Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One Thing Leads to Another...........Isn't That the Truth

I have been needing to clean the carpet in my living room for quite a while and yesterday it finally happened.  So many things need to be done and have fallen by the way side since physical therapy came into our lives.  Thankfully the physical therapy is coming to an end soon.  We are down to one day per week now. 
So any way, I got the carpet cleaned and decided that the living room needed a "new" look.  It's all "redecorated" and I didn't by anything new.
                                              Here's a couple of before shots
                                               And here's the after pictures

 Okay, I did add a few things that were not here before.  The yellow flowers and some of the books.  The sofa was in this spot and hid the bookcase.  It was my easy fix to the problem of not having a sofa table.  But nothing was bought new.  I shopped my house.
Sometimes all you need is just a little tweaking of what you already have to have something "new".

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Yeah, It's Been A While......

Yeah, it's been 2 months since I wrote a post.  Not because I haven't wanted to but a lot has been going on.  My oldest son had shoulder surgery in February to repair a torn labrum and has physical therapy three days a week.  Between school, homemaking, and physical therapy, I just haven't had a lot of time to devote to writing.  And to top it off, my husband was named the new head football coach for my sons football team.  So I have also been helping him with his planning for the upcoming year.  Much to his chagrin, I like to call him "Head Ball Coach".  If you are a fan of the SEC you'll get that.  I wrote a post in the past about how football had taken over our lives, well it has invaded.  Please don't think I'm complaining because I really love football.  I love the fact that it's not just something the men in my family do, it's something our family does.  We are all involved in it.  We do this together.  Just consider this fair warning that my Summer and Fall post maybe mostly football related.  Currently we are working on fundraisers for the team, planning Spring training, and getting the boys in the weight room.  Another project has been researching equipment.  It is truly amazing what is on the market today.  So as you can see it's been a busy two months. 
My plan is to get back on schedule with this thing called blogging.  Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and take care of life.  And sometimes you just need new ideas.  I admit that I have been a little dry on the ideas.  I'm not one that can just write about whatever and if I have a bad day, well that just blocks ideas.  I have to feel it and live it to write it.  For the past two months what I've felt and lived has been mundane and uninteresting.  Hence the dry spell.  The weather has also had an effect on my desire to do anything.  It's the winter that won't die.  Here in Tennessee the weather has been quite schizophrenic.  The other day it was 77 degrees, sunny and beautiful.  The next day it was 45 degrees, rainy and just plain blah!  Needless to say I'm over the cold.
I have been reading a new book, The Cost Of Discipleship by Detrich Bonhoeffer.  Maybe I'll have some new posts about that soon.  It's been a slow process of reading because there is so much to take in, so much to ponder.  It's not light reading and it's also a book that will challenge your thinking on what it means to live the life of Christ. 
  Another thing that I've been dreaming of is my garden.  I haven't started it yet and I feel behind the eight ball.  It's the middle of March and not one seedling is started.  I'm just behind on everything.  Usually by now I have little plants in my kitchen but not this year.  What have I been doing?  Go back to the beginning of this post or peruse the pictures.
                                                  Taking care of my boys
                                                     Cooking gumbo and such
                                                    because it's been cold............
                                                Educating.... although this is a very neat
                                                and clean table shot......but that stuff in the
                                                corner has been put away.
                                                    And dreaming of this.......
                                                     And this....................
                                                      And this....................
                                                   And this................

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Screwtape Loves the Churchgoer

Letter 9

"...make him acquiesce in the present low temperature of his spirit and gradually become content with it.  In a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive.  Talk to him about moderation.  A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all-- and more amusing."

Letter 12

"He must not be allowed to suspect that he is now, however slowly, heading right away from the sun on a line which will carry him into the cold and dark of utmost space.  ...for this reason I am almost glad he is still a churchgoer.  As long as he retains externally the habits of a Christian he can still be made to think of himself as one whose spiritual state is much the same as it was six weeks ago.  The only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy."

Is it possible for a regular churchgoer to not be saved, to not go to Heaven?  Yes.  Screwtape tells Wormwood to not worry about the "patient" being a churchgoer as long as he remains oblivious to the real problem, his separation from God.  So what is the difference between a churchgoer and a true believer?  It is a relationship with Jesus Christ.  As long as we remain marginal and complacent in our sin, Satan (our real enemy) is happy.  He fools us into thinking that we're okay because we have not committed those "big" sins like murder, adultery, theft, ect.  But God does not have a rating system for sin.  Sin is sin regardless of whether it is murder or a little white lie.  There is no difference. 
This reminds me of the parable of the Prodigal Son.  I'm sure that if you have spent any time at all in church you've heard this story.  In the story there is a very wealthy man who has two sons.  The younger son went to his father and demanded his inheritance.  The father complies and gives his youngest son his inheritance.  The son leaves home and proceeds to squander all his money on lascivious living.  Soon all his money is gone and he's homeless and starving.  "When he came to his senses, he said I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men."  Luke 15:17-19
This wayward son realized what he had become.  He was broken over his sin.  This younger son is an example of a true believer; broken over sin and in need of redemption.  But the father had another son.  When the younger son returned, the father had been watching and waiting for this child to come back.  And when the father saw his son, he (the father) ran to the son and hugged him.  He told his servants to gather everyone for a party.  His son was back and alive.  When the older son returned from working in the fields, he asked what was going on.  The servants told him that his brother was home.  "The older brother became angry and refused to go in.  So the father went out and pleaded with him.  But he answered his father, 'Look! all these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fatted calf for him!"  Luke 15:28-30
The older brother is the example of the churchgoer.  Outwardly he does all the right things but inwardly his heart is cold.  He is angry with his father for welcoming this wayward back into the family and he's jealous because the father is celebrating.  We do not know what becomes of the older brother.  The story leaves him standing on the porch while a celebration is going on inside the house.  Churchgoers who are never redeemed will experience this when that day comes.  "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the  kingdom of heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and drive out demons in your name and perform many miracles?'  then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!'"  Matthew 7:21-23
Do you see the difference between the true believer and the churchgoer?  The true believer sees his sin and is heartbroken over what he has become.  The churchgoer just sees all the "good" things he does and thinks that he deserves to be praised for all his "goodness".  So what is the churchgoers sin?  Pride!
Our enemy loves the person who plays church, the one who doesn't take it too seriously.  Everything in moderation.  He is the father of lies and takes great pleasure in fooling us.  Why?  Screwtape tells us why......"To get the man's soul and give him nothing in return--that is what really gladdens Our Father's heart".  "Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick.  Indeed the fastest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts".
The older brother in this story thought of himself as the good one, the one who always obeyed outwardly.  He did all the "right" things but he had a hard heart that was full of pride.  See, he was on that "gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings". 

*This post was harder for me to write than the others.  I'm not sure why except that I struggled with how to word things.  It was all in my head but getting it onto paper was a challenge.  I hope that I was able to convey the seriousness of a relationship with Christ.  I am by no means trying to negate attending church or church work because both are important, but simply to say that it can not substitute for salvation.  So many are fooled thinking that they are going to Heaven just because they go to church or because they are not as bad as so-n-so. 
No one but God can see what's truly in our heart but we should always be on our guard and examine ourselves in light of scripture.