Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Seduced Into Idolatry

Came across this and loved the heart, loved the message and had to share!

Pete Wilson is one of the pastors at Cross Point Church. Cross Point is a seven year old church with three campuses - CP Nashville, CP Dickson, CP North. Their fourth campus CP Bellevue will launch this Spring.  

Check out more of his blog at   http://withoutwax.tv/ 

Seduced Into Idolatry - Pete Wilson   

I think most people get into ministry for the right reasons. Our motives are pure but over time we easily become seduced into playing games which feed ego.





All become these mini god’s which promise us increased satisfaction and purpose but leave us feeling unsatisfied and empty.

John Ortberg recently wrote a fantastic article for Christianity Today where he ended with the following questions. He labeled the series of questions the “Idol Quotient Test.” While this is geared toward people in ministry I think you can easily adapt each question to your current situation.

—Where does my sense of security come from—from God or from how my church is doing?

—After a worship service, do I find myself grateful that God is God and feeling joyful that I get to live in his care? Or, if I’m honest, are my emotions dictated more by how many bodies were in the room?

—Do I spend more time thinking about God, or thinking about how to make my church/ministry do better?

—How do I feel when the prospect for more prizes in the church tournament—recognition, praise, reputation, applause—get taken away from me?

—Does my sense of identity flow more out of my relationship with God or out of my performance at church?

—How much do I sacrifice to know God better versus how much do I sacrifice for my church to work better?

Oh dang! Idolatry has never been more clear.

Which question is most convicting to you?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Turn The Switch On!

Yesterday, after a long "no nap" day for my girl, I found myself exhausted with our day at 5pm!   Ever have one of those days where every tantrum has been thrown,  every discipline given?   My kiddo's are awesome, and I'm sure just like you, there are some days where every line is crossed.  Just as we're teaching the kids about self control, quick & happy obedience, I too have the times of gentle reminder's to "turn my switch" on to obey with a happy heart! 

I was oh so drained! I found this blog just in time to remind me of my role as mom in teaching my kiddo's and directing them to God's heart!   Believe me,  it was a one of those days where I wanted to just give up and give in!

Being a mom is one of the greatest treasures and gifts of my life. It's also on some days, on of the most challenging adventures that I have ever been a part of.     For these opportunities, these moments,  this season,  these times of "directing" our children to God's heart - I am thankful!

Continuing to work on it all!

James 3:13-16 Message

13-16Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here's what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn't wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn't wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn't wisdom. It's the furthest thing from wisdom—it's animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you're trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others' throats.
 17-18Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. 

Helping Our Children Walk in Wisdom…Self Control - By Kelly Crawford - Generation Cedar

Mothering became a full time job I knew I had to devote my life to when I began to look at Scripture and understand my responsibility to impart spiritual wisdom to my children.  That it was more than crayons and protecting them from germs and making sure they ate enough carrots.  It was a dividing line between what others expect and what God requires.

This “imparting of wisdom” is not just a nice parenting term to toss around; it plays itself out day by day, hour by hour, in the details of life.  Someone is daily beside our children pointing them to wisdom or foolishness, teaching them in all things, whether right or wrong.  I believe that one should be father and mother.  And if father works outside the home, the mother or care giver is given the bulk of the task of daily training.

Anyone home all day with little ones (who understands the “imparting of wisdom”) knows the enormous time and mental energy it takes to raise children.  My sister-in-law and I discussed parenting issues the other day and I thought as we talked, “it’s no wonder motherhood–24-hour motherhood–is so unpopular….it’s hard!”   Do hard things.

These verses we read this morning are just one small area that spoke volumes to me about my responsibility to teach my children to walk in wisdom:
“Who is wise among you?  Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom….For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work….But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,  full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”  James 3:13-18
Boy if that’s not chocked full of parenting!  After all, how does a person learn “good conversation” full of meekness and gentleness and willing to yield?  Because believe me, my children didn’t come that way.  I’m not wired that way.  It’s a daily seeking of life-changing wisdom by all of us!  Me from my Father, and my children from me.

The Lord has really been showing me lately the importance of our speech–the words we say, and especially how we say them. If you listen closely, children do what comes naturally…they use volume and intensity to get what they want. Sometimes they use threats and insults.  It’s a simple matter of a lack of self-control mingled with sinfulness.  As we point to the sin of it, God begins a work in their hearts.  In the mean time, we help them with habits that will meet that work.  

Self-control is not usually common to us; it is a trait that must be learned.  (And unfortunately, a very important trait that many never learn that later has devastating consequences in their lives.)  That one trait can take years!  And mothers, we are the primary catalyst for that transformation in our children.  Sorry, we just are, as heavy as that is.

Let’s get practical…
The earlier you can start working on self-control and its practical applications the better. Sometimes a 7 or 8 month-old infant can demonstrate anger during a diaper change and a gentle speaking to her will begin to train her to understand self-control.

Do you have a 1 or 2 year old that has begun his natural responses to not getting his way? Does he scream or hit when another child has something he wants?  Begin to replace his natural reaction with a wise one.   (And discipline him when it becomes defiance or disobedience to your instruction.) Show him the right response, the right words, the right behavior.  Tell him “No, don’t say….if you want that cup say….”

I’m trying to work with my 3-year old, specifically on her tone of voice.  Again, it’s quite natural to raise her voice when she’s frustrated (it’s natural for me ;-) ) but by stopping her when I catch it, and simply demonstrating a more controlled response helps her to train herself to display self-control.   And, beauty of motherhood, if I’m aware of my job to teach these traits to them, I must, myself, be given to exercising self-control and gentleness.

This one thing–responding to life with self-control–could it be the very foundation of pointing our children to joy and contentment in life?
“He who walks with the wise will become wise; but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20
Link to Generation Cedar:    

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our budding artists!

Today we finished school and then began having fun with our Art & Composers study we are doing during February.   Today we studied about Georges Seurat,  Pointillist methods and then attempted our own masterpieces!   (Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small distinct dots of colour create the impression of a wide selection of other colors and optical blending. - Wikipedia)
We painted "The Eiffel Tower" as originally painted by him in 1889.

We had fun but decided we like paintbrushes instead!  

Daniel was hard at work,  Eliana joined in on the fun with loads of laughs and "inspiration".    It was definitely great time!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Need A Safe Place?

Heard this song today on the radio and oh how it grabbed my heart!    

I think we've all been in places or seasons where you think your dreams are crumbling before your very eyes.  Maybe for some it's a tragic loss,  intense grief,  financial heaviness or reports of cancer showing up.   For most - we've may have experienced a little of it all at some point in time, or all in the same day!

Throughout my days, I've been the leper and He healed me.  I've been the prisoner and He freed me.   I've been the lame and broken, and He made me new, nothing lacking or missing.  I've had a dead heart and spirit - and He brought life.   He restored.  He healed.  He loved.    He is faithful.  He never leaves.  He never gives up on me!  

I'm seeing my dreams take place before my very eyes!   He doesn't forget what He promises!

Here's your hope.... You are safe in His arms!  

Take a listen at this song!   Love it!  
Click here to enjoy!

Safe  - By Phil Wickam / Bart Millard

To the one who's dreams are falling all apart
And all you're left with is a tired and broken heart
I can tell by your eyes you think your on your own
but you're not all alone

Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong and never let you go
oh you're not alone

You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms

Verse 2:
Did you know that the voice that brings the dead to life
Is the very same voice that calls you to rise
So hear Him now He's calling you home
You will never be alone

These are the hands that built the mountains
the hands that calm the seas
These are the arms that hold the heavens
they are holding you and me

These are hands that healed the leper
Pulled the lame up to their feet
These are the arms that were nailed to a cross
to break our chains and set us free

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eliana's Declaration To All!

As a mom of two amazingly lovable and high energy children, I have a day or two occasionally where I have to stop, take a few deep breaths and gain assurance from God that I am indeed a pretty cool mom.    I know all of us have those days where you feel like you are not feeling so "hot" or not measuring up to your expectations or comparisons to "the other cool mom's".   Today was one of those day, but Eliana has declared tonight (without prompting or me paying her a quarter)....

"Mom, you are the best mom in this city!".

There.   It's been decided.    February 2, 2010 - Let the record show,  "I am the best mom in this city!"

I can't argue with that.  I can't argue with her intense determination to shout it loud at her cheer-leading practice, in front of all of the other moms, her 13 member squad and other spectators.   I can't push aside her gleaming eye and sweet smile as she proudly returns to her "squad", as if she had just won the treasured prize. 

My heart is full today.   She didn't win,  I've won the prize!   Oh you see, it's not because I've received awards for books written or the best decorated home in the Parade of Homes or the lottery!

My heart is full!   I have the heart of my daughter!

I love that girl.  I love being her mom.  I love learning with her and from her.   I love her passion for life, her passion for laughter and her passion for making each day a "tickle party".   I love the way she challenges me.   I love her quick spirited mind.   I love her "tantrums" that I get to help bridle and direct, allowing the Holy Spirit to form her into the woman that God has called her to be.    I love watching her fall asleep after a long, fun, challenging day - taking moments to do "snuggle bugs", knowing that her dreams are beginning and developing, and one day will be real.    I love her curiosity and her enthusiasm for all she does.   I love that beneath the "tough girl" exterior, she's sensitive, faith filled and knows that God hears her prayers.   I love hearing her pray, even tonight "God I know you hear me. I want more snow. Please God bring me some more snow".   I'm loving celebrating every step, every season, every challenge, every milestone, every sweet song and every moment of correction with her.    God has some pretty cool things in store!  

Now it's my time to say.... "I've won!   I've won!   I've won!"