Nov 1, 2007

Being on the heels of last night's Halloween Post, and seeing all of the little kids all dresses-up in their costumes, seeing Josh and Tyler share about Jesus with people they did not yet know but had a burden for, or an enthusiasm for... has got men thinking about childlikness; it has broken me deep inside! How sweet, and pure the children are! How easily swayed to the left or the right; how sad that many are turned not towards the right way, but towards the wrong way in their formative years? These days, I understand better what Jesus meant when He said "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” ...

Whomever does not recieve the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it...little children recieve from their parents and teachers without question; they trust~ in perfect peace~ their fathers. They are not questioning; they don't think, "But what if..?" I love how an old Family-Time handout from our churche's Children Ministry program I came across (by chance? ;) this morning put this...
the topic was a Parent-Talk discussion about the popular saying "No Fear!" and what a Christian's response to such ideas in popular culture should be. They say,"He(God)longs to help us as adults regain that place of blessed peace that we see in our fearless children when they are completely secure. As we learn to be like our little one's, our childlike trust in God will show our children a clear and powerful example for them to imitate!"(Gospel Light's Family-Time publication, Lesson 6: Summer b.) As a child, I had a lot of insecurity because my life was not completely secure, but there was always a place in my heart that was peaceful, a place of safety, solitude and rest, of happiness~ and that place was with Jesus. It didn't matter who I was living with, or where I was in the world, He was there... and He cared for me. He drew me in with cords of love. For our kids, raised in Christian households, how much more blessed they are to have God with them all of their lives.

How easy it is to forget how spectacular, how amazing that is! That's why I love the book "Growing up Christian" by Karl Graustien with Mark Jacobs that our church has gone through with our teens in the congregation for Crossfire! Youth Group. This book will not let your teen son our daughter forget how good they have it growing up Christian, or let them forget to make sure their faith is their own, and they are not just riding on their parents religious coat tails!

I know that God is teaching me all of this for a reason; in my heart there IS a treason!~ I trust Him most of the time, but aren't there those times that something rises up inside of you that says "maybe He won't be sovereign this time for me..." that fear sneaks in and starts staining things black, snuffing out the light God has put in our hearts. It's that light we have to be so careful to protect, I am realising. Just as we protect that purity in our child's hearts, so we must protect our own purity; keeping whatever areas of purity we have left pure,and continually submitting to the cleaning up and re-molding of what's left of our minds by God, the master potter.

I know the decietfullness, the lure of Sin, and I know the Grace, the Mercy, of the Father. Keeping my heart pure ~ as much as I can, with a sin-infection and living in the world that I live in~ takes a lot of work; it takes a lot of submission to God. My husband teaches our oldest son,Tyler, to *avert* his eyes,his ears,his heart.
He teaches him to *submit* his will. I like those two words for the fight to keep pure with impure lusts in our hearts, and in our world, vying for our attention...lusting for our souls. Keep on Averting . Keep on Submitting...!

I also have taken a liking to Linkin Parks song"By Myself",to describe the struggle with inswelling sin as Christian and the knowledge and peace that No, we can never turn our hearts back to Egypt... even as it seems we have lost most all of all we have ever known, we forge on in this new land not alone, even as we battle the insecurities and fears that anyone in a new land would have, except this here is a whole new heart...!...and the song "The Valley Song" by Jars of Clay also speaks to me, to describe how His sovereign hand protects us and binds us to Him even as we struggle with our sin, and fight ourselves to submit to His good will.
The lyrics are below, for your edification... God bless and hope you have a great rest of your Thursday :) xoxo's! <3 Stacey

Jars of Clay - The Valley Song

You have led me to the sadness
I have carried this pain
On a back bruised, nearly broken
I'm crying out to you

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

When death like a gypsy
Comes to steal what I love
I will still look to the heavens
I will still seek your face

But I fear you aren't listening
Because there are no words
Just the stillness and the hunger
For a faith that assures

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia

While we wait for rescue
With our eyes tightly shut
Face to the ground using our hands
To cover the fatal cut

Though the pain is an ocean
Tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
Higher mountains have come down

Linkin Park - By Myself
What do I do to ignore them behind me?
Do I follow my instincts blindly?
Do I hide my pride from these bad dreams
And give in to sad thoughts that are maddening?
Do I sit here and try to stand it?
Or do I try to catch them red-handed?
Do I trust some and get fooled by phoniness,
Or do I trust nobody and live in loneliness?
Because I can’t hold on when I’m stretched so thin
I make the right moves but I’m lost within
I put on my daily fa├žade but then
I just end up getting hurt again
By myself (Myself)

Pre chorus:
I ask why, but in my mind
I find I can’t rely on myself

I can’t hold on
To what I want when I’m stretched so thin
It’s all too much to take in
I can’t hold on
To anything watching everything spin
With thoughts of failure sinking in

If I turn my back I’m defenseless
And to go blindly seems senseless
If I hide my pride and let it all go on
Then they’ll take from me ’till everything is gone
If I let them go I’ll be outdone
But if I try to catch them I’ll be outrun
If I’m killed by the questions like a cancer
Then I’ll be buried in the silence of the answer
(By myself)

Pre chorus

How do you think I’ve lost so much
I’m so afraid, I’m out of touch
How do you expect I will know what to do
When all I know is what you tell me to

Don’t you know
I can’t tell you how to make it go
No matter what I do, how hard I try
I can’t seem to convince myself why
I’m stuck on the outside

Chorus (2x)

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