About You

You are LOVED by God. There is nothing you can do, or can't do to make him love you more or less. He loves you because he loves you. Because you are His child.

More then your past
Worth it
A treasure
You matter.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Skit guys

I think this is such a neat skit about God changing us once we are believers, sometimes it hurts, and sometimes we resist and don't' want to change, but once we give in, life is SO much sweeter!! :)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

From the mouth of the middle school principle

Well, today I reluctantly took Jake to the middle school to register. I pretty much had to until we figure out what we are doing with him. It was a stressful day for me.The parents went in a room and listened to the principle and assistant principle talk for an hour, (which proved to be very interesting with my other three little ones there but anyway....) The kids all went in a different room to get their schedules and find their lockers etc....Here are some of the things that I wrote down that the principle said ~Remember, this is middle school."
You brought them into the world, take care of them- even good kids make bad mistakes."
"Parties become more boy/girl, make sure it's a supervised party, kids are exploring in these grades, make sure you know what you are sending your son/daugther to"
" Stay involved in their life, be nosy, these are the years they start "dabbling" with alcohol, smoking and such" such???( He said that twice during the talk)
He also talked about the school dances, and that no "grinding" is aloud at the dances. GRINDING!! This is 7th grade. Wow, what a great introduction I had to middle school. I felt sick to my stomach when I left that school today. :( It's JUST the place I want to send my Christian 12 yr old son to try and hold his own and not give in to any of these pressures. NOT.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Homeschooling/Obedience to God

I feel the need to write about this, partly for myself, just to reiterate why I am home schooling and also for my Christian friends to read and think and pray about this.
I have been called by God to home school recently. Within the past year, God has put families in my path that home school, parents of homeschoolers, and also children of homeschoolers. He put me in a place, where I was volunteering with middle school kids at church, where I could see huge differences in kids that were home schooled and kids that went to public schools. Also, opening my eyes to all the scary things going on in middle school these days, by the prayer requests of the middle school students that I was working with. prayers about friends having sex with more then one person, doing drugs, drinking, cutting etc.......Being the parent of a son who is going into middle school I was appalled at what I was hearing was going on in the schools at this age.
Until recently I hadn't thought much about home schooling that son. I knew God was calling me to home school my 6 yr old , and the younger ones when they were school age, but didn't think about my 12 yr old son. When he did hear me talking about home school, he'd say, "not me!" " I don't want to home school" I guess in my mind, I thought, that's ok, I'll just let him go to school, he's a good kid, he does well in school, doesn't get in trouble, etc... But lately, my heart is aching about sending him to public school. I pray for intervention from God because I don't know what to do. I know he doesn't want to, but at the same time, I know what's best for him, and I trust God that being at home is best.
Besides just having God lay in on my heart that I should home school my kids, I have been doing lots and lots of reading on home schooling and public schools.
As I knew I would, I have to explain to people why I think it's necessary to home school my kids. The simple reason is because I love them, and God loves them, and God told me to. I could just leave it at that, but that's not enough for everyone who feels they need to argue with me about it. The bible says that we are not supposed to cause other Christians to sin, especially our kids, ( Matthew 18:6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea) if I put my kids in a secular school, that they can't even talk about God in, how am I NOT causing them to sin? They have to deal with more temptations when I put them into the public school. Temptations to be worldly ~ The need to have everything that everyone else does, to dress the way everyone else does, the peer pressure to date, pressure to have sex, try drugs, try drinking, to sin. I am putting them right into temptation. Another verse is Romans 14:13~ Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. If I put my children in a place where they will be tempted, when they could be home where they are not, isn't that placing a stumbling block in front of them to sin? People argue, well they will have to go out into the "real world" someday. Well, yes they will, but I'd rather have someday be a day when they have a foundation built on Jesus Christ and they are mature enough to deal with secular pressures.
If we send our kids to school and try to tell them they don't have to be like everyone else, that Christians are supposed to be "set apart", then what happens? They get teased for being different and it crushes their self esteem. They get teased for not doing what everyone else does, Or the pressure is too much and they just give in, to "fit in" with everyone else.
Why don't more Christians don't feel this way? That they would rather their children be taught in a secular world then at home where they can have living examples of how we are supposed to live as Christians, and they can talk about God during the day, and they can pray before their meals, and they can learn to love their family. I know part of the reason is selfishness. Most people don't want to have to give up their time to invest it in their children. They want their time to themselves, to do their own thing, for "me time" or to do other ministries. Today, we received a devotional in the mail from Charles Stanley ministries, called In touch.
There were some interesting articles in there today, there was one called Surprise child. The article itself was talking about women becoming pregnant when they thought they were done having babies. But one woman said something that struck me, she had to give up her teaching position to be a stay at home mom again, and she said this " I realized I had subconsciously absorbed our culture's values" another thing she wrote was this- "through my pregnancies, God often literally brought me to my knees. I realized we never graduate from the call to live the life of love that Christ exemplified. There is no "promotion" beyond loving and serving others, especially the weak and needy among us". Those weak and needy are our children! They should be our first ministry before others.
(except our husbands of course!) Seriously, what other ministry could be more important then the children that God entrusted to you?? How can anything be more important then how your children are brought up and how they will live their lives? We are instructed to raise up our children in the training and instruction of the Lord. When we send our kids to public schools, we have made an anti-Christian institution our child's teacher. Isn't that a sin? We are handing our kids over to a secular school that prohibits our children from talking about God ~ won't that cause our children to sin? Our children are shaped by who they hang around and where they spend their time. To me, 2 hours a week at church is not enough. If you send them to public school to hang around all their non Christian friends, you have to work even harder to help them "unlearn" all the things they've learned from their "worldly" friends all day long. My son can go to a friends house and come home with an attitude and speak to me in a way he hadn't before, what does 8 hours a day do for him?
How does any Christian parent protect their children from learning the ways of the world, how to be in the world but not of it, when they send them to learn from non Christian's all day long?
What about the bible verse in 2nd Corinthians 6:14 that says Do not be yoked together with unbelievers, for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? or what fellowship can light have with darkness? By putting our kids in public schools where they are taught to deny God, isn't that being yoked with Unbelievers? How do we teach our children to be Christ centered and morally pure in their behavior when they are with kids all day who live for the world? Our kids will learn to do whatever is necessary in order to gain approval by their peers, and I'm sure that is not going to be talking about God on their lunch hour! Proverbs 13:20 says, He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
What about 1 Corinthians 15:33 Don't be misled, bad company corrupts good character. I think it's pretty clear that if my kids spend their days with kids that are ungodly, that's what my kids are going to behave like.
My children are so small and weak in their faith and understanding of our Lord, how will they be able to resist what is "normal" for everyone else to be doing and acting like? Last night Kevin and I talked about things, I told him I didn't want to send Jake to school this year and he said, "so don't" but it doesn't seem quite that easy to me, because he is resistant, and I also have his biological dad to deal with, who I haven't talked to at all yet. This morning in the shower I prayed for God to help me know what to do, to somehow make this all work out. Later in the morning I went to meet with another home school mom, a new friend, that I had met once before. One of the first questions she asked me when we sat down was, "So, have you decided what to do with Jake? I've been praying for you, and I think if God called you to home school your children, he meant all of them" Honestly, she's probably right about that, but I still feel like I'm resisting because Jake is resistant. So this afternoon I'm reading the In touch devotional that I mentioned before and one of the devotionals says ~ God speaks through a friend. ( oh perfect) It says, Read 1 Samuel 3:1-10 and this~ When we're not listening for the Lord's voice, He will often send a message through someone else. It also says at the bottom, When we're going off course, the Lord will sometimes speak through other believers to reach us. Therefore, it is vital to maintain a close network of godly men and women we can trust. So, was what she said God speaking to me? I am not totally sure, but it sure could be. Sometimes I pray to God that he just knocks me with a billboard because I can't hear what he wants me to do! It's either that or I don't want to hear it? Because it's going to be hard! Maybe that's it, I don't want to hear what he's saying because It will be hard to try and talk his biological dad into this idea, and it will be hard to home school a middle school child who is going to have an attitude about it.

I also have an article that I was reading today called Are public schools an option for Christian kids, a few things that stuck out to me were this~
"Christians are accountable for knowing and obeying the word of God, and they should not have given up their children to be educated by unbelieving strangers- not to mention placing them in the company of unbelievers companions for twelve years."
" Christians have such a dependence on government schools that they remain in denial about how bad they really are. Indeed waking up to reality would entail personal accountability and necessitate change, which seems to be more then most parents can bear to handle. Of course, God neither recognizes dependency as an excuse nor excuses denial of reality. He sees this dependency as sin and sees denial as hardened heart.
If your reading this- please pray. For me, and for you, to hear God, and to be obedient.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The "church", greed, love

I couldn't think of one specific good title for this post. I am so moved this morning from church, God was speaking something big from our Pastor Tommy this morning.
The sermon was called The Rock, Strength for the struggle. It will be online here, soon, please go listen to it.
God spoke to me in so many ways this morning it brought me to tears at church. The sermon itself was from 1 Peter, teaching that first and foremost I live for Christ, that I live in holiness, preparing myself for struggle.
He explained how we are saved through Christ's blood, but that we live for Christ, in Christ because we love God so much, not because of a set of rules. We don't do certain things because we don't want to break God's heart, because of love, not fear.
Tommy spoke about the "church" being the people, not the place. How the church (people) should love each other and care for each other. He said caring for one another is NOT optional, it's biblical. He referred to the verse in 1 Corinthians 11:17 and explaining it's meaning.
What hit my heart were several points that Tommy made. One of them, was talking about how we should be taking care of other believers, others in the church. He talked about how some of us are sitting here with everything we need, and other believers are struggling and dying and we are doing nothing about it. Maybe he meant dying in a physical sense, maybe he meant dying in an emotional sense, or both, but it brought tears, for me, thinking of my brother and his family, and a family at church who is struggling. My brother and sister in law have been part of a church for years, 8 years ago, my sister in law Debbie was in a car accident and has been paralyzed to a wheel chair ever since. Through the years, my brother has given his entire life to his wife. He is her sole caretaker, doing everything for her. I have watched my brother's faith in Christians fade away. He has called the Christians hypocrites. He has lost some of his faith in God, and I know is bitter at times and feels alone and deserted. I have watched him turn to other things for relief, rather then turning to Christ or the people of the church. ( In a sense, I see him dying, the person he was, is not the person he is today, he is physically and mentally exhausted) Today, I felt that tug at my heart, and understood why my brother feels this way. No one in the church has helped him in the last 8 years to take care of his wife. He was left alone by the church to do it all on his own. I am one of those people. Sure I visit when she's sick in the hospital, or visit at home when it's convenient for me, but I haven't helped with his burden. I haven't showed Christ in me to my brother. I can now understand where his bitterness came from.
Pastor Tommy mentioned in general the "people" with their big back yards, and three car garages, coming home and shutting the garage, and not reaching out to people and helping others, or spending time with others, Pastor Tommy has never been to my house. I am embarrassed to say, I AM one of those people. I have the big back yard and the three car garage. We don't keep our garage closed per say, but we sure don't invite neighbors over to shine our lights to. I was convicted beyond words today about how we live in our own little worlds, doing our own thing, and just being busy with our own "stuff". My family is not going to like what I got out of the sermon today. I feel greedy. I am humbled. I feel that we should sell our big house, or share it. I feel we can do more then tithe our 10% to the church. I feel greedy for having this house and not opening it up to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that wasn't Tommy's objective, to make me feel convicted of greed, but maybe it was God's objective. We are so programmed from childhood on to want bigger and better, and keep up with the people next door. Make as much money as you can , and get the bigger house and more stuff to put in it and you'll be happy. What a messed up world this is. A few years ago we lived in a smaller house, and I wasn't happy with it, I wanted more space for our family of 6. That was greed. We had "enough" but I wanted more. Sure we love it here, and it's nice to have the space we have, and the beautiful backyard we have, but is this what Christ wants for us? I feel God leading us somewhere. I'm not sure where, but there's definitely something coming. My poor husband. He was perfectly happy in the place we were before and I persisted that we needed something bigger. Now I am convicted I was being greedy. I pray that God shows us how we can glorify him with what we have. I pray that when people look at me, they don't see a greedy worldly person that calls them self a Christian. In the last year God has changed my heart, and convicted me of being greedy with my time, I used to think that I should have time to myself, that my kids were more of a burden to me when I wanted something for myself, he turned that into a mom that wants to homeschool and worries more about bringing her kids up to love God than time to myself. I am so thankful for everything we have been blessed with, but most of all, for a God that can give us happiness without all the things of this world. We are here to glorify him, to live for him, to love each other and take care of each other, not for ourselves. What has happened to this world? Us Christians need to show the world God's love, not love ourselves so much. Thank you Lord for helping me to understand, and to see who you are and who you want us to be.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Self Control- The platform

Our pastor Tommy gave the an amazing sermon this morning on self control.
He referenced a point in Ecclesiates 2 where Solomon says, " I denied myself nothing my eyes desired", that's how the world lives today, we don't deny ourselves of anything, we want what we want and we seek to get it, there's no self control. We consume ourselves with with wanting more and more, the things we desire begin to control our lives.

We've been going through a series on fruit of the spirit , and he explained how you can't just "make yourself" have more fruit. Like you can't just say, "I need to make myself more patient!" Or "I need to get more peace in my life", but that we get those things by living in the spirit. The closer your relationship with God and the more you live in the spirit the more fruit you'll grow. Today with self control, he explained that self control is the platform for all the other fruit. You have to have self control to live in the spirit, then in return get more self control and more fruit! We have to learn to say no to our flesh, and yes to the spirit. If we live for the flesh, we are rejecting the spirit of God! Living in the flesh is living for ourselves, it always comes back to satisfying "ME", instead of God.
This made sense to me. The world is all about , me, me, me. You hear it everywhere from everyone, it's so hard to get yourself out of that way of fleshy thinking and think and act in the spirit. The Christian life is not easy, Tommy reminded us of this verse~ Luke 13:24 (New King James Version)
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

An interesting point about the word "strive" is that if you look it up in the bible dictionary it comes up "agony", so we are to be in agony to enter through the narrow gate! Self control is hard! But it's so important to kill the flesh as a Christian. Quit worrying about yourself so much, live in the spirit and be fruitful!! I want this so badly. When I don't feel like being self controlled I have to keep in mind how much sweeter my life will be when I'm a tree bearing lots of fruit. How much better God is than anything else. :)