Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Aah, the wonderful world of head-coverings. During the first month that I wore mine, those who knew me well hardly said anything. My mother-in-law said something, but she typically speaks her mind. I expected it. My dentist told me he liked my "do-rag." The others were probably wondering if I'd flipped my lid or joined a cult.
I felt exceedingly uncomfortable. Was I crazy? There was a sense of relief that people weren't asking me about it, but at the same time, I wondered what they were whispering behind my back. Did I stick out like a sore thumb, or was I just paranoid? I have always been perfectly comfortable blending into the background. The last thing I wanted to do was draw attention to myself. Submitting to covering my head would definitely push me out of my comfort zone.
For scriptural support for the headcovering, see 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. You can google the "controversy" if you wish to read more about it.
I spent literally YEARS mulling this over before I decided to follow the convictions of the Holy Spirit. I knew no one who covered her head. No one at my church, no one in my neighborhood, no one in my homeschool group.
So why do I do this, especially since I claim to not enjoy the attention of sticking out? Because it is from God and not from me. I do not look down my nose at those who don't cover their heads. I've never told anyone that they should cover their heads. I have suggested trying it out to those who were contemplating it. Wearing the headcovering actually reminds me to be friendlier and more outgoing than I would otherwise. Some people will look at me and judge me to be "religious" or "fundamental", and I want to be certain that they don't remember that the woman in the long skirt and headcovering was rude or impolite or unfriendly.
Most people still don't comment on it. Some children ask me why I wear a scarf, and some adults ask my children why I do it. Does anyone else find it odd that an adult would ask a 4 year old to explain why his mother always wears a scarf? He can't even explain why he ate breakfast this morning! Sure, he knows he ate it and it was good, but he can't tell you WHY.
Either the funny looks I used to get from strangers were imagined or I've grown used to them. I have peace about it now. So I don't fit in... I never really did anyway, I only looked like it.
Monday, October 29, 2007
This photo was taken after the first side was removed. We found some huge brown recluse spiders in there!
The shed has been been reduced to a pile of rubble. Most of the tin sheets are already loaded into the trailer awaiting a day that Scott makes it home before 5 to take them to the local dump. Aah, progress!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
posted by Scott
Wikipedia: "The theory of evolution by natural selection was proposed roughly simultaneously by both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, and set out in detail in Darwin's 1859 book On the Origin of Species. It encountered initial resistance from religious authorities who believed humans were divinely set apart from the animal kingdom. In the 1930s, Darwinian natural selection was combined with Mendelian inheritance to form the modern evolutionary synthesis, in which the connection between the units of evolution (genes) and the mechanism of evolution (natural selection) was made. This powerful explanatory and predictive theory has become the central organizing principle of modern biology, providing a unifying explanation for the diversity of life on Earth."
There was a time when the Christian Church looked toward the scriptures to understand where we came from, what we're here for, and where we will go when we pass away. The answers were simple, yet required faith in something that couldn't be scientifically proven with our natural senses. As each generation has passed since Thomas probed the wounds of Christ, so in has crept the old doubt. That doubt has been exponentially increased since the advent of the theory of evolution and modern science & industry. It has crept in so much so that I would venture to say the faith of most Christians is today only nominal. If you would like evidence of that, take a look at the state of the modern church. Look at the atrocious things that "Christians" have allowed to come to pass in the name of progress. Most modern "Christians" don't believe that Christ was who he said he was or that the scriptures are the inspired word of God.
Where sincere Christianity required a faith unto obedience, nominal Christianity requires little more than occasional church attendance or adherence to various and sundry church traditions. You can be a nominal Christian, yet place your full faith and confidence in man, through science.
Of course, I see how much easier it seems to place faith in something like science. After all, science has quite convincingly developed answers to questions where the bible seemingly left gaps. Never mind the fact that many of the answers are pure fiction or are so far-fetched that they require even greater leaps of faith in reason to believe, than the scriptures. Science is the only belief system taught in today's government education institutions. Science is the religion of mass-media. Science is the god of modern man, who looks to it for knowledge of the past, guidance for the present, and prophecy.
I, born in the middle of the 20th century, feel so far removed from the times of Christ, that I scarcely can imagine what it must have been like to hear of this Galilean who makes the blind see and the lame take up their beds. The language has changed. The customs, geography, dress, and even the government has changed. Growing up, the Gospel of Christ seemed like a fairy tale. It was as real to me as Santa or the Easter Bunny. Perhaps worse yet, I saw evidence of Santa and the Easter Bunny. Alas, that turned out to be a hoax. Science though has turned out to be a savior, or so we are led to believe. You disagree? Consider the curse:
Gen 3:16 To the woman He said, I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception. In pain you shall bear sons, and your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.Gen 3:17 And to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it! The ground is cursed for your sake. In pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life.Gen 3:18 It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.Gen 3:19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.
For centuries, we lived subject to the curse in much this way. Then, somewhere in the middle of the 19th century, things began to change...
- Modern air conditioning emerged from advances in chemistry during the 19th Century, and the first large-scale electrical air conditioning was invented and used in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier.
- Dr. John Bonica invented the epidural block and administered it to his own wife while she was in labor with their second child in the 1930’s.
- In 1892, a blacksmith called John Froehlich, from Iowa in the United States, built the first ever farm vehicle powered by a petrol engine. It was also the first tractor which could be driven forward and in reverse. Only 2 Froehlich Tractors were built. Both of them were sold and both of them were returned by dissatisfied customers!Later that year John Froehlich joined with others in organizing the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company, which later became known as the John Deere Tractor Company.
- The feminist movement (a.k.a. Women's Lib) began in the 19th century. Gender roles have become confused, monogamy has come under attack, & etc...
- Genetically modified foods have been available since the 1990s. In the US, by 2006 89% of the planted area of soybeans, 83 percent of cotton, and 61 percent maize was genetically modified varieties.
As science began to provide relief from the curse, that old doubt that I earlier mentioned crept in voraciously like a lion waiting to devour its prey.
So, what can someone do so that they can come to know what is truthful?
- Be objective. I think an objective person must start with the premise that there are two opposite agendas at work here. There is the agenda of science and there is the opposing agenda of the scriptures. The Bible is a subversive document, when studied and applied by the reader. Adherence to the Bible is dangerous to an ever-further reaching and global government, which can not afford too much individual freedom of thought or expression. Therefore, government seeks to neuter the scriptures and the followers of Christ. Science provides comfort. Science seeks to bring about peace. Science is full of individual men's contributions for the greater good. Science is safe and perpetuates the government, global economy, & etc.
- Earnestly seek the truth. The scientific agenda is carried out, wittingly or not, by mass-media, government, corporations, and even the organized church. Therefore, an objective person must not place undue trust in these organizations. One must seek alternative first-person sources of news, they must work to influence government, they must not forget that the profit motive of corporations trumps any altruistic motives, and they must diligently study the scriptures themselves to rightly divide the word.
- Perpetuate truths. The scientific agenda is implemented across generations. There is simply too much in this agenda for change to occur in one lifetime. This is a multi-generational agenda, which is greater than any one man. The agenda does not require your belief and complicity, it is content to seek that from your children and grand-children. One must thwart the agenda by protecting their children from secular or false teaching. Private Christian schools are not always protected from the agenda. Unfortunately, many parents have placed their children in "Christian" schools, only to have them indoctrinated with false Christianity. Ultimately, parents must take the lead role in their children's education, either through home-schooling or other equivalent involvement in their instruction.
If one does these things, I believe that they will come to know and perpetuate the truth to later generations. Seek and you will find! Knock and the door will be opened! I find it telling that true Christians will most often suggest to doubters that they study and see for themselves. Those who oppose Christianity often seem so threatened by it that they want any vestige of it removed from the society. They seem afraid that their religion can not stand up to the careful scrutiny of someone desiring the truth. I believe they are right in that fear!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Preachers don’t preach this stuff. We were very fortunate to have been led by a pastor (many years ago) who taught us that, “You may sin, but you don’t have to.” If Christ has freed us from sin, why would we be powerless to stop sinning?
That same blessed man who told us we did not have to sin always encouraged us to read our Bibles for ourselves and not take anyone’s word on anything. He said we should study it and apply it to our lives. We trusted him so much, that we (ironically) didn’t read it nearly as much as we should have at that time. But God definitely used him in our lives to get the ball rolling. Circumstances changed; he left that church and so did we. We spent over a year searching for a “good church.” Eventually we went back to the old church because it felt like home and we thought that perhaps we should never have left it. Imagine my surprise when after only a couple of months, God called us away from it in an undeniable and unmistakable way. I am ashamed to say that I was heartbroken and terribly distraught.
I was still learning submission. I was never one to tell my husband what to do or even to disobey his stated wishes, but Scott has always been very perceptive of my feelings. He always wanted to please me. I never asked it of him, but I had come to expect it. When Scott made this decision with full knowledge of how I felt about it, I knew it was the right thing for us to do. It hurt my feelings a little but felt amazingly good at the same time. My husband was making decisions to please God and not to please me.
Once we got to this new place of service, it became clear that we would not have a pastor. I decided to read all the way through the New Testament. I felt like I already knew it pretty well. I taught AWANA at our old church and helped my oldest son memorize his Bible verses, so I had a decent scriptural base. So why, why, why had I never heard Romans 6 preached? With the exception of the last verse, I never heard any of it in church. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. That’s an AWANA standard, from the first Sparkie handbook. Lesson #652- Always read what comes before and after selected passages of Scripture, especially when the passage begins with the word “for.”
Here it is in its entirety.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?
Let it not be! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been joined together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection;
knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.
For he who died has been justified from sin.
But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
knowing that when Christ was raised from the dead, He dies no more; death no longer has dominion over Him.
For in that He died, He died to sin once; but in that He lives, He lives to God.
Likewise count yourselves also to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but yield yourselves to God, as one alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law, but under grace? Let it not be!
Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to him whom you obey; whether it is of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness.
But thanks be to our God that you were the slaves of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
Then being made free from sin, you became the slaves of righteousness.
I speak in the manner of men because of the weakness of your flesh; for as you have yielded your members as slaves to uncleanness, and to lawless act unto lawless act, even so now yield your members as slaves to righteousness unto holiness.
For when you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.
What fruit did you have then in those things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
But now, being made free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The entire chapter tells us that we are not powerless over sin. We can and should live a life free from sin. We who are children of God should not sin. Obedience is a choice. Sin is a choice. You decide.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Gen 3:17 And to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it! The ground is cursed for your sake. In pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life.
Gen 3:18 It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.
Epidural, women's lib movement, fast food, $100,000 tractors, mega farms, air conditioning, & etc...
Does it seem like the ultimate goal of science and society is to reverse the curse that mankind earned in the garden of Eden? We must appear to God like a child who, after committing some act well deserving of punishment, runs and covers their posterior in an attempt to avoid a paddling from dear old Dad.
Now, as having given and received more than my share of paddlings in life, I can tell you that Dad only lets you run and cover your behind for so long. Eventually, he catches you and proves who is in charge. Oh, and when he does, you realize that you would have been better off if you had not attempted to avoid your due punishment.
Have we not learned that punishment is best taken promptly and with a contrite spirit?
When men strived to build a tower to heaven, God eventually took action by scattering them and confusing their language.
Mankind now, this time through science and society, seeks to be "as God" and to reverse the curse. What arrogance! How long will God allow this to continue?
How should we, who seek to be contrite, live?
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The chocolate chips were only added because I was afraid the kids wouldn't eat an overly seeded cookie without them. Not because Mom likes chocolate chips.
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups freshly milled soft white flour
1/2 cup freshly milled pinto bean flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 handful golden flax seeds
1 handful raw sunflower seeds
1 handful millet
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, blend eggs, butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well. Make into 1" balls (I use a cookie scoop to do this)and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Yields 45 cookies.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Elijah constructed a watering hole for the squirrels. His tool of choice was a pointy stick. He then used the pressure washer to fill the hole with water and wash the mud off of his feet. In his spare time, he also crumbled a large styrofoam block in the front yard.
Gloria and Noah took Penelope for a walk.
Then Gloria rested in the shade...
And Noah held onto the leash for dear life while Penelope jumped around the freshly tilled garden rooting for and eating grubs.
Penelope will be great for our organic gardening.
Part of the greenhouse is put together. These photos only show the menfolk leveling the ground. We'll post more pictures as the project progresses.
*A young man was beaten and likely gang-raped. He had barbed wire wrapped around his neck and was left for dead behind a local store. This wasn't even reported in the news.
*A visitor to our youth group has 7 children with 7 different women. He has encouraged all of his girlfriends to kill the babies, but at least 7 have not. The young man is 21 years old.
*A 19 year old has been in gangs since he was 9 years old. He has "hurt the families" of rival gang members, shot at people, beat people up, robbed strangers, and even been shot. He wants out now, but he is well-known in the projects and his tattoos give him away. He is currently locked up.
*4 of the students we work with have reported to us incidents of sexual abuse.
*A mother recently released from jail for the umpteenth time leaves her kids home hungry so she can attend an all-day sporting event and booze it up with her buddies.
*A sweet young lady sucks her thumb, talks to herself, laughs in the middle of church because she's having a conversation with herself, hops, kicks, and skips down the aisles and across the parking lot. On the phone, she carries on a perfect conversation, never missing a beat. In person, eye contact makes her extremely uncomfortable and she will usually walk away while you are still talking.
These are all people we know, with the exception of one who is known by a close relative. We minister in a small rural area. We live in a small rural town. My fear was always sheltering my children too much- giving them an unrealistic expectation of the world. God in His infinite wisdom has worked that out for us already. They cannot develop a rose-colored view of the world when they labor together with us. Sure, they don't know all the gory details, but they will one day.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
So the kids and I stayed home from church tonight. I've been feeling guilty that Scott had to go alone when he was already missing 3 of his workers. I am #4. Elijah seemed to be feeling okay earlier, except that he wouldn't eat anything. Just before bed, though, he developed a headache and low grade fever. At least I know I did the right thing by keeping him home.
Wednesdays are always late nights for us. We are done at the church building a little after 9, since Scott drives one of the vans to take kids home. That gives us a chance to clean up the rooms we have used. After he returns, we all head over to a friend's house. We purchase our milk from them (they have a couple of milk cows) and they lift our spirits. God placed them so close to our church, we think, so that we can receive encouragement from them. Wednesday nights were harsh emotionally and spiritually before we met them. We would come home and not sleep well. We couldn't even begin to discuss the evening until sometime the next day. Things seemed dark and bleak... hopeless is the word that comes to mind. We were not hopeless, but to look out at the teens we had was like looking into the face of death. There was a heaviness around them. It was very, very sad. Thanks to our milk-bearing friends we haven't felt that in a while. The only way I can describe it is that you can feel the spirit of the Lord around them- such peace is there. Scott gets to visit them alone tonight.
I just got a call that one of the kids from church was involved in a football accident. The young man he tackled is going in for emergency surgery right now. He has a perforated bowel and it is possible that his stomach could rupture. Your prayers are needed and appreciated.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I found this recipe online, and it sounded so easy that I had to try it.
Hmmm... this is where I first had a little trouble. After 17 hours, mine was still dripping whey. It was noticibly smaller, which was a good sign.
I ended up taking the curds out of that bag and wrapping them in a high quality paper towel. I then squeezed the whey out.