Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pride... The barer of anger...

One more quick post for the day. I've posted before on a character quality that I'm trying to improve on in my life. Humility. Well one of the things I have to overcome in order to show humility would be pride and it's products one of which is anger. I never thought of my self of being prideful until I searched for humility in my life. Well for the past several weeks the LORD has been working in me for this goal. For me to be humble though I need to allow myself to be "subdued" to the will of GOD. Well pride doesn't allow you to be subdued, pride resists, pride claims authority. Well I've been doing ok in this, my wife and I are enjoying a more open relationship because of this realization that my wants and will are not meant to be a control over my wifes wants and will. Pride would say "me first" and "who is she to tell me". Humility allows room for her to be what God made her to be, my help meet. Anyway, the guys at the rehab clinic would call this a relapse... There was an incident last week, notice I didn't put this on my blessings post from a couple of hours ago, where pride came rolling back in but in a new way that I wasn't prepared for. It happened Friday afternoon, I got home early and was really tired. I had been working allot of overtime and have been running around trying to get our facility in shape for a semiannual inspection. So when I got home I was really wanting to rest. About every other Friday there is an auction here in town, we like to go usually but I was beat. So I let Jamie go by herself and I was going to "watch" the kids. I say "watch" because I was going to let Gage watch them in his room while I lounged around and rested. Well I never could take a nap but I tried. Chloe, bless her heart, was so excited about taking care of daddy again that she would ask every so often if she could go cook supper. Finally she came out one too many times for this proud man and I got testy with her and she went back to her brothers room, shutting the door behind her... I want to stop here and state that this is where I should have repented but didn't... The door closed with some force but not like she was meaning to. One thing though... It closed soundly on Rissy's finger. The sound of the door closing with the screeching of pain from our lil' one scared me... my first thought was that she lost a finger. PRIDE. I had no control over the situation and it scared me, I was scared angry. I wasn't really mad at Chloe, she didn't know or mean too. I was angry because an authority my pride created in me had been insulted and ignored. Of course I don't have control over that kinda thing, it's not my authority to decide whether or not a child's hand is in a door at that specific time. But my pride said it should be, and it produced an anger in me that scared my children to tears. This isn't all bad though, while I may have failed in how I responded to that situation, I immediately sought forgiveness from my children individually, told them where daddy failed and that it wasn't their fault. A few months ago my pride would have claimed my angry outburst as a victory and moved on. Growing into the Image of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-15

I could do this more often!

I haven't got to do this with the lil' one for months and months. This is me and "Rissy". She's such a prissy momma's girl and rarely wants to snuggle with daddy. She's going to be a girly girl, which is great, but I thank God for flu's and pink eye. Poor Rissy roo got pink eye over the weekend. This is day two. She just wasn't feeling good and wanted rescued.... In comes Daddy The Rescuerer! Some things take a momma's touch and some things take the comfort of a pappa. Praise GOD this took a pappa! We were laying on the couch in front of the fire cozy as can be. Side note, two full days and a night is all it took for her to get over the pink eye. We used an herbal rinse to clean her eyes, and applied warm tea bags to help sooth and cleanse.

Living Witness!

I received several great blessings over the past couple of weeks, obviously posting wasn't one of them... sorry about that. I've been really busy lately and it doesn't look like it'll lighten up anytime soon. I'll probably be working late for the next five or six days which I dread because of how it gets dark so soon now. Anyway back to the blessings, I'll leave tomorrow to take care of itself, first I had the opportunity to talk with a loved one about the hope that is in me, I was also able to attempt to answer a few questions. Pray for the LORD to answer them all. My wife posted on that a little better, but the LORD did answer a burden my wife and I had for them.
Another one was at work. I've been working with the clients closely now for about 2 months I guess. It's been a great opportunity, I've had chances to witness and have been able to give council from a biblical perspective rather than a humanistic perspective. Best of all I had conformation of a work that Christ has been preforming in my own life. I've built relationships over the past couple of months, or a report, whatever you call it I get along with lots of the clients. They'll come to me with their problems or just to talk. The clients at the rehab center I work with are more than just worldly, they range from kids who "play" with the occult to gang bangers to homosexuals. Some of these guys would rob you on the outside. So suffice to say they have a skewed moral value system. One thing they do that really gets me though is dirty foul talk. Not just cussing but perverted talk. I haven't really noticed it but I guess over the past few weeks working with these guys I have built up a reputation, one of which they far anyway. So this thursday I took a few clients out to eat for helping me prepare for an inspection. There was three of them, all three I had built a relationship with. At the resaraunt I noticed that one of the clients was looking at the waitress in a lustful way. As humbly as I could I asked him to not do that around me. He responded saying "yeah, sorry, you're always telling me that, I shoulda known", then the others started talking about how at one time or another I "pulled them up" about something of that nature. I never really payed attention I guess. Anyway that opened a door of uttereance that I could not shut if I wanted to, they had question after question. All I could do was point them to Christ. All this because of something the LORD has been working in my life on, when Christ gives the victory he brings the spoils as well. This is the fruit of his working in my heart. I was excited about this anyway, I know it might seem small but for me it's huge. I too was once like them, wrapped up in many of the same life styles and sins, with out Christ. For these guys to seek out what is in me is amazing. Pray for the harvest.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cracked Jar of Honey!

Our church recently had evangelist John Bishop preach a youth conference and a 3 day revival meeting. We weren't able to make but one full day of it due to my work schedule but the day we did make was very refreshing. Bro. Bishop suffered from meningitis years ago that took out all of his memory, he pastored a church for 15 years and can only remember the 2 years following his illness. I don't know his complete life history, but I do know that he had to relearn everything, how to talk walk eat. He didn't even know who his wife was anymore. When we met him two years ago he couldn't speak very well due to the illness, suffered seizures, suffered from random cluster migraines that are so painful that doctors have to ask you by law whether or not you have thought about suicide. Well about a year ago those migraines took his site from him, he can now only see outta one eye with the aid of something that resembles a jewelers monocular. The first testimony we got to hear from him about the blindness is that now he speaks clearly, and he does. He says that God took his sight so that he wouldn't sound like a dumby anymore. He gave testimony after testimony of how the LORD has used his blindness to witness to others, he says that people are more receptive to him now because he's blind. He made one comment that I love, and that I think ties into an early post I made and one that a friend of mine made on his blog.

Bro. Bishop's comment went something like this, when my sight went out my ears stepped up and said hey the body is in need, now I can hear better than I ever could, my nose stepped up and now it's more sensitive than ever I can smell things better, I taste better and my touch is more sensitive. One member was in need and the rest of the body stepped up."

What a great picture of what the church should be and what a great picture of a humble heart. Gracious in trials to still praise God through it all. A friend of mine from Church said this about him, "he is like a broken jar of honey" once the vessel was broken the sweet goodness of Christ in him just flowed out. AMEN!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Field trip to get school supplies.

Today we took a 2 hour trip to the local Amish and Mennonite community. It was fun, I like seeing everyone working so hard on my day off plus, honestly, they live an intriguing lifestyle. A couple years back I took my wife to Lancaster Pa. for our anniversary, we spent a weekend there just site seeing and shopping around. The reason we drove 2 hours wasn't just to drive around and watch men harvest their corn, this particular community has a little book store about 2 or 3 miles outta town. It's run out of a large machine shed at an Amish families homestead. They carry a huge variety of home school curriculum and christian literature that sadly you can't find in any mainstream christian bookstore. After driving for 2 hours, stopping to eat lunch at Yoder's, we headed out to the book shop.... the entire road, for at least a mile including a bridge right before their house, was closed. We drove all through the country looking for a way around the construction. Finally we stopped at one of the road blocks and I walked about a hundred yards and stopped a guy on a steam roller to see how to get to that shop. He said as long as we stayed on the shoulder and didn't touch the new asphalt they were laying we could drive on down there..... I should have taken a picture of that shoulder. Huge ditch, steep, with a 6 foot shoulder and we're in a 15 passenger. ::sigh:: Praise God that he made us men so stubburn. I figured if I drove 2 hours just for this book store we'd drive through the corn field to get there if we had to. Well it didn't come to that but that would have been fun, instead we drove past the baracades on one end of the construction (the end where they were building the bridge) and parked our big ol' van behind their earth movers. We had to walk quite a ways and cross a plywood bridge down in a gully but it was worth it. I won!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Another Year Older!

Both of my boys will be turning a year older this weekend. Well Gage is 8 today and Hunter will be 3 Monday, so for me that is my weekend. It was a busy day, I was able to have today off work, I usually work Tuesday thru Saturday. We got up went to a soccer game, came home split a ton of wood. (I'll take this time for a little aside, Chloe did an amazing job helping split wood today, she emptied an entire trailer load of unsplit wood by her self! Mamma in training nothing she's gonna make a fine wife too!) Gage got a B-B gun from grandpa, his first, and spent every bit of free time he could come up with shooting at soda cans and pinned up papers. We had a cook out with grandma and grandpa too, bratwarst mmmm..... I got Gage a head lamp, I have one and he just loved it plus I figure it'll help him getting wood for mommy on cold nights, chasing cats from the chicken pin with his B-B gun after sunset, and finding his way to the bathroom down dark hallways! All Hunter can think of these days are dirt bikes, he loves em', you give him some toy trucks, tractors, and a toy dirt bike and his imagination runs away with him. We ended the night with ice cream cake.
They had fun today, and so did I but wow, really Gage is 8 today.... and Hunter is going to be 3. How precious and fleeting the time is. I still feel so young but my kids are getting so big. Train up a child while his is young sounded challenging when they were babes and it seemed like they would be young forever, now it seems like I may wake up and find that they are all grown up. LORD I pray for wisdom for these days are short and few.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What's your vision of a Church?

I have been kicking around some thoughts I've been having about the format of today's church. I don't know if it's the whole "the grass is greener on the other side" kinda thing, but I've heard testimonies and visited other formats of churches that seem to have something that our modern form of church doesn't. I'm still in the information gathering stage of this scientific method. But one thing I do believe is that the traditional conservative church today has lost the "body" mentality, it's more like a "machine" mentality and instead of "members" its' "cogs". We're only valuable when we fulfill a job function, and everything the church does is centered around grooming us for a position in the machine. Whereas a "body" would nurture a "member" to be fit for the kingdom, whole, holy, useful, a vessel of honour, and loved. See there is a difference between nurture and grooming. I've sat under fundamental preaching my entire saved life, and will continue too, but one thing that our churches lack is actual discipleship, and when you have fundamental preaching (hard preaching on truth) to a crowd of hearers of the word what you get is a congregation of really good actors. We know all the right things to do, how to look like a good baptist and how to act like a good christian, but it's all in theory and not in practice. Kind of like when I went to HVAC school, in class we learned all about air conditioners, I could name every part and what it did and how it worked.... The first time I actually worked on one I felt like I was exposed for a total fraud. I was an hvac technician, I had the hvac technician knowledge, but I was never shown how it worked. I didn't need coddled but I did need mentored or apprenticed. Well I'm a born again christian, I've sat under biblical teaching for four years, but it seems like I've just caught the vision of what our lives as believers are supposed to be about. I don't know maybe it's because of my youth or the because of the late start I had, being saved only a few years ago, or that maybe having received blessings from the LORD (four going on five) and the responsibilities he gave me with them has made me mature. It seems to me that this kind of vision for family, home, spiritual life, walk with the Saviour would be passed on from believer to believer. Think about it, it's not that weird and don't get me wrong I don't think we should do all the leg work for someone, if they are tares nothing will convict them of that better than constant intense exposure to the light. I talked to a man I respect about this and he liked my vision but had no idea how to do that in today's church.
I think a church needs to be discipleship centered. If you have a church full of thoroughly discipled believers on fire for the LORD they will be able to do more for the Kingdom of God than a hundred churches full of "new recruits". The same zeal is there but many are weak in the faith and soon get discouraged. I know.
I think a church should be interactive, not just a few hundred people sitting in a pew looking towards a preacher for an hour and a half then leaving. There needs to be accountability and fellowship, probably more of accountability than anything.
I think a church should be family oriented, not family friendly, and definitely not business oriented. We shouldn't look at people who walk through the church doors as a potential work force but as fellow laborers. I think a Church should be good stewards but I don't think they should be after financial gain.
I believe that a church should stand firm on the word of God as it's only source of guidance. Not conventions or committees. I believe that Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life and that he is sweet enough to attract the lost sinner, we do not need gimmicks to bring crowds.
Please share what your vision for a church would be.

Editors Note: 10-12-2008
Here is a link to a post in response to this post. Very well put! CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mamma in training.....

Well, it took a few days but they finally got me sick too. My kids spread their stomach flu all around the family, they got grandma & grandpa, they got mommy, I thought I was going to make it through but it's not looking good. I wouldn't say I'm full blown sick right now but I feel it coming. I got home from work and had to lay down, I couldn't help with anything. Everytime I move I feel like I may hurl. Oh yeah, I'm getting graphic. Anyway, Jamie had to take Gage to soccer practice and that left me with Chloe Clarissa and Hunter. Chloe was in fine form I might say, she cooked supper, cleaned up, brought me the baby, and tried to keep things organized. She's five by the way. I loved it. I gotta go now though, sitting up typing is making me feel sick.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Arrows in the hands of a mighty man....

Ok so he's not quite mighty, and he's just a man in training right now, but this is a picture of my oldest son, Gage. I see so much good in this boy, so much hope. He is my strong brave child, he's always in thought, serious, and full of joy. Obviously I didn't view my own childhood with the eyes I have now, but looking back I don't remember any of the things I see in him in my life as a boy. I give God all the praise for that. Jamie and I are first generation Christians, for the most part, and if you spent a day with us you would know that easy. We've made a lot of mistakes and a lot of them may hinder us the rest of our lives. A man that has never tasted alcohol will not have the same temptations as a former drunk, a man who has remained pure from his youth, saving himself for his wife, will not have the same scars as an impure man. We have set in our hearts to raise up a generation that loves the LORD. Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. We are claiming that promise for our kids, we may make mistakes along the way but vision is there. I read Gods word and see all of his promises for my children and I want them all, then I look at my life and my experience and wonder how. With man it's impossible, but with God... Psa 127:1 "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." I can't do anything to deserve GOD's favour on my children, I can't twist his arm and say there LORD, I trained my children out of your word, now they better not wonder... No, if the LORD is not in it then it's my strength trying to do GOD's work. Here's a picture for you, my father in-law works for the railroad. He's works with those iron rails and those great big wooden railroad ties, he does real heavy labour. His strength has been built by the work he does, if I were to try and use my strength to do that I would fail.. and have. Have you ever lifted one of those railroad ties. They are heavy. I had a couple here in my yard, I had to cut one in half with a chainsaw just to move it, my father in law carries them on his shoulder...
Psa 127:2 "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep." It is vain for me to worry and struggle to try and get GOD's work done, if I am faithful and ask he will give. Boy that's a tough one for me though, I like to get things done, and I don't like the thought of not knowing what the out come will be.
Psa 127:3 "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."
But my children are an inheritance from GOD, something that he has left for me. That means that they are precious to him and worthy to given. GOD wouldn't pass on no cheap dollar store nic nac for an inheritance to his children, no, children are priceless to GOD. Remember what Christ said about offending them, Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. I'm not sure what the offence would be but if he's talking about just letting them come sit around him in this passage as the offence.... how worse are we. That's a pretty heavy punishment for offending a little one. They are indeed precious to GOD and he has intrusted them to us, he will show himself strong through our weakness.
Psa 127:4 "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth." Gage, and all my children will be able to go farther than I ever will, they will have a headstart on there mom and dad, by 20 odd years. Like an arrow shot from a bow, it travel beyound the archer. My children will be able to go beyound my reach and accomplish what I couldn't, and what I didn't even dream of.
Psa 127:5 "Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." Even in the few short years we've been living for the LORD, we've seen his mighty hand at work in our lives and in our childrens lives. I don't take that lightly. When my oldest son will go up to a young boy and boldly ask "do you know JESUS?" and my daughter ask her grandpa, "are you saved?" When they hear people speak lies or misunderstandings about what they know to be true of GOD and his word, and come to me and say "daddy, that's wicked", sure they're young yet and may not know all the right ways and words, but they have a heart for truth. 3Jo 1:4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." I believe with all my heart that when the day comes, and the LORD puts a HOLY SPIRIT conviction on my children, that it will be so simple for them. The desire for truth is already there, and no truth is greater that Jesus' love for them.

Friday, October 3, 2008

They're all sick!

I've been working doubles every Tuesday and Thursday now for about a month and I'm scheduled for another month of it. When I work a double I get home about midnight or a little after. Well with all this work I've been getting kinda haughty, thinking wow that's alot of work that I'm doing, I'm really pushing my self. Well, Last night I got home, Jamie (my wife) was up waiting for me. We talked about our day, I got on the web to check some blogs and my emails, she made me a snack, then about 12:45 my oldest daughter woke up and threw up.... on her bed.... then on the floor.... As Jamie was working with her my youngest daughter wakes up and vomits in her crib... so I pick her up and clean her up.... Ughh. Anyway I had to be into work early this morning and it was already past 1a.m. I had to be up at 6a.m. so my gracious wife allowed me to go to sleep as she bravely took on my two sick baby girls. Well I guess sometime in the middle of the night my oldest son woke up and started in, Jamie didn't get to sleep until 4:30, was up with me at 6, laid back down at 7 and napped till 9 then has been running every since. She had three sick kids all day, canned apples, made apple butter, and kept house while still having energy to greet me with a sweet spirit when I got home. I tell you what I could work a double every day of the week and still not put as much energy into a day as her. When people ask what my wife does for a living I say "well she's a stay at home wife" they always say "oh well that would be nice", you know kind of in a condesending way. But then I just tell them, well we have four kids and one on the way, she homeschools them, cooks three meals a day, keeps a clean house, takes care of our chickens, and on and on and on.... She works harder than anyone that I've ever worked with. To the world that may not seem worth it, you know, what does she get in return, well she is a mamma, a keeper at home, more valueable than rubies, a gift from God to her household, and in a God ordained position as the woman of our home. Her treasures are laid up in heaven, and no salary of man could touch her reward. I praise God for my wife! :)