Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Evil is still Evil

When I was sixteen I had the opportunity to travel to Spain with my Spanish classmates and tour the country. We had chaperons and certain rules we were required to obey. One night, our very unruly and rowdy bunch of teenagers decided to go wandering about the town. It was the Passion week and in Spain there are many festivals and partying going on in the streets. We had a curfew. At a critical juncture, I realized we needed to turn around and go back to the hotel so that we could fulfill our obligation to our chaperons. The rest of the bunch wanted to keep on seeing all that was happening. Caving in to peer pressure a bit, I stayed for a little longer, but then my conscience was grating upon me and I turned back heading for the hotel. On the way, I reasoned that even though I was late, I was still doing a better job than the others because I still was getting back pretty close to the curfew. I thought I was doing the "right" thing by not doing as "much" wrong as the others.

My chaperons thought differently. They had set a time for us to be in the door and when I returned I got an earful and was given a punishment. Later, much, much later when the rest of the gang got back to the hotel I figured that their punishment would be much more severe. But, to my surprise they received the exact same sentence. My indignation was great!!! How could this be??? How could this be fair??? Of course, now many years hence, it is easy to see that whether I broke the rules by a little or a lot, I still broke the rules. How much better for me to have simply and completely obeyed. The Scriptures say, "to obey is better than sacrifice."

Sooo, when I hear other Christians talk about the political elections coming up and that their plan is to "vote for the lesser of two evils", I cringe and am greatly grieved. Do we think our punishment will be less because we still voted for evil??? No, evil is still evil. How much better for us if we do the righteous thing and vote for a righteous candidate, not perfect, but one who seeks God and seeks to follow the law of our land, the Constitution. How much better to simply obey God and do what is right. Do we think we are helping God out by voting for the "lesser of two evils"? God is not mocked, a man reaps what he sows.

I hear the arguments, that we must vote for the "lesser of two evils" to prevent the greater evil from triumphing. Are we now standing in the stead of God and able to cause such things from happening by doing wrong??? I tell the children all the time, "two wrongs do not make a right." We are to OBEY GOD. We are to do right even if we suffer for it. We are to do His commands and statutes and laws. The outcome is God's business. He is still sovereign over men and nations and election outcomes. He is still in control. When we vote for "the lesser of two evils" we are voting with unbelief.

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and shrewd in their own sight!
Woe to those who are mixing strong drink,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
and deprive the innocent of his right!
Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will be as rottenness,
and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
and the mountains quaked;
and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets.
For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.
Isaiah 5:20-25, ESV

---posted by Queen Lucy

Thursday, September 11, 2008

County Fair Reflections

4H has been a part of our lives now for 10 years. Every year our children take projects, learn new skills, give oral presentations, keep records, write stories, and compete in fitting and showing animals. We are blessed by being able to have the only banner in the 4H building at the county fair with a picture of a Celtic cross on it. The name of our club is Gloria Patri, which means glory to the father. We are so thankful that God has given our club a reputation for hard work and excellence.

This year marks an anniversary for us. When we started there was only one child old enough to be in it and we were so ignorant of everything!! Now that child is a 4H leader herself and watches while several of her siblings and other children she has taught compete at fair. Now we have 5 children in 4H and next year it will be six. That means that between them our family entered over 18 projects. That might not mean alot to those who do not do 4H, but it means a whole lot to those of us who do. It means WORK!! We have also watched several other family's children grow up in 4H, graduate, and move on to other fields of labor for the kingdom of God.

As home educators, we often do not have very strict deadlines or opportunities to have our children learn public speaking, experience healthy competition, or practice leadership through service. 4H helps our family work on these things. Often in 4H the children are simply competing against themselves! "Making the best better" is the 4H motto. The children are to learn to improve every year and push themselves a little further towards excellence.

This is not a 4H advertisement!! It is simply me explaining that 4H has helped our family achieve many goals we had for the children in a non-threatening, semi-controlled environment. Our fair is a culmination of year long labor. The children can receive rewards and satisfaction of a job well done. As a family, the children learn that we are to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and weep with those who weep. Sometimes siblings are competing in the same project and the top award may go to someone else. It is part of them learning graciousness too.

So here are some pictures of our laborers. Some of my best memories are from our fair weeks: hurrying in on Wednesdays to see what ribbons the children earned; visiting all the animal barns; going to the rodeo after a long week of fitting and showing, barn duty, food booth duty, caring for animals early in the morning and late at night; and eating fair food like cotton candy, Italian sausages, frozen cheesecake, snow cones and so much more that we do not eat the rest of the year. But mostly, all of us being together and making memories and doing things that cause us to give thanks to God and to be glad in all that He does.

---posted by Queen Lucy, proud mother of all the caer children!!