First fruits from our garden. Our whole family has worked every day tilling, watering, weeding and planting. We have got 100s of tomatoes ripening. Green beans...Yummy! I can hardly eat a store bought tomato they are so flavorless. Homegrown is the way to go!! My kids are so proud to see the fruit of their efforts. They have enjoyed giving some of our bounty away to friends. Everybody LOVES fresh homegrown fruits and veggies. There is so much to learn from gardening. The law of the harvest for one...you reap what you sow. Diligence pays. There is no rest outside of hard work. It brings you back to the important things in life -- connecting with the earth (can I say that and still maintain my conservative Christian status?)and celebrating God's creation.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Modesty is not only for our own protection but more importantly it is to protect others. We are to love others like Christ loved them and therefore we refuse to tempt them with too much flesh. Christ never tempted His church, Christ never tempted the world. Remember who tempts? The devil, and when we tempt one another we are being the devil personified. I don’t know why God made men so *visual* but He did, so in order to show love and respect for men we should dress modestly.
Every one of our standards should be based on love for God and man. Not one of our standards is enough to win Him. Human efforts are an offense to the cross. Why did He shed His blood if our own righteousness can save us?I don't even like the term *Holiness Standard*. I think it somehow gives the connotation that having some sort of standard makes us holy and truly NOTHING can make us holy except for God. I know what it means, I just think it gives the wrong message. Like we could ever earn His favor.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Modesty doesn’t win Gods favor. If modesty alone impressed God then Muslims in burkas would no doubt be Gods favorites.
Galations 5:19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions,divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Notice the first 3 works of the flesh are Sexual Immorality, Impurity, Sensuality.. Clearly flesh has a problem with these issues and for a woman to tempt a man with a short skirt and a tight shirt is a grave sin. Generally speaking most of these 3 sins start with a woman who is not properly covered up, a woman who is not shamefaced. This passage of scripture also talks about how Sensuality is a sin, I have certainly seen some very sensuous hairstyles. Big, windblown bedroom looking hair...hair that is sensual.
Matt 5:28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Notice the *with her* in this scripture. She is not innocent but is part of the adultery when she puts herself in a place that causes a man to lust after her.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
My husband forwarded me this article.....
Whether it's around the dinner table or sitting in front of the TV, U.S. families say they are spending less time together. The decline in family time coincides with a rise in Internet use, and the boom of social networks—though a new report stops just short of assigning blame.
The center is reporting that 28 percent of Americans it interviewed last year said they have been spending less time with members of their households. Only 11 percent said that in 2006.
Sad, but true that we are spending more and more time on Facebook and Ebay and less time engaged with our children and families. Bowling Alone is a very convicting book about how our connections with one another have plummeted in the last 50 years and Ambient Intimacy has taken the place of real life relationships.
With the inventions of television, Internet, and air conditioning who needs to leave the house to feel connected, comfortable and entertained? We are selfish and not willing to truly invest in others.
Monday, June 22, 2009
This is a response to a couple of comments left under this post...
I totally agree that it is the readers responsibility to discern whether our Christian resources promote *liberty in Christ or legalism*. However I do feel like some of these leaders who are indeed Christian Ministries also have a grave responsibility to use their influence to promote His agenda, not their own.
Matt 23:4 They tie up burdens that are heavy and unbearable and lay them on people's shoulders.....
The Bible particularly the NT is a book full of wisdom and principals with a wholelotta room to meet us right where we are at. It provides grace and allowances, I am amazed at how condescending some of these men and women come across. So many have little time for anything less than perfection....Christ came because He knew we AREN'T perfect. If we had it all figured out He could of bypassed that awful Cross.
Jesus was meek,lowly and very very humble. How can we put heavier burdens on one another than Jesus Himself put upon us? I really believe the root of this move towards legalism in the Homeschool community is pride...it feels good to live and look a certain way...to portray the perfect family.
There is a common theme amongst these HS gurus of rules and regulations with little talk of grace, love and faith. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because they placed so much weight on externals and outward performance and neglected mercy and justice.
Matt 23:23...you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness.
Disclaimer...I have literally 100s of books about homeschool and family...so these posts are a bit of confession, conviction and really just trying to think through what is important. I have a tendency to gravitate towards rules based *programs* because they are easy and feel good...what has helped me and I think would help alot of women who get caught up in these programs is consulting with and then listening to a stable husband. They are here for our protection because we are more easily deceived. I have seen this *protection* work many times in my own home and it may be the only reason we are not Amish....*wink*
Friday, June 19, 2009
My husband and I went through Dave Ramseys FPU twice and have read many many books on finance,savings ect..I am wondering how many people truly really consistently stay on a budget?
NONE of my friends do ...ok there is one but she is so organized and perfect no one likes her, shes just not much fun because she is too busy carefully calculating life to actually live life, and besides that she has an air of superiority because she is so disciplined.
Perhaps budgets are over rated. SAVING....that is key. Maybe this is how our money should go...God first (tithes offering)then SAVING then bills. If we save before we do anything else and cut out debt we can actually retire on something more than frozen pizza. SAVE SAVE SAVE and don't incur debt!!
Budgets are never adhered to. They are made and then disregarded. A loose plan is imperative but a strict budget breeds guilt and a sense of *I can never do this!!*Kinda like living for God..... a bunch of strict rules seem to produce the opposite of the intended effect because failure always sets us up for discouragement and budgets always seem to fail.
What do you think?
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Its easy to turn our family ambitions into a religion. We are so serious about family and the convictions God has given us concerning the family we elevate our burden for a Godly family above God Himself.
Martha was so busy serving Jesus she missed out on...well...Jesus Himself.
Peter was so self determined with zeal and religion that Jesus called him Satan,rebuked him and withdrew His grace so that Peter would know that fleshly efforts don't work.
Eve was seeking knowledge about God when she sinned...seemed noble enough didn't it?
Paul said he considered all of his religious efforts and attainments to be dung.
Seeking knowledge outside of reationship with God is idolatry, I have been guilty.
Isaiah 47:10.......your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,and you said in your heart,“I am, and there is no one besides me.”
Monday, June 15, 2009
There are no shortcuts to God. No amount of reading books can save our children.
Vision Forum, Bill Gothard, No Greater Joy,Steve and Terri Maxwell of Titus 2,Denny Kenaston, and 100s of others ....many of these ministries are full of valuable resources but I see a common thread among them. Black and White formulas that don't give alot of wiggle room for all the dynamics that go into each separate human. God himself didn't include check boxes at the end of each of His chapters like some of these guys. I know the study helps and check boxes are not evil but there seems to be an all or nothing mentality connected to these guys. I guess it takes a strong visionary to put forth resources worthy of our consideration, it just seems that some of these visionarys lack grace and mercy.Man made formulas often produce works of the flesh because who needs relationship and prayer if we can just refer back to chapter 3?
Philippians 3:8 I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ....
These methods often produce legalism and serious guilt because who really measures up to these ideas? OK, so say we do in fact measure up, how many people do you know measure up but manage to keep it humble? If we do somehow fit the bill then that produces a feeling of superiority. So either we've got it or we don't. SO many legalist are being produced by these ministries.Running around policing each other ....tsk tsk shaking our heads....Well if you would of just applied chapter 6 paragraph 2 your son wouldn't of rebelled... when in fact son needed the exact opposite of anything put forth by these ministries. Dear son needed grace and love, which is rarely talked about in these instruction manuals.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalms 127:3-5 ESV)
Voddie Baucham pointed out that the KJV and the ESV are different here in this verse. The ESV really gives us a whole new perspective. I have always thought read and heard that this scripture implies that a man with alot of children is happy, but the ESV says blessed is the man “who fills his quiver", which seems to implicate that a man who is seeking and allowing children is blessed. A man who believes children are truly a reward is blessed, rather than just a man who has a full quiver, which seems more in character with the Lord as He is always much more concerned with our hearts than He is our performance.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Remember when God first drew us? Lots of love and patience went into those formative days months and years. God nurtured us, wooed, loved and held us close until finally He knew we were ready for some harsh reality….a trial, a storm, and then a valley. Of course He went with us and carried us through. There are times He seemed to withdraw His presence but that was part of the training. This is all carefully calculated by the Lord. He knows how to establish our roots and make us eat strong meat.He prepares us for times of battle and victory. He doesn’t save us one week and put us o the mission field the next, neither should we expect our children to be missionaries before its time. We slowly cultivate our precious children just like the Lord works so patiently with us. David killed a lion and a bear before he faced Goliath.
We have a pool and a 2 year old. I don't throw him in, and expect his great swimming ability to be an encouragement to others! I hold him close and acclimate him to the water a little at a time, then when he is ready I will put floaties on him and allow him to float around while I watch. One day he will be ready to swim along side me sans floaties. Eventually I will let him get in the pool while I watch through the window making sure I can trust his ability…. until finally I am 100% sure he can handle swimming on his own,...... then perhaps he can show others how to swim.
Why do gardeners start seedlings out on the window sill? Because the atmosphere has to be just right in order for the little plant to develop strong roots that will withstand the harsh elements of the world. What is the goal of every good gardener? Fruit! That is my goal too. I want my children to bear precious fruit for many generations to come therefore I cultivate,stake,prune and nourish them very carefully.
I am well aware that the day will come when my children will reach an age of maturity and leave home. I plan on this and do expose them to the world, even the ugly side of it. No we don't hang out at the bar, but the mall is not much better and we go to the mall. I don't have to dump my children at the public school in order to train them in how to react and handle the world, they see the depravity of this world at Walmart.
But your kids will never know how to handle the world if they aren't in it!!
This may be a shocker to some of you but we get to experience the ugly sinful side of the world right in the enjoyment of our own home. Front row seats. We don’t need public school to teach us how to lust and be greedy. We are human. Fallen humans. Of course there are indeed some faces of sin and shame that my children will never experience but that's ok they get the idea just by being human.
All the sheltering in the world will not negate the fact that we are fallen and in need of grace. Desperately. He alone can and will save my children. My best efforts are not enough. My training program has flaws but His promises are fool-proof.
The promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off....
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Perhaps people who are so very concerned about children needing socialization have fallen for a worldly philosophy that says it is important to immerse our children in the world in order to allow them to develop properly. Hogwash!
I have never put my children in a nursery or daycare. They never went to pre-k. They have never played with the neighbors kids. My children have never developed an appetite for a lot of friends so it’s no big deal. They don’t even really know they are missing out on hearing about sex from the neighborhood boys. They don’t get wedgies in the bathroom at school. No one steals their lunch money. They don’t watch TV at the neighbors house. They've never seen a sitcom, that almost without exception always includes a homo as the hero. They have no idea how deprived they really are. Please don’t tell them.
Well how can your children be salt and light if you never allow them to socialize?
I definitely want my children to be salt and light and I believe they are. Just the fact that we are separate and do carefully orchestrate our socialization is a witness. My children actually influence others because they are not immersed in the world. The Dr, Dentist relatives, even church friends can be *witnessed to* just by us living a separated life, that in itself is a witness to the importance of Jesus Christ and His grace. Who does the Dentist notice, watch and take note of? The average Hannah Montana girl or my wholesome Godly daughter with a modest dress and meek spirit? Who speaks louder?
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
- Fast food and frozen dinners have replaced family time around the dinner table.
- Motorized baby swings have replaced the rocking chair.
- Plastic bottles of formula have replaced mothers milk.
- Baby carriers have replaced moms arms.
- The blessing of children has been replaced with a lie that children are a burden.
- Public schools have replaced parents teaching their children Christian principals at home.
- Televisions have replaced family devotions and fellowship.
- Siblings playing together has been replaced by individuals playing video games.
- Child training has been replaced by the building up of our children's self esteem.
- Moms have been replaced with Daycare Workers making 6.00 an hour.
- Full Quivers are replaced by 1.8 children who are a hindrance.
- Family as priority has been replaced by money, careers and fancy lifestyles.
- Dads authority in the home has been replaced with a domineering wife.
- Organized sporting events have replaced building things and tinkering outside with dad.
- The Prosperity Gospel has replaced repentance and sharing in the fellowship of His sufferings.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Confession is a Biblical command, it isn't optional. I am convinced that God wants us to relate not only to Him but each other. It is impossible to have deep meaningful relationships with our brothers and sisters without opening our hearts. God wants us to go beyond dishonest superficial shallow relationship. He wants us to be Him in flesh, to extend His mercy. To seek His counsel and love among His own people. We have the ability to love,extend mercy and even restore each other, not only the ability but the responsibility.
John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.
I really think confession is a missing component in our walks today, particularly in some more conservative churches, where much is expected in the way of performance.
Truly we can all extend mercy because to some degree we have all dealt with the same sins.
Confession is good for the soul. Truly it is liberating both to the one who confesses but also to the one who listens. Both walk away feeling like *I am not alone* and it holds one accountable when you know they know...
Gods desire is that the world would recognize us by our love for one another, it is impossible to truly love each other if we are always hiding from each other. Nothing binds a friendship like sharing our hearts. Nothing extracts pride and inserts humility like allowing others to know you have real problems.
Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other..John 13:35
Of course we have to use discretion, confessing sin is a bit risky but that is why it produces such enormous fruit, like everything in His Kingdom, true Christian joy and liberty always comes with sacrifice and stepping out in faith.
Jesus was willing to be put to an open shame, His willingness to be humbled and die brought about life. When we allow ourselves to be open we are setting ourselves up for enormous victory.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I have written about mental illness and psychiatric drugs before.I think that God often uses times of Mental Illness in the lives of some Christians to love,correct and teach.
- Job wanted to die and begged God to take his life.
- Saul was vexed by Mental Illness and tried to ward it off with soothing music instead of repentance.
- David had times of severe mental suffering, day and night Gods heavy hand was upon him.
- Nebuchadnezzar, (Daniel 4) was struck with mental illness as a time of chastisement for his pride, he was so out of it he ate grass, quit bathing and let his fingernails grow out like birds talons, when he came to he worshipped with a whole new perspective on God.
- Deut. 28:27-29,34 mentions "madness" as a divine chastisement
- Paul said "Without were fightings, within were fears"
I think that there are way too many pills being pushed today. Particularly to *Christians* who need to stop and consider if these struggles are not the hand of God trying to save us and teach us. Nothing withdraws pride like a good mental breakdown. God knows how to extract those self efforts and insert compassion and absolute utter dependence on Him alone.
Perhaps depression is not a time to take pills and reflect on ourselves and our childhood like the pop psychologist would have us believe. Maybe God is trying to cause us to cry out to Him, to learn compassion for others who suffer. To share in the fellowship of His sufferings. Suffering can be such an effective tool in Gods hand if we allow it.