Monday, December 23, 2013

Whooooo gets the glory?

Why am I so angry?
As I read an article on line about how some parents are feeding their kids only once a week I became angry. Of course if it was food it would be unheard of but they were talking about spiritually. And then you don’ t really feed them, you let someone else feed them by sending them to church.  As I am reading this article I become more and more angry. It seems to indicate that IF you feed your kids daily on His Word and do this right then your kids would be so much further along.  They wouldn’t become teenagers maybe or wouldn’t make the mistakes that all humans make? Really?  I guess the reason that I became angry is because I fell into this lie trap early on and because I did exactly the opposite I had HIGH expectations, hence my response to the article...

How about the other direction,
how about gorging them every day,
scriptures everyday…singing to them while they are still drinking just milk about the amazing God they will be serving for the rest of their lives.
 Scripture memorization? Of course! 
I used to read half a proverb to them and they could quote the rest. They knew they truth,  they lived the truth. Oh well you must have been hypocrites? No, we lived the truth, we weren’t perfect by a long shot but we fed them the word and practiced serving Him daily. I was with them 24 seven;  we talked of it by the way side, while we were walking, laying down, eating. Maybe we should have served more people, maybe we should have, should have, should have….. We taught them about the pits to avoid, yet some have run to the pit at the first opportunity and jumped in, we told them about how to do things God’s way, they want to do it their own way. 
We did everything….
Wait, everything? No, God had to be in there somewhere, the power of the Holy Spirit weren’t you there?  God, did I imagine it? Was it all me? All flesh ? Legalism?  Please tell me you were there? Please tell me it was not all filthy rags! Please show me that something stuck! Please show me even now that the things they were fed every day counted for something. Please tell me that you are more powerful than genetics, stupidity, foolish ambition, doubt, pride and the lies of Satan. Please God show me some sign that it was not all for nothing. They should be so much farther along in the race, so much stronger because they were brought up on the Word, shouldn’t they? Would we have done better to put them out in the germs so that their immune system could’ve grown stronger?  To bring on the music, the TV, the worldly so they wouldn’t have thought they were being deprived. Courtship….what a joke. Oh God was it all for not, did we think we were building our house on the rock but we were really just storing up treasures for ourselves, lining the nest, building the arsenal to make life easy on us. Ugh!
No matter how we did it the Holy Spirit has to do His work, my kids still have to go through the refiners fire. I can’t turn down the heat, I no longer have any control. God had to wait until all my resources were depleted, all power and all control were gone so He could begin the real work. The dirty work. He is working and in the end only He will get the glory, not me, not my homeschooling not my spiritual teaching. Oh yes, I received plenty of, “you have the best kids.” and “your kids are so good” many times I said, “ it’s God’s grace” but still in the midst of my heart I bask in it. Pride is such a sticky thing because we call it confidence or faith in God. There is a thin line between Godly confidence and prideful arrogance. Now I am humbled. There will be no greater joy then to hear that all my children walk in truth, but now I will know that is will be ALL God and by his grace alone. Am I telling you NOT to teach your kids the Word, absolutely not, that would be going AGAINST His Word. I am simply saying leave room for the Holy Spirit to work, don't take the entire project of making your kids Godly on your own shoulders. Of course I begged God for wisdom, of course I believe that sometime, somewhere the word that was planted in their heart will spring forth but it is not my job to make it grow, nor is it my choice to choose when or how fast it will grow. According to the Bible God can use my children any time and any place...even before they become...perfect!  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Listen up, I have some wisdom to share with you....hello?

What I Wish for You

It has been proven that the air that is moved by the wing of a butterfly can affect the air all the way around the world.  So something that is set in motion will not be stopped unless something like friction stops it. So one choice can begin a domino effect in your life that can only be stopped by friction….the only friction that can stop a snowball headed for hell (however slowly, or unnoticed) is prayer and God’s grace.  
Matthew 19:30  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.  
If you apply this scripture to a pit, it is so clear that the first ones in the pit are going to be the last one’s out. So for you it may be easier for you to climb out of the pit when you finally notice that you are in the pit, albeit shallow, provided that you do not continue shoveling yourself lower into the pit by continuing to make the same choices that got you in the pit to begin with. How can you judge whether you are in the pit or not? How many classes do you need to skip or fail before you are considered a high school dropout….or college failure? How much does your grade point average need to drop before you see the shovel of dirt digging your own pit in your hands? At what number of cigarettes to you consider yourself hooked? It is easy for a fish to know when he is hooked because it is so obvious….but not a smoker….or a drinker. How many drinks before you can be considered an alcoholic?  How many classes are you late for or miss,  or how many times are you late for work, or how many times do you perform half way before it begins to become a habit or worse…an ingrained part of your personality?  Look around you at the other teens when you consider this and don’t be so prideful to consider yourself immune….Satan is the Father of lies and deception and he would love for you to fall into THAT pit!
Luke 16:10  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
If you don’t even want to take a college class next semester what makes you think we would risk sending you over to seas to study. What difference does it make where you study, the point is, will you study at all? When are your priorities going to be about your future, about a vision, instead of the here and now?  Maybe you just need time to grow up. Maybe you are more following the word then I, today has enough trouble of its own.  Yes, you are much more mature then most teenagers,  but your focus on yourself gives you away, your ability to miss the things of the greatest importance….yes probably in my opinion… maybe.  I mentioned success being the most important, but no, I was wrong. Putting God first in your life is the most important; how can I ask you to grow up when even I immediately jump to the comfort zone zombie apocalypse, worldly success! Yes, I, at 52, do not have my priorities straight. What do I want…no, I don’t want you to be a mama’s boy, I don’t want you to sit at home and watch movies with me. I don’t even want you to have  a house with two kids and a good wife and live in the suburbs and go to church every Sunday. I want you to experience life, to have adventures, not at other people’s expense, not because you almost got arrested, or killed, or so drunk you imagined an amazing adventure. No, I want you to see the beauty of God, I want you to feel his presence, I want you to be in a position to where you cry out to him in Holy awwww and amazement.  I want your eyes open so you can see the work he has already done in your life.  No, I want more than that!  I want you to experience the shiver down your spine as you feel the Holy Spirit “quicken” you, and release all the doubts and fears inside of you and fill you up to overflowing. I want you to have visions and dreams that cannot deny that God knows you, will never leave you or forsake you and loves you more than I ever could.  I want you to seek him in his Word instead of in entertainment, or another girl’s arms or in another rambunctious bout with your friends. I want you to slay dragons in His name, to fight the good fight and win…instead of trying to fight the spiritual with the physical. I want you to put on His armor and surrender to Him, not to me, not to my way, and not in my timing. And I pray that he would take you on the adventure of a life time fueling your jet with his love and grace, powering your heart with his blood and mercy, pushing you forward with his power and strength. That would be success,  that would be my joy.
3 John 1:4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

But I must be content, presenting my request to God, waiting patiently, ”Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”  Philippians 1:6 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"They're watching us."
"We're not doing anything wrong."
"But they think we are." 
Accuse or Exhort
Revelation 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
I got a phone call on Tuesday from Daniel saying-“ Mom I need you to come and pick me up, the police will not let me drive home.” Positive #1 he’s alive #2 he’s ok –he’s obviously capable of driving home they just won’t let him. #3 His car is drivable… I grab D, so he can drive Daniel’s car home, not knowing quite what to expect. As we pull up to the spot less than 5 miles from our house a fire truck is pulling away, we see three police cars and an ambulance. As we get out an advocate of Satan, the accuser, begins to recite the story. Daniel got tired, really sleepy, so much so that he couldn’t keep his eyes open…for those of you who don’t know our history, Daniel totaled out a car with his dad in it when they both fell asleep. This time-he pulled over… a concerned man saw him “passed out” and after knocking on the window twice with no response, called the police. The Advocate said over and over again….THAT’s NOT normal for him to be asleep that hard. Really? Have you ever tried to wake my son up from a deep sleep, believe me this is normal. This woman had seen too much, they searched his car, they searched his phone, they treated him like he did something wrong when he did something right. My response, when Daniel walks over to me from the ambulance…. I give him a hug…and say, “Thank-you for pulling over; most people would have kept on going, only being 5 miles from the house.” Do you know the statistics about wrecks happening 5 miles from home, they are pretty high. The car was upright, my son was safe, and it was a nice call. I tell you this because I have seen a lot growing up with four, fairly wild, brothers and I have acted as an accuser of the brethren with my own children and assumed the worst. I am asking you to AVOID doing this, listen to the facts and do not assume.  
1 Corinthians 13:5 [Charity]  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
It never occurred to me that when I was thinking evil, I was not loving them. I do not have the excuse that I have seen too much or heard too much. Yes, I’ve seen a lot and heard a lot but I’m sure not near as much as the police officer had.
Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I am changing my thought pattern, I will wait before I speak. No longer will I act on instinct, nor will I make assumptions, or follow my first thought. Up lift, build, believe in, that is my goal from now on. I’m not talking about having rose colored glasses on but instead of judging being my first reaction, how about love and acceptance? Only by God’s grace and strength!
“Don’t tell them what they already know, don’t be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Tell them what they don’t know, tell them that God loves them and he has a plan for their lives. He has a destiny for them. Yeah, Tell them that.”
Hebrews 3:13-14  But exhort [invite, invoke, beseech, call for, desire] one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"STAND BACK! I am in control here!"
Oh brother.
Who’s in Control?
One more time I find myself grasping at straws…yes straws because they are so useless. I asked my class, if you have a choice, would you rather pound a nail in with a hammer or a straw. Of course we would all choose the hammer; after all it only takes a little common sense, right? But if we are not careful, if we act on our “natural” instinct we will look down and find the straw in our hands once again. You see the straw represents worry and the hammer represents prayer.  The straw represents our power, the hammer represents God's power.
Joshua has come to us to say, “I need some help.”  Financial help is what he was talking about. I fought the urge to recite all the dumb things he has spent his money on, but even so I still managed to throw in a few jibes. Why do I do that, I know better. You can NOT do an inside job from the outside.
Job 38:36  Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?  The answer of course is God….not me.  Common sense, no it is going to take an act of God. You see Jesus came because we cannot change ourselves, without the grace of God it is impossible. Romans 6:14-16  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Yes, we can expect our children to make wise decisions, but only if we are praying for God’s grace and mercy to be upon their lives and only if we are praying for God to implant wisdom into their hearts. Even Paul, one of the greatest apostles had trouble with this. What makes us think we won’t! Romans 7:15  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  It is a hopeless situation, impossible to fix…..without Jesus. Romans 7:24-25  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.  But we will never be completely free from sin until we are rid of the flesh.
So back to Joshua, although D is in the room I take over the proceedings of “loaning” him money.  We discuss how much, we discuss the terms of paying it back. I say; “We will automatically deduct $50 out of your account every pay period. If you want to pay more than that to get it paid off sooner, you can just let us know.”  Later I am discussing it with D and  his opinion differs…. just like the sinner, know it all, prideful person that I am, unlike all I’ve been teaching about respecting your husband I shoot him down. “I have read the books about ADD and I know more than you do. He is incapable of paying bills on time, especially to family. Look at the past experiences!”  Wow, as I put that in writing it makes my stomach churn….”If you enable a child, you disable them."  The memory of this little quote on my refrigerator punches me in the stomach. 1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  There are lots of should’ves, would’ves and could’ves, but the bottom line is I DO NOT want Joshua to fail so I grasped for control again to make it “easy” for him.  However by automatically taking it out of his bank account he doesn’t have to learn anything, have any responsibility, or learn to budget his money.  Ya, and I got onto D about always being too willing to help out and rescuing him.
Bottom line, I didn’t trust God, I didn’t trust D and I don’t believe there is any hope in growth or change for Joshua- or so spoke my actions. That these thoughts are Satanic and sin, because that means I don’t believe God and I don’t believe His Word.  
 Psalms 51:1-13  Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.  Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Mark 9:23-24   Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Cover me in your blood Lord Jesus, put wisdom in my heart, change my doubt into faith and give me the grace to hope and strength to let go and the knowledge to know that your Word is true and your power is able, and you are enough, in my life and in Joshua’s life.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I am looking back trying to find out where exactly I went wrong…I looked at my scriptures about words and speech that I had studied yesterday and recognized that I did everything exactly the opposite of what I had prayed for that day…or did I really pray?….did I just determine in my mind that this is what I was going to do with determination and self-discipline? Maybe. Did I have a wound that had been festering, building up, and chose last night to open up and let all its poisons out onto my whole household. Yes.  Was I determined to just take it? Instead of setting the consequences and following through I just “let it go”. Not really. I stuffed it. So sooner or later it was going to come out. Then I get on face book and twice I get the message; Who are you working for? Whom do you serve? Who do you obey?   

My first thought is, “The kingdom I have built is falling down around me.”  My second thought is, “You built?”

Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Then I begin to feel hopeless and I know that Satan is involved because the message, “There is no hope.” always comes from Satan.

Psalms 146:5  Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

I am not happy right now! I feel like Satan is winning.

Deuteronomy 31:6  Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

I didn’t want to use this scripture today because I feel failed and forsaken…I am still dealing with something I dealt with 20 years ago, inconsistency. Some things never change. I have gone around this mountain so many times that I can lament with Joshua, “I’ve heard all this before.”  Set the consequence then follow through a few times, oh yay your doing so good, a week goes by they push the limits again….I drop the ball, there is no consequence so a little more pushing the limits, a little more pushing the rules, a little more and then I blow.

Joshua 1:9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

What if God never commanded me to be strong?  What if he was only talking to Joshua? What if I’m just a weakling and I really can’t handle it.

2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Weak or strong he is with me, and it’s His strength not mine. 

I really messed up last night totally blew up and became the wicked witch with a capital B. How could God let me go that far and not stop me? Why would he do that, to humble me one more time?

James 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

But according to this we are supposed to humble ourselves.

Isaiah 10:33  Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.

Either way I’m humbled.  And as for haughty, see “first thought” above!

Why am I blaming God….because he promised to change me, he promised to cleanse me, he promised! When will I EVER move past this same ole junk… consistency, how hard can it be. It’s actually harder now then it was before and I couldn’t do it then…not consistently anyway!

Micah 6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

How can you do justly and love mercy at the same time?

Romans 12:8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

It’s that “with cheerfulness that I have a real problem with and again, I’m supposed to rule with diligence AND show mercy WITH cheerfulness. I can’t do it.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

An inconsistent parent teaching inconsistent children, really?  Then the "if onlys" jump in and I am forced one more time to examine my beliefs; Is God really sovereign? Does everything really happen for a reason? What about the mother that killed her 5 children? What about all the abused children? Why on earth would you give me 5 children so I would fail over and over again?!

This question he answers, as tears are streaming down my face, in a quiet whisper inside my head. “To teach you mercy.”

Psalms 57:10-11  For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

It only takes an hour to solve the problems of the world.

Do you ever get caught in that little rut, reading books, watching movies just to escape reality for a little while? I was talking with my daughter, Jan, the other day and ask her what were some of her favorite books she has read this year. "I don't think I've read any." What?!, she used to read plenty! "I love my life, I really don't have anything to escape from anymore."  Is that what I'm doing? I usually read books to grow, you know the self help books. But just recently I came upon a TV series that I can get from Netflix called Lark Rise to Candleford. It is an amazingly, slow moving, no car races, no shooting....well you get the picture. It reminds me of 'Little House on the Prairie', the series I watched when I was growing up. Melody, my college kid sat down and watched a little of it with me last night and started laughing at the awkward moments, you know, when people are actually talking to work things out. They aren't texting or emailing they're just living life without computers. So we got in this argument where I was trying to explain to her that this is real life, worrying about your hair or what color of shoes you are going to wear with an outfit like most 'college girls' do is not real life. She took offense, I took offense, so I did what I do best. I went off and contemplated why I was so offended. Probably the number one reason is that these movies were bringing me peace by allowing me to escape reality for just a little while. Not that my life is that bad but when I really started considering it, it hit me. I wanted this to be my reality.

I wanted everything to be fixed in an hour. I wanted my brothers cancer to be gone in an hour. I wanted Joshua to have common sense and learn instinctively what the right thing to do is, and Daniel to understand the value of communication and the value of showing someone they are valuable so that his relationships and future relationships will be perfect. I want the Beaton's to get counseling and get fixed- instead of getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage due to pornography.  I want Sally and Dave to make restitution with their son and see their grandchildren for the first time in a year. All of this I would like to see happen in one hour. I don't want to be God, I just want things to be right. I want to be worry free, I want to be comfortable and not have to worry for a day.

And where have we landed after this roller coaster, non-reality, show ride. Right back in the middle of a comfort-zone addict mentality? The show in and of itself is not bad, I love it. But the feelings of just wanting life to be simple, carefree, and well-comfortable, is a problem. Especially if I would rather have that above God's will.  I have wrestled with this before but this time I don't think it is that serious. I think I'm just tired and I need to give myself permission to take a break or "escape"... just for a few hours without feeling guilty. I know where my real peace comes from, I know who the author of miracles and "fixing" things is. Jesus Christ, my redeemer, the Holy Spirit my Comforter, and God, all knowing, full of wisdom, and totally in control. Now that is something to rest in!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To Eat or Not To Eat
I could tell by his reaction that he felt like a child. I certainly felt like a mother. It just hit me so hard that he really thought that was going to be ok with me. What was it all about? Eating! He was getting ready to go into work and because I thought he had stopped for a big lunch I was just going to make him a small salad. So the simple question. "Sweetie, did you stop for lunch this afternoon, I didn't think you would be that hungry." "No, I stopped for breakfast." "What?" "Yeah, I stopped by the doughnut shop and got three CAKE doughnuts." "Really?" I honestly thought he was joking, but he was DEAD serious. "Hey, I got three cake doughnuts instead of three glazed doughnuts, those are better right."  Really?!!!
Let me back up, we have always been one of those homeschooling families that "tries" to eat right. In the beginning we started with plain cheerios and no candy or pop in the house. It was a real treat when Daddy took you out for a 'sodie pop' because they were rare and far between. Five kids and 27 years later three of my children are Dr. Pepper holics, and Honey Nut Cheerios and Frosted Mini Wheats are a common sight in my home. For my part I will not by 'sodie pops' and bring them in the house, but the teenagers buy their own when they are out and of course Daddy still treats.
Now, because of some test that have come back my sweet husband is at risk and fear has entered the equation. This is the way I see it- How can someone who loves the heck out of me, would give me the shirt of his back, take a bullet for me and has worked so hard for me so I could stay home with my kids nonchalantly, single handedly try to take away from me my most precious possession?- Him! I just don't think he gets the seriousness of it. Point number two, he is the smartest man I know. He can fix anything, build anything and if he doesn't know, given enough time, he can find out the answer. How can he not know that doughnut shops are completely off limits? I took it as a personally affront even though I know that he didn't mean it that way...we all have weak moments, right? I can not MAKE him eat right, I can do everything right here at the house but the minute he leaves he's like a 16 year old boy, driving the car for the first time! FREEDOM, finally. I don't wan to be that naggy wife that he avoids! Why couldn't he have just had a greasy hamburger, fried chicken, anything but that...fried, and sugar together!
I myself am struggling along, (as I pour cream, that does not have cream as a listed ingredient, into my tea)trying to MAKE myself exercise, stop stress snacking and stay away from things that I know make me feel drowsy, confused and irritated but my blood test came back normal, THAT'S the difference. Forgive my yelling, I guess I'm still pretty upset about it all. In fact I have a confession to make. His mom sent home two small fruit cakes for Christmas. No one in our house likes fruit cake....except D. So I made a deal, with him, I will cut them into pieces and put two small pieces in each bag then you can take out one a day. He agreed. Yesterday after hearing the confession about the doughnuts, I tossed it; One whole fruit cake in the trash. I'm also considering not buying any candy for the kid's stockings this year...and tossing the other fruit cake too!
So you decide, is this sin? A desire for control? A lack of trusting God? Just me throwing a fit, anger? A legitimate concern? I do know that with God fear should NOT be part of the equation.
All in all I still love him to pieces and hey, at least he told the truth. He could've just said, "No, I didn't eat lunch." which would've also been true, the doughnuts were for breakfast.
Back to the praying board!
Proverbs 23:1-3  When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.