Thursday, June 12, 2008

How fun!!

God has set my feet on a "new" path, and wow! I'm excited! Actually there's nothing really new, it's just that He's pulling all the pieces together so now I'm seeing a bigger picture!! Being in Utah, Mormonism, of course, is the prevelant religion. I realized I am a minority here. I have to say that it is VERY weird being part of a minority; gives me a whole new outlook on things. Anyway, being that we homeschool, we have tried to plug into the homeschool community. There are several groups that say they are non-denominational, however, when the population is mostly Mormon, the groups will obviously be heavily influenced by that, causing those of us who are not Mormon to feel.....well......lonely and kind of an outsider. My friend K and I have been tossing around the idea of a Christian homeschool group. There is one locally, but they are not really that active and just not that welcoming. We wanted....we needed fellowship. There's not an easy way to do this without stepping on toes, as Mormons also say they are Christian, though there beliefs are quite different from ours (one LDS lady referred to us as "traditional Christians".....strange, but at least it's a distinction). So we set up a yahoo group, took flak from some people as K advertised our group with some of the local homeschool groups. But then people started coming, and I was seeing that there were Christians out there trying to do it on their own, because they weren't getting the fellowship they needed and just didn't feel like they fit in anywhere (even Christian churches here are's hard to explain, but becuase of the heavy LDS influence, it has flavored even the Christian churches). Then we began getting requests from Mormon ladies, asking if they too could join!! This seemed surprising to me and at first I didn't know what to say, and then I realized it was NOT up to me, it was up to God. So we added some rules about ONLY quoting from the Bible but also that we would NOT tolerate slander or hate mail against Mormonism. As I wrote that up I realized what an awesome opportunity God was giving us to "love our neighbors as ourselves"!!! And the thankfulness from many of these LDS women is if they too, were thirsting for this thing! I love it!!! I am so excited that I can be me now, I don't have to hide that I'm a Christian, or shy away or what have you. That is so freeing to me! I am not Mormon and never plan to be, but I want to be able to walk among these women anyway and make friends and be a blessing to them! Wow!! Woohoo!!!

Now, as a disclaimer I have to say PLEASE do not comment on this post with anything against either the Mormon or the Christian faith. I am as aware as I feel I need to be of the differences and similarities and truly believe that God's got this covered. So, no fussin', okay? :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Honoring a friend

I had been looking forward to yesterday! The errands for the day, before my "anticipated event" was to go to the Christian bookstore to buy a gift for said event. That, in itself, was wonderful as I know the man who owns it (he goes to our church) but I'd never really talked to him before. I was SO blessed talking to this guy!!! He has a tiny little store and only carries things that agree with his beliefs.....what a powerful statement! Very cool! I'm going there from now on!! Anyway, after that, we went to base and I had planned to get Big D's hair cut, but there was a line, so instead, spur of the moment, I went into the BX to see if they had any nice dresses as I wanted to dress up for the evening. The kids helped me pick out a really pretty black and white dress. They insisted that I HAD TO buy it and that we would surprise Daddy and just show up in it. Then we grabbed lunch and headed home, but on the way, I realized the boys didn't have nice pants for the evening, so we stopped at Saver's and found khakis for both of them, then finally, home at about 1:45. I had to be at the base Chapel before 4pm....and somehow (God be the glory!!) I managed to wash and dry the boy's pants, cut Big D's mop, iron the Pink Princess' dress and the boy's shirts, get Big D set up to sew a button on his shirt, orchestrate their getting dressed, take a VERY quick shower, put on makeup, and get dressed myself. Whew!!!! And we got to the chapel at 3:45!!

Now, the special event.....I am so in awe......through most of the formal part of the event, I couldn't help sending up prayer after prayer of thanksgiving for......well, the event: Our dear friend Chap. Carl Wright, an Episcopal priest and major in the AF was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. I have never been to a promotion ceremony, so I didn't know what to expect, but we all were invited to attend (yes, kids too, cuz although he really doesn't like kids who behave as kids, he LOVES my children....yes, I know, just don't ask!) The ceremony was held in the chapel, started out with wonderful Souza marches and such, then he came in and the Colonel made a few remarks about his career (most of which I did not know, but he is an amazing man!), then he was sworn in and his orders were read (again, very emotional) and he was "pinned on", after which he gave a brief speech and ended up crying! He said that when he was ordained as an episcopal priest, part of the ceremony is that the new priest faces the bishop with his back to the congregation, and when it's done, he's supposed to turn around and stretch out his arms and say "The Lord be with you." Well, when he turned around, he was overwhelmed by the show of friends and family who had traveled great distances to be there, so he stood with his arms outstretched, speechless, with tears pouring down his face. His 90 year old Grandma was in the front pew, and after a brief moment, she stretched out her arms and just started praising Jesus with "Glory Hallelujah! Praise God! Glory, glory hallelujah!" At this point in the story, Chap. Wright's voice broke as he got teary and he said, "That is what I want to say today. It is not me at all, it is God. God has put me in this place, He alone has brought me here." After that, he walked back to his seat, and we all stood and sang all verses of "Amazing Grace" at which point I joined Fr. Carl in crying!! :) Amazing!! After that and abrief reception, he took all the chapel staff and family out to dinner. I am SO honored that God saw fit to have us there for that and he has blessed us so richly with the friendship of this dear man!! Very cool!!!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

"church wide cleanup"

Yesterday in Sunday School we were discussing the fact that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. My heart was rather pricked by that, so I decided to study it some more on my own this morning. Here are the verses I was digging into:

1 Corinthians 6:9-12: Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality, Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.
And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed
clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.
Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under
its power.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit
Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,
You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

I have been redeemed and sanctified by God. I AM a new person, no longer identified by old labels. My body is a temple, a residing place for God's Holy Spirit. Is this a welcoming, sanctified place? What housekeeping/maintenance needs to be done?

Describing this (my) temple:
  • sometimes outwardly flashy
  • slow moving
  • comfy but not always vibrant
  • dusty/cluttered with a few lingering things
  • worship music is played OFTEN
  • repairs are often being neglected
  • Big faith
  • Expresses joy in the Lord and often shares that
  • at times permits the wrong type of fellowship--focusing more on people (and their flaws) than on God
  • lack of energy

So, I can see some things that need to be done to this temple. How about you? I would encourage you too, to read through these verses, sitting with our awesome, loving Father God and then ask Him about the temple that is you. I'd love to see other responses on this, but only share if God asks that of you.


PS I'm often asked about my journaling....the above, minus the last paragraph, is an exact copy of my journal page. Yes, I write out the verses too, so I have them right there. Course, I LOVE to write. :)