Archive for May, 2013

I have recently become addicted to a TV show about fairy tale characters trapped in our world by a curse; the story line is intricate, the characters are interesting and for someone like me who is always looking for good parallels to scripture, it gives much material to think about.

One of the common themes in the show is that all magic has a price. Every time a character has their heart broken or is desperate to save something precious to them, they seek magic to solve their problem. However, every time the magic is used it always costs them dearly and in most cases, if salvation is to be found they must fight that much harder to gain back what has been lost. For instance, in one of the episodes the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland desperately desires make a better life for his daughter so he makes a deal with the evil queen. The queen promises him that if he uses his magic hat to get her what she wants then his daughter will want for nothing. However, in the end she ends up leaving him in Wonderland where he can never see his daughter again. Although his daughter is well taken care of as promised, the cost is much more than he could have ever imagined.

This to me seems like a perfect parallel to sin. Sin promises to be the ideal way to acquire what we want and get around the difficulty of our circumstances, but just like in the case of the Mad Hatter, it costs us more dearly than we can comprehend. When we hurt do we circumvent the pain with sex, drinking, gluttony, apathy or even anger? Do these things not cost us our soul in the end? When we have a deep desire to obtain or save something do we idolize it and sacrifice all else in the quest to pursue our desire? Does this quest not leave us empty, longing for the eternal? This is because no matter what sin promises us, there are no shortcuts to true life and salvation.

Just like the magic in the story, sin always has a price and it never gets you where you wanted to go in the first place. The only way to rise above the brokenness of this world is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our Prince of Peace who conquered sin and the terrible curse of death. We must cling to His every word, resting in the promise that He is coming back for us and eternity awaits when we are finally brought home for the great wedding feast. This is the gospel and it is the ultimate fairytale.

So my challenge is this… As parents let us never waste an opportunity to show our kids the beauty of the gospel; weather it’s a bedtime story or a TV show about fairytales, the threads of redemption give exquisite depth and intricate beauty to everything we encounter. It sure would be a shame to miss it.

Moment of The Week!

Posted: May 21, 2013 in Moment of The Week

It was a typical evening at my house… the grocery shopping hadn’t been done in a couple of weeks and I was scrounging for something to fix for supper. While digging in the pantry I found a Macaroni Grill Chicken Marsala box dinner. Bingo! Thirty minutes later I had cooked up a convenience meal master piece, complete with glass plates to dress it up! I was very proud of myself for finding a way to procrastinate the grocery trip one more night, but as my husband and I began to take a few bites my euphoria was soon diminished. “Um, not to be rude but does something taste funny to you?” my husband asked in his most polite voice. “Mmmm… maybe.” I said, beginning to doubt myself. I reached over to the counter and pulled down the box that had contained our dinner and looked for the expiration date. “Best if used by May 2009. Oops.” Wheeler looked at me with his usual amused smile “Well, there’s the funny taste!” Needless to say we ended up binging on the last bits of snack food for the rest of the evening and the next day I made a little trip to the grocery store.

In the heart of the earth there’s a terrible sound.
If you listen you’ll hear it, like a pain in the ground.

It’s a sadness that pulses through all of creation;
A longing to flee from a curse and damnation.

Trees groan as the wind blows their leaves.
Mountains quake with tremors and heaves.

Wolves cry out at the moon in the night,
Like begging for mercy from a terrible plight.

The clouds swirl black and turn into storms,
That rage and leave nothing but vacuous forms.

The earth it cracks and opens its mouth,
To wreak destruction from north to south.

What is the reason? Does anyone know?
I look to the Scriptures to see what is so.

In Romans it says indeed there’s a curse;
It’s ominous, heavy and will only get worse.

But it says there’s hope and the King will return,
To redeem what is His, the curse He will burn.

He will speak to the water, the sky and the earth.
He will heal all their pain and give them new birth.

Upon His return, the wolves they will sing.
The trees will dance like sunlight in spring.

The wind will speak with a language so soft,
It will shelter the soul like a bird in its loft.

The earth will not shake, tremble or crack.
Its heart will have warmth, its life brought back.

So now when I hear the sound of the groaning,
I know it means there will be an atoning.

It says there is more than these things that are fading;
The King will come back and for Him we are waiting.

Romans 8:18-24

I don’t think there are many who would argue with the statement that motherhood is the most thankless job in the world. We don’t remember the years that our mother’s got up with us in the middle of the night, changed our dirty diapers, fed us and cleaned up the countless messes that we made. We take for granted the fact that we always had clean clothes, three meals a day and that our mom sacrificed most of her free time investing in all of our activities and education.

So on this Mother’s Day week I would like to share a list I made of all the forgotten things my mom did to make me who I am today. I realize there are many who struggle with strained relationships with their mothers, but I hope I can at least encourage everyone to look for the good things your mom did and maybe take the time to tell her thank you. After all, don’t we want our kids to be merciful and remember the things we did well despite all our mistakes? I know I do.

All The Things My Mom Did Right:

1.She loved Jesus.

2. She taught me what it means to really love a man by how she loved my dad. She never talked badly of him, she respected him, she served him, she never left and they are still in love today.

3. She was resourceful. My dad was a teacher so we didn’t have any money but my brother and I never really noticed. She was just so good at making what we had work.

4. She made holidays special. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine’s Day, it didn’t matter what the holiday was, she always found a way to make it special for the whole family.

5. She was and is always there for me. Even as an adult there is not one time in my life that I can ever say my mother wasn’t there for me. Many times I have needed her and no matter how inconvenient it might have been, she was always right there.

6. She knew how to have fun. My mother loves to shop, eat junk food, go on family excursions and be spontaneous. One of my best memories of her was the day we skipped school to go see the Houston Symphony and watch the Sound of Music all afternoon.

7. She homeschooled my brother and I even when it cost her everything. My mother started homeschooling in the 80’s when it was not the movement that it is today. She not only lost all of her free time but the support of her family as well, and with limited resources she worked extremely hard to make sure we got a good education. Her sacrifice in this will always be an inspiration to me.

8. She taught me how to really care about people. Whenever my mom saw someone who was struggling or hurting, she would always do something; whether it was flowers, a card or just a phone call, she would always find a way to let them know they were loved.

9. She never left. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom I realize what a feat it is to simply stick with your kids when things are difficult. In a world where so many mothers abandon their children, I am so grateful that my mother showed me what it looks like to persevere even when you feel like running.

10. She became my friend. Some have said that you are not to be your child’s friend and that is true to an extent especially when they are small. However, as parents we are to cultivate a relationship with our children in addition to teaching them how live by standards. This is so that when childhood gives way to adulthood, a friendship can indeed blossom. My mother spent much time cultivating a relationship with me, especially as I got into my teen years and this relationship has grown into a friendship that I cherish to this day.

So thank you, Mom for everything you did right. I know there is a lot that is not on this list, but these are the things that have meant the most to me and I just want you to know that you were very good at your very thankless job. I love you so much and Happy Mother’s Day!

“Her children rise up and bless her;” – Proverbs 31:28

Moment of The Week!

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Moment of The Week

Recently I took the kids over to a friend’s house for a play date. It was a lovely day and we were sitting in the back yard watching the kids run around when I noticed that my youngest daughter, Elaina was getting a little too friendly with their dog. She kept trying to touch his personal space and I kept telling her “No, no don’t touch that, it’s nasty.” Well, she finally stopped but then the dog decided to give his personal space a good licking at which point she very sternly reprimanded him by saying “No, no don’t touch that, it’s nasty!” How do you explain that one to a two-year old?

A few nights ago my husband and I were watching the first session of Tommy Nelson’s Daniel study. He began his teaching by laying out nine reasons why studying prophecy in the Bible was of utmost importance. While all the points were quite profound, there was one that resonated with me on a subject that has been stirring in my mind for the last week. He was teaching out of 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 which says this:

“Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

He described how the study of prophecy should keep in our vision the judgment seat of Christ; not because we will be judged for sin, because that was paid for on the cross, but because we will be judged for what we have done with our lives and rewarded accordingly. For most Christians this is not an earth shattering concept, but what struck me was his analysis of the words “good” and “bad” at the end of the verse. He said that in Hebrew the word for glory carries the connotation of weight. The greek word “Phaulon” used in this verse for the word “bad” carries the connotation of something that is worthless and has no weight. So the deeds in my life that are truly good will carry the weight of God’s glory, and the deeds in my life that are bad will blow away like chaff in the wind because they are worthless, having no substance before the throne of God.

This is something that I think of often and as strange as it may sound, I spend many of my thoughtful moments imagining what my eulogy would sound like if I were to die tomorrow. What would people say about me? Would the stories they tell reflect the glory of my Savior or would they reflect only my own ambitions? Would my existence be like chest weighted with eternal treasures or would it look more like a pile of ashes full of wasted time? Often these questions reveal to my heart the places in my life that are filled with worthlessness and have lost the weight of God’s glory.

I know to some this might sound like a morbid line of thinking, but personally I think Tommy Nelson is right. By maintaining a view of my day at the throne of God, the desire to please Him is kept awake so that I don’t fall asleep. And maybe when I go home someday there will be enough of my life weighted in His glory for Him to say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

So I guess my challenge to all my fellow thinkers out there is to ponder what your eulogy might sound like if you died tomorrow… would there be weight to the things people would say about you or would it mostly be chaff in the wind?

Daniel Study by Tommy Nelson