Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shades of gray

I know it's been awhile since I've written.  Honestly, several times since my last post I have thought about my life and what God was doing, and I realized that there wasn't any 'inspiration' per say but some conviction happening.  I didn't realize just how much conviction I had been feeling until this passed weekend while I was at the annual GBC Ladies Retreat. 

Our speaker was Tammy from Calling Levi.  One day she spoke on gray areas in our life and how God's word and His truth are black and white with no room for gray.  I seriously started feeling the Holy Spirit convicting me of the gray areas I had in my life.  One of the bigger things, I have realized is, contributing to these gray areas is the media I allow myself to take in especially TV.   

***Now-my purpose of writing this is not to condemn other people's behavior, or to tell you not watch television.  This is just what God is doing in my life-and the back story that needs told to understand how I got to that place of needing conviction.***

Anyway...  I started thinking about some areas in my life where I have gray areas.  One of them was my need to justify homosexuality.  One of my favorite shows is Glee, and I was really excited for Kurt to finally get his first real kiss...but then in my mind I'm thinking, the Lord tells me that homosexuality is a sin
(1 Corinthians 6 :9-11, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, 1 Timothy 1:8-11).  Please understand that, like any sin, it is only wrong if the sin hasn't been confessed and repented of.  

So I've written all of this to say, that it truly is a slow fade from black and white to gray.  You don't normally wake up one day and decide to change the way you believe.  No.  It happens over months and years.  It gets introduced into our lives slowly then we start to become familiar with it, then before you know it, you've embraced it and then the sin takes root in your life. 

Interestingly enough the point that Tammy was trying to make, during her talk at the Ladies Retreat, was that Satan doesn't take a break from his work.  He is continuously trying to throw us off of the path of truth.  He works day and night to try to sway us from it.  Satan is really good at his job--he's had hundreds of year of practice. There is only one truth, and that truth is Jesus Christ! 

 1 Peter 5:8 & 9 says, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are."

So I'm planning on limiting my access to TV and I will be making better choices when I do get to watch it.  I'm also challenging myself to read more than just fictional books.  So if you think about me, be praying that God would show me the hole that I have in my life that I am filling with mindless TV shows.  There must be something that I get from them that I should be getting from God.  Watch out for your gray areas! =D

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Essentials of a Healthy Home

I listened to this broadcast on  Focus on the Family's website and it was absolutely amazing.  Pastor Tommy Nelson discusses the most important things that we need to provide our children to ensure a healthy home. 

The 8 Essentials of a Healthy Home are:

  1. A child needs a house that is peaceful.  ~ A place where you child feels loved and at home.  Not a place of constant conflict but a place that is calming.
  2. A child needs plenty of time with each parent.  ~ Mom's and Dad's make sure to take time to be alone with each of your children, making them feel special.  It creates a solid, open, relationship between parent and child as well as aids in self esteem.
  3. A child needs to be taught God's truth to have a firm foundation. ~ Even when your child is still small teach them God's truths.  Try including things in your prayers with your children that are foundational to the faith.  Before a meal, pray for the food to bless your bodies, but also thank God for sending his son Jesus to die for our sins because we were sinners and a lost people ~ thank Him for redeeming us.  These small prayers help solidify the gospel in our children.
  4. A child needs a Godly example. ~ Not a perfect example...a Godly one.  An example that is willing to ask forgiveness when a mistake is made and stand up for God's truth when it's put to the test.
  5. A child needs good self esteem.  ~ Not false self esteem, but build up your child thoughtfully, not with empty words.
  6. A child needs to feel accepted by his family.  ~ Allow your child to feel like they are accepted no matter who they are or what they do.  This does not mean that you should tolerate everything, but help your child realize that when you disapprove of something they did that you don't disapprove of them, you disapprove of their actions.
  7. A child needs affection and parental touch.  ~ Obviously appropriate touch is key.  When you child crawls up in your lap, take a moment to love of them.  Let hugs and kisses be infinite and don't hold back.  Touch your child with love and affection, this helps them feel accepted, to build self esteem and creates a strong bond.
  8. A child need discipline.  ~ A few tears won't hurt your child.  It is, however, important that when you are "training up your child in the way that he should go", that you are training them the way the learn the best.  Be sensitive to what is effective in each child-which could vary between siblings.
For more of the information that Pastor Nelson spoke about, check out the link about for Focus on the Family.