Friday, June 27, 2008

"...the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable and almost incurable." -John Piper
I read this in A Cup of Cold Water's post and I had to blog about it.
We get so distracted, don't we? As "good" as I am and as "pius" as I may seem to friends... it's all meaningless if I'm not connected daily with my God. Since I was raised so well, I know not to sin in those big, obvious ways. I'm actually far less tolerant of the "lesser sins" (you know, the more acceptable ones these days) than most people I know. But the devil knows if he can just keep me distracted all day, he's won. If he can keep me doing time-wasting things, even good wifely things that don't have anything to do with growing my relationship with God, then he's won. It must be so satisfying for him to see me waste another day with no contact with my Savior. Remember how I said I know not to sin in those big, obvious ways...? I'm pretty sure this falls under the category of idolotry. I think idolotry is over there in Exodus in the Big Ten. Um... that's pretty major. The master of deception has done it again.

Monday, June 23, 2008

a good uncomfortable feeling

I don't like new things. I like being dissatisfied with old things and complaining about them instead of the discomfort of new things. hmph!
We visited a church here in Jackson yesterday and I didn't really like it. Yeah, the worship was good, really refreshing, actually... but the pastor did that "pastorese" thing sometimes, you know, when they add an extra syllable-ah onto words they want to emphasize-ah. And then when he gets really into it, he expands the word too and starts pronouncing consonants really hard. "JeeeeesusAH is here with us ToDay. He wants to be your SaViourAH." Get it? kinda? Anyway, I guess I'm racist because I don't get bothered by that from a black preacher, but I don't really like it from a white preacher.
I didn't really even get to hear the message because my baby was fussy in the nursery, so I had to go be with her so I don't know if I agree with what he preached and I had uncomfortable conversations with people I don't think I want to hang out with and... and... well, I was uncomfortable and I don't like that feeling.
We're going back next week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

the ride

My daughter is different every day. She's growing and changing so fast! I finally feel like all those times when other moms said "It goes by so fast," they were really telling the truth. It's as though the last 5 months we've been slowly climbing the first hill of the rollercoaster and now, we've reached the crest. The first gigantic drop lays just before us and then the other drops, turns and loops are still to come. Fortunately, I like rollercoasters.

Climbing skyward toward the clouds
Clack, clack, clack, clack
Breathless we sit, stil ascending
Leaning back.

For the hundredth time
we reach
the top

Falling! Falling! streaking downward to the dizzily swirling ground
With hands outstreatched and faces crazily contorted,
We leave our stomachs behind
And forget about everything but the thrill of the ride.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

from the overflow of the heart

I've started reading Ginger Plowman's book, "Don't Make Me Count To Three" just today. I'm so very interested in the idea of teaching my child the concept of right and wrong from the inside out, not from the outside only. In other words, I'm not interested merely in what she is or isn't doing, but what she thinks about what she's doing and how she is being motivated to do what she's doing.
I've talked about this very thing with my parents before. We discussed teens in America today and how parents of teens not only give up on their relationship with their kids when they reach teenager-hood, but how they claim all the trouble they experience even before they get there. Other parents say "You've got it good now, you just wait! Just wait 'til they get rebellious and won't talk to you or tell you anything about them! There's nothing you can do about it, just wait it out." Then the ones who don't have teens yet adopt the same speech. "I'm really not looking forward to when Susie turns 13. You know how those teenage girls are." Or "Look, he's already doing this or that, I can't imagine what he'll be like as a teenager!"
It's just accepted that teenagers are built that way. I wasn't though. Was I way out of the ordinary? Yes. Was that just by chance? No, I don't believe that for a second. So was I just extra diligent and commited to what I had been taught was right? Did I just try harder than all my peers to be "good" and take the right path? No. I don't credit myself for a second. In fact, it wasn't hard for me to do the right thing. The wrong thing... like, the "big" wrong things (sex, drugs, smoking, etc.) weren't even appealing in the slightest and the "smaller" wrong choices I could have made I was able to think through and see why they just weren't wise or good choices. There wasn't really any work or willpower involved.
So why was I that way? I believe it was the way my parents trained me to think about everything, everything in my life from a Biblical perspective. If you can see clearly the demonic hold that something like drugs can have on someone's life, you see it for what it is and it is no longer appealing. This is just an example of how I was taught REALITY. The real world isn't just a world of rules and consequences, choices that might be good for some and bad for others, winners and losers made by chance, lives that "work out" or don't. There is a spiritual world that is alive and at work and is the reason for those consequences. It's so much bigger than just "this is the wrong thing to do and we, as your parents, will scowl and punish you if you do it."
Anyway, the point here is that I want my daughter to be bent like a tree blown by the wind of the Spirit, trained to think like God thinks and see the world and her circumstances for what they really are. If she is continually blown in the direction of Godliness, she will naturally tend toward His will, and be more likely to follow it. I refuse to speak over her, or us as her parents, teenage years of angst and rebellion.
The world and even most other Christian parents will think I'm naive. They thought my parents were. Others will say I don't have enough experience under my belt to claim that I can raise my child with such different results. Besides, it would make it seem more like those other parents had missed something or even failed in an area. That would be uncomfortable. Do I think I'm better than them or something? "Just you wait and see," they chant.
Just YOU wait and see. My God is big and He is more than able. He created my daughter and He knows how to bring out the very best in her. With His help (and only with His help) I will succeed in training her up to be a woman of God who enjoys her family and is a joy to be around as a teenager.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Our first trip from our new home will begin tomorrow. We are headed to St. Simon's Island. This is a yearly trip, always in June, and this may be our last one for a while. I have mixed emotions about it. I wanted to have more of the house done, but it's nice to have a break from the monotony of unpacking box after box and painting wall after wall. I'm looking forward to Eden's first experiences at St. Simon's, but I don't really get a true vacation any more because of her. No matter what, I'm up at 8am now, or before in this case, because I can't just let her squeal and yammer in her pack n' play when there are others in the rooms beside us trying to sleep in (what vacations are often about).
I've gotta finish packing and get to bed because the early mornings start tomorrow... 6am.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

perfect pitch

I was reading Proverbs 2 yesterday and came across a verse that resonated with me. It says "tune your ear to wisdom." Since we moved my grandma's piano into our new home, we're going to have to get it tuned. My mom told me to make sure I tell the tuner to tune it to itself, not to true A. It's so old that if it was tuned to true A it would be something like half an octave too low. If it's tuned to itself (as long as no one in the house has perfect pitch) it will actually sound better. I was reminded of that as I read this verse. Often times we just tune our actions, thoughts, words, etc. to ourselves... our idea of what is right, what feels good or what seems best at the time. When we do that, we can often blend in to the world, and even look/sound "in tune" to them, especially since it's rare to find someone with "perfect pitch" when it comes to integrity. We should be tuning ourselves to God's Word, the only real wisdom. If we bring our lives into alignment with God's wisdom, we will be a sweet sound to Him and our lives will make a melody of praise.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

a few of my favorite things

putting only one coat of paint on a wall

flattening yet another box

Bop's frozen custard

my bed

hearing my husband pray over my daughter

seeing my daughter begin to understand sign language

getting new cloth diapers in the mail

my puppy in her new custom bed

a home phone with fun ringtones

hammering picture hangers into the wall

laughing at my complete silliness because I'm so punchy at the end of another day of working hard to settle down in Jackson

66 books

Chuck and I finished listening to a series this morning by Andy Stanley, pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta. It was about reading the Bible and there were a few randomish things that really hit me.
1st- he was rephrasing what Jesus said at the Last Supper (I think it was then) about having to spill the blood of animals in the past, but that His blood would be spilled as the final sacrifice for the sin of all mankind and that would totally change the way they lived from then on... It just hit me how very "Chronicles of Narnia" that sounded. You know, when Aslan and the White Witch are talking about the old magic or whatever it is, the rules that were made in the beginning of that world... it all sounds so mystical and fairy tale-ish, but that's really how it is. God set up the world a certain way, with certain rules and certain laws. If this, then this, no question about it. What Jesus said at that dinner also sounds kind-of mystical, but that was for real. We are so far removed from that culture today, that it's hard to grasp the concept of blood being shed on a regular basis to atone for sins. Anyway, I can't quite get across exactly what I want to say, but I guess it became less of a tale of another time and more real today.
2nd- I've known this all my life, but it was new again to me today. The Bible isn't one book, it's 66! The amazing thing about it is that it's like having 66 different bound volumes by different authors on your shelf and you can pull one out and read about the commandment about adultery, then you can pull another one out and read about King David breaking that commandment and committing adultery with Bathsheba, then you can pull another one out and read about how he felt after he sinned, then you can pull yet another one out and read about Jesus' response to a woman under the same Law who committed adultery. Totally seperate books, totally seperate accounts, all with a common thread of history leading up to and following the arrival of the Saviour of the world. Incredible.
3rd- Why would I be embarrased about believing historical documents that are some of the most (if not the most) proven in history? Why would I be embarrased about discussing a group of books that talks about the experiences in the history of a nation, and the world? I know why. It's because Satan would rather I be timid and stand-offish with others about the most powerful set of books known to the world. He would rather I be concerned about making someone uncomfortable that mention the group of books that could banish him forever from someone's life. He would rather I talk about acceptable things and stay cool with everyone, than possibly change someone's eternal future by mentioning the things of the Bible. So he tells me that's someone else's resposibility, someone else's calling, not mine. "Just let your life demonstrate God at work in you, don't talk about Him... don't shove Him down their throats. Stay safe. Stay cool."