Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christ Alone

"It is easy for me to worship in the summer sunshine when the melodies of life are in the air and the fruits of life are on the tree. But let the song of the bird cease and the fruit of the tree fall, and will my heart still go on to sing?...[Then]I know at last that I desire not the gift but the Giver. When I can stand in His house by night I have accepted Him for Himself alone." George Matheson Anyone who has ever experienced any kind of suffering in life will completely understand what this man is saying. George Matheson is new to me as I heard Pastor Erwin Lutzer preach this past week and he brought him up and told of how he was blind and his sisters read to him and he memorized everything. He memorized the scriptures, his sermons, and the thing is that he was not completely blind until he was 20 years old. He finished his education and was called into the ministry, yet he came to a place where he had to pull away for a bit as he grappled with things and came back when he could operate from authenticity. I respect that. God already knows our hearts and I've heard some people say it is wrong to question certain things and I disagree. God is about relationship as scandalous as that is and He is greater than our hearts and He knows and sees everything. So, not two days after listening to that sermon (I made a mental note to look at George Matheson's bio but didn't) I opened my devotional and there was the above quote by this same man. I love the Lord for hearing my voice and I love how alive and active He is in our lives as we seek Him. When we seek Him, we will find Him, when we seek Him with all of our hearts. "My goal is God Himself, not joy, nor peace, Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God."

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Revolting: Why I told my child the truth about Santa

I am revolting and pulling the plug on Santa and not because we are believers and I want to be the fun sucker.  Yet, to me Christmas is about the birth of my Saviour and while I will still give my kids gifts im going to walk to the beat of a different drummer because it alarms me at what I see just in our nation, there is such a pervasive victim mentality and sense of entitlement.  I'm not saying it's because of Santa either. It's just that we are running ourselves in the ground to spend what we have so our kids will have the latest everything and setting them up for a lifetime of disappointment as God is clearly not a pie in the sky Santa Claus.  I've seen so many "try Jesus out" for a few weeks or months and not only are they not willing to do the work required to get out of the hole they may have dug for themselves...they want Jesus to wave a magic wand and lickity split all their problems just go away.  Well that's not how it's gone with me.  The Great Physician never called in an anesthesiologist for any amount of heart surgery He's performed on me. I was awake and had to commit and cooperate to being free in Him. There are things I let go of but He had to pry my hands off of them and change my heart and mind as I memorized scripture and got on my face in prayer and worship but it took major cooperation with my Savior.  He is about relationship and I came to know Him as more than enough.  The I AM in my life.  The things I used to cling to that were lies...defined me so much so that I thought id die without them and yet God healed me by killing those very things that were indeed keeping me in sins slavery and killing me slowly.  I was reading Jen Hatmakers blog and it really does make me want to vomit over how much time, energy, and resources we are spending to play Santa and I've never lied to her about him but I'm so sick of it being all about that and not Jesus.  I don't care what anyone thinks of me as I will not teach her that God is a killjoy by any means. however we sponsor 2 kids that are EXTREMELY poor and it is costly each month, that live in the Sudan, then another child in India through Compassion international, and As Our Own to help against child trafficking and slavery.  She has grown up knowing and learning about how poverty stricken these kids are and how so many don't have food to eat, parents,  or like our kids in the Sudan...some fall to their death from sleeping in trees or have been dragged away by dogs or hyenas and killed....does God love her more than these? No.  Yet this goes on and while people would argue about my giving I would back it up with Isaiah 58.  God calls us to care about the poor and oppressed and poverty and etc is not whether or not you have a north face or the latest Wii whatever. I'm joining the revolt to make Christmas about our obsession with Christ and not some man behind the curtain so to speak on the road to Oz.  Also, how many of us want to protect our children from ever feeling the slightest bit different? Yet, I can tell you with a huge family it was not possible to spend lavishly on Christmas (with 7 people) and yet so much of our worth as kids was tied up in what all we got when we came back to school.  I remember one year even lying about my presents as a kid because I felt that tug to fit in.   I would peruse the toys r us catalog and circle and dream.  Yet guess what...I didn't get everything I wanted and yet in all the ways I've suffered in life (not talking about Santa here) those very things have driven me closer to Christ.  So what I'm saying is that I feel like we work so hard to  be accepted and for our kids to be excepted and the finished product seems that we are raising a generation of spoiled brats and feeding the narcissistic beast of self, self, self!  I've realized more and more as I've agonized and prayed that it really is about the inside of a person and installing what matters.  I never "fit in" and felt ugly and less than...but I'm telling you it created a longing in me for Jesus.  So in hindsight, I'm thankful my parents didn't give me every thing and go in debt to do it.  What are we teaching our kids when we try so hard to climb a worldly ladder of success to fit in and be accepted? There are many days where I'm like ok Lord no one likes me.  And I remember how His own chosen people missed the Messiah because He did not come as they expected but as a lowly servant, from a working family.  I'm not comparing myself I'm just saying that to follow Christ will mean my allegiance to Him not my allegiance to consumerism or keeping up with the Joneses.  I've even tried to step back over certain hurts that hurt me because they've hurt my child but trust that the same One who has ordered my steps is ordering hers and she may not understand at times why she wasn't friends with so and so at the time...but she may look back and go wow Lord, Your ways are perfect.  I look back and thank Him for not only saving me from myself but also others and how I may have gone down some really bad paths had xyz not occurred in my life.  We truly are raising up some lightweights and I'm over here trying to correct some mistakes I've made w Morgan and not do the same with Blair.  I have hardly bought the poor guy any toys...why? Because I way outdid it with Morgan and then she would be playing with the pots and pans.  Yet this since of entitlement started welling up in her because she was being conditioned in that way and it was my fault.  I've had to cease buying her anything unless it's clothing, books, and now stuff when it's her bday or Christmas.  What would she ever learn about hard work, the way I did, if everything is handed to her regardless of what she does or doesn't do.  So it's not just the santa's me trying to buck the system of raising two more kids on this planet that think life is all about me, myself, and I.  And my kids are blessed and not wanton but what if our America collapsed tomorrow would we even be survivors? More than overcomers? I want it to be said of them that they know what it means to have plenty or be in want and to be content.  I know those extremes well.  All I'm saying is we feel so sorry for some kids because they don't have the latest and greatest and yet are their basic needs being met? So many around this world, their needs, basic needs are not being met and how many people in america are relying on the government to meet their needs without lifting a finger other than to get their nails done?  Our system is so abused these days.  Like the EBT card.  We don't want anyone to even be embarrassed about government assistance (which I know there is a need for but id venture to say 85% on government aid are abusing it. With no embarrassment at all we give some that maybe needed temporary assistance no reason to even blush about the misuse of our tax dollars.  It's called enabling the victim mentality and it motivates you to do nothing but play into the woe is me attitude that is so pervasive. Should we give to others? Yes! It's so scriptural...but in terms of all the angel trees please define need.  All I'm saying is that in the life of a believer we are running a race and we are to run so as to get the prize and not everyone will make it to the finish line and not everyone gets the prize.  There will always be the rich and the poor and pain and trial and sometimes yes not being the cool kid have been the catalyst for me to see my need for Jesus.  

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