I never thought I would care much about politics. I grew up during the Reagan administration and the world seemed at peace to me and I thought that everyone loved the President. Now being married to a soldier, the politics of the world and our government are part of our daily conversations.
I follow Mike Huckabee on Facebook. I love to hear his perspective on the White House and politics and the way our government (mal)functions. Normally after I read, and agree, and my blood boils, I find myself just sitting there asking, “What can I really do about it?”
Really, my hands are tied. Politicians are going to do what they want. The Governors and Senators and Congressmen have their own agendas and negotiations and pretty much will do whatever benefits their
With the recent BIG NEWS (and i say that sarcastically) of Jason Collins coming out of the closet, I left my rantings at the door, of my blog, and found myself totally upset at the mix of politics and morality. It got me thinking.
I wonder if we all don't question our impact when it comes to politics and religion. We all kinda know about Jesus, and some of us even grew up in church. And now there are so many different religions, a buffet of the beliefs of the world colliding, spread out and displayed for us to walk along to pick and choose what we want. In some light it seems doable, but most of the time it's too overwhelming.
Like politics, we may catch ourselves asking:
What can we really do about it anyway?
How can we possibly sift through it all and come up with the right answer?
In politics and religion it feels like our hands are tied. So we do nothing…
Ultimately, it's about taking responsibility. Our apathy in politics or religion are going to come to great consequence that we aren't going to be happy living with, not in this life or the next.
We are too content with apathy.
Just like with anything in life, we have to try. It is up to us to pick up the phone and call our Congressman to help change laws to stop human trafficking. It is up to us to read Scripture and know what God expects of us. We may not make a difference immediately or feel a difference immediately. But someone has to do something, or no one will do anything.
Are you going to do anything?
procrastination tardiness. I've been buried in Oriental Trading Magazines that I daily receive by the truckload because I ordered a craft from them in 1998. Not to mention I'm still digging my way out of the Blow Pop wrappers from all the teenagers that stampede in and out of my house as if I run a Holiday Inn. God has been doing something….not sure what, quite yet, but something none-the-less.
I would love to say that since January 1st I have been diligently pursuing AND accomplishing all my new year's resolutions and writing goals, but really I'm just trying to survive one day at a time in a way that at the end of the day all i can do is ask, “Ok, God, did I do anything right today?”
I will say I have been writing, perhaps not as much as I would like, but I have (3) different writing projects I find some passion for at least a little every day. My daughter cheered her little heart into a sling, Zachry spelled incorrectly enough we had to “exchange” his teacher, and Beefcake is working on his own project that will be released to the world soon enough. And my husband, well, I meet him in Publix parking lots to say hello and pick up dirty clothes at some point in his 20 hour work day, heading from one job to the next.
So in all of that, I must say I've lost inspiration. I am a writer who needs to be inspired. I wish I was the disciplined writer, but yah, NO, discipline is not my strong suit. God is teaching me, patiently instructing me in the importance of obedience.
There is this guy named Moses, and he was to show God's glory to the Israelites and speak to a rock and water was to flow. Instead, Moses struck the rock clearly and blatantly disobeying God. God was so not dealing with such–
Tiffany Moses should have known better at that point of his journey with God. So God told Moses, “this PROMISED LAND, this land flowing with blessings–with Milk and Honey–you will never see it. Your disobedience is THAT serious to me. Just do what I say, that's all I ask.” <<—If you're a parent, I know you've echoed that last sentiment at some point in your life and can understand God's exasperation with MOses.
All those years… All those years of preparing, of roaming, of wandering, and Moses never got to experience all of God's blessing and promises. So as great and amazing as Moses is, and even with his leadership skills being somewhat impeccable, I don't want to be Moses. I don't want all that God has for me withheld because of my disobedience.
You're disobedient. In someway, you are being disobedient to God…in your marriage, at your job, in your tithe, in your commitment to the growth of the church…somewhere you are being disobedient and there is a Promised Land, set apart for you that God wants to give you. Same with me. I've learned I'm not disciplined in so many areas of my life (as I'm shoving peanut m&m's down my throat)–and my lack of discipline is really just another way to frame my disobedience to what God is asking me to do in my life. Ouch. (but yummmmmm)
God is serious about us obeying Him. Through my excuses and M&M's I am trying to find my way to a more obedient, love filled life in a grace-giving Christ. Come with me.
So I am toying with this idea–like always. The question over and over in my head for the last week or so is this: how do I create an environment in my home centered on Christ?
I know, you’re shocked. My home is not centered on Christ? Of all people? A children’s and student minister? What has this world come to? It’s people like me who ruin the sanctity of all things Christian family.
Oh Please! I know of way too many pastors whose own kids don’t even read the Bible at home, and barely pray with their family. Why do you think Pastor’s Kids have such a horrible reputation?
In reality, I live in a Christ centered home. We pray together, I have random Scripture posted all over my house–even behind the bathroom door. We talk of things Jesus, I encourage my kids to show his love, be his light. But there are a few things missing, and I’m ready to change that:
- Bible reading time
- Intentional, Holy Spirit led prayer time
- Focus on doing God’s will in our everyday life–especially at school.
So starting this week, I am going to initiate a mandatory time with the Lord. Lots of people oppose this, saying we should not force our kids to read the Bible. We shouldn’t force our kids to be Christians. We shouldn’t make our kids do anything they don’t want to do.
But I make them brush their teeth, and take showers. I make them go to school–horrible ones at that. I make them hug each other when they are mad. I make them do all sorts of things because I feel it teaches them to be societal-accepting adults.
My kids do homework, and work hard to get good grades, so they can get a “good education” and prove to the world how smart they are. The other night, my daughter spent 30 minutes completing homework on evolution, a theory that opposes the very creation of people by a loving God. A theory that is opposed to what we believe as a Christian family.
This world is falling apart, my kids need to be saturated with the Spirit if they are truly going to make a difference in their sphere of influence. My kids need to know what the Bible says about all things controversial. My kids need to be the light in the darkness, and that starts by striking a match.
I expect whining and opposition. I expect several reasons why they CANNOT read the Bible on a daily basis. I expect apathy, and frustration. I expect, “Do I have to?” To which I will simply reply, “Yes, you HAVE to.”
What do you think? How do you view “mandatory” Bible time with kids and in families? What do you do to keep your family submerged in Jesus?
I tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time reading about writing to actually writing. It is something I do. I tell myself I am not an expert yet so I should study my craft more. I tell myself I don't have any real inspiration so my writing will be dull, lifeless and uninspiring. Days go by with self conviction that I should go just a few more days, just to be safe.
Then days like today fall upon me, and I just can't NOT write. Writing is, in a sense who I am, and if I go too long without it, it would be equivalent to me going a day without a Coke. That would be tragic, not only for me, but for everyone around me. I'm an addict like that.
Sometimes I don't have much to write about. The thoughts swirling about in my head don't quite translate from my fingertips to the keyboard in the way they articulate in my pea-sized mind. But I have to write.
Somedays I feel this way about Jesus. I read more of the Bible than I actually live out. It's easier to read about it, get that warm fuzzy feeling, maybe even get my heart racing in some passionate desire to pursue all things good and right. But by the time I shut my Bible
app, walk to the kitchen to encounter a pile of mess, then survey the shoes in the living room, and the toys on the stairs, and oh yah, I have to leave in five minutes to pick up one of the kids… My inspiration quickly vanishes.
I daily continue to tell myself I need to study more about Jesus, learn more about Jesus, but I have yet to put into practice the things I already know. I wonder if Jesus gets irritated with me. I'm certain He does. Lots of people get irritated with me–I accept that. Sincerely, He must wonder why I want to know more when I'm not even doing what I already know to do. As if I'm going to read one line, one day, and everything is going to finally come together and I will have all the passion and knowledge to accomplish what is needed in my life to do the work of Jesus.
Sometimes I think He wants me to do what I already know, like loving my neighbor, or my enemy. Or like taking care of widows and orphans. Or feeding the poor, or forgiving my father. Or like praying without ceasing or submitting to my husband.
I am certain I should daily read my Bible
app so I can know the voice of Jesus, but I think there are days to just do what I am told in both my writing and my walk with Jesus. Faith without actions is dead–faith in myself and faith in Jesus.
I grew up in the Lutheran church. Faithfully, because I had a very demanding Godmother who took her title very seriously, I went to Sunday School and most of the time was the only student in my class. The church had it’s problems, but now I know how much it really taught me.
After Sunday School you could find me sitting next to my grandma in church. I would dig through the hymnals and her purse–for gum, of course. I would write and draw on the back of the offering envelopes and stand when I suppose to and sit until I had to go to the bathroom. One of the prayers we would say together went like this:
Most Merciful Heavenly Father
I confess that I’m in bondage to sin and cannot free myself.
I have sinned against you in thought, word and deed
By what I have done and by what I have left undone.
I have not loved you with my whole heart.
I have not loved my neighbor as myself.
For your name’s sake, forgive me, renew me and lead me
So that I may delight in your will and walk in your way.
Or something like that, anyway. For whatever reason that prayer came to mind a few nights ago. I began to think of the difference between Grace and Mercy. Our churches preach Grace. We cry out Grace, we worship grace, we accept Grace. But not so much with Mercy.
Grace is getting something you don’t deserve. (Like a gift)
Mercy is NOT getting something you DO deserve. (Like a punishment for breaking the law).
So yay, who wouldn’t want Grace? Everyone wants a gift, given freely, with no strings attached. ( I DO accept gifts, by the way, monetary or otherwise. If you would like to send me one, I’m a willing receipent.) We are a church that wants everyone to accept God’s love. We are a people who want other’s to feel God’s grace washing over them.
But I can’t remember the last time I heard a sermon on Mercy or a group of people come together to openly confess their sins in recognition that grace is only a part of who God is. Mercy takes a little more work, hard work, painful work. Mercy is still free, it’s still a gift from God, and you have received Mercy in ways you don’t even know. Mercifully you don’t have to die a painful death for the sins you’ve committed.
To truly understand mercy, I think requires humility on our parts. To say, yes I’ve sinned and please don’t give me the consequences I deserve. This is the way I’ve messed up my life. I need you to please change me so I don’t do again. Mercy.
We do deserve so much more destruction. Our daily choices to ignore God and follow our own way lead down a path of death and through God’s mercy we get to live our lives filled with comforts and acceptance. Even when you think your life is miserable you are being washed in Mercy. We should acknowledge that, and confess all our actions that require mercy.
God is faithful.