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Posts Tagged ‘children’

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” -Galations 6:7

My soul is so tired and weary of dealing with the God-mockers and the lukewarm. Those who claim the name of Christ yet act in as many ways unlike Christ as they possibly can. The people who aren’t simply making an human error, but are perpetuating a lifestyle of sin and essentially spitting on the throne of grace. People who claim Jesus as “ok with it”, but forget that he told the adulteress to “go and sin no more”. Those who talk about Christ’s forgiveness, but forget that he turned the tables on the merchants in the temple. People who say “don’t judge, or you will be judged” but forget that Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

The same Jesus who said “love your neighbor as yourself” is also the one who said “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Referring to teachers who led children astray.)

The same Jesus who forgave the prostitute, healed the lame, and said that we were to forgive repentant brothers seventy times seven times also said “be holy, as I am holy.”

Jesus never excused sin, never allowed for sin, or encouraged it. He forgave the sins of the repentant and gave them a way out! Of course, that is not enough for those who want to live sinfully without the fear of guilt or judgment. Someone once said that if an act (a sin) was excusable, then it didn’t need forgiveness! A sinful behavior might be explainable, understandable, or even anticipated, but it is unacceptable: sin is sin, and we must strive for perfection through the help of the Holy Spirit. What we’re saying when we intentionally sin and sin habitually is that God’s grace and mercy are worthless and that He is unworthy of our praise and respect. If you claim to follow the God of the universe, do not be surprised when something is expected of you, or when your sins are revealed. My God will not be mocked.

Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” – Hebrews 10:28-30

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” -2 Peter 2

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I am attempting to write a book! Hopefully one that will be publishable.

Last night I was lying in bed thinking, and not sleeping. Somehow I got to thinking about why there are so many poorly-behaved children in the world. I realized that one of the problems was that a parent’s reason for having children was very important. It seems that many women just “get pregnant”; no plan, no goals, nothing. They have children because it’s what happens when you’re married, or because they just want children. Then I wondered, what is my reason for having children? My answer: to bring up children who are intelligent, well-mannered, and will someday be productive members of society who reflect Jesus to those around them. I want to create good adults. I wondered how I might do this, ways to instill these good characteristics into my children, and to help them show the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). I thought, “A devotional might be a good thing to do, but there probably aren’t many out there, so I’d have to create one for them. I’ll probably home school my children, and we’ll work on these things. Going over one attribute per day doesn’t really make the concept stick. Maybe a week on each fruit? There are 9 fruits in the Galatians passage, so I could do one a week, and maybe even do it over the summer; it would fit perfectly.” Then I had an epiphany: I could write this! I can make this into a devotional for children that is geared toward learning these wonderful attributes over the summer. So that’s what I’m going to do!

Please feel free to leave any comments about what you might like to see in this book, and please check in on me every once in a while. Thanks!

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In the past few years I have gained a new perspective, a new life, and a new me. I am always undergoing changes, and by the grace of God I am making improvements slowly but surely. I feel that I have overcome many obstacles in my path; trials that are natural to mankind, frustrations brought upon by my sin nature, and difficulties inflicted on me by family failings. I am overcoming them all.

The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about poverty, and namely how to avoid it. A proverb is a wise and trusted saying, so the Christian book of Proverbs is a veritable gold mine of wisdom (which it reminds us to seek). Among the sayings about poverty we are reminded that someone who neglects discipline will surely come to poverty and shame (Pvbs 13:18). There is profit in all labor, but those who simply talk will come to poverty (14:23). The glutton, drunkard, and drowsy person (someone who is lazy/sleeps a lot) will come to poverty. (23:21). And I particularly like the imagery of Proverbs 6:10-11:

“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to [a]rest”—
11 Your poverty will come in like a [b]vagabond
And your need like [c]an armed man.

(See this page for more references.)

My family has always been poor, and as a child I looked upon it as something that was put upon us, an unfair disadvantage brought about by adverse circumstances (such as family health problems) and through no fault of our own. As I grew up and expanded my mind beyond what I knew I came to realize that most of our problems in my family could have been fixed by one thing: diligence. This can apply in any area of our lives. Diligence in discipline (train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it), diligence in maintaining healthy behaviors, and diligence in working at home and on the job. All this is to say that I hope and pray that I can be diligent in the future and keep my children from the issues that I have had to face.

Things that I have overcome or am overcoming:

Poverty: I work hard at several part-time jobs (subbing, lessons at 2 studios, instrumental coaching), and I keep my spending to a minimum. (Some tips on that later.) If it’s not needed and not justifiable, I don’t get it.

Housework: Rather than leave the work for someone else to do (my husband), I just get up and do it! Rather than putting it off until tomorrow, I just get up and do it! My household is thus far clean and fairly well-organized, though not perfect by any means.

Weight: My family has always struggled with weight. Part of it was due to lack of self-control in eating habits, but also because cheap food is usually not health food (white bread, anyone?). I am down from the obese 180 that I was in high school, to a healthy 128. I know the properties of the food I eat, how many calories I consume, and choose when to have those special treats. I avoid getting food on the go and my waistline thanks me. I also work out when I can. I feel great!

Anger/Impulsiveness: One of the consequences of the lack of diligence and self-control that Iw as exposed to during childhood caused me to be rather angry. Sometimes there was hypocrisy, which didn’t help matters. Being intelligent and angry, and well-read, often caused me to say harmful things before thinking about them. I was a miserable child: fat, unpopular, awkward, poor, smart, and to top it all off, a Christian (values and standards were frowned upon). Not many people liked me. I was angry. Depressed. I feel that if someone had helped guide me through the torrent of emotions of my teenage years I might have been better for it. This is something I have made great progress in, and the majority of my battles are now internal, but something I am still working on.

Some wonderful new changes in my life, thanks to the goodness of God: I have a wonderful husband, and we live in our own little apartment. I have a job at a new lesson studio, with Christian proprietors, and am looking into another job. I have new and better friends than some of the people who I was hanging around with at work and college, and have been developing these friendships. I am less stressed/angry than I was in high school, have lost weight, and I feel more confident about myself. And I have a new outlook on life, renewed faith in God, and a renewed determination to seek Him out and to gain knowledge of theology, etc. Life is good!

I want you to know that you can overcome anything! With patience, diligence, self-discipline, and by leaning on God and his grace, you can have the abundant and joy-filled life God has called you to have.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22)

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This year has been quite an interesting one for me, though it shouldn’t come as a surprise, my college life has been one big adventure so far. I’ve had many things happen to me this past year, a lot of them very good, and some of them very very bad…

I’ve had my heart broken, my trust betrayed, my kindness and friendship taken advantage of. I’ve been disappointed, in myself and others. I gave my heart to someone who couldn’t take care of it. I’ve lost friends, and discovered that people who I thought were my friends, really weren’t. I’ve been lied to and manipulated, by those I loved dearly. I’ve been taken for granted. I’ve watched my friends argue and fight and end their friendships. School has been intense too. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I thought God wanted me in music, but I’m not so sure anymore. I’ve discovered new depths to my fear of being alone. I’ve been to two funerals in the past four months, and they were only two weeks apart. One of them was a young man who I never really knew, but the legacy that he left with my friends is a testament to the wonderful man that he was. I will miss him, because he so strongly affected my friends. The second was one of my dad’s old friends. He was my parent’s best man, he went to college and later taught school with my dad (they even had the same laugh), he was one of my teachers in middle school, and eventually taught at my high school. I attended both his wedding, and his funeral. I’ve seen my father’s health deteriorating, and know that finances in the family are not good.

BUT.

I’ve also been in love, which is a wonder in itself. I’ve known the joy of being close to someone, of being held in the arms of a man who loved me…who would kiss me softly and tell me that everything’s going to be ok.  I’ve made friends who think I’m amazing, who tell me I’m beautiful, and I know they love me and will be there if ever I need them. I’ve gotten closer to my girl friends…mostly Deanna, Erin, Kat, and Heather. I never thought that Kat and I would be that close, but I am so very glad we are. I’ve had friends comfort me when I was down and hurting, when I wasn’t able to be strong anymore. I’ve met some wonderful Christian guys in this past year, like Tom, Brian, and Ben…guys I can talk to who will encourage me to Christ…I am very thankful for them. I’ve gotten closer to some of my older friends…Travis, Justin, Jennifer F., and a few others. I’ve made random friends out of the blue, who I feel like I can truly trust…like Kristen. I’ve seen other friendships grow and blossom, people I introduced to each other becoming good friends. I’ve been to one wedding, seen multiple engagements, and have weddings to look forward to in the near future. I’ve seen children growing up and laughing. I have friends who have gotten married, and I see their love for each other grow; I see their children being born. My sister and I are getting closer. Actually becoming what sisters should be. We have had a couple “girl talks” and  I am excited for the time when we can really be friends and trust each other…we’ve NEVER gotten along in the past. My father’s health may not be the best…but he’s ALIVE. And the doctors often tell him that he shouldn’t be. My brother is growing up and doing great things, and I am so proud of him.

My life is changing…my thoughts and emotions are being rearranged. My hopes, desires, and dreams are not the same as they once were. The way I view people and the world is getting scrambled. How I interact, how I love, how I care for others…it’s all changing. My future is uncertain, this is true, but it’s also true that GOD IS IN CONTROL. He’s changing me, molding me…the things that happen all have a purpose. If I’ve lost or gained friendships, it’s happened for a reason. All the hurt and frustration that I’ve gone through, though less than some, will teach me things that I need to know. I’m learning how to trust again. I’m learning how to show love, and be vulnerable. God is good. I don’t know what exactly he’s doing, but I do know that he is good, and only wants good for my future. I may have to go through some things before reaching the mountaintop…but I know that I am not alone as I walk through the valley. Thank you Jesus for your great grace and mercy…and love. I thank you Jesus for your love.

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A lazy tree, a summer’s day.

Tilted branches bend and sway

‘Neath sweet scented summer rain;

Bringing peace and easing pain.

 

Laughing children dance and sing,

Soon they’ll hear the school bells ring,

Sending them upon their way,

Free again to laugh and play.

 

Two young lovers sit and smile,

As they pass away the while,

Savoring the hours long,

They rejoice in true love’s song.

 

A man and woman, oh so grey,

Rock and watch the young ones play,

Looking back on yesteryear,

And their memories, so dear.

 

 A lazy tree, a summer’s day.

Tilted branches bend and sway

‘Neath sweet scented summer rain;

Bringing peace and easing pain.

Summer’s here, once again.

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