Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You never know when a comment will spark an entire debate in your own head.  Okay, maybe it's just me.
I was ordering some lunch at Blazen Burrito in the mall.  I mentioned to the check-out man that he charged me only for my burrito and not my cheese dip, so I owed him four more dollars.  He looked stunned,  "wow...look at the karma you're putting off.  All that good you're giving will come back to you." 
" sir.  That's not karma.  I love Jesus so I just did what was right."

According to karma, the four dollars I rightfully paid will come back to me somehow.  Someone else may buy a meal, more money will be added to my bank account, more positive things, attitudes, or actions will come my way because I sowed a positive seed.

That's interesting: because in reality, I'm four bucks short.  I basically ate the money and my stomach hurts because I'm allergic to cheese but I eat it anyway.

I know there is some proverbial wisdom in you reap what you sow.  But honestly, this entire year of Chris' and my life has been marked by trials--most of which I can't mention. Doing the right thing has cost us our house, our vehicle, our money, our time, our emotional energy, relationships, reputation, sleep, and the list could go on.  We have added stress and physical ailments to our life.  So do I just hold out a little while longer until the rewards come?

 Jesus said people would hate you if you follow Him.  He said if someone slaps you on one cheek, give him the other one.  He said if you do good, you'll suffer.  He was sinless, and He was sinned against more than anyone.  It caused tension between him and His family.  He was homeless when He could have been hanging out in Heaven.  He had a lot of arguments.  He was abandoned, abused, hated, mocked, spit upon....He sweat blood, He spilled blood.  It doesn't sound like a lot of positive energy came His way.

So my quiet time today came as I sat in the crowded mall and sent my children off to play.  I know the Bible says you reap what you sow--and more than once.  So what does that mean?  Does it mean that since I rightfully paid four dollars for my cheese dip, that I will receive more money to be a glutton with little self-control?
2 Corinthians 9:6,8 "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.....And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."

If you sow grace, you do not necessarily receive grace from other people.  The point is: if you sow grace, your are given more grace by God, so that you can give more grace--even to people who are ungracious.

If you sow kindness, you are given more kindness by God so that you can give more kindness to people who are not kind.

If you sow generousity, God is generous to you so that you can be more generous to people who may not be generous.

If you sow love, God gives you His love so that you can love others.  Even to love those who hate you.

The destruction that we sow only leads to a destructive life.  That's all it gives us, and we become useless.  But when we sow to God, our lives become more useful.  We don't get it back by other people, we get the reward of sharing in the life and death of Christ.  Jesus is the reward, and He is the only positive energy we should expect.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Birds and the Bees, Bugs, and the Big Bang Theory

It's been a big day in our house. Meet the "love-bugs" that have invaded our yard.
View photo.jpg in slide show
I don't know their scientific name, and haven't done the research, but thousands have come to visit us lately. Cade (age 7) is fascinated by them. He watched them for an hour. He asked a lot of questions, as he does with most other things. Between this evening, the experience of owning a male dog, Psalm 139, and the Christmas Story, Cade has pretty accurately figured out where babies come from. I guess we won't need formalized "talks".

Bible + Nature + his questions = we're talking

It looks like we won't be taking future weekend retreats to cover these matters with the kids, but we will be retreating from my friend's children for a couple of days. Hopefully, that will give our son plenty of time to be less fascinated by his new-found discovery and he won't see the need to share this information with peers.

In other news: Kinley returned home today from a slumber-party at 8-yr old "Amy's" house. Amy and Kinley have been in public school together for 3 years. On Valentine's Day, Amy wrote Kinley a note: "you are the nicest, kindest person I know." (that does a momma's heart good)
Let me tell you about Amy. She's a genius. She is well-versed in science, history, greek mythology, and anything else she's ever read. She's a leader. At 8 years old, she has quite a mind and mouth and a huge personality. She's wildly crazy, and a wee bit rough around the edges. My husband and I love her.
Amy believes in the Big Bang Theory and something about an acorn at the beginning of the world, and something about stars colliding. (If you are familiar with the "acorn theory" please educate me.) Amy mentioned it to Kinley and her closest friends last night. Kinley said "no, no. You need to read Genesis 1:1. Can you go get a Bible?" Kinley showed her friends where Genesis was, how to read the Bible, and explained Creation in a way that thoroughly impressed me. Her friend did not know where the acorn came from, or who formed the stars in the first place. The other friends stood silent, shaking their heads in affirmation of Kinley's 8 year old defense of God.
After a long discussion, Kinley let it go when Amy said "you know, you're really starting to annoy me with all this Christ stuff." High-five Kinley. They're still friends, and they still love each other. So much so, Kinley is planning on calling Amy tomorrow. She wants to share Jeremiah 13, the "linen underwear" story because "I can really see Christ in that story and Amy likes potty-talk and underwear and talks about f-a-r-t-i-n-g." I am thrilled to know that my sweet, gracious child who spells out questionable words, is about to take an Old Testament Story about dirty underwear and share the Gospel with her friend. Pray for her. We've got three weeks left in this town, and her flame is not flaming out.
I sleep satisfied tonight. I rest my hope not in any parental knowledge or ability. My hope is not in my children. Our entire family has too many failure stories for that. But how wonderful, that God's Word is authoritative and sound. His Seed is good and is bearing fruit. His Spirit is alive and active in the hearts of children. His creation is a great teaching-tool for the awkward topics I never thought I'd be having this soon. My hope is in a Jesus who can even be found in a "crude" Old Testament illustration.

Though I love most of God's created beings, I take all suggestions on how to get rid of these love-bugs. We have had our's time for them to go.