Saturday, October 17, 2009

He satisfies my soul

I am enjoying my days this year at a much more relaxed pace than last year. I actually have time to laugh with our children instead of watching them giggle together as I pass by. I have time to cuddle them and tickle them. I have time to sort through the mental files of my life and look at each page in that file and read it and ponder what it says. I have time to ask God to make me more like Him and actually listen when He responds with a directive of grace. I have time to notice when the house needs to be cleaned here and there and to actually do it. I have time.
I am finding, with a great amount of relief and joy, that I am thriving in this homeschooling adventure. I love organizing the lessons and getting everything prepared. I love teaching the girls things and getting through the material. I am learning many things as well. I love watching a light turn on. I love learning how to make that light turn on. I have a ways to go but I am looking forward to my own learning curve. I got to teach Mercedes what a Laconic Answer you know what that is? I didn't but now I do and so does she. That makes me smile :D.
I don't dread the day because there is too much in it to accomplish this year. I look forward to the each day with energy and joy.
I am satisfied!
Psalm 103 says it all:
"Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wife/Mother...a page from the life of Mary

You guessed it....I was listening to another Driscoll sermon :D. This one is the 3rd sermon from the Luke series. It is called "Luke: Jesus' Birth Prophesied" ( You might be saying...alright already with Driscoll... ok. But this the end touched to the very core of me.
In this sermon he talks about Mary. There are several things he goes through. But let me be brief. Mary was a girl of between 12-16 (likely, more like 12-14) years of age. She was a peasant...illiterate. From a backwater town of between 50-200 people. So she knew everyone and everyone knew her. She was betrothed Joseph. A poor, likely, illiterate, farm boy who was probably about her age. We don't even give this age driver's licences never mind the job to raise the son of God. They had likely known each other their whole lives. She was a good girl who loved God. She had a path set out all scripted...she would be betrothed for a year, marry Joseph, then have babies and raise a family.
Gabriel the angel shows up to Mary and says, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
Mary asks how this can be since she is a virgin. The angel says, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."
and Mary says, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
She took God at His word and in that moment she was willing to give up her identity, her good name, her marriage...her script for her life.
She also chose to devote her life to being a wife and mother. In our world this is the last thing a liberated woman of the 21st century does. Do you realize that being simply a wife and a mother is looked down upon? It's not's one of the things to do but not the only thing and certainly not something that you let hold you back or down...after all the next generation is obviously not that important. Aren't you missing out on your true life's purpose? That is the thought of our day. I hear it all the time. I was not a great singer but I sung a lot and in many different places. I cannot do that now. I am a mom and a wife. My first priority is to those things. Many people ask me when I will start doing that again? And am I just wasting my education... my degree? I have wondered that as well. After all I am JUST a stay at home mom. I must be missing out on my true calling as I am watching the years stack one upon the other.
Well I think I will take a page from Mary's life. One of her son's was the Saviour of the world, another one (James) lead the first church in Jerusalem that had the biggest missions focus ever...and wrote a book of the Bible, and another one wrote another book of Jude. I wonder about her other children. She was a member of the first church her self and had a front row view and participation of the greatest events our world has yet to see. I think Driscoll is right, I don't think she was disappointed by her choice.
Choose your role models carefully. Those choices may impact generations to come.

From the Womb

I was listening to another sermon from Mark Driscoll :D. This is his second sermon from Luke called "Luke" John the Baptizer's Birth Prophesied" ( Luke 1:5-24 talks about how the angel Gabriel showed up to a man named Zacharias and told him that his prayers have been answered and his wife will have a son. It says this, "But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
Driscoll pointed this out...John was named by God, set apart by God for ministry, and filled with the Holy the WOMB! If that is not an argument for person hood from conception...
Like John, every baby ever conceived (whether born into this world or not) is known to God. Considering our cultures love for murdering our own children in the womb...and on the other hand every baby lost in miscarriage is known by him as well.
Shaun and I called our daughters by their names from the time we knew of their existence. They were named, loved, looked for. We anticipated them with deep love. How much more does God, the one we call Abba Father, love each one of these babies. He too is a parent.

A look at, what I thought was, a well known story.

I was listening to Mark Driscoll preach his first sermon on a series he has just started recently. He just got back from Israel and has started a 3 year series on the book of Luke. The first one is called Luke: Eyewitness To Jesus ( an hour well worth your time) anyway, he mentioned something that really caught my attention.
When Jesus was on the cross, right after He said, " Father forgive them" (Luke 23: 36, John 19:28-30, Mark 15:36, Matt 27:48) the Bible says (depending on which book of the gospels you read) "After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
I always thought (and was taught that this was an act of mercy...the sour wine being given to him. But Mark pointed something out. They had, in that time, public washrooms. You would sit on these platforms with holes in them in full view all lined up...there was a little canal of fresh water that ran near their feet. They would use that to clean themselves after using the bathroom. Some poor people saw a way to make money so they took a stick and stuck a sea sponge on the end and would wet it in that little canal and then clean the people once they were finished as they did not have toilette paper. After awhile they realized that people were getting diseases from using one sponge for many people so they would dip the sponges in vinegar or sour wine to clean when Jesus was offered this "drink" it was not mercy it was one more taunt. This was Jesus' last taste on this earth. And He still offered forgiveness, love, mercy, and his life for ours.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Giving Thanks

Lately, for some reason, (well to be honest I know the reason but they are other people's stories so I shan't share here) I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by life and the sadness of it. Really, I have nothing, personally, to be sad about! I am one blessed woman. But I have been having a hard time being thankful. So I was pondering this the other day and remembered averse in Psalms 51...well Psalm 51:15 to be exact. And it says this, "O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise."
So I prayed that and God was gracious...and I have been praising Him slowly but surely.
Sometimes we need help. And He offers it.
For that I am truly thankful.