Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On a Mission

I recently read a post to FB on complacency in the Christian life. More specifically how it has no place there. It was taken from the rebelution blog . I was reminded again that the journey in a Christian's life should not be driven by what we avoid but by what we seek. I don't want to be known for what I didn't do, but rather by what I did do. In fact, I don't think anyone would remember what I didn't do. What I do, good or bad, will be what is remembered. That concept is hitting me pretty powerfully as we consider how God wants to use us. Is our call to Christian camping and full time ministry still a call or was it a tool to lead us in a different direction with our lives in general? All Christians are "called" to share the gospel or evangelize as well as encourage or disciple other believers. Some are called to do it as their job, we call them missionaries. I'm just not sure where we fall.

We are still approved candidates with American Missionary Fellowship. Since the purchase of the camp has fallen through, AMF has given us time to pray and consider our gifts, talents, and passions and to determine if we still feel called to full time ministry. In which case we would complete our year of candidacy at that point.

We do have a passion for camp ministry. Through that type of ministry I see us as more wired towards discipleship and creating environments for others to evangelize. However that could work, the reality remains that we still have the business and it is not something that we can just walk away from. So, here we are, in what I consider sort of an oasis stage, in regards to our living situation, with time to grow and flame our passion. We have a lot of flexibility in our personal lives in that we don't have a house to sell and Andrew is not so tied to production at the store. We also have a lot of ways that we can evangelize and disciple right where we're at. That's exciting, but does it mean we drop the pursuit of full time ministry? That's what we're weighing.

It's so easy in this spot that we're in to relax and just wait to see what shakes out. The thing is there is no such thing as "holding" in our spiritual journey. It's like we're in a boat on a river, we're either paddling up stream, pursuing it's source, or we're drifting down stream. The waters might be calmer now but they still have a current. We need to keep paddling! Somehow it's more obvious when we're in the rapids.

So in this time where I feel no urgency in my personal prayers or reading the Bible I'm reminded that I am a Christian. I have a long spiritual history of believers who fought to make sure I got the message of the truth. I can't drop the baton on this! There is always urgency! What a privilege I have and what a responsibility. I'd recommend the book, "The Beautiful Fight" by Gary Thomas who addresses this in depth.

For now, I'm looking for ways that God might use me, like in the lives of my kids and friends, and I'm trying to be more aware of and sensitive towards people around me in general. I'm praying that God will give me his heart for people and that I'll see them with his eyes. I'm also praying that he'll show us as a family how we might be used, full time or not, to bless other people and lead them to him. Finally, I'm paddling when I'd rather float. I will seek God through the his Holy Word, the Bible, even when I don't feel the urgency.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good Stuff

We were riding in the van the other day and Josiah was reading aloud some Brain Quest questions. He came to one, "Who is the author of 'Green Eggs and Ham'?" Doh! I know this one. Why am I having a brain freeze? I just couldn't pull it up. Duh!

After waiting a moment for me Josiah says, "Dr. Suess!"

"Oh, ya!" I responded, "I just couldn't think of it."

"Ya," he says, "I like Dr. Suess. He's written a lot of good stuff."

My son... he's deep. He's read a lot of good stuff.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pastor John Stumbo Update

Pastor John has a long road of recovery ahead of him. He has started a blog which I wanted to pass on to you: I hope you are blessed in following along with his recovery. He tells about his physical state so that we can better pray for him and shares his spiritual insights along the way. God does amazing things in our state of weakness and I'm so excited to see how he uses this influential man.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Speaking of Choices

I've enjoyed lots of good discussion regarding the last post about choice, the octuplet's mother, and about abortion and sex in general. There are some good comments here on the blog too so I wanted to follow up with some more thoughts.

I think that it's clear that the time to educate is before action is taken. Whether that be before implantation of several embryos or having unprotected sex, there are possible consequences for our actions. Sometimes we might escape them but sometimes we do get stung. What I think is ironic is that this woman couldn't have children naturally. She was married and tried and tried to conceive. She had many physical complications. For her, extreme measures had to be taken to achieve something that, for some people, happens accidentally. She was educated that the risk of implanting several embryos was a possible outcome of several babies. Each time she implanted several embryos she took that risk. One time that possible consequence happened big time. Ouch! But she decided to keep all the babies.

I doubt there are many people out there who do not know that unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy, among other things. I think less people are educated about the failure rates of birth "control" (control, oh, that's a whole other topic!) and assume that they are all 100% trustworthy. I think it's unfortunate that there is an "out" for those that do suffer the consequences of that choice simply because the "out" carries heavy consequences as well. And, as I said in the previous post, I don't think we'll ever know the depth of those consequences. The extremely tempting bait is that you can continue on with your life plan without the interruption of an unplanned child or too many children at once. We really value our plans don't we!

Carrying a child, or in this case the children, or aborting them are secondary decisions, the first choices, sex or implantation of multiple embryos, are over with and the results are there to be dealt with. The secondary decision is the one that I feel should be weighed equally. Just because we don't realize the loss that abortion causes doesn't make it a better choice even if it is more convenient than adding 8 more babies to an already struggling family.

Sex is more often a slippery slope where implantation is a calculated climb. You don't need lots of money or a doctors appointment to have sex! I think this is what has most people upset and asking, "What was she thinking!" But in our worst decisions and failures God meets us to restore and redeem. He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair. So, despite the fact that, from my perspective, her choice to have many children on her own may be an unwise decision and that on her 6th time her gambling didn't pay off, I would still say that these children might possibly change the world or at least their world and one way or another I hope they grow up in loving homes and come to know the love of a Savior that died for them and desires a relationship with them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Woman's Right to Choose

I just finished watching an interview of the single woman who delivered eight babies, making her total children 14. I will agree that she has too much on her plate. I think that collecting honest disability for her autistic child is appropriate and a way to make ends meet for her family and provide for his extra needs. They're not living on much, it's not like she's getting rich through some wild scheme to have tons of babies and collect disability on the ones who need it.

I appreciate that she admitted that she wasn't out to have more than 1 more baby this time - at least she says that in hindsight. I also thought it was interesting that she had 6 embryos implanted each time she conceived the previous children and only once had twins, the others were single births and the rest of the embryos didn't survive.

What fires me up about this whole situation is the anger and hate that has stirred within a nation that supports a woman's "right to choose". It's not called pro-abortion but pro-choice. So, following the choice theme, she should also be supported in her decision to keep all 8 babies. Yes, her road will be hard and more than likely there will be an affect on society. We will all realize that soon enough, mostly those close to her, but I suppose the trickle down affect of our pooled taxes will generally affect all of us, however small it will be. (Fractions of pennies I assume). We will live with her choice and know the consequences of it. We can judge her and tsk tsk the circumstances. Those that are close will have extra burdens in helping these children through life: childcare, money for food, clothes, etc. We will see what affect her choice makes.

On the other hand, we do not know the loss that society has faced in ending a life through abortion. We can't count the cost to society. It can't be judged. Many times we can't even count the cost to the people who have made the choice to abort their unexpected, unwanted child. It's a choice which can't be traced unless the mother, and sometimes the father, choose to describe the burden they quietly carry inside. Even then, the difference will be in the path one life takes and the impact it makes because the other life is gone.

Eight babies were unexpected but life for them was chosen. Chosen! Several of them could have been "selectively reduced". Praise God for their lives. I'm praying that they are healthy and that they kick some butt showing society what an impact a life can have however inconvenient it may be.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Is She Really A Month Old?

Not that we don't have other things going on besides watching Eliza grow, but that is our newest thing around here. The kids participated in the AWANA Grand Prix. They both designed their own cars and with help from Grandpa Nordstrom and Dad put together some great looking derby cars.
Grandpa Davis and Grandma Linda came to cheer on the teams: Red Rocket and Purple Flasher (we tried to get her to name it Purple Flash but she insisted on Flasher, hopefully not a sign of things to come!).
Eliza was there too but was not nearly as enthusiastic as the rest of the crew.
Josiah and Mia are also playing basketball so our Saturdays are busy with driving between games, getting a rest time in for the younger crew, and then heading to Church. We've been running into several friends along the way and Grandma and Grandpa and even Aunt Cheryl and Uncle David have made some games so it's practically sustaining my social life at this point.

Sierra has been finding her own things to do, including shampooing her own hair... with hand soap... while fully dressed.
She's also been enjoying picking out her own clothes and really likes dressing up fancy. This is so different from Mia who is more like her mom, plain and simple. I think Grandma Linda's ruffles and frills gene may have skipped straight through to Sierra.
She is definitely a mini-mom though and really loves her baby sister. Though she can't have as much freedom as her older siblings she is really catching her stride as a bigger kid now.
Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff