Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bill Paying Day...and some notes answered

...always so much fun. Necessary, and I don't begrudge that, but still...not one of my more favorite days. Of course, this week is a light week with mainly small payments leaving the nest, but it does remove a lot of feathers. I need to re-feather the nest here soon to prepare for the coming winds.

The farm market has not started yet. I assuming its from the rains we finally received and the slowness of getting crops into the ground for most folks around here. That is perfect for us -- we need to get a bit more prepared for our booth yet. I have only an idea of what we will take, but I haven't really set a plan in motion yet. Attending Wednesdays and Fridays, for only 2 hours of business, will require our Tuesdays and Thursdays to be spent baking and wrapping. My only prep work on the list is that we will take a couple kinds of breads, in full and mini loaves. We will take a couple kinds of cookies, perhaps 4 dozen or so of each, packaged in 1/2 doz. packs. I have no idea as to pricing yet really. I know what I sold things for before but I haven't decided on this trek yet. Later, if things are going well, we will take some jellies and jams, perhaps some small needlework projects (crocheted pot holders and dish towels, maybe a baby blanket or bib or such). I haven't even thought about how much cash I need on hand for making change and such.

Honestly, I'm rather unprepared given the amount of time we have thought out ideas for this!
Anyone have some thoughts or experiences to share? I'll be checking today to see if they have readied the pole barn for the market to begin.

Keep a prayer in thought for Dewey. He is at the wire on this job and feeling far too much stress. Plus, we aren't sure where he is going after this job. Yeah, I know, there's that Wal-Mart Greeter position I've been telling you about :o) I just don't see Dewey stickering your returns as you come in and pulling buggies in from the parking lot. (Not that it's somehow beneath him for a job, I just don't see him enjoying that work at all. Don't get me wrong, if he thought that Greeter job was the only way to provide for his family, he'd be all over it, yellow safety vest and all!) If he comes back and puts his tool on, pay decreases by a great deal. It's been nice having extra knowing bills are paid, but with this economy that certainly isn't anything I expected to last. He has a job. That's plenty of blessing in my book and we can pick up the slack area left in that wake if need be. Next week, just to get the mind behind it all (I'm visual...I can talk about what I'm doing all day and it still doesn't make hard, concrete sense. Write it out on paper and whoa-buddy, that cement tightens up real good!) I am going back to the old budgeting of under half his current pay. Having him back home where he belongs is pay enough. We can certainly make do just knowing he's back home.

My post on the Godly Man...I've received just about as many emails over that as I did my other fiery post recently.
I believe God brings you the mate you need. I believe He says very plainly you are not to be unequally yoked, meaning believer with non-believer in my book. There are no promises that a spouse will come to The Lord after you are married. I've seen alot of meek women follow The Word and their spouse simply has both feet entrenched in the world of sin and will not seek The Lord.
Now, I'm not for one minute going to belittle the Amazing, Awesome Power of The Lord Jesus Christ. If He wants you, He's going to get you, plain and simple.
And I certainly don't understand how He Works in every (or any) area of our lives, but it is generally our impatience, our taking the bull by the horns instead of heeding sound Word given for our benefit, that leads us to ill connections in our marriages. Praying is a powerful thing and I know that, but you are not promised a faithful, God fearing spouse when you seek out one who is not already walking that path to some degree.

I go back and forth on this alot, but I know much of that confusion in my heart is due to believing like a fool that I have any power in what or how my spouse reacts or believes. The Lord has to do that work. My prayers are really all I have.

For my children, seeking a spouse that is walking in Light, and not shadows, is a must. I've been told many times it will drive them farther from the Light if I press the rules. That is a far better option for me in my heart than to go against what I believe of God's Word and allow them to seek worldly driven desires that are not lasting.

The "rules" or guidelines I shared from the What are You Waiting For post are much more God's ideals than my own. If you believe He has already destined a spouse for you, why would you not wait and be truly prayerfrul over receiving that spouse into your vision? Why would you muddy the waters of your fickle heart by living within the realm of what the world says -- date everyone you can, seek out a mate that suits your needs, don't wait for only one? That mentality has produced divorce, unwed mothers raising children alone, teen pregnancy rates through the roof...and all of this is acceptable to the world's vision. It's just a part of life they say.

President Obama expressed shock and sadness over the abortion doctor recently slain outside his church.
That's a good thing. To view murder as something to be shocked and saddened over. I, too, feel immense sorrow for the man's family and what they are going through.
However, I am left wondering why there isn't some kind of outrage of shock or saddness in the fact this doctor chose to use his life and his talents in such a manner. He performed late and even 3rd trimester abortions. He was presumably a man seeking God in some manner, being a member of his church, but what was he taught about God's Word?
Where is the shock and sadness over those innocent murders?
We don't get shocked over something like a baby, innocent and unknowing, being cut to pieces and ripped from its mother's womb having been placed there by God. But we can express deep saddness and extreme shock over the doctor who did those horrible things being killed.
Of course, he should not have met his death in such a horrible manner either. I just don't understand anyone choosing to do such acts as abortions at any stage, but it sickens me moreso to know babies, nearing full viable size, capable of sustaining outside the womb with minimal care if given the chance are ripped to their death so casually.

Yeah, I digress....back to the bunny trail I started on...

If you believe that God has already mandated and chosen a mate for you. One who is perfectly matched and suited (and not found through online dating or eHarmony) why would you seek to give away parts of you that belong to him by sampling the waters with dating?
Say you find one you feel makes your heart stop and your breath flutter away? Shouldn't you have some sort of guidelines of your own to keep you moving in the direction God has for you?

  1. If you were created to be a suitable helper, are you willing to wait for a suitable husband?
  2. Do you desire to serve the Living God as a married woman? Marry a man who is serving God.
  3. Do you desire to raise a family that glorifies God? Settle for nothing less in choosing the leader of your family than God’s standard for those who will one day lead in His family.
  4. “He must be above reproach, married once…not a new convert…he must have a good reputation with those outside the church…holding to the faith with a clear conscience.” (Please take a look at 1 Timothy 3:1-10 to put the rest of this article in context.)
  5. Reputation
  6. Purity
  7. Faith
  8. Leadership
  9. Hospitality
  10. Generosity
  11. Self Control
  12. Committment
The young man who has been around our family for a good 2 years or more now on one capacity or another, who has been attending church with us the past year continually, has not one of these qualities. He isn't eveen a 'new convert' as he has never made the least step toward acknowleding his acceptance of The Lord. Now, I cannot begin to see into his heart and know the things he has given to The Lord in silence, but there is no fruit outside of anything Godly aside from sitting in church Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening. Being inside a church does not make you any more of a Christian than my standing in the garden makes me a tomatoe plant...or my standing in my garage makes me a car. It's merely a shell of a building. It's the people inside, the Light of The Living Lord being in presence and your feeling it, knowing it. That makes a church. The building is nothing. The Place is nothing.

This young man has no good reputation. He associates with friends on a regularly basis who are far from anything Godly.

This young man is not seeking purity by sneaking around i the dark of night to visit my daughter. Nor is she seeking purity by allowing herself to be found in the dark of night.

I know nothing of any evidences of his God, to The Word, to even my daughter and whatever future he feels might be there.

I see no leadership in him at all, nor in the family he comes from. His father is an absentee father, driving OTR to rid himself of his current wife, the young man's step mother. He has no graps over his family and is not showing any leadership of them. I have seen evidences of this personally and in face to face context, and he has confided many things to Dewey over the past few years as well. He is a man defeated and he shows it. This has and will continue to affect his son and the future role he will take.

Hosspitality, Generosity....those are gray waters.

Self-Control is not evident. He had not the self control to com seek our daughter in daylight as a decent man with morals. He had not the self control to seek permission from either Dewey or myself in walking toward any commitment to our daughter. When I have plants in my garden that have been given ample time to show steps toward producing their fruit and they do not, they are culled from the garden and a new plant is replaced given the same expectations as the first. Fruit will show. Good or bad, fruit is not hidden from the eye. If there is a lack of control in your life when young, the road to culling that lack and forming something solid and lasting is not an easy road. My daughter, and yes, even this young man, deserve someone who has a level of self control already in place in their lives. They deserve someone who can be trusted, who is respected by others, who has a good and solid reputation. That is what will build their lives to something worthy of following The Lord to His Kingdom.

You don't wait to cultivate any of those qualities after marriage. You cultivate them in your youth, in your young adulthood, so you are prepared mentally and physically for a marriage fit for the Glory of God. You are always a work in progress, but you really ought to be more than simply beginning, or simply entertaining the idea of what you might one day be. Without a clear set goal in your heart and in your vision, you will not stand a chance of creating that person of Glory one day. There are too many distractions in this world and even those who feel strong in the faith and strongly heeding their goals gleaned from The Word will have a difficult Walk ahead of them in marriage. But to begin that relationship, that holy, God ordained relationship, without the firm foundation of strong convictions and a higher set of goals and vision, you don't stand a chance. Worse yet, you will drag the partner you have down with you.

This is why we have cut ties with that family and with that young man. Dear daughter is slowly, on some days, showing signs of ease and of repentance in her acts. She is not sulky and pouting about placing her poor attitude on everyone around her now. She is showing signs of maturing. The immature pouting she did after it all came out were merely proof of their ill timing and ill preparation. The young man still has not sought out either Dewey or even myself with any words of repentance or excuse for his actions in this. I have not seen him, so I know nothing of his current level of acceptance or repentance in this. My daughter might well harbor ill feelings for quite some time. That is just another sign of her lack of maturity, and she has been taught that her entire life. Choosing to cling to that is only going to prolong it.

Maybe I am harsh. I have rules, I have guidelines and I have a vision for my children. The Lord pares and hones that vision continually, but the base remains the same. His Word is what we must follow in order to not only find grace in His Kingdom, but to find glory in our marriages and families. God has rules. They are scattered all through His Word. Some say many of them are gray areas when looking at them against the knowledge of this world we live in. I don't think so. I think they are just as clear today for our worldly circumstances as they were back during the Walk of Jesus on this earth. Sure, we have other issues to deal with than the early church did, but if you break them down, they aren't really that different. Satan has always tempted where he could find a chink in the armor. Today it's with movies, music, and the belief that church needs to follow the world to win the world. There's nothing so changed, nothing so gray, in His Word that you cannot still follow the very clearly laid out Path to find Him. He has not changed since those long days of yesterday. His Word certainly has not changed either.

If you are having trouble reconciling your world today with the Walk of The Lord, perhaps you need another Bible and some new vision. Nothing has changed except what we are willing to push aside in the name of personal fun and entertainment.
We don't view sinful acts as sin anymore. We nod at their "independence" and we mumble a short prayer. We no longer stand firm for The Lord in ALL areas of our lives. We have believed too much on the doctrines given us by the weak churches of today that say the Christian Life and Walk is supposed to be light and easy. That we can sin a little and still follow The Lord. That it's ok to be independent and to show that in our everyday lifestyle. We are too blinded to see that being independent is merely being chained to the world around us. There are very few true pilgrims walking the paths of those before them toward a Godly life.

And don't start emailing me saying that I'm off my rocker, that my path is far from those of old, etc. I am not saying follow me in the least. I make mistakes quite often. I don't always see those mistakes clearly at first, but they each come back to glare at me in the daylight of my True Walk. Sin isn't hidden from anyone, especially not The Lord. Nothing I do that is wrong or even the things I do that are right, will be hidden long. Follow the Lord as closely as you can and continually seek to follow Him even closer. That is the only way you will ever find Him truly. I wish more churches would stop seeking bodies in the pews and change in the offerings and get back to living out The True Word daily for their congregations. It's not always pretty but folks don't grow without their sins being brought into the light. Too many churches today worry about being their brother's leader, being their brother's conscience, or seeming to be judgmental. If The Lord has called you to be amoung His Sheep, to lead alongside Him as a Shepherd in Training, you MUST teach as He did. He did not turn away from sins to make others more comfortable. He did not accept bread (monies and glory) from those paying with a forked tongue.

We have drifted very far from the true Teachings of Christ in our churches and we are paying for it. The poor ground we have laid is producing weak and rotted fruit. And we aren't culling the plants...we are trying to feed them fertilizer.

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Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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