Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mercy

Tonight I watched a girl sign the song, “The Mercy Seat”. The sign she made for mercy was rolling both hands over and over. It struck me as so appropriate when being compared to God’s mercy---it extends to us over and over as we are so needing of it. It also reminded me of a Bible story.

The church leaders found her in the very act of adultery. Probably she was of such character, that they knew she would be an easy target. What an embarrassing position to be caught in by the holier than-thou-church leaders of the day—possibly unclothed and with someone that was indeed not her husband! She tried to pass it off like she didn’t care with them, yet she did. She really did want to be accepted, but her lot in life had been hard, she had fallen on hard times, and somehow had found herself trapped in a lifestyle that no one would personally desire. Now at this stage in her life, she knew even if she changed, no one would forget, no one would ever again think good of her, so why try to change? Yet in her inmost soul, she felt her dirtiness and shame as they dragged her along. What was the purpose of this intrusion on her life? If they had been going to put her to death as the law demanded, why had they not done it years before? Perhaps, because some of them in the dark of night had also visited her? She was not worried of death, but felt a sense of foreboding, and knew they would not drag her out in the daylight for anything good. She looked up and realized she was at the door of the temple—why, oh, why, would they bring her to such a holy place? She had not been near the doors since she was very young. This was not good.
In though the doors, and up toward the front where a young man stood teaching. Her cheeks burned at being here in her condition, and grabbed at her hastily put on robes, arranging them to cover her more thoroughly as she heard the voice of one of her captors speak,
"Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. In his teachings, Moses ordered us to stone women like this to death. What do you say?"
Fear struck her heart then. So they were trying to put her to death! Yet, with the fear, came anger. She knew the man that spoke, she knew him intimately, and how was it that the law would only judge her? It was so unfair! What would this supposed Teacher say? Bravely, she lifted her eyes as the man turned toward her. His eyes fastened on hers. She had never seen such eyes. She knew men, and she knew their leering looks, their admiring looks, their lustful looks, but this woman had never had someone look at her like this. She began to tremble violently—perhaps she should look down--yet she could not!! Was he reading her heart? Could he see her soul? Yet, it almost seemed that there was compassion and love in that intense gaze.
When she felt as if she could bear his searching eyes no longer, he turned without looking at her captors, and knelt in the dirt and began to write with his finger. The temple was very quiet as the men around her began to jostle forward. She was moved along with them with the viselike grip that one had on her arm. In spite of herself, she craned her neck forward that she might see too. He was writing the Ten Commandments in the dirt! When the church leaders realized what he was writing, a clamor of voices rose again in the air,
“Answer us, Master. We know these commandments, and we know what was inscribed on the tablets, but do you agree with what Moses said we were to do about the violation of the 7th commandment?”
Then he looked up, and the room immediately grew quiet as he looked at each of them face by face. When he at last spoke, it was a firm, gentle, but an oh-so-knowing voice.
"He, who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." And he knelt and continued writing on the ground.
The words were like a bombshell in the room. She realized they were testing this man in someway that she did not understand, and that it had never really been about her personally, yet even she knew how ungodly they were underneath their fa├žade. Before them were the commandments written by God originally, and not a man among them was completely innocent of that list. There was rustling as they began to turn and the leave the temple with heads down, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. There was no good answer with which to defend themselves. Finally, they were all gone, and all that was left in the room, was the Master and the woman.
She knew of her own sins. She knew this man was really holy, quite unlike the self-proclaimed, holy men that had just left the room. What would he do with her? Tears began to stream down her cheeks.
"Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"
She looked up. He was looking at her with kind, gentle questioning eyes. Who was he? She could tell in those eyes that somehow He knew her, and yet he loved her! How could this be?! Her voice cracked as she spoke,
“No man, Lord.”
Somehow she was not frightened to look in His face anymore. A hint of a smile touched His lips as He spoke,
“Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more.”
How could it be? He didn’t care what she had done in her life. He did not condemn her. He was forgiving her—he only cared that she sinned no more!! The woman knew in her heart of hearts that she had looked into the face of God in the moment, and she knew He was nothing like she had ever imagined him to be in the past. She knew Mercy. Maybe, just maybe, she could be different.

When I think of mercy, I think of this story, and know it to be true. He does not care about all the awful sins that you and I have committed, He, the truly pure and sinless One, cares only that we quit sinning. Each time we mess up, we bring it to Him, and find forgiveness and love, and here Him say,
“Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more.”
Mercy, over and over, again. What a lovely word. Mercy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pictures!!


















I was looking through my mom's pictures and found these pictures of Daniel hard at work helping Papa, and thought I would share them!

And here is a picture of Rebekah reading on Grandma and Grandpa's porch. Dont know how I missed seeing these before, but I liked them.











Monday, February 16, 2009

Lack of discipline...

Lack of discipline....the thought has wandering about my head since last night when I blogged.
You know I used to be very emphatic about regular church attendance. I felt very strongly that a church will not grow if the people are not there. I believed staunchly that the verse about forsaking not the assembling of yourselves together, meant you were to be in church when the doors were open. We planned on our vacations so we wouldnt miss church. Whether or not the verse means that you have to be in every revival service, every rally, concert, prayer meeting or not can be controversial, but I think the discipline of making yourself go was good. And granted, I always usually came out feeling better.
When I had to leave the church I went to for years that I dearly loved, we went to a very conservative church where the preacher preached on everything imaginable-or should I say against everything imaginable!! Then they had this evangelist come for a revival service--and I was there every night until after the last Friday night. He screamed redfaced, wiped extreme sweat, and generously spit over us--and yes, he preached against things worse than our pastor did. Church members went up to the altar seeking for a second work, then were back a few nights later, not even sure if they were saved in the end. That night they had my dear husband in tears not even sure anymore if he was saved--in mass confusion. The next time I seen our pastor, I told him I would not come back to that revival as God is NOT the author of confusion.(Which by the way he took very graciously like the good and gentle man that he was.) Not long after, we left the church, and have wandered about aimlessly since, not knowing where we belong.
Since this experience, I began to study my Bible more feeling that not everything preached over that pulpit is annointed, albeit there is some fine men preaching some of this nonsense. I began to question things I had heard all my life--whether it was Biblical. Frankly, although I will keep to most things I have been taught all my life because I feel it makes sense, I found alot of stuff that I took for granted was black and white, is NOT Biblical. Although I probably pray more, and have studied my Bible more than I did in the past, I still feel I lost something---discipline. When you feel like you belong nowhere, you dont feel very accountable. I am not one of those people that you can count on to be there every service. Thus, I lost an area of discipline.
I could go on and on in this vein telling of areas where I have lost the d word in my life, but I just want to say, it is so easy when you let on area go, to let more target areas in your life also go by the wayside. The more "freedom" you feel, the more you let up on. It is so easy to give up on more and more things, and how easy it could be at some points to just give up serving God, and lose your soul. This is something I never want to do.


In the warfare that is raging
For the truth and for the right,
When the conflict, fierce, is raging
With the powers of the night,God needs people brave and true:
May He then depend on you?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Update on our lives

Wow! I have not been on here in a long time. I have been so busy with the kids and the house. I was given some new bedroom furniture, so one long project was to tear my room apart, scrub the walls, trash stuff, and change it around, making room for the new stuff! But cool!! I now have a matching dresser set--a long one with a mirror, a tall dresser, and a night stand. They are in excellent shape. My sis-in-law's boyfriend had a rich friend that lived with them til he died, and all of his stuff was there, and they gave it to me!!
Yesterday we went to Golden Corrall for breakfast with Mom and Dad. I am not a huge breakfast eater, besides I have started, not a diet but a lifestyle change. I am determined to lose weight. I am concerned about the total lack of discipline in my life. It has reached every area--my eating, my devotions, and even in my housework. However, breakfast was still good!! (I guess I kind of got off there!)
My first sister-in-law came over Friday. It was good to see her, although it did mess up the rhythm of my schoolday. I wish I could see her get herself straightened out. I say my first, as my brother has supplied me with 3 sister-in-laws so far.....
My oldest brother has moved into a place to rent for now. I think they are going to rebuild their house on the old lot eventually.
I did not go to church all day today.(Please, dont tell anyone! lol!!) This morning I got mixed up on my mornings. Every Sunday morning except for the third, I go to nursing home service with my parents and play the piano. I was surprised that my mom and dad were not here to pick me up, before Shawn and the kids left for church this morning, and then shortly after got checking the calendar, and alas, this was the 3rd--so I couldnt go anywhere. So I listened to the Sea Breeze Camp in Hobe Sound, Fla. as they were streaming their services online. It was good. I enjoyed it. I like my church, the people are great, the pastor preaches good messages, but it is just so ultra organized. I enjoy when the Spirit of God moves, when people shout, and testify, sing some extra verses, when the preacher is so burdened by what God has given him, he cries. I am maybe seeing things wrong, or am too much of hillbilly, and I know some churches are too unorganized, and I know people can get out of the spirit, but I am not feeling spiritually challenged or inspired enough at church. However, I am afraid, what if it is me, and the lack of discipline in my life. You know, you can sometimes get so focused on the mote in your brothers eye that you fail to see the log in your own! I am praying for myself and our church. If you are a Christian reading this, if anyone does, please pray for me. Anyhow, since our church services were moved to 6:00, and Shawn works so many doubles, he looks forward to that Sunday afternoon nap, and sometimes just doesnt want to get up to leave again at 5:30. You see, he doesnt get home til 1:00 and by the time we eat, and lay down it is around 2, and then we have to get up at 5, to get ready to leave by 5:30. Not that that shouldnt be enough time to sleep, but it makes the day so short and unrestful--well kind of like you are running--I dont know--I understand how he feels. So well, he didnt want to get up, so we stayed home and watched the camp meeting services again. Another good service. But is it another example of the lack of discipline???
Well that is all for tonight. I probably didnt make much sense. But then who thought I was sensible....????

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Relaxed Homeschooling!!!

What a beautiful week in Nature! First at the beginning of the week we had a ice storm that covered the trees in our woods in glistening glory, and then a beautiful, white blanket of snow fell over them. We were living in a winter wonderland truly, but ach!! it was so cold!!! BRRR!!

Someone was joking the other day about relaxed homeschooling, so I just had to share this picture.
I used to work once a week taking care of a lady that had a stroke, and could take my kids--this was taken there!!
For the most part, I make my kids sit at a table, but sometimes this happens!! LOL!!