Change: Not Gradual Or Sudden, But Both/And

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Change.

Don’t we love change when it is our idea? At least initially, we welcome that move, anticipate that promotion, and feel exhilarated by a fresh page on which to write our story.

However, change that creeps up on us, is inflicted by another, or runs contrary to our expectations can be unwelcome and unwanted.

Pounds gained ounce by ounce, or, one morning awaking a decade older having not lamented the last 10 birthdays, but realizing this one finds you closer to middle or even old age; these are gradual changes that we are cognizant of but not attentive to until the little, seemingly subtle changes add up to a paradigm shift. I.e. I’m old! I’m overweight! I am not the person I thought I would be!

Note that last one. Changes in our character can be similar to subtle weight gain and the edging closer to the next age bracket on the census. We can either draw nearer to the person we desire to become-for some to become in Christ and for others in general-or we can, with one small decision at a time, recede away from our objective.

What about you? Where do find yourself today: at work, in relationships, with your self-assigned goals? Are you closer to the person you pictured yourself to be 5 or 10 years ago or are you farther off target than you imagined?

The continuity of change is that whether gradual or sudden, whether anticipated or shocking, whether welcomed or displeasing, it happens. In fact, change is not really gradual or sudden, it is both/and. Both gradual and sudden change is going to stare us each in the eyeballs as long as we live.

We should indeed expect the unexpected even while we anticipate the logical consequences of our everyday decisions.

Amidst all the change, one venue we possess control over is the character with which we respond to vacillating life circumstances. We can take the punches thrown at us in life from friend, foe, or our own bad decisions of the past and present and decide how we respond.

With every change there is a choice. 

We can choose to draw near to Christ or we can choose to run the opposite direction. We can choose to let our personal failures continue to knock us down the path we don’t want to go, or, we can turn on our heels and head back in the direction in which we initially aimed.

The truth of the matter is that regardless of our choice, God remains the same. He is the only unchanging factor that we can anchor our souls to. The only fixed point on which we can rely as on a compass in the wilderness of our subtle or drastic change.

So, in the face of both gradual changes in our lives and sudden unexpected decisions that may send us reeling or, conversely beaming with joy, we have a choice to make. Will we let these changes, both good and bad, impede our ability to achieve the character we wish to develop? Or, will we utilize changes to improve our knowledge that ultimately our hope is anchoring our lives on the only fixed point in the universe-Jesus Christ.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God. ~Psalm 90:2

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Making People a Part of Your Journey

Life Lessons on Manitou

A month ago, our family attempted our toughest hike to date. The famous Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs, Colorado.The Manitou Incline is a converted rail-car track. It is an intense one mile ascent with a 2,000 foot elevation gain. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking determination!

Our family was excited and as ready as Floridians could be for this hike. One portion of the experience that I had not factored in were the people we would meet along the journey. We thought we would arrive early enough that very few people would even be on the trail. That was an inaccurate assumption! The trail was full even at 6:00 AM on a Saturday.

There were military service men and women hiking for conditioning, a local set of twin brothers and their younger brother who hike the trail everyday and twice on Saturday, and a woman with a prosthetic leg, along with a host of out-of-towners and tourists just like us.

One man in particular made our acquaintance and a lasting impression as well. His name was Don. Don is a father of three grown boys and a first timer at hiking Manitou. He stopped periodically to ask us questions about our kids and comment on what a great job we were doing as parents for having our kids attempt something so difficult at such an early age. (We may have been crazy, but we accepted commendable too.) He encouraged us and visited with us when he could have carried on and continued with little thought of the family of four attempting the same journey he was on.

But he didn’t.

Don made people a part of his journey, and we benefited from his encouragement and company.

As we neared the summit of Manitou, there was Don waiting on our family and cheering us on to the finish. He waited to take our picture and celebrate with us. He took the time to text the pictures to my husband and give him some pointers for navigating the four mile descent down Barr Trail. Don wasn’t obligated to go the second mile, but the second mile is why he is more memorable than many other people we hiked the Incline with that day.

As we bustle about our everyday jobs and activities, let’s strive to make the second, memorable mile for someone who is walking the same direction we are. Who knows, maybe in taking time to encourage and celebrate another person’s journey will forever change our own.

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*Photo courtesy of our friend, Don.

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A Tenacious Spirit in Turbulent Times

A Tenacious Spirit in Turbulent Times

A tenacious spirit is one that keeps a firm hold. That clings or adheres closely.  This begs the question, what are we clinging closely to today? Our ideologies, our wills, the ways of the world, the spirit of man, or the Spirit of God, God’s teachings in the Bible…the Truth?

Usually when we are pressed hard by life’s circumstances or even day to day aggravations , that which we cling to the most will be evident in our speech and actions. When we are faced with moral dilemmas, choices to speak up or speak out on what we profess to believe, the truth of our loyalties will surface in our responses. Don’t we want to be found tenaciously clinging to God and the truths manifested in Jesus Christ?

Persistent, determined, dogged, strong-willed, tireless, indefatigable, resolute, patient, unflagging, staunch, steadfast, untiring, unwavering, unswerving, unshakable, unyielding, insistent, these are all characteristics of a tenacious spirit. But what do they practically look like? I think the answer is found in part in the life of Paul and Silas.

Remember when Paul and Silas were traveling and preaching in Macedonia as accounted in Acts chapter 16? Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned by magistrates in the city for preaching the gospel to Romans who did not want any part of their message. Let’s not skip over that too quickly, Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned. That’s not part of a normal days work for most missionaries; considering all who profess Jesus should live on mission.

As soon as they were thrown into prison, they were chained in stocks in the inner prison. We should think that at this point, Paul and Silas most wanted to take a nap and lament their situation. However, their reaction is more tenacious than that. At midnight, they began to pray and sing praises unto the Lord–within the hearing of their fellow inmates. Upon their praises, the earth trembles in an earthquake and shakes loose their chains. (Acts 16:26)

The watching lost will always tremble at resounding praise and worship of Jesus even in the midst of staggering injustice in the world.

Consider recently in the case of the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Wasn’t the watching world astounded at the display of love and forgiveness in the face of outright evil and hate? The unshakable adherence of God’s people to His ways and to prayer during the hardest times, spoke louder to the truth of the message of the gospel than vandalism and complaints of citizens who likewise feel falsely accused and unfairly targeted. (See here.)

Paul and Silas’ reactions in the face of false imprisonment and harsh incarceration made a lasting difference leading unto salvation for the prison guard and his family. Rioting and vandalism in Macedonia wouldn’t have made as lasting of an impact as the prayer, worship, and faithfulness to both man’s law and God’s decrees that Paul and Silas demonstrated. Is it any different in our day? 

Let us tenaciously cling to the message and methods of the Bible that effect change on minor and major scales both yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The message, method, and mission of the gospel has not veered with the wavering tide of popular opinion and neither should the Church. In these turbulent times when babies are being killed and their parts sold, when Christians are imprisoned and persecuted, when people are turning each to their own way and one against another, faithfulness to our True King, Jesus Christ, will be mocked and labeled treason to our lost and dying world.

In the recently published book by the late Chuck Colson, My Final Word, the author makes the case that the ultimate offense of the gospel is another king. Christians are proclaiming another loyalty. Consider his words:

This explains the resistance of American intellectuals and the cultural elite to the gospel: We are proclaiming another loyalty. When we teach Intelligent Design, for example, we are teaching our kids that there is a higher power to which they are beholden. What does that do to the authority of their teacher, principal, or textbook writer, or other cultural elites who think they really do run the world? To them, Christians are “causing trouble all over the world.” But it’s inherent in the nature of our message.

Mr. Colson goes on to say that Paul used apologetics to preach to the people at Mars Hill. Interestingly, many sneered at him and only a few became followers. However… should you visit the Acropolis today, he writes, the flag is lowered to half-staff on Good Friday and raised on Easter Sunday morning to full staff.

Two thousand years later what was only the response of a few followers at Mars Hill, or in Macedonia, has now continued to be added to in number. The lesson: Don’t loose your tenacity to preach the gospel and live in obedience to Jesus Christ fellow brother and sister. What may seem a small, yet faithful impact in our own lives, cannot be measured in compound interest in the future nor eternity. As David Platt reminds us in his recent book, Counter Culture, we aren’t living for today or twenty years from now, we are living for twenty billion years from now.

Be tenacious with the gospel message and methods of Jesus Christ.

You may have the greatest potential impact with your witness when life has you in a corner.

~Ron Cooney, A Match Made in Heaven?

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A Living Lighthouse

Living Lighthouses

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

Lighthouses line our coasts from sea shore to sea shore and the interior of our Great Lakes and some major waterways. They warn ships of impending trouble lest they run ashore and among rocky coasts and  dangerous reefs beneath the sea. Lighthouses serve to guide ships into a safe harbor or urge them out to sea. So the message of the lighthouse varies from a cry of danger to this is the way. Therefore, lighthouses serve as navigational markers to let sailors and boaters know exactly where they are and where they do not want to go.

As Christ-followers, we are bearers of the light of Jesus Christ and the gospel message. We serve as lights in this dark world to point people to the Way, the Truth, and the Life found in Jesus Christ.

When we hold firmly to the teachings of the Bible–God’s Word which is the same yesterday, today, and forever–we serve as navigational guides to the lost and dying world signaling to them by the power of the Holy Spirit, this is the way, walk in it. Or warning them of impending doom if they do not turn from their wicked ways, repent, and follow Jesus.

If or when Christians decide they will bend to the moral tide of our culture, we darken our light, the light within us of the Holy Spirit, from shining as a beacon in the night. We forfeit our purpose, and our responsibility, to be the city on a hill Jesus taught about in Matthew 5. We no longer guide our fellow-men to The Light when we ourselves are cloaked in the darkness of the world.

The Christian opinion has never been the popular opinion; though a watered-down version of Christian teachings may have in fact been the popular opinion. No more; and, so be it, in order that our light may shine ever brighter until the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who are we shining God’s light to today? In what way are we acting as living lighthouses telling and showing the way toward Jesus Christ? May we live on mission in every area of our life pointing our fellow men and women to the Light of the World.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

John 1:6-7

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Five Things To Do On Your Manitou Springs Vacation…With Children!

I regret to inform Lao Tzu that our ideas of a good traveler differ much. He refers to a good traveler as one who “has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”  If that is indeed the measure of a good traveler, then I fall under the pictured caption of “epic failure.” I like to make a plan, work the plan, and stick to the plan…with a little wiggle room of course.

When Ron and I were discussing our vacation to Manitou Springs, I scoured Pinterest for the best places to visit, along with reviews from mamas and papas who had traveled with their bear cubs and lived to tell about it. It is with gratitude to those bloggers who have gone before in blazing a well-marked trail, that I present our own. 

Here are Five Things To Do on Your Manitou Springs Vacation…With Children:

1. The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Pikes Peak is known as, America’s Mountain. It is also the mountain view which inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen a poem entitled, America the Beautiful, which we sing today. Interesting to note that America the Beautiful was in the running to become the national anthem, but, as we know, was beaten by The Star-Spangled Banner on March 3, 1931.

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway provides a majestic and entertaining way to reach the 14,115 foot summit of Pikes Peak. Bring extra layers as the temperature drops 30 degrees with your ascent. Bring water to drink on the ride, but be aware there are no bathrooms on the train.

We suggest buying the famous donuts as soon as you reach the summit, heading outside for some scenic views and photography opportunities, then a quick trip to the dwindling lines in the bathrooms before your descent on the train. You will have a total of 30 minutes to take in the sights and re-board.

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Pikes Peak Cog Railway

2.  Manitou Incline and Barr Trail

The Manitou Incline is a converted rail-car track. It is an intense one mile ascent with a 2,000 foot elevation gain. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking determination! We hiked the Manitou Incline with our seven and five year old children. Hydration and a flexible attitude are key. This was an adventure for each of us. Luckily, the kids had no idea how extreme an undertaking this hike was; even though I had repeatedly try to enlighten them. We trained for this hike by walking in the very flat city parks of Florida! Be aware if you should attempt this with small children, there are no bathrooms beside the covering of trees. Come prepared!

We loved this hike and felt a great sense of accomplishment upon completion; however, if you are not in the physical or mental state to attempt this hike, I would not suggest tackling it. This was fourth or fifth hike as a family and, at a total of 5 miles our longest hike to date.

We completed the Manitou Incline and Barr Trail in 5.5 hours. We arrived just before 6:00 AM to park in the upper parking lot of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The attendant said the other parking lot had been full since 4:30 AM. SO…arrive very early. Additionally, we hiked on a Saturday, so the trail was fairly busy. The hikers were friendly and very supportive of our little ones attempting this intimidating hike. One man, Don, even waited for us at the top to cheer us on and take our family picture!

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Manitou Incline and Barr Trail

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3. Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is by far one of the most breathtaking views and photo opportunities in Manitou Springs. It is filled with moderate hikes and bike paths plus opportunities for horse back riding in the park. The park hosts thirteen points to park and view named rock formations without the need to make a hike. However, we suggest walking in a bit as you might spot some of the beautiful mule deer within the park. For the uber adventurer, you can obtain a free permit, and with the right gear, even climb these majestic red rocks!

It is worth repeating, arrive early! Being the earlier riser in Colorado means having the parks to yourself. Arrive before the gift shops and nature centers open. We tried to be in the car, or at the location, by 7:00 or 7:30. By 10:30 all the other travelers are beginning to fill the parking lots and diminish the atmosphere and ability to take quality pictures of the scenery or your family.

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Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs

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4. Helen Hunt Falls

Helen Hunt Falls hosts a pleasant hike through the forest with the melodic beauty of a waterfall and stream. We opted to drive to the falls then hiked 2/3 of a mile up a moderately steep trail above Helen Hunt Falls to reach Silver Cascade Falls. This was our kids first waterfall to see in person and they loved exploring along the stream, putting their hands in the water, and watching the water rush by.

Helen Hunt Falls

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5. Navigators Creation Tour at Glen Eyrie

Due to flooding a few years ago, the Glen Eyrie Creation Tours had been suspended for safety reasons. It wasn’t until we arrived in Manitou Springs that we discovered they had reopened the tours this summer. Once we found out the tours were back on, the remainder of our trip wasn’t on days the tours are offered (Wednesday through Saturday). Glen Eyrie Creation Tours is a wonderful way for the whole family to learn about creation, the flood, and the reason for the rock formations we see around the world post-flood. I hope that our family can take part in one of these tours the next time we are in the area.

Navigators

Thank you for taking the time to share in our memories of a great trip. May this little guide help you as you take a vacation, a stay-cation, or anything in between in the magnificent surroundings of Manitou Springs, Colorado.

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Five Helpful Principles Every Type A Woman Should Embrace-Guest Post

Five Things Type A Women Should Embrace

When I was a newlywed, my expectations for myself and my home were very high. See if you identify with any of these expectations I placed on myself:

  • I was certain that in order to maintain a good home, I must have matching hand towels, bath towels, and wash clothes
  • These all had to be lined neatly in my linen closet and most certainly out for guests.
  • If laundry was visible anywhere when people were coming over, or dishes were piled in the sink, then those were signs I was utterly falling behind.

Do I sound like a frustrated perfectionist or a typical Type A personality? Undoubtedly, the answer is yes.

Thirteen years later, I have micro-evolved into a different, subtly less unrealistic and more attainable homemaking mantra.

Why the change?

Life happened.

To read the rest, please head over to iBelieve. (Click here.)

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Five Things to Do on Your Denver Vacation…With Children!

Colorado…truly a land of beauty. The 38th state in the Union, it is rich in culture and heritage, and is a wonderful vacation destination year round. From the beautiful, well-branded state flag, to the friendly people and inspiring scenery, Colorado is a gem to visit or to call home. Below is a list of five must see vacation stops in Denver. Our children are 5 and 7 and enjoyed each of these venues right by our side. We do recommend drinking lots of water throughout your stay as the higher elevation can lead to elevation sickness. Additionally, you may want to take a day to get acclimated to the elevation. Being from Florida, elevation sickness was certainly on the forefront of our minds.

1.  Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater is a beautiful destination to simply drive and get out at lookout points, or to hike through. Our family hiked the Trading Post Loop. The loop  is a 1.4-1.7 mile hike. However, the path is not clearly marked and we additionally hiked up the amphitheater so by the end of the hike it was closer to 3 miles. As with all hikes, take plenty of water and snacks. With small children snacks are a huge motivator. While we serve them snacks throughout the hike, we usually save a special cookie, like Oreo’s, for the end of the hike as a prize to work toward. Be sure and arrive early! We arrived around 7:30 AM and basically had the park to ourselves. By the end of our hike and a visit to the Trading Post, we had people waiting in line for our parking spot and a very busy park.

After your early morning hike, you will be very hungry. We suggest driving a little further into Morrison and grabbing a delicious Mexican dish at El Tapatio restaurant. We recommend the fish and steak tacos.

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2.  Dinosaur Ridge Bus Tour

Dinosaur Ridge is a free walking trail or a paid bus tour for $6 per person ages four and up. This great geological point of interest is presented from an evolutionary worldview. However, the incredible fossils and footprints are worth the tour. Additionally, as a Christian and a person holding to a biblical worldview, I wanted my kids and myself to hear this presentation so that we can ask better questions. Further, that we would be reminded the evidence is the same, but the interpretation is different. Our tour-guide, Dan was very friendly, funny, and informative. I talked with him afterwards about my belief in the world-wide flood of Noah’s time and the evidence for it. He was open to the discussion even while holding to his own beliefs.

Don’t forget to visit Triceratops Trail in Golden Colorado as well. We missed this and missed out on Triceratops footprints alongside plant and bug fossils. (An excuse for my family to make this trip to Denver again!)

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Our son touching a crocodile footprint found alongside dinosaur footprints at Dinosaur Ridge.

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A Brontosaur “bulge” at Dinosaur Ridge. This footprint is is missing the toe impressions, but follows in a sequence of other similar impressions of smaller dinosaurs. This is the first I have learned of such fossilized “bulges” and I can’t wait to research this some more.

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Our tour-guide, Dan, sitting next to Iguanodon (see here and here) footprints which your children can see and touch at Dinosaur Ridge!

3.  Buffalo Bill Trail and Museum  and the Lookout Mountain Nature Center

The most beautiful,family friendly hike we took in Denver was the Lookout Mountain and Buffalo Bill Trail. This trail runs one mile from Buffalo Bill’s Museum and burial place to the Lookout Mountain Nature Center providing a friendly two mile round-trip hike. We started our hike around 7:30 long before either the museum or center was opened. However, there are many beautiful photo, rock climbing, and nature observing venues along this trail that will keep you occupied between visits to the sites and before they open.  Be sure and check out the great nature materials and postcards for purchase at the Nature Center as well as live teaching and exploration classes. While we were there, Bob the Bull Snake was on display for kids to touch and learn about as they visited the center.

After our hike, we enjoyed a bison burger and brat at the Pahaska Tepee before visiting the Buffalo Bill Museum. The cost is $5 per adult and $1 per child ages 6-15.

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4.  Tattered Cover Book Store

In the center of downtown Denver, lies this beautiful niche for book lovers. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry as you and your family peruse the great selection of books. The kids had a great time in the large children’s section. This is a chain bookstore, however, this particular store is larger than the others that we saw at Union Station and the Denver International Airport. A nice stop on a rainy day or an evening in downtown.

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5. Union Station and The Kitchen Next Door

After our visit to the Tattered Cover Book Store, we walked down the block to the newly renovated Union Station. This is a beautiful station in the heart of Denver that will transport you by train wherever you want to go. We didn’t board a train, but the inside sights and the outdoor fountains were beautiful to behold.

After viewing the station, we dined at one of the many restaurants located within. The Kitchen Next Door was a delicious dining experience and the outdoor seating provided a great view of the city and sunset. The kids recommend the Greek salad.

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We were in Denver enjoying these activities for three days (two days for travel). The other three days of our vacation we were in Manitou Springs just outside of Colorado Springs. Join me next Friday as we explore Five Things To Do on Your Manitou Springs Vacation…With Children!

Thanks for reading!

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What Your Pastor and His Wife Aren’t Telling You

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Perhaps you are familiar with Ruth Graham’s book, In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart. You may be quick to nod in affirmation thinking, I have often worshiped with a broken heart among a congregation and friends who are unaware of my hurts and circumstances, for one reason or another. However, it may surprise you to realize the broken or discouraged heart of a brother or sister may be your pastor or his wife.

My husband has served in ministry prior to and all throughout our dating and married years. For the last fifteen years, we have served together in a handful of churches under differing roles and responsibilities. We have enjoyed sweet times serving with fellow staff and lay leaders and the visible fruit of changed lives. Other times, we have served alongside those who, it seemed, viewed us as the enemy or a stumbling block to the way they envisioned ministry should be carried out.

We encountered a situation like that in one of the first churches we served in. The most active couple in the youth ministry was also the most vocal couple in opposition to the direction my husband was taking the students. It seemed no matter what he did, this couple wasn’t pleased and wanted to let everyone know. Months after we left that church, the husband became the youth pastor. It is hard to please someone who wants your job and thinks they can do it better.

Please come read Five Things Your Pastor Wants You to Know But Might Never Tell You over here. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think.

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A Somber 4th of July

A Somber 4th of July

I can hear Lee Greenwood’s voice in my head and vividly remember the fireworks blazing over his head as I listened and watched him sing on a televised 4th of July celebration many, many years ago, ” I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I proudly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the U.S. A!”

I can no longer sing that song with Mr. Greenwood. I couldn’t last year, and I certainly can’t this year. My Christian beliefs preclude me from asking God’s blessing on a prideful nation that has collectively turned its back on Him. The current President has downplayed American exceptionalism and crafted an environment fertile for a pluralistic republic. He declared that we are not a Christian nation early in his presidency and regretfully, we are moving further and further away from “one nation under God.” Instead, we have moved to one nation apart from God.

The Supreme Court’s decision to legislate from the judicial branch, an act which the Founding Fathers warned against and worked to prevent, has set the course for the nation’s undoing. We were heading that direction state by state, but the ruling by SCOTUS last Friday expedited the process and ushered in a new fight to protect our First Amendment rights, specifically the exercise of  religious liberty.

I am rendering a very gloomy state of the Union. I understand. Many may stop reading and thankfully, you have every right to. Likewise, I currently possess every right to say what’s on my mind. Freedom of speech, also a right under the First Amendment.

Our First Amendment rights may be under siege, dear Christian, but our first allegiance to the Living God need not be.

As a pastor’s wife, a homeschooling mom, and an American grateful for the government set up by the founders of our nation, the men and women of our armed forces, and the firefighters and police officers who risk their lives for their fellowmen every day,  the ruling and ramifications of the SCOTUS decision greatly saddens me. I  have read the Bible, I watch and read the news, and I see the cultural road signs–we live as in the days of Noah. Sin is rampant, self-love is evident, and persecution of Christians is like unto the days of the Roman Empire. I’m not surprised, for Jesus foretold of such, but I must admit that I am deeply saddened.

We have often wondered why we Christians in America have not suffered persecution like our brothers and sisters around the globe. Well, our time may be at hand. We must cling to the document which bears the words of the Living God; it is the only firm foundation in a world of shifting sand. The Word of God is not tethered to one nation or one time period. The Word of God is for all mankind in every nation, forever. His joy comes in the morning and our work is at hand. Be strong in the Lord Jesus and stand firm.

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore,

with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
and your feet sandaled with readiness
for the gospel of peace
In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is God’s word.

Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.

Ephesians 6: 10-20, HCSB

Home is a place called Heaven,

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Riding the Waves-A Guest Post

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At times he would glance at me with those beautiful blue eyes and flash his charming grin as if to check and assure himself that mommy watched his feats of strength. Other moments, he would forget he wasn’t the only boy splashing in the ocean and though he was feet from the next child, would dive bravely into the next wave with the gusto of Alexander the Great. Then there were those moments that the wave came with greater strength than he anticipated and he would stand coughing and looking about as if, “What just happened here?”

Often we adults resemble the above description in reference to the challenges and opportunities that waves of life bring in peak, trough succession. Some opportunities in life we look at and think I got this. Other, more humbling opportunities, we stare in disbelief and wonder why we were chosen to ride this wave into shore. Sometimes we give it our best go and end up gasping for breath.

Where are you in the ocean of life right now? Please hop over to TheLaundryMoms.com and read the rest of my guest post over there! (Click here.)

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