Sunday, July 26, 2015

Short and Sweet


I took the boys to church at Trinity Bible Church today. It was a nice, big, juicy steak. The Bible was preached... no bells or whistles, just truth. I liked it!

The message was from 2 Timothy 2:1-13.  My take-away:


  1. The Christian suffers while walking by faith following Christ like the soldier, the athlete and the farmer.
  2. The soldier must stay focused.  So must the Christian: eyes on the prize- Christ face to face!
  3. The athlete must know the rules to properly play the game.  Know God's spiritual "rules" so you won't be disqualified.  
  4. The farmer must be patient.  So must the Christian: years of investing your life with no results may be the case, but in the end, there will be a harvest that makes up for it all!


And there was desert too: A nice young family with kids my kids' age introduced themselves and their kids were very quick to say how much they loved the youth group and middle school Bible study on Wednesday nights.

We will go back next Sunday.

Hopefully the run of whatever has taken 2 out of 4 members of our household down with pneumonia is over!  Good riddance!  That was no fun.

When it's time to start thinking about what's best for mom and dad cause their health is failing or may begin failing soon... it's hard.  As far as I know I'm still 16 and my parents are still in their 30's.  I guess I need to face reality and start praying and thinking about these things.  Wish I lived closer to my parents so I could just be there.  It's hard.

I'm having the greatest fun making a variety of goat milk soaps!  No matter where this goes, I think I've got a hobby that won't be going away.  You know what you'll be getting from me for Christmas.

Well, better hit the hay.  Tomorrow I'm only a goat farmer for about an hour at sunrise before donning the nurse scrubs and heading into the hospital for a 12 hour, 9000 + step shift.


Quieted,
Sheila

Monday, July 6, 2015

Church Hunting Woes

It was a like a mini Pathway reunion this morning. I took my boys to worship and listen to our friend from our old church preach at Grace Bible Church of Phoenix today. I got the pleasure of hugging my pastor and friends I haven't seen in a month from Pathway. Miss them. A lot.

I've never been in the position I am right now- looking for a church.  I always sort of knew which church I belonged to by the name on the door.  At least that's been my experience for most of my life.  As a child it was the Church of Christ with my parents.  As a newly married adult I started attending a Calvary Chapel (big change from Church of Christ) and continued with Calvary Chapels until a few years ago.

The teaching gift I was blessed to learn under at Pathway is unmatched anywhere I've been.  And I kinda feel like I probably won't find another Pastor Craig anywhere.  And that's O.K. I guess.  I'm just kinda bummed about it.  I learned so much and unlearned a lot of fluff.

I've attended one baptist church and today's church since I began looking for a church a month ago.  The baptist church, after last Sunday, is out for me.  I can't do fluff.  I need Bible.  Not tid-bits, sugar coated with bells and whistles so that you are so distracted by the bells and whistles and sugar coating you can't really taste the, "pure milk of the word" anymore.

I enjoyed the teaching today very much!  But he's not the pastor there so we'll have to go back again and see.

Also, I have a problem with singing patriotic songs in church.  I don't know that I can do a good job of explaining why.

The whole religious-right-America-is-a-Christian-nation-and-we're-taking-her-back thing bothers me.  America is very blessed by God, but I don't believe her blessing is in correlation to her Christian-ness.  The kingdom of God is from every nation and tribe throughout the world.  No one country enjoys exclusivity with God. When I lament the state of our nation it's not because I think Barrak Obama is taking away what once was a godly nation and turning it into a godless one.  I lament because sin pervades and wrong is called right and right is called wrong and sooner or later it's going to have it's deadly effects on our nation.  I love America but I don't approve of her in many ways.  I love her, I want what's best for her and I grieve that she chooses a path that's destructive to our society.  But this has no bearing on my worship of God corporately.  Whether America is governed by  Judeo-Christian values or is an enemy of Judeo-Christian values, when I gather to sing praises to God and hear the preaching of God's word with other believers I want to do just that.  I don't want to mix in anything that looks or sounds like Christianity is American or America is Christianity.

O.K.  that's my church hunting woes for the week.



Quieted,
Sheila

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." - Martin Luther King Jr.

I have been silent. And this post probably won't exactly be the voice heard round the world.  But in a society where social media is the public square I feel like I'm trying to hide in the shadows if I don't speak up even though I know speaking up will most likely get me rejection.

I have many dearly loved gay and lesbian friends and family. I just want to say I love you! My disagreement with the Supreme Court's views (and society in general) about marriage and homosexuality is because I have a love for you that I believe comes from God.  It's not bigotry.  It's not hate.   It's not fear.  It's not prejudice.  I disagree, but I love you.

I will listen to you and be your friend. I will never shun you because you embrace what I believe to be what's not right.  I know you are coming from a position of what you believe is right.  I too am coming from a position of what I believe is right.  I believe what is right is defined by God.  I believe he is the one who created marriage.  I believe he is the Creator of human sexuality and knows what's good and right for us.

I believe there was a real man named Jesus of Nazareth who walked our soil a couple thousand years ago. He was the only right man. I believe He was the only God-Man. I believe he is the only one who has the real right to say what's right and what's wrong.

He was, and is, a friend of sinners.

I too was a lover of my own version of sexuality and my own version of what is right once. But when I heard Christ's loving call to leave all that behind and follow him and I saw the love and the forgiveness and the offer of life in him that I could not resist.

And so I follow him. Not the culture. Not fear. Not prejudice. Not popular opinion. Not my own desires even. I follow the Friend of Sinners who calls us out of the tangled mess we weave of our lives into true freedom. True life. True love. True peace.

So I love you family and friends!  You know who you are. I really do love you with the love that the friend of sinners has loved me with. I love you and I call to you with him to leave what you define as right for what he defines as right. He is full of love and truth.

And if you find this to be bigotry or prejudice or hateful I would just ask, would you have coffee with me?  Would you sit down with me and listen, and let me listen to you, even though you don't agree with me?  Would you get to know me and see if my life is one that reflects the love I claim?

Quieted,
Sheila

Saturday, June 6, 2015

My throat hurts.


I got up at 5:30 am on a Saturday morning to milk the goats and get ready for Ryland's first swim meet.

Ryland is not my sports-driven kid.  He has NO desire to play baseball like his brother, or any other sport really.  So when he asked this spring if he could do swim team during the summer I was all over that.

If he doesn't want to play sports I'm fine with that.  But I do think having some kind of athletic part of your life is healthy.  Ryland is not a great swimmer either and practicing an hour a day during the summer is a sure way to improve his swimming.  And boy has it... and it's only been 2 weeks!

He finished 1st in the 50 meter freestyle in his 9 and 10 year old boys age group!  He was thrilled.

Connor and I decided to give the parent volunteer timer thing a go.  I was a bit nervous that one of us would mess up, but turns out using a stop watch and writing down times is something we can do! Smile.  It was a good morning.

Today my man turns 43. I'm a wee bit uncomfortable about how close this makes me feel to 50.  The years are going by so fast!  I want them to count.  For eternity!

I start back to 12 hour shifts of regular acute rehab nursing (no more light duty) next week on Wednesday.  I'm very thankful for the time I've had at home these last 3 months, even though I am ready to go back to work.  Being home has enabled me to be there for my son in a very hard time, be there for all the kiddings of my goats, and to learn to make soap!  Thank you Father!  Even if it took a broken wrist.

Tomorrow is going to be a hard day.  Especially in the morning hours.  Pathway Bible Church, my church family for the past 3 or 4 years (I've lost count), will worship together for the last time tomorrow.  Our pastor is retiring from pastoring after 40 something years!  But he's not retiring from serving the Lord with his life and talents!  I'm so happy for him and his wife who have become good friends... family!  I'll miss them tremendously as they'll be moving to Oregon.  But if they have to move, Oregon's a good choice!  I visit my family there every summer and now I'll be adding them to one of the family we get to stop and visit.

It'll be a hard day too, not just because my pastor and his wife are moving, but because I have been so blessed to get to teach the kids at Pathway in Sunday School and Children's Church over the past couple years.  My heart is invested in those kids!  I will continue to pray that the seeds that have been planted in their hearts will produce fruit that glorifies Christ for eternity!  I'll miss them.  A lot.

In all the churches I've been part of I've never seen a church fold like this.  I've seen trouble and division but always because of some scandal.  But tomorrow I will truly celebrate the end of a chapter of worshipping God together with the people of Pathway and hearing the teaching of God's word from my pastor because there's a great new chapter ahead.  No scandal.  No controversy.  Just a moving forward by faith.  I'm so thankful!  I will miss the people of Pathway.  May God bless each family as they run the race set before them.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:1-2


 Quieted,
Sheila