American Idolatry…

…is the title of a very thoughtful posting by Melissa Moore (daughter of Beth Moore) on Living Proof’s website. I encourage you to read it.


Another perspective on rest

Ann has a thought-provoking post today. At first glance it seems to be the opposite of what I’ve been working on with regard to rest; but I think as I consider it more throughout the day, it really does complement the idea of rest, giving meaning and worth to the intensity of life through the week. Rest is meant to be a punctuation–a pause like a comma in my day or a brief rest like a period at the end of my week; but it is not meant to the the substance of my time. The pressure cooker Ann talks about makes those moments of rest more special and makes me more aware of the holiness God gives them.

Rest, Continued

There is a new thing happening in my heart/mind/life as I explore and learn to value rest…it is a new appreciation for silence.

I am not a fan of silence.  I’ve never been comfortable with it.  If I am in the car, the radio is on.  If I am alone, either the stereo or possibly the TV (if I’m folding laundry) is on while I am busy about my chores. One would think that with 4 active children, I would yearn for silence, but amazingly this has not been so.

Last night after all the children were in bed, John and I sat in silence.  He was catching up on his reading and I was folding clothes.  Neither of us felt like we had to talk, nor did we feel like we didn’t want to talk.  It was just peaceful, restful silence.

Is that Spring I Smell?

Mmmmmmmmm….There is a soft-sweet smell in the air this morning.  The first Gurney’s catalog of the season came in the mail yesterday.  The roads and sidewalks are clean & dry.  There is a hope in my heart and a renewed sense of enthusiasm about all the activities spring and summer bring.

I am not foolish enough to believe that winter is over and spring is here; it is only February, but it’s coming….I can smell it. 

The Value of Rest

I have been really tired lately; exhausted really.  So have a lot of others apparently.   JavaDawn has been engaging us in a discussion of rest.  This has led to me examining rest in my own life.

In order for me to understand rest in its proper perspective, I need to know what God says about rest.  Obviously, rest can be indulged in to a sinful extreme; but that doesn’t mean that the Bible says to avoid it altogether.

Rest, specifically Sabbath rest, is a holy thing.  An example set by God in Creation Week and commanded by God for us to do likewise in the Ten Commandments.  In my search for Biblical rest, I found that sometimes God called people to do tasks which would exhaust them. (Ex 17:11-12, 2 Sam 23:9-10)  I found many examples of God promising rest (Jer. 31:25 or Mt. 11:28-30 for example).  I found that if I do not accept the rest God offers, that faith itself becomes a list of rules and must-do’s; and that I set myself up to become ensnared by the Enemy of my soul (Is 28:12-13).  Finally, I found encouragement to continue on in those things God has called me to (Gal. 6:9, 2 Thes. 3:13)

The next step was to examine those things in my life which make me feel rested.  I identified a few right off the bat.

(1) Spending time with my husband and talking with him.  John and I are looking for ways to really value and protect this time.

(2) Peace in our home. 

(3) A clean home.  As hard as it is for me to do, I think it’s time to simplify.  It will be much easier on all of us to “do our chores” when there isn’t so much clutter to conquer.

(4) Time to read.  Sundays after church is a great time to do this, if I can resist the temptation to finish my work which didn’t get done during the week.

This is an ongoing search.  I welcome your feedback.

We Will Praise Him When We Win, Praise Him When We Lose…

You might think from this title, that this is a post about the Super Bowl.  That would be appropriate, but that’s not what’s on my heart this morning. 

This theme played a major role in the movie Facing the Giants which we watched this weekend.  It made for a great discussion starter for devotions yesterday when we stayed home from church due to the extreme cold.  Little did I know how quickly it would come home to test me.

Last night, our son Gabe had a small meltdown.  It was nothing unusual or unexpected.  We often find he falls to pieces when he stays up past 9:00.  My husband and I talked him down and got him to bed.  It was certainly nothing to shake our confidence as parents.  After it was over, as John and I were getting ready for bed, the Lord released concerns for my son’s future welfare that we had never given voice to before; concerns that had been lying dormant in the back of my heart since Gabe’s last dr. appointment.  Out of consideration for my son’s privacy I don’t want to go into too much detail, but suffice it to say it was enough to scare us both.

But I am here to testify that God is so faithful and He is so good.  As soon as this giant was placed before us, we went to Him in prayer and He reminded us of Jeremiah 29:11.  It is a verse one of our pastors often gives to the youth of our church.  “‘…For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future….'”

We don’t know what the future holds for any of us, but the good news is we have a God who does, who has a plan for that future and what is more wants the best for us.  We cry out to Him for wisdom to keep us faithful as parents so we may be in accordance with His plans for a hope and a future.

Movie Review: Facing the Giants

Facing the Giants is not your average movie.  There are some things you need to know up front about this movie.

  You need to know that it was produced almost entirely by volunteers–very few paid professionals worked on this movie.  They did it out of a love for the Lord and conviction about spreading the message of this movie. 

You need to know that this movie received a PG rating.  Why?  Because it usues the name of Jesus Christ without taking it in vain.  Because this movie shows people living daily, submitted lives for Christ and the people who rate movies thought that might be offensive to some movie goers. 

You need to know that Hollywood is probably not going to give this movie any awards for its acting, writing, or special effects.  If that is what you’re looking for, I don’t want you to be disappointed.  But if you’re looking for a movie that goes beyond being safe for your kids to watch, a movie you can use as a springboard to talk to them about living for Christ in the midst of hard times, a movie that spurs you on towards more holy living…then this is the movie for you.