Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Happened to Purity????

As I sit and watch America's Got Talent, again I am wondering to myself "What has happened to purity?" I find it sad that a show that should be fun for me to watch with my kids has turned into a show I don't even want to watch myself. When I turn on the TV is it now that in order for me to enjoy a show I must watch women dressed in a little bit of nothing? Listen to songs that need to have half of them bleeped out just to be able to be on TV? Hear people singing about "Doing" someone? Watching people pole dancing? I don't want to subject myself to that...there is no way I would put my kids in front of something like that! Sigh...

People wonder why there is a rise in teen pregnancy? And they want to blame MTV's show Teen Moms or 16 and Pregnant? I think there was a problem WAY before the shows. I think there is a problem with what we are teaching our youth in America and what we are letting them watch and listen to.

I think talking to our kids about birth control and safe sex has caused a huge problem in our country. I think it has made more kids become interested in "trying things" and "experimenting". I hate to tell you there is only one kind of safe sex...that would be NO SEX. I hate seeing all of these young teens going around trying out things with others. It's chipping away at your heart until you feel nothing at all. Each time you are giving a little piece of yourself away to someone who you possibly don't even love. What happens when it comes to the day you are to be married? All those people you gave yourself to before you gave yourself to the one you spend the rest of your life with. I hate seeing people devalue themselves. You are worth SO much more!

Think about saving yourself for the one special person. How much more special will that intimacy be? I just can't stand watching people treat sex like it's no big deal. It's a gift...meant to be shared between husband and wife.

I think if we want to see teen pregnancy go down we need to stop giving our teenage daughters birth control. We need to talk to our children and tell them about the wonderful thing sex is and how it's a gift that God has given us to shared between a husband and wife. We need to be honest with our children before the world tells our kids that having sex with anyone is long as you are being safe.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fail Us Not

I am so thankful that I have a God who is always there. A God who will never leave me. A God who will never fail me. Even though the world will fail me in so many different ways...God will fail us not!

The song I am singing below is one of my favorites right now. It keeps my mind in the right place knowing that God will not fail me.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

It's Your Kids, Not a Gerbil

Do you sometimes feel like a gerbil running on a wheel inside a cage as you scurry from place to place, chauffeuring your children from one endless activity to another? What if, for one moment, you could just step off of the wheel...and relax? How would you feel then? And what if that single moment could stretch into an hour, or even a whole day? In his new book, It's your Kid, Not a Gerbil, Kevin Leman will provide practical solutions and helpful insight to get off the activity wheel so that you can put your time and energies where they really count: in establishing strong character and a love for home and family that will serve your kids well for a lifetime.

Now that you know a little bit about the book...why don't you go on over to the blog and enter into their giveaway. All you have to do is help out in spreading the word about this new book! How awesome!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays 11-20

Today has been one of those days. Even though I had some much needed talk time with my husband today I am still feeling a bit off. But being a bit off does not stop Multitudes on Mondays!

1. For friends to have coffee with
2. A husband who listens even when he's tired
3. My daughters' friends who love to come over and play
5. A broom to help with the task of cleaning up
6. Small flowers picked up by small hands
7. Crickets outside my door
8. Butterfly festivals
9. Paints that end up all over my daughters face
10. Dum Dums

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guess what we are doing...

So do you have this problem where your kids love to give you art work and you have piles and piles of papers sitting around with all the beautiful drawings...but you just can't keep them all? I have that problem times 4...soon to be times 5! So in the newest issue of Family Fun Magazine they had this idea. Artist trading cards. So now my scrap paper box for the girls no longer has regular sized paper for the girls. It has these...

All my scrap paper is going to be cut into small "trading cards" for the girls to do their artwork on. They can keep their art work or they can trade them! So fun! And here is my huge pile of scrap paper waiting to be cut. I am wanting to cut it all at once and have a huge pile. This way I won't be cutting paper every time the girls want to do art work!
Here is one of our binders with the trading cards in it. The Inquisitor has given all of her artwork away and doesn't have any in her binder, so I just put some blank ones in it. We had so many binders in our house that we didn't have to buy any!
Now here is something I want to do. I want to inspire others to do this too. I want to find others who are interested in doing card swaps and the kids can make cards for others and send them around. How fun would that be??? Leave a comment if you are interested.

The Girl Creative

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Walk With Him Wednesday: The Practice of Forgiveness

The Practice of Forgiveness

Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Can you imagine yourself being one of those people casting lots for Christ clothes while he is hanging on the cross? I can see myself there and then I hear those words. What does he mean? What do I need forgiveness for?

But then I look at this man hanging helplessly from the cross. I see his face with such sadness and pain on it. A man who was so innocent killed for what seems like no reason. And here I am casting lots for his clothes. What more can I do to humiliate this man?

Now I see that sadness on his face. I see the love that he was giving to me. And now I see his forgiveness for me. I see all that I need to be forgiven of and I see how, even while he was dying my place, was asking for God to forgive me.

Being a Christian means that we are Christ like, that we follow Christ. Many would say that Jesus was perfect and so it was easy for him to forgive. But I think of it like this. He was fully human so forgiveness must not have come easy for him and yet he forgave. I look at the life of forgiveness that Christ lived...that's how I want to live. Forgiving those even when they don't ask for it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays 1-10

This is my restart of Multitudes on Mondays. I am counting the gifts that God gives me daily. Each week I will share 10 of them. My husband and my girls are not constant gifts and are obvious. I am looking for the ones I over look or that I don't always notice. So here it goes...

1. Midnight worship in the Kitchen
2.Doing dishes with the girls
3. Warmth of the end of summer sun
4. Joy of my daughters decorating their rooms
5. The smell of rain not yet fallen
6 Time singing with my husband
7. Baby monitors that allow me to hear my girl singing in the morning
8/ The faith of a child
9. Songs full of hope
10. The purples sky of a beautiful sunset

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Not what I usually do...

I am trying to get an IPad 2 and if you go and sign up on the site here you can help me. All you have to do is sign don't have to buy anything! It would be great if you could help me out. I know that this would help me greatly with business things. We are starting many different ventures right now and would love to have something to help me along.

Hope you are able to help me out!

Just Want to Write...

She loves to be goofy for pictures! I LOVE it!

that's our oldest "The Inquisitor"! She is growing up so fast! We just mentioned today how quickly she is growing and how fast it's gone by. Before we know it another 7 years will go by and she will have her permit and be begging us to let her drive us places!

Right now she is reading "The Diary of Anne Frank". She is loving it. Her heart is so tender and she was talking to me about how unfair it was that the Jews were being treated so bad. I asked her what she would do if she lived during that time. She said she would help the Jews in anyway she could. This made me think of Corrie Ten Boom. I rented "The Hiding Place" and can't wait to see how excited she is that someone reached out to help the Jews.
She is also excited about keeping a diary. Looks like I know what I am getting her for her birthday! I hope she writes often. I want to see her writing skills grow as much as her reading has. I hope that she is enjoys it just as much...sometimes with the things she tells me I think she could be a great story teller. Someday I hope to read a novel she has written!

I plan on writing another blog after we watch "The Hiding Place".

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Miss my Husband...

No my husband is not away. He is actually home right now in bed sleeping. And don't get the idea that he is lazy...he's not. He just works nights!
Do any of you have a husband like mine? He works hard to provide for you and your family? My husband is a blessing to us. He works nights and works hard and gets dirty (I mean REALLY dirty) to make it possible for us to live. He works a job that he doesn't really enjoy...but he does it for us.

So why am I missing him? Well right now he is working 7 days a week. I see him a bit in the morning and a bit at night. But working 7 days really gets him tired. Some days he loses lots of sleep just so he can spend a little extra time with us. Sunday he hardly gets any sleep because he finds it important to go to church with us and spend Sunday with us. I am blessed.

But I look forward to my husband not working 7 days. Even when he works 6 days it's still hard...but TONS better. Today I am thankful for a husband who works hard!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Walk With Him Wednesday

The Practice of Forgiveness

Forgiveness for me has always been a funny thing. I have always thought that I was quick to forgive and in some cases I think that it's true. But it also seems to me that some people are usually easier to forgive than others. Usually those people are the ones who are seeking forgiveness or the ones who are more likely to admit that they have done something wrong.

The others who don't think they ever do anything wrong or the ones who don't want to admit their wrong doings our loud...those are the hardest ones to forgive. I often want to give them one chance and then...I hold a grudge.

I remember one time going to a class with a friend of mine on forgiveness. I left the class so confused and not even sure I understood what forgiveness was anymore. Did it really have to be this complicated? Did I have to go through so many steps and say a certain number of prayers to be able to forgive someone? It just didn't seem right. The subject kept coming to my mind. Is it really so hard to forgive? I kept thinking about how often God has to forgive me. How often I ask Him for forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not a topic people want to talk about often. Simply because of the forgiveness we hold in our hearts. Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." I don't think that Jesus was really putting a limit on the number of times we should forgive. I think He was more telling us to live a life of forgiveness.
I remember bringing up this idea of living a life of forgiveness to my friend who took me to that class. Her can't be that easy. But I still hold onto this thought that it is. I simply have to live a life of forgiveness. Since I can't forgive and forget I need to forgive and forgive. Some days it may not be necessary to forgive. But other times I may find myself having to forgive someone day after day. Sounds frustrating? Well I always think about God. How often He forgives me and everyone else He forgives. Why is it so hard for me to give out what is so freely given to me? So I choose to live a life of forgiveness.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Midnight Worship in the Kitchen

So I made the choice today to start up the Multitudes on Mondays again. This time taking in much more serious than I did before. I am carrying around a little booklet with me writing down seven gifts from God in my day. I actually wrote down my first one today "Midnight worship in the kitchen"

Tonight while I was in the kitchen finishing up my dishes, God really showed me how wrong the world is and how right He is. He gave me a gift of worship in the kitchen tonight. I am sure that if anyone walked passed my kitchen window (The only room in the house that happens to not have any blinds or curtains) they were probably wondering what was going on. And for a second I almost stopped thinking that someone might walk by and see me. But what kept me going is thinking about how much God delights in my worship. Have you tell you it was one of the best worship times I have had in a long time! Thank you God for that little gift.

Where am I? Who am I?

Where have I gone? Some days I just feel like I am missing me. I don't know where I have gone or what has taken over...but it just feels like the real me is gone and I have become someone else.

Sometimes I feel like I am stuck under the pile of laundry. Or perhaps I am lost in the load or two or five of dishes that still need to be done. I have become that distant voice you hear in the distance who is getting frustrated with her kids. Not using the nicest of words...a shame too when that is what I expect of my kids.

It's like all of a sudden I let these things define me. I let them become who I am. The terrible housekeeper. The lazy dishwasher. The angry parent. None of these things are who I am. Why so often do I let others and the world tell me who I am? Why do I listen so closely to them and believe them? Why do I take their word over God's?

Often times I need to slow down and remember why God says I am. I need to listen to His words.
Zechariah 2:8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: "After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you- for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-"

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Isaiah 49:16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

Colossians 2:10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

There are so many more I could write. But in the end...I am going to listen to God. Going to listen to what he thinks of me. And in listening to what He thinks of me I become more confident in who I am. I become stronger in the areas I am weak in.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: So Long Insecurity Leader's Guide

Group Experience
So Long Insecurity Leader's Guide
Beth Moore

I do not have the actual book. But even though I don't have it yet I still loved the leader's guide. This is a ten week guide for a group setting where all the participants would be reading the book during the week and then getting together to discuss the book and share what they have been learning.

I love how each week is laid out.
Warm Up: This is a way to get things moving. Questions and activities to really get the conversation started.
A Word From Beth: This is usually a couple of paragraphs from the Author in which she shares with you what she hopes you are experiencing.
Digging In: This part takes sections of the book and had questions paired with it. This will really help you understand what you read and help you process it a little more with your group.
In The Light of the Word: This section gives you verses to read as a group. They always go along with what you have been reading and helps you see what the Word of God has to say about it all.
Wrap-up: This is a bit of a sum it all up section. This also has the ending prayer in it.

I love how centered this is on the Word of God. It's wonderful to see something not just full of someones opinions but to see it really focus on what the Bible has to say about it all.

I haven't used this with a group yet...but I do plan on it. So be looking for more post when I do start a group.

Tyndale sent me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 12, 2011's him AGAIN!

If you don't know who I am talking about I am talking about Rob Bell. Now I want to make it clear that I have not read his book Love Wins and I am not really interested in reading it. This post has nothing to do with his book.

So for my husband's birthday I got him a subscription to Neue "The magazine for leaders shaping the future of the church." The first one we got I wasn't all excited about seeing Rob Bell in it...but the truth is he is one of the leaders that are shaping the future of the church and that scares me! surprise that this issue was about hell and was actually titled "Repainting Hell." Funny because a painting in my home is titled "Repaint Jesus." Anyway...

They have a Q&A with Francis Chan and Rob Bell. Seems right since they both came out with different books that give different views of Heaven and Hell. Now here is was bothered me...

Q. Do you think you could be wrong that you don't get a second chance to choose heaven or hell?
A. Of course. We are speculating about exactly how it unfolds. That's what we are doing, so the most important thing is to be honest about what we are doing. And we have to begin with humility. Sometimes the question simply is. "Well, if that's true, we're all actually really screwed." We will have far larger problems than some pastor from Grand Rapids saying some stuff, if in the end God turns out to be something other than love or goodness, and love doesn't win, and we don't have choice. And I believe people will; people choose hell now, I assume people, when you die, you can choose hell. So there is no denial of hell here. There is a real awareness that this is a clear and resent reality that extends on into the future.

Anyone see what I have a problem with? Well first he answers the question with a yes and then goes on to talk about how he really can't be wrong. But he says if he is wrong then we are all screwed and we all have far larger problems than him. Mr. Bell let me tell you something. If you are wrong you have far larger problems than others. All those people who you are leading into believe that what they do on earth doesn't really matter. That not only do they have the choice here on earth but they will also get a choice after they die. You are going to be held accountable for all those people. Can you imagine if you are wrong. Just think about it for a second. We don't get a second chance. All these people hear what you are talking about and they think. Awesome! I can just live how I want because after I die I will get to choose Heaven or Hell. What happens if they get there and they don't get the choice? What happens when Jesus says that their name isn't in the book of life? What happens if because they believe you that they ended up in Hell? Just think about that. The reason I don't believe we get a second chance is the same reason I don't believe in the whole "once saved always saved" stuff. I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to peoples salvation.

I would rather go up to my friend and say "You may still be saved by God because he is a loving God. But I don't know because I know that God is a just God too. I am worried for you because you aren't following Jesus anymore."

In Revelations there are so many references to the Book of Life. In Revelations 3 he says about some that He will never blot their names out of the Book of Life. That gives me the idea that hey...maybe peoples names can be blotted out. Revelations 13 mentions that some peoples names are not written in the book. Revelations 20 mentions that the books are open and one of them is the Book of Life. Then it goes on to say that anyone who's name is not written in the Book of Life will be thrown in the Lake of Fire.

Mr. Bell...I start wondering how you study the Bible. Do you think of something you want to say and then you grab the verses you want to that seem to back you up? I think a much better way is to read the Bible, pray and then come to your conclusion.

I don't really know much about Bell. But what I have heard him say in interviews and what I have read about him...I am not impressed. Actually it kind of scares me. I am not just worried about all the people he is getting to believe that they have a second chance. But I am worried for him. Worried about him being wrong when judgement day comes along.

Book Review: Enemies of the Heart

Enemies of the Heart
Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You
Andy Stanley

I have never felt more guilty, angry, greedy or jealous in my life. It's not because I have more of those qualities in my life right now, but because I read a book that really brought out the realization that I have a lot of these feelings deep inside my heart. It took me a long time to read this book...not because I couldn't get into it. But because I really wanted to hear everything he had to say about this. I wanted to hear the ending.

I love how he talks about the Enemies being deeper debts.

Guilt: I Owe You
Anger: You Owe Me
Greed: I Owe Me
Jealousy: God Owes Me

Some of these I have thought about a lot before. I know that I can feel guilty a lot. I tend to give myself guilt trips and feel bad about things. I did realize that I had a bit of anger...but I would never really call it a problem until I really looked at how deep it goes. Greed is probably the one I have the smallest problem with. Jealousy...I have never viewed it this way before as God owes me. But really if I am jealous of what someone else has really I am thinking that God owes me that.

Now at this point I was feeling pretty pathetic. How could I have so much of this stuff in my heart? But I loved his chapters that really dive in and confront these issues head on. He doesn't just give you his opinion. Well he does give you his opinion, but he also gives you Bible verses that deal with each Enemy.

Well I simply loved this book and would recommend it to everyone!
I was given this book by Water Brook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review: Stumbling Into Grace

Stumbling Into Grace
Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman
Lisa Harper

I loved this book and at the same time I didn't really care for it. At times I thought she was sincerely funny and at other times it felt as if she was trying to hard. So I am in the middle on this one.

Lisa hits on a lot of subjects that women struggle with in their faith. Guilt, shame and hypocrisy. I thought she had wonderful stories to go along with each subject. I love the personal reflection/group discussion section at the end of each chapter. I love that it is set up to either read to yourself or do with a group!

But my favorite part of the book was the conclusion and the story of Lori. How God really came in and saved her in a way most people wouldn't see as God. I also love how she encourages people not to give in to Satan when he tries to convince us it's time to wave the white flag.

I would recommend this book. I am still not sure if I am extremely excited about it or not. Still trying to figure out how I feel about her humor. Perhaps I will find out in October when I see her at Women of Faith.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Loving God is Like Loving Your Husband and Loving Your Neighbor....

...Is like loving your kids. I always knew that marriage was a great analogy of our relationship with God. We are the bride and He is the bridegroom. Our marriages should be a symbol of God with us. I think that's why God hates divorce.

So if our relationship with our husband is a way of looking at our relationship with God. Then naturally our relationship with our kids is a way of looking at our relationship with our neighbor. Lets start with the Bible on this one:

Mark 12: 28-34
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "Is this 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength' The second is this 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

WOW! What amazing words! Thank you God for your word! These are such great commandments, but as Christians we tend to lean more on the second one of these.

Every marriage book will tell you that your husband needs to come before your kids. Many times when a couple has kids this is what brings the marriage to an end. Well not the kids but the wife changing her focus from her husband to her kids. Now don't get me your kids attention is great. But they should not replace your husband as #1 in your life.

Now lets apply this to God and our neighbors. Jesus said there were two commandments. But the first one we are given is to the the Lord with everything. Then comes love your neighbor. I think many times we assume that if we are Christian we automatically have a great relationship with God. But we never work on that relationship. We barely spend time with Him and we are putting all of our focus on the "kids". Loving our neighbor is important...but how can we love our neighbor with the love of God if we only love God with the bare minimum?

So my suggestion. Take the advice from all the marriage books. Only apply it to your relationship God and his children. Give God your 1st. Give God your time. Talk to Him daily...though out the day. Don't give Him just your crumbs. Encourage the Christians around you to do the same. Be there to challenge them daily. Push each other closer to God. Then once we begin to love God with everything we can love His children around us.

What? A Missional Church?

I start writing this blog and I wonder...How do I start? Then I start thinking about all the people in might upset and how drastically different a missional church is from the churches we have in America. But if the idea of a missional church is offensive to you...then you are probably offended by the Bible. Nothing I can do I still need to share the Word of God and share my thoughts on the church.

"The church should stop mimicking the surrounding culture and become an alternative community, with a different set of beliefs, values and behaviors. Ministers would no longer engage in marketing; churches would no longer place primary emphasis on programs to serve members. The traditional ways of evaluating 'successful churches' - bigger buildings, more people, bigger budgets, larger ministerial staff, new and more programs to serve members - would be rejected. New yardsticks would be the norm:To what extent is our church a 'sent' community in which each believer is reaching out to his community? To what extent is our church impacting the community with a Christian message that challenges the values of our secular society?"

Would your community be any different if your church was gone? I think for most churches the answer is no. Nothing would be different about their communities if their church closed it's doors. How sad is that? We aren't going out into our communities and making a different. We stay on one side of the door and say "Church is just something we do on Sunday."

SCARY! Has church become something that we just DO on Sunday? How often do we say "I'm going to Church" "We are DOING church" or "We are having church"? When did the church become a place or an activity? Have we forgotten that we ARE the church? Don't GO to church. Don't DO church. BE the church!

So how do we start to BE the church?
I say read Acts. There are two churches and both of them are great examples of missional churches. People who had a great love for God and a great passion of being sent. Here is one thing that might get a few people a bit frustrated with me...

The Church should gather and scatter:
The church in Acts did not make their gatherings for non believers. Acts 2:42-47 "They spent their time learning the apostles' teaching, sharing, breaking bread, and praying together. The apostles were doing many miracles and signs, and everyone felt great respect for God. All the believer were together and shared everything. They would sell their land and the things they owned and then divide the money and give it to anyone who needed it. The believers met together in the Temple every day. They ate together in their homes, happy to share their good with joyful hearts. They praised God and were liked by all the people. Every day the Lord added those who were being saved to the group of believers."
Now here is how I feel. Getting together was much more about spending time with one another. Encouraging one another. Sharing lives. What happened to that? We now only go to church on Sunday hardly see anyone during the week and we don't encourage each other in our relationship with God. We can go weeks or months or even years before anyone challanges us to become closer to God. Many times it's not even someone in your own community of believers. Many times it's someone at a conference or camp maybe. We have taken our meetings on Sunday and made them to be outreaches to those who aren't believers and we often forget about those who already believe. Many times we wonder why people leave the church...sometimes it's over petty stuff...but sometimes it's because they have "lost" their faith. Do we forget to encourage and challenge each other in our faith. I think we have lost that BIG time.

When I had mentioned that writing this blog wasn't easy on facebook a friend made a comment that we as Christians fail big time in the first commandment. That we can't have impact without intimacy. Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength." I agree with him. We are failing big time in this area. Can you imagine what your marriage would be like if you had no intimacy? What would happen if you never spent anytime with your husband? What would happen if you barely talked to him...and mainly only talked to him when something was going wrong? We would never think of doing that, but then that is how we treat God. We only go to him when things are wrong. We spend minimal time with Him and often we keep strict time lengths on the time we do spend with Him. 30 mins in the morning. 10 minutes before bed. Does any of this ring a bell? I know I am guilty of it.

My suggestion is that we try to be much more of a community. If that means we should sell all we have and pool everything together or just being more of a community of believers who meet more than just Sunday and really encourage and challenge each other to become closer to God. Whatever it is...something needs to be done. We do not act as a church. We act more like the bickering people in Acts. Why can't we see the need for a church that acts like the church? For a church that truly is the people and not the building. A church that is passionate for God. Loves God madly. A church that gathers to encourage one another and then scatters to impact those around them.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Is Our World Safe?

So I just recently listened to Skye Jethani speak at the Okoboji Bible Conference. So something interesting about this post already, I normally don't use peoples names. But I felt the need to maybe hoping he would clear up what he said and in one of his books he was bold enough to name a few pastors he disagreed with. So this is my attempt at being bold. Not that he will ever read my blog.

Back to my point....
One thing he spoke on was how we view this Cosmos. Do we view it like Peter as a dangerous world and we react with fear and violence (Peter cut off the ear of a Roman soldier.) or do we view it like Jesus, as a perfectly safe place and we react with faith (Jesus healed the Roman soldier.). So I think there might have been more to his example of Jesus living out in faith, but at one point while he was speaking my ears were really giving me a hard time and felt like I couldn't hear anything. But I do know he was talking about Peter and Jesus at that point when the Romans came to get Jesus and he would ultimately be crucified.

So I sat there for quite a long time thinking "Did he really just call this a perfectly safe place to live? Is he living on the same Earth as me? Is he talking about something more?" But he kept saying this world is a perfectly safe place to live. Now...I wonder would you be able to say that to Christians in a certain Asian country that I use to work in? Could you tell them while they are hiding for their lives because of persecution that we live in a perfectly safe world? Could you say that to thousands and thousands of people who know that they could die tomorrow because of their faith in Jesus.

I disagree Skye. There aren't two ways to look at the world. There is ultimately one way to look at this world. This is a dangerous and scary place to live. Now there are two ways we can live this out. We could live in fear trying to get God on our side. Or we could live in Faith knowing that even though it is a dangerous world God is with us and I have nothing to fear. I also believe Jesus viewed this world as a dangerous and scary place to live...otherwise I don't think he would have been praying.

I also disagree with you on one other thing. Living a radical lifestyle is not about changing your circumstances and I thought it was maybe a little too bold of you to call that lifestyle unbiblical. I don't know if you noticed but I was the one who gasped out loud when you said that. So here is what I think...being one who tries to live this lifestyle. Sometimes living radical for Jesus is about changing your circumstances. For instance, my husband and I felt God calling us to get rid of our cable. So we changed that. But it is very Biblical to sell all of your stuff and become a community of believers. Acts 2 is a great example of that. But not my point... living radical is about using your circumstances in a different way for God. Using what you have and using it for Christ. Challenging those around you...even those who are "higher" in authority than you. I don't think your view of living radical was at all what most of the authors I have read were saying. Have you read "Crazy Love" or "Unleashed"? Just wondering.

So my challenge for you whoever is reading this. View this world as a dangerous and scary place, but don't live in fear. Live in faith knowing that God is with us.

So Much to Say...

Well I have been extremely busy and I just realized that I hadn't written about our car breaking down and how God blessed us that day.

We were on our way to our alumni picnic. We were excited to see lots of friends we hadn't seen in a LONG time and just getting to talk to everyone. We were nearly there when all of a sudden everything in our car went bad. The battery light was one, the power steering wasn't working and the car started to overheat. Just our luck I thought. A couple of years ago our car broke down in Sioux Falls, SD and that cost us more than we could afford. So we pulled over into a trailer park and I sat there thinking..."there goes my car!" I was thinking there was no way we could afford to fix it again. I was sure that the bill would be well over $300 not adding in towing and all that.

Well here was our second problem. I only had one number of someone at the college and I knew they wouldn't be home since they would be a the reunion that we were suppose to go to. So I started dialing numbers I knew were campus numbers. I actually ended up calling our old number and finally reached someone. The only problem was she didn't actually work with the college...she worked with another school. But she gave me numbers of two people I could call. One happened to be the mom of one of my friends in my class. So I called her! I told her what happened and let her know we just needed a ride to campus so we could figure out what to do. Well her suburban was being used, but I could call her daughter who was with the rest of my class and maybe they could all figure it out. So I called my friend.

I got her on the phone and told her what had happened and that we just needed a ride. Well she had planned for the people borrowing her parents car could give us a ride. But then her husband wanted to talk to my husband to see if he could figure out what was wrong. Well get this...He know what was wrong and we was going to stop and get his tools and a part and come fix our car! Is God good or what??? Well it was a bit more than just what he thought...but he was still able to fix it all. Most of the one section of the car had to come out and be put back in...but he fixed it!

So we could look at it it took all day and we only got to be at a small part of the picnic. Or we could look at it like this...

We almost didn't go. Then we could have broken down around here. The fixing would have cost us a LOT more. But we did go. We called a random number and the lady gave us two numbers. I chose the one I knew the best who gave me the number of her daughter whose husband fixes cars in his spare time....and he FIXED our car! We were so blessed.

Thank you to our friends who helped us know who you are!