When you Walk Along the Way

Just a place to share my thoughts as I seek to serve my husband, raise my children and Glorify my God!

Media madness again…GRRRR October 14, 2008

Filed under: media — A Relevant Old Soul @ 9:52 pm

Ok people so I really think it is time for a TV burning.. You know like the old fashioned book burnings of the past.  I say we pile them all up and set them on fire.  I rarely watch TV.  However, I am now watching the 17 and counting Duggar show on TLC and while watching last night I saw the following commercial.

I was so angry I almost threw our tv out the second story window.  They keep getting worse and worse.  If you do not believe me… Watch the Zencore commercials (I refuse to put that on here).  What struck me about this commercial is that it is using sex to sell a product to teens.  The people who use this product are adolescent age and they are using sex to target them as well.

I get frustrated even watching the news anymore.  Commercials are out of control.  I just needed to rant about this one today.  I am sure there will be more.

Philippians 4:8
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.

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Thoughts on the fragility of life..

Filed under: Raising Children — A Relevant Old Soul @ 7:23 am

The fragility of life.  In the past couple of weeks I have been in circles of two deaths.  One was a suicide of a very mentally sick person and the other a tragic OD on drugs from an addict.  Both of these has put me in the mode of really contemplating the fragility of life.  We were given each breath we take and how quickly we take them for granted.  But more than that, I am convicted about my children.  Both of these deaths were men.  Having two boys, I am left to wonder, as a mother, how I can play a small role in shaping my boys for their future choices.

We are given very specific instructions on raising our children in multiple places in the bible.  One of my favorites is Deut 6:4-9

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

In verse 7 it says we are to “impress” them on our children.  One of the definitions of impress is “Characteristic; mark of distinction; stamp.”  I like best the idea of “stamp.”  We are to be stamping our children with the commandments of God.  When I think of that, I think of a group of people in a line and my children being identified by these stamps of crosses on their foreheads.  This reading continues in telling us when to do this.  Talk about them, when you sit at home, walk along the road, lie down, and get up.  So when, every single moment of our lives.  Pretty much every conversation we have should be focussed around pointing our children to Christ.

Are we stamping our children?  When they are in a group of other children, do they resemble the other kids or do they resemble Christ.  There are many harmless things in the world today but they are still competing to remove our childrens hearts from Christ.  We must be ever vigilant in protecting their hearts and keeping them only for Christ.

I can not control the choices my children will make as they get older.  But I can influence their environment.  I can at birth fill them up with nothing but Christ in that they are stamped with him forever.  As adults many of us can think of the pain and heartache we would have been spared if we had chosen God’s way instead of our own.  If we want to protect our children from those things we will not do it with psychology and parental lectures.  We will do it by filling them with the Word of God from infancy.

Today our churches have a plethora of “fun” and “entertainment” for our kids.  But having fun inside a church building is not the purpose of church.  We need more churches willing to brainwash our children for Christ.  Willing to pour scripture into their souls from a very young age.  It is a common misconception that very young toddlers need only babysitting in a nursery.  But I can tell you from seeing it first hand that even these children can memorize scripture.  If a child can memorize “Jesus loves me,” they can memorize “Children obey your parents in the Lord.”

We need to be bathing our kids in scripture and molding them into service for him.  We can not save our children or change their hearts for Christ but we can lead them in his direction.  We need to reconsider our correction and discipline and really use every opportunity to show Christ to our kids.

This passage in Deut. is a command to us as parents to bring EVERY part of our lives under the submission of Christ.  What are your doorframes painted with?  Are your children stamped with Christ or with Hanna Montana or High School Musical.  What are you allowing to be idols in your childrens lives.  What idols do I allow in my home?

Am I taking every opportunity to point my kids to Christ?  Life is very fragile.  We are not promised a single day and sadly neither are our children.  We can not choose who they will become but we can help mold them.  Let’s pray that we can adequately  use EVERY moment to fill them with Christ and the Cross.

On a side note, I do recommend a book on this subject.  “Teach them Diligently” by Lou Priolo.  But no book should ever replace the Word of God.  Also, many people are not aware of something called the “Westminster Shorter Catechism.”  It is a small book of basic doctrines put in a question and answer format for children.  It is a great way to begin very early pouring doctrine into our children and giving them the opportunity to defend their faith.  My 30 month old can even memorize the first 3 questions.  It is a great resource for parents.

 

October 31st… Secular or Spiritual October 9, 2008

Filed under: Everyday thoughts — A Relevant Old Soul @ 1:02 am

Well we are now in October. A month of changing leaves and crisp breezes (well not always in Louisiana but in most states it is..). October also brings with it a great deal of controversy. Controversy between Christians and unbelievers as well as within the church. There are many opinions on either side of this issue. In this post I hope to explain why my family chooses to NOT participate in Halloween. I feel it necessary to add a disclaimer here in that, no matter what we as a family choose, we do not sit in judgment against anyone else. We all answer to our Creator and it is to him all are accountable. Now to the issue at hand, October 31 is it secular or spiritual in your home?

Let’s start with a little history. Halloween or All Hallows Eve, was the Christian church (catholic-universal church) response to the pagan ritual of Samhain. After Constantine made Christianity the state religion, many pagans were almost forced into this religion. With them, they were holding to many of their pagan rituals and festivals. This was one of them in which they went house to house getting food for the harvest god and threatening tricks or evil if no food was given. The church, in order to get the pagans to give up their rituals, offered an alternative or substitute. It became a time to remember those Saints who were martyred for the faith. Now, I am not going in to great depth or detail here but you get the jest of it.

October 31 today is claimed as harmless fun. No one is worshipping darkness or evil. And to that comment I would have to agree. It is simply a way for our children to get candy and dress up in silly costumes and have a good time. I do not know of any 5 year old worshiping evil on this night. It is for most households harmless fun. But do not be mistaken that regardless of how you see the night, there are people who still see it as a dark night.

Most churches, have decided that rather than tell its members to not participate in Halloween, they would instead create an alternative.. Sound familiar? Now, let me say, I do not think Harvest Festivals are altogether bad. I will say, however, that we must search our motives carefully. If we are offering candy, dress up and games to our Christian children as an alternative to the Secular ritual, we are no different than the early church.

This is why we choose not to participate in this holiday. We are a Christian society of contradictions. We say things like we have to be “set apart” and then practice the same rituals as the world under our steeples. We tell our children it is NEVER ok to lie and then tell them about Santa and an Easter bunny. October 31 is just one more instance where we are telling our children one thing and doing another. If we are to be set apart then why is it ok to push that to the side for the sake of “fun.” I am no Martha Stewart, but I like to think that we have fun in our house lots of nights of the year. My boys have tons of dress up and they can do it any time they like. They are not deprived of candy or games. The world has told us that if we choose to not participate then we are RADICALS and keeping our kids from clean fun. Wait… did I say the world.. the church says the same thing.

One thing I have heard from a church was that having a harvest fest keeps the kids off the streets and in a safe place. That is comparable to saying I will let my teenagers have alcohol as long as they drink it at home. Do you see how even our churches are lowering its values to pander to the lies of the world.

“Set Apart” does not mean alternative solution it means taking a stand against something. It means not being a participate at all.

1 John 2:15-17

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Sadly, many people in our churches today do not even know the true significance of this day. October 31 is not merely a secular holiday. It is in fact one of much deeper importance to us and yet we know not its grand importance. Here is more history…

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church in Germany. What, does that have to do with us you ask? EVERYTHING! This was the first step in what is now known as the Protestant Reformation. Everything we know and believe began from this first man studying the scriptures and daring to challenge the catholic church on issues of works based salvation. It is Luther who declared us the opportunity to learn more of the bible for ourselves rather than trusting in clergy to interpret it for us. This man, as well as many others who were martyred for their stance against the catholic church, laid a path that we as evangelical Christians are now walking.

So my challenge to you this October is to do some research. Pray and search God on whether or not Halloween is something we should be participating in-even through harvest fests. Do not seek answers from friends or families but from God alone. And then if you feel him pointing you to action, take a stand! Even if everyone in your church disagrees with you, someone has to take a stand! Martin Luther took a stand and look at what was gained from it. If we all turn our heads and blend into the world around us, we will look no different than the world.

This October 31, will it be secular or spiritual. A night of prayer for reformation or a night of fun and games. Regardless of where you stand, I think we can all agree that we are forever indepted to Luther and to the other sacrifices made. And maybe this year, someone in your family will call for a reformation and time of Christians once again being SET APART!

 

Thoughts… October 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — A Relevant Old Soul @ 2:18 am

First, have you ever had a day when you were so AWESTRUCK with God, you could not contain it.  I have!  Yesterday, he just kept knocking my socks off!  Our God truly is AWESOME!  I pray that all of you would have the opportunity to experience a true real God who does meet all our needs!

Next, being that no one leaves comments on here except my mother and Susan, I have no way of knowing who my readers are.. (hint.. if you come and read, leave a comment and let me know you were here).  With that said, I want you all to know how thankful I am for my wonderful Christian friends here in Shreveport/Bossier as well as Eunice.  There are many reasons I am apprehensive to leave but leaving them will be very difficult.  They have been a family to me when my family is far away.  They have shown me how to be “the church.”  This group of believers that the Lord has put into my life have pushed me further in my growth in 2 years than my entire Spiritual journey.  They force me to challenge what I have been taught and to truly LEARN Christ!  They have been examples of Godly parenting, examples of Godly teaching, and sometimes just there as support.  I was raised in the South, so niceness is not a new concept to me.  But there is a difference in niceness and obedience to Christ.  Praise goes only to God for allowing me the opportunity to spend time with all of these phenomenal people!  And to each of you, you know who you are, and the love, guidance, help and support you have all given me I could never repay.  There are not words for what you all mean to us.

Well I may be absent from my blog for the next few days.  My honey will be home from his deployment tomorrow.  I can not believe it is finally here.  This has been a long, hard four months.  I can not wait to see him or to see the kids faces when they see him.  So, with that said, please keep him in your prayers as he travels back to the states.  Also, keep our family in your prayers that we would have a wonderful reunion.  Until I have time to write again….. Ta Ta!

 

Going Beyond the Proverbs 31 woman October 2, 2008

Filed under: Quiet time reflections — A Relevant Old Soul @ 11:21 pm

Isn’t it the goal of most women to try to emulate the Proverbs 31 woman?  I know that has often times been a sort of measuring stick for me.  I have also, been blessed though, to actually know a couple of women who are that inspiring Proverbs woman.  There are countless books on this subject as well as numerous bible studies and the like.  I think it is a great goal to set for ourselves.  With that said, I also need to caution the over reading of this chapter while forgetting the plethora of other information that Proverbs offers for women.

Just yesterday morning, I read Proverbs 11-13.  In just 3 simple chapters the instructions for women were immense.  By no coincidence, I am sure, I was emailed a devotional from a friend which addressed building up and tearing down our homes; which I also had been reading about.  I thought today I would just share with you outside of  Proverbs 31 and hopefully the words will jump off to your heart as they did mine.

“A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.  Proverbs 11:16

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”  Proverbs 11:13

” Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” Proverbs 11: 22

“A wife of noble character is her husbands crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”  Proverbs 12:4

Now, as if these are not enough.. These are the ones that are specifically targeted at women.  BUT.. a careful reading may notice that most of the other verses surrounding these, although, not specifically stating to a woman, are geared more for the struggle of women. For example holding our tongues and not being judgemental. I am not going to put the entire 3 chapters in here but I want to make sure that we can see the obvious.

In just 3 small chapters we as women but also just as Christians are shown the path to wisdom.

A wise woman will be… Kindhearted (vs. 16), Shows Discretion (22), Not a Gossip (13), Holds there Tongue (entire 3 chapters), Noble (12:4).

Wow, that is a lot of information in just 3 little chapters.  I am feeling good about getting just one of those done a day.  But I was pondering on the verse about Building up and Tearing down and this is what I learned.

Proverbs 14

1 The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Notice in Chapter 14 he begins with this.  Verse 1.  In Chapters 11-13 he has been laying the foundation of a Wise Woman.  Then he says she builds her house…

I would venture to say that the tools she uses to build her house were the ones discussed in the 3 previous chapters.  She uses discretion and a held tongue.  She is kindhearted and Noble.  By contrast, a loud boisterous woman who cares for no one but herself is only tearing her house down with every word and every harsh action.

You want to win your spouse to the Lord?  You will not do it with Anger, Nagging or bitterness.  You want to be an example of Christ to your children?  You will not do that with Impatience, Intolerance, and Anger.  Those qualities only tear people down.

If you want to stir souls and plant seeds for Christ, you will use the tools mentioned.  You will be Kindhearted, You will use Discretion, You will not be a Gossip, You have Noble Character.  The tools we have been given are not contained within the Sacred Proverbs 31 alone.  God’s Word is FULL of tools for us to build our homes to honor and Glorify him.

I remember once a statement made by Beth Moore, “I am a “this” but I want to be a “that”.”  She was referring to the way we look at other women and wish that we were like them.  But as a Pastor and friend of mine once said… “You are a “that” – you just have not realized it yet!”

Ladies…. Proverbs 31 is a wonderful goal but it is not the only tool in our shed.  Take out some of the others and start building your house!  And one day when you least expect it your heart will shine with the Light of Christ so brightly that you will indeed be a “THAT!”

 

Stinkin’ Thinkin’ October 1, 2008

Filed under: Quiet time reflections — A Relevant Old Soul @ 11:01 pm
Nehemiah 6:1-14
1 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates- 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages [a] on the plain of Ono.”
But they were scheming to harm me; 3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” 4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
5 Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter 6 in which was written:
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem [b] says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king 7 and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us confer together.”
8 I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
9 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”
11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.
14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who have been trying to intimidate me.

I don’t drink, I don’t swear, I do not kill, or commit adultery.  I really do not covet  and I do not steal.  This is the common logic of most Christians.  But the most useful tool of the enemy is NOT physical outward sins.  His strongest attack is on our MIND.  This silent, secret stuff that no one ever sees.  One of my favorite preachers, Paul Washer, puts it this way, “If I were to take every single thought you have had from birth up to this point in your life and put them on a projector.  Then if I was to play them for the entire congregation as a slide show, you would be MORTIFIED!  You would run out of the building in shame.”  It is easy to seem put together in our outward actions but not always as easy inside our innermost being.

Nehemiah knew that he would meet with resistance when he rebuilt the wall.  And Tobiah and Saballet tried every scheme in their arsenal to stop him.  But when known of their physical threats seemed to work, they started attacking his mind.  Oh that sly serpant!  They send a message trying to persuade him of what is going on causing him to worry and weaken the building effort.  They were purposely feeding him a lie to dwell on.  Oh but Nehemiah was not biting on that apple.

But then, within his own camp, a prophet warns him of coming doom.  Again.. Thought of deception being planted.  Wait, read that again.  A prophet, among his own people?  Nehemiah himself in verse 13 says ” He had been hired to intimidate me…”

So Nehemiah is being fed lies and deceit from those without and from those within.  But he does not lose his resolve or strength in God and in fact he instead prays for them.

So what lies are you allowing yourself to dwell on?  What have you heard from television or from advertisements, or from enemies, or from trusted friends that may have you fearing, doubting, worrying or questioning your purpose and your calling.

Remember when the serpent approached Eve all he had to do was cause her think about it… “Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree?”  So subtle.. Doubting what God had really said.  I know there are a lot of times I can use little thoughts to justify going against things I know that God has REALLY said.  I allow those thoughts to control my actions.

If you are struggling with worry, doubt, fear, self esteem issues, and on and on… Remember Nehemiah took them to God in prayer.. . Paul reminds us in his letter to the Corinthians

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2Cor 10:5

We have got to consciously choose to bring all those out of control thoughts under the direction of Christ.  Evil thoughts, mean spirited thoughts, impatience, intolerance, unloving thoughts.  Worry, fear, doubt, insecurity.  Every thing must be brought to Christ and reorganized into his thoughts..  His Joy needs to penetrate into our souls and our minds.

Hebrews 3:1
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
I know I have some stinkin thinkin some days and I refuse to let the serpent win again!  I will not listen to his lie and will take my thoughts captive to the one who set me free!
 

Set a Guard

Filed under: Poetic Moments... Or my pathetic attempt at them — A Relevant Old Soul @ 10:26 am

Psalms 141:3

3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

Set a Guard over my Mouth oh Lord I pray,

Let your spirit guide every word I say.

When I aim for MY way or for it to prove,

May you shut it closed or my body move.

Lord, I truly want to serve you best

But I want my words in them to invest

Sometimes I think I can convince them Lord

Sometimes shutting up is just so hard.

God, my heart has good intent

If just my mouth closed a bit

I need to remember that YOU will stir men

It is not my place to always point sin.

Lord, thank you for the passion you have laid in my heart

For your saving grace which has given me, a fresh start

But tomorrow as I meet quietly with you

Set a guard over my mouth, I really need you to.

written by: Me… Big Mouth..