Monday, March 29, 2010

I may start selling children.....

No, that would be wrong.

However, I don't understand why parents do not get the concept of "pick up your children after service." It's really not complex. It's a simple concept. I know you want to socialize after service, but so do I. And, I have by that point had your children for 3 or more hours.

I think some of the parents are clueless enough that if I didn't listen for service to be over (since clearly going downstairs is too much to ask), bring the children to them, insist on them signing them out, some of the parents would not realize their little darlings weren't with them and would leave without them.

Sigh.

Next week is my Sunday off. I can't say I'm not looking forward to it. I love the kids, but....... their parents are driving me bananas!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I want it to mean something.....

I want my life to mean something. I mean, I really want it to mean something. I want to see my generation and the generation coming after us to be transformed, radically changed, whole-heartedly, passionately serving the only true God. I don't want to live a life of compromise. I don't want to go from what feels good at each moment to what feels good the next moment. Nothing feels as good as His presence. Nothing feels as good as being in the center of His will.

There are so many things pulling at our attention. Many of these, people would say are not bad things. Things like movies, tv shows, etc. are not necessarily bad, though I do say I have a very high standard for what I will watch. I'm not going to pay to watch people take the name of the One who died for me in vain. Some might call it legalism - I call it trying to live a life that is holy. "Holy" is to be different, set-apart. Even if I'm not sure if I should be watching something, I'd rather not watch it than watch it only to realize later that it was a mistake. I'd rather err on the side of caution.

When I die, what do I want my accomplishments to be? Do I want my tombstone to read "She could quote Grey's Anatomy and saw lots of great movies?" No. I'd rather walk away from it all and just burn for Him.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Valuing the Children

Last night, I attempted to watch the movie "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." I couldn't make it through the whole thing because the beginning was far too slow. I kept waiting for some action to happen. I did, however, watch the end of the movie. So I watched the first 20 minutes and the last 15 minutes. Not bad. To summarize for those who haven't seen it, a commander in the German army gets a new post during World War II, and despite the objections of many in his close family (and a warning from his mother), he takes the job of overseeing a Nazi death camp. His wife thinks for much of the movie that it is a work camp. Predictably, their son makes friends with a young Jewish boy through the fence. One thing leads to another, and their son ends up dying along with the Jewish boy in a gas chamber. It was horrific - even without watching the majority of the movie and getting attached to the characters, there were tears.

When the parents find out their son was killed, they grieve deeply. They did love their son, but they did not love him enough to remove him from harm's way. All I kept thinking while I watched the end and for a while afterwards was the dad fulfilled his ambition, but at what cost? The cost of his son's life.

It made me think of the Bible story from I Kings 16:34. In this story, Hiel rebuilt the city of Jericho despite the warning that whoever rebuilt it would do so at the cost of his firstborn son and his youngest son. I've read/heard different commentaries that this was actually a child sacrifice ritual and not just that he was cursed for the rebuilding and this happened, but I'm not sure how true that is. Either way, it doesn't matter for this post.

No ambition fulfilled, no great legacy, etc. is worth it if it costs us the very children that God has given us to raise up. In my case, I don't have natural children, but there are those children who I minister to regularly. I believe God has given them to me, not to replace their parents in ANY way, but to help raise them up to what He has called them to be. I have a responsibility for them. And nothing, no dream, no desire, is worth compromising their lives.

It doesn't have to be as extreme as death in the first two examples. But I don't want to ever place value on my ambition, my reputation, anything at the expense of these little ones. At times, their spiritual lives could very well be at stake if not their natural lives.

So, to any parents, ministers, etc. reading this, please realize that the little ones are always watching. More importantly, God is watching. There is nothing more important than preserving the lives God has entrusted to you.

Luke 17:1-2 says "Jesus said to his disciples: 'Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.'"