Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

 I have been alone with my thoughts more than I care to be. This reminds me of a scene in The Mirror Has Two Faces where Lauren Bacall (playing Barbara Streisand’s mother) after a sleepless night comments to her middle aged daughter, “It’s awful to leave a woman my age alone with her thoughts.” The inference to age aside, I am realizing that when left alone I seem to default to fault-finding introspection.

I have more time on my hands recently since I am between Seminary courses right now. I love my classes, although I no longer enjoy the camaraderie of my peers now that we moved half-way across the country from my school…again. Southern Evangelical Seminary is my third college to attend because we have moved so much due to my husband’s career. I have 110 hours toward a business degree and am about 11 courses short of completing my Biblical Studies degree. Studying as an external student is isolating, almost as much, I remember, as being a stay-at-home mother of four preschoolers.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I LOVE learning! I have over 600 books on my computer (many are reference books), but I could read a book every day for 200 years and still never satisfy my insatiable appetite for knowledge. Makes me sound smart and perhaps in some circles I am, but the more I learn, the more pitifully inadequate I become.

I say all this to culminate with this confession; I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Sounds juvenile and pathetic, I know. And I am quite embarrassed at the acknowledgment of said fact; however, this undeniable observation is the elephant in the warehouse of my thoughts. I have been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years now, and, by God’s grace, I do not have to work. This I recognize as a beautiful blessing, as I am unhindered to fully invest in my family. But still, a small part of me wants to do more—to be more. And that small part is getting louder with every day that passes.

Is this the equivalent of my husband’s mid-life crises? I hope not, because we don’t have enough room for all of Jim’s accumulated toys in the garage for me to add to the stash. I do sense an emerging desire to DO something rather than HAVE something. Everywhere we have lived, God has placed successful Christian writers and speakers in my life and many have encouraged me to pursue the same occupation. I have considered this many times, but (and here is the darkest thought that keeps occupying my mind)… I am NOBODY. I fully believe that I have nothing of value that would be of any help to anyone.

But maybe that is not an ominous thought after all…

Maybe it is essential for a simple clay pot to realize it is a simple clay pot. Apart from Christ I am nobody and can do nothing of eternal value, and perhaps that is the most proficient knowledge of all. To be content as a clay pot is liberating, to be satisfied as a clay pot is condemning. So I shall feast my mind’s eye on this: Let every breath glorify my Savior even if my service never seems to reach beyond the four walls of our home.

I foolishly believed that enduring a plethora of humiliations at Walmart at the less than stellar behavior of my children, that I have emerged a humble woman. But, no, I could still be accused of secretly desiring glory for myself. While there may be some substance to that accusation, I really just want the approval of my Father. I just want to please Him and I think we all make the mistake of confusing the praises of the world as the praises of the Father.

God can be glorified whether I am scrubbing toilets, teaching a precept to my son at the dinner table, reigning on the Best Seller list, or speaking before an audience of thousands. Loving the Lord faithfully should consume my thoughts and my actions even when no one is watching. I may never enjoy the praises of the world, and I can be content with that. I would much prefer the praises of my Father.  My purpose is not to draw attention to myself, but to draw the attention of others to Christ. Perhaps one day something eternally exquisite will arise from the confines of this simple earthen vessel. When that day comes, to God be the glory!

Many people claim that morality cannot be legislated.  However, all laws legislate morality, this is unavoidable. The question is whose morality should be legislated. The case will be made that legislating morality is Constitutional, it is enforceable and it is ethical.

Legislating morality is Constitutional. All laws determine one behavior right and its opposite wrong. All just laws uphold a moral standard. It is the responsibility of government to impose just laws to ensure a safe and civilized society. Our Constitution sets the standard for a national morality. As we author laws today we should use the same standard.

Legislating morality is enforceable. Whether a law is easily enforced does not determine morality. People who argue this point say, “you can’t legislate morality, look at prohibition.” But prohibition was more successful than most people think. Domentic problems due to alcohol plummeted during this time in American history. This case of over-legislation does not prove that we should not legislate moral views. We legislate against other things that are hard to enforce like murder and child abuse because those behaviors are wrong. To say people will do it anyway misses the point of legislating morality. We should not withdraw laws against these behaviors because they are not easy to enforce. Ease of enforcement does not determine morality.

Legislating morality is ethical. First, our American forefathers determined that we cannot establish a national religion, but requires that we establish a national morality. Secondly, all just laws uphold a moral absolute. Even people who argue against this point use it. All laws legislate morality, this is not only unavoidable, it is ethical. It is the responsibility of government to establish a just morality to ensure a safe and civilized society.

Objections:

You can’t legislate morality, just look at prohibition. 

Prohibition was more successful than most people realize. The 18th Amendment was ratified due to concern about a morally reprehensible behavior endangering our health and safety. Due to prohibition most people obeyed the law and family crisis due to alcoholism dropped, admissions to mental hospitals due to alcoholism diminished and health problems and death due to alcohol dropped. The law acts as a good teacher regulating behavior. We still regulate alcohol today with age restrictions and consumption laws. This case of over legislation does not prove that moral views should not be legislated.

You can’t make people be good.

No, but most people obey the law which is good. The law acts as a teacher restricting and regulating behavior and most people do obey the law. For instance, if all the speed limit signs were removed tomorrow, most people would continue obeying at the previously posted speed limits because they have been trained to drive at a safe speed. Obedience ensures a good and safe society.

It’s a violation of the separation of church and state.

Our Constitution disallows establishing a national religion, but sets the standard for a national morality. Our American forefathers ensured that religion would be free from regulation, not that the government would be free from religion. Twenty-seven of them went to seminary so naturally their Christian worldview influenced the construction of our federal laws. Our government even funded missionaries. If we could not legislate against laws that are consistent with religious laws we could not legislate murder, rape or incest, etc. Our religious laws and our national laws are similar because the source of our morality is the same. James Madison wanted to ensure that we would be free to worship as we chose. The current interpretation of the law did not formalize until 1947 with Everson vs. the Board of Education. Jefferson’s letter to Danbury stating his desire for a impregnable wall of separation between the church and the state was taken out of context. He wanted to protect the church from the government not the other way around.

You ought not impose your morals on me!

All laws impose someone’s morality on someone else. Even someone arguing this point is imposing their morality. All just laws uphold a self-evident moral standard – our morality, not just mine or yours. Don’t confuse “what ought” with “what is.” Laws are prescriptive telling us the  way we ought to behave, not descriptive. To legislate laws that uphold a moral standard is not only unavoidable it is ethical to ensure a safe and civilized society.

 

  

The focus of planning according to the Lord’s will is not trying to decipher the details of your life such as who you will marry, what job you will get, or where you will live as if consulting a fortune teller. Planning according to the Lord’s will is about ensuring that the plans you make are in align with His precepts. 

 

 

Does your potential mate have a growing faith in Christ and is your relationship pure?  Does the job you are considering still allow you to put God and family first?  Is the home you want to purchase affordable and still allow you to give generously?  We sometimes fret over details trying to figure out what God wants us to do, when if we examine our desires and plans in light of scripture His truth always reigns. 

 

 

God’s word is black and white; the gray only exists in man’s heart.  Are you struggling with a decision right now?  Is it possible that you know the answer, but it is not what you want to hear?  Most of the time our problem lies in a failure to obey not in a failure to know God’s will. 

 

 Deut. 30:19-20  19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

 

Today commit to choose life – a life that honors God, so that you will love Him well, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.