Monthly Archives: May 2007

The results are in

We heard from the school where we want to send two of my sons next year. The oldest tested well in his math but he ran out of time with the written portion and the school felt there was insufficient written work for them to grade him on. We’ll be going in next week for him to write an essay there. But as far as the school is concerned it shouldn’t make much of a difference, the math was the important part and he aced that.

The youngest had some difficulty with reading fluency (he aced the comprehension tests),  his math facts weren’t quick enough and his written work not organised enough. The latter because we haven’t worked on writing skills and math drills much, (I followed LLATL slavishly and it didn’t occur to me to supplement with a writing program, *blush* ) and we will work on it this summer. He will be re-tested just before school starts in August, and if he still isn’t on par they recommend I homeschool him for another year and work on those areas.

I know he is a bright little spark and that he should pick things up quickly. Our assistant pastor taught second grade in a public school this year and he is available during the summer to tutor the boy and bring him where he needs to be.

I’m burnt out, y’all. I’ve really struggled to motivate the kids (and myself) this year. Some of it has been due to mis-matched curriculums and approaches to my middle boy’s learning style. It’s been a learning curve. We’ll be making some changes for next year but for now all I want is a good break!

Still 3 more weeks before testing for the middle boy…3 more weeks to plod on. I need a whole lot of grace to stay faithful and finish the course.  

Guilty!

Evidence (check out the floor, too):

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More evidence:

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And the guilty party is…

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Getting cleaner:

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All gone (She’s got that butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-her-mouth look, lol):

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…And Jesus, beholding him, loved him.

Our pastor shared from this text yesterday. It is the story , beginning in Mark 10:17, of the rich young man who came to Jesus and asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life. This man had a very elevated view of his own righteousness, saying that he had kept all of the commandments from his youth. (Come on, get real.) He probably thought that he was going to get a pat on the back from the ‘Good master’ that he had come to see.

Yet Jesus, looking right through him, knew exactly where he was at and what was needful for him to do. He pinpoined exactly that one thing that the young man lacked and invited him to sell everything he had, take up his cross, and follow Jesus. What an invitation. This man could have been a disciple. Yet his achievements and status and posessions meant too much to him and he just couldn’t give it up.

Yet, still, Jesus loved him. That word beholding there means to ‘discern clearly’. Jesus knew what was in that guy’s heart, he knew that that man would probably reject him, nevertheless he loved him.

Same thing with Judas, though Jesus knew that he was a thief, and that he’d betray him, he still walked with Judas all those years…he even made a covenant with all of his disciples (including Judas) on the night he was betrayed …knowing they would all forsake him. (Did he wash Judas’ feet? I’ll have to go check…) When Judas came to betray him he called him ‘friend’. I think that if Judas had only repented after betraying Jesus, he would have been restored…

Pastor spoke on how to handle betrayal and rejection from those whom you have loved. He was really talking from his own experience (one that I witnessed first-hand since the couple in question were close friends of mine) and I can’t share that long story on this blog, but it boils down to a willingness to die to yourself, your pride and your rights and to love the other person anyway.

He mentioned the scripture in Ecclesiastes which says:

Ecc 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

When others rise up against us in judgement and reject us, we should stay in the place of fellowship with Jesus, who is our peace and the source of our strength, and yield…not to the abuse of others, but to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives through this situation.

This word ‘yield’ comes from the root word Raphah, which means to mend (by stitching),  to cure, (cause to) heal,  repair, thoroughly, make whole. When we  yield to Him and let Him work something in our hearts through the pain and despair of rejection, we find that his healing starts to flow in our lives and those around us. Yielding to God even in our moments of pain, and loving those who have hurt us despite the fact that we have ‘beheld’ them (warts and all),  might just be the thing that extends healing to ourselves and them.   

This is an extremely hard thing to do, it is a process, and it requires lots of grace, and a willingness to be broken, yet I have experienced for myself that the times that I have felt the Lord’s tender presence the most acutely was in my broken times. Those were the times that I have learned about his sweetness, his mercy, his infinite kindness more than at any other times. It is when we lift our bruised and battered hearts before him and he comes in and pours his balm of Gilead all over us that we see Him for the sweet saviour that he is and fall in love with Him all over again.

Adjectives

We are doing school today. My youngest son is completing a standardised test that a school teacher friend gave me, and my middle boy is doing a review page in his language arts book.

 He couldn’t remember what adjectives were, so we did a quick review lesson, using some tiles that are colored according to which part of speech they are . This turned into him playing around with words, using the tiles, for about 15 minutes. He came up with some creative stuff, but so far, only one sentence of the original work is done.

He finally settled on adjectives to describe a tiger. They are very imaginitive, but not true to life. He chose: fizzy, warm, slimy, prickly tiger.  Cool words. huh? 😀

I’m not going to get fussy about them being unrealistic. He’s having fun with adjectives, and that’s all that matters.

Thoughts on religion

I don’t call myself a religious person. I call myself a christian , for this reason: The word ‘religion’ is said to come from a root word ‘religare’, which means to restrain, or tie back. That is what religion does – it binds people, ties them back, restrains them, and keeps them from the liberty which is ours in Jesus.

The pharisees of Jesus’ day is a typical example of religious people – their laws became more important than the spirit of the law. They were so busy keeping their laws and judging those who didn’t that they didn’t recognise the King of Kings, the law-maker himself, in their midst!

Whenever anybody tries to put their laws on to you they are being religious in the sense that the pharisees were. I’m not talking about the important doctrinal things we all agree have to be there in order for us to be christians. I’m talking about the little things…what you eat, what you wear, whether you go to church on a sunday or a saturday, what movies you will watch, if any, whether you celebrate christmas or not… Religion seeks to put people in a straightjacket over issues like these where Jesus just simply wants us to have a real relationship with him and have our consciences clear before Him.

Religion puts us in bondage because it is rooted in the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is based on our own human judgement of how good or bad something is, or how well (or how poorly) we (or others) are performing in something.   If we have done well, the tendency is to get puffed up and think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. If we have failed, religion clamps its chains of condemnation, self-doubt, worthlessness and discouragement around us. Neither pride nor condemnation brings us closer to God. Only grace!

Where can grace be found? Only in relationship with the One whose very nature is love. We were never meant to know good and evil, we were meant to simply know God on a personal and intimate level. True freedom and liberty can only exist in that place where things no longer get measured by how well we have been performing. It is in that place where we experience the amazing, far-reaching, unconditional love of God towards us that we are truly free to be(come) who we are called to be.  

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

I found this interesting…

I really enjoyed reading this blog entry:

http://groenevelt.blogspot.com/2007/01/gods-emotion.html

It reminded me of the scripture where David says he holds his soul continually in his hand. (Ps119:109) We cannot prevent our emotions, which flow from our soulish nature, but we can grasp them in our hands and offer them up to God. It is what we do with our emotions that matter.

Alex mentioned that emotions flow out of one’s nature. If this is true, and God is love (1John 4:8) , then we can assume that every emotion God feels flows out of his love nature. Even his jealousy and his judgement is motivated by his love for us.

David understood that God’s judgement was a redemptive thing…did you know that there are many, many instances in scripture where judgement is mentioned in a positive light? God’s judgement can only be a positive thing to you if you understand the true nature of God, how infinitely merciful and kind he is, how he is moved by compassion more than anything else.  

I understand judgement not as punishment for punishment’s sake, but as a tool that God uses to correct us and bring us back into fellowship with him. I know that God is for me and not against me, and because his judgements are so effective in producing change in me,  I welcome them!

I don’t know anyone sweeter and kinder than my Lord Jesus. Even when he corrects me it is always done full of grace and in love. He always tempers his truth with his mercy.

Psa 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Sorry…didn’t mean to go off on this tangent. I hope to do a word search on judgement soon and quote some scriptures in which judgement is mentioned in a positive light.

In the wee hours

I’m writing this in the wee hours of the morning. I got stuck here at my computer and lost track of time. There are so many interesting things to read on the web! I am not a tv watcher, but I certainly know how to waste time in front of this little square screen. 🙂 I often lament that.

Anyhow, I did get called on to speak at church tonight. I spoke on Genesis 1:2, talking about the study on ‘the deep’ and ‘darkness’ that I shared with you all here on my blog. (Thanks for letting me practise on you all.) Praise Jesus, it wasn’t just empty words (it could easily have been) but He wrapped it in his anointing and people were blessed by it. Even our pastor said it was a good word, which is high praise indeed.

It is interesting how the different things the bible students shared complemented each other and flowed together. It ws a precious time of sharing what the Lord is showing us in his word. It was really cool to see how we all go through the same stuff yet the Lord gave everyone a unique angle to it.

 I’m grateful. Seems as though I have gone through such an extended time of being humbled, it is nice to be able to step out in something for a change and see the Lord’s hand with me. Now I’d better watch myself lest I need humbling again…hehehe…