Sanctification Calls for Questions

Sanctification Calls for Questions

(Part of Sanctified Sections post series and Streets of Sanctification label) During this season of my life, many of my sanctification moments involve my immediate family – my husband and children. My sanctification and theirs is being lived out day to day, week to week, and year to year! The good, the bad and the ugly – if you will. One morning this past week, I was jolted to full alertness by my two favorite sons arguing in the kitchen over which food resources should be consumed and by whom. (Scarcity of food resources in a house with young, growing men is a constant real and present danger!) “You took the last two tortillas!” accused the authoritative, firstborn, fourteen-year-old son. “You should have eaten the whole wheat bread!” With a tone of injustice and exasperation, the oldest son brings his plight to his mother, who is not the sharpest (or most sanctified) judge and juror before 9:00am. But none-the-less, sanctification never sleeps, (at least not past 9:00am!) and I am once again summoned to direct the traffic for these two budding, often bull-dozing, boys. The first to present their case seems just, until another comes along and examines him. (Prov 18:17) The youngest son, Caleb, often feeling to be the victim of such barrages of the high expectations from his older brother, rather dumb founded demands, “Daniel, leave me alone! I didn’t do anything wrong! You always get on to me!” When clarity and hidden-heart agendas need to be revealed, there is a model Jesus provided. One he used over and over again. One I seek to feebly follow...

Wise Parents Wrestle…

Today produced yet another enlightening discussion with friends and fellow forerunners in the Christian-parenting journey. Personal struggles in passing along the live-giving ideas and principles wrapped up in a life based on truth as defined by the One who claimed to be the Way, the Truth and the Life. The communication and cultivation of these life-giving and life-altering truths to the next generation, in a world preoccupied with its own passing beauty, is appropriately marked by struggle – a wrestling if you will.  After all,  where there is no wrestling – no struggle – inherent weakness and frailty remain unrevealed.  A result no loving parent would intentionally wish to cultivate yet statistics bear an alarming frailty among young people emerging from “Christian” homes. Wise parents therefore welcome the wrestling and do not settle for the short-sighted temptation to exasperate our young adults by means of forcing mere external obedience while refusing to engage their young minds and hearts through relevant encounters of principles and ideas from scripture. While we, as parents, are often already resolved on such ideas and principles, we often forget how we arrived at such resolutions. Many resolutions have been made through our own struggles with truth and “truth” (and others through amiable acquiesce or clinging to a certain form or tradition, but that is a subject best left for another blog post). The next generation must be afforded the same opportunity, the same right to test His ways and truths against the world’s “ways” and “truths”. The Way, the Truth and the Life is more than up to the task, even if we parents are...
From Triangles to Tattoos?!?

From Triangles to Tattoos?!?

Each week, I have the privilege of gathering with a group of 16 and 17 year olds where we learn math and more about the God behind the language of math! This week, we were once again learning even more about triangles. Let me just say, I love triangles! Triangles are so important in measuring and relating to God’s creation that there is a whole course called Trigonometry devoted to them! And guess what, my God is a triune God.  Interesting that He would choose the triangle as a corner piece in understanding so many aspects of His creation. Very interesting, isn’t it?!? So this week, we were contemplating triangles. Formulas for triangles, similar triangles, right-triangles, congruent triangles, … and I stopped! “Students. What do the words congruent triangles mean?” A student replies reading the bold text from a lesson, “Congruent triangles are similar triangles with a scale factor of one.” “Good!” I replied. “So you could say congruent triangles are the same. They have the same side lengths and same angles.” Frustrated and forlorn, one student states, “Well then! Why don’t we just say that then! Why do we have to use strange words!” YES!! The moment had come! You see, I have been waiting, waiting for this fated pivotal moment. The moment when the stars aligned, and I could share a secret I learned seven years ago – a learning secret. “Every subject has a language that we have to learn! This is called the grammar. Do you feel stupid when someone keeps using a word as if you should know what it means? I sure do!...
For Whom the Bell Tolls (part 2)

For Whom the Bell Tolls (part 2)

The following days Caleb interjected concerns about the looming dentist visit that was weighing heavy on his mind. "Mom, I should have listened.  Now I understand that you were trying to help me and save me from having to go through this. I wish I would have really listened and I’m sorry it will cost you so much money." Mindful of his precarious position between self-absorbed pity and true godly sorrow, I proceeded with discernment. "Caleb, we have the cost covered, that is not something you can bear or have the resources to cover.  However, I need you to be a big man and walk through these dental repairs with courage.  I also need you to remember that many times the counsel and warnings I give you, you will not fully understand at the time they are given.  There is a way that seems right to a man,  but in the end it leads to death.  Proverbs 14:12 But I do. You then have to choose if you will rely on your own limited understanding and wisdom or my greater understanding and perspective." Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 "Yes, mom, I understand that better now." "Good, Caleb." Enough said today.  More sober simmering. Can you think of times of regret when you have relied upon your own understanding or limited perspective, instead of His?  Or perhaps the converse.  Have you known the joy of trusting Him when your understanding would have taken you...

For Whom the Bell Tolls (part 1)

He approached with downcast eyes. In a meek voice, "Mom, the dentist needs to talk to you." A distinctly different entrance into the waiting room than my other two children after their dentist visit. As you remember, Caleb and I had been working on life lessons, as it related to listening, responsibility and oral hygiene.  See Responsibility Merge Ahead post. I proceeded to the dreaded dentist area and was greeted with the information that Caleb did indeed have four cavities.  Now you have to understand, Caleb is more adverse to discomfort than my other two.  So he was already calculating in his mind the "sleepy juice" shot and the drilling, and his heart was most distraught. Later, as we all piled into the van, Caleb’s first words were, "Mom, is there any way to undo the cavities without going back to the dentist?" (and going through the discomfort is the implied meaning here). "No, my precious son, but I’ll go with you and I’ll pay the bill.  Remember my words of counsel, reminding and warning (again refer to my previous post) are for your good and your protection." Enough said today.  This moment needs to soberly simmer in the heart of my beloved son.  This moment must not be rushed nor relieved, it must simmer. Now, you draw the powerful parallel. While immediately inconvenient and ignorantly unappreciated, the Lord’s counsel and warnings are for our great protection and benefit.  He sees down the road, the consequences and the cost…  While he covers the cost, alas the consequences, at some level, will have to be walked...

Responsibility – Merge Ahead

On the highway of life there are responsibility entrance ramps and exit ramps. I have recently taken a responsibility exit ramp … the “brushing the teeth of my youngest” exit ramp, or at least a frontage road. That’s right… the torch, I mean the toothbrush, has been firmly placed in my nine year olds capable hands. Of course, I still remind my youngest to brush his teeth quite often. Recently, upon inspection, it was revealed that the tooth burshing responsibility was in the slow lane with speed descreasing at a decaying rate! This responsiblity merge was a bit stalled. What is a responsible parent to do? Well… if my son was much younger or incapable of brushing his teeth, then of course I would take back the responsibility and do it myself. But alas that is not the root issue, is it? Rather this is an issue of personal responsibility and maybe even something more. Assuming the best and offering the “benefit of the doubt”, I spoke to my son with unusual mercy, “I know it is hard to remember, but when I do remind you, you need to follow through.” With piercingly honest eyes, he replies, “Mom, actually, I have been kind of blowing off what you say when you remind me. I don’t stop and do it then. I just say ‘Yes, mam’ and don’t really do it. (Sound like a familiar parable?) I didn’t want you to think it was because I didn’t remember; I really need to do better at listening to what you say. I’m sorry mom, will you forgive me? I want to...