Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"What are the differences between Mormons and Christians?"

I've been scanning the AskGP.com site and reading through the questions that are being left. There have been two Mormon questions - which of course always interest me. I think this series is going to be very interesting.

What I am very interested in is how - or if - these Mormon questions will be answered. This is an age old debate - from the home of R&P, to BID and everywhere in between (here's a good blog that was passed onto me). However, I have been told by people that are not LDS, that Mormons are indeed Christians.


But if Mormons are Christians, why on Earth would any Christian need to witness to them? And why on Earth would the AskGP series even need to talk about it? And of course for me, what on Earth am I doing at GP instead of my local ward? The more I read about post modernism and post modern churches - the more I want to retreat back to my Mormon roots.

There is one question about women submitting to men and not talking in church - I'll be especially interested in seeing how this one is answered.

Regardless of how disconnected I've been feeling from GP, I'll be sure to be attending the next series. I hope that all these people asking these questions will go and investigate for themselves as well. GP has an awesome pastor, but in the end people need to be responsible for their own knowledge. I wouldn't ask him about Catholicism - I'd ask a practicing Catholic and investigate things myself from there and go to a pastor if I was really at a place I couldn't understand what scripture meant.

Sidenote: I noticed someone asked if there would be any sort of sound doctrine classes - I'm so glad someone else asked this. Yay!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dinner Monday night

I am a pretty stubborn person, so regardless of the fact that I was sick on Monday, we went ahead with our dinner plans with the missionaries. It went fantastic. The dreaded question, "So why did you leave the church?" never came up. Whew.

My spaghetti came out badly though and certainly didn't taste any better later when I was sick. :P We're hoping they return as we had a great time. We painted little plant potters.


(Anya painted inside her potter and I didn't make one because I was doing other stuff.)

These guys were a ton of fun to hang out with - they've only got two and a half months left on their mission. Wow, almost done. We talked about movies, music, everything. The missionaries are always great guys to have around. Here's hoping they call us again soon.

It was kind of odd though - they kept doing a few things. One of the Elders seemed to keep baiting us - like perhaps we weren't well versed enough in the church to know what he was doing. It happened during our "Highlights" part of FHE - when he shared that their mission president had given a lesson on prayer and then proceeded to teach us about prayer. :) He was leaving things wide open, waiting for questions - but we knew this stuff already, so we just nodded, smiled, and said, "Those are really good thoughts, thanks for sharing." They also kept talking with us like they didn't remember that we are ex-Mormons (I was pretty plain about it when they first visited, "We just got our confirmation letter that our names have been removed from the records"). And finally, they kept talking to us like we were investigators, "Are you aware of what missionaries do? Are you aware of what a Mission President is?" Um, yeah.

I thought I'd find it frustrating, but instead I found it rather refreshing. They didn't try to bog us down with questions, "Why why why" or try to correct us - they just chatted, listened, observed, and were great guests.

I guess Steve might start jogging with them. I know he'd really enjoy that, and he really loved teaching the lesson and shared that he really felt the Spirit while teaching. It was really awesome. FHE totally rocks. :)

Thank God for science!

You know, too many people of some sort of faith are against "science" as if it's God sworn enemy or something. :P But I've just gotta say - I am so thankful that God has revealed such wonderful knowledge to man - medicine. I've been sick (my worst kind of sick - throwing up) since Saturday. It's been horrible. Steve's had to miss work, I've had to miss some work (I'm pretty stubborn and went in the day after I was sent home), the house is a wreck - being sick sucks. I thought it'd never end. Then came along the most wonderful little pill that dissolved on my tongue (so I wouldn't heave it back up). And today is my very first day without that pill. I still feel sore (from throwing up - it's like someone kicked me in the ribs and lungs without mercy) and a bit wiped out - but overall, I am not afraid of food (well, not as much) or drinks anymore. Yay!

So thank you God for creating science and medicine! I am so glad not to be at the porcelain alter anymore! Yay! :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

FHE - Earth Day



Make sure to view it in the slide show - if you just flip through it, then it won't make any sense. :P

Two sides of the mouth


I hate working Sundays. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I hate the people that come in on Sundays, who are ironically Christians! It's the Christians who are the most ill behaved people. I just cringe and literally bite my tongue when they come in - bright crosses and sharp Sunday clothes. On these days - it's really hard for me to think about grace when all I can think is, "You need to live at church and never come out."

Yesterday was hard for me since I had been sick all day Saturday and really wasn't feeling that well but had to go in. I just had to make it through one shift - that's what I kept telling myself, with my bucket nearby. :P

As always, a personal pet peeve of mine was rampant.There is one cashier that means there is one line. Now, ever since kindergarten we have been practicing this - one line, one behind the other. Wow - even my two and three year old can do that, but adults - totally over their heads. :/

And as usual, there was one cashier (me), there was supposed to be one line - but there wasn't. There were like five. As usual I said, "Please form a single file line so I can help you at your turn," and of course there were smart remarks. Egh.

But what really stood out was this Christian woman who didn't think she had to stand in a line, just wait at the counter while her daughter shopped. How did I know she was a Christian? Was it her clothes? Was she wearing a cross? Nope, she was proselytizing. Proselytizing right there in my store. Okay, I don't heisitate to do the same - when asked. But as I'm ringing customers up and see beer say, "You know Jesus can fill that emptiness in you better than this 12 pack."

However, that's what this woman was doing. She'd see the beer and begin proselytizing the customers, "Honey, you don't need that. You just need Jesus." They'd politely smile at her and say, "Thanks though, this is more fun." Now sure this is a wide open discussion if they expressed interest but the woman kept on going, "Church is fun. Wanna come with me?" And kept on and on and on to the customers in my line. I was trying to think of a polite way to say, "Ma'm, there's no proselytizing allowed at this store."

And as I was thinking about how best to say this, she began barking at her daughter. "Hurry up you idiot, get over NOW! I said I wanted Fritos not Cheetohs. Go get them you empty headed brat." And on and on it went. I didn't know how to respond to her.

For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

Did this woman realize what she was really witnessing to these people? Last year I heard a great sermon, Winsome Witnessing which I found so eye opening. I highly recommend taking some time and listening to. This woman was the embodiment of everything wrong with Christianity and Christians today. Before you open your mouth to do this as well - make sure you're not using two sides of your mouth for vastly different messages.

Authority, Headship, and Obediance

I've had this blog in my head for ages now - but haven't been able to really put it together in any manner that didn't seem abrasive for those who disagree. Yesterday, while catching up on podcasts, I listened to Albert Mohler's discussion with guest Phil Johnson about trend in Evagelical theology (you can listen to it here). One huge thing that stuck out to me was the postmodern church's refusal to accept Biblical authority. What huh?

Isn't that a fundamental belief of the Christian church? That the Bible is the written revelation of God and as such, is an authority in how to live our lives and what God expects from us - guidance in everyday moments and so on? Uh, that seems sort of well, basic to me. But as they began discussing post modern churches and post Christian ones (a term GP uses often so I guess I'll finally have to dedicate some time to understanding it) the term, "absolute truth" or "know" came up often and I immediately thought of some Rav posters and threads. It's not acceptable to say, "I know Jesus is the only way to heaven," or "I know the Bible says that these actions are a sin against a holy God," - no that's not okay. I loved in their conversation that post modernists hate absolutism except in say a pilot - it's kind of crucial for the pilot to have absolute knowledge that there is gravity and that there is flight course. One wouldn't want a post modern surgeon who didn't have absolute knowledge on how to operate. In everyday living, we want to make sure our professionals know what they are doing, but in terms of eternal salvation or spirituality or religion, one doesn't want anyone to know there is a right and wrong way. I thought this was very interesting. I thought back to an interview Devin mentioned in First Steps - I forget who it was with (Johnny Dep perhaps) but this would probably apply to her holiness Oprah (egh) - but religion was never meant to be a all-you-can-eat-Vegas-style-buffet. Come to Vegas for that - but that's not what religion is supposed to be. "Hmm, I really like this over here - but that sacrifice stuff, nah I won't take that."

In the Christian faith, there are a few basics. There is the authority of God - which is revealed in the Bible. There is a call to obediance. And there is headship - one who is approved to hold that authority. The Christian life isn't about picking and choosing what to believe - if you don't believe something the Bible says, just say so - don't make a ton of excuses about it. I'll freely admit that I'm not always obediant to the Bible - it isn't because I don't believe it, it's because I'm a human, faulted by the fall and there are some things that are just hard in the Bible. And as such, I practice my free will and sinfully choose not to be obedient. It's really just that simple.

The Christian life is not about a man who bursts into one's home and shoots up a family, or rapes a woman on the street, or gets high everyday. Although those people are the most needing of grace (Romans 5:20) - a transformed life is marked by the life lived. And Jesus makes that promise to transform His people.

Just today a poster in Rav stated a new thread just about obediance (being a mod I don't partcipate in these type of threads anymore). She quoted two Popes:

“Poverty is good, chastity is better, but the greatest of all is obedience.” Pope John XXII (1316-1334)

And then a more recent comment:

“Authority. Obedience. To be frank, these are not easy words to speak nowadays,” the pope said in his homily during the Mass, held on an acre-size platform built over the Yankees infield, “especially in a society which rightly places a high value on personal freedom.”
Pope Benedict XVI

Obedience is a fact of life - we are obedient to governments, bosses, and other people in authority in our lives. Yep, authority.

When did our society become so self centered? That God revolves around me, that I am under no authority, that I do not need to be obedient to anyone except myself... so on and so on. When did we become the Creators of this world? Last I checked, man didn't speak the world into existence.

It seems to me, that this whole post modern thinking - of what we "don't know" is just a lazy cop out that we so easily believe, because just as in the Garden - we want to be God.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dinner with the Missionaries - One Day Away


The missionaries are coming tomorrow! Whoa - time flies. It's been two weeks already. They called this evening to find out if we were feeding them or not - who invites them over and then doesn't feed them?! :P

Steve has created this awesome Family Home Evening Slide show - I'll have to upload the file and share it. It's awesome. It's our original FHE format - but now computerized. We've always included both a spiritual lesson and a worldly lesson - because Steve used to be an atheist and I wanted him to be leading the teaching. Now later, we really value the kids being up to date (well kind of) on world understanding. For example, this world lesson will focus on Earth Day and how it is important from both a secular and Biblical worldview. Very awesome. :)

I also got a chance to catch up on my podcasts and feel more convicted than ever that God created woman for man and as such, the woman is under man's authority. While listening to Pastor Fox (yep, his first name escapes me) talk about Biblical headship and men as priests and prophets to their families - I totally realized that I had been in sin for months maybe even years in this regard. I often take headship in matters of spirituality or religion - because I do read the Bible (or scriptures), I do listen to sermons, etc etc. But head knowledge does not put me in a position of headship over my husband, my pride does. More on this later. It's late, I'm tired, and I've got a long day of cleaning ahead of me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

kNiTTinG

I've started recording DYI's Knitty Gritty episodes to see if I could convert some stick patterns and ideas to loom patterns and ideas. So far I've got a couple of ideas and based on my limited knowledge of loom knitting have two really great patterns in mind for loom knitting. Cannot wait to start converting them as it seems easy enough (we'll see though).

But while watching the close ups of knitting on Knitty Gritty - I think to myself, "That looks easy enough," and pull out my knitting sticks and start up. Of course, it's not that easy when you don't know what the heck you're doing AND you're left handed.

So, I'm willing to give away sticks (er, needles) to anyone in the LV area who is willing to help me out in getting started in my knitting with sticks adventure. A co-worker gave me a bucket of needles - so I've got all sorts of sizes, I just want to know how to knit on sticks. I've joined an online knitting group based in Vegas - so hopefully I'll find someone who can help me out. Here's hoping. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

AskGP.com

So Grace Point has this website up through Wordpress where people can come and leave questions about the Bible, God, Christian living, etc etc. I was skimming through some of the questions which are really thought provoking and interesting and could not help but wince when I saw a Creation and Evolution question on the site. Egh, we have our own personal experience with this tender, sensitive question in Christian circles, even GP specifically. At one point, Steve didn't even want to come back to GP due to some, er differences in opinions and preferences between himself and someone else.

If a Christian was decided by cultural living and preferences - Steve and I would totally be damned, but probably me more than him. I seperate out my political thinking from my Christian beliefs - so while I personally am convicted in a lot of the same ways as my brothers and sisters in the faith, I also usually am standing in a vastly different area than they are on social issues. Steve surprisingly has taken a turn and is now pro-life not pro-choice anymore. However, I am still the evil evil pro-choice woman. I honestly don't think it's my right to tell someone what to do with their body, yes that sacrifices babies' lives as I do personally believe life starts at conception, but honestly I don't think forcing my personal convictions on someone is going to bring them any closer to Jesus. I loved that one poster in our Religion group was sharing that she wanted to fast from sex with her husband during Lent, but being that he is an atheist she didn't want him thinking, "What now God won't let you have sex with me either?! What kind of God is this?!" And I totally see her point, as did Steve in between laughs.

Perhaps it's my personal history, but I just cannot stand with movements like Christian Rights. I never saw Jesus setting out to forcefully change the world - in fact, I recall Jesus separating the two - give to Caesar what is his, and to God what is His.

That doesn't mean that the things I disagree on are things that I personally believe in. I hate abortions - having had two myself, I think they are the most horrible things ever and that's not even bringing into play my personal religious beliefs. I do believe homosexual acts are a sin, but I don't think they are an "abomination" - or that they are any worse or better than a mother who ignores her children, a husband who sins in anger, a man who passes another in need - or anything else the 613 commandments specifically spell out. If you break ONE letter of the law - you've broken the whole thing.

And as I've mentioned before - I believe in Creationism and Evolution and no, that does not send me to hell. I have a personal intense annoyance towards "hell fire" people, "If you don't do this you'll go to hell." Nope - I only go to hell if I don't accept Christ as my Savior. That's about it.

I'm not going to get annoyed with anyone because of what they believe, I am going to become annoyed with people if they try to tell me because I'm wrong I'm going to hell or if they try to force their views upon me (hello Lord's Boot Camp :P ). Or if they try to claim authority over me that they just don't have.

I look forward to this series - it'll for sure be interesting. Over at Rav I've shared the link so the ever questioning Rav posters can hopefully post their questions as well. For me, I've just gotta take things on faith and stop trying to have the answers to everything.

Oh and if you live in Vegas - our gas station's Regular Unleaded price is $3.25 a gallon. Get it while it's low. Or if you have a Flex Fuel car and can take E-85 it's $3.10 a gallon. Thought I'd share. But prepared for a wait. :)

A few quick thoughts....

How come, whenever I'm in a rush, uploading files online takes forever? :P While I'm waiting for it to finish, I just want to take a chance and really encourage everyone to check out GP's newest series, Lifeboat (we're in week 4 of 5 I believe). This last sermon was so convicting and finally pulled me into the series (it probably didn't help that I wasn't present the last two weeks).

I ended up going and apologizing to a leader I had been mad at for a little while.

I had a horrible nightmare last night. I dreamed that I mouthed off to an official ambassador from Burma and they had me convicted and sentenced to death, and then Steve did the same and received the same (of course it doesn't help that he is considered a terrorist in their country for his protest outside of their embassy in D.C.). I went through hoops trying to get help - no one would help me, not my Senators or Representatives, not my church family or pastor (although oddly the pastor's wife came to visit me to tell me she would make some calls but reminded me to trust God - weird), everyone turned from us, and at the end when we were faced with escape or stay, God told me to stay and that He was in control. I felt the needle go into my arm and I woke up. I was breathing hard, my arms were sore (I probably tensed up in my sleep), and my heart was pounding. It was horrible.

Almost finished Paul's socks - they were looking great! Then I tried them on him to see how much more I needed to knit and they didn't fit. Too small. Ah! Took them off and starting over. :P

Got an extra car this week - so heading out soon to take the kids out.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

God's Humbling Faithfulness

I don't really recommend anyone who knows me in real life, to read this.

God's mercy to me is always amazing and incredibly humbling. As I've observed conversations on Rav, I've wanted to bang my head bloody as Christians stand up and say, "I know the Bible says that, but I just don't believe it's true," (or relevant or accurate or whatever else one can insert here). And I've wanted to scream and say, "Look if you're going to be something, be something - believe it."

I have a personal pet peeve for half-assing things. I have a personal pet peeve for buffet religions, "Yes I know Christianity believes this, but I personally am not comfortable with this, so I'll take a little Thai food with my pizza." Commitment - what happened to it?

And as I've fumed over this - the lack of commitment, study of one's faith, the lack of control or respect others have, etc etc - as I've simmered in my own Crockpot of judgment and anger, God gently put me into a real life situation where I was in the hot seat again. I was instantly transported back to my Mormon days when I would have to explain to people what I believed, only to see that smirk and a nod and, "Sure you do." Condescending attitude, the whole nine yards. And suddenly God put me back into that place.

Did I remember what it felt like to be? Did I remember real discomfort with my beliefs? With who I was? With people that called themselves Christians? Did I remember that which was not that far removed from me? Oh yes, I suddenly remembered and was completely humbled by it. The smirk, the condescending tone... And I heard the wake up call.

Commitment - that's what quite a few people in my life - non-LDS Christian and Mainstream Christians (MC) alike think of me right now. The lack of commitment to "endure to the end" and the lack of commitment to "cut ties with that cult".

Selfish - that's what they are thinking too. As I've read posts on Rav where people take a little of this, a little of that, and voila! have their own beliefs based on feelings and personal relevance I want to scream! If you're Buddhist and that Dalai Lama insists that the only "appropriate" hole for sex is the vagina (or that there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of having sex, etc) then believe it. I'm not taking any stand against any religion or what they teach as appropriate sexual relations between people, however I am stating, if you claim a religion, follow that religion, don't buffet style it. :P Yet, the plank in my eye is that I've coveted returning to Mormonism regardless that I could not believe more that it is a false, un-Christian church and have adopted Mormon cultural living here and there to inch my way closer and closer to the LDS church. Closer and closer. And yet, I become annoyed with people who center their religious beliefs around themselves. How selfish as a people are we that we think God will bend to our beliefs about Him? Anyone else think that's insane? "Yes, divine being higher elevated than myself, I'm going to create you." Yep, that sounds sane. ;)

And yet, while God humbled me and helped me get back up and realize how selfish, hypocritical, and lack of commitment, He still showed me that it'll be okay. I've opened doors and actually have the missionaries coming in two weeks. I'm really excited. I've been thinking about getting on the dinner calendar for awhile now - I think serving this community that my heart is so strongly drawn to, will do me good and help me understand the Lord's work in my life better. I also know that due to my own selfishness, pride, and bitterness in anger to those I attend church with, that I almost allowed myself to take a enormous step back into the LDS church over. Yes, my spiritual salvation is dependent on who offends me the least - another sane way to think. ;) I don't go to church for people, I go to church to learn, serve, and fellowship with other people. If some of them tick me off, hey, then there's always the avoidance dance. ;)

Want to get some knitting in, so cutting this one short. Also, anyone see the Lord's Boot Camp special? We caught part of it (the second half I believe) and I enjoyed it for the most point until you guessed it - one of the three Christian girls was deceitful for Christ. They met a Mormon family - the mom and her teen daughter, and while the adult "leader" pulled the Mom aside to argue with her, the teenaged missionary then "saved" the Mormon girl obviously against the mother's wishes. Because you know, lying, deceit, utter lack of respect for the proper authority in this girl's life - that's a great way to start a relationship with Jesus. Way to go.

Okay, off to knitting and to simmer down again. :P

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A lot on my mind

I haven't really been blogging a lot anymore because I've got a lot on my mind and am well known for lack of control on my tongue. :P That said, I am loving this group (I've mentioned them before) called BAM (Born Again Mormons) and am slowly re-entering my LDS community. Sadly, I had to grab a rain check on an Enrichment Activity yesterday, but there's always next week! :) I'm being very challenged and humbled to finally submit to God's authority over me and allow Him to make me a patient and graceful woman (and I don't mean not clumsy I mean with my tongue). I've had so embarrassingly shockingly rude, inpatient and uncontrolled lately. That's all for now until I get my tongue under more control.

Essay

I've started a couple of groups on Ravelry - one for submitting wives, one for Biblical parenting, and a third after my heart - discussing religion. Ah, R&P, how I miss you. Anyways, the posts have been thought provoking, challenging, and humbling. We've got two posters who attend seminary so I am totally looking forward to their posts. One posted a link to an essay called, Real Live Preacher. I haven't finished reading it yet, but I love it so far. I just thought I'd share so any interested could share in the goodness.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's General Conference time!


It's that time again! It's General Conference time. It's hard to believe, that a year ago, Steve and I first checked out Grace Point and listened to the end of their Games of Life series. A year ago, God put into motion the reality that He was calling us out of the LDS church. I tuned into Conference these last two days and have been both thrilled and frustrated.

LDS leaders always have great practical advice for living a Christian life (they're always on top of works, missional living, and Christ like lives). Yet, all I heard was an apologetic talk - one after the other after the other. Even in the women's talks about parenting it was apologetic in nature,

Gordon B. Hinckley had a vision for the LDS church, and one popular teaching he had was, "retention, retention, retention" - so a call has been made for all LDS to commit to any inactive or former members (YAY!) that they know and to bring all that they can to the "Lord's gospel" this year. Our hometeachers must be physic because they made a visit the night before GC kicked off. Steve and I look forward to all the eager members to bring us lost souls back to the fold. ;) Any ex-Mormons, inactive LDS, or anyone with LDS friends and/or family members reading this - prepare now, you're now a target. :P We'll be ready to serve our LDS friends and pray that God reveals His Holy Spirit to them.

Speaking of this - Papau and I just had the roughest two days. Reminding me that Jesus would be leaving me behind (perhaps he is not aware that the LDS church teaches a post tribulation Rapture? In which before the Tribulation starts, all LDS are to gather in Jackson county so they do not endure the tribulations?) when He came and brought everyone to heaven while the rest of the world suffered... He told me I wouldn't be in heaven, he told me that I would never see them again in heaven... and on and on. So how did I respond? I invited him to Grace Point. Once he got over the shock, he wanted to go into a doctrinal debate. :/

All and all, it was a very interesting Conference. You can listen to all of the talks (or just select any that interest you here.) After a week or so, they'll have written manuscripts, video, and audio. Just keep checking. I was hoping for good parent advice from atleast one speaker - yet was told I should raise my children not to question their faith. Where have I heard that before?

"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done"
(Improvement Era 1945, Editor's Introduction Questions To Legal Answers Daniel C. Peterson, FARMS Review of Books, vol. 4 (1992),, p.lxxvi, Robert Basil, Mary Beth Gehrman, and Tim Madigan, Eds., on the Barricades: Religion and Free Inquiry in Conflict (louis Midgley), FARMS Review of Books, vol. 4 (1992),, p.11,)

Ah yeah, that's why it seems so familiar. And people say the LDS church isn't a brainwashing cult..... ;)

Church people suck


"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
--
Mahatma Gandhi --

Today, I really wished I had a t-shirt that said either of these things. WHY are Christians so rude to people on Sundays? I would have assumed that at least on Sundays that Christians could behave or mind their manners, and yet 98% of the rude, intolerable, impatient customers today wore crosses and Sunday clothes.

At one point, I become so fed up with the rude behavior of Christians, I wrote down Ghandi's quote above, and taped it to my register in plain sight. Needless to say, the Christian customers became every more rude, if that was even possible. For eight hours, only one person asked me about the quote I had taped to my register, the rest preferred to snap at me and tell me I was an idiot. Yes, because that will make me suddenly realize that Ghandi was totally wrong. Wake up!

I want to design a t-shirt with one of those iron on pages, wear a shirt with Ghandi's quote on it to work and see how the "Christian" customers respond to the person behind the register. Will they show grace or will they retreat into their flesh and allow their pride to come clawing out? I wanted to tell every rude Christian customer, "Don't wear that cross out in public if you're going to behave like that," I mean really, can't Christians behave decently just one day of the week?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tired

I was thinking about this today - perhaps it's the periodic migraines making their very unwanted return, but does anyone just get sick and tired of the church and denomination game? I was thinking about how nice it'd be to not be tied down to any one church and church hop for awhile. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very passionate about GP, it's cause and everything - but there are times when I just want to go and explore. I want to see the rest of the body of Christ - their beauty, their practices, their love and passion for God.

Perhaps it's because deep inside I cannot believe God put us in a church that totally doesn't fit us - or atleast me. I long for tradition, ritual, reverence (the way I prefer it which I openly admit is not the only way to do it and doesn't mean I think other's are wrong).

But what is absolutely wonderful, every time I get to feeling this way, "Why God? Why here?" Every time I get frustrated with people, events, service, anything and everything human that gets in the way - God brings me back down. He reminds me that He placed us here for a reason, then usually reminds me with a vivid example. Today I felt so incredibly frustrated with some discussion over at BID and Barbie totally reminded me of the service that she so admires in me. I forget a lot about my servant's heart which has been developed and inspired at Grace Point. It's the vision for serving the community without an agenda that I am so passionate about. And then I begin to think about Grace Point - the passion in those who serve regardless if they have to serve in 15 different capacities because just like everywhere else, there's always a need for volunteers. God reminds me about the lessons I've learned there, the passion GP has for reaching people where they are instead of making them come up to God's standards (hello have any of us done that yet?). When I feel like I just want to chill at home on Sunday mornings and duck out of any fellowship, when my fire is out, when I'm exhausted and just totally burned out and don't want to see anyone - God is there. He reminds me why He placed me there, the work He has done in me since we've been there, and most importantly - that GP is just another organ, limb, etc in His body. And as such, it's different from other places, but right now, He wants us there serving His kingdom - regardless of how little or much we do (I say little).

I'll admit - there are days I just don't want to do that. There are some days when looking to the cross doesn't motivate me, when remembering grace doesn't motivate me (hey I'm being honest here), but thinking of the fellowship, lessons learned, and the hard working people at GP does. So I'll get up and go do my small part. And I think, it gets a little easier every time and certainly more enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Baffled


As I've felt more and more convicted to be the "best home maker" that I can be and a submitted wife, I keep returning to two things - "Mothers Who Know" - an awesome talk by Julie Beck and Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, in which she has a weekly schedule as well as a detailed spring and fall cleaning (like scrubbing one's driveway - which come to really think of it is not a bad idea). My days have been flying by - doing devotionals and school lessons with the kids in the mornings, cleaning, and then playing and then it's time for dinner and Steve's home. Whoa.

But what totally escapes me is men. What is their issue with cleaning? Or keeping a place clean? I moved our laundry hamper from the closet, to the end of the bed and yet the clothes still end up elsewhere. I've been scrubbing, buffing, mopping, sweeping, wiping everything on my list and I go to bed early (8 pm as opposed to 9 pm) last night and wake up to a totally dirty house. What the heck?! I totally appreciate that I got to go to bed early and get some much needed sleep, but what about picking up? Vacuuming? Doing some dishes? And yet, I hold my tongue because my husband goes to work and my work is to be the home maker, keeper of our home, and the one to train up our children. Really, any men out there reading this, what is the aversion to a sponge, some Windex, a vacumm? I was reading about someone whose wife is going away for two weeks and his house isn't going to be clean for those two weeks - really is it a male gene that prevents cleaning? When Steve was a bachelor living with 3 other guys in a tiny apartment he cleaned that apartment fairly regularly. He gets a wife, and suddenly his ability to wash a dish, vacumm a rug, or mop a floor has vanished.

Rather let me correct myself - he cleaned that apartment his way fairly regularly. When guys do clean (yep I'm generalizing please feel free to correct me guy readers) it's always their way - not the way their wife wants. Example - I scrub down all the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, I want to take care of my dishwasher so as not to have to replace it anytime soon, and I want the dishes to be as clean as possible. Yet Steve just scraps off the food and sticks them right in .....


I'm not complaining - don't get me wrong, I totally accept that as his help meet this is
my job, but I am just really baffled.