It’s the end of another year. Yes, we have circled the sun one more time. It’s been a blessing, hasn’t it? This amazing life we are given is full of good times and hard times. But, what makes them good or hard? And where are the blessings? Why do we think blessings only come with shiny bows and smiles?
The most meaningful blessings are those that come with tears, sweat and the ultimate was paid for with blood.
Over the past week, I have been thinking about blessings and tears – and the ultimate price. I have been considering the events of 2013 and today, I’m going to wrap up my thoughts for 2013 and clear the fog before 2014 begins…..
Through all of the personal changes, some of our biggest changes have been in our homeschool. Not just how we homeschool, but my thoughts and ideas about it (remember, I quit homeschooling and believe every Mom is a Homeschool Mom). One main thing I have fully embraced: as a homeschool family grows, things change. What works one month may not work the next or the next year or with a different child or even the same child.
I have read and heard that homeschooling is hard. I’ll admit – it is. But, I’ve come to the reality that it is hard because a Mom wants to do what is best for her children. And while our children know that, they are sinful – just like their parents. So, when we take children and place them in the home to learn, there is an unstated expectation that the children will just always do their best because they are with Mom – and they love her and want to please her.
Well, that isn’t true and the Bible is full of truth to show how we, the sinful humans that we are, have behaved towards God the way our children behave towards us some days.
Through that knowledge, I want to share these thoughts:
- Homeschooling will NOT save my children
- Homeschooling will NOT guarantee my children will be the smartest or the brightest
- Homeschooling can become an idol if a parent does not realize it is a tool for God’s glory – not for ours.
And last – but not least is understanding that until my children’s hearts and minds are opened by the Lord, they will not fully grasp wisdom and knowledge – and this has brought me to a new level of prayer that I have never experienced.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)
How we educate our children should not be an idol. Homeschoolers should not be returning the negative criticism about homeschooling with more criticism. We should respond in peace and love and if we can’t – then we should not respond at all.
It’s been a crazy year in our society. While we do not have cable, it’s hard to miss the drama of Miley Cyrus (and witness other young girls attempt their own twerking moves through social media), Phil Robertson and A&E, Doug Phillips and Vision Forum – and yes –
Obamacare Affordable Health Care Act – to name a few.
All of these events have left me sad on so many levels. And while I am sad for our nation and all who have shared their views on each, I am most sad for the Christian Church.
Too often Christians have joined in by
- Criticizing Miley Cyrus, rather than praying for her and raising up a new generation of young women focused on using their gifts and talents to the glory of God. How many parents would prefer their daughters become a movie/singing star rather than a missionary or even – dare I say it – a MOM?
- Shouting how unfair A&E was and telling them – ‘they’ve done it now’…..Wow, when did Christians need a television show to share the gospel? And why do Christians expect a non-Christian network to do anything that glorifies God? Yes, they have changed their decision and that is based on their idol – their god – the dollar. But, really – Christians – are we going to feed into ‘that beast’?
- Spitting on a professed Christian: Doug Phillips – I’ll be honest, I haven’t followed any of the old gossip about how many families were hurt because they ‘followed what he said.’ Honestly, it’s not my business. But here’s the thing – when a Christian confesses a sin, shouldn’t they be treated like the prodigal son? Shouldn’t we help others who are willing to help those who are sinned versus attacking them? After all, we’re all sinners. And – if you were a family who was hurt by him for whatever reason, I’m sorry for that pain….but, where in the Bible does it say we should follow a ‘man’? Shouldn’t we be holding ourselves accountable for who we follow and ensuring we are reading the Bible and praying for God and Jesus to lead our families? And why in the world would anyone want to be a Christian with the way we treat our fellow brothers and sisters? We are called to love one another and our enemies. (I am not saying what he did was right or anything like that – but we are called to love and forgive our enemies. After all, we are all enemies of Christ until we lay down our lives for His.)
Obamacare– Affordable Health Care Act – well, many asked for change. It’s coming. I pray Christians are ready and prepared to be the hands and feet because they’re going to be needed as more and more families go without due to the looming impact this will have.
It’s time for Christians to wake up. It’s time for us to stop blaming others for the shape of our own lives. It’s time for Christians to go out and make disciples of all nations. It’s time for all families to stop making education another idol.
It’s time for today’s Christian to truly consider what Jesus said - “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you:‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” (John 15:18-20 ESV)
Too often Christians want to sell a ‘lite Jesus’. They want people to like them and Jesus so they give them the ‘love’ side without the truth side. And here’s the truth. That’s NOT love. Yes, Jesus loved the world – to the point of dying on the cross. And, yes, HE did that freely. But, to follow Him – that will cost a person everything. We have to give up our lives, our choices, our freedoms to follow Him.
While I end this year with a lot of different thoughts I have been praying over, I want to also end it with this: Let’s make 2014 the year that Christians served God through faith and actions. Let’s not sell our God short, let’s place Him back at the head of our nation and shine His light through Love and Truth.
How will you spend 2014? Seeking your own dreams and desires? Looking like the world? Criticizing the world or understanding, each and every person is an opportunity to share God’s love and truth with…. (and not one of us is perfect)
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