Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thoughts On a Prayer

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I need not speak of the state of our nation. It's in a shambles. So far from where we once were, calling on the name of God openly in schools, in government, in freedom. Slowly that freedom is being taken away. This does not surprise me. Not at all. In fact, I forsee a day when we are persecuted just as much as our brothers and sisters in Africa, China, India, etc. Who are we to be exempt? It's interesting that the places where the presecution is the strongest, the church is also growing the most. Perhaps persecution is what we need to strengthen our faith, to call us to our knees and to the Word.

In light of this, I was reading in 2 Samuel tonight. I read in chapter 21 where there was a famine in the land for three years. King David got before the Lord and asked Him why things were the way they were and God told him. It was because of the sin that Saul had done against a body of people, the Gibeonites, that the Israelites had promised to protect. What struck me was that this sin was performed by Saul, not David and yet the result of it, not a natural result I might add, was conducted on David and his kingdom. What's even more intersting that when David made amends for it, which was the lives of seven descendants of Saul, that the famine abated.

That got me thinking, we pray for so many things to be changed "Oh Lord, please help our president to be a more Christian man, lead our government, put prayer back in our schools...." While these are all good prayers and there is nothing wrong with praying them, I believe the focus is off. We are giving great suggestions to God on what needs changed. These things are all symptoms of a bigger problem that goes much deeper. We need to be asking the Lord what He sees that needs changing. Or maybe it comes closer to home than that "Lord what needs changing in ME?" Sometimes the problem wasn't caused by us, but we perpetuate the problem, allow it continue or turn a blind eye. In some ways that's the same as acting out in the sin itself. It is for that we need forgiveness and atonement.

Lord what is it that You want to change in our Nation? What is it that You want to change in me?

2 Chronicles 7:14 repeats the story in 2 Samuel 21 with a promise "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

There is action here. And it's not about those who are not in the church, it is an action of God's people. We are the ones who can change this nation back, and it's a action of the heart. Our prayers about those people out there to change their evil ways are ok, but the only person I can change is me. Revival begins here, with me, in my heart. Oh Lord change me.

(cuz I need it)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Middle Wife

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A dear friend at church sent me this via email. I thought it was hilarious! I hope you enjoy!

The 'Middle Wife' by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturday s ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's 20 play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest.. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Homeschool Shtuff...

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I've had about three different blog ideas bouncing around in my head for a while now, but haven't had the guts to write them. Since I've linked my blog page to Facebook I now have a whole new set of people I actually KNOW that can read my most intimate thoughts. Sometimes I wonder how good transparency is in a relationship. But I've given that up. This blog is my outlet and while I don't blog about everything, I figure if someone doesn't want to read what I have to write, they don't have to. But I need to get this out, all of it.

The past few months have been difficult. We've had sickness upon sickness, Andrew has been super busy at church and on top of that we've had Easter. In the parsonage, Easter is a lot like Christmas, only Christmas is spread out over a months time, whereas Easter is smashed together in one week. It's exhausting. We've been living in the 'margin' for about 2 months now. We are spent.

And despite that last post about homeschooling Nadia, I had a breakdown the other day realizing that I just could not do it. We butt heads too much. I'd loose my sanity if I did. I had this faulty thinking that I should be able to do EVERYTHING. You know, everything good. Sew, cook, clean, homeschool my children, home birth my children, be active in church, la la la la. I've realized, though, that I have limits. I learned about those limits when I started to go crazy. I've been in prayer about the whole homeschooling vs. public schooling and I really feel like the Lord is telling me it's ok either way! How freeing! The important part is that this home is place to be safe to come to. A place where the family is loved, and accepted for who they are. It is a haven. Nadia and butted heads so much that I fear this place would soon become the opposite. Folks often say, what is best for the child, but I beg to differ. What is best for the family? If one piece of the family is off, the rest are as well.

That being said, I registered Nadia for kindergarten today. And I feel peace about it. I do feel somewhat sad. I think it's because she's growing up. I can't believe she's going to be 5 in august! When did this happen? When did 5 years just zoom by? My little girl isn't so little. This can only mean one thing, my little boy is going to do the same thing. Dang it.

I do feel an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders. I cannot convey how much better I feel about the whole thing. I still worry about what she'll run into, the things she might learn from peers, etc. But the Lord reminded me, you can't shield her from the world forever! And this is true. It needs to be a gradual thing. Prayer and involvement. Those are key.

Pray for us. This is not easy, especially since we thought from before she was conceived that we would homeschool. Well Nadia has been the child we weren't prepared for in many ways. Birth, postpartum, toddlerhood, it's all been a surprise. We prepared for so many things and were surprised with what really happened. This is no exception. And I guess that's one way the Lord is changing me and making me rely on Him more. And that's ok.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Wanted: Prayer Warriors

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Calling all prayer warriors! I need your help! May 2 I am delivering the sermon at our Sunday morning service. It's our Thank Bank Sunday and I was asked to speak. I have my text and even have most of it written up. But I need prayer, lots of it. Will you pray with me? All I ask is that you pray for me whenever the Lord brings it up. Please let me know if you are, I would really appreciate it.