Friday, September 22, 2006

Defiled by the world

Today we made our semi-annual trek to Ottawa's second-hand Value Village shops. We pulled into the first store and the first thing I noticed was the big word COSTUMES in large bold capital letters on a banner spread across one fourth of the store front.

"Oh, yeah," I thought, "halloween is coming up." Duh, but I'd forgotten all about it. After all, it's a non-event in our house.

When I saw the sign, I almost wanted to forget about shopping. I've been to Value Village in the fall, and they don't have very many cute fairy, princess, ladybug, or pumpkin costumes. I don't think they even have many super hero costumes. I could be wrong, since I don't browse through the costumes. But what generally stands out all over the store, every where you look, are costumes, nick-nacks, decorations, and what-have-you with the one central theme of the dark side of halloween (is there a "light" side?): skulls, freakish monsters with red eyes, anything gory, all hideous.

I steeled myself with the determination to ignore all that for the sake of getting clothes. After all, we drove an hour to get there; we needed to make the trip worthwhile. So we got all nine children out of the van (okay, most of them got themselves out) and entered the store, cautioning the children to beware of the Gimmies. (If you don't know what Gimmies are, you probably don't have children.)

I was looking through the girls' dresses when I suddenly had the urge to get out. Fast. Loud heavy metal chaotic wickedness was blasting through the whole store. I have never shopped so fast in my life. I pulled about a dozen jumpers and dresses off the rack and was steering the cart and two little girls toward the fitting rooms when my husband came over and said, "We need to leave. Now." Instead of trying on all the clothes, I simply held them up to my daughters, discarded the ones I felt were too short, and headed toward the check-out.

Once out of the store, I thought, whew, that's done. Now on to the next store. Oldest daughter went to that one with friends, and said it was better and more organized. Got in the store and was greeted with the same in-your-face-and-ears wickedness. At least, this time it wasn't so loud. Walking out after we were done, I told the children that at least it was cheaper than buying fabric and taking the time to sew.

But was it really cheaper? Did we really need to subject ourselves and our children to the sights and sounds of wickedness just to save a few bucks? Was this trip so worth it financially as to offset the spiritual offense? Should we tolerate wickedness for the sake of our wallets?

I am beginning to think that perhaps next spring I will shop the local quiet fabric shops and take the time to sew. Time spent sewing with my daughters should not be thought of as "wasted" time. There was a time when women mostly sewed their own clothes, teaching skills to their daughters, all the while conversing together. Often neighboring women would get together to visit over their sewing. Christian women set up "Dorcas Societies" (see Acts 9:36-42) to sew for missionaries, war victims, and the poor. Often these sewing meetings included Bible study and prayer.

I think I'd much rather spend a week sewing and fellowshipping with my girls than spend a few hours immersing myself and my family in wickedness while looking through racks of clothes at some store.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lord, I believe--HELP!

And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. . . (Mar 6:5-6).

. . . .if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:22-24).

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jeremiah 33:3).

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God CAN do great and mighty things. But I had to confess with tears this morning that I am not always so sure he will. Is my unbelief hindering His willingness? O, that I might say with the leper, "Lord, if thou wilt thou canst. . ." and hear the Beloved Saviour say, "I will. . ."!


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday morning thoughts

". . .that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness. . ." Titus 2:3

I will unashamedly admit to being stuck on this one clause. Those who have been following this blog knowing that I am going through Titus 2:3-5 point by point will probably wonder if I am ever going to get past this one point! In one way I hope I never do, because if we women miss this one point, we may as well give the rest of it up. This one point will determine our obedience in all other areas of our roles as wives, mothers, women.

This morning our brother from Beauport, Quebec, preached for us. Having heard him preach before, I was looking forward to this, because the Lord always uses his preaching in my life. The only thing I never liked about his preaching was that his sermons always seemed too short. Not today! He preached as long as my husband does--and my husband learned to preach in the South, where many Baptist preachers are known for their long-winded sermons!

Brother Marcel's sermon was such a blessing to all of us. You see, for the last two months God has been blessing their little fellowship in Beauport. I believe they are seeing the very beginnings of a great work of God as they spend more and more of their time on their knees. (When was the last time you were in a Sunday service that lasted 10+ hours, non-stop? They have had that blessing every Sunday for 8 or 9 weeks.) I wish I could convey his heart to you. God has taught him so much in the last two months. As he says, our church's family camp in July marked a turning point in his life, and he will never be the same.

I won't be, either. My turning point goes back a month further than that, to June 18. That was the day God began teaching me more about prayer and its importance in my life as a Christian. Since then God has made me a more joyfully submissive wife, a more cheerful mother, and a more prayerful Christian. This morning, Brother Marcel encouraged me to pray more. For years I have made excuses about the busyness of motherhood being the reason why I couldn't spend concentrated time in prayer. But now I know that my failures as a wife and mother are a direct result of NOT spending concentrated time in prayer.

I will not waste time looking back at what could have been if I'd prayed more then. I am going to go forward and see what God will do with me as I pray more now.

Do you long for revival? Do you even understand what real revival is? Brother Marcel mentioned a website that has impacted him a lot. It is A Revival Resource Center. I have just begun to read through it, but here is one of the many convicting quotes I found:

“The men that will change the colleges and seminaries here represented are the men that will spend the most time alone with God…It takes time for the fires to burn. It takes time for God to draw near and for us to know that He is there. It takes time to assimilate His truth. You ask me, How much time? I do not know. I know it means time enough to forget time.” - John R. Mott

I think I can adapt that to my situation this way:

The women who will change their families, churches and communities are the women who will spend the most time alone with God. It takes time for God to draw near and for us to know that He is there. It takes time to assimilate His truth. You ask me, Where can I find this time? I do not know where you will find it. I know that I have found it in all the precious minutes of the day that I have wasted in meaningless, frivolous activity that, in the end, will only amount to so much wood, hay, and stubble.


Monday, September 11, 2006

How holy do you want to be?

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15-16

In last night's sermon, my husband made this heart-revealing statement:

"We are as holy as we want to be."

For months (a couple years?) he has been taking us through the book of Hebrews, verse by verse. It has been a fantastic study. For the last 3-4 weeks we have been studying Hebrews 11:20-21 and the life of Jacob. Jacob is a prime example of the Christian's war between the flesh and the spirit. On the one hand, we see the old man, named Jacob, acting in the flesh and walking by sight. On the other hand, we see the new man, named Israel, acting in the spirit and walking by faith. We never see an in-between man, named Jacob-Israel, walking by faith and by sight at the same time. Such a thing is impossible.

As Christians, we have the power to walk by faith and not by sight. We can choose (an unbeliever cannot choose) to walk either in the flesh or in the spirit. Since the choice lies with us, we are indeed as holy as we want to be at any given moment during any given day.

O that we would want to be as holy as He Who made us at any given moment during any given day! Would we see revival then?


P.S. Read and meditate on this to learn how to tap into the source of our power and strength

Friday, September 08, 2006

New sheep on the blogspot block

My husband never calls our children "kids." I have adopted his reasoning: kids come from goats, which in Scripture signify those who will never be saved. Thus my twist on the common saying, "new kid on the block."

The new blogger is The Mosaic Antinomian. I think he wants to remain anonymous, but if you know me, you know him. And if you know him, you will most likely recognize him from his profile and his blog. He tells me that "mosaic" in his screen name is an adjective meaning "of Moses." This was a big help to me in understanding why he chose that name.

I've added his link to my sidebar. Visit him when you can.