Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Children. Blessing or Burden?

The children of thy servants shall continue and their seed shall be established before thee. Psalm 102:28
It is unfortunate that we have bought into the worldly lie that children are a burden.
Keeper at home? Whats that? Train them up in the way they should go? Day care and public school are there to train my children..... This is a worldly perspective that has permeated our churches until a couple who who has a large family is considered an exception and a weird exception at that. A wife who serves her family through ....well..... serving her family is a rarity.
What if Pentecost caught the vision that children really are a blessing? What if we all really believed that children are the parents sole responsibility? Children really are an heritage of the Lord? A reward?
What if mom and dad have 6 children and each of them have 6 children that would be 36 children.... follow this pattern for 5 generations add them all up including spouses and that is more than 10,000 descendants! Imagine the possibilities? Who needs 17 different kinds of ministries, puppets, clowns and a divorce recovery program? If we placed *relationship* with Christ and with one another back into the home/family what would happen?
Didn't God make you one? Your flesh and spirit belong to him. And what does the same God look for but Godly descendants? Malachi 2:15

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Train For Eternity

Determine a vision for your children and then train them into it.

Yes our children have unique God given personalities. They have certain traits or tendencies. Of course we can be over bearing. We shouldnt be as domineering as the Jewish woman who starts referring to her 6 week old baby as *my son the doctor* or *my son the lawyer*. I think too much guidance and we can smother the very life out of a child. "Where there is no vision the people perish."

But certainly God has given us an incredible amount of influence to determine and direct our children's vocation, their religion, political preference, character, world view. We have the power to shape and mold the very heart of another human and guess what is so very exciting about that? *As arrows in the hand of a mighty man so are children of the youth....*

If we do it right and we instill within them a vision for His kingdom and then they allow grace to permeate their lives then we will be bearing precious fruit for years and years to come!*Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations. Is 58:12*

Now that is almost shout-worthy!!!

My son *The Christian*!


I am so glad that Christmas is over!

I'm ready to get my children back into their lessons. So glad to get back into a structured routine. So glad to start thinking about living a calm peaceful sober life. One dedicated to Christ and family. Christmas is a holiday that promotes excess and then some more excess. I don't even really consider it a Christian Holiday since so much of it totally contradicts anything Christ-like.

I like calm peaceful productive days. So glad its over. Every year I try to get into the Holidays and every year I wonder what the fuss is about. How can everyone be so caught up in something that promotes so much much stress,debt and carnality.

That's how I *really* feel. I know I am a scrooge but like I said I really do try....I just cant seem to muster up that Christmas spirit.

Bah Humbug!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Child Training

Its the day after Christmas and my 2 year (we've nicknamed him *the TV* because we watch him for entertainment) has been exhibiting his true self. He has wanted all the gifts he didn't get....well its not really the gifts he wants just *control* of them. So I have scolded him everytime he tries to whine or cry for a gift that isn't his. Everytime. I try to always discipline for selfishness and always reward for selflessness. Make all displays of selfishness counter productive.My theory is that if crying whining and pouting doesn't work for The TV he will eventually quit using those tactics.Seems to work pretty good. It took my husband several years to figure this one out when dealing with me. :-)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Years Resolution

I have never ever broken not one New Years Resolution! Never. For real. Course I've never made one either. I have always heard that no one ever keeps them so I spared myself the disappointment of failure. See how that works? Dont resolve to do anything and then you dont have all that pressure weighing on you.

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?

Depression Anxiety

There is no depression/anxiety bacteria that can be identified, there are no blood or lab tests to determine if a person has depression/anxiety. PET scans, MRIs, and EEGs cant identify depression/anxiety.Since there is no test we have to rely on Dr's. These *experts* will usually admit they are practicing. They are guessing. There are 100s of mind drugs available and Dr's. will tell you that one may work as well as another. Its a gamble. These drugs take 6 to 8 weeks to work so that's alot of waiting and guessing. Alot of faith in a little hope. We are so quick to label sin problems, selfishness and personality flaws as a *medical condition*. Drs have pills....not discernment. Sometimes its easier to pop a pill than repent or wait.

Certainly there are people that suffer with true medical clinical mental illness. The kind that takes Doctors, medicine and perhaps even hospitalization. This is a legitimate illness but should be treated very carefully since it affects the mind....the very place where we have our relationship with God. If we drug and numb our minds then could we be numbing the very voice of God.Depression and anxiety are God ordained at times. To make us cry out. To chasten us. To love us.To humble us. To teach us compassion. So we can have fellowship with Him through suffering. What if God is using mental illness as the agent to save us and change us and we don't even consider Him? We numb His voice with drugs and pop psychology.
The word *witchcraft* in the King James is translated pharmakia. Sound familiar? The Greek word “pharmakia” literally means “drugs”. There is a connection between all these drugs and witchcraft. Are psychiatrist and MDs that dole out all these drugs modern day Witch/Doctors? Only these modern types are much better paid and respected than their predecessors.I am not heartless. I am not even 100% clear on where I stand on these issues. I think that there are no doubt some people who need drugs but wow! I cannot believe how many Christians take pills for everything.

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.
King Nebuchadnezzar ate grass and had fingernails like a bird. Clearly he was mentally ill. He went through a God ordained season of chastening. When Nebuchadnezzar came out of his time of chastening he was a changed man “I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked to heaven. I was given my mind back and I blessed the High God, thanking and glorifying God, who lives forever.......“At the same time that I was given back my mind, I was also given back my majesty and splendor, making my kingdom shine. All the leaders and important people came looking for me. I was reestablished as king in my kingdom and became greater than ever. And that’s why I’m singing -- I, Nebuchadnezzar -- singing and praising the King of Heaven:“Everything he does is right, and he does it the right way. He knows how to turn a proud person into a humble man.”

Monday, December 22, 2008


........ vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach........

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


We are all aware of the spirit that permeates the Holiday season. The spirit (little s) I speak of has nothing to do with Jesus. No it doesnt. The marketers have done a fabulous job of turning something potentially beautiful into a commercialized stress fest. A celebration built on debt and guilt rather than love and peace. This Holiday promotes covetousness like no other.The *spirit of Christmas* directly contradicts many of Christs teaching.

Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Luke 12:15).

All that being said the Bible is clear on Holidays. We have liberty under Christ to celebrate Holidays as long as our concious permits. As long as we can do it *unto the Lord* and it is not a stumbling block to our fellow brethren. 1 Corinthians 8, 1 Corinthians 10:23-33

Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday,
This Scripture in Colossians is followed by scriptures talking about the type of people who like to judge falsely and act holy claiming that they have seen angels visions[false] humility and the worship of angels tell you that you don't deserve a prize. Such a person, whose sinful mind fills him with arrogance, gives endless details of the visions he has seen.

These scriptures describe perfectly all those self righteous religious types who love to go around telling everyone how much holier they are because they have heard from God on Christmas and God said its pagan and yada yada yada.....Corinthians actually refers to those that abstain as the weaker one.

So does that mean that those who have Christian liberty to party, to eat drink and celebrate.... those are actually the ones that have more faith?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Child Training In Just One Easy Step

The following is a quote by Elizabeth Krueger author of Raising Godly Tomatoes. I have found her book and website to be the absolute best Biblical resource when it comes to child training.
"Teaching obedience so you don’t have to teach anything else."

"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

Holiness Standards

Holiness Standards

Even that reference kinda bugs me. Holiness standards. Like a standard could possibly make us holy.
He is Holy therefore we are holy. See the cause and effect? Standards do not make one holy. Standards are supposed to be the fruit of the root. The root being Jesus and His holiness within us. Cart/Horse. Matt 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
Every *standard* that we adhere to is not to make us Holy but rather to reflect His Holiness within us. Standards are to serve another. Every one of them. We dress modestly so we wont cause another to stumble. We give up some of the world so that we might bless and save others. We should orient every standard around Him and others. You shall love the Lord your God ........You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
Too often we think that our outward holiness standards are what is saving us but in reality we will never be holy enough to earn His favor. Never.All our righteousness is like filthy rags.
Love and service are His standards and if we have Him in our hearts we will indeed bear fruits of holiness. The standard will manifest automatically. If we hang pretty fruit on a rotten tree that fruit will eventually rot.
The Pharisees held very high *holiness standards* they were religious, fasted, tithed, believed in God, they even walked around in long robes (sound familiar?) and yet Jesus rebuked that group of religious people more than any other group. He called them whited sepulchres which basically means that the outside looked good but inside was dead rotten flesh bones. Hypocrites!
I am not for one moment saying that we should not maintain a holy seperate life....I am saying we should be careful with our motives. Careful about love. Luke 11:42 For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Praying Mother Susannah Wesley

My greatest desire is to have a relationship with Him. I want relationships with people at my church and in my family but I desperately need Him. I need to have a close relationship with Him. He created us for relationship. Jesus Christ is proof that God wants to come close. Very close.

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.
God grant us mothers grace to cultivate relationship with you! It is all that matters. If we are in close deep relationship with You Lord everything will align itself.

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

Deut 6

Deuteronomy 6

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.
What to teach them.... Deut 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. I think that this refers to the Oneness of God in contrast to the trinity but I also think it speaks to us about the sovereignty of God. We are to forsake idol gods. To teach our children that there it to be only One who sits on the throne of our hearts.

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
Do school...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

SOACK Child Training

Heres a quick ACROSTIC I came up with so I could remember how to train my children....Spank. Outlast. Ambush. Consistency. Knit Heartstrings.

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 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

The Duggars

I love the Duggars. They are my heroes. They make it look so easy….

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 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.

Rewards of the Lord Psalm 127

Psalm 127

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

Happy or Holy

We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be....CS Lewis

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?

Hurts bad.

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

Keeping Your Kids Close

I used to feel ashamed about wanting to keep my children with me *all the time*.I have always wanted my kids close to me.To school my kids. Vacation with them. Stay home with them. Teach them about God.

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 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!

Cardboard Testamonie

Family Devotions

This is how our Family Devotions go.

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.
Deuteronomy 11:19

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.

The Bridge

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Religious Isolation

The following stats are from Bowling Alone
Trends over the last 25 years........

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 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


Its very hard to strike just the right balance in our *walks*.
Very hard outside of deep relationship with Jesus Christ that is.

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?
During those times we tend to float....doing what we know to do without divine unction. Is that legalism? Obedience?One foot in front of the other. Is that faith or failure?
Its hard to be balanced and religious. I think the answer is relationship. Religion can be either condemning or liberating. Or in most cases...both.