Friday, July 30, 2010

New Church, part 3

*Okay, this is the last post on this, Promise! I'm just glad to have the whole thing written down so we can look back and remember why we chose the path we did. It's kind of like a religious time capsule, right? Yeah, I know I'm a dork = )*

My checklist for a new church:

-Serious, open-hearted worship without bells, whistles, huge velvet lined sanctuaries and expensive staffs.

-Expository scripture teaching, as in going through the bible chapter by chapter instead of spinning a wheel and picking a verse.

- Children welcome in the sanctuary, not just tolerated. Even rowdy boys that require constant training.

- No laying of hands, funny dancing, convulsions or weird languages (I apologize to those who believe in that stuff, I just can't bring myself to go to a church where people act like that. To me, whatever they have, I don't want to catch it. = )

- No preacher worship. You would be surprised at how many churches that believe that the preacher deserves to be worshiped, as in idolized and waited on. This is ridiculous when there is only One who we should be worshiping.

- SAHM, yes I would like to see a few stay at home moms. When I told people I was a SAHM at the last church they looked at me like I was an alien, the green kind.

- Homeschooling moms would be a plus = )

Then I discovered the concept of Family Integrated Churches. They believe that if family was so important to God, and a main theme in the Bible, why are families being split up into categories in Church? Pretty common sense to me. I searched, there was ONE in the Waco area.

I cannot tell you the difference.

These people are serious about worship! The fellowship was wonderful! We met and got to know more people in our first visit than we did at our old church in the entire year.
The preacher and his Deacon swooped in as soon as we set down to eat and proceeded to sit beside us and talk to us. I was dumbfounded. A preacher who talks with his congregation? I mean, pastors always have their select few who they socialize with but this was different. He acted like a normal person.
We had a very nice conversation on faith and life. It was so refreshing.

Oh and by the way, most of the mothers, including the preachers wife, HOMESCHOOL. Can we say Halelujah?

As far as the kids being in the service, I was nervous. But the pastor and his wife put us at ease . However, we had programmed Jacob without realizing it. Church = play time. Oops. Now how do we fix that?
But surprisingly he only had to be taken out a couple times and the church building has a crying room right behind the sanctuary so it was far easier to discipline and redirecting him simpler that I had thought it would be.
I can see this being an on-going process but it is so worth it to have our family together, worshiping God together, singing together…..
It just feels……..right.

We feel strengthened in our Faith. We spend even more time in the Word at home. We spend our free time reading theological books and articles, referencing everything to the Bible.

It's been a month now and we feel like a spiritual weight has been lifted. NOW, we see whey Christians are encouraged to attend church. It's not just a social get together people! It's a place to fill your cup when it runs dry. It's a place to escape to after battling the secular world for 6 days. It is the Lord's day, and we finally feel like that is how we are spending it, with the Lord.

Praise God for his wisdom and grace.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The New Church, Part 2

*Okay, now this part of the post is going to sound like venting and that's because that's what it is. What I don't want it to sound like is that "my child is perfect and never does anything wrong" the point I'm trying to make with the following story is that when your children are being taught/cared for by someone else that you run the risk of exposing your children to someone who does not have the same vision as you in discipline/morals etc. We've adopted a rather strict discipline procedure in our home. (See "Shepherding a Childs Heart" and "Raising Godly Tomatoes") I'll be sure to address our specific methods in another post. *

We attended the church for about a year. I had found out I was pregnant 2 days before our first day at church and Mikey was around 6 weeks when we stopped going.

I liked the church, don’t get me wrong. It was very uplifting and a great time. The “offering plate” was a very large dutch oven at the back of the church where you could drop money in and no one would could judge. The music was varied in style but always performed by a guy with a guitar and excellent singing voice. Everyone was nice……

So why did we stop going, you ask? The bottom line was: We needed more. The preaching was basic, good messages but not a lot of depth, with an emphasis on spending time daily in the Word . Jason and I checked that one off our list. At first mention of reading proverbs daily we did it and then expanded our time to include a chapter or two from a book, working through the New Testament. We wanted to know more, we wanted a better understanding of Jesus. It seemed that we were only skimming the top of deep subject matter that needed more consideration.

Issue number 2 was the preacher not liking children. I do believe he was joking when he said “I don’t like kids” in front of the congregation and I took it as: well, everyone has their weaknesses. Afterall, I had never been *good* with kids either.

But it didn’t take us long to realize that children were not welcome. From day one Jacob had gone into the nursery because, well, that’s where children go. They started taking volunteers for said nursery from the congregation, everyone was supposed to have their turn. I got nervous, I didn’t know these people?! We began having problems.

Every day when we would go to pick Jacob up he had done something (i.e. pushed a kid, took a toy away) that required discipline but instead of sending someone for me they would just stick him in time out.

I can just hear his little mind working, “Time out? That’s all you got?” as he laughed to himself and continued his shenanigans every Sunday.

I expressed to them that I needed to punish him when he acted badley but they would tell me not to worry about it “he was just being a boy”.

Hmmmmm. Observations of the nursery and interactions between the caregivers and the tots confirmed that there was more gossip going on than actual caregiving. For those of you with toddlers (or who once had toddlers) you know that if you don’t watch them you can’t train them, that disputes can be stopped before they start, if you’re watching.

The last straw was when one of the lovely ladies brought my son to me (hand clenched around his wrist, his arm fully extended up, her with a bitter expression plastered on her face) and told me he had pushed a “baby” down.

“oh my goodness!” I replied and started to talk to Jacob, he knew that was unacceptable and by placing his hand over his bottom to guard it he knew what was about to happen to him. When the “angry lady” realized that a spanking was about to take place her demeanor changed, smiling she said “It’s okay, just don’t do it again” He was just being “a boy”.


I left chuch that day downright angry, I mean which was it? Was he misbehaving or wasn’t he? Had the incident been an accident? Jason was beside himself and said that if we did go back Jacob would no longer be in the nursery.

After much prayer I realized I only had myself to blame. Whose child was he? He was my child. Why was I letting others train My child? Uuuhhhhhh………

To Be continued, again = )


Because there are no words for this.......

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back to School Materialism

As I was perusing through the local store ads online for good deals the "Back to School" sales caught my eye.  There were all manner of writing implements, papers, folders with funny looking cartoons on them and then......clorox wipes, kleenex, hand disinfectant????

My mother, who works at the school I attended, says that these things are, in fact, on the required school supplies list? So, the tax dollars, including the ones we pay even though we homeschool, aren't enough to buy hand soap and desk cleaner?  Now, parents are required to clean the school and provide basic personal hygiene items, while paying to send their children  to school!!!

The question is, do we really need all of this stuff to learn? Even when I was in school I questioned the obligatory 2 boxes of kleenex because at years end low and behold the closets would be stuffed full of such kleenex yet it did not deter the teachers from requiring it yet again the next year.  Does this really make sense?

While staring at all of the doo-dads and thing-a-ma-jigs that your children "just have to have to be cool" and trying to avoid the stick-thin teenage models in barely-there clothing I noticed another note : "Many students can't afford even the basic school supplies, see how you can help!"

What do they consider basic?  Once upon a time a single slate and chalk were basic.  But if you send your child to school with merely paper and a pencil not only will the bullies bring out their claws but your children will actually be disciplined for it. 

Aren't we missing the point with all this? Why can't people realize that a Hannah Montana folder will not make their child truly happy?  Why can't people realize that teachers, or schools rather,  do not have you or your child's best interest at heart? (I speak from experience and by saying this I mean "most" teachers, there are a few good souls out there but far fewer than most people think)

This saddens me.  It's another nail in the coffin of Christianity.  If we can't stop embracing the world and start separating ourselves from it I believe we are to suffer a worse fate than Sodom and Gomorah.

*Disclaimer: I am by no means insinuating that new school supplies = materialistic self centeredness.  I too become giddy over the idea of colorful folders and new notebooks. Oh, and the highlighters with sticky notes in them? LOVE!  Please take the message as the overall theme and don't nit-pick. = )

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The New Church

I meant to just jot down a little something about finding a new church but when I began writing out came this journal of not only our search for a church but part of our spiritual journey as well. Being so long I will post in segments but I will post it in its entirety so that one year, 5 years, 10 years from now we can look back and see where we were as a family, as Christians.

God bless,



Why Church?

My family and my husbands family didn’t go to church. I mean, Jason and I had been to church……a few times with friends, uncles, grandmas etc.

But neither of us felt that it was necessary much less did we like going.

The churches I went to were like one of those chocolate bunnies you get at Easter. Looks good on the outside, but hollow on the inside. The Casting Crowns song Stained Glass Masquerade comes to mind.

The people were often more worried about what you put in the offering plate than the salvation of your soul. They were always looking for the next building addition, the next shiny doo-dad, the next church bible-camp retreat.

These people weren't serious, so why should I be serious about God? I didn't want to go to church to parade around as if in a fashion show and gossip about my fellow church-goers. I saw the whole thing as a colossal waste of time, I believed there was a God and to me that was enough... for a long time anyway.

Fast forward to our move to Waco, we can skip the tale of losing the business and being heartbroken. You can read more about that in About Me.

I had finally “woke up and smelled the coffee” as my family would say. I had submitted my prideful and ambitious will to God and this time I wasn’t turning from Him when things got all rosy and sunshiny again. It took breaking my spirit to lift it up, I had always been His Reluctant Daughter.

I had discovered (I have no idea how, perhaps God led me?) blogs and articles on the internet promoting “biblical womanhood” and they spoke to my soul. They perfectly described the inward struggles I had had with happiness over the course of my life. They told of how ambition and trying to be head of the house will lead to disaster. They showed a lovely picture of feminine, not feminist, mothers content at home with their families about them. They told that children were blessings, not burdens that childhood wasn't something to just get through. (These blogs are in the sidebar and on my links page)

As I began this complete spiritual and mental overhaul their was always the part of me that yearned for church. Not just any church, mind you, but THE CHURCH.

My husband, Jason, was on board and told me to go ahead and find one. I began to search desperately and at last came upon a “cowboy church” about 20 minutes away. Simple, no frills, basic teaching. So we set off that Sunday, nervous as kids on the first day of school. To be continued.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Church, Yard Sales and Other News

I'm currently working on a new post about our decision to change churches where I'll discuss the why, when and how.  But suffice it to say that we are now attending a different church Waco Family Baptist Church and feel completely at peace with our decision.  We are so excited about what this change may mean for our lives and the spiritual growth of our family!


I HEART YARD SALES!  I have never been an excellent yard-sale-shopper but am absolutely determined to get better.  I read a great post on Raising Olives blog and it helped me sort through a lot of the problems I was having.  For example, I would drive by a yard sale and see piles of junk on tables, write it off as *junk* and drive away quickly.  But now I try to stop. and. look. And low and behold I thought I did pretty well today!

Well, I won't be winning any awards for photography and please excuse the pile of books, coffee cup, unswept floor............
I purchased the following for myself: yellow dress shirt, blue dress shirt, blue floral skirt, red sweater, white sweater, purse and jean jacket with fur collar ( am I going to have to brush that thing regularly?)
For the boys: I found a tigger costume for Jacob (Mikey is going to be Pooh!) and I found 4 dress shirts for little Mikey. 
I spent a grand total of $20.  Not too shabby in my eyes and way cheaper than goodwill.


In other's hot.  Getting over 100 now but I thank God everyday it is not a repeat of last summer with 30 days of 100 and over. 

With the help of my mother I have filled my flower beds and pots and added some hanging planters to our new rent house.  Her green thumb go me started, if only I can keep my brown thumb from killing them. 

Potty training is a disaster.  We were doing good for a while and then not so good.  *sigh* I try to remind myself that he will learn and he won't wear diapers forever. 

Mikey's first two teeth came in last Sunday---during church.  I discovered this when he latched down on my finger in the middle of the service.  Ouch.  The little fella handled it okay and is well on his way to chewing on everything.

I've been reading Family Driven Faith by Voddie Bauchman.  I love this book. I am amazed at how technologically behind I am....did you know there were e-books?  That there are books that cost less and can be read on your computer?  Woah.....this is cool.  There will be a post coming on this book for sure.

Well, that's a wrap for now, the kiddos are in bed, the hubby's on call and I am t-i-r-e-d.. 

God Bless,