Taking Life One Step At A Time

Taking Life One Step At  A Time

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Awesome conference alert!

For all you ladies out there ...

I just registered for what looks to be an incredible conference. Check out www.truewoman.com for information. They have three locations and three different dates: Chattanooga, TN - March 25-27, 2010; Indianapolis, IN - September 23-25, 2010; and Fort Worth, TX - October 14-16, 2010.

Some of the speakers will vary based on location, but here's a list of them:
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Mary Kassian, James MacDonald, Fern Nichols, Jennifer Rothschild, Crawford Loritts, Karen Loritts, Joni Eareckson Tada and Voddie Baucham. Worship will be led by Keit & Kristyn Getty (one of my favorite artists!).

You can register online and if you are a pastor's wife (or want to nominate your pastor's wife) she can get a scholarship to go for free! (There are a limited amount of scholarships available, so register soon.) Check it out! This sounds like a great opportunity!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Complaint Cure #11

I'm a little late on this one, but here goes anyway ...

Thanking God this week for:
~ A great visit with friends this weekend despite cruddy weather
~ The blessing of hearing Sara speak about Nigeria
~ Voddie Baucham's book "Family Driven Faith"
~ The wonderful fact that basketball season is just about half over! :)
~ Great ideas from other women
~ A perfect annual check up for my little girl
~ Gabe's healing foot
~ sleep
~ contagious excitement
~ my mariage
~ the beauty of seeing Josh cook with Gabe and Abby last night
~ time for a haircut
~ God's continued grace and patience as He realigns my will with His.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Top 3 Social Problems

A friend who is a college student at a nearby Christian school asked for my response to a set of three questions for one of her classes. I had a really hard time coming up with answers, but finally wrote something. I know I may have some disagree with me on these answers, but I thought I'd share them if for no other reason than to encourage you to think about how you would answer the questions. Josh also answered the same questions and I was jealous of his wise answers. However, I do see that his came from a "man" perspective and mine came more from a "mom" perspective. In any case, here they are:

Questions: What do you think the 3 most important social problems in the U.S. are? Why do you believe these are the 3 most important social problems? And how might these problems be solved?

1. A lack of community. Years ago, our nation thrived on a sense of community. Neighbors cared for each other, helped each other and were genuinely known by one another. Now, we can live in the same community and know nothing of our neighbors. We have become a society of indviduals. There are several problems with this. First, we were not created to be alone. God commands us to love our neighbors - which would imply that we actually have met them! Secondly, as believers, we have to earn the right to share Christ with others. It takes personal investment in a neighbor's life before they can see the difference of Jesus in you. Thirdly, our children are missing out on the riches of knowing others. There will be varied cultures, ideas, religions and talents represented in our communities. Our children will miss the opportunity to invest in others and to be invested in because their parents have become so isolated. We cannot expect this trend to change if we do not teach our children to foster community with others. This will not be easy to solve. To create a sense of community, people will have to deliberately go out of their way to begin this in their own neighborhoods. This is something that parents will have to teach their children. I think the Church can be instrumental in changing this trend in society. Churches should be reaching out to their local communities and individual families must do the same.

2. Lack of moral education. After having our children in public school, I witnessed first hand the lack of moral education in our schools. Our children have been bullied - both physically and emotionally - and have witnessed the punishment of those who do right and the lack of discipline for those who do wrong. We have created so many laws to protect the innocent that we have tied the hands of our teachers and administrators from carrying out any lasting form of discipline. I'm not suggesting that teachers should be allowed to spank or strike a child, however they should have the right to teach what is right and wrong and to expect it from the children in their classrooms with consequenes for poor behavior and attitudes.
I see this issue as a major social problem because children are growing up with the belief that if they know how to bend the rules or hide their actions, they can get away with anything. Children are learning that bullying is equal to strength and that those who show kindness are weak. And children are learning from authority figures that no one really cares. One of the things my kids were told in school was that they were not allowed to tattle. That translated to my children feeling that they had no right to speak up when picked on. And more than once, my children were told, "I won't listen to you. Deal with it on your own." by teachers who ought to have been their champions. Without moral concern or education in our schools, the next generation will be a sorry lot indeed! I want to be careful here and be sure to state that there are some teachers and caregivers who diligently watch and correct the behavior of those in their care. However, I think we need to introduce higher expectations in our schools. Kids are at school for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. In 180 days of school, that translates to roughly 1440 hours per year in the care of adults other than their parents and church leaders. The schools have a tremendous impact on our children! Until we hold them accountable to teaching not only educational standards, but moral standards as well, we will not see change in this area.

3. Hatred disguised as tolerance. This last one will hit a nerve with many in our society. We have become so focused on tolerance in our society. We are told that everyone must be accepted and loved for exactly who they are and must not be subjected to change for the benefit of another. I think the problem with this train of thought is that it contains truth, but also covers a lie. Yes, we should love all and seek to minister and befriend without bias as Jesus did. However, we are all sinful and do need to change. Another problem with this doctrine is that while many are being celebrated for their differences, Christians are seen as oppressive and backward. We are shunned for our beliefs - specifically the beliefs that there is absolute truth and that Christ is the only way to God. I have seen hatred mounting - both in government policy and in local outcry - against the Christians. We are told that this is to protect and tolerate all, but in reality it is silencing those who wish to proclaim Christ. I think the only way for this issue to be "solved" is for Christians to step up and serve in government and in leadership positions throughout the country. The voices that have the most impact are those that are given power to create change. Unfortunately, many Christians want nothing to do with the corruption of politics and so we give up the right to be heard. I don't believe we will see change in this issue until Christians take the on the challenge of affecting change nationwide.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Blessings of 2009

Thought I'd do a special blog of the many ways God has blessed our family throughout 2009. So here goes ...
~ He provided for our every need and so very many of our wants
~ A switch from public school to homeschooling - which actually went very smoothly and we were able to choose curriculum that our children are enjoying and benefitting from.
~ Growth in our children. Not just physical growth, but spiritual growth as well. We've seen increased compassion, work on weeding out selfish behaviors, the willingness to apologize sincerely, strides in letting go of things and embracing what is more important, a desire to learn from the Bible, a love for the church, and many Bible verses committed to memory. :)
~ A YMCA membership for the winter. What a WONDERFUL thing to have with four busy children!
~ Several dates with my favorite person.
~ Thanksgiving with Josh's family, including his grandma
~ A week at camp for each of the older boys
~ Hilarious things that our children have said throughout the year!
~ A BIG vacation including many visits with friends and family; special memories of Disney, Sea World, a Cannon, panning for gold, Wii boxing and the Creation Museum; safe travels, and health until the very last stop!
~ This may sound strange, but I'm thankful that I had the Swine Flu because I now understand what so many others are dealing with. And I'm thankful no one else got it in our family!
~ A celebration of 10 years of marriage!
~ Another great time in the Dells. We've made this an annual trip and it gets better every year.
~ Friends who pray for us and love us.
~ Church growth and individual growth. We've seen so many strides in Kingdom growth this year.
~ A second service added on at OGC.
~ The kids each spending time at Grandma's this summer.
~ The opportunity to host a soccer coach from England.
~ Great community sports and dance.
~ Day trips to the beach this summer.
~ Good deals at garage sales - which saves us a boatload on clothes!
~ Kids who love to learn
~ A trip to the Leadership Summit and the blessing of hearing such godly men and women share their stories.
~ A garden that produced excellent veggies this year. We're still enjoying frozen produce! Yum!
~ David's success in writing a winning story for the Reading Rainbow Contest.
~ A trip to the Mall of America and the opportunity to visit John Piper's church.
~ Healed bones after David broke his arm and toe.
~ A successful and fun women's retreat and tea.
~ A weekend to learn about what God is doing in Papua New Guinea and the joy of hearing about believers around the world.
~ Having both sets of grandparents nearby for half the year.
~ A strong marriage and continued growth in parenting.

God is so very good! There are many, many more things I could mention. Take a few minutes and thank God for the incredible ways he has blessed your life this past year.

Complaint Cure #10

Thanking God for ....
~ our YMCA membership
~ 2 wonderful friends who are celebrating birthdays tomorrow
~ the positive response we got when telling our kids we were getting rid of cable!
~ fun at the movies with Josh yesterday
~ a great new babysitter
~ flannel sheets (and that Josh is finally letting me use them!)
~ health
~ sight
~ the incredible advances of medicine
~ my new cell phone
~ a new friend for Zack
~ great playdates for each of our children this past week
~ the flexibility of homeschooling and that we can all be home as a fmaily on Mondays
~ the book of Isaiah
~ that God hears me when I talk to Him
~ a new year and a fresh start
~ a year full of blessings, challenges and growth in 2009.