Momlog 2018: So How is that “no TV” thing going?

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I knew y’all were wondering.  My four year old is very persistent and has been asking every day we can watch tv yet.  Not yet.  We will plan something fun (maybe going to a movie) around Valentines day.

We have listened to several books on Audible (app).  Our boy, used a gift card that he got for Christmas (Thank you, Aunt Margie) to buy a chess/checkers/tic-tac-toe game.  Dennis has been teaching him to play and he has been teaching his sister.  Last night she had a good cry because he killed her piship (bishop) and all her pawns.  It wasn’t fair.   As a family we have been playing more games (Uno is great for kids) in the evening including playing canasta with the kids (I ended up “helping”/playing for the girl).  The kids have been building with Legos…I believe they are building some kind of fleet.

The girl did tell me she doesn’t think it is fair that we get to use our phones and she can’t use the iPad.  She has a point. We are learning family accountability.

I ordered a this devotional. (Recommended to us by our pastors)

Growing up, my parents tried to do family devotional/prayer with us but wasn’t always successful. We mostly hated it. I’m sorry, dad. Our parents were not as well equipped as we are now. They didn’t have the same resources we have available today. My parents obviously did an awesome job as we are all Jesus-loving people. It’s great that we can have a family devotion geared toward our kids age level.

One thing we do that our parents both do that our parents did is we listen to preaching messages. My dad always listened to Chuck Swindol in the morning on the radio…I still love his voice, plus he’s funny. I didn’t always understand what he was saying but it was a great habit. We listen to Bethel messages, Gateway messages and Embassy Church. We are laying a foundation.

Overall, the “no tv” thing has been good for us. We might be ready for a device-free vacation.

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Momlog 2018: NO TV

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Hey readers!  How has 2018 been so far?

Mine, pretty good.

In January each year, our church has a fast (interestingly, Webster’s doesn’t have a religious connotation definition… to abstain from food or activities for a set about of time).  This year, we decided, I decided and my husband has gone along with me, that our family is giving up TV for 36 days at the beginning of this year.  Why 36 days?  Because there are 365 days in the year and I wanted it to be a “first fruits” kind of fast.  36 days, is a 10% tithe on the year, we are doing it in January so it will be our “first fruits”.

I admittedly have become an Netflix junkie.  My daughter is not far behind me.  The Boy, he’s all about “Clash of Clans”, so I made it a “no device” kind of fast.  Yes, I am still on my phone but no games and cutting back on the social media (except for my business “stuff”).

What does this mean?  This means I have a 4-year-old following me around all day asking, “Mom, can I play ‘ebucational’ games on my device?” (yes, she calls it a device.)  She’s very animated with her hands while asking.  I keep saying, “no”.   Ordinarily, I would allow her to play a game because she does have some educational games and I am working on homeschooling and, and, and….bottom line….it’s easier for me.  BUT the Girl switches to a movie as soon as she can go hide in the tent in her room.  I am busy and do not track her down until five hours later when I realize how quiet it has gotten or she gets hungry.

Moms of preschoolers, admit it.  Four-year-olds talk a lot; A LOT!  I went through this with the Boy at this age.  I would tell him, “Mamma needs to think.  Your mouth is on a time out.”  He still goes through phases sometimes….yesterday, after 20 minutes of talking about Legos and Starwars Legos and which Legos his friends have…I was done.  I enjoy Legos, it is kind of like doing a puzzle with instructions.  However, if it wasn’t for the Boy, I would not be putting together Legos.  Mom’s of boys have to have quiet a few interests.  We have had to know about sports and aerodynamics.  Seriously, I find myself having to explain some pretty significant scientific questions.   Then there is the Girl.  I have put together a Frozen Lego set and many Dupulo towers but she wants to have a tea party everyday.   Last weekend, she hosted a tea party with Dad, brother and many dolls/stuffed animal friends.

Bottom line, this no TV thing boils down to us having to entertain our kids more.  This shouldn’t be my attitude about any of it.  Because really, it isn’t entertaining so much as spending time with them. Spending time with them shouldn’t be a chore but a joy.

I did order a family devotional that I have been wanting to do to teach the children about Godly character traits.  Hopefully, it will come in soon.  I’ll let y’all know how this goes with a four-year-old.

In the meantime,  we have played Uno and a memory game each night.  I’m longing for some adult interaction (this reminds me that I need to make actual contact with friends outside of Facebook.

Can we go 35 days including 5 weekends with NO TV?  No cartoons? No Criminal Minds (the kids aren’t allowed to watch this show, this is one of mine)?  We can do it!  Can we do it without going crazy?  Well, that’s a better question…and I’m not so sure.

I have already listened to one book on Audible and I’m pretty sure we do not have enough Audible credits for me to continue to run through books this quickly.   I have also started reading again.  I have always loved reading but I am pretty sure, I need reading glasses (thanks to my sister).  Which means I’m going to become one of those ladies who always has a pair of glasses in her hair because one set is for reading and one is for driving and she keeps misplacing them so she just wears them in her hair but feels she is “too young” for bifocals.

Have I lost my mind with this latest endeavor?  (I’m really asking myself).

The Difference a Year Makes

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When I find myself sharing a testimony a few times….it’s time to write it down.

This year has been interesting.  Last year, we attended a Kairos event in November.  Our goal was tmulti-fold. We took our small group and we had in our hearts to present Kairos to our church. And we also knew that God would continue the work of healing He has started in us.

Our family has had an ongoing situation of disfunction.  We have been praying for a family member for years that she would find Jesus, get sober and healed.  In addition to her actions we have been praying that her enabler would begin to open his eyes to the part he has been playing in the situation.  In November of 2016, I was done.  I had lost hope in any change happening.

Dennis says that Kairos has a way of re-calibrating us. That’s a great description.

I had a moment during a session titled “Appetite for the Eternal”.   I realized that I had believed a lie. At some point I began believing a lie…a lie that many have believed.  The lie said, ” They will never change”. Which led me down a path of losing hope.

One of my life verses is from Psalm 27.  Verse 13 says, “I would have lost heart, unless I believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”   I had lost heart concerning this situation.

The thing about losing heart is, it bleeds over to other things….all other things.

If you decide, God can’t handle this situation or this person; when God is no longer big  enough, strong enough,mpowerful enough, ENOUGH… Then He isn’t going to ENOUGH for any part of your life.

What they do not tell you when you join up is…Jesus is all or nothing.  You have to go “all in”.

My logic is that if one person is “too much” then I have to throw in the towel on my entire faith system.

That’s how easy one lie can lead us to lose our faith.

God’s truth, spoken over this situation is, “As long as they have breath, God can…”

I began to speak God’s truth over this situation.

What happen next is the difference a year can make.

A week or two after Kairos, she failed to appear for a court date.  The court issued a warrant for her arrest.  She was arrested.  Her enabler had already spent all the money he had availed to bail her out for the past arrest and since she jumped her bail, she was held without bond.  The judge sentenced her to a prison stint.  She was sent to prison in January.  SHE GOT SOBER. She was released after 10 months to a sober house.  We will see what happens on her spiritual journey but at this time she is as least sober to choose.

People have said  her life is over because she has been to prison but her life is just beginning.

God’s got this.

While my have believed that Psalm 27:13 is one of my life verses, maybe I need to expand that to include Psalm 27:14 which says “wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Still learning to “wait” better.

How Big is your God?

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Sometimes I am a bit of a nerd.   (I don’t care…I’m cool with it).  Statistics about things interest me.   Since we have worked in foster care there are many stats about children that have been in foster care.  I’ve read the stats.

For example, there is a statistic that children who end up in foster care, will most likely have their children end up in some type of stint in foster care.

There are stats about everything.

There are times when we have to decide that we aren’t going to be a stat.

Maybe your stat is that your parents were alcoholics which statistically, you have a much higher chance of being an alcoholic.

Maybe you were abused…does that mean you have to be an abuser?

A friend of mine, who has adopted children was quoted a statistic.  Her children were victims and she was told they will likely become abusers.

I was thinking about this…what’s different in their situation?

God…God is what is different.

Do not let statistics be the lie you believe.

Our God is bigger than the statistics.  Our God is bigger.  If the God you serve isn’t bigger then you need to take this opportunity to magnify Him.  Make Him a little bit bigger in your eyes!  He can handle you, your situation, your pain, your grief, your anger.  He’s bigger than all of it!

 

 

Revealing

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Warning…Spoiler Alert for the Wonder Woman movie.  If you haven’t seen it, but you are planning to, then do not read this blog.

I’ve seen the new Wonder Woman movie twice (so far).  I went to see it with some of the women from my church (Woohoo City Chapel ladies!!).  And then I saw it again with the Hubs.  I would watch it again.

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a while but summer has been busy.  Sometimes a topic will stick with me until I write it.  I had a little “God-moment” (God spoke to me) through this movies.  There is something about superhero movies that stir me spiritually.  The idea of good overcoming evil.… I’m not sure what it is.

Clearly, Wonder Woman has Greek mythology weaved into it’s story.  Having a firm foundation in my belief system (I am a Christian), I would not allow my son (9 years old) to watch this movies…there are some adult themes (I caught some lesbian themes going on)  as well as the mythology and well, although WW is mostly covered there is some scantily dressed women in this one…in any case, I digress.

The movie starts with Diana’s early childhood.  Her mother shows her a sword, and she is told that it is a god killer.  She is told of another “god” called Ares who is the god of war. She is taught that the communities purpose is to protect the earth and humans especially from Ares.

This is the scene….

 

As Diana attempts to strike Ares with her sword, which she believes is a “god killer”, she finds herself weaponless…or so it seems.  Ares tells Diana, “Only a god can kill a god.”  It’s the moment in the film when she realizes who she really is.

My thought was, sometimes you have to come face to face with an enemy to find out who you are.

As a “freedom fighter”, I do not believe the enemy makes us or breaks us.  Our enemy is liar.  We cannot put stock in anything our enemy says about us.  However, it is usually in our darkest hour, during the battle, facing the enemy that we find out who we are, who God is and how strong our faith is.

Jesus told Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32).

Many years ago I heard a sermon by Stan Mitchel.  He said, “Sifting does not make, it only reveals what’s there.  The good farmer knows that if you throw up the wheat and chaff in a good 5 to 15 mile per hour wind the wheat will fall to the ground and the the chaff will blow away.   The chaff can withstand some wind and if the wind is too strong, even the wheat will blow away.

As believers we go through life expecting everything to “go our way”.  When difficulties come we say, “I’m being attacked”.

Most Christians either love Job or hate Job…or at very least, think poorly of Job.  God orchestrated Job’s story.  God allowed Job to go through trial.  Yes, the enemy was at work, but God allowed it.

At times, God allows us to go through things.  Why?  Because difficulty reveals our character….both good and bad.  The battle reveals our faith.  And through things reveal to us God’s goodness and His character.

 

If you are going through a trial, if you are in a battle…look around you.  What does this fight reveal about you?  Did God allow this battle to call you back to prayer?  Did God allow this to reveal something in you He wants to heal?  Every trial has a purpose.

Romans says, “All things work together for good.”

Something good will come out of this, no matter how dark it looks.

 

Freedom’s Price

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A few weeks ago we wrapped up our first Kiaros event.  Our team of nine put together a Kiaros event for our region.  We modeled it after (in conjunction with Gateway church, in Southlake, TX).

We invested our time (conference time plus many meetings leading up to the event), our personal testimonies, and our money.  I believe our team would agree that it was worth it to walk others into new levels of Freedom.

We will be hosting another Kairos in Austin next month.  Click here to get more information.

Kairos is a free event.  We do not charge for it even though it isn’t free.

Anyone who hasn’t been to a Kairos event might wonder why would invest so much for freedom’s sake.  There really is nothing like the feeling of being free.

Freedom is never free.  Someone, somewhere is paying for it.

I am reminded of something Graham Cooke once said.

“Getting free is not revenge on the enemy.  Revenge on our enemy is when you get free then you reach out a hand and help someone else get free.” (may not be an exact quote).

Here’s the thing….I want revenge on the enemy.  I was held captive for too long.

I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I am free.  I don’t need something like Kairos.”   Honestly, this is where I would roll my eyes a little.  We can all use a fresh perspective on God.  We can all be more free.  None of us are so free that we are in a state of returning to God’s original design.  There is more.

There are things that God has walked me through in order to heal me because I had an urgent need for healing.

Hurting people hurt people.

Too often, we do not desire freedom for ourselves.  It is easier to hold on to our familiar (comfortable) place.  It is much easier to see where others need freedom rather than looking at our own life. Of course we all have blind spots.  There is no denying that it is far more difficult to see the log in our own eyes.

Here are a few signs that you need to pursue some healing in your life:

  • You are holding a grudge against someone (if you saw them at the grocery store would you turn and run away away or say “hi”?)
  • You over-react to some things.  Maybe a song, movie, statement or even a look someone gives you sets you off your emotions. (crying, disgust, etc)
  • You have angry outbursts for minor reasons.
  • You have many failed relationships.  (It may be that you are the common denominator or it could be you choose to engage in relationships with people who are damaged themselves).
  • You engage in a sin-cycle (Some people may describe this a bad habit).  You engage in an activity that is opposed to your Biblical beliefs, you may ask God for forgiveness but you tend to go back to the sin eventually.
  • You are insecure about who you are or about your relationships.
  • You have lost hope that God is good and has good intentions toward you.
  • You have believe your circumstances or people in your life are too big for God to handle.
  • You have lost sight of who God says you are and His plans for your life.
  • You keep replaying events in your mind over and over.
  • There are some things you just can’t let go.
  • You cannot seem to be content.
  • You have settled for survival rather than thriving.
  • You are not thankful.
  • No one can please you. You find yourself criticizing or judging everyone and everything.
  • Drama follows you.
  • Although you are religious, and attend services regularly and even serve in your church, you do not feel connected with God.
  • You are always frustrated.

What will freedom cost you?  

  • You will have to give up self-pity.
  • You may have to over-come some pride.
  • You may not get the attention from others because you are no longer a victim.
  • You may have to trade in your survival lifestyle for a new abundant life.
  • You may not get the accolades of service when you shift to focusing on your relationship with God, rather than being busy doing.
  • You will have to give up your mistrust of God.

As much as I would like to round people up and force a Kairos event on them……that’s not how it works.  Kairos only works if you decide you want to be free and you begin pursuing freedom.

 Freedom will cost you everything you never needed in your life.  
Freedom has a cost, yet, it’s freely given.  

When Visiting Bethel 

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We are still on the road so I am writing this up on my phone.  I’m not a gmfan of blogging from my phone…it’s usually messy.    And takes a long time.  

This weekend we visited Bethel church in Redding, California.  If you aren’t familiar, it is is difficult to describe other than, it’s a revivalist church, it’s a healing church, it’s a worship church; sime of the most beautiful worship music has come out of Bethel.  

Here is a link from a song they sang yesterday:  

Many people make pilgrimages to Bethel. Here are some things you need to keep in mind….

1.  Dorothy, you aren’t in Texas anymore (or the Deep South).  The people are nice people but you have approach them.  No one approached us as we stood awkwardly looking around needing help for where we needed to go.  I had to ask about childcare.  They get tons of visitors and I get the feeling they aren’t impressed.

2.  If you want a seat in the main sanctuarty, get there early.  The regulars come 30 minutes early and save seats for each other.  They will let you stand against the back walls during worship and try to grab a seat when it’s time to sit down but chances are you will end up in the over flow room.  

3.  They have four Sunday services.  If you make the trip, go to multiple services.  Different worship teams led at each service and they even played different songs.  My favorite worship time was the 10:30 service, worship was lead by Brian Johnson and Steffany Gretzinger.  On a side note, one of the worship leaders forgot some of the lyrics and told the media team he needed lyrics to the second verse on the back screen.  Everyone chuckled and continued to worship.  Loved this…this happens at every church occasionally and they are keeping it real.  

4. If you can only attend one service, I would go to the 6 pm service.  It’s not rushed so worship is long (over an hour) and Papa Johnson (Senior pastor Bill Johnson) spoke.  After the message, they offer ministry.  They had both a “fire tunnel” and a room to pray specifically for healing.  Take advantage of all the prayer you can get.  We took our kids through the fire tunnel.  They loved it and wanted to go again (I kind of wanted to go again too).

5.  They have childcare for the little ones for ok the services (from what I could tell).  When I picked up my girl from the morning service, they gave me a paper with a prophecy for her.  

I love this!  

6.  There are a lot of young people in attendance.  They are not very churchy. There were both young men and young women climbing over chairs to get to their seats. People would bump into you and not even notice…again, it’s not the South.  The culture is different. 

Main thing to remember….get there early!!! At least 30 minutes.