Saturday, July 31, 2010

The first shall be last...

"...that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.  For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? nos if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" ~1 Corinthians 4:6-7
Having come across this passage today, I felt drawn to it.  A couple of weeks ago, Jamie told me that when I start talking about freedom and this country, I am so passionate and seemingly self-righteous that it leaves no desire for anyone to question me.  Ouch!  I don't like confrontation or criticism and so I wonder if that is why I can be so hard on this subject.  This is hilarious since the things I stand so solidly on (the cross, conservativism, Biblical role of women) are deeply offensive to many and commonly come under sharp criticism.  I guess God likes keeping us out of our comfort zone where we can be stretched.  Also, I was reading one of my new fave blogs and she stated this:
"We are journeying together in this thing we call life. If I have ever appeared to have it all together - I apologize - because I am a very flawed sinner saved by grace. Nothing more."  (Women Living Well)
Truthfully, that is the story for all of us.   I, too, apologize if I have come across like I am totally with it.  I TOTALLY AM NOT.  Spend five minutes with me and you'll quickly see that I get irritated with my kids, am at times indifferent to my husband, have an incredibly critical attitude, can't keep my house clean, and really have to work hard to understand politics.  (Did I mention that I failed and dropped out of poli-sci in college?)   Yeah, those are just the first faults that come to mind.  I can list hundreds of others.

In a culture where media surrounds us with Lindsay Lohan, Obama, Angelina Jolie, and even widely-known Christians, we can easily think highly of these who gain so much attention in the world.  But, really, we all are the same.  It is God who raises one up and sets one low.  And remember "the first shall be last and the last shall be first" in eternity (Matthew 20:16).  You are no less special than anyone else.  "Then Peter opened his mouth , and said, 'Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.'" (Acts 10:34)

Mostly, I just wanted to apologize for any puffed-up attitude I have had in my writings.  I know there have been some.
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong.  Because someday in life you will have been all of these." -George Washington
With much love in Jesus,

p.s. Enjoy this dance that parallels this theme.  I can't embed it at this time so you will have to click on the link: Mad World

In every century, on every continent, warriors such as these (unknown God-fearing men great in the kingdom of God) are the ones who press forward the kingdom of God.  They lay aside the distractions of life to do exploits in the spiritual realm.  Whether or not they become famous on earth is beside the point.  They are heroes and heroines nonetheless.  (Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, p. 177)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Daniel's paintings on your wall...

Please consider my friend's stunning artwork and read his note below.  Let me know by commenting at the bottom of this post, if you would like to purchase his artwork and I will assist in getting you in contact with him.  He and his wife are missionaries in the Ukraine.  They are visiting in the States for a while.  Please contact me soon if you want one of these.  It is much easier for him to get it to you on this side of the planet.

As Janette and I return to the States every year and a half or so, its been a tradition to bring some artwork home for sale. Several people have asked if I will be bringing some home this year. I will be, here are some examples of some new paintings I will be selling as well as some others from the past. Please let us know if you are interested in purchasing one, while we are in the States. Thank you and God Bless you.

Most of the paintings are 11x14 although some are 16x20. The prices vary per painting per person. I say this, because I sell them in a very non traditional way. Because most of my artwork has the Word of God in it, I cannot reconcile putting a price on it, thus, for the last 7 years of selling my artwork, I leave the price up to the buyer. Many people are shocked and uncomfortable with this, but as believers, God knows our needs and are means. And until now, I just ask people to pray and the price that God puts on their hearts is the price that it is meant to be for. On the other hand, if I sell a painting that does not have scripture in it, I might put a price to it. But, God has always met our needs with this mindset.  It will take me about two weeks to get them framed. For Janette and I, we see it like this: to have the word of God on a person's wall is such an awesome thing, and if someone looks at the picture and their heart is turned toward God, that is what is most important. For people that don't know us, this may just throw them for a loop, but I will share with you this one thing that has been to me a big blessing. One year, while I was in town, I was selling some paintings. They were prints. Both framed- identical. One person paid me $25 because that is what they could afford and that is what God put on their hearts, the next person for the same picture gave me $200 because that is what God put on their hearts. To us, it is also a support to our ministry here and God knows each of our lives. And such a wide difference, but to me, it didn't signify that the person that payed $25 was any less spiritual or whatnot, but it was like the widow's mite. It blessed us so much because we were able to bless others with the word of God in an act of worship artistically. As you dance before the Lord, I paint. Both are acts of worship and if it causes others to worship too- the goal has been attained. God gets the glory!
Grace and peace to you and I look forward to hearing from you.
God bless you
Daniel & Janette

"Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

Pray for the USA, week of July 31

Every week, I put together a list of things that need attention to present to my church.  I will start sharing it here.


Obamacare covers abortion.  

"The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for an amendment to ObamaCare to ban funding abortion.  But the final bill stripped that amendment and was passed on a promise from Pres. Obama that he would sign an executive order banning abortion funding... Another empty promise from Obama.
"Pres. Obama and Secretary Sebelius need to make this right and pass regulations ensuring our tax dollars do not pay for killing innocent children and harming women.  Congress should also learn from this fiasco that ObamaCare has nasty surprises in it and repeal the whole thing." (Wendy Wright, CWA President)


  • PRAY!!!

Elena Kagan, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. 

The full Senate vote is next and expected to be complete by the August Summer recess…maybe even this week.
There is great concern over Kagan’s commitment to the Constitution among other things.


  • Contact your senators and urge them to oppose Kagan’s nomination.  This is urgent.  Please act ASAP.

Parental Rights Amendment; SR519

As of Monday, only 4 more Senators are needed to co-sponsor SR519.  4 were gained over the weekend, and 1 this week.  Keep praying!


  • Spread the word.  Tell everyone you know to sign the Parental Rights petition and to contact their senators.
  • Contact your (and other state’s) senators and urge them to co-sponsor SR519, the Parental Rights Amendment.
ABOVE ALL...Please pray. God can move mountains and can turn the hearts of kings (or whoever the case may be) like a river.  Don’t forget to pray for their salvation as well.  We must have compassionate and loving hearts.

UPDATE:  The DISCLOSE Act – H.R. 5175

The DISCLOSE Act was designed to stifle Americans’ legitimate right to political speech, increasing bureaucratic regulations, which would punish small business owners and grassroots groups, and placing onerous regulations on campaign activity, which will all but eliminate grassroots advocacy.  According to some Republicans, it was designed to rig the November election to favor Democrats because it doesn’t allow the Democrats plummeting polls to be reported.
The DISCLOSE Act stalled on the Senate floor Tuesday as Democrats failed to overcome a Republican filibuster of the bill.  Needing 60 votes to kill the filibuster, Democrats fell three votes short (57-41).

PRAISE GOD!!!  Senate Republicans stopped it on Tuesday.

Information courtesy of:,,, Gun Owners of America, Fox News

egg donation, the truth

information from Concerned Women for America

Washington, D.C. — A new documentary, “Eggsploitation,” just released by The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBCN) reveals shocking secrets of the infertility industry.  The documentary exposes the “deceptive advertising, large monetary incentives and appeals to altruism” that are used by the infertility industry to entice college women to engage in human egg donation, a practice that the CBCN claims exploits them and puts them at “considerable” health risk.  While the documentary is available now, its official debut will be August 9 at The Little Theatre in Rochester, N.Y. 

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Beverly LaHaye Institute, applauds CBCN for exposing the infertility industry’s blatant exploitation of women.  She said, “Today’s college coeds are told that the procedure is safe, when the reality is decidedly unsafe.  No young woman should be used in procedures that jeopardize her own fertility — indeed her own life — in order to line the pockets of those who promote the infertility industry’s human egg trade.”

The Eggsploitation documentary spotlights three women who went through the egg donation process — including high doses of fertility drugs and egg retrieval surgery.  The young women’s stories, according to CBCN, are a “wake-up call” for those who are unaware of the complications that can result from the “highly unregulated, multi-billion-dollar” infertility industry.  All three of the women in the documentary nearly died from the “complications associated with their egg donation.”  One suffered a stroke that left her brain damaged; another developed breast cancer, and the other developed a health problem associated with ovarian hyper-stimulation. 

Crouse continued, “The human egg donation industry is shameless in claiming safety for the procedure as they solicit young college women through appeals to their vanity, claiming that the girls’ attractiveness, IQ, or genetic traits warrant a high payment for participation in what they call a ‘humanitarian’ act.  CWA appeals to the public to protect the nation’s young women from such exploitation.”

For further information, visit

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Love of God

I love this stanza...

Could we with ink the oceans fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Completing him

I just discovered a wonderful blog: Women Living Well.  She is doing a challenge this summer, titled "Completing Him."  Even though I am late in starting this challenge, I am going forward with it anyway.  Check it out and bless your husband.  Click here for the link.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Letters From Rifka

"The ocean is so big; everywhere you look in every direction swells this dark, billowing water.  It rises and falls as if it were breathing, and the ship skates over the surface."
"The seas, which had seemed so gentle yesterday, rose like hungry beasts, mouths open, hovering and crashing over the sides of the ship."  ~Letters From Rifka, by Karen Hesse

I was reading this to the boys at dinner tonight and it reminded me of my time dancing for cruise lines... the first excerpt more than the 2nd, but I love how Karen Hesse describes the two personalities of the ocean.  In fact, the first one, we read three times..."the ship skates over the surface."
This is a wonderful account of a girl's struggle to escape from Russia to find freedom in America.  The boys hungered for each chapter and  we enjoyed living the adventure through the story.  A great story about the risks and challenges of immigrating to America in hope and expectation of freedom and opportunity.
"As I was finishing this letter a cry went up from the deck. When I went out to see what it was, I found all the passengers gathered on one side of the ship, looking up.  They were looking at Miss Liberty, Tovah, the great statue of a woman standing in the middle of the harbor.  She was lifting a lamp to light the way for us."

Yes, this is where we live.  And where many have found their bliss...though their journey was immersed in challenges.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jamie is back to work!

Great news!  Jamie got approval from his doctor on Tuesday to return to work.
He spent some time at the range yesterday and he's still a good shot!  Today is his first day on the y'all better slow down.  The CHP force in Borrego just doubled.
Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Siley had a birthday! ...and the events of the past week

5 years old.  And he keeps telling me that in another 5, he'll be 10.  We were counting down the days til his birthday and now he is asking me how many days there are until Christmas.  I don't want to count that high.  ;)

My sister flew in last Saturday night at 11:30 pm.  After the long trek back to Borrego, we were all finally in bed by 3:30am.  I had to be at church by 8am, so it was more like a nap. And this is how the week began and continued.  Si's birthday party was after church.  We planned a late afternoon/evening party since it's over 100 degrees consistently now.  Silas chose the menu: hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, cake, apple pie, and vanilla ice cream.  The pool got good use. And even I got into the pool.  One wrong step, and splash! in I went. Dress, corn on the cob, and all!  I am always good for some serious entertainment and, yet again, I did not disappoint.  I entertain even when I am not trying to.  Si's friends were here and we had a good time.  Tobi (my sister) decorated his battle-scene cake and it was very cool.  At the end of the day, he had a good stock of weapons--bow and arrow (rubber tipped-don't be afraid), wooden sword, and sling shot; stilts (yes, you read that correctly...thank you, Anne!  You are so creative!), great books, tether ball and all things a boy could want. We beat on the pinata for a while and sugared everyone up and sent them home. Good times!  (Pics above are: Si behind his cake ready for an ambush; my dear friends, Anne, Marian, and Diana; B's band-aided toes rubbed raw on the bottom of the pool. ouchy!; Jamie cooking it if it wasn't hot enough.) (Pics below: Brianna, cute as can be; Si's cake designed by Tobi)

Silas is...well...I think the card my dad & Linda sent him sums it all up: "Happy Birthday to a Grandson who's smart, handsome, fun, kind, loving, determined, brilliant, sweet, sensitive, strong, and all together wonderful!"  Yes, he is all of those things.  What a blessing he is to us!  So thankful Brandon wasn't an only child like I had originally thought I wanted.  God knows best.

We had a late night on Monday resting in the spa and searching through the night skies with the telescope, Tuesday night at the Yogurt Mill in El Cajon where my sister, Tanya, joined us (she was out for Si's bday too.  she is so precious!), we hit Sea World Wednesday with the Paxton's (my sister's fam), and tagged along to her reunion at Indian Hills Camp where Jamie and I tried out the zipline.  Woohoo!  What fun that was!  Indian Hills is a wonderful Christian camp in Jamul, CA.  I worked there through high school and treasure my memories of that place.  God is doing an awesome work next summer, children will camp for free at IHC!!!  Isn't that so exciting?!  The board has been wanting to reach out to inner-city and under-priveleged kids and they are finally doing it!  Check out their website here: (Below: Tanya & Carter; Richard & Carter: Grandpa Rich & Lucas)

We also had a busy week of VBS last week.  I help with the motions for the songs and I LOVE IT!!!!  It is totally one of my very favorite things to do EVER!  (to the left: Brandon, Si, and Lucas waiting in line for the water slide at VBS.)

Jamie and I headed up to Orange County on Saturday evening to attend my prayer partner, Kari's, surprise 40th birthday party.  It was wonderful seeing her and meeting her family.  Finally putting faces to all the names we have been praying for these past few years.  And I also was able to see quite a few familiar faces from my Calvary Costa Mesa days, so that was really special.

There is a girl at church named Aurora.  She sat next to Milo yesterday during the service.  He gets emotional during worship as he is missing Joyce so much,and Aurora was so precious.  She patted his shoulder and stayed close to him.  What a princess!  I cry every time I think about her sweetness.  I know it must have been such a comfort and blessing to Milo.

Totally unrelated--I met Congressman Darryl Issa last week at the Julian 4th of July Parade, and hugged him big for his perseverance to seek out the truth in this current corrupt administration.  Yes, I know I am a freak of nature.

Jamie goes to the doctor tomorrow where he will find out if he gets to go back to work.  We are praying that this time of surgery and healing is over.  It has been more than 8 months.  We have really enjoyed having daddy home, but I know he is wanting to carry his weight at work and not be a burden to the other guys.  So, please pray that he gets to return.  Thank you.

The B-I-B-L-E, yes that's the book for me!

"In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, [if we remove the Bible from schools] I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and stake so little pains to prevent them." ~Benjamin Rush, "The Father of the Public Schools under the Constitution"
This quote really struck me the other day when I read it as I considered: 1. how different our society would be if we continued to teach the precepts of the Bible for the benefit of man's conscience and thus a minimal crime rate, as well as the avoidance of millions of tax dollars wasted on the imprisonment and rehabilitation of these immoral criminals only to have them offend again; and 2. the responsibility we, as parents, have to teach our children the truths, morality, and character of scripture.  As nice as it would be to have this taught in the public school system and therefore countering the the immorality we now face as a culture (or avoiding it altogether had the Bible never been stripped as a school textbook), it is ultimately the parents' responsibility to teach their children.  How many Christians have their children enrolled in the public school system and never supplement their education with God's word?  We can't allow our minds to be wholly influenced by others, especially when scripture is totally absent.  You are responsible, mom and dad, if you don't teach them, who will?

I hope I am not coming across preachy or self-righteous.  I know that you may have no other choice but to have your children in public school and some are even called to public school.  So, please, don't feel attacked.  I love you and wish the very best for you.  Please, though, as you send your children to their respective schools, please spend the time at home to teach them the Bible.  We mustn't depend on the one hour at church on Sunday or the 2 hours at youth group.  These things are both great, but it is mom and dad's responsibility to guide your children into truth.
"But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart that you may do it.  See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.  But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them.  I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.  I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." ~Deuteronomy 30:14-20
"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." ~Matt. 6:33.  If we put God first, then everything else will fall into place.  Moses brought down 10 commandments from the mountain, but Jesus summed it up in 2.  1. Love God, 2. Love your neighbor as yourself.  Sometimes, focusing on one thing automatically encompasses a multitude of other things.  If we focus on teaching our children scripture, then they will gain character, morality, wisdom, knowledge...  The Bible encompasses all.
"For nearly half a century, I have anxiously and critically studied the Bible and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new.  Were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive- both to the wise and the ignorant.  Were you to ask me for one book affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the enquiring mind, I would still say the Bible.  And should you ask again about the best philosophy, or the most interesting history, I would still urge you to look into your Bible.  I would make it, in short, the alpha and omega of knowledge." ~Elias Boudinot
Know your Bible, Mommy and Daddy.  It is wholly satisfying for you and will be a treasure for your children.  And as we, individually, teach morality and character to ourselves and those we influence, we can change the course of this nation.
A wonderful mentor mom and servant to Jesus, Sally Clarkson, that I love to glean from often says, "In the absence of Biblical conviction, people will go the way of culture."  We can make this change.  Reagan said, "All great change in America begins at the dinner table."  So, what will your dinner conversation be tonight?

Tonight, we are planning to share with the boys the story of Saul's conversion.  When Saul was persecuting Christians, he was really persecuting Jesus.  What an interesting concept for the little ones to understand.  What is a goad?  Saul was blind for three days...that's the same amount of time Jesus was in the tomb before he arose!  Do you think Ananias was afraid to go see Saul?  What is baptism and is your child interested in making that decision?  Saul had a major turn around: Instead of killing Christians (share about the death of Stephen), he was now serving and defending them (and Jesus).

Love you, sweet moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas.  Run your race well so that in the end, Jesus will say to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your Lord." ~Matt. 25:23

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

press toward the goal of the upward call...

"I think also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of youth, than from the exhortations of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented [in youth] than cured [in adults].  I think, moreover, that the talents for the education of youth are the gift of God; and that he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for the use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven..."  (from the "American Enlightenment")

Moms, guess what?  You have a gift from God to teach your children.  You have a calling from heaven.  If you are a mom, you are a teacher...even if you don't home school.  What great purpose! 

I never would have dreamed in a million years that I would be a teacher.  But, it is absolutely my calling as a mom.  A perfect fit for me and my children.

"My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment." ~James 3:1
Makes you want to be a teacher, huh?  It is a great calling and a great responsibility.  To raise our children in wisdom, character, and knowledge.  But, not only that, we must also be people of wisdom, character, and knowledge.  Ouch!  Thank goodness His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

Let me also address those teachers and others who influence little children to turn away from the Lord, or to be contrary to the things of God...
"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." ~Matthew 18:6

Teachers, Moms,  we have a great duty to teach our children the truth.  Really, this is so easy to do.  Seek God's word.  Seek true history.  And share what you know with your children.  They will love it.  We were watching the history channel on the 4th of July. The boys loved it!  Haha!  Until a year ago, even I would not have enjoyed the history channel in the least.  But, I have learned to love history and have shared it with my boys, and now they love it too!  If you are enthusiastic about what you share with your children, they will be enthusiastic about it too!  

We have been reading the Miller's books.  These are wonderful books about the truth of God's word, character, etc.  The boys ask for the stories because they enjoy them so much.  The life lessons are such treasures.

Educating out-of-the-box, or really without-a-box, has been the perfect fit for my family. I am a girl who doesn't like to be told what to do, so the rebel in me loves creating my own "curriculum" for my children.  I love it!  I have a tendency to become over-scheduled and rigid, and thus stressed out, so I avoid it altogether by starting off in a relaxed manner.  I, inevitably, will bring the pressure on myself, so I try to avoid it at all costs and in any way I can.  By not having to keep up with a curriculum, I know I am sparing myself of unnecessary pressures, time constraints, and limitations.  No offense to those of you who adhere to a specified curriculum.  I understand that we all have differing personalities, needs, and ways to go about things.  And some really thrive on structure.  There is nothing wrong with this.  Thank God He provides such diverse, and multiple ways to educate our children.  But for me, doing it my way makes me happy.  (Can you see my satisfied smile?)  
I remember in high school, there was a new program called AVID.  My geometry teacher was also the AVID teacher and he insisted we take notes a certain way and keep our notebooks just so.  It drove me crazy!  I love my organized choas!  Don't try to change me! ;)  I told you, I am a rebel at heart.  
Since I have the tendency to do things unconventionally, it gives me freedom to go wherever the Lord leads with our schooling.  If the boys are interested in a particular subject, off we go!  It is so fantastic to capitalize on where my boys are at that very moment and to steer our education in that direction.
Silas was the youngest and the first to share his memory verse (Ephesians 6:10-20...11 verses to be exact) at our home school group last year.  I am not saying this to pat myself on the back, I just wanted to bring up an interesting and easy way to memorize scripture.  I had read something by Charlotte Mason that to memorize scripture, all one had to do was just read it aloud once a day.  So, that's what I did.  Every morning at breakfast, I read Ephesians 6:10-20 to the boys.  They knew it in no time did I!  Try it.  It's so easy!
I capitalize on mealtimes.  My boys eat VERY SLOWLY and it drives me nuts to be on their case about finishing their food, not playing around at the table, etc.  So, I use this time for school.  We read and learn during these times.  It keeps the boys focused on their food and the lesson, keeps them from getting into trouble, and I get to keep my sanity.  When breakfast is over, they get some playtime and sometimes I will squeeze in any work that requires pencil to paper and then they are back to playing.  This works for us.  I know it isn't right for everyone and it may even change for us as the boys grow, but for now, it's our thing.  The boys are reading, they are familiar with many stories from the Bible, we have conquered math basics, Revolutionary War history, touched on the Civil War and World War II, studied the solar system and other aspects of our universe, learned about the science of what makes an airplane fly, and on and on.  Life is school.  Life is education and children hunger for it.  All we have to do is engage them, answer their questions, and make the most of the opportunities presented to us.

So, Mom, you are doing well.  Relax.  Enjoy. Don't let the pressures of culture get you down or tell you that your children aren't good enough or doing enough.  Don't discount the value of character.  That is far more important than language arts and math.  Take the time.  I say this for myself, too, as I can easily get caught up in the pressures of worldly expectations.
"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 3:12-14

It is ok that I am imperfect and flawed.  "For when I am weak, then I am strong."  And I can always shift gears for a better and new way!  "Looking unto Jesus." (Hebrews 12:1-3)  He's at the finish line!  Can you see Him?  He is smiling at you and cheering you on!

Blah, blah, blah....

Oh, Lord, help me get out of political mode and into fulfilling mom mode.

I was reading Sally's latest blog post today about rest. (Be sure to read the post preceding this one as well.)  How she speaks to my heart!  And helps me keep my attitude in check.

We are camping again this week.  It is beautiful in Julian.  Though, Borrego has been difficult to leave.  The mornings and evenings are still lovely and cool.  I do hope it continues.
My sister and her adorable family will be here on Saturday and we have a fun-filled week ahead of us.  Si's 5th birthday is Sunday and we have an evening of swimming, watermelon, corn-on-the-cob, apple pie, bouncing, and laughter in mind.
Silas is almost 5.  He is reading like you wouldn't believe.  He is funny and fun.  He captivates the attention of all who meet him.  He wears me out.  :)  He is such a dear and knows what the right thing to do is, though has a hard time actually doing it.  His curiosity, enthusiasm,and energy rule and I hope self-control is a character quality he possesses sooner than later.  That being said, he does have victorious moments in this area at times.  And he always tells me about them.  "Mommy, I saw a bowl of jelly beans and I looked around and no one was watching and I took one, but then I remembered that God is watching and it wouldn't make you happy, so I put it back."  That is more self-control than I have at times.  Did anyone see me eat all of those cookies the other day?  And I wish I could control my tongue more often.

James was right when he called the tongue an unruly evil (James 3:5-10).  I am such a picture of this.  My opinion, passion, spunk, and lack of tact at times can certainly get me into trouble.  Please pray for me in this area.  I want to open my mouth with wisdom and have the law of kindness on my tongue (Proverbs 31:26).  Even a passionate opinion can be presented with wisdom and kindness.  Please forgive me for the times I have offended you with my unkind opinions.

I am preparing for an intensive Mom Heart training in Colorado next month.  I am starting to feel like I will be such a disappointment to Sally.  I want to be an inspiration to moms, but feel my focus is so much on our country that I am not sure I can focus on motherhood without dragging politics and history into the mix.  I am not sure this is all bad, but I am also not sure it is what Sally is looking for.  Oh well.  I am what I am.  I do believe the Lord has opened up the opportunity for me to go, so His will be done.  I just hope I am not an annoyance to the other moms there.

The Five Thousand Year Leap, principles 7-9

(For part 1, click here.)

Principle 7: The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.

When the government provides equal things, it is called Communism.  And it means that those who have worked hard for their own wealth are forced to provide for those who are in need or want, as the case may be.  "Redistribution of wealth."  Taking from the "haves" and giving it to the "have-nots" leads to laziness, idleness, and folly.  Why would we be motivated to succeed if the fruits of our success would be given away to someone else?  It squashes and oppresses creativity, genius, and innovation.  As if the government is the exhaustive source of all brilliance.  Give me a break!  Elitest mentality for sure.  And by our worship of ridiculous politicians, we are enabling them to be smarter than the rest of least in their own minds.  But who will pay the price?  I'll tell you a won't be them, it will be me and you.  Do you want to be insignificant, lumped into the same mold as everyone else?  No!  We are all unique in personality and talents.
In America, we have the freedom to be rich or poor.  However, that doesn't mean that all will become rich.  We are all dealt varying talents and circumstances that are the formula of our lives as God has ordained.  Some of us, no matter how we try, will never become rich.  But we must be content to do all we can to make our life all it can be and to rest in the result and the process, and to not think we are entitled to what another has.  We are not. 
"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  I know how to be abased, I know how to abound.  Every where and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." -Php. 4:11-12 
Did you know that the idea of a welfare state is unconstitutional...according to Samuel Adams?  OOPSY!  Welfare was considered tyrannical and evil to our Founders...and you can certainly see how it can become so.  We are reaping the fruits (spoiled as they may be) of this kind of mentality in our current socialist-driven administration (as well as the hard work of past socialists).  When I think of what it would take to reverse all of the unconstitutionalities, it boggles the mind...yet, would be well worth it, though very difficult and hard times would definitely ensue.  Wouldn't a little hardship be worth it, though?  If we could restore true freedom? 
I have thought so often lately about legislators and how their primary job is to create laws.  This can be such busywork and leads to oppression and micromanagement.  Why make rules just to make rules?  The thought of this makes me want to relax and be less rigid in my own sphere of children, the parade.  Where can I grant more freedom and less rigidity?  Is the rigidity necessary?  Sometimes it is.  Take the parade for example.  I don't allow entries to throw candy because children will run out into the street and be in grave danger.  But, surely I have made some rules just to make rules.  And I need to reevaluate.  More freedom, even in the little things...and less wanting to be in control.

Principle 8: Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.

"The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it, which...teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions; for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by His order and about His business; they are His property.." ~John Locke
Really, doesn't that say it all?  It is so simple and yet we complicate it.

Can I get something off my chest?  School.  Thanks, I needed that.  Why are my children forced to be in school?  Why can I be arrested if my child is not in school?  Where is the freedom there?  If I want my child to be a dummy, then that's my prerogrative until they are old enough to decide for themselves.
"What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone:  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" ~Matthew 7:9-11
Obviously, I don't want my children to be dummies.  I want them to be everything they can possibly be.  And I strive every day for that very goal.  But, still, it ticks me off that the government has this weird educational power over my children...and me for that matter.  And what do the public schools teach our children? ...the secular agenda, that's what!  Evolution, anti-God mentality, pro-homosexual preference, anti-conservativism and anti-traditionalism, devaluing of life, and the list goes on.  Education is not an unalienable right that the government is to provide.  It is to protect the education that I choose for my family.  Protect, not provide.  (Healthcare, anyone?  Oh, sorry, Pelosi said that healthcare is an unalienable right, so it must be so.  Yes, we should have the ability to have healthcare, but it shouldn't be provided for us when we are mandated to pay for it for ourselves and for those who can't/won't take care of themselves.  We must seek out our own "benefits.")
Thanks for letting me vent.

"Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws.  On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws [for the protection of them] in the first place." ~Frederic Bastiat

God has already given us freedom.  The government ought to protect freedom and not squash it.  Don't make laws to regulate, make laws to protect.  Gee, I can't wait til the government tells me how warm I can have my house, and what foods I can and can't eat, and how much ammunition I can buy for my gun.  Oh, wait, they are already doing the latter (I guess Obama figures if he can't take away the right to keep and bear arms, he will take the ammo...yes, this is being done), and the former are well on their way.

Principle 9: To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law.

How strange that divine (revealed) law is found only in the Holy Scriptures.  (Note the sarcasm.)  God's Word contains God's law.  God's Word is God's law.
Yep, the 10 Commandments, folks.  Uh-oh!  Now, we're getting religious.  As David Barton says, we should be able to separate morality from religion.  You don't have to be religious to be moral (though it sure does help).  We are all given a conscience so we know what right and wrong are.  
"...what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and divine nature, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God... for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written on their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them..." ~Romans 1:19-21; 2:14-15

I loved the whole "reparation" thing in this chapter.  Not only should we make right the crimes we have committed against another, but we should make it better.  Boy!  Do we ever let our criminals off easy!  Jamie and I just forgave a personal debt owed to us by a family member.  This chapter gave me much clearer understanding regarding why just the payback of the money doesn't seem to be enough since the person's actions caused all sorts of havoc & turmoil personally and within the family.  Punitive damages are certainly something to be considered.  That being said, what's done is done and must be put behind us so that we can move forward and not dwell on past offenses.
Also addressed in this principle is the idea that the government (taxpayers) compensate victims of crimes.  It "is a counter-productive procedure which encourages crime rather than deters it.  It encourages the bandit to say to his victim, 'Don't worry, mister.  You'll get it all back from the state.'" And let me also say that family members that enable bad behavior by making compensation for another's sin does that person no favor nor does any favor to society.  We are accommodating a person's lack of character.  Grace is one thing.  Enabling and encouraging bad and destructive behavior is another.  Have principles and stand by them.  Don't be wishy-washy and easily swayed. 
Ok, so that went in a personal direction.  Sorry.  But I think it must be said.  We excuse the person's bad behavior because of life's circumstances but we all must be responsible for what we do...whether a result of hard times or not.  In real life, criminals end up in jail and no amount of coddling will save them from that when they are "responsible adults."


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kindred Spirits

I was just reading Sally Clarkson's post on her blog ( and was so inspired by her words about friendships and how important it is to cultivate them.  Beautiful.  She challenged the reader to evaluate the friendships in her life that are life-giving.  So, I thought I would ponder that in my own life.

Kari Snelling.  My prayer partner for 3 1/2 years now.  I always watched Kari from afar when we were in College & Career together at CCCM.  There was always something so inspiring and beautiful about her, and I felt so drawn to her.  However, it wasn't until after I married and left Orange County that we really connected.  She called me occasionally on Sundays as she drove home from church and we would pray together.  This went on for a year or so.  In December of 2006 I asked her if she would consider praying together weekly.  She agreed and the day after my step-dad, Joe, died, we talked and have talked and prayed together weekly ever since.  I treasure her so dearly.  She shares her heart with me and mine is shared with her.  She is a confidant and trustworthy friend.  She also is very wise and unafraid to tell me what I may not want to hear.  I really appreciate this about her.  I love that I can tell her anything, even if it sounds childish and silly and she still loves me and doesn't judge me on my moments of immaturity.  She understands my heart and that is worth more than I can ever express.

Marian Mellor.  I am so honored to have her friendship.  She is absolutely everything I would love to be but totally am not.  She is a picture of integrity, grace, patience, submission, and love.  She has been so instrumental in how I try to be as a mother to my sweet boys. I love how God places us in just the right place for the circumstances of our lives.  I am married and have two children and I want to be an influential mom for the kingdom.  So, God puts me in remote Borrego where I am forced to stay at home with my boys and learn to love it.  It took a couple of years, but I am so grateful.  I love home schooling and I love that I have Marian to bounce things off of.  I am also so honored to know that if something were to happen to me and Jamie, Marian and her dear husband would step in as parents to my boys.  I am so glad to share the same heart for my children that Marian has for hers.

Marilyn Hassaniah.  Distant so often now as our lives are so vastly different, yet I know I have a trusted friend in her.  I confidently know she prays for me regularly and that is of infinite value.  Marilyn and I have been through the ugliest of times and now have no need to fear because we have made it through.  She loves Jesus and aches for His return.  I love this about her.  She is undivided in her commitment to Him and unapologetic in sharing His love.  Above all, she desires His will in her life.  And she tells the silliest jokes that really aren't that funny but seem hilarious because she laughs so hard at them.  Makes me smile just to think of it. :) Bless
you, Marilyn.

My sister, Tobi, and my mom.  They totally get me and I am so glad because really who possibly could understand my moods and weirdness?

Patty Scott.  I love her.  She is a kindred spirit and even though she seems ultra-spiritual, she doesn't have a holier-than-thou attitude.  She is humility and meekness.  I know I can be myself with her.  What a gift she has given to me!  And she still treasures me, even though I am terribly flawed and critical.  But, I know she knows my heart.  How many truly know our hearts?  So very few.

And there they are: those in my close circle at present, though this list is not exhaustive.  This is not a closed circle, it is just where things are for now.  I do hope I can widen my circle.  And I hope I can inspire as I have been inspired.  And I am so blessed by the numerous genuine people that surround me in my church.  What a sweet gift!

So why do I waste my time worrying about those I want to be friends with but who don't give me the time of day when I have a treasure of friends within arm's reach?  Why don't I spend the time writing them notes and loving them instead of seeking that which is not mine?  I am so sorry for not doing this.