Friday, 30 April 2010

Are our lives different?

As Christians are our lives any different to the world around us?

Where should we as Christians draw the line about how much we are in the world? How do non believers view us? Do they really know what we believe by looking at our lives? Yes we may go to Church on Sunday but is that as much as we show of our faith to those who do not share it?

More and more I (and I include myself in this!) see Christians (not all) in the Western world failing to step out in faith and share their faith with others, doing all the "Christian things" but still leading their lives as we are of the world. Getting caught up in materialism, big homes, cars, filling our minds with rubbish and so on. Paul spoke of this in Philippians.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." Philippians 4:8. NIV.

I have been challenged to do this no more. To lead my life according to Biblical principles. So many say that the Bible is God inspired and if that is so should that not scare us into wanting to obey it wholeheartedly? God is our heavenly Father and we should want to obey and please Him in everything we do and how we lead our lives for Him. Like a child wants to please his or her earthly Father in an eager, keen, unquestioning way.

I have read and heard people interpret the Bible and what it says in such different ways and I honestly think that we cannot choose scripture we wish to adhere to and some that we don't. For example, it clearly states the following in the New Testament -

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve." 1 Timothy 2 11 - 13 NIV.

With scripture such as this ( and most know the above verses ideas are mentioned in other books of the Bible by Paul), we can't use the excuse that it is old Testament law. This is new testament and while we would whole heartedly embrace most of the letters in this section of the Bible and apply these principles to our Churches and lives, many don't.

I personally think that feminism has caused many female Christians to sit uneasily with these parts of the Bible. Because of scripture like above I do not believe we should have women leaders in Church, that women should pray aloud at public Church meetings. The reason is because of what the Bible teaches. I can't possibly agree with all that Paul sets out in his God inspired letters and yet miss out the bits that don't suit me. Even if I don't agree with them!

As a woman I know that we are emotional creatures. I suffer terribly with severe PMT each month and am very hormonal. This renders me inconsistent, moody and so on. Not at all compatible with the position many women would like to be in at Church. Even regarding prayer, I could not be confident I would be praying in the best way or asking for the right things if I participated in public prayer at Church. So as a woman, I am quite glad God has given me this role and not the burden the men have at Church. I embrace my God given role as a home maker, mother, serving the Lord in the home as well as outside but primarily with my children.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Eyjafjallajökull chaos

Well this volcano is still causing major disruption around the world isn't it? On Sunday afternoon I was involved in a conversation about this with some fellow Christians at Church. One wise lady said that the recent disruption serves to remind us who is in control in the world. It isn't man but God who has control. Another friend said that she heard a politician commenting that these phenomena remind us that we are only residents here on planet earth.

Of course it is causing great disruption for many people and if I was stranded somewhere I am sure I wouldn't be happy. But there is a much bigger picture here isn't there? A great deal of the locals are being greatly affected by this eruption. We don't see many pictures of them on BBC headlines or Sky etc at the moment do we? All we seem to hear about is how much money the airlines are losing, the economic cost to business worldwide and to individuals.

Doesn't this just highlight the sickening greed that is rife in our society? That airlines are prepared to put money before safety?

1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3. NIV.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

What I have been working on lately.

Hi everyone! It has been a bit busy around here as Jacob has been off school. My time has been consumed with conjuring up new and exciting structures to our days here to ensure he is occupied.

This hasn't been easy! However, thank you Lord for some beautiful weather. The first week was a bit of a washout but this last week has been glorious. The kids have been out in the garden most days and played happily. Fantastic.

I have been working on quilting projects when the mood takes me.

The promised pinwheel blocks from ages ago, the points aren't perfectly matched but hey it's all a learning curve isn't it? Any advice on perfect point matching greatly appreciated!

And another quilt. Not finished at all and needed a little pressing but almost there. I am hand quilting it in a simple way and will bind in polka dot fabric.

Hope you all like these and feel free to offer any helpful advice or hints as I need them!!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

To be content?

I was reading some articles on the Noble Womanhood site which is full of wonderful advice on homemaking today. I came across an eye opening article by Laine in which she discusses being content with what we have. I wanted to share this excerpt and verse from the Bible with you.
"Be content with such things as you have."
I lived for three months when I was seventeen in a Muslim household in Tunisia, North Africa without a place to bathe in the house, without a washer and dryer, without a car, without a refrigerator, without a phone, without screens on the windows (flies everywhere), without a flushing toilet or toilet paper, without a dishwasher or even a nice sink. The cooking was done on a little hot plate. The weather was hot, hot, hot. The milk came in a horse drawn cart with flies all around it. If we needed some tomato paste, we bought it in tablespoon increments. Nothing was wasted, because money was scarce. In America we would have considered this family so very poor. But in their country they were middle class. I think about my living conditions there a lot. Especially when I am taking a nice, hot bath. I have so much to be thankful for. So much to be content about. It was the hardest summer of my life. But it was one summer that I learned the most, which has served me well in marriage. My husband says I'm one of the most contented women he knows. I only have to think of my stay in Tunisia, and I am totally content.
Hebrews 13:5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

I am so thankful to God for the roof over my head, the running water, the warm house, the food in my cupboards, the two bedrooms above my head in which my husband and I and the children sleep cosily. I have found myself discontented at times lately with my home and my life. I felt ashamed when I read the article above. I have been unhappy with the size of my home. Yet in comparison to the conditions mentioned above I have so much to be grateful for. God doesn't want us to be discontented with what he has given us. The picture above reminds me of how it used to be for my parents and their parents. Their children didn't have to have a bedroom each, they frequently had to share the same bed with many other siblings and quite often in the same room as the parents. These days we have become so aspirational and desire larger homes, more rooms and so on and it is such an easy trap to fall into.
I want people to see my family as Godly and different. I don't want to fall into worldly traps and appear just the same as the bloke next door trying to better themselves and keep up with the Joneses. As Christians we should be different and we can show this by not allowing ourselves to get caught up in materialism. Who cares what size TV you have? God certainly doesn't!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Chocolate and the cross.

Well it's Good Friday again and Easter weekend and guess what? Chocolate! Now I love chocolate in all it's wonderful forms and so do my kids but I get disheartened at how Easter has become another season of things. The kids get Easter eggs, mini eggs, chocolate bunnies, Happy Easter this and Happy Easter that. But when do we actually stop and think about what it really is all about?

The resurrection is a hard thing for little ones to grasp but there are plenty of ways in which we can teach them the basics of what happened and get the message across that Jesus is alive.
The chocolate, while fun for the kids (and us!), takes away from the reason why we use this time of year to remember. Of course, we should as Christians remember this every day and not just become religious at these special times of year. If our children see us worshipping and remembering what Jesus did on the cross for us every day of our lives then what a wonderful example to set them. So much better than bombarding them with eggs and a message once a year.

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