Sunday, May 31, 2009

Repentance:Study Question

“Why did Esau find no place of repentance for simply selling his birthright while David found repentance for adultery and murder?” (See Hebrews 12:16–17 and Psalms 51.)


As always, I learned so much when I was looking for the answer. You know, the more I study, the more I realize how little I really know and how true it is that the Bible truly is a Living Book.


A little background information, (because this is what I enjoy.) I do not want to just read the scripture, but think about that time. Why is what is being said, important? Esau was the older brother to Jacob. The oldest son inherited the birthright which would entitle him to double portion of the property and assets and to leadership and responsibility. As well as to additional spiritual responsibility for the coming generations. Normally the eldest son followed their father's line of work, which would have been to follow Isaac as a pastor. (But we do not see that with Esau). Esau had been out hunting and as most outdoorsmen, came home famished. Jacob had a delicious soup ready and waiting and offered him a bowl of porridge for Esau's birthright. And Esau agreed.


Sounds pretty simple. Two grown men made a trade, a little horsetradin' is what we call it round here. So why is what Esau did so wrong 1st of all? First, it was his lack of consideration for his or his future generations loss of their blessings. His lack of self control and need for that immediate desire to be filled, his lack of responsibility and maturity that seemed to overshadow his lifestyle. The scriptures tell us that Esau was a cunning hunter. Not that he needed to be for survival. So we can guess that it was more likely for entertainment purposes. Much like my own husband. In Genesis, it states that he despised his birthright. Just the thought of the additional responsibilities made his sick.


Oftentimes, I had thought of Jacob as the bad guy in this story as he tricked his hungry brother then Jacob tricked his father for the blessing of the birthright. Yet, it is this same Jacob that is listed in Hebrews 11, the Hall of Fame for those with faith. At the sake of jumping all over the place, I found it interesting that Jacob was the deceiver yet honored. Why did he want the birthright? For the interest of the material blessings? I don't think so, he was a quiet, tent minded man as scriptures tell us. And he continued to use his life to followed God. Jacob had to learn though that he needed to wait for God to open the doors for the right timing rather than pushing ahead and trying to make things happen against God's wishes.

I can identify with both these men. Esau for not wanting to do the hard things in life and take the easy road at times and for Jacob for trying to push ahead and make things happen even if that means taking matters into my own hands.

The difference between the two brothers was that Jacob had a desire, much like David to live a life pleasing to God. In Psalms 51 we see the heart plea of David to God to forgive him. David repented for the only right reason, he wanted that relationship with God to be restored, he did not want separation from his Lord. He ached with hurt at what he had done. This is the difference between David and Esau. While Esau wept tears over his mistake, they were not tears of repentance at the damage he had caused but tears over the lack of material possessions he would not be gaining. Even at the time he regretted his decision, he hadn't turned his life around, he was still living in a way that the scriptures referred to him at a fornicator and a profane person.

True repentance is shown in our actions to not only plead for mercy from God and be broken from our sin but then to turn and change our lives.

I got a great question on this from a friend, "Is there forgiveness without repentance? I think we have to come before God with a repentant heart before He wipes the sins away. So, are we called to forgive without repentance? I've always heard that we are supposed to "forgive and forget" regardless of how the other person feels or whether they regret their actions. However, I'm wondering how we can be called to something so unnatural when that is not the way that God Himself functions. I know that unforgiveness hurts us, but are there "levels of forgiveness?" Can I release a person to God without absolving their actions?"

Great question! I'll pray and study on this. As I hadn't thought about this before from this perspective.

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Lighter side of life

On the lighter side of life...

I was running through the house yesterday and spritzing each room with air freshener (trust me, we still have one in diapers, it's a necessity). I was mentally going over everything I needed to do. I spritzed the laundry room, opened up the back door to check on kiddos and spritzed the back yard. I immediately started laughing from my mistake. Makensie comes and tells me, "Mom, it's not because you are so old that you forgot what you were doing. Because I'm really young and I forget sometimes too."
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I hate to mention this as I don't want everyone watching me, but I've been pursuing a better health through eating and fitness. Gabby was doing the workout with me and said, "This is really hard for you, uh? I feel sorry for you that you are trying so hard and nothing is happening." So we had ice cream at Barnett's last night.

She also was up getting herself and Wyatt some breakfast after getting him dressed and his bed made, this week while I had several calls early for work. I went in and caught her in the act of being so kind and responsible and told her thank you. She told me, "Mom, I'm a big girl. I can do things for myself. All kinds of things, like getting food and getting my own coffee.
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Brian is just a boy through and through. He is also quite the trash talker. I heard him throwing it down it in the kitchen. "You want a piece of me? What to you think about that?" I went in to see who he was talking to and he had the flyswatter and was going to town. "Oh, I'm sorry, was that your mommy? BAMMM! What do you think of me know punk? You better run and hide!"

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Wyatt is just so sweet and yet he's soon going to be following suit with his brother. He can take Brian down now and loves to wrestle. he's also quite the busy body. In the past 2 weeks he has taken all my clothes in the closet off the hanger, flushed a cleaning sponge down the toilet (and it doesn't just go on through), opened the powered sugar bag, realized that the air conditioning vents come off and on for great hiding places for things like toys, bottles and stinky diapers. He figured out that the broiler pan in the oven conveniently holds crayons (and yes they stink when they melt). Has learned to opened the doors so we put on chains. Figured out that he can use the broom to hit the chain over to unlock it. Figured out that he can climb over the chain link fence in the back yard. But my favorite was the night he discovered his shadow.

They are so precious at every age.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Repent

As I have been going through a devotional series by IBLP. It highlights weekly a different command and the 1st command to focus on is Repent.

“Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).

The devotional challenges us to repeat this scripture and mediate on it at least 10 times daily for the course of the week. I personally felt this was perfect timing as I have been pulled in a completely different direction and thinking in my personal walk. Things have been revealed that have made me question my little comfortable box. And many things are happening to shake up the Christian community to live with urgency. Do we truly live like the kingdom of Heaven is at hand? Or do we live as if our Father will love us regardless and understand and forgive us our sins? That attitude of it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

As I've dug in and been studying a range of topics that have been pressing on my heart, I'll share them here. I'm sure that there will be some controversial topics as I have had to face them myself and ask the hard questions of WHY lately. I am in no means trying to cause conflict but with all things new or pushing us to think anything but the status quo, there is uncomfortableness. Feelings of threat.

So this is Study Question One:
“Why did Esau find no place of repentance for simply selling his birthright while David found repentance for adultery and murder?” (See Hebrews 12:16–17 and Psalms 51.)

What do you think?

IBLP: "Repentance puts us into fellowship with the Lord and allows Him to bless everything we do. Our greatest asset is the blessing of the Lord, because “the blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22). Without God’s blessing, Satan is given opportunity to devour our strength, family, health, and resources, so that there is no possible way to be successful."

Institute in Basic Life Principles

There are more things that I need to get caught up posting about than I even have time to think about. We are moved, not really all settled in. I'm now answering calls, scheduling and ordering for Allen on top of all the daily paperwork and invoices. We picked up school again about 3 weeks ago. So we are learning to be really flexible. If we are in the middle of school and the business phone rings than that becomes the priority for the moment. It has been difficult on all of us to not have the flexibility to just pick up and run errands, g0 someplace during the day and have often play dates. But in the long run, it is with purpose and will be for the best.

Have you heard of Institute in Basic Life Principles? It is a great seminar to attend you have have never been. I got (had) to go in high school, mainly because I couldn't be trusted at home alone for that time being. But what I learned stuck with me this entire time. They have an upcoming seminars in many different areas. So if you do not have a vacation planned and want to do something life changing I would suggest looking into attending one near you. You will never regret it. I still have my manual and have referred to it many times over the years.

They also have study materials, a home school course (which we are praying about for future years), and devotionals.

Just wanted to share this with you all.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Stretch Griffin

Did you ever have the Stretch Armstrong doll? The one you could pull the legs and arms and they would slowly go back to the right proportion? It was really kinda gross, but fascinating all the same.

I feel like I'm being stretched yet again. Hopefully never to return to my previous mold. This past 6 weeks alone have been life changing. What I thought I knew has been turned upside down.

I thought I knew about church until I started to study more on the New Testament church and what did Christ say and what He intended it to be.

Then I experienced it 1st hand.

I saw the Body of Christ cross every denomination to come together and reach out and help our family in ways I never deserved.

I saw friends move from being friends to being the tangible love of Christ. As they helped hold me up when I didn't have the strength to do it alone. "Better a neighbor close by than a brother far away."

While our own mistakes bring punishment, they can never be big enough to ruin God's plans for us. What satan meant for evil, God brought about good.

For the years I've been missing being away from family, however, I realized that I am not alone here.

I realized that our kids are stronger and have a better "tent mindset" than I do.

I realized that I had found too much security and identity in our home.

I thought I knew it best to give up writing because it took time, and just about anyone can write well. However, I realized I had lost the reason for why I started to journal. To have a written account of our lives to pass on to my kids. And most times I didn't even know all that I was thinking til I started pulling it out of me with words. And God pulled His words out of me when I've written devotionals. They are not of me. Yet at times I would be so prideful to forget that. I was excited to have people become "followers" of me, rather than to point others to become followers of HIM.

I thought I knew my limits and what I could carry, I found out that He loves me more than I realized and my flesh is so weak.

I realized that a pastor and mentor can be anyone gifted with that blessing. I realized that it's not always who we think it will be.

I realized that being humbled and finally asking for help allowed others to use their gifts. And that God sends the right people at the right time. In the past, my pride of being able to do it myself, or thinking that God would take care of me, caused me to deny the very gifts God was trying to send me. Of course it's easier to be on the giving end, but it is an ebb and flow. God doesn't always just drop something on our doorstep. It's not always that simple. Sometimes he prompts someone to be the giver and asks us if we trust HIM enough to accept and be humbled.

I realized that coming to that place of complete freedom and reliance on Him opens up a whole new level of where and what He can use us for.

I realized that black and white issues in the Bible are black and white for a reason. Not for us to find our spin on them to justify our disobedience.

I realized that once again we do not have control over much of anything.

I realized that God is stretching me in all kinds of ways that do not feel comfortable. I love my schedule, but it's become just a goal rather than our way of life.

I realized that there is no way to say thank you that will ever feel like enough for the gratitude of those who brought us meals, helped us get ready for the yard sale, packed up our house, loaded the trailers, helped us unpack, gifted us with bunkbeds, cleaned the old house top to bottom, brought me breakfast to make sure I remembered to eat, made me stop and sit down to rest, prayed with me and talked me through when I was so confused that I was being pounded with the devils lies, loaned us a vehicle, stayed with me so I wasn't alone, brought Makensie a birthday cake so her special day wasn't lost, made decisions for me so that I didn't have to, watched the kids, hugged on me, offered to help, those who stopped just to say they were thinking of us, those who called to give us a word of prophesy, those complete strangers that took time to give us a word of prophesy, prayed for us.

As small as it feels, thank you so much for everything you did. And it went far deeper than just the act itself.

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