One last time. I was driving in the van yesterday, and I was listening to Janet Parshall do an info-mercial for eharmony.com I really think that when each of my children gets to the point in his life where he’s ready to get married, an internet matching service like eharmony wouldn’t be a bad idea. You have a lot of possibilities and the safety of distance. And you know that the other people there are serious about finding a mate instead of looking for something else.
I’ve been learning a lot of stuff lately;
From fly-lady: I can get a lot done in fifteen minutes. My timer is my best friend–well, maybe not my BEST friend, but a friend nevertheless.
From Dave Ramsey: I can get financial peace by taking baby steps. I can control my money or else it will be “out of control.” doing things that I don’t want it to do. And we won’t have enough to do the things that God is calling us to do.
From Martha: Just do what God brings you to do–no excuses, no procrastination. I don’t need to have some grand plan; just do what God puts in front of me today.
From Barbara Sher: Find what you love to do, and do it. You will be blessing yourself and blessing the world by doing what God put in you to do.
From Tim: Keep plugging. If you don’t get it today, try again tomorrow. Never give up.
From Emily: I need to be more positive: “don’t get in a bad mood.” We can still have a good day.
From Zion: Watch out! If she’s quiet, it’s time to be afraid, be very afraid.
From Wayland: Too much stuff is a curse.
I decided to go look for Christmas ornaments from some of my favorite books:
Actually, that’s all I can find right now. There’s some stuff on ebay, but it changes all the time.
Peggy Noonan is back, Thursdays.
I was looking for other blogs related to things or places that I’m interested in–San Angelo, Baylor, politics, religion. There’s a blog from Midland, Texas, but google can’t seem to find much else that interests me–so far.
R is worried that I will get too enamored of this courtship idea and try to pick out a husband for her. Actually, I don’t want to pick a spouse for any of my children. I just think of courtship as a protection device. If THE guy comes along, wouldn’t it be nice if he were willing to go to your parents and ask their permission to court you? Wouldn’t that show more about some guy’s worthines and character than whether or not he can play cricket? I just want whoever marries each of my daughters to be entirely wonderful and worthy of the great honor of her hand. And I want him to be prepared for marriage–financially, emotionally, and spiritually. So I think he had BETTER come talk to us if he wants to get near my daughter!!
I wish I could figure out exactly what we’re supposed to do about CHURCH. We have toyed with the idea of moving to Trinity Evangelical Free Church, but so far we’re still committed at Heritage Park Baptist. I suppose I could list reasons to move and reasons that I’m reluctant to do so.
Reasons to move:
1. I think the people at TEFC are generally more supportive of the things I have come to believe are important, such as large families, homeschooling, parental authority and influence, young people becoming adults instead of adolescents, courtship or mature dating, and family worship. I could talk about these concepts without being considered odd or seeming to be judgemental or critical of other people’s choices in these areas.
2. I like the idea of my younger children being under the influence of the adults that I know at Trinity, such as David and Susan, Tamara and Van, Steve and Martha, etc. I also would like to encourage their friendsuips with other homeschooling, conservative, courtship-minded families and their children.
3. I enjoy the worship time at TEFC, probably because I’m tired of the service at HPBC.
4. I have a great deal of respect for the leadership at TEFC and the things I have heard about the way they do things in that church family. I like what Martha told me about Krystal’s baptism and about the way some other situations and problems in the church were handled.
5. I am struck often by the superficiality of much of the teaching at HPBC. I still don’t understand why Tony was asked not to finish the series of lessons thaat he had planned on people’s response to September 11th. I can’t believe some of the things that my children tell me that they hear in Sunday School. (One child’s teacher congratulated them on being almost 17 so that they could go to R rated movies. Another teacher told them that Catholics aren’t Christians. Several children tell me that they don’t learn anything at church. Many of the people at HPBC are committed to Christ, but the material taught especially to the children is very light and fluffy.)
6. Heidi doesn’t want to go to HPBC anymore for some reason. (Of course, she doesn’t want to go to TEFC either. She waqnts to go to church with her friends from dance.) Emily would like to move to TEFC, and next August would be a good time just before she moves into the youth group. Miriam, Isaac, and Bethany all have friends there. Our children would also enjoy AWANAS at TEFC.
Reasons to stay:
1. We have to stay until at least August 2004 because we are committed to teach fifth graders in Sunday School
2. I am concerned about Heidi’s lack of commitment to our church and her possibly frivolous reasons for wanting to go to Haley’s church. I am afraid that by leaving HPBC we may unintentionally reinforce the idea that you choose a church family like you choose a place to shop or a club to join. You find out where you feel comfortable and where your favorite people are, and then you go there. If you get tired of one church or mad at the preacher or unhappy with this program or that, you go somewhere else. I believe that the reasons for choosing a church or for changing churches have to be much more significant than those, and I don’t know if the Lord is truly telling us to move or if we’re just feeling restless.
3. Christopher absolutely refuses to consider leaving HPBC. He says that the only place he has any friiends is HPBC, and I think he is learning something from Jason’s teaching.
4. We’ve been at HPBC for almost twenty years. We have a relationship with that church family that will be impossible to re-create. These people have seen all our children born, seen us through tragedy, celebrated with us. It’s almost like breaking up a family.
5. The preaching is theologically sound and Baptist. I really think I believe what Baptist believe—even if I might like the worship style somewhere else (not going to TEFC for the high church worship style either.) I don’t know if I believe what the evangelical free church believes even though I’ve checked it out some and it seems to be very baptistic. I also like Southern Baptist traditions and concepts: the emphasis on missions, the cooperative program, Lottie Moon, Bible drill (which we’re not doing anyway), etc.
6. The grass always looks greener on the other side, but what happens a few years down the road if the pastor of TEFC moves and the make-up of the church changes, and the people we went there to be close to move away or leave? Is God leading us to a new churchfor bette r or for worse? Or will we be church hopping again in a few years?
7. Maybe we’re supposed to be at HPBC for a reason. I don’t really feel like I have much influence over anyone in that church, but maybe I don’t know. I would like to think that our being there could influence someone to try homeschooling or to pray about the number of children that God wants them to have or to “kiss dating good-bye” or just to think more deeply about their faith and what it means to live Christianly in this society. However, I’m afraid that our being at HPBC may have the opposite effect of causing our children to abandon these concepts before they’ve even tried them. If your Bible study teachers at church hardly ever require you to think and if the Christians you see all the time at church don’t see any problem with public schooling or with birth control or with serial dating, then why would our children think these things are worth being concerned about.
SO..o..o..o, I don’t have it figured out, and I wish someone would help me. Maybe my husband has some ideas about these things???
“The central feature of the model of Celtic Christianity is the monastery, the mission centre from which the surrounding area was impacted with a living gospel. From these centres the faithful would live lives of expectant devotion, strict asceticism and sacrificial charity. They sought to emulate Christ and create “heaven on earth??� in these places. Their approach to establishing these communities was not necessarily to search for converts as much as to express their own devotion to God. In such a spiritually charged atmosphere how could one not expect that Christ would add to the church daily.“ Lessons from the Celts by Frank Emmanuel.
Why could not our home and our cul-de-sac become, not a monastery, but definitely a mission centre and a community from which the surrounding area can be imapcted with a living gospel? Families, especially extended families of Christians, living out the gospel in a community would be an unusual witness in our society.
My vision for this kind of community in a suburban setting includes several possible elements:
We could, as the Lord allows financially, buy several of the homes on our cul-de-sac for our children, their husbands or wives, and their families to live in. We would have individual homes and respect each other’s privacy while at the same time being able to live in community. This community could take several forms: a Sabbath meal together once a week on Sunday or Saturday night, shared celebrations, sharing of work in the yard or in the home, watching out for one another’s children and for the eldery in our community, sacrificially giving ourselves to one another. While the community would never be perfect, being made up of imperfect human beings, we could “serve one another in love??� and so show to the world what a Christian extended family is supposed to look like. We would also have the opportunity to use the gifts and talents that the Lord has given each of us to help each other and to minister to those outside the family. For instance, some could sing or dance to glorify the Lord and edify the family. Others could make meals or organize ministry or teach the things they love to the children. We could help each other economically by sharing tools, negotiating group price breaks, and telling each other about bargains. A fruit and vegetable co-op or some other kind of shopping co-op might be a possibility. In fact, there is no limit to the kinds if materials and stuff that might be shared enabling everyone to save time and money: books, other educational materials, entertainment movies and games, yard tools, etc. Does anyone else have any other ideas about how this might work? I’m going to post this introduction to an essay on my blog, and if any of my family reads it and wants to respond, please email me or post to the family blog.
Ann Coulter has a new blog–only one entry so far. I hope she keeps it up.
This from worldmagblog: David Strassner, chairman of the board of God’s World Publications, which publishes World, emailed an interesting article from last year about “crunchy conservatives” and asked, “Do you suppose this describes many of our subscribers at WORLD?” Crunchy conservatives, as author Rod Dreher states, believe that “the bright glare of television and the cacophony of media culture make it too hard to discern the call of truth and wisdom. That we are citizens before we are consumers. And most important of all, that faith and family are the point of life.”
I found this book, and it looks interesting. Maybe I’ll get it for Eldest Daughter and her roomate for Christmas.
The sermon this morning was also interesting. A Dr. Goff, former missionary to Venezuela and currently a professor at SWBTS, spoke on missions. He mentioned some church-planting efforts in Mozambique that involved creating cooperative communities. I’ve been trying to find more information about these particular efforts on the web, but without luck. Soon I’m going to post my essay on Celtic Christian communities as a model for today. (I’ll post it as soon as I finish it. ðŸ™‚