Wednesday, July 19, 2006
We buried my step-dad 29 years ago today! That entire summer, before and after, had been very stressful. He was laid off, struggling with many things in his life, getting deep into things he shouldn't have been involved in, and then he died. Everyone brought the young widow and their 13-year-old daughter tons of food!! It was totally acceptable for me to eat and eat. We couldn't let it go to waste. The rest of the summer (and for several years), life was sad. Sometimes, it was out of control. The next summer, his natural children finally found my step-grandparents (we lived in a different house, but on the same farm. We were very close). My step-grandparents were thrilled that their grandchildren had found them. I went from being their pride and joy (I was an only child, as well as my step-dad being their only child-they were so heartsick when he died) to being Kenny's step-daughter. That hurt my heart. It was summer, again, and I had now lost my grandparents. The kids came to visit that summer and oh, the joy! We had to show them off, take them everywhere (the boy was 2 years older than myself, and the girl was a month younger than myself). Everywhere, we ate. I sucked it up and went along with all the fun, but I look back now and realize that my heart was broken and I was hurting.
That relationship, with my grandparents, was never the same and within 4 years, we were estranged. My grandpa came down with cancer and died-I never saw him during that process.
I've learned to face March with prayer and an understanding that it's okay to "coast" as the dr put it, I guess I'm going to have to approach summer with the same preparation. I've got to give myself a little break (while gently making changes) and remember that this is somewhat programmed into my being. Lord, help me face this cyclical times in my life filled with your grace and mercy!
I had an amazing experience at the county fair the other night. There were members of the Christian Motorcycle Association (yes, B, you know several of them!). I got to chatting with them and shared my story of Moose. They let me know that they know of someone that goes to the clubhouses and shares the Gospel. I know that God is going to do a mighty work in Moose's heart, the same as He did in the hearts of the men I met the other night.
We also walked in the parade. Oh my goodness, it was so hot!! I was feeling it yesterday morning when I woke up. I definitly had the "sun-kissed" look!!
Today is cleaning day, as well as getting a bunch of magazines sent off that I auctioned off on ebay. Vacation is just a few days away!!
Monday, July 17, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I've been somewhat reflective lately. There is a part of me that likes to return to my youth in the summer. Favorite books, movies, music. I enjoy it, but I'm finding that it has me thinking about who I am-who I was before Christ, who I am in Christ. I've been thinking about the liberal vs. conservative thing.
I was a flaming liberal. Always wanted to be "bohemian". Flowing skirts, peasant tops (they are even back in style and I still like the style-although I'm more a t-shirts and jeans gal in reality), no makeup (I'm still clinging to that one most of the time-hubby doesn't like makeup, so that helps!), and simple hairstyles (although a little curl would be nice, but this hair of mine is so heavy that it won't hold!). I believed in feminism and I was pro-choice. Looking back, though, I realize that I was always fiscally conservative-didn't believe that the government could or should take care of everyone. I've also never been much of an environmentalist-at least, not extreme. I grew up with a grandmother who gardened organically and taught me good stewardship, but she didn't go overboard.
I think that extremism is a lot of the problem these days. Everyone is either far right or far left. Now, I'm pro-life, I believe that homosexuality is sin, that it is a behavior (not a genetic thing-we're all born with the proclivity to sin in one form or another and homosexuality is no different), I believe that free-sex for all ages, "live and let live" attitudes, and the teaching of evolution have done so much to harm our society and country. But, on the other hand, I think that those of us that are very concerned with social issues (in the sin department) have become very complacent and negligent in fulfilling the Lord's call to reach out to the poor, the hurting, the ugly. We do it in name, and we cry out against the government doing it (which they shouldn't-it's not a part of our Constitution and it should be the responsibility of families and churches), but we're not really doing it. We're to comfortable.
Jesus ate with sinners. He shared God's kingdom with those that others thought were "worthy". He didn't pour money into the downtrodden, He poured Himself into them. He shared the ONE thing that would give them forgiveness, peace, relief, hope, and help. I don't believe that money is the answer to anything. Christ is!! If we share Christ, people can get through anything with Him. He can leave them as paupers, but He can also prosper them beyond anything they could have imagined. Does that mean that if they don't put their faith in Christ that we don't help them? On some levels, we probably shouldn't, especially if they are hostile to the Gospel, but, at the same time, in order to show the true love of God, we should do all that we can to love them.
I don't agree with the liberals ideas of just throwing money at the problem and keeping people victims. That does more harm than good, but it seems that their motives are sort of in the right place-some of the time. ----- So where is all this coming from. Well, I've watched "Dirty Dancing" and I've done a little research and I've watched it with a more discerning eye. I've always noticed the illegal abortion and I've always caught the pro-abortion spin. You know, this is what happened before Roe v Wade and wasn't it a shame. Rather than addressing the behavior (which seems to have been born out of the characters desire to just be loved), they address the need for social acceptance of their solution to the problem. Of course, they never really address how the character feels about the baby being ripped from her, but if they did that, they would have to acknowledge that it was a baby. But, there also a current of '60's liberalism running under the main plot, which is just how the liberal author wanted it to be. That's her right, it's her movie, I just never really noticed it before.
I'm not sure where I'm going with all this, but I do know that we've strayed. No one wants to be a sinner or say that their behavior is sinful. We want to justify it, reason about it, make it okay, but God's Word is clear-sin is sin! No matter what pretty packaging we wrap it up in, no matter the emotions behind it, no matter what the world is saying. That being said, I do believe that it's important to understand the "other side's" reasoning. I believe that it's good to know your enemy, send in spies, so to speak. Some of our "enemies" are truly against the things of God, but others are just hurting, deceived, burdened people (just like I was before Jesus!) and we need to be responsive to that.
I feel as those I've really rambled. My thoughts are still all over the board on this one. I've been reading in Isaiah and that does bring some clarity, I know that God's Word is absolute truth and it explains everything that we see, everyday. I know that He is doing something in me, leading me somewhere, I'm just not sure what or where yet. I know that He is going to use all that He has brought me through to get me where He wants me, though!
On a lighter note, we're starting to put in new windows in the house-one by one, with the first one today. I'll be judging textiles at our county fair this afternoon. My 4th year. I guess I must do a good job. It's going to be a hot one though, mid-'90's.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I've been reading my all-time favorite book (next to the Bible), Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly. It's a beautiful first-love story set in the early 1940's. The simplicity of life, the sweetness of a pure and innocent heart, oh, it makes my heart soar. I love her discriptions of the weather and nature-you can feel it as you read. It always makes me want to write! I find myself thinking about it in contrast to my life. It actually inspires me to live more simply.
The evening was spent making phone calls for our local Republican party. Had some good responses. It's exciting to be getting involved so heavily in the campaigns.
Knitting is coming along. I'm working on a hooded cardigan out of some gorgeous yarn. I'll post a picture soon.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Spent another morning at a parade, campaigning for a young man in our district that is running for state representative. We're looking at becoming more heavily involved. I seem to really enjoy the campaigning part-I just have to be careful that it doesn't get me over-involved and mess up my priorities.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I've had a pretty yucky day. Not bad, just not great. I haven't been eating well, haven't been exercising and my body and mood are proof. Lord, help me to get back on track!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I also want to say "Godspeed" to our brave astronauts. We just watched the lift off. It never ceases to amaze me how that get that gigantic thing in the air. Talk about fireworks!!
Monday, July 03, 2006
I'm not doing very well in the diet department. It is so easy to fall back into old habits. They just die so hard. I'm tired of fighting the food battle! I've quit exercising, but I'm going to get started on Wednesday. Tomorrow, I'm marching in our 4th of July parade for a local senate candidate, so I think that will be plenty of exercise. I know that I've been eating emotionally. I'm mad because the weight isn't falling off as quickly as I'd like. I'm mad because I don't like to cook and that makes things a bit more difficult (that's of my own making). I'm mad because it's summer-which makes no sense because I love summer!! It's just that I feel like all the regular routines are just thrown out the window and I'm not sure how to get the routines back.
I really do love summer! I love the sound of the birds in the morning, the warm breezes, the smell of freshly mowed hay. I love not having to wear a coat, I love having my toes free, I love the freedom. But, the freedom seems to be a double-edged sword. I feel like I should be able to eat what I want, when I want. It just seems that sin is far more present in summer than at any other time of the year. All that I can do is fall on my face before God and seek His mercy! Thank God, He gives it freely. It is only by falling before Him and admitting my inabilities that He can work and do a dramatic change in me. Lord, help me to reach that place!
Yesterdays sermon was very good. It was based on Romans 12:9-21. It's a checklist for believers behavior.
Romans 12:9-21 (NIV)
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with GodÃ’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.ÃÂ£ Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for GodÃ’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"ÃÂ£ says the Lord.
On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."ÃÂ£
- Love must be sincere
- Hate what is evil
- Cling to what is good.
B. Duties to the Family of God (vs. 10-13)
- Be devoted in brotherly love.
- Prefer one another in honor.
- Never be lacking in zeal.
- Be fervent in spirit.
- Serve the Lord.
- Rejoice in hope.
- Be patient in affliction.
- Be faithful in prayer.
- Share with the saints in need.
- Practice hospitality.
C. Duties to others (vs. 14-16)
- Bless those who persecute you
- Rejoice with those who rejoice
- Mourn with those who mourn
- Live in harmony with one another
- Do not be proud or conceited
D. Duties to those who consider us enemies
- Never return evil for evil
- Always do what is right
- Live at peace with everyone
- Do not take revenge
- Overcome evil with good
Do a word search-for every "duty", there is at least one corresponding verse for each duty somewhere in Scripture. God's Word never contradicts itself and always backs itself up.
Time to get knitting!
Much to do!