Happy Dependance Day

God bless America?

How arrogant can we be? What makes us think we have some spacial relationship with Christ just because we live in America?

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Don't hear me wrong, I enjoying being an American citizen. I am so grateful for many blessings God has granted me with through living in this nation. The opportunities that have arisen because of where I live are innumerable but ALL of those still fall under the authority of Christ. Not the country in which I live. God had a "chosen people" in which His grand plan of salvation would play out through but after Jesus fulfilled that on the cross, the road to eternal life was opened to Jews and Gentiles alike. No amount of favoritism existed.

It's worrisome when we pledge more allegiance to our countries flag than we do to our King. When we do so, we are no longer Christians {Christ-followers} we are Americans {American-followers}. These words are NOT synonymous. A nation in and of itself can not be "Christians" and we are slandering the name of Jesus by claiming that America is a Christian nation. We Need To STOP! America is NOT a Christian nation. We are a nation like any other with good intentions, searching for a truth to live for. C

Can I tell you, achieving the American Dream is NOT God's blessing on you "living for Him"?! A team of individuals starting a new nation because of persecution a gazillion years ago does not mean this entire nation is chasing after the heart of Christ. Tagging the name of God to wars, political fights, flags, and our standards is self-serving and leading other nations to really think anything they see coming out of America is Christian.

Did you know that because of insistence to be labeled a Christian nation, citizens from other nations HATE the name of Jesus? They are not getting a correct view of Jesus via American TV, the U.S. in the news, and a lot of ignorant people who happen to live in America but don't follow Christ. The problem isn't media. The problem is trying to force moral standards on a pagan nation.

Enjoy the freedom we have left here in America because the Bible is very clear that FREEDOM in Christ is eternal but that doesn't mean following Him will ever be easy. Hug an amazing soldier who fight for those rights for us and thank them but don't loose focus on THE one who fought for our rights to be adopted into the family of God. The confederate flag, the American flag, or even the man-made Christian flag do not deserve your allegiance. Stop chasing the wind for a purpose to get behind and look up. Christ is there, behind all that muck we are blasting at one anther. None of that muck is worth the fight. Christ and His illogical love for undeserving humankind is what's worth the fight!

Happy Dependance Day!

Please break free from the idea that the American dream will save you and become a bond-slave to Jesus, becoming completely dependent on His every provision and not disillusioned with independence that will send you to eternal separation from the One we all need. I mean, just think of what would happen if Christians reacted to real issues like we do the distracting fluff issues!

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Sickness and Sin

He cleaned her up after her second puking episode in this 2015 Puke-a-Palooza season. She looked up at him grossed out and sad to say, "Daddy, I hate that sickness is part of our world because of sin."

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I don't do puke. Chop open the back of your head and gush with blood, I'm your girl but the smell of sickness is what I can't handle. My hubs has always been sweet enough to handle that nastiness but I'm sad I missed this beautiful recognition of how literally sin affects our daily lives.

The consequences of sin are all around us if we are willing to identify it. As Christ-followers, sometimes we like to pretend our 'silent' sins don't have any reactions in our world like those that are loud in the secular world. We somehow act as though gossip and unforgiveness are less harmful than homosexuality and idol worship. All those are self-serving perversions of God's original plan.

Sin is and will always be part of our world until all the nations have heard the gospel and Christ returns for His followers. It sucks but that's the truth. So what do we do with that?

Live.

We live in community with believers and non-believers in love while chasing after the heart of Jesus and eagerly awaiting his return that will end the madness that our sin started.  God didn't ask us to hide, build walls, and protect ourselves.

I was taught growing up that you didn't hang out with "bad kids". You know, you might catch their sin. My prayer, as I surround my children with ALL those Christ died for, wither they have accepted that free gift yet or not, is that my children's lives are so overrun with the health of God's love that they don't catch too many sins. We're all gonna screw up and will never be sinless but if we are chasing hard after the heart of Jesus then we will totally sin less.

Are you scared of catching your own versions of the valley plague from doing life so closely with your local body of believers? Do you fear hanging out with non-Christians and catching their sin? What skewed view of God do we have that maybe needs to be realigned with the Bible so we can more fully love all those around us?

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Want-To, the Key to Learning

This makes me so happy!!! I will spell things all day long for this child.

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She is a strong willed learner, meaning she only learns if and when she wants to or sees a need. This entire school year she has fought me about learning letters. She would either pretend not to know certain ones or refuse to memorize them. I have been so nervous that she would struggle through school, especially since this was still her attitude finishing preschool/first semester of kindergarten.
Since being "out of school for summer" she has been begging me to spell all kinds of things with a little help from the alphabet reference on their preschool table. She pauses a little with a couple letters still but figures them out on her own. She makes menus for plea parties, birthday cards, and lots of random signs right now.
On the way home from camp the other day, Mags ask to finish the last two pages of her chapter before napping. When she had finished u looked back to see Izzie had snagged one of her two books and was flipping page to page. I ask her to put it down and nap to which she responded, "I'm almost finished with this chapter." I LOVE that she is finally developing a love for books and reading!

I am constantly nervous that I'm gonna screw up this educating-my-children thing and then God goes and shows me that He is bigger. I know that statistics, methods, standards, values, quality, quantity, and so on seem to be fluid or set in stone depending on who you ask so being a "homeschool mom" can be stressful. God continues to show me I'm doing exactly what He wants in this season and my children are fearfully and wonderfully made; each in their unique way, specifically designed to show yet another marvolous aspect of Himself.

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House of Mercy

I have been following an amazing women who is chasing after the heart of God. Through her "YESes"  God birthed an so many other yeses and The Mercy House.

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The Mercy House is a series of homes in Kenya that support teen girls who have become pregnant due to being forced into prostitution to support their families.

The Mercy Shop is a "global marketplace". The amazing products sold in this shop are made by empowered women thanks to the Mercy House. Women are engaged through Kenyan maternity homes and employment through "Fair Trade Friday" which is in more than 15 countries all around the world. The artisans who create the items in this shop are some of the most oppressed and impoverished in the world, from Kenya to Ethiopia to refugees relocated to the United States. They are paid more than a fair wage and empowered by purchases.

You're going to be hearing a more about the Mercy House and Fair Trade Friday but if you'd like to go ahead and start shopping the Mercy Shop, subscribe to the box OR earring club, or just getcha a trial box you can. 😉 I'll let ya know what's in MY box real soon.

When you purchase from the Mercy Shop, you are supporting these young mothers and their children. Fair Trade Friday is a monthly subscription club that delivers 3-4 fair trade surprises in your mailbox but there are also one time boxes sold as a great way to try out the club.

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Picking Up All Those “Good Intentions” Laying Around

Embarrassment Post Alert: 

If you're like me, you have lots of sweet, compassionate, Pinterest-worthy ideas for loving others.

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One day I walked through the house picking up and realized what was lying around my house.

Yep, ideas. Great plans. Good intentions.

My house had become home to beautiful intentions. Stuffed full and cluttering my life. The literal clutter was evidence of my heart and what I was trying to fill it with. Desire to serve, ministries with larger visions and great causes, moments of convictions left in a pile of inactivity.

  • Fabric- a gesture of help to make curtains for the local CALL Mall keeping me "involved" with foster care even though I was dragging my feet with what our family has been called to do
  • Bras- shallow proof that I care about those being trafficked across boarders
  • Birthday gifts- fallen attempt to show I had thought about dear friends and family at some point
  • Bagged Ponytail- tradition that has grown lukewarm from initial convictions
  • Thank You Card- supposed thankfulness for a thoughtful mailcarrier
  • Blue Jeans- desire to participate over a year ago in the zero gigers movement
  • Snack Ingredients- plans to treat neighbor-friends for fast approaching summer

This embarrasses me. Don't get me wrong, I know I'm in good company. I have a slew of friends who keep me warm at night as we all chat about our good intentions but I think as Christians we need to steer away from the 2 common extremes: shame and apathy.

SHAME

We're all aware of what we are not calling "mom guilt". Living in a state of disgrace based on society's standards is not what God has called us to. Pinterest is ruining childhood and sanity of mother's across the world. It's not just a sin the housewives of the upper east side deal with, I see us all struggle with keeping up or worrying what others think about our life chooses every community. When we feel like we've failed someone and their expectations we settle on the extreme of Shame. Satan keeps us held hostage in the bondage of guilt and renders us useless.

APATHY

Once we've worked through our "mom guilt" we often run to the other extreme. We feel so overwhelmed and guilty that we go into denial. The "I could never live up to ____" may be true for now but that that is not where God wants us to live either. He has promised to equip us completely. Just because someone else does something better than us, different than we could have even thought to do, grander than we could hope doesn't mean we through in the towel and complain that someone is accomplishing something.

To the mom who make adorable lunches complete with personal notes- more power to ya!

To the mom who barely made the cut off with proof of income to qualify your kids for free lunches- I'm proud of ya!

To the Christian mom with convictions of service and love for your community, state, country, and beyond- YOU CAN DO IT! How do we accomplish these inclines our heart is getting? We don't sit down. We chant, "NOT ON OUR WATCH!"

There are beautiful things going on all around us in this unfathomable adventure Christ has empowered us to be apart of. Get up. Do something.

Loose the shame when you fall short and applaud when you kick apathy aside. Do something.

What are the somethings I'm going to do?

  • Ask mother-in-love for help finishing the curtains
  • Collect friend's bras, add them to my own, and MAIL THEM
  • Stick the birthday gifts in the mailbox with 2 stamps when I can't drag the 4 littles out and pray it gets there
  • Make an appointment to chop my own hair and MAIL the bagged ponytails
  • Stick leftover brownies in the mailbox with the sloppy Thank You Card and breath
  • MAIL the scraps I have
  • Make some ghetto snacks and love the neighbors with a smile

What are the somethings YOU are going to do?

Good intentions laying around
Pick them up off the ground
and DO SOMETHING

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