Oklahoma Teachers Walk out for Love or Money?

Oklahoma Teachers Walk out for Love or Money?

This past week Oklahoma Teachers walked out of their class rooms. Why? Well if you asked the news companies reporting on this issue and even most of the Teachers and Legislators, they would probably all give the answer that it is for more pay, it’s for better schools and better supplies for their students. But I have a different view of the whole thing. So hear me out…..

Last week we were in Oklahoma, and as we were driving home we were listening to the radio. I heard the story of several teachers and principals who even though they were not in school they are going into the communities that their kids come from and passing out meals to those kids because they didn’t want them to go hungry. I must tell you that broke my heart and as I sat in my car and cried the vision of seeing Americans pass out food to the hungry orphan children in impoverished countries passed before my eyes.  It was if the Lord spoke to me and said the United States is spiritually impoverished. It broke my heart that America has come to this.

We are a spiritually impoverished country because we have forgotten the value of human life. Unfortunately, for many children that are not aborted before they are born, they are aborted in a sense after they are born. Why? Because parents do not know how to parent, and why is that? Because many times they had no examples.

If you have been around me any length of time you have heard me say “If satan can destroy the family, then he can destroy the church, and if he can destroy the church than he can destroy the nation.” Well, look around.

My heart goes out to school teachers across the country because in their laps everyday are being dropped the responsibilities that parents should be taking. From disciple, to hygiene, to providing meals and basic needs for education and survival. Too many parents are dropping the ball in general nurturing lessons. Somewhere along the way, we now have a generation of parents where many thinks that their children are just a commodity, a result of a moment of pleasure. A cute little thing to dress up, until they get annoying or to costly, then that parent gets overwhelmed and often discards them in one form or another.

If the human life were more valuable, than the Legislatures would value the education of our kids more and find the money needed, if human life was valuable and we didn’t live in a selfish world then the school districts would allocate more of the money they get from the state to the education and not to their own pocketbooks. If human life was more valuable, parents would realize they are raising warriors for Christ, they would remember what the Psalms says “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” Somewhere along the way, we forgot or rejected the fact that we were all created to be warriors for Christ and we all are just raising little warriors for Him. But the value of life is just part of the sin that has seeped into this world.

No one blinks twice that we have people living together that aren’t married or having children out of marriage. It has become common place that if we get tired of our spouse we just divorce (if we were married to begin with) or go sleep with someone else and why?? Because “We’re not Happy” and we “Deserve to be Happy”.  All the while God told us “You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14 This self-center attitude is exactly what leads us to deeper and deeper sin.

See there is a reason God said that having sex before marriage is wrong, it’s because it leads to unexpected pregnancies which often leads to single mothers, which often leads to poverty. Some of you may be appalled I would say such a thing but let me ask some questions. If that isn’t the case than why does http://www.nokidgoeshungry.com report that over 13 million children in the US live in “food insecure homes”? Well you say, that isn’t the parents fault it is poverty that have put them in these situations. Isn’t it? Does poverty just happen or is it a result of someone’s choices that over time often snow balls and therefore many times effect generations to come?  I don’t think it is a coincidence that Wikipedia reports that there are 13.6 million single parent homes. And why is there so many single parent homes? Is it because we are having sex before we are married, getting pregnant unexpectedly or is it the 50% divorce rate? These facts combined with the knowledge that young girls who grow up without an active father figure in their life are more apt to get pregnant before marriage than those with fathers in the home.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying stay in a marriage if there is real physical and emotional abuse.  I believe we serve a big God that stands without stretched arms ready to forgive and love those who make mistakes. But what concerns me is we don’t even look at any of this as sin any more. It used to be a couple of kids would have a passionate moment in the back of a car somewhere and it would go too far and she would end up pregnant. But today, we have parents letting kids who are not married sleep together right in their homes, or adults who choose to live together or just sleep around. It is no longer a “Oops baby!” but it is intentional acts of sin. It has become so common, that now we are exploring new sexual immorality. Past Homosexuality, we now have Poly-amorous relationships that are becoming acceptable, and that’s when there is more than 2 partners having relationships with each other all in the same home and same bed.

And who is to blame for all of this, well besides satan himself, I would have to say the church is. For far to long, we rejected people who weren’t exactly like us. We rejected young girls who made a mistake and forced them out of the church walls instead of coming alongside them and loving them the way Christ would. We forced them because of the pressure of being perfect before man’s eyes, to go and have abortions.  For to long it was easier to get forgiveness from God for an abortion than it was to bring an unwed mother and her child to church.  Make no mistake I am not talking about the institution itself, I am talking about the people sitting in the pews that make up the church. It was the same with anyone divorced they were outcast. More often than not, the old ladies in the church whispered behind their backs in the grocery stores or the leaders of the church asked them not to come back. To many times, we sit up on our high horse looking down on others because we have forgotten what we have been forgiven of, and we forget that God’s Word say’s, “If we can’t forgive other’s there is not forgiveness for us” Matt 6:15

You may be asking, yeah but Alesa what does any of this have to do with the Oklahoma teachers walk out? See, I have a different perspective about why teachers walked out in Oklahoma. I say it is because sin is on such a rampage in this country and has been for many years now. That our country is like the old story of the Frog in the pot of boiling water. The US is that frog in boiling water. You see, you can’t cook a live frog if you just throw him in a pot of hot water, because it will jump out. But you can slowly cook a frog if you put it in cool water and slowly turn up the heat. Unfortunately, Our Teachers are having to pick up the pieces left behind in this sin rampaged world. The heat that has been turned up on high and the pot is starting to boil now.

I have great compassion for our teachers they carry a heavy burden, they are on the front lines of seeing how sin has rampage this country and they deserve our greatest support. They are having to do what the parents and the church were created to do. So, what is our responsibility in all this? Well, if you think sitting here in our sweet little town in Kansas you are immune from this, you have bought into a bigger lie than all the others put together. Satan wants us to become complacent and content, so he can sneak his way in and when he does, we are either those committing the sin or the ones looking down on those that do. Which one are you? I say choose a different road and love like Christ loves, ask Him to help you to see others as He sees them. It is only then that we will change the world, sin will never stop until we get to heaven. But we can make the world a better place, and we can bring more people to His saving grace if we will love them.  No matter what the differences are, or the sin that they may have committed because we are all sinners just saved by grace. We are all valuable to Christ. Let’s not just pray for our teachers but let’s, try to start right where you are making this world a better place. Because, money in never going to solve the real problem, only Christ’s love can.

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Because I am Mimi, But God is God.

Because I am Mimi, But God is God.

So, last week I told you about the innocence of our almost 2 yr old grandson praying,  while we got to spend sometime with his sister’s when they were sick. What I didn’t tell you about was what the girls did as they started feeling better. Our 8 yr old found the buzzer to a game they had. So she decided that anytime she needed something from Mimi, she would just buzz the buzzer. Which the better she got, the more often she buzzed that buzzer. She buzzed it because she needed a drink. She buzzed it because she needed something to eat, she buzzed it because she wanted her stuff bear off her bed (the top bunk of the bed which required me to get a broom just to try and reach it) and 5 minutes later, she buzzed it for her stuffed cat that was also on the top bunk which again, required more unique maneuvering because this Mimi isn’t climbing on the top bunk of the bed.

Her older sister wasn’t quite as annoying with it. But she had her own special kind of manipulation going on. As I fluffed the pillow I had just bought for her, pouring on some sympathy for her just for affect. I asked in the most empathetic tone of voice I have ” Can Mimi get you anything to drink or eat” as I check her head for fever and kissed the top of her head,  to which she responded in an equal empathetic voice, “No, but a crisp twenty dollar bill would be nice” that is when I almost took the pillow and smothered her……. all in fun of course! We had a good laugh and I told her maybe next month ( For her Birthday)

Oh! But that isn’t the funniest part! Our 8 yr old, informed me during our visit that, I had forgotten to give her a dollar the last time we were together because I had asked her to do something and had forgotten to give the promised reward. The story didn’t sound completely untrue, I mean I did remember there have been several times I have told the kids if they do this, or that I will give them a dollar. But I really didn’t remember doing that at our last visit. But I went along with her request and assured her I would take care of it before we left. Now remember, we were already there for her Birthday and we always give money for our grands Birthdays so, she knew she was getting money already.

Fast forward to the day she opens her presents and as she opens up her cards and counts her money it is $41. When her mother asks “Why is it $41” (because it was an odd number). At that point I explained my forgetfulness with a twinkle in my eye and a smile on my face, so our daughter-in-law asks our 8 yr old grand “What did Mimi forget to pay you for” to which Viola responds with a huge smile on her face and pride in her voice “Nothing, I was just playing a trick on Mimi” The whole family roared in laughter as I explained. I was pretty sure I was being had, but thought I would play along, (after all a dollar wasn’t going to break me)

Now as you can see my Grands are not perfect! They can be as ornery and manipulating as some adults at times. But, as ornery as my little’s can be, they still believe when they are told they are loved. In fact that is probably why they push the limits at points because they know they are loved. They know Mimi would do anything for them. I know from the story above, it sounds like I give into them all the time. But there are some times I do say “No”.

Now they don’t like it when Mimi has to say “No”, in fact the almost 2 year old breaks down and cries anytime he is told, “No”.  And I wonder if it is possible that he does so,  because he feels loved so much and he doesn’t want to disappoint us, or is it the fact he knows if he cries we might give in, or maybe, the fact that he just doesn’t want to submit to the will of those in authority over him. My guess is, it is probably all of those at one time or another.

If we are honest with ourselves, aren’t we all just a little like my grands. We to often want what we want, when we want it. We to often think we can tell stories to our Heavenly Father, in hopes to get our way,  when He knows everything anyway so we aren’t fooling Him. We may promise to go to church, if God will just heal our loved one. We try to convince Him we need this or that, because without it there is no way we will be able to make it. We have our own little buzzer we try to push when we want something from God. But, what happens when we don’t get what we want? Do we cry because we don’t want to submit to His will? Do we cry because we hope God will just give in. Okay, we probably don’t cry, but sometimes we whine, we pout.  We get mad at God and act like children.

Dying to our will is something we battle with everyday? But see, there is a difference between us and our children. It’s age, because of our years of experience, we actually have the ability to look back at our lives and see the many times God has been faithful.  In this town especially, we can see the hand of God and how He took what satan met for bad and turned it to good.

So why don’t we trust Him again, when the hard stuff comes? Why don’t we rely on Him because we know He has our best interest at heart? Look at what this town has already went through, remember where you have come from??If we will just look around we can see the hand of God’s faithfulness and how much He loves us.

But all to often we get angry and bitter when things don’t go our way.  The years have worn calluses on our hearts to the point we have harden it toward anything that might not fit into our agenda or when God doesn’t answer our buzzer.

My grands wanted what they wanted and yes, I passified them while I was there, because I can, because I am Mimi. But we have to remember God is God and as much as I love my Grands, God loves us more and if they had asked for anything that wasn’t in their best interest I would of denied them their request. Why? Because I love them. Lets not forget, God is watching out for you. Trust that love. Remember there is no greater love than His.  Read John 15:13

Alesa Lewis Miller is the Pastor’s wife of Lighthouse Worship Center, in Greensburg KS,  Mom, Mimi, Creator of the Blog “www.behindtheparsonagewalls.com“, Speaker and Columnist.

It Just Jumped Out of My Pocket!~

It Just Jumped Out of My Pocket!~

Last week we celebrated my youngest 20th Birthday. It’s time like these that always have me reminiscing.

One of my favorite stories I remember about Chad as a little boy is, the time when we were eating dinner at Pizza Hut in De Soto KS , I don’t think we had lived there very long so Chad could not of been more than 3 or 4 yrs old, The restaurant was fairly empty and so we allowed Chad out of his seat to play one table over, in a children’s section they had available, well within our view. As he played, we looked on. If I remember correctly I think we were entertaining some prospects for our potential church we were preparing to pioneer, so we were hoping everyone would be on their best behavior.

Chad came to the table and requested a quarter for the little ball machine over by the door. Chad has always loved taking the chance of putting some denomination of money in a machine only to see what comes out. He is much like his father in that way, they both love to take chances. I on the other hand, am the play it safe kinda person who likes to know what’s ahead.

Jeff agreed, and gave Chad the quarter since he also loves the idea of the mystery of what will come out of the machine or maybe it was so Chad would leave us alone to visit with our guest, whatever the reason it doesn’t really matter now. Because when Jeff said yes to that simple little quarter he failed to think ahead of the outcome that would come from his decision. Once Chad had the ball in his hand he wanted to bounce it all over the restaurant, in between the tables and booths following the ball all over and the more he bounced it the higher it went. Which doesn’t bode well when you are trying to impress someone. So Jeff  immediately tells Chad ” Put that ball in your pocket and I don’t want to see it out again!” Chad obeyed and carefully squeezed it away in his front pocket of his little jeans then went back to playing in the children section, it was only a few minutes later we suddenly saw the ball fly through the air  over the table where we were sitting with our guests. The whole table turned to look at Chad,when he looked up at us with a straight face and eyes as wide as saucers and said,

“It just jumped out of my pocket!”. The table roared in laughter!

To this day Chad loves what we call at our house “bouncy balls” we will never be able to look at one again and not think of that story.

All that got me thinking………

Jeff and Chad rarely ever hesitate to take a chance to put a quarter in a machine so they can see what surprise will come out. It must be the anticipation of what is to come.  I admire their since of adventure. I guess that is one reason why it is so easy for them to step out in faith.

The bible says that,  Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Heb 11:1) Jeff and Chad don’t hesitate to put a quarter in one of those machines, in fact they look forward to it. They look forward to it because they believe something good will come out of it.

Shouldn’t we have that same kind of faith in God? I mean His word promises us so much, if we say we believe in Him, why wouldn’t we believe what He says? One of those things God tells us in His word is that He is working all things together for our good. (Rom 8:28)

Now that doesn’t mean we may always like His decision, or we can use Him like a vending machine. If we think at any time, we can just pray hard enough or if we work hard enough to do everything to please Him then we will get what we want, we will be sadly mistaken.

What Christ does for us is simply from the pure grace that we receive from Him. We don’t have to work or earn our salvation or anything else we pray for. God is our Heavenly Father who loves us with an every lasting love. (Jer 31:3)We don’t have to earn His unconditional love.  But it should be because of that unconditional love that He shows to us, that we out of our pure gratification for that unconditional love,  in return does what His word tells us.

It is because of that trust  for Him, that we can accept that if we ask Him for something and it doesn’t happen the way we want or expect, we can trust Him that it is for our own good. Not because He is some mean Judge in heaven sitting behind his desk with a gavel ready to hit us over the head with it when we miss up.

We have to remember when things don’t happen the way we expect or plan, it isn’t a punishment for what we “didn’t do” or because we weren’t “good enough” more then likely it is for our own protection. Now don’t get me wrong there is consequences to our actions as we learned about in my previous story “Where there is a will there is a way”

What are you hoping for today? As easy as it is to believe if we put a quarter in a machine something is going to come out. It is with that same faith we can stand on the promises of God and believe that whatever He says will come true. Because true faith doesn’t “just jump out of your pocket” but it has to be put into action by our trust in Him.

Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way!

Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way!

Call me a sexist or old fashion, but I think it is the wife’s job to manage the home,  that means cooking, cleaning, scheduling, etc.  Now, before you start sending me any letters and tell me that we don’t live in the 1950’s
anymore. Hear me out, I am not against the man helping around the house and working together with him as a team. But, I believe the ultimate responsibility rest on the wife to make sure that the home is a place of rest and peace
when your family comes home at the end of a long day. Whether that means, doing the work herself, hiring it out or
delegating jobs to the family members. But, typically for most of us it includes, managing those that live in the house by constantly reminding them that, they need to pick up after themselves. If you have kids, then it is our job to raise them to be responsible functioning members of society .

My kids know I am not their slave. My children  know or it might be more correct to say, They have been told, to keep their things picked up. Just because they have been told doesn’t mean they always do it!

After returning home last week from being gone for a month, taking care of my son’s family because his wife has been sick. Needless to say, when I returned to my home the house wasn’t exactly up to my standards, which I
competently understand  since I had left my husband and son here by themselves and truly didn’t expect it to be. I mean it is one thing for me to come home and find some dirty dishes in the sink or dusting to be done. But the welding mask under the end table and the fishing pole and guns left in the living room was totally unacceptable. I wasn’t having any of this outdoor equipment in my living room.  When the young man that did it knows, how I feel about those things. He has a room and garage to keep that stuff in. There is no and I repeat NO need to have any of it in my living room area. I kept my cool for the first few days, asking nicely for things to be returned to their rightful place. But, after repeatedly asking my son to get his fishing pole out of our living area, I just decided to do what I have done for years when my children do not pick up their things after being asked.

See, when my children were much younger, they knew they needed to keep the living area’s for our home picked up and presentable. I have always let them live pretty much how ever they want in their bedrooms, but the shared
living areas with us and possible guests need to be kept pretty much immaculate or what I like to call “Model Home Status” I guess being raised in a minister’s home and expecting company at any time and knowing that
that company was like your father’s employer makes one be a little more nervous about what your home looks like. Plus, it isn’t uncommon for us to have unexpected guest that might end up staying for dinner or even have to
spend the night. So, I was simply raised with the fact your home and yourself must be presentable for guest at all times. Because sometimes living Behind the Parsonage Walls, can feel like living in a fish
bowl.

When my kids were growing up. They learned quickly that mom isn’t going to pick up after them. If they valued something then they needed to keep it picked up and put away, if they weren’t playing with it. Otherwise, if I
told them to pick it up and they didn’t’ I simply went and got a black trash bag and started throwing there stuff away. Now, don’t think I am “That Stupid”  I didn’t actually trash the expensive toys I or someone else
had bought for them. Nope! But they didn’t know that,  all they knew was it was going out to the garage to be put out by the curb the next trash day.

But the truth is, I would go out there weeks later, see if there was something of value in the bag and either reintegrate it back in my children’s toy box without them knowing it or give it away to some deserving kid if mine had out grown it. They still know to this day, if they don’t keep their things picked up out of our common living spaces I
will throw them out. Oh! Not in the trash anymore. I just throw it out the back door.  My son has more than once had to walk out in the snow to get his size 16 men’s shoes he left in the middle of the living room floor,
because anything that big is a tripping hazard anyway!

So, as you can imagine after a couple times of asking for a certain fishing pole to be removed from my living room when I returned home and it wasn’t, the same faint happened to his fishing pole. Well almost……you see in my
anger and yes I was angry! I sorta forgot about the hook on the end of that pole and it wasn’t just a single hook but a 3 prong one. So ,when I slung that pole out the back door, You guessed it! One of those hooks got stuck
in my hand. Wow! all of the sudden I wasn’t angry anymore and as I called for help,  Chad came out of the garage door to see the blood dripping from my hand. His eyes sunk, he knew exactly what happened. I could tell he felt
terrible.

And this got me thinking……….
Isn’t that just like us sometimes. We get all upset because we don’t get the answer we want or God doesn’t answer us when we expect Him to.  So, we get in all this fear and decide to take matters into our own hands and do
something about it ourselves and that is usually when we make our biggest mistakes. Then, like Chad, Christ doesn’t come and say I knew you were going to do this, Christ doesn’t reprimand us or make fun of us for the
mistakes we make. He just looks at us.   I imagine with this huge disappointed look on His face,  just like Chad looked at me with huge concerned in his eyes thinking. ” I was going to do it in MY time” couldn’t
you have just waited?

See, Christ isn’t there to beat us up or tell us “He told us so”  Yes, there our consequences at times when we make bad choices just as there were for me. But Christ loves us and like Chad, would do anything in the world
for me, Christ loves us too and gave His life for us, He has a plan for us also. It just isn’t always in our timing.

You know the protocol son had a similar problem in the bible he couldn’t wait for his dad to die so he
could get all his inheritance. So he asked his dad for it early and decided to go out
and live his life as he chose. Making one mistake after another. Fulfilling his own wants and dreams. Never considering what the long term consequences of his choices would be. You can read the whole story in
the book of Luke Chapter 15 and it starts at verse 11

We do that today, don’t we. We don’t like how our life is going or we don’t get exactly what we want, when we want it and there we go, off doing our own thing. with no regard to what Christ has done for us or wants for us.
We forget that we could refer to the maker of the universe who knows the past, present and future, who could give us direction and advice for the best plans for our lives. But instead we want it our way. Whether you call
yourself a follower of Christ or you simply are checking out these claims of Christ. We all are guilty of wanting our own way at least some of the time. We don’t like being told no or wait a little while. More accurately, we don’t trust Him to do it we are unwilling to wait for the answer in His time. We want OUR way and
we want it now!

If I had been more patient and waited for Chad knowing he had, had a busy weekend and would get to it. I would not of ended up in the ER with a bill I didn’t need and a bandage on my hand along with and evening wasted. Oh! and a really sore arm because those tetanus shots hurt!

I am so thankful that just like the father of the protocol son who welcomed his son home, with open arms. So does our Heavenly Father! His love for us is unconditional it doesn’t matter how many times we mess up. His love is
unexplainable and it is because of the very fact that He loves us so much that we need to trust Him more. We need to die to our own desires and trust the one who loves us unconditionally!

The choice is ours, Will we trust Christ? Will we wait Patiently? Will we accept His forgiveness and understanding when we mess up? Will we refuse to beat ourselves up for what mistakes we have made?  I urge you to accept His
love and trust Him today. Don’t let any mistake you have made keep you from knowing that you can start all over again and be welcomed into the family of God.