Monday, November 26, 2012

Heading Into the Holiday Season

How's your school year going? Ours is moving VERY fast and I am always amazed when time flies. It is going well, though, thank you. Jacob is filming and learning. Emily is writing a book and learning. Elizabeth is learning and enjoying life. Jordan is learning more than schoolwork. Kimberly is growing up. Yeah, that about sums it up. This semester has brought changes. Our piano teacher had her first baby, so lessons are currently suspended. The kids are changing their dance schedule, so that is taking some getting used to. We had an incident with Elizabeth's eye that took 3 doctor visits (who ever had rust in their eye???) And we are getting over our second minor illness that only affected one kid. All in all not too shabby.
It has been a time of learning for me, too. The older I get the more serious I am in my Christian walk, the more knowledgeable about scripture, and the more aware of the extent of my sin and His grace that is offered to cover me. Praise God for that! I am also more aware of how many of my friends who claim Christ are seriously in need of prayer and patience. Mainly because of harsh judging of their fellow Christians trying to walk in Christ. What a stumbling block they have become to me! I must have been just like that often over the past 20 years. Sad. No wonder so many do not want to be Christians. They have to be able to see how we tear each other apart by making the scriptures into our own legal system at the least infraction of what each individual feels is the right thing to do in each situation. We tear each other apart in the heart and soul over things like, our clothing, our birthing, our movies, our celebration of holidays, our music, our use of money, our choice of schoolbooks, our choice of career/schooling, our kids activities. Not that correct behavior isn't very important, but these areas are gray. There are no specifics for the majority of our daily life decisions in the scripture, though many will tell you there are. Very few give their fellow Christian any wiggle room for growth, but instead look down on them, refuse to associate their children with them, refuse to associate at all, bind things that are not binding, etc. It is terribly discouraging, when we are supposed to be a loving people, leading by example and kindness. Often I find more criticism and calling out, than building up and setting examples of grace.
Sin is wrong. No doubt about it. Unrepented  sin, the unsaved, will not by any means get into heaven, but I think there are lots of folks who just might be shocked at those who WILL be there...those exact people they blasted for having a skirt too tight, shirt too see through, not having enough kids, reading a book about wizards,  going to a secular concert,  seeing a movie with foul words, using tobacco, overeating, spending money unwisely.... I am reminded that we need to remove the plank in our own eye before reaching for that speck in our brother's eye...and that those of us without sin should cast the first stone. We all sin, very differently, and fact is, none of us will ever, EVER, attain perfection this side of heaven. I pray that we could stick with the specifics of sins that need to be corrected and give people time for growth in the multitude of gray areas.
So that is my soapbox for today. It has been a long time coming, and I am definitely preaching it to myself, first and foremost, for I am the leader of these sins. Yes, you heard it here. I am not perfect...not even remotely close. But the great thing is that I am daily trying to obey God's word by studying and acting on it. And daily, I am more than thankful for the grace that covers my daily fall.
I pray the rest of this school year ( and everyday life in general) will find all of us showing more and more love toward others, teaching the truth in humility and love, and leading the next generation to Christ. Encourage someone today! Everyone needs to hear those positive words....more than we realize. People need our kindness.

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