Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Camping Trip Recap and Park Review wasn't the worst camping trip. 

My husband and I have decided that we definitely need to go camping more than once a year.  We used to love to go camping and seem to keep putting it off.  Not only is it good for us but we believe it will create a lasting impression on our boys.  They will (hopefully) develop a love of nature and an understanding of why we should preserve God's wonderful creations.

So lets first go over our Camping Style:
We believe if you bring a TV, Satelite Dish or computer, you are NOT camping.  However, we are not so basic that we don't enjoy bathrooms within walking distance : ) We usually opt for walk-in tent sites, which are not on the road and do not have electricity.  We want great views and wildlife viewing opportunities.  Historical markers, buildings or museums are a huge plus.  We love to camping in the winter and fall because cold = no bugs or other campers : )

For this trip we decided on Davy Crockett National Forest.  We usually choose a state park but we wanted something different and neither of us had ever been through the Piney Woods of Texas. We also wanted a camp fire and National Forest's don't mind you collecting downed wood, the state parks?  It's usually a fine just to look at their sticks wrong.

So first, I'll give a review of the park:

1) The trees were nice
2) Not crowded
3) ummmmm......

1) Park service failed to mention that the concession stand was closed that rents the canoes etc

2) Out of envelopes to drop payment, also leaves you with no proof you payed

3) We saw more wildlife in the local gas station bathroom than in the actual park

4) BUSY highway within a stones throw, LOUD trucks going by all night long.....

5) the early 1900's saw mill ruins are surrounded with bathrooms, roads, a playground and a highway.  It kind of loses the feel that way. 

The cons were accompanied by our lack of practice in camping to make a worse experience.  We only brought one lantern. ONE.  What were we thinking?  And though you are allowed to gather firewood in the park its best to do that in daylight.  Its very difficult to find adequate firewood with a flashlight. (Mental Note: Arrive at park sooner.)
Also, tip for the park: Don't provide restrooms if you are not going to clean them.

We also had child training issues to work through which as most of you know, is exhausting. More on that later.

Overall, we were let down by the experience so much we opted to drive another hour farther east to take a look at the Angelina National Forest.  At the forest's center is the Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which is HUGE. They offer a variety of campsites from plush campsites with boat ramps to backwoods primitive (which is what we like).   The areas we were interested in were the Boykin Springs and the Bouton Lake camping areas.

WOW.  We decided we are going here next for sure. 

- Remote camp sites CHECK. 15 mile drive down a gravel road through wilderness.
- Restrooms close by CHECK.
- Wildlife CHECK
- Beautiful views CHECK.
- Historical sites. CHECK CHECK.  Early 1900's sawmill, mostly still intact (though its' covered in graffiti)

And its only 3 hours from our home.  A close by town, Lufkin even has a little zoo.

So now we're looking at going about every other month on a little weekend excursion.  Angelina is our first destination but then there are so many State Parks to branch out into, like Fort Boggy, a promising looking one.

So overall I give Davy Crockett National Forrest: * * two stars.  But we're optimistic. : )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

*REVISED* The Sabbath

I found an answer to my struggle with the Sabbath via John MacArthur.I believe I was being a little like the pharisees on the subject, so afraid to not do enough, I was doing to much.  Not only that I was misunderstanding it's purpose for us since we have been saved through Christ. 

I would encourage everyone to peruse his web page for great biblical insight.  Here are the links to his sermon on the subject: 

Understanding the Sabbath 
Why Sunday is the Lord's Day

"Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you" 
Deuteronomy 5:12

So, Jason and I have been discussing the Sabbath lately.  The topic really took center stage this past Sunday when 3 out of 5 of us were not feeling well and we missed attending church.  The question was.....So what do we do now?  It was still the sabbath, a holy day, shouldn't we do something ...special? 

We turned to the bible starting with the ten commandments and then as we were reading Isaiah, where we are doing our daily readings, we discovered the following:

13(A) "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
   from doing your pleasure[a] on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
   and the holy day of the LORD honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
   or seeking(B) your own pleasure,[b] or talking idly;[c]
14then you shall take delight in the LORD,
   (C) and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;[d]
(D) I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
   (E) for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."  Isaiah 58:13-14

This verse spoke volumes to us about the importance of keeping Sunday holy in faith to God.
But the answer as to how we go about it still eludes us.  We set Sunday up as special by having the meals prepared on Saturday and the housework/chores done.  And of course we have church and fellowship in the mornings, we've also been wanting to attend Sunday school.  But what about when we get home?  Or on days we can't make it to church?  We have our nightly devotions, so that won't change but what else?

We know that we aren't to work or to do things for ourselves but for the Lord.  Besides worship Him and having a day of rest we were thinking we should make a point to perform an act of kindness or generosity.  Perhaps we could take a meal to someone, make a call or pay a visit?  Another idea we had would be to catch up on our reading of books on theology or listening to sermons from pastors we like. 
What do y'all do special on Sunday?  Do you have any ideas, or verses in the Bible pertaining to this?

Hope y'all all have a blessed week!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Do You Know What Your Church Stands For?

If we only follow the Ten Commandments when it is convenient for us, where are we spiritually?

As a culture we’ve already surrounded ourselves with “graven images”, they are plugged in in our living rooms, sitting in our garages, hanging in our closets, filling our bank accounts.

Adultery is accepted if you are lonely, or if your partner doesn’t meet up to your expectations.

Lying and stealing can slide if they are for your benefit.

Honor your father and mother went out the window a long time ago, you only have to walk through wal-mart to see that.

And murder? It’s committed every day in “clinics” because its convenient, its for the health of the mother, to carry on with the “mistake” would look bad to those around us.

And if the world can overlook the commandments why not the church?

The purpose of the church is to not be accepted! Jesus Christ, who we have taken as our Lord and Savior was not accepted. He said we would be hated as followers of him.

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:18-19

Researching various religions out of curiosity I came upon this website. I won’t name the religion but suffice it to say it is not the one I follow. It states the following on its stance about abortion:

"..we recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures."

‘justify abortion” = justify murder

Those words send chills up my spine. Where is the biblical reference for this? Where did God say “go forth and multiply” unless its not convenient?

I don’t believe there was an asterisk at the end of Thou Shalt Not Murder saying *unless its an unborn child you don’t want.

How arrogant can we be to say that we created that life? We can’t create life any more than we can make our own hearts beat. (That is a partial quote from this video of an ABORTION SURVIVOR)

How can we call ourselves Christian yet spit in the face of Christ himself.

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

That statement should make your heart ache with guilt.

By turning our backs on the law that God wrote with his own hand, by turning our backs on the vile murder being committed in our own backyards and then allowing the church to support it, we are driving the nails into his hands ourselves.

I encourage you today to read your church covenant and constitution. Read where your church stands on issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Where do they find their biblical proof? Is it single verses taken at random or is it read in the context? Is it pulled out or are they reading into it?

The Big One: Can you account for what you believe to God when you see him?

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. Mathew 12:36

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tough Topics: Submission Part 3

I've been putting this post off, unsure of how I should finish it.  But any conclusion is better than not having one right?  I encourage you to read Created to be His Helpmeet and The Excellent Wife and Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.  The authors not only have more experience but can say it a lot better than I ever can.  

So, how was I going to put this thing called "submission" into effect?  That was the tough question I had to ponder.

First things first, I let my husband be the leader of our family.

Sounds simple enough, but how many of us really do it?  I was willing to let my husband "lead" if he was leading the way I thought he should.  I was quick to criticize and judge.
I won't lie, this first step, the step of letting go was.......hard

Everything in my sinful nature screamed, "No! Don't do it! He doesn't know what he's doing! He will take advantage of the situation! You'll be a doormat!"

Doormat.  How I hate that term.  And I hate it because I've heard it so often.

As in, "She doesn't stand up to her husband. She's just a doormat."

Please don't confuse following your husband's lead with pretending your husband is God.  That is not what submission is about.  God is God. He is over you and your husband.  You must follow God first and then the husband he has given you to follow.  In matters that are apparently against God, who do you follow?  God, people, you follow God!

Okay, I got off on a little bit of a tangent.  Ahem. Sorry, back to your regularly scheduled post............

I believe the problem many of us have with trusting our husbands to lead our family does not lie with our husbands but our seeming inability to trust God.  Letting God be Lord over every aspect of your life is something that is not only best for you but required by the Word.

It all boils down to: Do you trust God?  The answer can not be "Yes, but......" or "Yes except for...."  Not to say that at times it won't be a struggle, I fail at putting all my trust in God quite frequently, but He's always there to remind me that He is Lord.

Do you allow God to be the Lord of your life?  That is what submission is all about.

Sorry I rushed through this post, I had imagined something far more detailed.  Perhaps I'll revisit the subject with more tips on how to actually show honor to our husbands.  Right now my mind is full of other topics:  child discipline, elder care, sacrificing for others, and the most wonderful.....baptism.  How gracious is the Lord that He called my husband and I to follow him mostly at the same time.  how wonderful that we are to be baptized, a physical sign of the washing of our sins by the grace of Jesus Christ.  "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the od who is our salvation" Psalms 68:19