Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Case of Bad Timing?

I don't know about the rest of the country, but if you live in Central Florida, you have been treated to an overwhelming amount of news coverage concerning the plight of Casey Anthony. I, for one am getting rather tired of this. It seems to be a lot of overkill if you ask me.

At the corner stoplight near my home, we now have red light cameras. Now, if I make an error in timing and miss the yellow light, the camera takes my picture and I am fined. I assume this is a pretty steep fine because a lot of people seem to be having a fit about these cameras. Regardless, my punishment is a fine. Why is it then, that if this court case against Casey goes as expected, she is not judged as being guilty of a timing error, given a fine, and sent on her merry way.

Many, many people in this area (and I assume around the country, but I know what they say about assumptions, so that may not be the case) are up in arms about the fact that this young woman may have killed her preschool daughter. A large number of these people are the same ones who would diligently defend Casey's right to murder Kaylee years earlier. As long as Kaylee was still in the womb and had not made it completely out before an abortion was attempted, our laws assert that the murder would be legal. To me, that makes this case about timing. Casey evidently waited too long to kill her daughter.

But just how long should we give a young woman to decide if she really wants to be a mom or not. Some women desperately want to be a mom long before it ever happens. Some never want the job. Some come to the realization that they are not cut out for the sacrifices only after they experience the reality. Why is it that our government has okayed a woman's ability to kill her child in the womb, but won't allow her the same freedom afterward? Just what has changed?

I know some people think that it is the baby's location that makes all the difference. Not true. There are children who survive abortion attempts and are left without food or medical attention for hours until they die. In a partial birth abortion the baby is all but delivered before it is killed.

Maybe it is the mom's desire to have a baby that makes the difference. Nope. There are still young ladies who do not want to raise a child, but choose to give birth and put their baby up for adoption. Besides, isn't the whole problem with Ms. Anthony that she decided that she no longer wished to be a mom?

It seems only logical to me that if it is okay to allow murder at any stage of life, then we must allow it for all stages. Of course, this could prove to be very hard on those "terrible twos" whose mom is having a bad day. Right now, it seems that it is only God's common grace that is keeping us from this place, but if He should remove His hand of protection, very few of our children may make it to adulthood. Maybe Casey Anthony is guilty of nothing more than bad timing and an attempt to cover it up, but I hope that we can see that this case is about so much more, and that we would start asking ourselves the tough questions. What time is the right time to kill your baby?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Using Shotguns to Kill Flies

Are you guilty of trying to kill a housefly with a shotgun? I know that I have been in the past. I hope I'm over it now. I think that we all do this at one point or another. The problem is that even though you might kill the fly, the shotgun is not the most efficient or effective way to get the job done. We don't always stop to think about that. We just see a job that needs to be done, and we step up to do it. Just maybe we should wait a minute and see if there is someone with a flyswatter on there way to take care of the problem.

I see this happen in the church. A lot. We see a job that needs to be done. We might even realize that it is not really our area of giftedness, but we step forward and take on the task anyway. After all, we reason, we can DO the job. We just might not be the best equipped for this particular one. Maybe we would be better served to take a step back, consider who in the church is best suited to the job, and encourage them to step forward. Everyone has their own talents that they need to use. If we are busy killing all the flies with our shotguns, what are they going to do with their flyswatters. And what happens when we need to use the shotguns, but are out of ammo because we wasted it on the flies.

God doesn't just call on us to serve. He calls on us to serve in particular areas. Not everyone is an excellent teacher, or hostess, or comforter, or dishwasher. We weren't all given the same gifts and abilities. That doesn't mean that goal oriented people like myself shouldn't be working to be more loving and patient with others. It does mean that we excel in administration and management. That is where our main service should be. As individuals and as a church body we need to make sure that we are using flyswatters to kill the flies and using our shotguns more appropriately.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Be The People

Are you concerned about the path that America seems to be taking? Does it seem to you that the cultural elite are leading us in a direction that is against what most Americans desire? Do you feel like you are just a lone voice and can't do anything to change what is happening? Carol Swain's new book Be The People is the book for you. Dr. Swain examines many of the most important and most controversial social issues facing Americans today from a sensible perspective that most Americans will applaud.

Even if you don't agree with her politics, it is hard to argue with her common sense conclusions on some of our toughest questions. Her life has prepared her to speak to all Americans on racism, poverty, abortion and many other topics. Besides living these issues, she has done much study into the problems, laws, and possible actions presented in her book. I applaud her for her hard work and dedication and for taking advantage of all that America had to offer and for not taking the easy way out, blaming others for the trials she has faced.

This is an important book for those concerned about the future of this great country. Ms. Swain has done an excellent job of researching and presenting the facts. At the end of each chapter she provides action points that will give you a place to start in reclaiming our country and returning it to the foundational roots that made us great to begin with. She also provides discussion questions on each chapter at her website which will make this a good book for book study groups and high school current issues discussions. Read this book and consider what your role should be in reclaiming America.

I received a free copy of this book from booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream

A young mom recently said to me, " Sometimes it would be nice to know that I am not the only mom who yells at her kids once in a while." My heart went out to her. I can remember sitting in a small ladies Bible study about 25 years ago and hearing another young mom saying the same thing. Only that time I was the one saying it.

In this day and age of facebook, texting, cell phones, and all other manner of staying in touch, you would think that this wouldn't still be a problem. It seems that we are more than willing to share what we are making for dinner, our brand of toothpaste, which celebrity we think is hot, but not the truth about our lives. We are more connected than ever, but it seems shallower than ever too. When I update my status on Facebook, no one can see what my life is really like. Maybe all of this social media allows us even more opportunity to hide behind the mask of what we wish our life was like instead of revealing the reality and helping one another through.

So this is for you young moms out there (and maybe some older ones).
I yell at my kids. Not as much as I did when they were younger, I was sleep deprived, and I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility that God had given me, but I yell. I wish I didn't. I hate having to apologize to them for it.
There are days that I am totally frustrated with my husband. I am tired of picking the socks up or turning the pants right side out before washing. In 29 years I have learned to appreciate much about him. More now than before, but there are still days where he frustrates me.
Our sheets don't get washed as often as they should. Dusting is a chore I will let go until I know someone is coming to visit. I think my windows get washed once a year (but don't make me swear to it). One reason I like homeschooling is that I don't have to fight to get the kids out of bed in the morning.
As much as I say I want to have regular time focused on God each morning, too often I let the day get away from me.

None of us has it all together. We are all struggling. Many in the same areas. It seems to me we should be encouraging one another. We aren't alone. God has given us a family. Maybe we should take the time to do a little more honest communicating and a little less impressing. I've had my say, so please excuse me while I go yell at the kids for throwing the football in the living room. How many times do I have to tell them?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Muffins and a Taste of Heaven

Today has been one of the best days that I have had in quite a while. I am full of joy. Nothing in my daily life has changed. Finances haven't improved. My children still annoy one another. The house still needs to be cleaned and laundry needs to be done. What has made to day such a great day? Hebrews 10:25 "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." This morning started off with coffee and muffins, but more importantly, fellowship with dear sisters in Christ.

In this day of two income families, school, sports, and other activities it can be so hard to find time to sit. And talk. And share. And love one another. That is what took place this morning. I got the chance to enjoy a blessed time with such sweet ladies. We range in age over 30 years. We are all at different stages of life (high school grad to grandparent), live in different areas, attend different churches, and have different interests and hobbies, but we all love the Lord with a passion that outweighs any difference. Some of us hadn't seen one another in 10 years, some had never met, some saw each other last night. It was an incredible time together.

For those of you who have given up meeting together to share your lives, I highly recommend that you start now. The blessings of those times together will fill your day, and probably your week. I told my husband last night how much I was longing for heaven lately. Today gave me a little foretaste. It was just an appetizer, but it reminds me how really awesome the banquet will be. There is no doubt that God was glorified in my home this morning, not because I am a wonderful hostess, the food was gourmet, or the floors were spotless, but because His people gathered together to love one another and share their lives. Thanks ladies. I hope we get a chance to get together again soon, but I know that even if it is 10 years, we will once more meet as family. I am well and truly blessed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Love Wins

I've been hearing about Mr. Bell's book Love Wins quite a bit lately. I haven't read it and have no desire to do so, but many whose opinion I respect have read and commented on it. I appreciate hearing so many in the church stand up against some of the ideas presented in this book, especially the thought that sometime after we die, we can choose to leave hell and go to heaven.

One thought that I have heard from more than one source is that we should be appreciative to Mr. Bell for asking tough questions that many outside (and some within) the church are asking. I guess I can understand that line of reasoning. I am appreciative because I think he has pointed out an area that the church has seriously failed in the last few decades.

It seems that the church has been so busy preaching that God is love, mercy, grace and forgiveness that they have forgotten about God's justice and wrath. God warns from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation that he punishes the guilty, the wages of sin is death, and hell awaits those who do not repent and acknowledge Christ as Lord and Savior. Everything in the Bible points to this truth, but you are hard pressed to find a preacher who preaches this from his pulpit on Sunday morning. When is the last time you heard your pastor stand up and call you a sinner? When is the last time that you heard him say that, except for the grace of God, you were destined spend eternity in hell? Can you remember the last sermon you heard on His loving justice? We have failed those who don't know and read the Bible when we don't tell them the whole story.

Yes, God is love, but His love requires punishing the guilty. Perfect love requires perfect justice. Perfect justice requires that those who sin against a pure and holy God banished to hell FOREVER. There is no changing your mind after death. There is no post mortem second chance. Either Jesus is your Lord and Savior and you are presented before the Almighty Judge clothed in His righteousness or you are damned to suffer eternally. Maybe the church should get busy letting people know that. After all, if we really love others, don't we want them to avoid such a horrific future?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Merciful Justice

We love justice, don't we?
Right now local stations are showing much of Casey Anthony's trial because people are interested in seeing that justice is done.
We love seeing the good guy win in the movies. We will even root for those who are breaking laws if we see their cause as just.
Justice is important to us because we are created by a just God. The only problem we seem to have is when that justice starts applying to us personally.

I recently heard someone state that we complain when God applies His mercy to some and not others, but we are perfectly happy when He doesn't apply His justice equally. This is such a false statement. God IS just. That means He must apply His justice equally to all. If it is only for some, it isn't justice. Justice means that the same rules go for everyone. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death." We ALL deserve death in whatever way it comes, whenever it comes. God is not unfair when He allows people to die. He is just. Perfectly just.

God's mercy allows us to wake each morning. God's mercy allows us joy, happiness, peace and prosperity. Every second of every day is a merciful gift from a merciful loving God. That doesn't mean that God is required to continue to show mercy to anyone. If it is a requirement, it is not mercy. Just because God has shown an incredible amount of patience, love, and mercy to His creation does not mean that it must always be so. We don't deserve any of it. We deserve Hell for our sin against a perfect, holy God. We have rebelled against him and should be punished.

Does that mean that people in Haiti were more sinful than the rest of us? Are the Japanese more rebellious? Is Joplin full of the most heinous sins? NO. It means that we should look at these deaths and fall on our knees in repentance. God has shown us mercy in allowing us today, let's not waste the gift. Stop confusing mercy with justice. God is both, and in His mercy, sometimes He reminds us of just what we deserve, so that we will remember just what we have been given.