Friday, February 23, 2007

Paul Washer - A Message Every Believer Should Hear

Do you find yourself nodding off during long, boring sermons? You won't sleep through this wake-up call!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Keeping You Posted

Because some of you have asked, here's an update on my girls.

Sarah is doing well in school, spending a lot of time with her friends, and going to church sporadically. That's all I know. I don't hear from her very often. I don't know how often she checks her voicemail, but I call her daily and leave a message.

Lindsey is currently visiting her boyfriend and his parents. One of the things I required of her was to tell BF's mom about her dad's behavior (and the gun) last time we were there. I do think that whole thing was for my benefit, because he didn't react that way when BF took Lindsey over there the night before. Then again, maybe he'd had time to think about it. Who knows? I want the boy's mom to be aware of any potential danger, in the event that Lindsey decides she wants to see her dad.

As we were waiting for her flight to board, I told her that I expect her to be on her best behavior. I reminded her not to do anything that she wouldn't do in front of me. Then she giggled when I said, "On second thought, don't do anything that you would do in front of me, if you know I would say something about it."

I have second-guessed myself many times on the decision to let her make the trip, but after reading Bev's post and all the comments here and then the follow-up here, I feel more confident. These two kids think they're in love. They are going to find a way to see each other, no matter what their parents think. I would rather not put my child in the position of having to lie, sneak around, or run away to be with her dreamboat. And if he turns out to be a shipwreck, I'd rather her find out sooner than later. How will she know unless she spends time with him?

Lindsey knows what is at stake here - proving to me and herself that she can be trusted. It is no small thing to her, and she has called me several times to thank me and to keep me informed.

Now, if I could just get in touch with Sarah...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The War on Error - False Conversion

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)

How can we be sure that the one we have led to the Lord is truly saved? The truth is, we can't be absolutely sure. Good works don't always indicate a changed heart.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

We can look for outward signs, evidence of fruit, and the like, but it is not our responsibility to judge another's heart. Just as we must not be quick to condemn, we must not take it upon ourselves to grant assurance of salvation.

We can point them to scripture, speak the Truth in love, and pray that the Holy Spirit will bring conviction or assurance. Beyond that, it's out of our hands.

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What PC Really Means

In my previous post, I linked to a site that referenced a very sobering article at WorldNetDaily. If you missed it, you can read it here.

Who would have thought that in this country it would be politically correct to persecute Christians? In the name of tolerance, we have exercised our right to remain silent. Shall we now face prosecution should we choose to give up that right?

It was to be expected. Jesus said so Himself.

John 15:19-21 ~ If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

We have been duly warned. In fact, it's only going to get worse.

2 Timothy 3:12-13 ~ In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

We must not be afraid to stand for Truth.

Psalm 27:1 ~ The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

It's one thing to say that I am willing to face persecution, prosecution, or even death to defend my faith, but am I prepared to do so?

Are you?

Friday, February 09, 2007

It Won't Be Long Now

You've gotta read this.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

She is loved

Lindsey had been after me all week to schedule her flight to Memphis for her birthday on the 21st. She's turning 17, and she wants to go spend a few days with her fella. The girl is relentless. I had told her I would think about it, and she took that ball and ran with it.

I needed to talk with his mom first to make sure that she was aware of the plans and is, in fact, willing to take responsibility for my daughter. In other words, had she been invited, or had she invited herself? She assured me that Lindsey is welcome to come and stay with her while BF (boyfriend) stays with his dad. They will not be unsupervised.

I asked her how she felt about BF driving to Memphis to meet Lindsey at the airport (I can't afford tickets to Little Rock), and she suggested that a friend accompany him. I agreed, since Lindsey had mentioned that she would be concerned about his making the drive alone. That was Thursday.

Lindsey talked with BF to find out the best time to schedule the flight, and he told her that his step-dad will be coming with him to meet her. The earlier the flight, the better, so he can get back to work. She wants to fly out on Wednesday and return on Sunday.

When I checked the flight schedules Friday morning, the Sunday flight was almost double the price of the Saturday flight. I suggested a Tuesday night flight, returning Saturday instead, but BF's step-dad had already made arrangements for Wednesday morning. When I got home Friday evening, BF wanted to talk to me. He offered to help pay for her return flight so she can stay until Sunday. I accepted.

That's when he told me that his mom is also taking off work Wednesday so they all can spend the day in Memphis. And, just like that, any doubts I had about letting her go vanished. Completely.

I'm not sure they know how much their kindness blesses my heart. But I am sure Lindsey knows that she is loved.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Little Victories

Lindsey and I made the trip to Arkansas last weekend, without knowing exactly what to expect when we got there. She was interested only in seeing her beau, and I wanted to spend some time with Sarah. I had told her that I didn't feel right about allowing her to see the boyfriend behind the dad's back. While I don't agree with his tactics, I do not wish to undermine his authority. Nor do I wish to endanger the life of another human being. What's a mom to do?

We left Friday shortly after midnight and arrived at her dad's at 9:40 am Saturday. The first hour of the drive was spent passing the phone between us talking to Sarah and her dad. It wasn't pretty, although he didn't seem too upset that I was going to allow her to see the boyfriend. I guess he was too busy trying to convince Sarah that she should be afraid to get in the car with me. She went along with it, telling me that she would rather have her dad take her to Grandma's after he gets off work. Lindsey told her that she should be willing to spend 24 hours with her mom, especially since I had to drive 10 hours to get there.

I pointed out to Lindsey that she had told her dad she didn't want to see him, and she replied, "But, Mom, you aren't threatening to kill someone she cares about. She doesn't have a good reason not to spend time with you."

Sarah did change her mind about getting in the car with me, and we followed Lindsey and her beau to his mom's house. I wanted to visit with her to discuss allowing our kids to see each other only as long as there was adult supervision. She agreed, of course. I also let her know that if she felt it necessary to seek legal protection for her son, I would stand behind her decision. The dad may be bluffing, but there is no telling what he might actually do.

From there, we went to my mom's then out to dinner and back to my mom's. It was beginning to rain and the temperature had dropped below freezing, so I suggested that the boyfriend go on back home. Lindsey asked if he could stay the night, and I had to say no. She said she would sleep in the room with me, and he could sleep on the couch, but I didn't budge. So she called her dad and asked if she could stay the night with him. I took the phone and informed him that she wanted her boyfriend to bring her over. He said he didn't care how she got there. I told her to make sure it was okay with him if he came to get her for church in the morning. Again, he said he didn't care.

Sunday morning, Lindsey and her beau met me and Sarah at church. We decided to visit the little Baptist fellowship near my mom's house. The sermon was part of a series on the fruit of the Spirit. That morning, the focus was patience. The pastor talked about anger and the psychological damage that results from taking it out on your kids. I handed Lindsey a pen so that she could take notes on the outline provided, and Sarah surprised me when she took my pen so that she could fill in the blanks. I was pleased with both the timeliness of the message and my kids' behavior.

Sunday afternoon, we celebrated my sister's 40th birthday a day early, then we had to get going. Lindsey still had to get some stuff from her dad's house, and Sarah wasn't ready to come home with me, although she did promise to pray about it. Lindsey rode with her boyfriend to her dad's, and when we got there, Sarah and I went inside while the two of them said their goodbyes. The dad asked where Lindsey was, and I told him that she was in the car with her boyfriend. He said "he better not come in this house, or I'll pop a cap in him." I went back out to call Lindsey inside, and when I came back in, her dad had taken his pistol out and laid it on the bookshelf. A couple of things occurred to me. One, now this makes for an excellent illustration of today's sermon; and two, I wonder if this could be why Sarah is afraid to go with me.

Lindsey and I got back on the road, and we talked almost the entire trip, when she wasn't on the phone with her fella. They both said they liked church, and what Lindsey told me next sent my heart soaring. She said, "You know how you're always listening to the sermon and trying to see how it applies to you? Well, I did that today, Mom. That stuff the pastor said about anger made me realize that I need to work on my temper."

Sometimes they do pay attention.