Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keeper of the Home - The 31 Day Challenge

Who are you? Are you a Mary or a Martha? If you're a Martha type, then you may not need this challenge.
I'm pumped! I hear the lyrics of "Eye of the Tiger" in my mind. I've been reading this wonderful blog on how to clean my home in 31 days. I'm not a natural born cleaner and more of a Mary than a Martha. I'm not a lazy person, but I love to hang out with friends, play with my kids, chat online, cook...anything but clean my house. I want a clean house for the peace of  having a little slice of heaven, but cleaning is boring and tedious to me. Laundry and cleaning the bathrooms are at the bottom of my not-so-favorites. I'm just keeping it real sisters.

Organization is also an issue. Almost everyday I'm looking for my keys or some other important item. Cleaning and organizing goes against my more imaginative and creative grain. Maybe some of you are more the Mary type. Most people I know are Marthas. They don't get us Marys, but I don't get the Marthas either. There is a balance we all need to strive for. I've known women who cleaned to the point of forgetting to feed their kids. I'm not judging here, because I have the problem at the other end of the spectrum.

I'm ready for the 31 day challenge. It's the perfect time since we're at the end of summer and still have a month before school starts. Who is with me? Check out the link below.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thoughts on Harry Potter

I haven't been on my Facebook news feed in a few days, and it's always interesting on what is being talked about around the modern water cooler. Almost every other post is about Harry Potter. There are some who are excited about the last book coming to life on the big screen, and there are those who are warning against it. I'll first disclose that I'm not a fan, and even though I'm a born again Christian, I will not be out with my torch and pitchfork at my local theater this evening.

Before all of the hysteria began, someone loaned me the book. I unknowingly read the first couple of chapters, and I knew it was not something I would enjoy. Later, I viewed one of the movies to see what all the fuss was about, and fell asleep. I just didn't get it. I love a good epic of good and evil, but something about Harry and his friends didn't do it for me. My black and white personality  couldn't find the clear distinction between good and evil, which is one of the complaints I hear about the stories.  I admit that I'm a big ring geek (The Lord of the Rings), so I understand what it's like to enjoy a story about enduring characters, self sacrifice and heroic journeys.

There are a lot of concerns with the lure of Harry Potter especially with children. Ever since this popular series has exploded into a huge phenomenon, the acceptance of the occult has brought on a life of its own. I visited my local library a few months back, and I saw a display of about a hundred books on witchcraft, how to talk to the dead, making potions, just to name a few. I honestly don't think this would have been showcased in such a way 10 years ago. I've seen many people fall into the traps of Wicca by the glamorization of dark mystic trialling and seen it tear down families. Needless to say, I will not let my boys watch Harry Potter and they don't have an interest. By seeming indifferent to the series, it has made them disinterested . With that being said, I feel I can share some thoughts on why it bothers me that some of my brethern are getting on the band wagon speaking against this popular series in public forums like Facebook. Also, if you're going to speak out against immoral movies, you might as well do all of them.

I'm going to pick on "The Notebook" for example, because I've seen it "liked" by many churched teen girls and it goes unchallenged. You're probably thinking that it is not a fair comparison since Harry Potter and The Notebook are two completely different genres. That may be true, but that does not mean both can't be an equal influence to a vulnerable mind with mixing moral with non moral elements. Before I knew the content of the film, I thought I would fix me some popcorn and watch an old fashion love story. I was shocked, disappointed and embarrassed at the explicit sensuality and flat out fornication.

The sad part about "The Notebook" it was that the main young couple didn't get along unless they were making out. The message was more on uncontrolled lust more than true love.  What shocks me more, is the promotion of this over the top erotic romance in mainstream Christian culture in "Christian" movie reviews. Even though there was no nudity, it did not leave much to the imagination with its long drawn out and loud sex scene. Some of the parents speaking out against Harry Potter are allowing their daughters watch things that can be just as destructive. The Notebook undermines purity, parental respect, marriage, and they are opposed in scripture as well as sorcery. The message is wrong of its influences that disenchant and distort a young woman's perfect notion of what love and sex really is, which may cause problems in her future marriage. I can mention more movies, but the point is made.

I also want to warn that the world is watching. I hardly think this should be the hill we all want to die on when it comes to glorifying God. I know many will disagree with me, and they are entitled to their opinion. Before I was saved, a frenzy broke out over the film “The Last Temptation of Christ”. My unregenerate heart went to see it out of rebellion, and curiosity. Looking back, it was the most blasphemous flaunt of evil that will remain wedged in my memory. When we speak out against something that is popular and opposes our beliefs, it fuels the fire.

I met a woman recently who, just by looking at her life, did not know Christ. She is a single parent living with her boyfriend. She was in my home and we were talking and getting to know each other. She knew I was a believer, and one of the first things she said is she read The Golden Compass and Harry Potter. I politely said, "Really, that's nice that you read. I don't read enough", and quickly changed the subject. I could tell she was trying to set up a trap for a debate. I was not going to go there. I was going to love her where she was at and hope a door would open to share the Savior. In my mind I was thinking, "You should of seen the books I read before I was saved; Steven King, Danelle Steel..., quit trying to shock me."

Also, when we are speaking against culture, we make less of Christ. It's fine if you want to discuss and warn those within the church, but to make such an issue of it could divide us from unbelievers. "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges."1 Corinthians 5:12.  “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

Paul Washer mentions the Harry Potter series at the 5:25 mark of this 8 minutes sermon excerpt. He is spot on.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

We all can learn from this 19 year old writer.

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards


Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.

21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6, A faithful man who can find? may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.

34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord' s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.

39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.

41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God' s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.

44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 11, and July 13.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man: knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord. June 25 and July 13, 1723.

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. January 14 and July 13, 1723.

64. Resolved, when I find those ‹groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those breakings of soul for the longing it hath, of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. August 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I'm not a hard core FIC person, but there is a lot to glean from this documentary. "What an indictment on the family. Obviously youth ministry has its problems, but the failure lies almost entirely on the parents." A comment from the "Divided" official website.

Official Divided the Movie (HD Version) from NCFIC on Vimeo.