Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Judges Deja Vu

"In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25)
No where is this more evident in Christian circles today than with regard to child bearing.  And I have heard it all.  Christians reason that to "be reasonable" you should put off having children, or only have two or three at the most...so that you can be financially secure, or travel, or fill in the blank.  The arguments are endless so it seems, but if we are going to take the whole counsel of God's Word, the general principles contained therein state that God wants us to mulitply (notice He did not say replicate), to have children in our youth, to have marriages because He wants to bring forth godly seed from us, and to see that children are a reward and blessing. (Caveat: I am not condemning anyone who is childless by circumstances and not by choice. God is gracious and I know we need to be also.)
I do believe that for the most part people, including Christians, want to be unencumbered by the responsibility and, yes, the cost of children.  That simply is not what God calls us to.  I don't recall Him saying, "lead a life devoid of sacrifice or expenses."  I do recall He said to gain our life we had to lose it.  
Augustine had an ungodly lifestyle for years before his conversion and then wrote in retrospect these words:  "In those years I had a woman.  She was not my partner in what is called lawful marriage.  I had found her in my state of wandering desire and lack of prudence.  Nevertheless, she was the only girl for me, and I was faithful to her.  With her I learnt by direct experience how wide a difference there is between the partnership of marriage entered into for the sake of having a family and the mutual consent of those whose love is a matter of physical sex, and for whom the birth of a child is contrary to their intention..."(Confessions, p.53)  Christian people get married and then have sexual privileges but the birth of a child is contrary to their intentions. I am not against wisdom, but I am against doing what is right in our own eyes because it is more convenient.  That is not what kind of life God has called us to.  St. John of the Cross said, "Strive to choose, not that which is easiest, but that which is most difficult.  Do not deprive your soul of the agility which it needs to mount up to Him." God have mercy upon us. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

More Madness

All those books on Big Brother they made us read in high school English in the 1970's and 1980's are coming true! Read This to see what madness our country has become.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Madness

Included in the list of curses promised by God for His people if they disobeyed His voice and did not carefully observe His commandments and statues is this from Deuteronomy chapter 28:
     "28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you."  


We surely live under this sentence today.  Our president, his administration, and our legislators have printed more than 1 trillion dollars since Obama took office, and have increased our debt exponentially and still there is no attempt at curbing spending, stopping currency printing, or doing anything different at all.  So how is this madness you ask?  Let's say each of us owed $45,000 in debt, which currently per capita in the U.S. we DO.  So we all said that the way we would pay off that debt was to go out and spend lots more money and print some to boot.  In real life, we would be put into jail! Yet this is EXACTLY what is going on in Washington.  Every day we are groping around in darkness, not prospering and becoming more and more plundered and oppressed.  What is the solution to this madness?  God said He would visit this curse for not obeying Him or following His commands.  Let's seek repentance, stop plundering our own neighbors through government programs, and demand that we have a balanced budget and return to God whole heartedly.  Politicians cannot fix what God has decreed. But His people, called by His name can seek His face and repent and be restored to sanity.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

From Isaac Watts

"LORD, I can suffer Thy rebukes when Thou with kindness doth chastise;
But Thy fierce wrath I cannot bear,
O let it not against me rise.
Pity my languishing estate, and ease the sorrows that I feel;
The wounds Thine heavy hand hath made,
O let Thy gentler touches heal!"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Help for Mothers

St. Augustine's Confessions can help a mom out.  How many times have you implored your offspring(especially your son) to listen to you?  How many times have you worried that they weren't listening?  St. Augustine recalls how God used his mother to speak God's words directly to his hard heart:
     "Wretch that I am, do I dare to say that you, my God, were silent when in reality I was travelling farther from you?  Was it in this sense that you kept silence to me?  Then whose words were they but yours which you were chanting in my ears through my mother, your faithful servant? But nothing of that went down into my heart to issue in action....These warnings seemed to me womanish advice which I would have blushed to take the least notice of.  But they were your warnings and I did not realize it.  I believed you were silent, and that it was only she who was speaking, when you were speaking to me through her.  In her you were scorned by me, by me her son, the son of your handmaid, your servant (Ps. 115:16)."

Monica, the godly mother of Augustine, had to have know that her son was not listening to her.  But she was faithful to give the warnings even when her son scorned her counsel.  Even when her son refused to listen.  This is difficult.  We want our admonitions to go to their hearts, but really it was not until God got hold of Augustine's heart and mind and strength that he realized the godliness of his own mother.  God help us mothers to keep on telling our children of all ages the truth of God's word, to keep on giving godly warnings....even when they scorn our lives and words.....

BTW, Monica's experience is not uncommon...so take heart.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

After the Storm

Peering out the jalousie window cracks, I saw the twenty foot corner Palm bent double; its top touched the sidewalk.  We had stayed.  Dad said the house was built on an ancient sand dune and we would be safe.  Mom had put water and food and blankets and flashlights in the basement.  The fact we had a basement showed the age of our 100 year old home.  Modern homes did not put in basements in Florida.  We got to look out as the winds picked up and that was when I had seen it.  The paragon of strength and flexibility, that Palm tree, bent over double.  And my five year old mind worried: if that tree was already bent over, how could the house withstand the hurricane force winds?  But it was too late.  We would ride out the storm come what may because my Father had decided.  


The next 24 hours we huddled in the darkness of the basement.  Power had failed early on.  We read books and tried to play games.  But mostly we heard the howling of the storm, the intensity of the rain pelting the roof.  We were not going anywhere.  The eye never hit us, so there was not calm moments.  The winds kept going and we could hear the house shuddering.  My mom prayed.  Dad turned on the radio but I don't remember what was being transmitted, I only recall the wind and that Palm tree.


Afterwards, Dad and my brother began repairs on the exterior of the house and took the boards off the windows.  I was engaged in piling up debris and cleaning the steps and sidewalk.  My Palm tree was straight, a few branches lighter, but back standing tall and drinking in the sunshine.  Dad had been right.  The old house was bumped and bruised, but perfectly sound and I wondered how many storms the old place had survived. 


Until lately, I did not realize the life lesson God was teaching me in that storm.  My Father made a decision for my life for me to stay put during a fierce and relentless howling storm.   There was nothing else for me to do but wait.  Unlike my five year old self, I did not patiently listen to the winds and wait for the end.  I cried.  I lamented.  I was overcome with grief.  Now, after the storm, I am not allowed to work out the grief.  I am supposed to pick up the pieces and move on.  But there is lots of debris.  Lots to repair.  And it has to start with me.  I am to be a new creature in Christ.  My disposition has to radically change.  This is difficult considering the full force of the storm was directed at me.  Storms can cleanse and change the landscape.  But afterward, after the winds, pouring rain, and beating surf, the air is fresh, clean, holy.  Hoping God can produce that in me.