Sunbathing in the Throne Room

When God is our light, where else would we sunbathe?

The Bible tells us that in the new heaven and new earth, God will be the light and we will no longer have the sun. People have found this interesting and just plain cool for a long time, but I don’t think people have really thought through this scenario. I admit that I really hadn’t either until today. The outcome of my deep thinking is this: if God is the sun, then we will have to sunbathe in the throne room. A little awkward, right? There are some other concepts that also come to mind when thinking about the Sun.

How is it that we go to bed at night with the weight of the world on our shoulders, slumped in defeat at the errors of the day and then wake up the next morning feeling like we are strong and can take on the world?

Think about this: the tiredness and mental battering come at us as it gets dark, and even into the wee hours of the night. People having trouble sleeping, having bad or just plain crazy dreams or pacing the night away is a problem everyone understands. People even say that nothing good happens after midnight. And that is true because the night is where a lot of shootings or robbings or domestic disputes happen.

Now we have the day, the morning light. It fills us with a sense of ability to meet the challenges of the day, a peaceful calm that comes over us as we sit over our cup of coffee. Then we work hard during the day to be educated or to work, having great satisfaction of our abilities to make a difference in the world in some small way.

Is the analogy shouting at you right now? Our enemy, the devil, carries out much of his business at night. He seems to have more success in suggesting sinful ideas to people and have the people following his suggestions. God, on the other side, works in the light. The Bible says that in the new heaven and the new earth, God will provide all the light as we will have no more need for the Sun.

It’s pretty cool to see the symbolism of God being light every day of our lives. So put on some sunscreen and grab your sunglasses, and bask in the light of our God.

My God

God is Good

By Lisa M. Meister

I lift my eyes

And stare in wonderment

At the stars in the sky

And the moon

The pleasure and peace as I take in

The beauty and enormity

Oh how did you

Ever conceive of it

I kneel down to look

At the blossoming flowers

Singing birds

Scampering squirrels

The tiniest robin blue egg

Oh the complexity

How did you do it

I watched with amazement

As my baby was born

Beautiful from head to toe

Given by you

Born with a destiny and calling

Oh I can’t begin to express

How complicated it must have been

But you did it

No matter what I see

In this world

It all leads me back to you

With a word you spoke it into being

How long did it take before that

To figure it out

Oh you are a big God

Brilliant in your creativity

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I’m Getting My Life Back! (Version 2)

My life got stolen and I have been looking for it ever since. The skeptic in you is probably rising up at this point and saying that as long as I am breathing I have not lost my life. But I am an American, and a part of my rights is the pursuit of “LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

The three ideas espoused in the Declaration of Independence are our rights that many Americans have fought and died for. I then take great offence at my not being able to pursue them for too long. I have my own Revolutionary War going, and have been fighting those stupid red coats who are trying to prevent me from having those rights. I have fought the fight for my whole life and it boils down to this: Yesterday I homeschooled my daughter, washed my living room and kitchen windows, put in new screens, and scoured part of my linoleum on my hands and knees! (Fanfare)

This is a big deal to me because I have haven’t ever been able to clean as I have wanted due to years of abuse. That’s where my life was stolen. Health and emotions were on a downwards spiral, and now I am getting better and stronger!!!!! I have watched my house be dirty without any feasible way of getting it clean for way too long.

Thank you, God, for helping me to get my house clean! He was watching me yesterday, and I’m sure he was yelling, “You can do it, Lisa! Coffee stain to your left!” I could have looked at the hard years and gotten angry with God, but I didn’t. I have said it before and I will say it again:

God = good
devil = bad

(Note: This is version 2 of the post right before this one, I’m Getting My Life Back! (Version 1). Which do you think gets the point across better?

I’m Getting My Life Back! (Version 1)

I can clean my house because God has been good to me!

Yesterday I washed my windows in the living room and kitchen, inserted brand new screens, moved the kitchen table and washed some of my linoleum on my hands and knees with a sponge. On top of that, I started homeschooling my 9th grader this week, getting in full days and really moving through the expected workload for the first week. Isn’t that wonderful?!!!!!

For those of you who have survived paragraph one without clicking onto another blog, you are probably wondering about my mental health at this point. I assure you that I am cogent. My life has been very different from the “normal” homeschooling mom vision I have in my head. My supermom status has moved to “good enough” mom, Please Understand, and I am learning to be happy with that.

I have been married for 25 years now, and throughout all of them we have struggled with health and mental difficulties due to the abusive upbringing I had. My health was in a downward spiral to the point of being in bed almost constantly up through last year. Flashbacks and panic attacks have been way too frequent throughout that time as well. All of that boils down to this: washing windows, cleaning linoleum and homeschooling are a luxury for me. I so enjoy cleaning and making my home look nice because for too long I have had to look at the questionable cleanliness of my house without an answer as to how to get it cleaned.

Now I am starting to be able to work more and more, and it feels really good. If this trend continues, my house will be as clean as I have always wanted it to be before too long.

God is Good is the theme of my blog, and I have been able to get to where I am only because of His goodness to me. Throughout the years I could have looked at all the physical and emotional problems and get mad at God or question Him, but I didn’t. The reason is that I know He is always on my side and that He is the answer to my problems, not the cause. I have said if before and I will keep taking everything in life and summing it up by this:

God = good
Devil = bad

3 Reasons I Don’t Send My Kids to School to Be Salt and Light

A great post from Shelly at readheadmom8.wordpress.com. I highly recommend following her as she really brings up interesting points about homeschooling.

There's No Place Like Home

As a Christian homeschooling mom, one query I often get is why I do not allow my children to go to school as their mission field. Their reasoning is typically that the children in public schools may never have been introduced to the love of Christ, and my children just might be the ones to do that.

I’ll admit that this certainly seems like a pretty sound reason to consider sending my kids to school, and there are many who do so, but these three reasons have kept me convinced that keeping them home is the best thing for our family. 

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Living Forty Decibels Up

Upping our walk with Jesus.

I closed the door softly as I cautiously stepped into the hall. My sandals scuffed against the commercial rug. I walked slowly into the elevator and pressed the lobby button. A ping thundered out and I almost hit the roof.

This was my day, and it only got louder from there. Keys jangling, doors slamming, muffler-less motorcycles speeding by and the loud rustling of my Micheal’s shopping bag were all greeting me in completely fascinating ways.

Today was the day that I got plugged into hearing aids. Having lost around forty decibels of hearing, I was at the line between the mild/moderate hearing loss category. Those lilting words gave the impression of not a big deal, but let me tell you, it is LOUD! The loss has apparently been slowly creeping up on me over the years, and I just didn’t notice it.

I wish it were as easy as a hearing test to find out the deficiencies in my fervor in loving the Lord. It is so easy for our Bible times to become shorter, missing a Sunday here and there turns into more theres, and our prayer life becomes a laundry list of needs more than a conversation with our Heavenly Father.

As I try to figure out how to navigate this louder world, we need to all take the time to take a good heart check. King David did it in his famous verse about God checking to find if there was any wicked way in him. As we do this, our heart becomes closer to God, our time becomes more about Him, and the cries of the unsaved in the world that need God becomes noticeable to us. I think we can all ramp up our relationship with God about forty decibels.

I Don’t Have to be Smart for God

There is a great mystery that nobody understands, and that is: Why does God choose the people that He does to do something big for Him?

In the Billy Graham/Joel Osteen age, we think that they were special, extra close to God, specially called, famous or just plain smart. We know that God used people who had moral failures or weaknesses in the Bible, but we kind of have the sense that it stopped there. We sit in the pews each week and have a heart of great love for God, but feel inadequate for God to use us.

Then I read the story of Samson and Delilah in the Bible’s book of Judges. God gave Samson great strength and he was never to cut his hair. So Samson went about killing Philistines with whatever around him he had handy, like the the jawbone of an ox. Then he goes to a harlot and stays for quite a while. Every night she asks him the secret of his strength, every night he tells her if she ties him up with this or that his strength would be gone. Every night she ties him up with whatever he tells her and he breaks it easily. Finally she nags him to death and he tells her about the hair cutting. So she cuts his hair, the Philistines capture him, and from there the story goes downhill real fast.

I must admit that usually I skim over this story because it’s just plain disturbing no matter which part you read. But this morning I was having coffee and reading my Bible with no one else around. I slowed down and really paid attention this time and realized that ole Samson wasn’t really that bright.

My epiphany has most likely already in your mind with the brief synopsis I gave you. This is why he was stupid:

1. He went into the house of a harlot.
2. The first night that Delilah asked him his secret for strength and she tied him up should have been a red flag.
3. The second night she asked him about his secret and she tied him up should have been an even bigger red flag.
4. The third night… Let’s just say this went on for a while.
5. He supposedly did not wake up at night when she tied him up, but as soon as she uses her voice to tell him to wake up he does. At first I just assumed he was a sound sleeper, but this was a fighting man with a lot of Philistines trying to kill him. He would not be a sound sleeper. How would he sleep through the tying up and not through her voice.
6. We never hear of any relationship he had with God. God would move on him to do things, but that’s all we get.

Conclusion: Samson was a lunkhead.

So now we extrapolate to our lives. I think as we sit in the pews and watch our pastors and all the rock star tv evangelists, it’s easy to think we aren’t smart enough to be used by God. We are not special enough. I would argue that if God could use someone like Samson, he could use any of us. There are no prerequisites. There is no being ready. You just are.

The next time God taps us on the shoulder to do something, let’s jump in and do it. I bet no matter what, you will be a lot smarter than Samson.

Meadow Walkin’

By Lisa M Meister

The stream flows past an even pace
Though rapid yesterday it was
Sometimes the water is clear as glass
Or murky brown with mud the cause

The meadow’s edge kiss-es the stream
Whatever may be the flow
But no matter how it goes on by
I am safe sitting in the meadow

Green blankets the meadow where I now sit
The sun shines down quite warmly
Happy be the stream that ambles by
So I can bask quite nicely

The flowers beckon me further in
I go to inspect their beauty
The fragrance wafts upon the wind
The bees buzz by so happy

Peaceful am I and quite relaxed
Not much to require my thinking
I realize I have entered in
Where my heart was yearning

I hear a roar and walk back to
My little srteam no longer
White foam as waves’ waters crest
I stare at it in wonder

My attention pulls to the waves
Peacefulness flees yonder
The meadow really stays the same
Yet I eye the flow much longer

I forget the meadow as I stare
My mind dulls and gets frozen
I know not time I’m waste’n here
As if my body dozin’

A gentle tap upon my shoulder
Whomsoever could it be
I turn and see the Good Shepherd
He says come follow me

Into the meadow go I again
Hand in hand with my Savior
The meadow once again brings peace
I want to stay forever

If within the meadow stay
Warm in my Shepherd’s care
All will be well, I’ll overcome
Of the waves I’m unaware

My Coffee Break With God

What I would ask God if we had a coffee break together.

I wonder where God stands on coffee? I am assuming He is all for it for he made the coffee beans in the first place. I would also assume that it will be in Heaven as well, so we would then be able to sit down to with the Almighty for a coffee break. I would imagine those of you who know me can see where this coffee chat is going…what topics I would like to talk to God about…

  • So the idea behind the mosquito was what?
  • How bad did Noah’s ark smell?
  • Where do all the lost socks go?
  • Why did you have to use hormones on teenagers?
  • Does watching church on tv count as going to church?
  • Do you have video recordings on everything that has ever happened on earth?
  • Will there be blogging in Heaven?
  • How in the world did the wisest man in the world (King Solomon) take so man wives? I mean, that really wasn’t smart…
  • Have you been running the human experience over and over again throughout eternity so you don’t get bored? Do you wait for humans to completely destroy their world before you decide to build another one?
  • Why are dogs happy to play fetch over and over every day like it’s a brand new game while my kids tire of their Christmas gifts within a week?
  • Why did my newborns keep me up all night while my sister-in-law’s kids started sleeping through right away?
  • Why don’t I ever know where my cell phone is?
  • Is it true that a butterfly halfway around the around the earth can flutter its wings and cause a hurricane here?
  • Where is heaven?

This is just getting me started. Do you have any questions you would ask?

 

Eureka! The Perfect Curriculum

I have found the perfect curriculum for 9th grade. This is exciting!

I finally found the right curriculum! That is no small miracle of God. I have perused every curriculum catalog, website and blog, spending blissful hours dreaming over my course choices like a child of old poring over the Sears catalog for Christmas toys. Only this is better. Christmas toys get boring after a while, but curriculum keeps me going all year.

I used to have to spend up to $1,000 a year on curriculum for my four children, mostly when my oldest was in high school. High school publishers think well of themselves, so they charge more. Now I have graduated out three of my children, which means for $300 I have put together an incredible year. I get to put all my focus on Laura!

Exhibit A

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Look at that! It makes me love being a teacher. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, and it looks to be all I wanted. We are studying American History, Literature and how Christianity shaped our country through the years. Three subjects all in one! The American Voices is my favorite. It includes original documents ( a homeschool mom goto), speeches, poetry, newspaper articles and anything that helps show reflections of the era we are studying. Laura is going to love it!

Exhibit B:

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This may not look like much, but I have been searching for it for several years. For the other kids, I went the Apologia Biology Curriculum and was very dissatisfied because it was at a college level. I firmly believe high school should be done in high school and college should be done in college. This is Alpha Omega Lifepacs and it teaches high school biology. It’s funny how easy a concept but so difficult to find. Laura will have labs with this, which she will love and I will hate.

Exhibit C

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Mathusee. I absolutely love this series and we have stuck with it from kindergarten all the way through Algebra. There is a dvd lesson, a teacher’s manual to help me explain it to her, and hands on work which I never knew you could do in algebra.

Exhibit D

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We started logic and debate towards the end of last semester, and it has been a fun mistake. When Laura breaks down an argument with her siblings, she points out their logic errors by name; therefore intimidating them and losing their argument. Laura has zeroed in with a focus I have never seen in a child for learning a subject. She’ll be using all this irrefutable logic against Patrick and me soon and I don’t think we are going to win.

Exhibit D

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Psychology can be better understood when you can use your Bible right along with how people act and react. This is a study Laura asked for. Put this one with her logic course, and by the end of this school year you probably won’t be able to talk to her anymore. My gift of sarcasm will be trampled down by her superior way of thinking.

Exhibit E

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A big thank you to Shelly from There’s No Place Like Home for this steer. Shelly homeschools her 10 children and write’s a homeschool blog that is an amazing resource. If you are still reading this, you should friend her.

This is an online course for $20 and works on SAT word vocabulary and spelling. Laura generally does not like to do schoolwork on the computer (which is okay by me because I love doing the whole teacher thing), so I’m hoping she will put her prejudices behind and enjoy the program.

Exhibit F

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Yep, Laura is taking guitar lessons from Patrick! We finally have a child who actually wants to learn an instrument. Patrick is an incredible guitar player and has been on worship teams of every church we have been in. We have a singer, a child who sat for 2 years in front of the piano and learned nothing, another child who “learned” piano by memorizing where fingers should go instead of actually learning the notes. Needless to say, I gave up. So Laura came up with this out of left field and I am still in shock.

Exhibit G

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Physical Education. We are still a little unsure how this one will be done this year, but if I can’t get Laura interested in body building she will have to devise her own workout routine.

I think I got it all. You may have noticed there are 7 courses, and the first one is three courses in one, which makes 9 courses. This is an ongoing problem for me. There is too much to learn and too little time.

It’s perfect!!!! God bless to all my homeschooling friends and may you still be sane by the end of the year!