Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Speaking of weight.... Thats a biggie as far as NYR's go isnt it? Everyone resolves to get skinny and pray more.
What commitments are you making this new year?
David had depression and anxiety...the Psalms are full of examples. Paul said he was afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. Job prayed that the day he was born would be blotted out. All these men never turned to sorcery/witchcraft/pills. Are we shaking off the Lords chastening/teaching when we take these pills? If you have never wrestled with mental illness and have no compassion then you cant really judge.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I know these scriptures are listing the requirements for those in ministry but we should all practice hospitality of some sort.
Not all of us have the *gift* of hospitality but every believer should be willing to open their heart and home from time to time.It is a very effective form of service and ministry.
I am praying God would inspire and allow me to open my home to serve generously through hospitality. Praying that my children will learn about hospitality.
It doesn't take much. A cup of coffee and a warm heart to open your life and home to others. A generous show of Gods love through fellowship.I have too often neglected to open my home because perhaps I didn't have my house just right or didnt have enough money to serve a full meal with all the right touches. Plates that don't match or a wall that is in need of paint. Honestly in my case its just boils down to selfishness. I love my privacy. I don't want make myself vulnerable. Don't want to open myself to criticism. I can and have come up with a million excuses to why I don't serve others through hospitality. It truly takes humility to open your home.
I am hoping that 2009 will be a year filled with hospitality and service!
Its more blessed to give than receive.....
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
"In our home, we begin training our children to conform to the image of God when they are still small by teaching only one thing - that they must always obey us with a willing and pleasant spirit. When we start with just that one thing, we don't have to do much else. What could be more simple? Once your child understands obedience, everything else is pretty much taken care of. Henceforth, you can simply ask him to come to you and he will. You can ask him to pick up his toys and he will. You can ask him to get ready for bed and he will trot off and do so. You can even ask him to "stop crying," and he will stop. Simple. Obedience is really all you need to teach a little one."
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Its hard to get our priorities straight.Particularly as mothers of small children. Children who need constant attention. Hard but not impossible.
Susannah Wesley, a homeschooling Mother of 10 children. John and Charles Wesley's Mom. Married to a Pastor, she was the family manager of money.While her husband was away she led a home church group. A strict disciplinarian she home schooled her children 6 hours a day using a curriculum she wrote. All of this and more can be learned about this amazing woman and yet Susannah Wesley prayed two hours a day. She adhered to a strict schedule so that she could accomplish this prayer life. She managed her home around the thing that was most important. Relationship with Him. Everything was oriented around Him. If she couldn't find a room to retreat to, her children watched her bow down on the floor and flip her apron up over her head to pray.
Isaiah 40:11, 'He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.'
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
We are commanded to be our children's teachers. You shall teach them diligently to your children. They are after all our children. Our responsibility. The government would like to program us all into believing that a child's education is the governments responsibility but it isn't.
When to teach them ...... when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Basically all the time we are to be teaching and talking to our children about God.
How to teach them.... You shall teach them diligently to your children. We certainly cant teach our children the precepts of God if we are not even with them! Lets think about it like this. Could we as adults hang out with a group of people ....any group of people for 8 hours a day every day and not be influenced? No way! Our children are more easily influenced than we are. They will be molded by someone.
Notice the Bible doesn't say one thing about the necessity of worldly socialization here. Nothing about being able to relate to the world. In fact verse 20 instructs us parents to tell our children about how God delivered us out of Egypt! How can we do that if they are being taught by Egyptians? The Bible never even mentions academic education here. The teaching and learning going on here is about God. The love of God. The sovereignty of God. So much rich instruction on how to teach our own children to be found in His Word.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Self esteem. Self acceptance. Self love. The whole world is on a crusade to convince us that we would all be happier and more content if we would just love ourselves more.
I'm sorry but that's just hooey!
The Bible does indeed have alot to say about self......things like deny your self. Mortify the deeds of this body....(that means *Kill Yourself* in today's language). If you want to live you have to die. No man has ever hated his own flesh (self)....but he loves it and nourisheth it. We don't have low self esteem. No, we don't. We love ourselves. The Bible says we do. Ephesians 5:29 .
We all love ourselves. And way too much. Who needs Baal or Ashteroth? These days we bow down before the idol of self love and self esteem. I ,me,my.
The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. Notice He didn't say love yourselves He knew we already do that and quite well thank you. Jesus told us to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves because we love ourselves so much. He knew if we loved and served others like we do ourselves there would be no problems.
The world is upside down. The very thing that it seeks is the very thing God tells us to kill. Self seeking,self gratification,self esteem self importance all this selfishness is unBiblical. Very unBiblical. In fact the Bible says that we are not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3) and “let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Phil. 2:3). If you want to be first you have to make yourself last. John the Baptist prayed that he would decrease so our Lord could increase in him. And finally ....Jesus Christ our perfect example knew exactly what to do with this flesh. He became a servant and allowed his *self* to be nailed to a cross.
Le 23:29 -
For anyone who does not practice self-denial during that entire day shall be cut off from the people.
Pr 12:9 -
Better to be despised and have a servant, than to be self-important and lack food.
Pr 18:1 -
The one who lives alone is self-indulgent, showing contempt for all who have sound judgment.
Pr 25:28 -
Like a city breached, without walls, is one who lacks self-control.
Pr 26:16 -
The lazy person is wiser in self-esteem than seven who can answer discreetly.
Pr 28:11 -
The rich is wise in self-esteem, but an intelligent poor person sees through the pose.
Mt 23:25 -
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Ac 24:25 -
And as he discussed justice, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present; when I have an opportunity, I will send for you.”
Ro 2:8 -
while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.
Ro 6:6 -
We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
Ro 7:22 -
For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self,
1Co 7:5 -
Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1Co 7:9 -
But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.
1Co 9:25 -
Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.
Ga 5:13 -
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.
Ga 5:23 -
gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
Eph 4:22 -
You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts,
Eph 4:24 - and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I am working on a schedule. My past schedule looks like this...
Wake up ...whenever
Well you get the idea. I have just basically flown by the seat of my skirt. It works (somewhat kinda).
I understand every home has different dynamics that dictate different schedules. Every personality has strengths and weaknesses. I dont think that if we are weak in the area of structure and routine we should just chalk it up to "well thats the way I am". Although I may never be as structured as Sis Duggar I am trying to do better.
God is our example. We are made in His image.God is very structured in His creation. In his world. He made the sun to rise and set on a rigid schedule. The planets circulate according to schedule. The seasons never fail. He is perfect. He knows just how to make it all orbit in alignment. No deviations. No lazy days. No lack of structure just because He's tired grumpy or feeling down.
I am working on being more like Him. I really like the Maxwells Managers of Their Homes. It is a good resource to help the schedully challenged.
ECCLESIASTES 3. There is a time for everything ... He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Spank....I guess this is really controversial these days but still Biblical and effective so yep....The S stands for spank. “The Lord your God…He will quiet you with His Love.” Zephaniah 3:17
Outlast. I know it sounds easy enough but if you have ever gone face to face with the likes of a strong willed child you know that an outlasting session can bring even a very calm cool mom to her wits end. So we have to be able to win. All battles. All the time. Every time. First time obedience is the goal. Jesus said “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:20
Ambush...I know it sounds like a military operation....and I guess it kinda is....you sneak up on them and take action.Instigate a training session. For example I may tell my 2 year old.."No. You cannot pull that glass of Coke down on your head". Instead of moving the cup I leave it there and *act* like I am not watching.Hence ambush.I lay in wait...til he looks at me to see that I am *not looking* (really I am) when he moves in for his sneak attack I am ready! Thank you Navy Seals!
Consistency. Of utmost importance. This is so hard for the lazy and undisciplined (all of us)but oh so very necessary if we want *first time* obedience. It may take a little time,effort and well thought out strategy up front but the reward of an obedient child is so worth it.If a child that is left to his own will bring his mother to shame then the opposite produces an opposite effect. A child that is consistently trained will make his mother proud. “I will not forget you, See I have carved you on the Palms of My Hands”Isaiah 49:15-16
Knit Heartstrings...Finally...probally the most important part of child training ....we have to make ourselves more appealing to our children than Bob,Bill,Sue, the humanistic teacher, even the Sunday School teacher (and for the record I teach SS and love it). I have to hold my child's heart close enough to mold it into His image. I have to make my life more appealing to my children than the world. Hollywood,peer pressure even peers at church can produce some pretty stiff competition. We love and obey Him because He first loved us. Our children will obey us when they love us. Truly love us. I can demand honor all day long and I should and do but if I really want to mold my childs heart then I have to have a love relationship with that child.
“The Lord your God…He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
None of these things can be accomplished if we are not *with* our children. All the time.“They shall be mine, says the Lord of Host…I make them my jewels.” Malachi 3:16
Monday, December 8, 2008
I wonder since I have never heard them confess….
Do they have problems? Has she experienced post partum depression? I mean she has only been *post* partum 18 times now. Do they fight? Cuss? Brawl? Are they normal? I mean they have to be. Right? Human? Has Jim Bob ever had a bad hair day? Do they lie?
“The Duggars: 20 and Counting!” is their new book I plan to read it. But what I would give to read .......*Confessions of the Duggars*. One of the Js (all her 18 childrens name start with a J)will surely write that book or have that interview when they grow up and move out.
Hoping they will anyway.
As much as I admire the Duggars and am fascinated with their family dynamics I wonder....is it really proper to take such a beautiful thing like the rewards of the Lord and turn them for profit. Does that constitute exploitation? I really dont know. Just some thoughts.
1 Unless the LORD builds the house,They labor in vain who build it;Unless the LORD guards the city,The watchman keeps awake in vain. 2 It is vain for you to rise up early,To retire late,To eat the bread of painful labors;For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. 3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,So are the children of one’s youth. 5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;They will not be ashamedWhen they speak with their enemies in the gate.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Truly this may be the biggest stump for most of us. Especially since we live in America where everything we buy sell do and see is geared for.....Ease of use. Visual pleasure. Consumer comfort. And make it quick will ya?
Forget selfless sacrifice. Its all about *you*. You and your pleasure. You and your comfort. But that is not Gods way. *Through much tribulation* is Gods way. Confusing to us spoiled Americans isnt it?
I,me,my. I,me,my. I,me,my. Ever notice that the model our Lord gave us for daily prayer...The *Lords Prayers...doesnt mention I,Me,My one time. Even when we ask for daily bread we are to do it in a corporate sense. Give us this day our daily bread....not....Give me this day my daily bread. Its so hard to take on this *others focused* perspective.
God didnt put us here for our own pleasure rather He put us here for His pleasure .....which ironically ultimately does indeed bring us pleasure... but the ultimate is rarely the present so we have to endure.
He loves us and wants us to be Happy and Holy....just not necessarily in that order.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I cannot imagine giving them to a secular godless teacher to pump them full of humanism and worse.
Guess I'm just greedy that way. Ive been told I am over protective. A Smother Mother.
And then I found this book http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ Well really first I found the website which basically has the whole book on it. It quickly became my new favorite book on child training.....and I have a huge collection.
So here is a brief synopsis of the book......very brief.....lest you get bored and leave me.....
Keep your kids close to you so can love and train them diligently.
Yep that's it....Just keep em close so you can correct and reward them as needed.
Ahhh! Elizabeth Krueger has made me feel so vindicated!
Children are a reward from the Lord........Happy is the man that hath his quiver FULL of them!
My husband wakes us and we all gather in the living room. He reads us 1 or 2 chapters out of the Bible. A couple months ago we decided to start at Genesis 1:1. We use the ESV Study Bible and will usually read the comments that correspond with the mornings scriptures. The study comments really open up the history and meaning of what we are reading.
Regardless of my childrens age and Biblical interest .....exposure to His word is good. The routine. Showing our children that He is what we start our day with. Training goes beyond the words that are read. We are training hearts and minds to know that every day should be started as a family. With prayer. Considering His word. Sitting quietly with reverence because something greater than self is to be focused upon.
Then we hold hands and say the Lords Prayer. My 2 year old is starting to recite certain portions.
Our evening devotions are about the same except we often will all name something we are thankful for that God has given us that day. We share and pray over prayer requests. Our Bible reading is random in the evening. Ususally a Proverb or Psalm.
What a blessing to begin and end every day with Him! What a blessing to gather as a family.
19And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Attending Club Meetings 58% drop
Family dinners 43% drop
Having friends over 35% drop
I guess pride and selfishness are the 2 biggies that hinder us from having deep relationship with others. Who wants to make themselves vulnerable enough to cultivate true fellowship? After all it takes effort,time,selflessness to build friendships.
Religious groups are a sad example of how we can be in a large group and yet be totally isolated. I attend a large church. Unfortunately I would say most in my church do not have deep loving fellowship with others.
Sometimes when we try to develop these kinds of relationship we are met with awkward resistance. Religious pride? We....especially Apostolic Pentecostals... are worried about divulging the fact that we are indeed human. We fail. We sin. Its easier to just keep it surface please and thank you. Seriously ....when was the last time we truly *confessed our faults* to one another? Too often we cheat ourselves out of healing. But this confession of faults....of being human....is what connects us all. It is the human condition as descendants of Adam.
Jesus Christ does not want us to lead autonomous lives. He would have us invest in others. I hate religious pride. Christ came to liberate us unfortunately religion often isolates and condemns us.
Monday, December 1, 2008
If we are too far one way we can easily become legalist.Trying to earn salvation through *holiness standards*. On the other hand a small shift in the other direction leads us into careless irreverence.
What about during those dry times when we dont feel any particular direction from Him at all. How should we walk then?