What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, June 12, 2020

June is Busting Out All Over



It's a busy time here at Hopestead.  Lots of garden-putting in, flowers to plant, weeding, mulching, cooking, eating, diaper changing, baby chasing, piglet slopping, cow milking, cheese making, ice cream making, kitten holding, water splashing, grass cutting, floor sweeping, laundry folding and Skeeter chasing to do these days.

I have found when you are feeling particularly frustrated with the world, it feels pretty great to yank  weeds with a vengeance.

When you see a whole lotta UGLY in your world, it helps to notice the transparent wings of a bee or the veins of a flower petal.

When you want to drown out the hate-filled talking heads, you listen to the birdsong.  The sound of the windchime in the apple tree.  The low buzz of a hummingbird coming close.  

When you feel suffocated with the world today, you breath deep, knowing that John Lennon lied.  Without a heaven above us, there is no way all the people can live life in peace.  God in heaven, sees all things and will make our terrible messes right.

And when you get to feeling overwhelmed, you zoom IN CLOSE and find the next, closest thing to do.

In my case, the next thing is making cheese.  So I am off. 

Praying for the nation, praying for you all, praying for peace.   And praying for the Truth to be told and known among all nations.  That peace only comes through the Prince of Peace.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Quarantine Edition: And A Kick In The Pants

If you look at the world, you'll be distressed.  If you look within, you'll be depressed.  If you you look to God you'll be at rest.  ~ Corrie ten Boom

Matt knows that I am a fighter-oh boy, does he know it.  ;-)  I am stubborn.   I want to change the world.  I want to stand up for what is right.   I feel compelled to make people see the truth- and of course, I know the truth perfectly and at all times. (har, har)  My mom says it is the Dutch in me.   My Oma and Opa were that way, a thousand times over.  Sometimes it is a good thing.  Often, it can be bad. 

 I have a hard time choosing battles because I see how individual battles are interconnected to larger and more fundamental battles.  Every battle becomes a BIG battle- a pivotal battle, an IMPORTANT battle to fight.  Our world right now, is SO FULL of division and strife and heartache and pain and suffering and ANGER and frustration and despair and hopelessness and vitriol. 

I have been having a hard time these last few months- a VERY HARD TIME- trying to determine which battles are the ones worth fighting for and which are the ones that I need to 'sit out'.   When to speak the truth in love and when to know when to STOP speaking the truth and wait on God. (This, too, is actively doing something.) 

I can't change the world- but He can.  I can't change hearts.  But He does.  I can't pull us out of the carnage of our own sins- but He has and does and will- repeatedly, until the end of the world.  He's the ONLY one who can.

I could talk to you about mask-wearing.
I could talk to you about COVID 19.
I could talk to you about stimulus packages, liberties and freedoms being infringed, MEDIA, small businesses, the economy, societal depressions, personal depression, suicide, worship, our leaders shortcomings and contradictions.  I could talk to you about BLACK LIVES MATTER.  I could talk to you about racism.  I could talk about abortion clinics.  Fatherlessness.  Narratives.  I could talk to you about the ONE RACE called HUMANITY.  Image bearers of God.   Protests.  George Floyd.  David Dorn.  Justice.  Mercy.  Murder.  Defunding the Police Force.  Black squares.   Riots.  Looting.  Mail-in voting. Upcoming elections.

So much on my mind.  So much on my heart.  I have lots of thoughts and feelings about all of these things (and yes, they are all right! 😉) but here is what I want to talk about...here is what I NEED to talk about:

I am a Christian who is not acting like a Christian.  I am one of MANY Christians who is not acting like Christians.

Living where I live and how I live, I am relatively isolated from the epicenters of pain and destruction right now- but I am still overwhelmed, and angry and so, so stressed.  I am shocked that we are seeing the things that we are seeing and fearful for the future.  I am full of doubt and despair. 

But here's the thing: whether my angst is internal or I have a riot happening just outside my window- I have a Father who cares for me.  For US.  For Americans.  For the REST OF THE WORLD.  He cared for generations past.  He cares for THIS generation.  He cares for FUTURE generations.  My Father is omnipotent.  He is Omniscient.  He is Omnipresent.  Of whom shall I fear?

A while ago I listened to this sermon and it affected me so much I put it on my kitchen chalkboard.  We are to be the people with Light in our dwellings because we are the people of the Light.  We are to be a people of Hope.  We are to be a people with courage because we trust that God really IS omnipotent. 

Whatever happens in this world, our homes ought to look different than the homes of those with no light.  Our lives ought to be different than the lives of those without hope. 

I came upon this today too.   It comes from Rachel Jankovic's instagram page- which, if you are on instagram and you aren't following it, what's wrong with you, people?!  I'll leave you with this golden nugget from Rachel:

🌷Let’s all take a minute here to double check what it should be about Christians that is so distinctive to our culture.⠀

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the HOPE that is in you”⠀I Peter‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬⠀

🌷It’s not the distinctive sorrow that is in us, or the broken heartedness, or empathy, or outrage, or accusation, or the endless blame that is in us. It is not guilt that should be in us. It is the HOPE in us that should shock the world. The HOPE that is in us that causes people to ask us “WHAT is this?! WHERE does it come from, and HOW do you have it?!⠀

🌷In times of great hopelessness we should be even more aware of the uniqueness of what we have been given. But if we are not in the Word how will remember it? We are letting our statements of faith sit in a shoebox on the top shelf in a closet somewhere with our old unflattering photos. But our faith is to be lived- and those things that we believe should change the way we behave.⠀

🌷If you cannot be hopeful, if you can not act forgiven, if you do not feel at peace, if you are not walking in the joy of the Lord, if you do not act like a person who KNOWS that God is in control - then you are a person who is not practicing their faith.⠀ ⠀ 🌷Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God? Do you believe that while He was innocent He died with the weight of all our sins, enduring the judgement of God on our behalf? Do you believe that death was no match for Him and that He was raised from the dead in the third day? Do you believe that He is even now at the right hand of God the Father Almighty interceding for us? Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is with us? Do you believe that God is accomplishing with and through us great things for His glory and our good? ⠀

🌷That is our hope. That is our joy. That is our confidence. That is our purpose. That is our glory. Do not turn away from this hope as though hard times in our culture make it irrelevant. Grab hold of your faith, and let your HOPE be a witness to our God. Share the Gospel by believing it.