All Small Cars Don’t Go Around

My Mom celebrated her 4th anniversary in Heaven last month.  I am sure she and daddy are thrilled to be together after spending 25 years apart. They are  probably still catching up.

Momma left us many memories and phrases that we still fondly repeat today. One of our favorite quotes from momma is “It’s only a dollar!” which I wrote a whole story about on here a while back.

But one of the funniest stories we still tell today and the phrase that made momma the most famous in our minds was the time that she was driving as my two youngest children, along with myself was riding along with her in the car, when she pulled up to a stop sign. She was a little delayed in pressing the brake so we ended up with the front of her car about halfway out into the first lane of the 4 lane highway we were about to enter. I’ve had the same thing happen to me and I simply put the car in reverse and backed up to assure I wouldn’t get hit. So I didn’t think to much about it, until momma didn’t move. As the car approaching us grew closer I asked mom “Don’t you think we should back up a little?” to which momma looking at the car growing closer turns to me, says ” Oh! It’s a small car it can go around.

Needless to say that was the last time we let momma drive when we were in the car, because although she might have been kidding she never moved back but thank the Lord we all still lived and the car did go around!

This got me thinking……

Momma’s phrase “It’s a small car, it can go around” made me think, don’t we all to often do the same thing in our lives. Now I don’t mean literally. But we often put ourselves in positions that could possibly be harmful to us physically and more importantly spiritually.  Just like Samson in the bible, (if you don’t know the story you can read it in the book of Judges) Samson was born in a time when Israel was being held under the rule and oppression by the Philistines.  He was anointed with a special supernatural strength from God to help his nation for that time. Samson was a Nazirite but he fell in love with a woman who was a Philistine which basically met she had different beliefs and standards which were opposite of what God’s word says. His parents warned him of the possible problems but Samson was determined to be with her. Samson had gained an attitude that he was unstoppable. He forgot who had given him his supernatural strength and begin to get cocky, thinking more of himself than he should. Believing he couldn’t be tempted.

Don’t we do that today, we hang out with people that might lead us to temptation that might cause us to sin. Proverbs 6:17-19 tells us there are 7 things the Lord hate they are, a proud look, lying,  and hands that kill innocent people,  a person who devises wicked plans, people who are quick to do wrong and a dishonest witness, along with a person that stirs up conflict in their family.

Often we place ourselves in these situations and thus allowing temptation to take us over. Just like Samson who was finally so prideful that he ended giving doing exactly what God had told him not to do which ended in complete disaster for him.

My mom thought, “they can just go around, I don’t need to move” and whether joking or not there was a since of arrogance that she didn’t have to obey the law, that somehow she was above it and the rest of the world could just work around here.

We have to be careful not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. We are blessed only because of what God has done for us and when we begin to think in any way that we don’t need to first ask Christ before we do anything we are sorely mistaken.  So this week as you go about your day, be sure and ask yourself, “Am I  being sucked into the “Samson Syndrome”? Am I  acting or even giving off the idea that I might be prideful and continue to go down the list of what God’s word says He hates and assure you aren’t being tempted. Because you may not be as lucky as we were and that temptation that you have allowed yourself to be exposed to, may not “go around you” because there are no small sins nor large ones, but they all will plaster right into you if we put ourselves in situations that might temp us to do what we know we shouldn’t. See there’s another quote my momma was famous for. Well she didn’t really make it famous because the book of James is where she got it from, but she always told me “He that knows to do good and doesn’t do it, to him it is sin” So lets not be tempted, you now know. Don’t be deceived into thinking you can just put yourself out there and it won’t effect you because all small cars don’t go around!

 

A Passionate Pursuit! ( God…. I don’t want to die a Bachelor)

Originally written May 1, 2017
He was 16 yrs old and scared to death he might die a bachelor as his mentor and 80 some year old friend who he affectionately called Brother Toby was.
Brother Toby was a man in the church my husband grew up in, he was a bachelor all his life. My husband Jeff had looked up to him all his life and suddenly at the ripe old age of 16 my husband decides there is 1 thing for sure he does not want to follow Brother Toby’s footsteps in and that is, He doesn’t want to be a bachelor.
So the story I’ve been told is Jeff begin to pray ” Oh, Lord Please don’t let me be a bachelor! “.  It just so happened that Jeff’s home church was without a pastor and Jeff”s dad was the head deacon at the time and therefore, he had all the resume’s of prospective pastors. So, Jeff decides what better wife to have than a preachers daughter and since Jeff was on the hunt, because in his mind, time was a wasting. Jeff decides to sneak into his fathers office and search the family pictures sent with the pastoral resumes to find the pastor with the daughter that Jeff had decided he would marry. It just so happened my father had submitted his resume to the church and I am told, that Jeff narrowed the pictures of the preachers daughter’s down from the top 10, to 5 to, 3 and then you guessed it…… me!
To make a long story short, I guess you could say the rest is History! There were several sets of circumstances but my father ultimately became the pastor and 4 yrs later Jeff and I were married at the ripe old ages 17 and 20.
Jeff was determined that I was going to be his wife, and apparently God was in favor of that because of the circumstances that followed.
You know, this got me thinking……..
What separates those of us who are just attending church and those of us who are being the church? Jeff could of been the typical teenage boy who dated several different girls and refused to look for any kind of real commitment at such a young age. But Jeff was on a mission, He had a what I would call a “God given desire” that he would not let anyone or anything distract him from. The fact is when Jeff heard a group of boys from the church talking about trying to pursue me, he step right up and told them “She is mine, so don’t even bother” (and we hadn’t even met yet!) He often jokingly but rightly tells everyone that he and God are a lot alike, the both loved me first.
See Jeff was determined there was nothing casual about his persecute of me.  I think that’s what makes the difference from those attending church and those being the church. Just attending the church, is like casual dating with no expectations of commitment. Being the church is the expectation that God wants to speak to me so He can speak through me. There is an expectation of a commitment and a calling beyond ourselves when we ARE the church. If we are only attending the church we simply check it off our list, like knots on our belt in a dating relationship. We walk out the door after completing our weekly or sometimes semi or less weekly routine.  It is like you are saying “I have come and done my religious duty every Sunday and I am done” (ie going and sitting in a pew, then going home to wait to do it all over again whenever the next time that it is convenient)
Being the church is like an all in relationship, it is living a life of faith everyday expecting God to speak to you, so you can share Him with others. It was not uncommon for Jeff to claim his stake in our relationship before we had even met, the very first Sunday my father spoke at his home church. Jeff made it clear under no uncertain terms that he liked me. As my father shook hands with the people as they walked out the front door of the church. Jeff boldly proclaims before my father that ” You are gonna get this church if I have anything to do with it” When my father replies ” Oh yeah? Why?”Jeff confidently responds ” Because of your beautiful daughter” then he turned and walked away. It left my father speechless because I was only 13 yrs old at the time and still playing with barbie dolls.
If we are going to be the church, if we are going to follow in the abundant life God has called us to live. We need to approach it like an all out committed relationship, and in this day and age where, committed relationships are hard to come by. Let me challenge you to give Jesus your all. Like nothing you have ever loved before because He loves you like no one has ever loved you before.God wants to be your friend, He cares about every aspect of your life. In the book of Jeremiah, God tells His people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness”See, He is in a committed relationship with you so much that He gave His life for you. (Which is what we just celebrated a few weeks ago) The question is, How committed are we to Him? Do we use Him like a vending machine and just call on Him when we need something or do we sincerely desire to know Him, are we committed to what His word says, we should do and are we so in captivated in His love for us that our gratitude towards Him pours out of us in the way we live our life?
Let me tell you today, that if you have only been an attender of church instead, of being the church. It is not to late. He is waiting right now with His arms out stretched. He so wants to spend more time with you and He, like my husband Jeff has never given up, even when I was not interested and totally unattracted to Jeff. Jeff never stopped loving me, he never stopped pursuing me and was waiting with open arms when I was ready. Christ is waiting on you today. There is more to this walk with Christ then just attending church and checking it off our list of things to do for the week.1 Cor. 3:16  tells us, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”  God wants to speak to you, so He can speak through you, We have a mission to share His love and life with others, but if we don’t really know Him, if we are not passionately pursuing Him. Then we aren’t being the Church, we are simply filling a pew. Go be the Church this week! Because God is passionately pursuing you.
The Love of a Father

The Love of a Father

I recently spent an extended period of time at my oldest son’s home
and you know what I noticed? I noticed he does the same thing his
father does every night before he goes to bed. What is it you ask? He
goes around and checks all the doors to make sure they are locked and
turns on his security system, turns off the lights in the house as he
walks through the house assuring everyone is in their bed and we are
all safe and sound in our home.

This is something that makes my heart flutter every time my man does
it, just to know he is watching over and protecting our family in his
own little way. It is a big deal to me and means a lot. Honestly, locking up the house
is something I have never thought of in all the years of our marriage.
He just takes care of it without me asking or saying a thing. I
believe my son has learned from his father. Not because Jeff took him
aside and gave him any lessons, but just because he knows what his
father did when he lived at home. So now my son follows after his
father in this way

Jeff has always been a protective kind of parent. He was the one that
always wanted to call and check on the kids if we were out on a date
and they were with a babysitter. He was the one that stayed up till
they came home from being out with friends when they became teenagers. All the while I was
sleeping in the bed without a care in the world. Jeff was waiting till
all his children came home and was safe in the bed.

The fact is we never had a curfew, with our kids, as long as we knew
what they were doing and who they were with and we trusted those
around them, we didn’t worry . We trusted our kids to come home at a
reasonable hour because they knew daddy was a waiting. Well, I say all
of them knew but our youngest Chad, apparently he didn’t get the memo
that daddy stays up and waits, because the first time he went out, he
stayed out till 2 am. We trusted him and was not worried so everything
was okay,  but not according to his sister. No! When she found out her
little brother had kept her daddy up till 2 am, she called him up and
gave him a tongue lashing. Informing him that “You never stay out past
midnight because daddy is waiting on you so you get home” See
apparently, that is what she had determined in her mind to do and
perhaps her older brother before her, because neither one ever stayed
out much past that.  So Chad has never done it again, we didn’t have
to say anything. Each of our kids knew, they were loved and protected
by daddy. And the last one learned it real quick after his sister gave
him a talking too!

You know all these fond memories got me thinking…….

Isn’t that just like God, He watches over us sometimes never saying a
thing just being there protecting us. In some cases I am confident we
don’t even know the disasters that He has averted from us. The bible
says in 2 Thes 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen
you and protect you from the evil one. Just like Jeff who is there to
protect and provide for His children, So is our heavenly father.  Matt
7:11 says “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good
gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give
good gifts to those who ask him! See all my kids have to do is ask
their father and if Jeff feels it is best for them, then he does his
best for either help them get it or provide it for them. If my husband
who is a human man can do that, how much more will our Heavenly Father
do for us. The bible also says “How great is the love the Father has
lavished on us that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)
We are His children and we can trust that He is working all things for
our good.

I am sure there is some reading this, that could never understand the
love of a father. In your life, you may not of either had a father or
you were abused or mistreated by yours. Perhaps your father never knew
how to love, because he himself never received love. I want you to
know today, that no matter your background or what you have or haven’t
seen, There is a Heavenly Father that loves you with and ever lasting
love and nothing you ever do is gonna make Him love you anymore and
nothing you do is gonna make Him love you any less. Your worth isn’t
measured by what you do, but by the price He paid for you when He gave
His life for you on that cross, That was the ultimate father’s day
gift. He gave His life for you!

I hope today if your reading this you grasp just a taste of the
amazing love our Heavenly Father has for you.  I hope you will know
that you are loved with an everlasting love that none compares too.
But mostly, I hope you have chosen to live your life for this amazing
father that gave His life for yours. I hope somehow and someway, you
desire to want to reciprocate a little of that love back to Him for
all He as done for you. Just like our daughter who decided to inform
her brother of what her daddy had done for them, I hope you have heard
my hearts cry in telling you how much our Heavenly Father loves us.

If you have never accepted Christ as your Heavenly Father, I hope you
will say this pray with me, then get into a bible believing Church and
begin to grow in more understanding of all that He has done and will
do. Let’s Pray : Dear God, I never realized all that you have done for
me and I want you do know that today, I want to accept you as my
Heavenly Father, Help me in all that I do, I know that without you I
am a sinner but I know with you, my sins have been cast as far as the
east is from the west. So, come into my life and help me to love like
you have loved me. In Jesus Name Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, Know that this Father’s Day you have a very
special Father watching over you and caring for you and I hope will
honor Him with the life you now live for Him in everything you do.
Because just like my husband and son who watches over their families,
so is your Heavenly Father watching over you!

How To Get Committed!

How To Get Committed!

How To Get Committed

As long as I have been in ministry, which has pretty much been all my life
since I was raised in a preacher’s home, I have heard people say “This is my
church” or “I go to that church.” Yet, in some cases these people rarely,
if ever darken the door of the church building.

I have a friend who lives in the small Southeast Kansas town of about 1,300
people and she had the same issue happen the other day. See, the church she
has attended forever is struggling and is considering closing the doors.
When the officials that would help make that decision held a meeting with
the church body to consider what to do, lo and behold guess who showed
up?

Yep, it was people that hadn’t been to that church in years! During the
meeting they stated their reasons why the church should be kept open, and
vocalized their objection to even consider closing it!

See, for years I have watched (through my friend’s eyes) this church
struggle and flounder, barely hanging on. For most of those years it has
been her family that has held it together. The church was struggling to pay the bills and
praying for lost souls to come to church yet never able to reach the
full potential God had called this church to be. They were limited to what they could accomplish with a congregation of three or so people. Now my friend has felt the release to leave and go to another church and if her church dies, it dies.
You know the funny thing she told me about all those people who showed up
for the meeting to proclaim that this church needed to stay open, she told
me they didn’t show up for service the very next Sunday. These people
wanted to complain and wanted a service provided for them to call “theirs”
but they were unwilling to participate in making it happen.

This got me thinking………..
What if Christ was as faithful to us as we are to church?

The Bible talks to us about attending church, it says “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” And you know what else the verse says before that? “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good
works”. Hebrews 10:24-25

You know, in small towns I think I have noticed this more than ever, people
say, “this church” or “that church” is my church. Yet, in some cases they
don’t attend regularly nor do they go to another church. Calling a church “my church” is more than just the fact you have been there a few times, or that grandma attended there or your family helped build the church. No, to say “That is MY church” is saying you have made a commitment to that church. A true commitment to a church requires four things.

1. Commit to Your Church with Your Time. Commit that you are going to give your time each week to attend services, not just when you feel like it or on the days when the weather isn’t good for fishing. But commit you will be there when the doors are open.
Because what if God was only available to you as often as you felt like
going to church? Don’t you hate friends that only show up when they
want something? Imagine how frustrating it is for God who wants to give us
His best but yet we are unwilling to have a relationship with Him on an
everyday basis or go to His house as He’s asked us to do. Remember it is a fact that kids who grow up in homes that don’t attend church regularly grow up to be adults who don’t attend church regularly. This thing called living for Christ is more about a relationship and any relationship starts out by spending time with the one you want to build that relationship with, and I know you can spend time with God other then at church But you know what else you do in relationships? To keep any relationship going and strong you with someone you love you soon learn what they love and you desire to please them. Committing your time church pleases God.

2. Commit to Your Church with Your Talent.
Commit that you will give of your talents whether that is, cleaning toilets or baking in the bake sale. I know a lady who’s ministry was baking cinnamon rolls and going around town and sharing the love of Jesus by giving them away. I bet if you have lived in Kiowa County very long or knew a volunteer that helped rebuild Greensburg you know her too.
She simply looked around and saw what she had to give and gave her talent away to
others. What do you have? What can you do?

3.Commit to Your Church with Your Ministry Gifts.
Commit to use the gifts God has given you for His Glory. There are many gifts God has given us, the Bible talks about preaching and teaching, evangelism, etc…and don’t get me wrong we need all of those and the others that Eph 4:11 mentions too. You can volunteer to serve somewhere in the church even if it is only handing out the bulletin or coming in during the week and assuring there are tithing envelopes, pens, and pencils in the pews. Volunteer with the children’s ministry or rock a baby in the nursery. Just ask your pastor where you can serve, and after you pick him or her up off the floor because
someone volunteered without being asked, I am sure he can find something
that fits your gifts.

4. Commit to Your Church with Your Tithe.
God says that you are to take care of His bride and the church is His bride. When you say “this is my church” or ” I go to that church,” it means you are responsible for taking care of that church. In the Bible, tithe is defined as 1/10 of what we earn. See, when we realize that everything we have is God’s and all He has asked us to do is give back to His bride 10% of what He has given us it’s not so bad. It is like your neighbor going away and asking you to look after his wife, and he tells you “I will send you $1,000.00 a month if you will look after my wife by just giving her $100.00 of it each month I am gone.”What would you do? That whole $1,000.00 is your neighbor’s but yet he has
just said, give my bride 10% of that each month and I will keep sending you
the $1,000.00.

Tithing is simply acknowledging everything we have is His
and giving back what He has asked for, so His bride (the church) will be
taken care of. Well, perhaps you say “I don’t like that preacher” or “someone at that church didn’t wave at me when I waved at them so I am not giving that church
another dime.” Well let me first remind you that you aren’t giving the money
to the church or even the people in the church. The Bible says “Everything
we do should be as unto the Lord” Col 3:23. So when you tithe, you are giving to God not to man and the worst part about holding it back is that you are blatantly
defining what God has said in His word to do.

See it is unfortunate that as our smaller communities grow smaller, we are
losing more and more businesses, jobs, hospitals,schools and yes even
churches because I believe we have forgotten what it means to really belong
to something.

Let me encourage you today, either get behind and REALLY commit to the
church to which you claim to belong, or go find one to which you can commit. But don’t say “this is my church” or ” I go to that church” if you aren’t willing to be
committed. Just think what could have happened if the people who were
doing all the talking at my friend’s church put some real commitment with
all the “lip service” they were giving.

If you don’t have a church home let me encourage you to find one. I have to
say I have never seen a more faithful group of people than the church my
husband pastors. They have truly learned what “My Church” means. Those that
attend faithfully have adopted this commitment and truly know what it means
to belong.

I think all too often we forget that Christ gave himself for us. He was
beaten in front of the whole town and hung on a cross, naked in front of
all to see and some of us are not willing to lift a finger to help support
the local church, Because it “might not” be good enough or we are worried we will
be embarrassed. Many are trying to live down, or live up to the reputations we had as teenagers. In small towns we are all too often slow to forget and move on from the past. Whether it be our own reputations or someone else’s the fact that people can’t get past the past sometimes hinders many from moving on and growing in just what God has in store for them. I am so thankful God says, that when we ask forgiveness, our sins are cast as far as the east is from the west. Let’s not let the past hold us back from being and doing all that God wants us to be. Let us remember what Hebrews10:25 says “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

So what church are you going to be committed to this next Sunday? Wherever it is, don’t forget what real commitment is.

By
Alesa Lewis Miller
Pastor’s wife of Lighthouse Worship Center, Blogger and Mom of 3
What is yet to come, is up to us! The 10th Anniversary of the EF-5 Tornado that hit Greensburg KS.

What is yet to come, is up to us! The 10th Anniversary of the EF-5 Tornado that hit Greensburg KS.

On May 4th 2017, The City of Greensburg KS, will celebrate it’s ability to rebuild this community and honor those who lost their lives in the EF-5 Tornado that destroyed almost the whole town in 2007.
I did not live here then, I have only had the privilege of living here for the past 4 yrs. I have to say when we first came to Greensburg and saw all that had been done to rebuild this community it excited us. The thought of being a part of this community that had a vision and wanted to do something was inspiring to my husband and I. We realize, it was no small task to do all that has been done to rebuild. Although, Jeff and I have done a lot of research to get to know what and where this community has come from. We are confident that nothing we have read or saw compares to what the people in this community has come through. There is no words for the pain and the struggles that this community has went through and overcome.

But in all our research, it actually got me to thinking, When I drive around in our community now, The empty lots I am sure, remind some of lost dreams, the un-repaired homes still yet standing, represents the hopelessness that some must have felt and possibly still feel today even 10 yrs later. Then you look down other streets and you see new buildings and up and coming progress.

Looking at the aftermath of the tornado reminds me of a life rebuilt by Christ. Often times by our choice to live for ourselves, our life can be reduced to ruins, but when we give our lives to Christ and truly choose to follow Him. We can see Him restore what satan has stolen. But then there is some so-called Christians who, have accepted Christ and believe in Him. But, they don’t want to get “too crazy” about it. To them it is just good enough, to show up for church every now and then so, they can check that off their list of things to do for the week and feel better about themselves.

The next steps for Greensburg is a lot like any follower of Christ. We all have a choice. When we choose to believe in Christ, we can choose to continue to grow in Him or we can stay right where we are. I think of staying where we are in Christ, as just buying “fire insurance”. We know God just enough to stay out of hell but we never get to know Him well enough to live an abundant life that God calls us to. (John 10:10) In my mind the next steps for the City of Greensburg is like a person who has a choice. It can choose to be like the one who has chosen to believe in Christ and be satisfied where we are, or we can do what God has called to do and continue to grow and rebuild and invite others to join us in the process. In essence we can choose to live an abundant life or buy fire insurance and be satisfied with good enough.

Are we willing to simply be content with where we are because I don’t think that is what the founding fathers who helped build this city had in mind. I don’t think the men who broke there backs, and gave their lives to have the world’s largest hand dug well here, thought, “Oh! that’s good enough, and this is all we need.” Those men who hand dug that, 109 ft deep and 32 ft wide well, went above and beyond the call of duty and why?? So people all over the area would come to Greensburg. Because they wanted to see a city built, because they knew bringing water to a city back then would bring people and fuel the railroad. They wanted to see a city built so badly, that at one point they stole a post office to assure we had a zip code. They were willing to do whatever it took to see this city built and grow.

I believe the people who have stayed behind after the tornado, to see this town re-build are no less commented to seeing this town go forward.

The bible talks about a Well, In John 4 it is the story of the Samaritan Women at Jacob’s well, when Jesus ask the woman to bring water to Him to drink. The woman was surprised because at that time, the Jews didn’t even talk to the Samaritan’s let alone ask them to bring them a drink. But Jesus did, he went out of the norm, He step out of what was acceptable to do at that time because He wasn’t concerned with what others thought, He wasn’t concerned with who she was, He was concerned with her heart and where she would spend eternity. He knew she needed more than the water from the well, that she was drawing water from, He knew she needed the living water and He was that living water. The water from which she would never thirst again.

In Mark 16 God calls us to go into ALL the world and share His love with others. And let me tell you that in this day and age all the world is at our back door, the question is will we let them in? Will we allow them to come into our Christ loving community,? Perhaps, the bigger question is, will we provide opportunities for them to come, so we can reach out to them? Or will we choose to rather “not associate ” with people that aren’t exactly like us. Some might be different from what we are use to, just like the difference between the Samaritans, and Jews back then. Our founding fathers who had hopes and dreams for this community, but there is no greater dream than the one by our Heavenly Father. But if we choose to do nothing, if we choose to be satisfied with what we have done and just maintain the status quo. Then we are no different then the follower of Christ that simply chooses to buy the fire insurance, instead of living the abundant life that God has called us to live.

We live in a great country where we are free to talk about God and even pray right in public without fear of being put in jail or killed. We now have people who live in this country who are from those countries where we send missionaries to risk their lives to tell them about God, and yet often times, we refuse to reach out to people who are not just like us. Perhaps, because of fear or what others will think, or just because they are different and we don’t really want them here anyway? But, let me pose to you a question here, ” What if God has allowed those people to come to America, so we could tell them about Him, without fear or retribution for sharing our faith? Do we care for their heart and where they might spend eternity, like Jesus did with the woman at the well? Are we willing to give them the living water, so that they will never thirst again?

And if we are going to be all that God has called us to be, we cant stop now. People from all over the world come to see this Big Well. But what if Greensburg in the next 10 years became less known for a hole of water and known more for the living water,of what God is doing in this town! More of what God wants to see. If we want to honor our Heavenly Father we can’t stop now. Yes, we have worked hard and many are tired but we cannot stop until the Lord comes back. This is bigger than our own comfort, it is about the lost souls who are in danger of living eternity in hell.

We stand at another crossroads on this anniversary like this community did 10 years ago as you met in tents, deciding who would stay and see this city rebuild,. Today we can choose to stay right where we are. just like the follower of Christ who only buys fire insurance unwilling to change their ways or we can choose, the abundant life that God has promised for us all. Will we be satisfied with what we have here in our own little world we have created or does our heart break at the thought of anyone, missing out on that abundant life and drinking from the well, that they will never thirst from again? Because, I believe, if we refuse to open more opportunities in our city for all nations and all cultures to come, then we are not only missing out on continuing what our founding fathers started, but more importantly, we are refusing to do what God has called us to do and that is to, tell the world about Him.

Over the last 10 yrs the eyes of the world, have been upon us, but I am only worried about one set of eyes and that’s the eyes of the Heavenly Father’s. My heart breaks for what His heart breaks for and that is seeing any soul lost without Him. What will we do in the next 10 yrs for Him? It only takes one person to get it started. Let’s be all we can be for Him and share this abundant life we have with others!

Throw Back of Thursday Thoughts—Obviously, You don’t know who my Momma is???

Throw Back of Thursday Thoughts—Obviously, You don’t know who my Momma is???

Originally Published in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

 The phone rang and when I answered, it was my son. He was in college about 200 miles away.  He says ” You’re not going to believe what just happened to me?” I respond ” What?” He replies ” Well, I just came out of Wal-mart and I found this note on my car, it is someone accusing me of denting their car with mine, and it says I had better call him right away or he is going to come after me” Wow! I was taken aback, this was the first time that our son, after graduating from homeschooling had ever faced a challenge like this and so far from home. A little bit of fear came over me, so I asked ” Well, did you call him?” My son boldly replied ” NO! and I am not going to, because obviously he does not know, who I am or who my momma is, or who my friends are.” (my son has 3 friends that are lawyers) I was amazed by my son’s boldness. He never called and nothing ever came of the issue.

Since then, it is not uncommon for you to hear anyone in my family say ” Obviously, you don’t know who my momma is”… or “Obviously, you don’t know who I am.”. with our heads bobbing and maybe even a finger or 2 snapping. We mostly do it in jest, but the point is well taken.

My son could stand there in that parking lot, 200 miles away from his greatest support system (family) with a uncommon boldness, because he knew, I had his back no matter where he was, or what the issue was. He has seen more then once his momma go to bat for him in different situations. He also knew legally he has friends in high places that could take care of him if something came up and most importantly he knew he had a God that he served who loved him and would assure the truth would come out.

As I have pondered that conversation, I have asked myself “How often do we take that same stand, when trouble comes our way?” or when we are challenged with a new issue concerning our child?

Maybe, we suddenly find out our child has a learning disability or illness comes into our lives that we do have not answers for or there is just some subject that our child is not understanding and we have tried all we know to do and they still are not getting it. Maybe our husband has been unemployed for months and we’re not for sure how were going to pay the bills.

As homeschoolers we are typically very independent. If there was not some independence in us, most of us would not have had the guts to even start homeschooling. But what we have to remember in everything we do, we are children of God, our Heavenly Father owns cattle on a 1,000 hills.

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of GodRomans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. And as much as you love and care for your child, God cares for your babies even more then you do. (no matter what their age) He has a plan for those children and even when we do not understand why God would allow these learning or physical challenges to happen, we can’t see the purpose in any of it and the thought of what will happen in the future for them overwhelms us with fear. It is at those times, we need to tell the devil. “You obviously do not know who my Heavenly Father is!.”

Jer 29: 11 Says. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. He promised that before we were even born he knew us and has great plans for us.    Jer 1:5Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. The question is who are we trusting? My son trusted enough to know that no problem could come his way that was too big to handle.  So if a 20 yr old kid 200 miles away from home can stand with that kind of confidence and faith, so can we!

We may not have all the answers, we may not be able to figure out what the future holds, but we know who holds the future, and that is Jesus Christ our Lord and Heavenly Father. A father who is not just a “father” but he is our “Daddy”.  He is in control and we can have the faith and confidence to know that there is nothing that is coming our way that he doesn’t know already about and  he has already figured out a way to get us out of it!.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. So remember the next time the devil tries to control you by bringing thoughts of fear and uncertainty to your mind. Just stand up boldly and confess,

“Obviously, you don’t know how my Daddy is!”

Unschooled

Unschooled

Unschooled

Unschooled

Recently, I attended a conference with my husband where the speaker took us to Acts 4:13. After he read this verse, I didn’t hear another word he said because one word caught my eye.

For many years there has been a trend in the homeschooling world called “unschooling”. Wikipedia defines “unschooling” as an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning.

I had always thought those who “unschooled” were those really radical homeschoolers – you  know, the hippie type, that live out in the woods; the kind where the mom braids her hair and wears flowers in it, and wears a long maxi dress.  Being a homeschooling mom for over 20 years this was a little radical, even for me. Then recently, a friend of mine was introducing my daughter (now graduated), to another homeschooling family and when she introduced her she said, “She was unschooled.” When my daughter first told me this, I was like, “What??” Then, when I got to thinking about it, I had to agree. Yep, with my last two kids, we “unschooled”! I had done it without even noticing, because, after all, I never braided my hair or wore a flower in it, and I hate the outdoors!

There were many reasons we homeschooled, but the one major reason was that we wanted to instill in our children the biblical foundation in which our family believes. We have often told our children, when they were struggling to learn something, “I don’t care if you get an A, but I DO care if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ! And, if that is all you get out of homeschooling, I will be happy.” Of course they got more out of it and all are successful in the paths they are choosing in their lives. But I believe God has given them favor because they do have a relationship with Him. When they are around other people their age, there is a standard of excellence in their character that you just don’t find in most other kids.

If you ask any homeschooling parent, they will tell you homeschooling is not easy. We are often the object of ridicule by extended family, strangers, our peers, and sometimes are even threatened legally for our beliefs and choice to homeschool.

So, as you can imagine, I was in awe when I read the verse the speaker shared: “When they saw the courage of Peter & John and realized that they were UNSCHOOLED, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with God.” (Acts 4:13)

I know we want our children to acquire the highest level of education possible for them. But more importantly I believe that you, like I, when others see our kids, want people to say, “They have been with Jesus!” The commentary on this verse even says, “and perceived they were unlearned ignorant men.” The Greek word for ignorant comes from the word “idiot”!  If you are honest with yourself, you know you have been called an idiot, either to your face or behind your back, for homeschooling. And if you haven’t, you must live in the woods!

There’s another part I like about this verse. It’s the first part: “They saw the courage of Peter and John….”  It takes courage to homeschool your kids and I believe we build courageous kids when we homeschool. We build leaders; individuals who are not afraid to step out of the norm of what everyone else is doing and stand up for what they believe. It may take making some radical choices, and we may appear as idiots to those around us, but, I promise you, it is worth it!

So don’t be disheartened this year when struggles come. Just ask yourself, “Have they been with Jesus?”