Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jiminy Cricket

I was listening to a radio broadcast last night and I heard a pastor talking about a book he had written. It was all about lies that Christians believe. One of the truths that really hit home to me was "Let your conscience be your guide."

I have heard this many times. Your conscience, according to some, is what tells you right from wrong. It sounds good. It even sounds true. But the truth is our conscience is not to be our guide. Our conscience merely reminds us when we our going outside of what we believe is "good." The conscience cannot be the absolute truth and final authority. If it was, then why do so many people believe different things about right and wrong? Why do individuals even change their mind about what they think is right within their lifetime, if the conscience is the final authority?

We cannot let what we believe about right and wrong dictate how we behave. So many would have total peace and think it was absolutely fine to love those who love us and hate those who hate us. It seems completely justified to mistreat someone who has mistreated you. And most people would have clear conscience about such behavior.

What do we do then with verses like this...
Matthew 5:43-48 "You have heard it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect."

It is not natural to love your enemies. Well, at least for me it's not easy. It does not feel like I am doing the right thing, necessarily. My conscience feels completely justified in treating them the way they treat me.

So either my conscience is wrong or God's word is wrong. I happen to believe that the Bible is the perfect, infallible word of the living God. So, I need to believe that I cannot trust my conscience. If you also believe in the Word of God then I encourage you to mistrust yours as well. I challenge you that if you have "peace" about something that the Bible states is wrong your peace is not from the Lord. And you are obeying something other than God's word.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


We have lived in our home for 5 years. Our home is in a unique spot. We have only one real neighbor. They live across the street. An elderly couple. They have lived in their home for over 40 years. Bob, the man, is pretty set that he wants things within our little nook to be the way he likes it. During the past 5 years we have had our share of neighbor issues. Bob does not like that our lawn is sometimes a little long. He does not like when we leave things on our porch. He has expressed to us countless times the many things he does not like that we do.
I have tried to be respectful of him. I have become pretty angry at some of the things that he does. But I have tried to be kind. We bake them cookies. We wave and say hi when we go outside. Our kids get so excited to see him and his wife and they beg to go and talk to them. I actually am pretty fond of his wife, Nancy. She is a sweet Christian woman. I have prayed with her on our lawn a few times. She bakes us goodies and brings presents to the kids at Christmas time.
But today Bob crossed a line. He came over to the house tonight. I was gone and Todd was inside playing with the kids. Todd opened the door and Bob proceeded to tell him that we needed to "shut that F***ing dog up." Todd had been playing with the kids and apparently the dog was outside. Todd said he heard her barking and that it may have gone on for about 5 minutes. But Bob was livid. He told Todd that we needed to not let her bark or he was going to sue us. This is not the first time he complained about our dog. I tend to not let her bark for a long time. But the reality is that sometimes when you have kids going outside to get the dog is not the priority. So she might bark for 5 minutes while I am changing a diaper or helping Liz go potty. Or sometimes it is because I am in the middle of 400 things at once and Riley is bottom of the totem pole. But she rarely ever barks for longer than 5 minutes. Except for the occasion two years ago, that Bob still remembers, when we were at a wedding rehearsal and we had a babysitter for our kids. The babysitter apparently left the dog out for 1/2 hour barking. Bob called us to tell us to get the dog inside. I am pretty sure that our dog barking does not warrant being sued. But anyway. I am not so angry that he "hates dogs" as he told Todd. And I am not really angry that everything we do is under his scrutiny. I am more upset that when Todd came in my girls had to ask why Bob was yelling at their daddy. I am mad that he would have such arrogance and disrespect to come to my home and treat my husband that way in front of our kids. I mad that he thinks that he has the right to tell us exactly how we should behave within his radius. I am upset that he threatens to sue us over our dog barking for 5 minutes when just a few months back he ran a skidster over our septic field.
I was reminded in my anger of the verse Matthew 5:44 "But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (NIV) I did not feel like praying for him. I do not feel like loving him. But then Todd told me that after he came in the house and the girls asked why Bob behaved that way, Todd told them that Bob was having a bad day and then my kids prayed for him. It is so simple. And I will pray for him. And I will love him. And maybe we will make them cookies.
I feel a bit better after praying for him and after my blog therapy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Polar Bears and Cleaning

I am not quite sure when it began. Whenever I clean the kitchen floor I take all of the table chairs and line them up in such a way to block the kids in the living room. It gets the chairs out of the way and creates a barricade to keep them from running in my dirt piles. But now for some reason whenever I create the barricade Elizabeth pretends they are in a polar bear cave. The polar bears are sometimes friendly, sometimes sleeping, sometimes very mean. We have sung them lullabies and the kids have made them dinner all in attempts to keep them from attacking.

Today I made the polar bear cave and cleaned the floor. Today the polar bear games continued long after the barricade was returned to the table. While I was putting away a basket of laundry upstairs I heard scurrying little feet. And when I came down to see what was going on I was informed that one of the polar bears attacked Claire and hurt her very badly. Claire was being nursed back to health by Elizabeth. Elizabeth held a play kitchen pot-holder around Claire's arm for about 15 minutes. I was extremely surprised that Claire sat still for that long and that Elizabeth was willing to sit and hold it on her for that amount of time.

Fast forward to lunch time. Elizabeth was doing way more playing than eating and way more talking than she should have. Elizabeth then informed me that the polar bears were coming to the table and we needed to stop eating. I told her that I had put special polar bear repellent in her mac and cheese and veggies and if she ate them the polar bears would not be able to get her.
This was very intriguing to her. She asked all sorts of question.

Where did you get this stuff?

My pocket.

Can I see it?

No it is invisible.

Is it in there?


Is it in there for real?

Well, no not for real. But the polar bears are only pretend, so we can pretend we have repellent.

Mom saves the day again.