Posted by: lightening | May 24, 2010

Has God Been Shoved To The Bottom Of The Wardrobe?

I can’t believe I haven’t posted here since March 1st!!!!

OOOOOPPPPSSSS!!!!

I will admit I haven’t had as much “blogging mojo” this year as I have in the past.

I’ve had more than a few distractions with working part-time on the farm, taking on President of Parents & Friends group at the kids school and just life in general with 3 busy children.

I have had some struggles with my walk with the Lord at times.

But in all honesty, that’s nothing out of the usual.

Much as I would love to be “on fire” 100% of the time, I tend to go up and down (like most people I imagine).

There have been some interesting things happen and some tough things happen and I keep meaning to blog about them (I love this blog being a bit smaller and more personal than my other blog for those kinds of things).

God is certainly teaching me a lot about trust. 🙂

So, this post is a quick hello and hopefully the prompt I need to post about the other stuff going on in my head and my heart right now.

And no, God hasn’t been shoved to the bottom of the wardrobe.😉

Posted by: lightening | March 1, 2010

Should Christians Play Sunday Sport?

One of the things we are struggling with right now is the issue of Sunday Sport. So far, we haven’t had to deal too closely with the issue of regular Sunday Sport. I think right now that one would be an easy “no”.

However, what about the occasional Sunday Sport?

Around here, things like carnivals, tournaments and academy’s are held on Sundays. These are often the types of things it’s great for kids to be involved with.

But at what cost?

We’ve heard sermons urging Christians to stand firm about Sunday Sports (or anything that creeps in that pulls us away from our commitment to worship).

We’ve watched families struggle and eventually succumb to the whole “Sunday Sport” issue.

We’ve watched some families begin with 1 thing and before you know it, they’re absent from church more often than they’re there.

Both DH and I have been brought up very “anti Sunday Sport”. I’m not 100% sure but I think my parents may have relaxed their views by the time they got to my youngest 2 brothers.

It’s such a hard one. I believe we need to be very wary of ANYTHING that gets in our way of serving and fellowshipping with God. Not just on a Sunday, but on ANY day.

I also believe that regular worship with a church family is important. I don’t believe it is ESSENTIAL but I do believe it is healthy, helpful and a good thing to have.

And I very much doubt that there is even a clear cut answer to this question. What’s right or wrong for one family or situation doesn’t necessarily make it an “across the board” right or wrong.

Why am I asking all this now?

Yesterday we spent the day at a tennis tournament. Our second Sunday at a tennis tournament in a month. Up until this season we have resisted, figuring we’re better erring on the side of “not” until we’re more sure.

As things worked out, we didn’t have commitments on either Sunday (in fact, we didn’t even have regular services on either Sunday) so we took that as a “green light” to give it a go.

Now, we’re not sure we’re any closer to coming to a peaceful resolution about what we believe is right.

On the one hand, it felt a little uncomfortable to be doing this on a Sunday.

On the other, we had some great conversations with others in our community that have nothing to do with the church. It was a real opportunity to build relationships.

And while the experience our son gained in his sport was wonderful, we also saw him grow in character as well.

I don’t regret what we did at all.

We even had the opportunity to worship at a 5pm service at the end of the day before coming home (in another church as we’d had to travel some distance for the tournament).

But I’m not sure we’re any closer to a “resolution” on whether participating in Sunday Sport is “right” or “wrong”.

For now, we’ll have to be content with grapling with each situation as it arises and trying to make the best decision possible at the time.

I would love to hear your thoughts on “Sunday Sport” and other activities that get in the way of our regular worship.

Posted by: lightening | January 26, 2010

No Church Today?

Our church closes down over January.

I hate that.

Many people go away.

Some go elsewhere.

Many go nowhere (church-wise I mean).

As much as we try not to fall into the last category, we often seem to.

We went while we were in Adelaide but that’s it.

No-one’s fault but our own.

But I really HATE that our church keeps insisting on closing it’s doors over the summer school holidays.

We’ve fought the tradition in the past and “won”.

Generally speaking, we might have 1 Sunday with only 1 or 2 families present. The rest we tend to have about half.

And the size our church is now, half is MORE than what having everyone there used to be.

And yet, unless we jump up and down, they continue to revert to “no church in January”. 😦

Not that we were here much this year. So we couldn’t really do much about it.

I’m not one to be a “stickler” for “you must go to church”…

BUT…

I do personally find it helps.

Anyway, we restart services (and Sunday School) this Sunday thankfully. My concern is that everyone is feeling quite flat at the moment.

Including me.

Posted by: lightening | December 10, 2009

Settling In

The past couple of weeks, I have noticed I’m starting to settle back in at church. I guess being away had more impact that I was expecting. And a situation that was upsetting me is kind of over now and I can move on. Someone who seemed to have it “in” for me has changed their tune and we’re getting along a lot better now as well.

All in all, I’m no longer having panic attacks at the thought of going to church. Always a good thing. And I’m not going home in tears. Also a good thing. 🙂

A couple of Sundays ago, God did remind me that church is more about me and HIM than it is about anything else. I think that has also helped.

Unfortunately I’m a bit over-tired and snappy at the moment. I bit someone’s head off during morning tea after church last Sunday. If I keep that up, no-one will want to talk to me!!! I have apologised. Not much else I can really do. *sigh*

Posted by: lightening | November 22, 2009

Stan Wins Australian Idol

It always fascinates me watching Christians who end up in the spotlight.

Stan never made a secret of the fact that he was a Christian throughout his Australian Idol journey. He even went so far as to sing an evangelical version of Amazing Grace. It was beautiful!

The judges respected his stance.

Obviously the Australian public has also respected his beliefs.

Because he was voted Australian Idol for 2009.

Go Australia.

Go Stan.

And Go God!!!

Posted by: lightening | November 12, 2009

Struggling

My apologies for a lack of posting. I’m kinda struggling at the moment. Struggling to blog. Struggling full stop.

Getting back to “reality” after our trip hasn’t been easy.

I’m not sure who I am or where I fit right now.

Life is hectic and I’m having trouble keeping up.

My body and brain don’t really want to keep up with my “will” to achieve.

Church is an even bigger struggle.

I’m actually getting very close to a panic attack the night before I have to go there.

I don’t get it.

I don’t really know why.

I just want to cry whenever I think of going to church.

Yeah, Christians struggle as much as anyone else does I think.

I guess the difference is that we’re not alone in it.

I don’t feel alone.

Although I’m not really sure what I feel right now.

Like running away I think.

But where would I go?

Posted by: lightening | October 11, 2009

Sing, Sing, Sing

One of the great things about attending various churches is getting to hear and experience different worship styles and songs. One song that we encountered in a number of different congregations we really enjoyed. So, when we went to Koorong in Adelaide on our way home, we found the song on a CD and purchased it. We’d like to introduce it to our home church some time. Anyway, I thought I’d share it with you. 🙂

Posted by: lightening | July 26, 2009

One Day At A Time

I think one of the things God is trying to teach us on this trip is the concept of taking things a day at a time.  It’s not something I’m very good at.  I like things to be well planned out and to run to MY schedule.  I’m not very good at being flexible and “going with the flow”.

It’s something we’re trying hard to do while we’re away.  Things crop up and you kind of have to just “go with it” or you end up tying yourselves up in knots.

When Steve hurt his back, this verse kept running through my mind:

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6: 34

We had no choice but to take each day as it came, not knowing how much he’d be able to do or whether or not we could even travel.

There was a certain freedom in that – having to take things one day at a time.

And you know what?

God was faithful each and every day!

We got where we needed to be.  We were able to get help when we needed it.  The kids stepped up and were helpful.

I’m not saying I didn’t have my moments.  At one stage I was so freaked out about being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a crippled husband and 3 kids to take care of that I broke down.

But through it all, God’s presence was very real.

Most of this trip we’re planning and working out as we go.  At times it has been overwhelming trying to find things we want/need and trying to make decisions about what things to see and do.  But through it all, God has been totally faithful.  We have been blessed in so many ways through this trip.  Every step we take, we can feel God’s guiding hand.  It’s been an interesting and very blessed experience so far.

Let’s hope it really does help me with my quest to do better at taking things “one day at a time”.

Dear Lord,  Thank you so much for the blessings you have given us today and every day.  May we walk closer with you each day and see your hand in everything you do.  Thank you that you are faithful in your promises to lead and guide us and provide for our needs.  Amen.

Posted by: lightening | July 6, 2009

Our First Sunday on the Road

We chose to worship with Dubbo Baptist Church today (a note for my international readers – I’m not sure Australian Baptists are the same as the US Baptists although I’m not all that sure how it all works).

It’s hard when you are in a strange town to know the best place to go for worship, particularly with young children.

I was quite surprised at how many of the church people assumed we were “new” rather than “visiting”.  I had assumed that given this town has a large tourism trade, that “visitors” would be quite common.  Perhaps not.

I was really looking forward to experiencing worship in another church.  Not because I have any desire to leave our own church family, but because I think it helps to spread the wings a bit and experience things the way others do them.

For instance, this morning this particular church had their children do a presentation on what they had been learning in their children’s program.  It was lovely and something we don’t tend to do in our church.  Not that we don’t involve our children in a lot of ways but it could be a good extension for our children to actually share a little of what they’ve done from time to time.

It’s also good to attend worship from a visitors point of view to really understand how much of a “culture” our worship services can be.  We found the people very welcoming when we arrived.  However, when it came time for the kids to leave the service for their own program, not 1 person offered for our children to go.  They also mentioned some activity books for kids and for a while, I didn’t think anyone was going to offer our children one of those either.  Eventually a lady did think to bring them a book and some pencils.  Just little things but so important when it comes to caring for those not familiar with the regular run of things.

We did really enjoy our time with them and the sermon was interesting and challenging.  I hadn’t ever really clicked that the church in Corinth was having trouble with people teaching that speaking in tongues was a sign of spirituality.  Isn’t it interesting how the church today can easily make the same mistakes that have occurred throughout history.  I have no problem with people operating in the gift of tongues but I DO take issue with people saying you’re not a Christian if you don’t speak in tongues. 

I also really enjoyed the way the preacher worked his way through the bible passage he was preaching from.  Sometimes you’ll listen to a sermon and wonder if they’re going to refer to the Scripture at all.

All in all, we had a lovely experience for our first “church on the road”.  The kids sat well and I was quite happy for them to be in for the entire service (I don’t think it hurts kids to learn to sit and listen).  We didn’t hang around to chat afterward though as the kids were getting pretty hungry by then.

Posted by: lightening | June 30, 2009

I Wasn’t Snooping, Honest!

I was just in my 8 year old daughter’s room stripping her bed to wash her sheets and I found a sheet of paper on her bed.

Here’s what it says:

Kids Talk

1.  Read book

“now Like in that book tell me some things that God might help you with things but he might do something that you don’t want to happen before he does what you want”

I’ve typed that pretty much verbatim so it doesn’t 100% make sense but I’m sure you get the gist.

The past few weeks it has been my turn to do the children’s talk at church.  I guess I underestimated how much what they see us DO has an impact on our kids.

I often beat myself up about those things that we don’t do with our kids.  We’re not all that good at having a regular family devotion time or praying with our children each night.  I’m not saying those things aren’t important.  Just admitting that I don’t *do* them very well.

So, it’s nice to be reminded that how we LIVE our lives every moment of the day is what can really have an impact on our children.

You can tell children things until you are blue in the face but what they see you do is what is going to have the most impact.

I find that thought both encouraging AND daunting.

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