Friday, April 20, 2007

Is this leagalism?

I had a recent conversation that has left me with some questions and thoughts.

The comment or question was raised out of concern for a fellow christian. 'Should we be concerned and say something if a family continues to make commitments that take them away from church activities?'

My answer was 'Yes.' In the past eight years of youth ministry we have seen a definite pattern in church attendance. Almost without exception when a family starts making commitments that take them away from church activities it is just one step in several that lead them away from the Lord. Whether that activity be work, school, sports, drama, music, whatever. So when I see the pattern starting my radar goes up and I beleive as 'family' we should hold eachother accountable.

This did not go over well with those in the conversation. I was surprised to hear that I was being leagaistic and judgmental. So I went home prayed, talked to my husband, and meditated on the thing. Was I being judgmental? Was this leagalistic?

Let me say that I do not think it a sin to miss church. It is not a sin to miss mid-week acitivities at church. I don't think it sinful to not be at church everytime the church doors are open. I think it is a condition of the heart. Sometimes we are eager to sing 'I Surrender All' and then say 'I am too tired to go to church', or 'I need a break'. These are not valid reasons. We are called as God's people to die to ourselves. Our selfish desires. I am talking to myself just as much as anyone else. Although my selfishness may not be visible like not attending a church service. It comes out otherways. Like being upset because I can't do something I want. Not wanting to get up in the middle of the night with a crying baby. Not wanting to prepare dinner. Not wanting to match socks. Not wanting to work in the nursery. Not wanting to teach a class. The list goes on... My selfishness may not be outward because although I don't want to do something most of the time I do it anyway. I still cook dinner, get up with the baby and etc. Sometimes my heart is not in it. I think that as long as what IS in my heart is although I don't want to, I will do it because I choose to obey the Lord. And I need to pray that my heart will meet my actions. I think this is part of the sactification process.

No I can not judge anothers actions. No I can not require something that is not required in scripture. I do think a tactful question about what is going on might be appropriate though. Not out of judgment, but concern. A genuine concern for a fellow brother and sister to not fall away, but press on.

The world is inticing and intoxicating in what it offers. I truly believe that we are in a fight for our families. Satan would like nothing more than to draw us away from the Lord. That may start with small decisions that are in themselves not bad or sinful.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Added Link

I love to read the stories of what God had done in the lives of His people. I have read some amazing stories of provision and grace while blog-hopping. I didn't think that I would add this link but I want God to have all the glory for what He has done in my life in any way possible so I added a link to our adoption website to the right. To God be the glory.

Heaven at Home by Ginger Plowman

I have finished book #3 on the Spring Reading Thing Challenge. I am so glad that I came across this book through my new hobby of blog-hopping. I had never heard of this author either as with Carolyn Mahaney. I wish I could say that I have implemented all of Mrs. Plowman'sideas and now our home is peaceful and enjoyable at every moment, but that is never going to happen. This book did remind me of some things I can do to increase the 'enjoyable peace' quotient.

Our home school is run on a pretty good routine schedule, but there were some good ideas on giving your child structure and routine. I heartily agree with the book in saying that children do better with routine and scheduled activity. Especially as we are finishing up this school year I am reminded that my kids don't do well with too much free time. All the kids have hobbies that by themselves are not bad in moderation or small amounts of time. Emma (13) enjoys the computer, Eli (10) likes video games, Eden (9) likes playing with friends, and Eva (6) loves movies. They would each choose to do just their one thing if the choice was theirs to make. This does not mean lots of outside commitments with practices and lessons, just having something productive to do at most times. Especially with our newest addition to the family (Ella who is 14 months) Mrs. Plowman had some great ideas that I had not thought about in regards to keeping baby on a 'play schedule'. She is on a good schedule with eat ting and sleeping but not so much on what she is doing while awake. I am going to try to add these and see if it helps baby be more peaceful during school time.

I thought her take on discipline was right on. I almost skipped the chapter on discipline because the chapter before was on 'Gentle Parenting'. I thought gentle parenting was something else and after reading the two chapters together I have a better understanding. It was very encouraging for me to watch my words in child training.

I would love to observe Mrs. Plowman's family for a day or two and see this in action. I think our family is implementing most of the content of this book but we are all sinners that are works in progress and can all use improvement. This book didn't give me the feeling that I/we needed a huge family overhaul, but it gave me many great ideas to 'tweak' things here and there. I love reading books by fellow home schoolers!

I have two more books on my list. One Home at a Time and Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. I think I will get to add several books to my list which is great since I have seen several that look wonderful.

I received an email yesterday that had a interesting book advertised. It was called Revolutionary Parenting. It is written by George Barna and looks very intriguing. They surveyed young adults that were strong in their faith and living it out and then went to their parents to see how they raised them and looked at the similarities. The requirement for the young adults were:

Knowing, loving, and serving God was identified as their top priority in life.
They described their faith in God as being of the highest importance.

Each of these young adults possessed a "biblical worldview," based on their responses to a series of questions about their view of life. In essence, they contend that absolute moral truth exists; such truth is defined in the Bible; God is the all-knowing and all-powerful creator and ruler of the universe; faith in Jesus Christ is the only means to salvation; Satan is a real being; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and all of the principles taught in the Bible are true and accurate.

They believe that their main purpose in life is to love God with all their heart, mind and strength.

They are currently active in a vibrant community of faith, as demonstrated by their consistent engagement in worship, prayer, Bible study and spiritual accountability

George Barna states that in his research only one out of ten young adults meets the above criteria. That is sad to me, but I want my 5 kids in the minority.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

God is so good!

I got a fresh word from the Lord last night! Yahoo! I love that when that happens!

My heart feels lighter this morning. I have been searching for answers from the Lord for the past several months and last night He spoke clearly to my heart through His Word.

God has showed me how I run ahead of Him. I see Him working in an area or moving in my life and I fill in the rest of the blanks without His help and not in His timing. Why is that? I beleive that it is pride. Pride on my part that I know what God is thinking. That I can second guess what He is up to. Rarely am I right, yet I continue this way. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Hmmm... I get frusterated with my children when they interup me in mid-sentence or take a command I have given them and then run in a wayward direction with it. But that is what I do with God. And then I live in frustration when things don't go the way I thought they would or should. I want to be patient and stay by God's side. Not lagging behind but definitely not running ahead.

Thank you Lord for never loosing your patience with me. Help me to stay in the shelter of you wings.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Feminine Appeal review

I get to check another book off of the Spring Reading Thing challenge. Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney was excellent! When starting a new book I always look through the titles of the chapters and predetermine which ones the Lord will speak to me through. I would have never guessed before reading the book that the chapter titled 'The rewards of kindness' would have spoken to me the way it did. The Lord revealed some things that I did not realize were in my heart. Thank you Lord, for revealing secret things in my heart.

The last chapter is called 'Margaret's Story'. Can I just say I want that to be said of me. As I read about this dear sweet woman I kept thinking 'She is amazing'. I want to be content in my life. That serving my family is enough and I mean really serving them like Margaret. The Lord has showed me some things that still need to be removed to do this. I pray that I have the courage to do that. To give up the things that maybe are not best for my family. Good things, even godly things, just not God's best for me. I pray that I would not to worry or even consider what others may think of me for leaving commitments. I want to serve my family well.

This book was filled with encouragment as well as challenges. I had never heard of the Mahaney's before. I will have to look into other books they have written.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Dyson give away

Check this out and here too. Fun!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Amazing Grace

I loved this movie and love this video. Enjoy!