Today the weather has been perfect, sunny, and beautiful! Driving home I saw one of those signs that tells the temperature and it said 82. The only think I don't like about Spring is the stuff that gives me allergies. Not fun.
The brothers are so cute together!! I sat them up on a bench, but Samuel kept wanting to turn around and stand. Judah wanted to take his shoes off.
Sitting on the lifeguard stand. My dad was a lifeguard at One Mile. I was a lifeguard at One Mile. Maybe Judah will follow in our footsteps.
We went to the park with the intention of going to the playground. Unfortunately, I forgot that it is closed on Mondays. There were a a few swings nearby, so we swang for a few minutes (and took pictures!) instead.
So happy in the stroller. But, even happier to crawl around. I let him out with the intention of taking some cute pictures in the grass. We had so much fun that he wouldn't sit still, so all I got was his back!
Posing for Mama, but wanting to run to the bridge (you can see it a little way behind Judah)
Afterwards we met Papa, Brandon (a friend who is working with Eric), Grams, and Bill at The Grad for lunch.
This was a few days ago in Samuel's crib. I usually put Samuel in there when I get ready in the morning and Judah always wants to get in too.
*Anonymous* asked what it looks like to walk in love and relationship with God everyday. Like Scott said, being discipled is ideal. Although, that option may not be available for everyone. (Trust me, I've done the whole getting a mentor thing, and it's just not the same). When I talk about discipleship I mean having someone walk beside you and teach you how to live life as a Christian- everything from how to study the Bible, how to raise your kids, what a godly marriage looks like, sex in marriage, the role of the husband, the role of the wife, how to be a leader, how to win the lost, how to disciple other people, etc... Literally, every aspect of our lives. Eric and I didn't even know this existed until 4 years ago, when we met our amazing Pastors Scott and Nicola. They've become our leaders and we, in turn, disciple others. Like I already said, this isn't available to everyone. So, if it's not, I suggest starting with reading your Bible everyday. Being disciplined in it and not missing a day. Reading it with the expectation of meeting with God and letting him minister to you and disciple you. Then, do what it says! Start in the New Testatment. Start with John, then keep going and read the whole New Testament through. Once you've done that go slowly, studying each verse. Like I've mentioned before, read each verse in different versions of the Bible, read cross references, look up words in the dictionary. The Bible says that it is "treasure." The treasure is found not by walking quickly by, but by digging.
That's a good start, let me know if you want to know more!!
I updated this post because I wanted to keep the pictures at the top. I know that's what my family is here for, anyway. And, probably many of you!!
Several months ago it came out that a Christian youth minister had engaged in sexual relationships with several minor boys. The church that he was under separated themself from him, denying that he was officially apart of their staff (he wasn’t, he just had his office located on their property). Christians wrote in the letters to the editor about how angry and outraged they were. I recently read a blog about this and decided to comment. I'm only including my own comments, so hopefully it will all make sense.
I read your previous blog on R and that whole situation and I thought/felt a lot about it. I just read this and thought I’d add my opinion. I hope that’s alright.
First of all, you said that, “forgiving also does NOT mean forgetting .” I completely disagree with this. It says in the Bible that, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” When God forgives us He doesn’t keep reminding us about our sins or make us, “pay the price” for them. They are gone. Completely, 100% forgiven and forgotten. Like Joe said, if I got what I deserved then that would be hell. The Bible says that gossip defiles the church. Our gossip, our lust is just as dirty and disgusting as anything that R has done. There is NO difference. The Bible calls our sin filthy rags (or rags used for periods).
I don’t think that R needs to come to the “church” and “repent on his knees.” J said that he’s repented to God (which is ultimately what matters most) and the victims. Besides, if he wanted to come and repent in front of the church would he be allowed to? I highly doubt it. He’s been ostracized from the church. If you saw him walk through the door would you have a heart of love and compassion toward him? YOU are the church!
I think we, as the church, NEED to cover eachother. So what if the city says we do it? They may mean it in a negative way, but lets show them how we love and protect eachother. I don’t think cover means excuse or justify, I think it means to lead someone into the presence of God. 1 Peter 4:8 says, Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. (Amplified version) I think a brother in the Lord is much more important than what the city thinks of us. Although, like F said, she didn’t even know about any of this, except from you.
My family and I saw R the other day (recieving ministry, imagine that!) and I was honestly overwhelmed with love for him. To do something like that (and honestly S, I think it’s a lot more common than you even know) there is obviously a void of Fatherly love in his life. He doesn’t need professional help, he needs deliverance, inner healing, and a true encounter with God, his perfect Father!
To summarize, I think it’s time that we, as the church, learn to truly love one another as Christ loves the church. Maybe R wanted to come to someone a long time ago, but feared he would be shunned and ostracized (which IS what happened). When someone is caught in sin, and truly is repent and wants to be restored as Rich is, then I want to see us love them and help them walk in freedom.
As we ostracize R for his sin, we create a precedent that this is what happens when you come forward with your own sin. The church should be a safe place where people can come and be restored. People are less likely (or not likely at all) to be vulnerable knowing that they won’t recieve grace and compassion, but will be looked down on.
When people are hurting they look for love, which usually leads them to commit dirty, nasty sins. In the past few years as I’ve been a part of ministering to people, I’ve seen and heard things I never knew existed. But, as I cried out to God for His heart for these people I have truly seen that He sees past the sin. He sees the broken hearted and He desires to come in and see them whole again. I think we should be much more concerned with people being saved, transformed, healed, and whole than we are with the whole legal process.
Hi S! Thanks for your reply. I want you to know my intentions are not to get into a debate or stir things up or anything. I've read your previous entries and have said nothing, not knowing if it was my place to. After reading this last night I couldn't decide if I should say nothing, email you, or post here. I don't want it to look like I had something to hide, so I've decided to post this here. I've thought a lot about this since before it came out (we just so happened to know before most people) and have wanted to blog about it, but haven't really known what to say. I plan to post my two comments on my blog today.
First of all, I want to tell you that I understand that this is coming from a mother’s heart. I know you love your three precious boys and don’t want anything to happen to them. As you know, I also have two sons who I love more than my own life. I want to protect them from anything ever happening to them, but I also know that I don’t have that ability. I have to trust God to protect my boys knowing that He loves them more than I ever will.
The thing that concerns me is I don't see any use of scripture in what you say. I don't see how it aligns with the Word of God. I see how it makes logical sense, but honestly, I don't think that most of what God tells us to do does make logical sense to the world. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, "but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong." Four years ago I would have 100% agreed with you on the whole boundaries thing, but my perspective has changed since then. I can't find any Biblical example of Jesus setting "boundaries" with sinners (although I have heard of the book by Drs. Cloud & Townsend). Take, for example, the woman caught in the act of adultery. In those days the punishment for a woman, caught in a SEXUAL sin, was to be stoned. But, Jesus came and told the one who was without sin to cast the first stone. That's how I see this situation with Rich. Our sin is no different. I think we, as the church, NEED to cover one another's sin (covering and hiding are two different things. Hiding is pretending it never happened. Covering is dealing with it inside the church). Both of us (and everyone else for that matter) have hidden sins and secrets, whether it be sexual thoughts or sins, the way we act out of our anger, jealously, gossip, rage, etc... What would you think if I typed out all of your sins and published them in the newspaper? The secrets that noone knows. God has the ability to do that, yet he chooses to forgive and forget. I found so many versese that say that we need to love one another like God loves us. Not how we are able to in our "humanity." As Christians we are supposed to be conformed to His image and be like Him.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
1 Thessalonians 3:12
and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you
1 John 3:11
For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another
(I don’t think whether or not R should babysit my kids is the issue. Of course I wouldn’t let him. I wouldn’t let YOU babysit my kids. Heck, I wouldn’t even let my grandma. I think that is wisdom and doesn’t really have to do forgiveness or even boundaries.)
I’ve read your letters to the editor, I’ve read your previous blogs, and it seems like they come from a place of anger, rather than a place of love and compassion.
Tonight at my cell group I am teaching on one of my favorite verses, Ephesians 4:29. I think the Amplified version says it so clearly and well.
Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.
When we stand before God we are ultimately responsible for ourselves. God isn’t going to ask us how we responded to R’s sin, but only if we obeyed His Word, loved Him, and loved one another.
Thanks for letting me comment on your blog!!