My bed and breakfast in the Alps
Every once in a while, I feel the urge to report what I am really doing in life and what I am really thinking about. It is not that I haven't really been engaged on my blog and with my friends out in the internet world. I have made some "live" forays into my world of friends, (attempted Google hangout, launching 10 Gifts, writing some articles now and then)---you! But mostly I have been busy with life, my children, out of town company, writing 4 projects at once (oh my poor brain--ideals always get me into trouble.), leading my local Bible study of 180 women, and enjoying life on my own terms.
I have been wishing to write more about growing convictions, deep convictions from times gone by, and other articles that I feel could be life-changing for many. But I am unwilling to give up what I consider my life priorities just to spend time on the internet, which must rob me from some of the building life part now.
So what have I been doing?
Austrian Flower Market
I took a 3 week mission/pleasure trip to Vienna and Poland and spent time in my old haunts, met with old friends, shopped, drank lots and lots of coffee, hiked in the vineyards and mountains, ate amazing meals with stimulating people--(I love the international world where many of my friends read broadly, travel world-wide, live by convictions and ideals and have a bigger picture than their local world.) This is the place I cut my teeth on life-values and life-foundations, so I must go back once in a while to feel a part of my true self, that sometimes gets lost in the local. And so a part of my soul began to come back to life that had gotten lost in the mundane for a while.
Sukiennice, Krakow, Poland--just down the street where I attended University Classes and near my apartment..
Important conversations there: My friend and I talked about how living by faith and taking risks had made all the difference in our lives in seeing God work in amazing ways. One must live to serve Him and go wherever He says in order to see Him work in a supernatural way.
I flew Joy home from college because we will all be apart from each other for Thanksgiving for the first time.
Important conversations: The foundations that are invested in a child's mind and soul, inform how excellently and deeply they live when they are making decisions as a young adult. Children without a broad understanding of the Bible, without having served many people, without having read and thought and discussed and owned convictions, do not have the moral, spiritual or emotional strength to stand on their own when it comes to living a set apart (holy) life of excellence for God. (Joy is an RA over 40 young women and is in leadership every day with them, and in speech and debate and is growing like a weed in her walk with God.) This from her living with them the past 3 months. (Thus--more impetus for me having written 10 Gifts of Wisdom---so so so important to train your children in Biblical virtues in this day and time.)
Flew Nathan home this week because I wanted one last shot at him alone before he gets married.
Important conversations: The foundations of reading scripture every day when he was growing up speaks to his life every day that he is living in Hollywood and has guided his steps to walk with God, to follow wisdom and to live for the kingdom. He says foundations have made him the man he is. (Again, he validated the 10 Gifts--he sees so many compromising every day, wounding themselves.)
Also, how people seem to think "professional Christians"--those in full time ministry, are the ones who are supposed to be about God's business in the world--or that leadership and stewardship is just a personality issue (a rationalization of course) but how few people he knows live purposefully and how few in his life have vision and passion for living for Christ. (seems all of my kids feel strongly how hard it is to find kindred, godly friends who share their values, but still they have a vision that keeps them moving forward and how much our family's constant gatherings help give accountability to keeping going--family is the glue.)
(must admit I am so very sweetly and humbly blessed to see my children all coming to this conclusion--the power of family culture to keep them growing as Christians.)
Blogs I wish I had time to write:
The pace at which we lead life and the adrenalin we expend is simply ridiculous
Compartmentalizing Christianity--and compromising life every day amongst believers--you can't say you love Christ and then neglect your children or get divorced without just cause or commit adultery and then just hope an apology will do or sleep with your boyfriend in between weekly church services or engage in pornography or have an appetite for sexually explicit movies and just count on grace, etc......... (I go to church, I give my ten percent, I study the Bible and pray---and thinking that is enough, when God wants people who are alive with His kingdom purposes, those who have a heart for redeeming the world, those who will bow their knee to do His will whatever it takes--like serving children, staying married, choosing to seek to be excellent and not compromising morally, and determining to become a speaker/teacher/leader because so many are lost. God will not be compromised--He is holy, He wants us to walk with Him and honor Him--He is sick of offerings without heart.
Teaching your young adult children that morality is not an action to be defined but a heart issue of purity to pursue--a roadway to walk upon.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. I Thess. 4: 3-8
That if a man or woman is asking you or giving you permission to compromise and go down a road of lust, passion, then that person does not walk with God. Of course I believe people can be forgiven, but there is a lot of foolish understanding about this area (what is too much? how far can I go?--These are not the right questions--sex is reserved for marriage for all of the great purposes of marriage and family. One walking with the Lord should be moving toward a pure heart, possessing his body in sanctification and honor----someday when I have time, I would love to write more about how to build a vision for marriage, family, life, sex that gives strength, hope and purpose instead of just conforming to the "world's values."
Idolatry of any kind: Cherishing anything in your heart that you think will bring you fulfillment apart from God Himself, is a false hope. Supposing that getting a child married, or having popularity in the blogging world or having money or the right husband or different children, "or or or" will ever fill that large vacuum or fear in your heart that makes you long for more--only God and His will and ways can fill those longings--anything else you talk yourself into justifying, will, in the end, bring you unhappiness and emptiness--and often then, people blame God for ill-consequences when God would never have led them to make such pre-emptive decisions.
The power and influence of a godly home--why having lots of children is God's idea and such a blessing because my kids are my best friends and such a blessing to me personally, why marriage and family is the way to preserve life and righteousness--getting back to the design, and how not to listen to the voices of Christians and to the world-unless there is integrity, history of life, and context of historical scripture---laws do not define spirituality.
But, if I keep my priorities centered, (God, Clay, my kids, my family and then ministry), I do not have time to accomplish all that I wish or to do what it would take to be more popular or successful as a blogger, writer, leader---first things first--my priority people and God always, always take precedence.
Next week, I am so very excited because I will go to England with Joel and Sarah to a 2 day C.S. Lewis conference in London where C.S. Lewis will be placed with honor in West Minster Abbey. (I will be gone for 10 glorious days.) The church will be closed for 2 days for the conference and if you have never been to Westminster Abbey, it sings with history and heroism and faith. I had a free plane ticket and free hotel points and so I cannot wait to be there with two of my favorite people in the world. (And I have the best husband in the world who blesses me to go while he stays home and remains responsible to hold the fort and the conferences and ministry down.--Thanks for being my husband, Clay.)
So now you know a few of the ways I have been living my life--along with great mountain walks, always books, homemade meals by candlelight, lots of visiting and sharing life with kindred spirits who stimulate me--most of all, Clay and my sweet children, sweet movies that bring tears, always, 24/7 music we listen to, and being outside with the wintry stars, changing leaves, traveling through the Alps, looking at God's handiwork, and thanking God for my life.
Too long, I know, but wanted you to know some of what is really going on in my life. Have a great weekend!