Monday, May 25, 2015

The Duggar Dilemma and Why I Won't Be Quiet

Last week as the news broke about Josh Duggar and the molestation allegations  my heart broke.
For the innocents and for what I knew would be the backlash against christianity as yet one more outspoken voice falls into depravity.

The interwebs came alive with the story and article after article was published and two camps seemed

to be forming.

Here's where being a blogger can be tricky.  Especially a blogger like me.

This is a blog where I write about things God is teaching me in the ordinary moments of my life.

Not, a political blog. Not a breaking news blog.

So, I've waited for a few days now to put my thoughts to the keyboard.  (in the era we live in those few days count as years in the blogosphere)

But, I did put this thought on my Facebook the day after the story broke.

"As Christians let's (at least)be as concerned about child molestation victims and putting their abusers in prison, as we are about baking the cake."

Well, as you can imagine lots of people had lots of thoughts. Which is good, great even. I love a dialogue.

But, I received some emails calling me everything from misguided,  a 'liberal so-called Christian' to telling me I should just shut up about the situation.

And that would be easier wouldn't it? To just be quiet.  To sit down and not say a word. Pretend that no

one is watching how I-and greater still-the Church reacts.

But, I can't and won't.  And while I am not here to prosecute or dissect the Dugger case specifically

but to (hopefully) engage in a broader conversation about abuse and it's victims as a whole some specific

things we can and MUST learn come directly from this instance.


Joshua Duggar has stated that he is guilty, although never calling what he did by it's actual name.
So no one need to say 'innocent until proven guilty'. He has admitted he violated at least 5 young innocent girls.
He says he asked forgiveness from them, his family/friends and God.
Far be it from me to say there is not enough grace for him. God can and does forgive all.  Please do not twist my words or hear me say otherwise.
However, there is a process in place within the system we live in and his parents did just about all they could to skirt it. And they should be held accountable. It is not 'picking on them' to say so.  They chose to sweep this under the rug -in a sense violating those girls one more time.

The time has come for those of us in the Church at large to stand and be a voice for the voiceless.
To stop hiding predators in the walls of our churches by handling things 'in house'.
By forcing this notion of quick forgiveness upon victims and in doing so silencing their voice and minimizing their pain.
By equating  sexual immorality with sexual abuse and violence. They are not the same.


We are consumed with the notion of our rights being violated by 'baking the cake' or other services being rendered to gay couples as gay marriage sweeps our country. We will paint signs, sign petitions, post countless articles on Facebook and twitter about the subject but yet we find out 5 innocent girls have been molested and we go silent.  
Or worse yet, use the false argument that 'liberals' do this kind of thing all the time and no one calls them out. . .did we not learn as children "Two wrongs don't make a right"?

We preach a cheap grace that says 'God forgives him, who are we to judge".
Did we not learn as children that our actions have consequences.

Where are the protests calling for the statute of limitations to be extended when it comes to children being violated and raped?

Are we so hungry as a Christian community to have people that talk sweetly, carry their Bibles, talk about Jesus and where clothes that cover their bodies we will push aside the violent perversion of these acts?

It is time to speak up.  It is time to be repulsed by these actions and all others performed  against the innocent.
Where are those who will be their voices when they can't speak? Their defenders when they can't fight?

It must be us. 
It must be The Church.

So, no I will not be quiet.  Not today, or tomorrow.

And when it all becomes to much, when the darkness creeps in and we begin to believe that fighting the good fight is useless, I will remember this promise - perhaps you need to be reminded again too.

John 16:33b In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

No matter how hard the battle, no matter who tells us we should stop fighting, no matter how big the trouble.
Jesus Overcomes. 
In the end the victim becomes the victor.

Keep fighting the good fight,

Saturday, May 9, 2015

When Mother's Day Hurts/Things I Learned From My Mother

I am putting two different Mother's Day posts here that I wrote several years ago.

One for hurting women on this weekend and one for my sweet mother.

I Pray you're blessed.

When Mother's Day Hurts

My sweet kiddos are keeping secrets (some better than others :) ) as they prepare their surprises for Sunday.

This is my 13th Mothers Day that I've had the privilege of being called "Mommy".

But, I will never forget the ache in my heart for the 61/2 years before, when being a "Mommy" didn't seem as if it would ever happen.

Infertility is mean, hard, cruel road to walk.

One of the reasons it's so difficult is that you look 'normal' from the outside.

Another is all the people around you having babies. And you're happy for them, you really are, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. And you wonder WHEN, WHEN will it be my turn.

And then comes that Sunday in May that you cannot avoid.

Mother's Day.

And in many churches, Mother's Day =  Baby Dedication day.

I'll never forget the two Mother's Days before I became a mom, sitting in church wanting to RUN-R U N as fast as I could out the doors.
As if somehow, getting away would ease the pain.
The first year it happened, I promised myself the next year I wouldn't fall apart.
That didn't happen.

There were tears. Lots and LOTS of tears.

Why do I share all that, when obviously now I get the joy of not ONE but THREE people to call me "Mommy"?

Because, this Sunday when you're sitting in church, and some women looks miserable, reach out to her.
Love on her.
If you notice a faithful woman isn't there this week, don't judge her-stop and pray for her.

While Mother's Day is wonderful for so many reasons, let's not forget for many it's just another reminder of pain and loss and longing for something they deeply desire, but seems so out of reach.

If you're reading this, and I'm talking about you, please know that I'm praying for you-even now.
Praying that your dreams of motherhood come true, praying that your pain will be eased as you find the strength to give it to Jesus.

Things I learned From My Mother

I've been thinking about things my Mother has taught me over the years and frankly it's way to much to put into one blog post so I'll just highlight somethings.

1) My Mom taught me that no matter what kind of family you were born into, what kind of circumstances you find yourself  in-you can overcome.
My Grandmother was a hard working, loving single mother. Those were some hard times my Mom and her siblings endured. But, my momma overcame with Grace -because of Grace she would say!

2) Hard work will pay off.
I don't know anyone who works as hard as my Momma. Not just at her day job, but in every aspect of her life.
From her garden, to sewing projects to helping with the kids. She can work circles around me.

3) Life takes a healthy dose of forgiveness.

4) A Cookie really can make things better sometimes. (Also a new pair of shoes)

5) Manners are an essential part of life.

6) Jesus wants to hear us pray and you can and should tell him anything.

7) People are going to let you down. You've to move on and keep your eyes on Jesus. Also see #3

8) It's fun to stay up late on Fridays and eat popcorn and watch silly movies.

9) Stories at bedtime are so much better with different voices for each character.

10) Saturday mornings are the best time to have pancakes.

11) Your Bible is meant to be used. Marked in, worn down.

12) Oatmeal Scottchies taste so much better if  you use orange extract instead of vanilla.

13) Marriage is a lifelong commitment. Stand by your man. You never talk  negatively about him in public.

14) Party planning is an art.

15) Life is meant to be celebrated.

16) Being tenderhearted doesn't mean you're weak.

17) Loving your family also means serving them.

18) Sometimes you NEED a pedicure.

19) Use the gifts God has given you.

20) Clean your mess up now, it'll only be worse the longer it sits there.

Thanks Mom!  I could write a long time about all the things in life I've learned from you.

What about you? What did you learn from your mom?

Happy Mother's Day to every hard working, over tired, caffeine fueled, taxi driving, referee, chef and maid that is all rolled up into one and called MOM.
You're amazing!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

When Idolatry Takes a Different Turn

This year I set out with a goal of becoming healthier.

Seems like a noble goal.  And in some ways it is.

So far I've lost 59lbs and I've stopped counting the days since I last had a Diet Coke/Caffeine - so progress.

I tell you this not from a place looking for affirmation but so  you will know I am coming from a place where many find themselves or have found themselves.

A place where it's easy to loose your way.

A crossroads.

The intersection of 'healthy living' and idolatry.

Oh, don't get me wrong, it can and does happen with anything, but I have noticed a trend among Christians-women especially-where all reason and discernment seems to have flown out of the window.

We have somehow swallowed this belief that everything can be cured by diet.  We have taken up Middle Eastern philosophy's on healing ourselves from the inside out. We have even begun
using ancient  heathen practices all in the name of 'health care' and healthier living.

We discount medical science in place of multi-level marketing companies that promise to make everything better with a few drops of oil.

I am very aware that what I am saying won't be popular, especially among my Christian sisters who seem so taken in by this.  That's ok.  My goal isn't popularity but conversation and perhaps a thought
provoking question or two.

We don't all have to agree on everything.  For heaven sake, that would be impossible this side of heaven!
But, we do have to practice discernment.

Discernment in what we think, what we practice and what we promote.

God gave us medical science and for us to disregard all-or even much- of it is wrong and frankly a poor witness to the world.

Am I saying every doctor is perfect or that they know everything and have all the answers?

Of course not!

God has been and always will be in the miracle and healing business -He can and does whatever He wants, but often times what he uses is man to carry out his will and way.

Medical Science is preformed by flawed human beings and flawed human beings make mistakes and miss things and sometimes things go wrong.

But, to throw out decades and decades of research because of some things we've read on the internet or because our particular political persuasion makes us distrustful of anything coming from the government only sets back our ability to be taken seriously in the world in which we live and hurts our neighbors, our communities, our families and ultimately ourselves.

Some of what is being promoted as 'alternative health care' can be written off as gullibility but the more I hear of what some Christians are promoting  I can see it as nothing more than dabbling with the occult.

(Harsh words, scary words, some might even say judgmental. . . I know. This is where discernment comes into play)

If you are using any form of divination to 'diagnose' someone or to be 'diagnosed'--there is no justifying this as anything other than using the Occult, which we are clearly told to stay away from in Scripture.

There is no wiggle room here.

This is rising trend among Evangelic  Women, and while I have no doubt their intentions are good, in this case, it  simply does not matter.

It is time for those of us on the front lines of this speak up.

It is time for us to study what Scripture says about these practices and apply them to our lives.

To be perfectly clear, I am not equating the use of oils with the practice of applied kinesilogy!

However, I am saying be careful of what pathway you choose to go down and not to only look at the surface of things instead of the broader picture and deeper roots of these practices.

Idolatry in any form is wrong. Whether it's wealth and fame, sports, junk food or being 'as healthy as we can' and exercise.

Let's be a people of wisdom and discernment in all matters.  Not just blindly following because it sounds so good and even some twisted since of biblical.

Our time here on this spinning rock is drawing to a close-we no longer have the luxury of 'not knowing' or 'not understanding'.

Wisdom and Discernment, may they be more than words to us, may we be a people group that puts them into practice and by doing so, honors God with our lives.

{I am fully aware that this is going to be met with disdain and ridicule by some and even out and out anger by others. Know that my intent is not to hurt or condescend but to be a voice leading you to study the Scriptures for yourself.}

Grace and Peace to you,