Meditations and Confessions of a Homemaker’s Mission
“mission.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008. Merriam-Webster Online. 14 July 2008
To be acceptable to God. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”(Psalm 19:14) That means what I write here I write by faith, for without faith it is impossible to please or be acceptable to God (Hebrews 11:6). So what I write here is substance and evidence of eternal unseen truths that I have sure confidence in- that’s faith (Hebrews 11:1).
To be a source of oil for your lamp, that is, courage. I see the picture of oil in scripture as a dose of heavenly courage which when dripped on our minds and hearts causes us to face the giants and fears of this life courageously. That oil of course is the Holy Spirit Himself. When the Holy Spirit impresses heavenly truths upon my heart through the study of the Word He fills me with courage to face life in this fallen world with confidence and peace. Sharing that word, that oil, that confidence, with others is what the writings here are sent out to do. I think of Joshua and Caleb who chose to encourage the people of Israel who were afraid of the giants that faced them in the land of promise. The other men who were with Joshua and Caleb who also saw the challenges that lay ahead of them had too small a vision, they could only see the size of the giants in comparison to their size, but Joshua and Caleb saw the size of the giants in comparison to the size of their God and encouraged the people to move forward trusting in God’s power to save. That’s what I pray the posts here do: encourage others to press forward walking by faith, trusting in God’s power to save.
To be an example– which holds me accountable- in walking by faith in Christ and in living out the gospel as a “younger woman.” (Titus 2:4-5) My example is in wrong and right choices. I think of how 1 Corinthians 10:6 says that the record of Old Testament accounts were written for us as examples. They aren’t all examples of what we should do, some are examples of what we should avoid doing…nevertheless they are there for us to learn from. What I write here is sent out as an example both in repentance and confession; in meditations and obedience. These posts are sent out as windows into what God is doing in one weak vessel’s life. I pray that as Timothy was charged by Paul to be an example to all believers,”…in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity…” what’s seen of my life here would be an example in those areas too. My speech, conduct, love, faith and purity will be marred by my wrong choices at times, and I pray I will be open and honest about it. I seek to be transparent in what I share here, not doctoring up what I write just to sound like a better example, but to be a genuine example by being honest.
So there you have it, this blog’s mission.
For more on why I blog in general go here. For some of my testimony go here and here.
This post is part of a blog mission tour at Becoming Me. You’ll find more blogs and their missions over at The Blog Mission Tour hosted by Becoming Me.
I’m heading to the mountain
So that there be no division
I just wanted to be sure to leave no room for divisiveness with me reference to *** in my post about choosing the crossroads.
I gleen much wisdom and great tools and encouragement from *** Ministries, yet as with any ministry or pastor, teacher or site I may refer to on this blog, I take what I hear or learn from various teachings and check it against God’s word and then seek the Spirit’s application of His word to my own life.
So I just wanted to put that out there.
May we be like the Bereans, “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
And may we edify each other despite our differences, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (Romans 14:19)
I choose the cross road
I just wrote a lengthy email to a dear sister in the Lord (you know who you are S), and after reading it I thought, “There, finally! I got it out!” And I prayed over it and knew the Lord heard my heart and that He is and will answer my cries. I truly think I even pray better writing than I do with my mouth.
But after I sent it I felt a nudge to share some of it. I didn’t want to. I still feel very exposed doing so. I know there are family and friends who know me who read this blog once in awhile and I truthfully didn’t want to take a chance on them not understanding. But then the Lord brought this to mind, “For not even his brothers believed in him.” (John 7:5)
There came a time when obeying the will of the Father for Jesus meant loosing the affection and understanding of even His own family. And I’m not saying my family will reject me because of this post, probably not, they probably won’t even know what I’m saying this for. But this is the struggle I have in my own mind, not sharing things because I’m afraid of someone not understanding. As with my Lord, there is a time for everything. There was a time for Him to do certain things and say certain things, and there was a time for Him not to do or say certain things, but always there were outside forces seeking to distract Him from simply obeying the will of His Father.
I know the Lord has a reason for what I’m about to share, and so I prayerfully do.
My email was in response to an encouraging word from this sister in the Lord who wrote me about not conforming my choices in homeschooling to the pattern of this world. She’s right! And that goes not just for homeschooling but in everything we do as Christians, we are not to try to match the world just cause it’s what we’re used to or comfortable with, rather, we’re to conform to God’s word and His ways as revealed in Jesus. We do this by being in His word and being obedient trusting His power that works in us to do the changing of us.
What she wrote really touched on something I constantly wrestle with that I haven’t really found a way to get out in prayer or in words before now. Here’s some of what I wrote (I’ll leave out names.)
At a crossroads! That’s it!
I’ve been struggling and trying to express this struggle I have as a wife who desires to obey God in loving her husband AND obey Him in teaching her kids God’s word, and it all comes down to the cross.
This, for me, is taking up my cross daily and following Jesus.
There comes a time where daily I must follow my Lord into obediently spreading the truth of His word to those the Father has entrusted to me (in my case my two sons, in the Lord’s case, his 12 disciples), bearing the cross of being misunderstood and possibly even rejected by other believers, by my own family, by my own husband and kids even. There comes a time when I must set my face like Jesus did to obediently speaking the truth of the kingdom to those He’s entrusted to me even as it leads me closer to loosing the ability to win the ones I love with a submissive, willing, honoring, loving life.
I must do all those things all the way to Calvary, to the place of total rejection. I can’t just do one and not the other. If I continue to be submissive, willing, honoring and loving with my life yet leave out the speaking of God’s gospel to the souls God has put under my care then I’m just pleasing man and leaving no place for God to be the God.
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;…But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear…” ( KJV 1 Peter 3:1,15)
But if I refuse to be submissive, willing, honoring and loving with my life yet speak God’s word I’m a…well, as 1Corinthians 13: says, ” I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
I have to do both, though doing the later while doing the former takes me down the cross road daily…the path of taking up my cross and following Jesus.
I’m sure this is why I have such a heart for the persecuted church.
They speak the gospel and teach God’s word to those entrusted to them though they face suffering at the hands of those in authority around them…and even those who persecute them, they reach out to in love with God’s truth, knowing it could mean punishment and even a painful death. They do all this and yet they find rejection from many other Christians who think they are just being rebellious or stirring up trouble rather than being submissive. I’m sure this is why Paul always wrote to remember His chains and to not be ashamed of his chains. He wanted other Christians to not reject him too. But that’s the road of the cross. That’s the road our Lord walked, and if we want to be His disciples, that’s the road we’ll walk too.
The enemy wants to destroy us. And I think he thinks he’s got a pretty good case for why we shouldn’t follow Jesus…he lets us see the cross- how we’ll be rejected and how we’ll have given so much submission and kindness and love to others only to be spurned by them and then not even our own will accept us, but rather treat us like we’re troublemakers. But he leaves out the resurrection!
My God calls me to walk a path that is sure to bring pain and empty me into others though they may ultimately reject me for speaking and trusting in God’s word. But that’s not all He calls me to! Down that cross road is life more alive than any taste of it I may have here by not choosing the cross road.
I choose the cross road!
Hebrews Thirteen Three. I’ll just keep the title of the blog as the title for my posts. If you’d like to go here you can read about my heart for the persecuted church and my previous postings there.
Learning as We Go Homeschool. I started a homeschooling blog, but I don’t really have much to write out there…as the title reflects, I’m learning as I go. So rather than dedicate an entire blog, I’ll periodically post what I’m learning or thoughts on homeschooling. I’ll still keep the homeschool blog up which has the vision the Lord impresses on my heart for what and how to teach my kiddos…I’m sure I’ll be re-reading that often just to remind myself why in the world I’m doing this.
Timothy Moms. I’m not going to stop posting altogether at Timothy Moms. I’ll still continue to post there, but I am taking a hiatus from that blog, which I see more as a group blog…a place for moms to share their resources, struggles, “ah-ha” moments, etc., as they lead their kids in love to Jesus. If you’d like to share something there I’d love to hear from you and be glad to post whatever you’d like to contribute (in keeping with the theme of the blog).
So if you have an interest or heart for Christians who suffer imprisonment and physical suffering for Christ and/or you are a homeschooler or a public/private schooler looking to glean some encouragement from a mom who’s just learning as she goes in teaching her kids (cause we ALL teach our kids, homeschooled or not), you’ll find those subjects here at this blog periodically.
A cloud of witnesses
“Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and patience.”- Hebrews 6:11-12
This is my first installment of A cloud of witnesses– quotes from finishers in the faith. I have read some compelling books from giants of faith in Christ who are at home with the Lord now and some from men and women of God who are still among us and I wanted to share some of what I read- hopefully motivating you, as it is me, to endure to the end too!
This week from The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. First, here’s a little bio on our brother Nee:
Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China in 1920 at the age of seventeen and began writing in the same year. Throughout the nearly thirty years of his ministry, Watchman Nee was clearly manifested as a unique gift from the Lord to His Body for His move in this age. In 1952 he was imprisoned for his faith; he remained in prison until his death in 1972. His words remain an abundant source of spiritual revelation and supply to Christians throughout the world. (Taken from WatchmanNee.org) You can read more about his life and ministry and testimonies here and here.
Now from the book (which I HIGHLY recommend):
And while he was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster cruse (flask) of ointment of spikenard very costly; and she brake the cruse, and poured it over his head…Jesus said…”Verily I say unto you, wheresoever the gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, that also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” (Mark 14:3,6,9)…
But there were some that had indignation among themselves, saying, “To what purpose hath this wast of ointment been made? For this ointment might have been sold for above three hundred pence and given to the poor.” And they murmured against her (Mark 14:4-5).
These words bring us to what I believe the Lord would have us consider finally together, namely, that which is signified by the little word “waste.”
What is waste? Waste means, among other things, giving more than is necessary. If a shilling will do and you give a pound, it is a waste. If two grams will do and you give a kilogram, it is a waste. If three days will suffice to finish a task well enough and you lavish five days or a week on it, it is a waste. Waste means that you give something too much for somthing too little. If someone is receiving more than he is considered to be worth, then that is a waste…
But if the Lord is worthy, then how can it be a waste? He is worthy to be served. He is worthy for me to be his prisoner. He is worthy for me to just live for Him. He is worthy!…
Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered- someone who has gone through experiences with the Lord that have brought limitation, and who, instead of trying to break free in order to be “used,” has been willing to be imprisoned by him and has thus learned to find satisfaction in the Lord and nowhere else- then immediately you become aware of something. Immediately your spiritual senses detect a sweet savor of Christ. Something has been crushed, something has been broken in that life, and so you smell the odor. The odor that filled the house that day in Bethany still fills the Church today; Mary’s fragrance never passes. It needed but one stroke to break the flask for the Lord, but her action- that unreserved giving and the fragrance of that anointing- abides.
We are speaking here of what we are; not of what we do or what we preach. Perhaps you may have been asking the Lord for a long time that he will be pleased to use you in such a way as to impart impressions of himself to others. That prayer is not exactly for the gift of preaching or teaching. It is rather that you might be able, in your touch with others, to impart God, the presence of God, the sense of God. Let me tell you, dear freinds, you cannot produce such impressions of God upon others without the breaking of everything, even your most precious possessions, at the feet of the Lord Jesus.
But if once that point is reached, you may or may not seem to be much used in an outward way, but God will begin to use you to create a hunger in others. People will scent Christ in you. The most unlikely people will detect it. They will sense that here is one who has gone with the Lord, one who has suffered, one who has not moved freely, independently, but who has known what it is to subject everything to Him. That kind of life creates impressions, and impreassions create hunger, and hunger provokes men to go on seeking until they are brought by divine revelation into fullness of life in Christ.
God does not set us here first of all to preach or to do work for him. The first thing for which he sets us here is to create in others a hunger for himself. That is, after all, what prepares the soil for the preaching.
If you set a delicious cake in front of two men who have just had a heavy meal, what will be their reaction? They will talk about it, admire its appearance, discuss the recipe, argue about the cost- do everything, in fact, but eat it! But if they are truly hungry it will not be very long before the cake is gone. And so it is with the things of the Spirit. No true work will ever begin in a life without first of all a sense of need being created. But how can this be done? We cannot inject spiritual appetite by force into others; we cannot compel people to be hungry. Hunger has to be created, and it can be created in others only by those who carry with them the impressions of God.
I always like to think of the words of that “great woman” of Shunem. Speaking of the prophet, whom she had observed but whom she did not know well, she said, “Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually” (2 Kings 4:9). It was not what Elisha said or did that conveyed that impression, but what he was. By his merely passing by she could detect something; she could see. What are people sensing about us? We may leave many kinds of impressions: we may leave the impression that we are clever, that we are gifted, that we are this or that or the other. But no: the impression left by Elisha was an impression of God himself…
There must be something- a willingness to yield, a breaking and a pouring out of everything to him- which gives release to that fragrance of Christ and produces in other lives an awareness of need, drawing them out and on to know the Lord. The is what I feel to be the heart of everything. The Gospel has as its one object the producing in us sinners of a condition that will satisfy the heart of our God. In order that he may have that, we come to him with all we have, all we are- yes, even the most cherished things in our spiritual experience- and we make known to him:
Lord, I am willing to let go all of this for you: not just for your work, not for your children, not for anything else at all, but altogether and only for yourself!
Oh, to be wasted! It is a blessed thing to be wasted for the Lord. So many who have been prominent in the Christian world know nothing of this. Many of us have been used to the full- have been used, I would say, too much- but we do not know what it means to be wasted on God. We like to be always “on the go”: the Lord would sometimes prefer to have us in prison. We think in terms of apostolic journeys: God dares to put his greatest ambassadors in chains.
But thanks be unto God, which always leadeth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us the savor of his knowledge in every place (2 Cor.2:14).
And the house was filled with the odor of the ointment (John 12:3).
The Lord grant us grace that we may learn how to please him. When, like Paul, we make this our supreme aim (2 Cor.5:9), the Gospel will have achieved its end.
– From pgs. 177, 178, 180, 186-189
What I believe
- *I believe there is only ONE God (Isaiah 45:5, John 17:3) and MANY other passages speak this- I’d be glad to send them to you if you’d like). This God is not made by human hands or found only in church buildings (2 Samuel 7:5, 2 Chron.6:18. This God is spirit and He is life (John 4:24, 1 John 5:12). He is beyond explaining in words but He defined Himself in the life of one Man (Colossians 1:15), Jesus- a man who lived in Israel 2000 plus years ago. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. I believe in the triunity of the One Living God. God is One Father, One Son and One Holy Spirit (Matt.28:19)- none are of them selves, each are of the other and together make up the One Living God.
*I believe the Man Jesus is the Christ, the “Annointed One”, the Holy One, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah of Israel and for the whole world, the Only Savior (Matt.16:13-20, John 4:25-26, Proverbs 9:10 , Luke 1:35). I believe He is not one of many ways to enter the gate of “salvation” but rather He is THE gate, THE way, and HE IS salvation!
Jesus said of Himself, “I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep,” he said. “All others who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:7-11)
- I believe man is by nature depraved and sinful (Romans 3:23) . We aren’t just sinful because we sin (that is we do things that are against God’s word) but we sin because we are naturally sinners (Romans 5:12). I believe all flesh, all mankind, will perish apart from being born a second time, not of flesh but of spirit (John 3:3) . The flesh is born after humankind (after the line of Adam, the first man) but the spirit is born after God through faith (total confidence and trust) in the saving work of Jesus the Christ (1 Peter 1:23).
- I believe that there is a very real (more real than what we see with our eyes) spiritual realm in which a war takes place against the souls of men (Ephesians 6:12). I believe the victory of the souls of every one who has and will believe in Christ by faith was secured at the cross of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37). I believe there is a devil who seeks to steal, kill and destroy people and the name of God (John 10:10). He is already defeated by the work of the Savior but he is going down fighting and destroying. I believe he is only allowed to do what Almighty God permits Him too until the day when the fullness of all who will believe are complete (Job 1:6-12).
- I believe there is a time of judgement that begins with the house or the family of God- those who are His (1 Peter 4:17-19). For those that are His this judgement is a time of chastising and trial through which the new creature that person is through faith in Christ is proven true and purified. I also believe that judgement continues for those who refuse the salvation of the Lord. For them their standing before God is not as children, but as condemned flesh- flesh that died in Christ at the cross. Because they have refused to believe that God saves them through His own death and resurrection but try to stand on their own goodness and good intentions, they stand before a perfect God trying to justify their lives by their own works and they cannot stand (Psalm 140:3-4, Romans 4:4-6, Isaiah 64:6)!
- I believe the Bible (in it’s original language) is the perfect Word of the Living God. I believe it was written by men inspired by God and that it is completely fulfilled in Christ (Psalm 19:7-10, 1 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:19-21) .
- I believe that God created the entire universe be simply speaking His words and He did so in 6 days and then spent an entire 7th day resting- no longer creating (Genesis 1). I believe that He created man and woman in His own image and that mankind is a treasured creation bearing a spirit and the Godhead’s own likeness (Genesis 1:26-28).
- I also believe all that life or death is long, not short. I believe all souls will eternally live either with God as His sons and daughters and enjoy the glory they were created to enjoy (Ephesians 1:3-14) OR die eternally apart from God in a very real places that Jesus called hell, “…where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'” (Mark 9:44)
As I said before I do not believe the God I serve desires any soul to perish. He’s made a way for all to come! No one has to justify themselves or hope God accepts them. No one has to find a new religion or conform to an already existing one. No one has to or can do ANYTHING to gain favor in the sight of the God who created them…JESUS ALREADY DID IT! He is the only ONE who can make us acceptable in God’s eyes.
I think of it this way…it’s a love story. God doesn’t want us to come to Him on a basis of meeting a certain mark or staying within a certain limit. He wants us to come to Him in response to His great love. That’s why there’s not any way-that-makes-your-clock-tick ways to God…they’re all just attempts to meet a certain mark or be a certain way to be “good” and acceptable to God. He wants you to love Him…and you can’t even do that unless He loves you first. He wants you to, without seeing it, just believe (put all your eggs in His basket) that He loves you enough to die for you and live a life in response to that mighty, selfless, redemptive love.
Saying that, “Oh, surely a merciful God would understand that anyone who does good, no matter who they believe is their savior, is deserving of His acceptance,” is like refusing to give a man who saved a people group from destruction by standing in the way of the death that was coming their way and dying in the process, recognition. Would you refuse Abraham Lincoln a name and title of honor for his work to free the slaves in America? Could “Private Ryan” refuse to give the respect of acknowledging that it was his superior who died to be sure to rescue him and give him a long life? Can you refuse to give Jesus the name and honor only He deserves since He experienced all a human experiences and the weight and pain of this fallen place along with all the terror of sin, rejection, judgement and death just to save you from the damnation that was sure to come to all fallen creation?
“There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them.” – Acts 4:12
“Though he was God, he did
not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”- Philippians 2:6-11
Also, a note to all you fellow Christian bloggers, have you posted a post on what you believe- I mean just layin’ it out there real clear in your own words? If not, I’d encourage you to. Doing this has been great for me, just to think it through and try to put into my own words the truths that keep me for eternity. It’s something God’s word instructs us to do, to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks. If someone comes to your blog, they’re sort of asking. So what do you believe? Also, I feel like this has prepared me a bit for when someone may ask me face to face. I’ve thought it through and written it down and that always makes putting things in speech a lot easier for me.
It’s a new Tuesday…
Yesterday was quite a day for me. I spent the day just praying constantly as I read through the rest of The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee in between cleaning up piles of shrub and tree clippings laying around the yard from the weekend landscape jobs my husband did. I feel like I struck oil!!!