Thursday, May 21, 2009

Leadership at home - mostly.

Are men natural leaders? Do they automatically step up to head of the family just because they are men? Do they desire to have leadership even if their wives have assumed that role?
Women have been told that they are disrespecting their husband when they choose to keep the family under their own direction. If these women were to relinquish this role, would the men step up to that role? Does confidence come with they Y chromosome?
I boldly declare the answer to be 'No.'
While there are instances of overbearing women disrespecting their husbands, refusing to give up their powerful position as leader of the home, I believe that there are many men that do not want that position. That they would just as soon have someone else make the decisions, handle the finances, raise the children, do the negotiating.
Is it wrong for a man to give his wife these responsibilities? Giving the responsibilities is the key. What if he just sits back and does nothing, forcing his wife to assume these responsibilities. What if she takes on the responsibilities, and, over time begins to loose respect for her husband.
Okay, here's the thought that has been roaming around in my head, waiting for the questions to catch up. Wives, we have the responsiblity not only to relinquish head of home to our husbands, but to encourage and support them in that responsibility. Help them build their confidence, and offer to be a helpmeet.
This is a challenge for me. I am not a natural leader, as are so many women that I know. I don't lead my family gracefully, it is a challenge and I often grunt through my days in misery and with much rebellion in my heart.
My husband desires, because it is biblical to do so, to be the leader in our home. He knows that there are many things that I can do more effectively than he can (i.e., home school, grocery shopping, menu making, communication, set up house and home, keep skeds, etc.), and he trusts me with these areas. I, in turn, strive (because it is biblical to do so - and because I desire to allow our home to be God centered) to support my husbands efforts to be a leader in our home, exhorting him and respecting his growth as a man of God.
Not that I don't still make the occassional suggestion...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the slight

Recently, some one said something to me that, well, wasn't very nice. It was in response to a comment that I made. It wasn't horrible. It wasn't even mean. It just wasn't very nice.
It stuck with me. It wouldn't go away. Why would this person say something hurtful to me? I began to be apprehensive about being around this person. What could I have to learn from this?
I dislike confrontation. Horribly. Mostly, when I have to do the confronting. Could this be a lesson in gentle and loving confrontation? The more I thought about that, the more agitated I became.
I wondered again what I might have to learn from this. Was this person so wrong in what was said? Do I need to change something about myself? Was the comment a way for God to point out something that needs to be improved in me?
Eventually, the pressure of this comment on my mind crept out to other areas of my life. My husband would say or do something that irritated me immensly. The children's squabbles and volume would set my spine to ringing with the desire to silence them by sending them to their beds for the entire day. I was essentially being consumed with this one comment. This doesn't happen to me. I usally let things go. Why is this bugging me so much?!?!?!
So...I prayed about it. I confessed this SIN to another friend who prayed for me. When I realized that confessing sin was what I had done, I confessed it to God, asked him to forgive me, and now purpose to not sin in this way again.
I allowed a comment, probably spoken in jest, to take on it's own life. I Entertained thoughts of malice that were never intended and justified my emotions about it, allowing my feelings to dictate how I reacted to and treated others.
It's good to know that I am free of the bondage of sin. That silly, hurtful comments don't have any power over Jesus Christ and the transformations that He takes me through.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Summer List

This post is from May 16th, 2009. Three years ago. Want to know what I actually was able to cross off of that list?


The list is growing. It's amazing how huge this list is. It includes some things that I didn't take care of because they weren't as important as other things, or it didn't need doing at the time, but definately does now. It also includes a few very important things that truly need doing now, all in no particular order.

1. replace/repair the sliding screen door  But it needs to be done again.
2. replace the screen on the boys bedroom window (does anyone know how to do this? I have all of the materials...)
3. fix a circle vent thingie on the wall in the boys room (I don't even know w here to begin with this)
4.plant the vegetable garden
5. clear the vents at the base of the house
6. kill the moss on the roof
7. get things from storage for a yard sale (they've been in storage for 4 years, I'm probably not too attatched).
8. Price the items for the yard sale
9. Transport the items for the yard sale
10. Clean the sliding glass door numbers 10 and 11 have actually been done a few times.
11. Clean all of the other windows
12. Get rid of a broken television
13. Paint the boy's room (it is currently pink...)
14. Paint the girl's room (I have the paint in the back of the van) I got it out of the van, but never used it. It's in the coat closet...
15. Clean out the back of the van Good thing I did, since we no longer own that van.
16. Get rid of all the blue plastic storage bins that are piled up around the perimeter of my house. This was a major accomplishment and we celebrated.
17.Find a safety net for the trampoline.
18.Install the safetly net for the trampoline The trampoline needs to be repaired, actually.
19.Hang the baby swing on the play structure
20. weed the flower patch Not that you would know it today...
21.buy ink for printer
22. Plan curriculum for next school year
23. Get rid of a couch In fact, we have been rid of three different couches since then.
24. Move a piano
25. Have piano tuned  As long as we are in this house, the piano will not be moved here. We have added another baby to our extremely limited square footage.

I have to stop there. I am feeling overwhelmed. That isn't the end of the list. All of these things will have to be done with the attendance of all six of the children and in conjunction with the regular daily stuff. Besides the giant ones - replacing a roof and replacing the siding (may have to wait for another year or two). How am I going to get all of this done? I had dreams of a summer where we do chores in the morning and hang in the shade or at the lake for the afternoon, with bbq suppers and evenings around the fire pit. Maybe those things will happen once or twice.
Summers are so much shorter now than they were when I was a kid. (and they STILL are!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sin - What is it?

Is sin anything that displeases God, or is it simply failure to adhere to the Law as laid out in the Old Testament? Does it matter? Is it semantics, or is it important?

If it is simply failure to adhere to the Law as laid out in the Old Testament, then are we all doomed to failure? Can a person strive to obey the Law and still be displeasing to God? The Pharisees did. They kept the letter of the Law! The wore long tassels, they bound (literally!) the word of God to their wrists and foreheads. They were so righteous, that they expounded on the Law to make sure that everyone knew exactly how to follow it.
Jesus Christ called his followers to be more righteous than the Pharisees.
So, the very men that kept the law publicly and rightly, were not pleasing to God.

The idea of judgement. There will be a time of judgement, and all men will be judged. Does this mean that if we don't adhere strictly to Old Testament Law, that we will be less in the Kingdom of Heaven? We know that the wages of sin is death. It is the Law that shows us our sin. Romans 7:7-25 tells us that. It tells us that the law is spritual and good, but that we are sinners. That even when we want to do what is right and good, there is a struggle within us because of our spiritual nature. But then, "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord..."
And on to Chapter 8. There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (vs 4)He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature, but instead follow the Holy Spirit.
So when we sin, displeasing God, we can ask his forgiveness, for He is forgiving, and we are made holy, without sin. (though, I haven't yet met anyone that doesn't have to do this over and over) so, the only question left is, what will I be judged for on judgement day? If I am constantly asking God to show me the deepest part of my desperate, poor in spirit, heart, the things that offend him, that I might repent (ask for forgiveness, and turn from that wickedness), then that sin is no longer binding, and I no longer have responsibility for that which is gone.
What do you think?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What if...

...There wasn't Sunday School for children. What if parents had the full responsiblity to teach their children about God.
Would our children still be leaving the church as teens and young adults?
Would the divorce rate in the church be the same as mainstream numbers?
Would our children learn anything beyond some 'heroes of the bible'
stories?
Sunday school can be a good thing. Many of us have stories of highly influential Sunday school teachers. But - Can they do a better job than parents? Should Sunday school be a place that reinforces what is being learned at home, instead of the primary place to learn about God? Should parents become more involved in what is being taught at Sunday School?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Safe!

"Get down! Get down! He has a gun!" screamed the aproned women as they ran through the parking lot, stopping at a hedge to wait for the sherrif's car to pull in.

That's what happened when I was fueling up the family vehicle this afternoon. Two young people robbed the local grocery, then took off on foot, waving their firearms about. No shots rang out. No one was hurt, but my mind raced.

I was frozen when I saw the running women and heard their shouts. What should I do? I am currently pumping gas, should I stop? Should I get on the ground? No, the children are all in the vehicle. Do I run around the front and get in? No, that might alarm someone. Augh! What do I do!

I did nothing. I stood there until the weapon weilding robbers were out of sight and the store employees were giving their accounts to the police.

It's an awful feeling, knowing that in that instance, no matter what happened, I had not control over the safety of my children.

After a few hours of running the scene over in my mind, I remembered somethings that I learned some time ago. I may not have control over every situation, but God does. Not that I would view a bloody out come as in my family's favor, or anything less than tragic. My only comfort would be that there is a plan that I don't have the details to.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sunday Morning Service, Just The Way You Like It?

We live in a made to order society, and our churches have followed suit.
The walls are painted in calming colors, the carpets are cleaned and the pews are padded. The lighting and sound are run by techs that know what they are doing so that everything is seamless and beautiful. The kid's programs are set up so that parents just drop their little one's off before service and pick them up after, pleased at the darling wall hangings and nice toys available, not giving a thought to what goes on to make the children's classes happen.
And sometimes, even the sermons are developed to tickle the ears of those that show up. The right buzz words, catch phrases, current events and even leaving out the unpleasant parts of life and eternity.
Church, made to order. If you don't like that one, shop around, you'll find something else that meets your needs. If you feel offended, go to another building and sample the offerings, see if they look and sound more to your liking.
What happened to the unified body of Christ? What happened to Christians meeting the needs of those in the community, believers and non believers alike?
When people that make us uncomfortable come into the church buildings, what do we do? Do we offer them a place to sit near us? Do we get them a cup of coffee? Do we spend time with them after service, showing the love of Christ? Generally, we ignore them. We avoid eye contact and hope they won't show up again. Essentially, we make it very clear that socially challenged people are doomed to hell because we don't want to go outside of our comfort zones.
What can we do to show these people that God loves them? Do some kind of community service on a Sunday morning instead of going to church, perhaps?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Header

We arrived at our destination, the children piled out of the suburban. Well, most of them piled out. One of them slid, head first to the asphalt. I watched, from the other side, as his rubber boots made their descent.

He has assured me that he won't choose that same dismount style again.

*He's fine, no concussion, no cracked skull, just a black eye and road rash.

Monday, May 4, 2009

About the Question.

***I am not questioning the validity of studying the bible***
We are accountable for what we know. If we have the freedom and ability to study the bible in depth, and the Holy Spirit reveals himself to us through these studies, then we are responsible to live what we learn, and to share it. No excuses.
What I want to know is, if bible study is so incredibly important to our growth as Christians, then what about people that don't have bibles and/or access to study materials and leadership? Are their christian walks somehow lesser than mine? Could it be that they are held less accountable for leading others astray? How can their convictions be so much stronger than mine (than anyone who claims to be a christian and has access to bibles and study materials)?
AND - for those of you that know me, please do not interpret this next question as confusion or lack of faith in the studies that I am currently involved in. It isn't that. I'll explain
The next question is - do we have a tendancy within the church to jump from program to program, study to study, learning what we already know, instead of living what we already know. How many of us are too busy with church and other activities to serve? How many of us need to learn more before we can 'go and do' with unbelievers? Are we replacing the action of loving our neighbors (nonchristians in our community) with a myriad bible studies?
personal explanation - I am involved in a small group, a bible study, volunteer my time at the church building, teach sunday school, listen to the sermon, sacrifice time with my husband for his bible study, and his second bible study. We have lunch and fellowship time with other church members, our children play with church children, we home school and spend time with other members of the local church. This is all in a typical week. We also spend time serving other members of the church. All of these things are good, important, and needed. Do I need to be doing all of these things? How are any of these things impacting the nonbelievers in my community? Am I the only one struggling with the need to have relationships with people in the community that do not love Jesus Christ because I am so busy with the things that I believe God has called me to do? Is it possible that I have missed the mark?
I think so. I don't plan on 'dropping out'. I just plan on making a few changes. Some that will allow me to grow the most important ministry that I could have a part in right now - parenting and nurturing my children, and being a respectful wife. Some others will put me in the paths of nonbelievers. I have a purpose to notice these situations and use each moment to build relationships and glorify God with an attitude of loving each one of His specially created people in the hope that they will make a choice for eternal life with Jesus Christ.
****I have come to these conclusions through bible study and prayer****

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why Do We Do It?

A question was posed to me today that goes with another question that has been popping up in my mind for a while. A question that I don't ask, because it's too controversial for church. This is a weblog, though, so I'll ask it here .
How do people that do not have access to bibles and study materials build relationship with God and walk the narrow path? Are they 'inferior' christians because they don't know all of the things that I have access to knowing? Am I an inferior christian for not taking advantage of all of the bible study materials that I have access to?
Here's the question that was posed -- Why do we spend so much time with bible studies and so little time doing what we already know to do. Love God, and Love Others.
Relationship with God can be had through prayer, right? God can, and does, reveal Himself to us through ways other than the bible.

So, is there biblical call to immerse ourselves in bible studies? Deuteronomy 6 tells us to teach God's laws to our children and grand children consistantly. That's through relationship. It's verbal and by example.
Where is our command to go and study? Help me out, here?