Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tapping into Super Strength

There is nothing like blue sky and 75 degrees F to chase the dark clouds of cyclical depression away.  Sadness just can't stay when the world looks perfect.
And yet the world is not perfect.
Reading the headlines each day can be a source of frustration and sadness, a "downer" to start the day!  If there is any form of blue in the spirit it's really hard to spiral back up.
And then I turn to my faith.
Praise God that He can heal the spirit and bless the soul.  I've taken to pronouncing a blessing on my poor, tired, aging body whenever I sense the negative self talk coming (which I'm sure few are really immune from.)  It's really amazing to see the act of faith bringing the physical body back on track.
This seems to prove that God wants to interact with His children.  He cares for their minds, hearts and bodies.
I cannot begin to even list all the significant things going on for me lately.  Guests, scholarships being awarded, college acceptance for my oldest, sports activities, strange things occurring at night (Corgi out til 3....! Who let her out????) parties, tears, joys, and lots of AGAPE----in the Greek sense. 
I think my depression is partly weariness.  How glad I am that it's all good things making me tired!
Tomorrow I'm bringing 4 teenage boys up to the northern forests to play paintball and air soft (?) all day.  I'll be seeing very dear friends, one of whom is dying of ALS.  She is a wonderful witness to the patience and strength God can give in dealing with a terrible disease.
This is what God has for his own.  Triumph over evil.  Goodness in the weak.  Strength in the unexpected.  Hope and grace to face it all.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Purity

I'm reading one of my all-time favorite authors lately, George MacDonald.   I love how he slips bits of eternal wisdom and snippets about the love of God in his works of fiction.  I have never been to Scotland, but I think it must be a wonderful place to have produced such great minds like his, Oswald Chambers, the great mathematician Boyle, and other preachers of note. 
Today I think of purity again.  Purity of faith, purity of spirit and mind, purity of understanding.  The Bible admonishes us followers of Christ to be pure.  Mature, some say.  As always, I tend to be most comfortable with the direct translation of the word, even if it has overtones of other meanings. 
Sometimes I think in German, as the words have a more direct implication of what I mean.  In the last sentence the word overtones would have been better "Ahnings"  in the German.  It has a feeling of idea, leaning, yearning, and aspect.  See what I mean?  Sadly, few people can really get the whole meaning of the word.
Back to purity.  Does my cleaving to the simple definition make me a "Meanie?"    Is it possible to condemn behavior that is impure and still be seen as someone who loves, who cares, who wants only the best for those God brings into my life?
I would hope that my life and what I say as encouragement to others would always be seen as loving concern for everyone.  I want all of us to strive for purity. 
The loving care of an eternal God is what I've experienced my whole life, and I know it's possible to experience His love no matter what filth has taken place in anyone's life.
Quite frankly We are called out.  We are called to the narrow path.  We are called to be different.  We are called to be extraordinary.  We are called to purity, and there is no excuse for immoral behavior.
What's immoral?  Scripture has a great list of immorality in Romans 1.  Not many people like to go there because it's rather convicting.  It's there for a purpose.  We're not supposed to do the things on that list.
Thank God there is forgiveness.
Thank God He gives us the grace to actually try to be pure.
No credit to self, just credit and testimony of God's power and His love for this poor old world.  Let's all try a little more purity.  No excuses.  I think George MacDonald would agree, and he was certainly not a "meanie."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Little Pomp and Circumstance

I had the treat of watching the Royal Wedding in Stockholm this morning.  The dress Princess Viktoria wore was perfect!  The royal barge which took the bridal couple from the church to the palace looked like a medieval contraption, all gold and blue and straight out of history.  It was a historical moment.  Since it was live via internet there was no editing of the various VIP's attending the ceremony from all over Europe.   They were real people, having a special time.
It's sort of nice to see an event done well.  It's good to see that it CAN be done!
My daughter has been working at a camp all week, and she will be back tonight, along with her brother.  I'm sorry she missed the pageantry.  I missed Princess Diana's wedding years ago, and I always was sort of sad I did.
Now it's time to get back to work on a busy Saturday.  Graduation parties  (two) and meeting with several people.  My youngest son is taking off for a few days, and my oldest boy is leaving for a week at a camp as lifeguard and counselor. 
My second son made the Dean's list at his college this semester!   My oldest son had a perfect score on his GED test for last week.  I have my own things to celebrate, and believe me I do!
I need to write an update on my Corgi:  after a vet examined her the other day he is doubtful that she is expecting puppies.  I am relieved! I was getting worried that Basset Corgis --Corsettes--would be too difficult for her to manage.  They are significantly bigger than corgis.  So, now we can hope for purebred corgis sometime hence.  We'll see what happens!
It's fun to plan.
Home schooling has so many benefits, but one of the greatest is simply knowing your own children so well, spending time with them, encouraging their passions, and then letting them go when they are ready.  I guess it really is a superior education, too.  I am thankful to God for that.  I am just in a happy, grateful spirit today.  I am thankful for dozens of friends who rejoice with me, too. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On Our Own Again

Since Brian is off scouting this weekend I'm finding myself with options:  begin to sew a slew of sewing projects, make progress on the sweater I'm knitting, clean the garage, and clean house.  I'm not looking for input, but I'd like to see some significant progress for my time, and the garage never shows that!
I could try to do the "Fly-Lady" thing and work at each 15 minutes at a time....til I've cycled through all the activities!  That will surely guaranty none of the projects' completion.
Our Corgi, Misty, will be X-rayed on Wednesday to see if she is indeed expecting.  There is real concern, as Corgis generally have difficult births, and these will probably be bigger than normal.  Perhaps she'll have a C-section the following week.
I'm feeling low about it all.  I'll try to update all the progress before too long, but it looks like a busy next few weeks.
 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is my Letter to the Editor

I just read a piece by Michael Gerson entitled "Sex and Grace" which refers to the recent revelations of indiscretion on the part of a conservative Christian politician.   I just have to say my thoughts about this, mostly because I feel people like me are being accused of being self-righteous in merely calling out the immoral behavior and demanding higher standards from elected officials.
No one is without sin, but there is such a thing as repentance and the gift of the Holy Spirit's power to fight the temptation of sin.
Why can't we expect the people who lead us to use this power?  Even people without the Holy Spirit can often withstand sins of action----those acts which affect someone or something other than one's conscience or thought life. (Although most of the time those sins eventually do work themselves out in perceived action sooner or later).
God's grace is apparently limitless, yet we are not to exploit it!  God's mercy is given to all who repent.  Is it impossible to live a life that is free from moral failure?
Hardly.  God's power is greater than anything else.  While sin is pervasive and powerful in itself, we do have the capability to live lives that are morally pure, with God's help, of course.
I will say that some should be held to high standards.  Countless leaders in the past have led with a morally clean platform.
This doesn't negate the need to forgive failure.  Christians should be the first to forgive!
Yet there are damages from moral failure, always: hell here on earth or in the spiritual world.
Forgiveness will not erase the damage here.
Striving for moral purity will indeed reduce the damage.
Kissinger said that power is an aphrodisiac.  I would agree with him.  The sin of pride (power feeds it) is always the first of the sins, and it leads right into the others.  The end is always the same.  Corruption.  The devil will fight his battles wherever he can get a toehold.
Our leaders need prayer and spiritual protection to withstand the devil's onslaught.  They need the inner strength and purity of heart that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Too bad I can't think of many public figures who are seeking this pure power.  May God protect me and my family from evil!  I thank Him for His grace,  mercy, and forgiveness.  I thank Him for His power.
Most of the time we have to choose the lesser of evils when dealing with the world.  And self-righteousness?  I guess you'd have to read my own heart.  I know its blackness, and I'd bet most of those accused of being self-righteous feel the same.   Go ahead and accuse the self-righteous ones.  It won't justify anyone's sin!