Archive for March, 2013

Moment of The Week!

Posted: March 31, 2013 in Moment of The Week

A few mornings ago I was sitting at the breakfast table, delighting in the fact that my girls were actually playing nicely together. My oldest daughter, Lilah had her Disney Princesses book open and was very methodically teaching her little sister, Elaina the names of all the characters in The Little Mermaid story. Lilah would ask “Elaina, can you say Ariel?” and Elaina would repeat a garbled version of the word, to which Lilah would respond with enthusiastic affirmation. This went on for a while until Lilah finally turned to me and said “Mommy, can you say Flounder?” I of course repeated the word and she very excitedly said “Very good, Mommy, you are so smart!” I have to admit that I never thought saying the word “flounder” would make me smart but I will take what I can get!

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Since today is the first day that the Supreme Court will begin hearings regarding the issue of “marriage equality” I felt it was appropriate to re-post a blog I wrote on the subject last year… I know it is a bit long but I hope everyone will take a moment to read it, think about it and maybe challenge themselves to re-examine their world view in the light of Scripture.

Last Friday night I saw a theatrical presentation of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It was a conscience wrenching, powerful performance and it has inspired me to talk about an issue that is probably the most controversial in our culture today… Homosexuality. I have long hesitated to address the topic on my blog, not only because of its polarizing nature, but also because there is a horrific tendency by those of us who oppose homosexuality to view those who practice it as the enemies. This is not so. Satan is our enemy and homosexuality is merely another device he uses to rob the human soul of the joy and satisfaction it was created for. In fact, I think it is worth pointing out that heterosexual promiscuity is an equal rejection of God’s design for sexuality and our acceptance of these practices is the foundation for where we are today with homosexuality. Everything from pre-marital sex and co-habitation to pornography, it all screams that we do not believe that there is a God who cares what we do. All sin is an equal rejection of God’s boundaries… A man who has a problem with pride or anger is the same as the man who is a homosexual and both men are the same as me… a sinner with a whole bunch of problems that God desperately desires to redeem. I hope everyone will keep that in mind as I proceed.

There are two reasons that I have decided to write about the subject… The first is because as a mom, it is painfully apparent that my children are growing fast and it will not be long before they are asking me questions to which I must have a good response. I want to encourage all you other moms out there to take a stance on what you believe with your kids because if you don’t, someone else will undoubtedly seize the opportunity provided by your silence. The second reason is that C.S. Lewis boldly challenged the moral culture of his day in writing the Screwtape Letters and I feel that homosexuality is a moral question to which too few people are willing to offer a biblical answer. To be clear, I do not believe the question should be whether homosexuality should receive the same privileges as heterosexual marriage, but rather is homosexuality just an alternative lifestyle or is it in fact a wrong use of sexuality that God has condemned as destructive to his most precious creation? If you answer that question, then it is easy to determine whether a society should sanction or fight against such behavior. Let us remember, however, that the fight is NOT AGAINST the people who practice homosexuality but FOR the people who practice homosexuality. We are fighting FOR the freedom of their souls and against the lust that has enslaved them.

I believe in the God of the Bible and I believe that He loved us so much that He gave us boundaries so we could live in true freedom the life he has given us on this earth. It’s just like a good father sets boundaries for his children so that they are as safe as they are free. These boundaries are the things we call right and wrong and their existence is most obviously demonstrated by the person who says there is no such thing. If you were to harm this person or steal something from him, he will automatically recoil in horror and demand retribution, thus acknowledging that there is wrong and you have done it. God created sexual pleasure and it is ours to enjoy within His boundaries and design. In Romans 1:26-27 homosexuality is clearly described as against this design and I therefore believe it is not only wrong but will ultimately prove harmful to those who practice it no matter what the media or popular culture may say to the contrary. If God is a good father who sets boundaries because He loves us, then you can be sure that the things he says are wrong will somehow ravage our souls whether now or later. Both heterosexual and homosexual promiscuity are forms of insatiable lust and lust will destroy the soul it feasts upon no matter the object or the method of its pursuit.

So as a mom, I would encourage you to be bold and teach your children that homosexuality and heterosexual promiscuity is wrong because God did not design us to work that way. But what should we teach them to do with that belief? I say teach them the golden rule. Treat others how you would want to be treated because you are just as bad a sinner as anyone else. God treats us in this way despite our wretchedness; it is His patient love that woos our souls unto Him and changes us from the inside out. He does not condone sin and neither should we, but we can be certain that He is able to handle the sin in His own children and He does not need our help to do it. So teach them to cling to truth but love those who have not found it because God does the same with us as we struggle in our own sins. So now that I have gone on quite long enough on this difficult subject, I have written my own Screwtape letter to offer a bit more perspective. I hope everyone will at least be willing to listen and take away the idea that there really is a design for us and it is born from love, for our protection not our misery.

My Dear Orexis,
It is my sincerest hope that you will be more successful with your new patient than your cousin Wormwood was with his. Of course you are well aware of the fate he suffered for his failures, so I advise you to take extra care that you do not follow in his miserable footsteps. I am, however, most delighted to hear that you have already spotted a most advantageous struggle within your new subject… It is that of sexual preference. I see that he is already quite immersed in pornography, but as our father below has so designed it, he is beginning to lust for more and is now ready to be introduced to a new outlet for his desires. Oh this is most delightful!! As with all things embedded in the sinful nature of humans all you need to do is encourage what is already there and get them to go as far as you can without looking to see where they are going. I also see from your letter that he is a student at the local high school… All the better! As you know, our father below has already forged a very successful campaign against the education system. Everything is considered relative now and we have convinced even some of the most intelligent to believe that there are no standards for right and wrong, it’s really just a matter of whatever makes them happy. Use this to your advantage. Encourage him to indulge his curiosity under the guise of exploring his sexuality or trying to find his happiness by finding himself. You and I both know that our enemy has designed these humans to only truly find themselves in Him, which makes the pursuit of finding oneself in oneself absolutely fruitless but this is what we want!! The longer we can keep him chasing empty promises of happiness, the longer we can keep him from finding the truth and that, my dear Orexis, is something you must avoid at all costs. We have successfully convinced the majority of the world that truth does not even exist, but it does indeed exist and you must never EVER let your subject find it or he might be freed from our grasp forever! I don’t need to remind you what will be done to you if that were to happen.

Now as you convince your subject to satisfy his growing lust in sexual activity with the same sex, there will be the inevitable matter of guilt that will begin to creep into his conscience; you must convince him that this is just because society has imposed their bigotry on his sexual freedom. This guilt, of course, is a weapon that our enemy uses to whisper to the human soul that they were designed for better things. Silence this whisper at all costs and make sure your subject remains unaware that there is a design or purpose for his life at all. A purposeless being feels under no obligation to do anything that does not please him and he then becomes obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure which as we discussed earlier will never come to him. If he becomes depressed, send him to one of our psychologists… they will condemn the feelings of guilt as low self-esteem or something to that effect and put him on some very useful medications so that he continue on this journey of “sexual exploration”. Now, I understand from your letters that his parents are in fact Christians, which is very disconcerting, but you say that he and his father have a hard time understanding one another. Use that to alienate the boy from any influence they might have. Destruction of that insidious thing called “the family” is always of utmost importance. The family was of course designed by our enemy to be a protective structure for humans, particularly women and children and it is what all societies are built on…. So if the very idea of strong families is done away with as bigoted and obsolete then the society itself becomes weak and is practically ours for the taking!!!

So let us review your course of action for your new patient… (1) Encourage his sexual exploration as natural and merely a pursuit of happiness. (2) Erase any idea of truth or right or wrong. (3) Keep his family from having any influence in his life as this is always poisonous to our purposes. (4) Never let him see that the pleasure he is chasing will never satisfy his lust. (5) Always reiterate to his mind that there is no God with a design or purpose for his life and anyone who says differently is bigoted and a hate monger. If you successfully do these things you will effectively enslave your patient’s soul to an endless pursuit of pleasures that will never satisfy. He is in fact deeply loved by our enemy who designed him for freedom, but if you do your work well he will die enslaved to his lust and never know what he missed until it is too late.

Your Affectionate Uncle,
Screwtape

If you are interested in seeing the theatrical version of the Screwtape Letters I highly recommend the one put on by the Fellowship For The Performing Arts http://www.screwtapeonstage.com/

Moment of The Week!

Posted: March 25, 2013 in Moment of The Week

While attempting to eat dinner one evening, my two year old, Elaina refused to sit in her highchair. She kept standing up and yelling at the top of her lungs “Ball! Ball!” but no one could figure out what she was talking about. After multiple attempts to get her to sit down, be quiet and eat, we finally gave up and set her on the floor. As soon as her feet touched the ground, she walked up to the chair next to me, climbed on top of it and reached over to pluck a black olive from my salad. Before we could say anything she shoved the olive into her mouth and said with complete satisfaction “Ball!” The entire table erupted in laughter as her persistence had once again proved successful!

Moment of The Week!

Posted: March 18, 2013 in Moment of The Week

One day I was playing on the floor in the game room with Elaina when my oldest daughter came trotting in with an announcement. “Mom,” she said casually “I am ready to get married.” “Oh, well who are you going to marry?” I asked. “My sister Elaina.” She said without hesitation. “Well, I don’t think you can marry your sister because she’s your sister.” I responded. She paused to think for a moment and then said “My sister will pretend to be Prince Charming and I will marry Prince Charming just like Cinderella.” Smiling, I said “Well, that sounds very nice but did you tell your dad that you are getting married?” “Yeah, he’s happy.” Finally I could no longer contain my laughter at her adorable, simplistic assumption that getting married at three years old was perfectly normal and her dad would be happy to hear it. Love the mind of little girls!!

This article is the best that I have read on the subject of suffering well… I hope everyone gets a chance to read it!

5 Practices for Suffering Well

Last night I was at our small group meeting and the topic of discussion was barriers to godly communication in our marriages. Now, all of us in the group are parents of small children, and anyone who has kids knows that managing a family is the chaotic form of an Olympic. It requires endurance, perseverance and a steady supply of chocolate. However, this frenzied pace of family management has a tendency to build up massive amounts of frustration, which seemed to be the most common barrier mentioned by everyone in our group.

Frustration has it’s source in many different places. For moms it usually comes from managing the kids, the house, the bills, relationships with family and whatever else happens to come across their path during the day; for dads, frustration is often sourced in the demands of work, fighting rush hour traffic to get home in time to see the kids and balancing the needs of their wives and families. For most parents, including myself, all of these little sources of frustration tend to build up until the end of the day when our spouse comes home and says that magical phrase “How was your day?” Suddenly every tantrum the kids have thrown and every item on the checklist that didn’t get done comes flooding out of our mouths like an angry bull finally released from its cage. Hence the conditions are perfect for a fight.

So the question posed by our group leader was how do we remove the barrier of that frustration in order to communicate our struggles in a way that honors God and does not wound our spouse? The first thing that came to my mind was stopping at the end of the day when the kids are asleep and set aside time to just focus on each other. While this is a good thing to do, one of my friends in the group said something that made me think about the subject a little deeper. She said that in the moments where the day seems to be swallowing us alive and frustration threatens to poison the rest of the evening, we must refocus our mind on what it means to love our spouse in that moment instead of just focusing on what needs to happen to make the issues go away. Focus time with our spouse should always be a priority, but when the pace of life makes that impossible on any given day we have to know how to elevate our spouse above our frustration so that managing the issues can become a team effort that is edifying to our marriage. For instance, speaking in an agitated, confrontational tone might serve as an outlet for my frustration but it wounds my husband. Choosing to speak with kindness elevates my husband above my own desire to relieve stress and there is opportunity for the frustrations of life to be managed in a team effort that reflects the love of Christ, instead of being compounded in opposition.

This perspective from my friend added new depth to my original line of thinking and my challenge to all of my other fellow parents out there is to shift your focus from simply trying to attain that quiet moment to learning how to redeem the daily chaos by elevating the needs of your spouse in the moment. In doing this, the quiet moments will be that much sweeter because the love we practice every day adds depth to our marriage and gives life to our souls.