We live as though it is our choice and our privilege to decide
Monday, October 10, 2016
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Friday, March 18, 2016
Who Do You Say I Am?
Jesus asked this of His disciples. The answer mattered. The answer, Jesus said, was revealed to them not by man but by His Father and through the Holy Spirit.
Is Jesus Christ God?
Jesus said He was. The Pharisees hated Him because He said He was. The Bible, God's Word, Jesus being the Word in flesh, says He was.
What do I say?
Can I be a "christian" and say He was anything else? Can I be a "christian" and say He was a good teacher, an angel, a prophet, a religious zealot, a lunatic, a liar?
No. I can't.
This isn't my opinion . This is what the Bible says . This is what Jesus Christ said .
And, that's enough for me.
Friday, March 4, 2016
We don't see it, we don't want a too serious faith. We want to have Jesus and our "cake" too. Lately false Christs set up their mobile canvassing stalls at our local train station. They roam our neighbourhood on foot and bicycles, knocking on doors. False Christs are increasing in our mainstream churches too. They hog our blogosphere, I've seen it.
We as a people can't take strong doctrine. We are perishing for lack of knowledge. He told us that.
A deadly recipe is brewing. It is leaving His church confused and therefore impotent.
As evil increases so does grace, He promises us that too.
Increasingly, the question of our age is:
Who Do You Say I Am
For there shall arise false Christ, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
To run a marathon from what I know, you have to work up to the distance over time. Gain strength and endurance. You must know your race, the length, the route and you have to mentally plan for it.
Motherhood isn't like that. We cannot know what is ahead. We have plans and dreams, we watch others, reflect on our own upbringing and our own Mothers yet, each child, each family is different and inevitably we are unprepared.
Mathew and I learnt as we went along, we didn't have good role models to follow nor many to cheer us on from the sidelines. We had thought these things would make us better parents because we knew what didn't work and what we didn't believe in. What we didn't realise though was that we also had no reserves to draw from, no role modelling to imitate, so it was very difficult. We often felt lost and bewildered and consequently our marriage was in serious trouble.
When our first child was only 3 years old we came in contact with Growing Families International and the parenting curriculum Growing Kids God's Way. It changed our marriage first and then our child raising techniques and outcomes. With each subsequent child we employed what we learnt. We have been and continue to be great and vocal advocates of these child raising principles. Over time in this marathon however, new and varied stages and dilemmas present themselves. I have personally gone back to the "book" regularly.
Last night I found myself scouring our bookcase shelves again for some inspiration, encouragement, even words of wisdom for another shift in the marathon route that I never trained for and am finding myself failing on.
Right about here I am reminded that God's Word itself is all I need and to turn to Him and ask for wisdom, grace, forgiveness and patience is the good and right to do. However, I also can glean from those who have gone before and have the talent to write and teach parents like me. I must admit there isn't much if anything written for parents of older children.
I held to the idea that attitudes and problems start in the early years and to get them while they are young will save trouble later yet I'm here, in trouble, I've run a good race, I'm tired but it isn't over yet. This crazy thing called "love" for a child. Love that won't let go, that chases down and forgives over and over, that fears and trembles at some stages - this love is frightening.
Surely I am being honed out of this rock of life just as surely as my child is. May I be a good student for the potter, may my child and I hold still and be moulded into His likeness, may I wait patiently on Him, may I mount up with wings not for me or even for my child but for His glory and His Namesake. Amen, Lord.
Monday, February 1, 2016
We have started our new school year today. This year marks 17 years of homeschooling for me. I have graduated three students and am grateful that they all went on to tertiary study and full time employment in Nursing, I.T and Hospitality. This morning my three "littles" begin Level 4, 6 and 7 respectively!
It's always nice to have had a break and to recharge, get in new pens and pencils, books and folders and dive back in for a new year.
By the end of each year all finished books are filed and school reports generated and grades noted for each child. I like to do this to keep me interested and abreast of how each child is coping and tracking. If I'm going to take the responsibility of their education I should do a good job! It always encourages me in doing this because I see just what they have accomplished throughout the year and so does Mathew. I've simplified the work boxes for this year. Easy go to storage space in our former library area - now a make shift bedroom.
This morning I found hard to motivate me but one thing at a time and I found my feet. This is my laundry room in full swing with a pile for everything and all things ready and waiting for their next action. This is OK with me. It's never ALL done but it's in a priority pile and being processed.
Oh, and my trust crockpot - love it so much! - is on and smelling fine. This year sees two of the children begin a weekly activity outside our home. Tonight is one of those. We need to eat by 5 and be out of the house by 6 at the very latest. Pressure! Just one or two little things pre-arranged will help and make all the difference.
Jedidiah had a very difficult start back - problems obeying ..... however we handled that with loads of contemplative time ..... and finally got the wheels rolling only to later apologise to Mum for his behaviour this morning and then proceed to set off for a record morning of reading and painting and writing. Thank God!
These children are just that, children. Homeschooling doesn't make them perfect but it does, with God's grace and forgiveness daily, enable us to make close relationships with them and therefore in times of conflict have those conversations with them and that influence over them.
This classic verse so often used is a promise to me. Reason for my hope.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Friday, January 8, 2016
You know, you pray for a child, you have them, you raise and nurture them day by day by day, you believe in godly parenting and motherhood and fatherhood, in marriage and the family unit, you believe in Biblical submission to a loving Husband.
More than that, you preach it to all those watching, those that may ask - although precious few want to know - you really live and breath and honestly come to think you are on the right road. Not because of our efforts although they are real but because of God's promises in the Bible, His Word to me about my children and family.
Then the season comes when that child wants more than the home and life they have lived. They rightly or wrongly want to stretch their wings and because of how they've been raised there is no fear of the world or understanding of the dangers of certain decisions. There is little suspicion of others' motives or life's turns. An innocence that could set them up to be vulnerable.
Raised with unconditional love, acceptance and all the right insulation to weather life's storms, yet a tenderness to be protected, prepared and provided for at this later stage in their lives.
Wasn't it meant to be the hard work when they were babies, then toddlers? Yes, then too. This motherhood, it's a marathon not a sprint. I'm getting that today ..
Yeah. Amen to that. Because God told me that didn't He, only I wasn't listening as keenly as today. It didn't mean as much to me as it does today. His living Word. Every day it is new, relevant and able to encourage, rebuke, discipline and comfort me.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Timothy 3:16
Some days it is a wearisome journey. Would I have it any other way, do things differently, yes and no. Each child is different! I'm learning too. We are all learning about ourselves before our great God. The important thing for me to remember is "this too shall come to pass". To "keep on" and "pressing toward the mark".
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
This gives me much comfort. Some days as mother I wonder at how and if I have made a difference, am making a difference. Then I'll spy a child doing their chores when no one is watching and no one has reminded them. I'll spy two teen girls playing and giggling together in complete friendship while an hour ago they were bickering to my distraction. My son will text me and keep on texting me telling me about his day, sending a picture to me that he knows I'll like.
Then I see God's hand moving and shaping us all. I feel His comfort and His understanding and I feel brave again that "this too shall come to pass" and that He has us and me in the palm of His hands. That no matter the storms of life, we are in His hands and we can have peace in knowing that.
That I can be still and know He is God.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
As the world around us including the christian church waxes and wanes, where knowledge and wisdom is flying out the politically correct door faster than ever before, it seems all too hard to keep ourselves and those around us focussed on the person of Christ Jesus.
We thank God daily for our faith and the knowledge He has gifted us with, the ability to understand and to obey His Word. Continually around us we see decay and change. It's difficult to focus some days yet we do. In day by day Bible reading, prayer and supplication (asking) we seek to continually sit at His feet to do His will, to obey and to be pleasing to Him. Not because we have to but because we want to.
Change and decay in all around I see,
help of the helpless O' abide with me.
Once we were apart of a community that prided itself on outward appearances in all manner of ways as a temperature gauge for our faith. They would deny it yet their actions spoke clearer than their protestations. Now we are surrounded with almost the opposite problem. Outward doesn't matter and our lazy, sinful selves are indulged and even apologised for. Just this past week I heard "aim lower", "ask God to forgive you for being too hard on yourself .."
If I'm confused and dismayed how much more those of little faith, yet faith indeed, and those who are "seekers" that is, they walk into church for the first time or are sometime comers just lurking at the corners of Christianity?
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
God takes Himself very seriously. He is love and He is truth. There is judgement. It matters what you believe. It matters who you say Jesus Christ is. We can't have it all ways as we seem to want it.
Notice there because I did, Jesus didn't worry so much what others said about who He was, He said "but who do you say I Am".
So who do you say He is. It matters.
It's so rare to have this taught and spelled out and to be led through His Word the Bible on this issue and all that comes from this central truth. The sadness that is the watered down christian church, strong words yet we are just fodder to this depraved, fallen world.
Jesus knew didn't He. He said "I will never leave or forsake you". Over the years of homeschooling and conservative faith we have oftentimes been criticised for isolating ourselves and our children so that "when they get into the real world they won't cope". Firstly the real world is living one day at a time with the Creator Himself, the one true God. Secondly, not living and knowing the truth would make it even harder to try to understand the world and its ways. The best gift we can give our children, the best hope for resilience - that buzz word amongst child raising techniques today - is to have a living hope and belief in a real and loving God.
So what is salvation?
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Taking turns reading 12 Voices of Christmas. Each alternate evening between 2nd and 24th December we read after dinner from this free downloadable resource.
So far we have read the voice of disbelief - the story of Zachariah, the voice of wonder - the story of Mary, the voice of reason - the story of Joseph.
The stories combine scripture and references along with biblically sound interpretation of the times and culture surrounding each biblical character. It's a unique eye into the person's heart and faith during this time of the coming of the Christ's birth.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
These are the treats and treat bags created by Emmeline
Our family meal table
Our focus. Christ.
Our focus today, next week, next year (Lord willing). One day at a time, one moment at a time. Remembering the three "F's":
... Flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:11-12
Thursday, November 26, 2015
The house is shaded, the fans gently whirring, crickets are chirping and the breeze from outside along with the fans has the tablecloth moving and papers ruffling. Summer is nearly here. Love it!
Budd is 16 next week on the 1st. The first day of summer. I will always remember that very hot day in Sydney now 16 years ago.
For us, this is a time of looking forward to fun family traditions of devotionals which entail either a Bible reading - we discovered Jesus is in the entire Bible; Old Testament and New Testament. Have a look! Praise God! - with or without a picture drawn of the passage just read, sometimes a little drama enacted or for the younger ones their children's Bible opened at their favourite place and a description of what is happening.
We listen intently with our meal before us, waiting to begin. After presentation the person whose turn it is rolls a dice and whatever number appears, that is how many foil wrapped chocolates are put in a brightly decorated paper bag (courtesy of craft queen Emmeline). We then light another candle - so by the 24th there are 24 candles burning on the glass round dish in the middle of the family meal table. This creates a growing sense of anticipation and significance of what we are talking about.
Our bags are opened on Christmas Eve which is when Dad hands out our gifts. These are special because Dad shops for them. He has a tiny budget and what he chooses is just so dear to see. I don't know, if Dad cooks it or buys it, somehow it has special meaning. Sometimes what he chooses ....
It's nice to have a focus on Christ and His Word. We know Christmas really isn't the time of Jesus' birth. For many years we ignored the whole thing. It was hard for the children, more than that, it seemed cold and hard.
We dance around how to be in this world but not of it most especially at this time of year. I don't think we have it right yet but this year, again, we will celebrate a season of holiday, respite from routine, warmth and family traditions. And ... I'm looking forward to that!
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Why is it, that we celebrate samhain? (otherwise known as halloween? Isn't this is a dark pagan celebration? (Google it). Why do we think it is OK to mix the holy with the profane in the name of "candy or tract ministry"? Does this kind of ministry really bring people to the love of Jesus? When a tree springs up will it produce any fruit not of it's own kind? Are there other celebrations with mixture that we need to examine?
Why is it, that we go through a huge celebration of halloween (I refuse to capitalize this evil celebration) and then skip right to Christmas? What happened to Thanksgiving? When we do celebrate Thanksgiving, are we truly grateful or is it just about the turkey, the eats, the football, and the pre-black Friday sales?
Why is it, that we get so upset about the term Happy Holidays (which actually originally meant Holy Days. Can't we see that only we can take Christ from our own Christmas? Is the intent of our heart really about showing the love of Jesus when we spitefully say "Merry Christmas" to someone just trying to make a living? Why does it make us so angry that the sales people aren't saying "Merry Christmas? Did we forget that we can say it any time we like as long as the intent in our hearts is right. Aren't we, the light bearers to the world, the ones who need to say it lovingly anyway?
Why is it that we are so surprised that the world is evil and dark? Haven't we been reading the scripture about this? Haven't we heard Father God tell us this? Why do we expect the world of people without the benefit of the Holy Spirit to act in love? Did we forget that this is why we are here? Are we not called to bring love and light to the dark world because we do have the Holy Spirit in us?
Why is it, that we get angry, rant on Facebook, argue and protest when we see evil laws and rules being made? Are we not called to share the love of Christ with people who are caught by the evil world? Why do we expect unsaved people to make Godly laws? If we brought those lawmakers into the Kingdom of God wouldn't things change?
Did we forget that the people of the world are not our enemies but our enemies are the spirits that have a hold on those people? How does it change anything for those people if we empower those enemy spirits with our anger, judgement or hatred? Wouldn't it be more effective to empower God with our acts of faith, love, and hope towards those people? If those people came into the Kingdom wouldn't things change? What are we doing to help bring them into the Kingdom? Are we loving them in?
Why is it that we get upset and protest the removal of prayer from public events as if any law or rule or policy can actually prevent us from praying? Are we invoking our right to pray by actually doing it in the secret place? Why is it so important to lose the microphone for this? Does God hear us any better from the microphone? Is it more important that our prayers be heard by others who can not answer them or by God who can?
Why are we so angry about statues, documents, and pictures of the 10 Commandments being removed from courthouses? Did we forget that God writes his law on our hearts? Isn't that where it truly matters? Does the removal of a cross take away the power of the cross at Calvary? Do those statues, documents, or pictures actually win believers to the Kingdom or is it us ministering to them that wins them?
Why do we hate the business owners (Starbucks, Target, etc) or customers (gay, Muslims, pagan,or any other) that hate us? Is that how we win souls for Christ? Can we not still stand on our beliefs without having to pound others with them? When did we become a church of protesters instead of a church of prayer warriors? Why do we entreat the courts of the world rather than the courts of God? Do we really believe in the power of God to save? If we do then why are we hating on those business owners or customers rather than looking at them as someone to be loved into the kingdom? Why do we feel the need to state any reason why we are doing something or not doing something such as making a wedding cake? Does that share the love of God? Wouldn't the lives of some customers be changed if they were truly loved better by Christian's than anyone else?
Why do we believe the reports of the news, the Internet, and the world rather than the Good News of God? Why do we let the facts drag us down when God tells us to believe the Truth instead. Why not demand those facts to bow to the Truth? Why not stand in faith until we see that happen if we really believe the Good News?
I understand that rights, politics and patriotism are the why behind some of these things but when did the scripture or God Himself tell us that our rights, politics and patriotism are more important than His ways? I'm not suggesting that we neglect these things at all but I am saying that we can not become confused and depend on these things. These things will come and go throughout history but the victory and inheritance that we receive from Christ will always stand. If we truly believe that, then shouldn't our dependence be placed on Him and shouldn't our actions reflect Him?
If God is truly bigger than anything and He lives in our hearts, then wouldn't He show through us?
I must confess that these questions hit me hard. I had to repent and change my thinking because it was definitely off. It is amazing how all those feelings of anger, frustration, and just general grrrrrrrrrrr began to change into peace, love and joy as my thinking changed. It is all about perspective. We can be overcomers looking down at the devil from a Heavenly perspective of "this is won" or we can be victims with the devil's foot on our necks pushing us down. We get to choose which just by what we think.
Taken from http://www.texasdaisey.com/2015/11/an-open-letter-to-christians-everywhere.html
My Response to Debbie: Good for you. Amen. But "why" is because His church is weak. There is a famine in the land, a famine of His Word, preaching, teaching and therefore understanding, knowledge. A famine of conversion too. How many aren't saved in the pews. They believe but they aren't saved. Pitifully sometimes because no one has asked them and they don't know any better. We need Christ preached from His Word not our own programs and agendas. Like I said, good for you. Thank you for your boldness. Keep on good and faithful servant, Diane
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Every day for the past 20 years to the praise of God I have had a quiet time with my Lord and Saviour. I miss some days, forget others but He calls me so quietly and reminds me. He never lays guilt on me only the desire to share myself and my day and my time with Him.
As the seasons of life come and go and change, my times of study do too. For the past little while I have taken to morning prayer times in the dark before dawn and the pitter, patter of not so little feet begins and a time of reading the Bible in the afternoons. I leave my Bible in its Bible bag on the coffee table in the family room. It's a witness to the children that this is a viable option of a book to read and not an old fashioned boring text I reef out of my handbag for Sunday services. It's also a reminder of my commitment to read daily.
Bible study also takes place in groups. Over the years this has been a perfect way to meet people and get to know them so much more and better than on a Sunday morning over a cup of tea and nice small, yet inevitably shallow, talk. At present I am not in a group and I am suffering because of it. That may be a good thing to schedule to begin and commit to weekly for 2016.
You see I can notice when I'm not in a group, sharing and caring, praying and relating to other ladies at all stages of their walk with our Lord.
I know that ... "we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9
As I work out my salvation - not by what I do as in good works, but by how I walk daily before God in communion, relationship with Him because of Christ blood shed for me - I am aware of the continual struggle to put Christ first and to face each temptation and trial in this life day by day trusting in Him alone. Knowing, by faith, the outcome is for my good and that what He allows and plans for me is "well with my soul".
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 1 Corinthians 3:13
Monday, July 27, 2015
We waited for our friends to arrive. The date and time was set. The children had their noses through the blinds watching the street for a car to pull up. The agreed time came and went. Maybe they are running late we thought. We waited faithfully, thinking the best until about one hour later. Maybe they forgot, maybe we got the dates mixed up .... then a car pulled up but only one lady got out and the others stayed in the car.
I couldn't imagine what the story was but I vowed and declared to be grace itself at the front door. My friend was all smiles and happiness with a box of chocolates in her hand. For you she said. I wanted to thank you for all you have done for me (I had been mentoring this dear young mother on parenting a newborn baby, feeding, routines and settling methods). You have changed my life she said. Well, I hadn't, but I knew what she was saying. I was so glad someone was interested in my advice and was willing to glean at my feet. After all, I've been in the salt mines of motherhood for a few years now.
I delicately inquired about our play date but was told, they didn't have time and were on their way out and just wanted to thank me for my helps. Being the person I am, I smiled sweetly, thanked her profusely and closed the door. Then I felt unwanted, rejected. At the same time, I realized is this the way my Lord Jesus Christ feels when I don't spend my agreed quiet time with Him each day? .. . We have a time (around about) and a place - in summer it's the family room, in winter it's the rumpus room or the outside lounge area in the afternoon sun if there is any - and He faithfully meets me there every day. Some days I do forget and some days I'm there but my mind is somewhere else. Perhaps Jesus wants friendship with me too as I wanted with this lady and her lovely children and not simply my good works - the box of chocolates. Do I try to buy Him off with good works and nice thanks yous instead of "me", my heart, my worship, my time? I think sometimes I tell myself that that will do.
Lord, help me to remember it is not my sacrifices you desire but my heart, my time, "me".
And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Yesterday morning I struggled to start the fire as I do every morning around 5.45 a.m. The problem was I didn't have enough kerosene for a fire starter. All morning I nursed the fire along, adding sticks and fanning the embers. It just wouldn't take. The logs were too big to take until the sticks were well alight.
We shivered in the coldest week of winter in these parts. We only have a short winter as it is yet we enjoy our fires and cold season.
I was reminded this is like me when I haven't drawn near to God. I'm cold, hard to get started and weak as opposed to being hot, well lit and providing warmth to the home around me .... my point! The LORD is my source of heat, if I don't put enough time in prayer, reading His Word, digesting His truths then my flame is small, weak and without warmth. May I be on fire for Him, pleasing and giving warmth to all those around me.