brothers, 'My people,' and of your sisters, 'My loved one.' " Hos. 1:10 & 2:1
God adopts and loves those born from sin as His own precious, righteous children.

Yes, God is outraged. He is a beautifully jealous Husband, and we are prostituting ourselves to whatever fills our temporary pleasures. He is angry. BECAUSE He is LOVE. If you let Him, He will woo you. He will speak tenderly to you.  He may even let terrible things happen so that you remember Him and come running to Him. And then He will restore you. He will teach you to fall in love with your Husband.

"Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds." Hosea 6:1
"My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not a man -- the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling [...] I will settle them in their homes." Hosea 11:8-11
 "In You the fatherless find compassion." Hosea 14:3