For the next 10-12 days I will be away.
"Away" is a good place, wherever it may be. Sometimes we simply need a break away from the usual place.
I will tell you what "away" waa slike on my return...
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
A highlight day of the church calendar approaches this weekend. It is the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection from the dead, following the ghastly events of the Passion week culminating in the osbervance of His death on Good Friday.
I Corinthians 15 is the biblical source for understanding the significance of the resurrection and the key verse for me is verse 19 where Paul observes, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men."
The daily Chrfistian life with all of its challenges is worthwhile because of the sustaining presence and power of Christ. Andrae Crouch wrote many years ago, "If heaven were never promised to me, it would still be worth serving the Lord..." I often agreed with that verse until I revisited this scripture which says that if our hope in Christ is restricted to this life, we are are "to be pitied", or as the KJV suggests, we are "most miserable".
I found some further scripture that corroborated that thought, ""So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temproal and what is unseen is eternal", II Corinthians 4:18.
What is in focus in this scriptural context is the fact that many of us experience a variety of challenging cricumstances this side of glory. We are "outwardly wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all".
So Resurrection Sunday shouts hope to us! Sometimes we are not certain--if hard-pressed to respond--that the daily grind is sufficient motivation for serving Christ. We find our solace in the long-term objective of being freed from these mortal bodies and and transformed for the eternal reward thata waits us. That is why Paul would write at the end of his life, "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing", II Timothy 4:8.
Resurrection Sunday approaches, and with it the reminder for those struggling with the daily "stuff" of life, God has something better in mind.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross...Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that youw ill not grow weary and lose heart", Hebrews 12:2.3.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Alot of families at Grace Fellowship Church--over half of them, in fact--homeschool their children. More often than not their children are way ahead of their public school counterparts in the educational process. There is verifiable data statewide that confirms that.
"Parents do not have a constituitonal right to home school their children." Not every parent should/can homeschool their children. Some parents would willingly acknowledge that their own formal education leaves something to be desired as well as their patience quotient being inadequate for the teaching process. Others would have to admit, "I do not have the time or energy for this task". Undoubtedly, there are some parents who are not so honest about their weaknesses and have abused the homeschooling situation by not being diligent about the requirements and daily disciplines.
The family at the heart of the recent ruling by judges in Los Angeles County concerned one family who has a twenty year history of litigation in the juvenile courts regarding the care of their children. Sucha ruling should not have been used to punish an entire class of people who are committed to the regimen of effective homeschooling.
The Home School Legal DefenseAssociation in California has filed a contesting brief in this case, and the California State Governor has issued his own deprecation of this irrational order that potentially affects nearly 200,000 school-age children in California--the only state with such a prohibition.
What seems to be at the heart of such a ruling is the restriction of freedom and the imposition of regulations on parents seeking to provide the best education they can for their chidlren. Given the decidedly-secular propensities of the public school system and the high cost of private schooling, the option of homeschooling has become more inviting for concerned parents.
As a grandparent--my children all raised (private school "survivors")--I am concerned for my eleven grandchildren, some in public school, some in private school. At the very least I trust their parents to decide what are the best options for their children, and then to pursue them with the freedom to assess and access all the options available to them.
Should they decide to homeschool, I would support their decision and freedom to do so!
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
The last few days have been pristine in amador County. A little cold, and a little windy...but crystal blue sky, "greening" hills and the first bursts of spring color.
And a whole lot of sunshine!
Yesterday several of our staff members took our lunches outside and sat underneath the comforting warmth of the eaely afternoon sun.
Last night, just before the sun slipped away for its evening "rest", I stood on my deck and breathed in deeply the diminishing rays of the sun as it vanished behind a mountain on the western horizon.
And this m0rning, when I rountinely went to get my morning paper from the front yard, I stopped for a moment, looked up into the sky above and whispered an invigorated "Thank you, Jesus" to the heavens.
What is it about the sun and sunshine? Psalm 84:11 tells us "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless."
As to the future, Jesus says, "...the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father...", Matthew 13:43.
No wonder I love the sun!