Tuesday, August 27, 2013


This is a reminder.  A reminder to myself mostly.  But maybe, just maybe, somebody else might need the reminder too.

These. These four children of mine. Are. In fact. Blessings.  
Remember.  Blessings.  God said so Himself.  I have seen and felt it for myself.  But, there are those days.  Days probably isn't correct. Honestly it's probably more like hours or, to be more fair, just moments when I don't feel so blessed and they certainly don't look or act very blessing-like (and since we're being completely honest, I'm sure I'm not blessing material either).

I need to forget the Legos scattered from one end of the game room to the other.  Forget the dirty clothes that are once again in piles on the floor.  Forget the ever increasing volume at the table.  Give up the desire for a clean floor (for more than the hours while they're in their beds sound asleep) or house.  Remind myself for the 100th time that one day the training to stop the whining and sibling bickering will one day pay off - just not today.

The house would be too quiet.  Too clean.  Too boring without them.

What would I do without them?  I would have plenty of time to myself, for sure.  But to what end.  A selfish fulfilling of my time.

I know that to be challenged in all these desires of mine is one of God's way of working on all my rough edges, my ungodliness.  To be truly like Him, we must be empty of ourselves.  Die to self, live for Him.

I know I'm more sensitive to all the annoying and intrusive things that these four little blessings do right now because I'm tired - big and tired with another little blessing.  Sometimes I question God's wisdom in handing us these blessings, but...  He really does know best.  I just need to remember that in those moments.

I don't want these kids to think that they are annoying burdens that I would rather not have around.  For sure I want them to see that they, like mommy, have areas in their lives that they are in desperate need of the forgiveness from their Savior.  But He is powerful to overcome and change us to be more like Him.  The gospel lived out in our home.  That's good stuff.

I want them to see themselves, like I should see myself, as gifts from God; put right here for His glory, working out our salvation.  They are joys in our lives.  Blessings from above.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Great Thoughts From Others Worth Sharing

There are many thoughts floating around in this brain of mine.  Most flit away before I'm ever able to really make any lasting remarks about them.  But recently I've come upon three great thoughts, motivational thoughts that, because they are written down by others, can not and will not flit away and so therefore can be shared.

The first is from the Bible - what better place to find great, motivational, thought-provoking thoughts, right?  The second is from Michael Pearl regarding how he views his role as a parent. And the third is from the principal of a Christian high school in Ashland, OH.

#1  In a world where Christians don't want to offend, apologetics is discouraged, and Christians take, leave or change Scriptures to suit their own desires, somebody should be standing for Truth!  Maybe it's me.

2 Timothy 4:2-5

"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

#2  Michael Pearl has a way of really getting to the point - the heart of things.  Many times I feel his writing has a harsh tone to it.  That he needs a little more gracious or gentle feel to his words.  This article, however, says it very well.

Of Utmost Concern
By Michael Pearl
I think most of you feel as I do about many common issues. My most important personal concern is my children. 
Even before I was married, my occupation, financial security, ministry, personal fulfillment, all took third place to concerns for my future children. “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Likewise, what does it profit a father if he gains the whole world and loses the souls of his children? 
What can be called success if your children turn out to be part of the world’s problem rather than its cure?  
What satisfaction can there be in the comforts of  material success if your children grow up needing counsel rather than being sought after to give counsel? If your children lie awake at night suffering from guilt and anxiety, being gnawed upon by the demons of intemperance and self-indulgence, how can you enjoy your food or your pillow? 
The success of a tree and a man is measured by the fruit that is borne. The fruit of a man or woman is their children; everything else is falling leaves. 
If the sun rises and sets and I never cast a bigger shadow, what of it, if my children are growing and flourishing in God’s family? 
Let me die poor; let me die early; let me be ravaged by disease; just let my children rise up and call me blessed. Let me not measure my giving by the dollars I spend on them or the educational opportunities that my station in life affords them, but rather, by the hours I spend with them in fellowship. 
May they graduate from my tutorship to become disciples of the Man from Nazareth. May they learn good and evil from the pinnacle of obedience rather than from the pit of despair. May they have the wisdom to choose the precious, and the courage to reject the trite and the vain things in life. May they always labor for the meat that endures. 
May they be lovers of God, coworkers with the Holy Spirit, and a friend to the Lord Jesus. And when their trail ends, may it end at the throne of God, laying crowns at the Savior’s feet.

#3  Here is an excerpt from the Ashland Times Gazette that Tom's parents sent to us.  It's a statement from the principal of Veritas Classical Christian Acadmey in Ashland, OH regarding their take on the Common Core Curriculum.

Teaching Children To Think About Jesus First 
Rich Policz - Veritas Classical Christian Academy

"Is it or is it not the case that every human being exists for the joy of eternal fellowship with God and must face the possibility of missing that mark, forfeiting that prize?  If that is the case, it ought to be part of the core curriculum in every school." - Lesslie Newbigin, from his book, "Foolishness to the Greeks" 
....Our decision to not get on board with Common Core is not out of disdain for the state or a healthy bucking of authority.  No, the fundamental problem with Common Core is Jesus has no part of it.  We teach our students that what they think about Jesus is the most important question they can consider.  For us, Christianity is not a condiment to be sprinkled or spread over the important stuff of education.  Christ ought to be the center of every subject, every lunch, every field trip and every breath. 
....Electric and vibrant, [students] will believe the Bible is true; so much so that the world will be changed.  We will teach them that by standing on the rock of Christ, though the entire world shifts in the stormy seas of relativism, where they stand is unmoving, unyielding and unbending.  Our students will go forth as beacons and heralds of the Gospel, for there is no greater weapon than a keen mind, guided by providence... Our common core is Christ, and we aim to hold that ground."

I pray that God will give me wisdom, love and more wisdom and love as I navigate this world and teach my children to do the same.  That in the end will be standing together with Him, surrounded by those He allowed us to minister to and with.