Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is Prayer Powerless

All of your comments have been so very helpful. It's funny, but you all agreed with each other. That really says something. I think I agree with all of you, even though many churches I have attended believe otherwise. This does stir up another question though. What place does of prayer have? If our prayer has no power, what's the point... right?

I think back to the Old Testament where God is ready to destroy the Israelites in the desert. Moses pleads on their behalf, and God listens. Was there power in Moses' prayer? How is God so easily swayed? "Hmm, I was going to destroy a nation, but since Moses asked me not to... so never mind". I could so write an entire post on how profoundly this part in the Bible disturbs me.

Then there was the time I felt like the Lord woke me up to pray for my husbands safe arrival to work (I never do this as I'm still sleeping) I prayed... and prayed... and after 30 minutes of prayer I finally felt released and went back to bed. Only to get a call from my husband to say he hit black ice on the way to work, spun around three times, and miraculously straightened out and went on to work. Then that evening a relative said they woke to pray for his safe drive to work that very morning. If we hadn't prayed would he have been in a wreck? Or died? Is there ANY power in prayer? And if there is don't we shoulder some responsibility?

I believe God will answer prayers that align with his will, but if we don't pray, will his perfect will still happen?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is it god's will that we are healed?

OK blog friends. I'm really struggling with an issue here. So as I have often done, I'm going to throw a theological question out, and ask that you answer according to your beliefs.

Is it ALWAYS God's will that we are healed?

I came from a church that said it is ALWAYS God's will that we are healthy and prosper. If it's not the case, it's because we didn't pray in enough faith. It really put us in the position of performance.

I remember a devoted member of the church and mother of three was dying of cancer. Our pastor stood up and addressed the congregation and said "those of us not being healed must step up to the plate with our Faith....... If we are not being healed it's our own fault". This woman prayed and prayed, yet lost the battle. The church responded that God did his part, she must have not done hers. OUCH. Can you imagine the pressure she felt? She didn't have enough faith to live? I pity her children who are left to think Mommy died because she didn't pray hard enough.

Still, I KNOW God heals. He healed me. I had to walk out in faith to claim that healing. I called out verses that claimed God's will that we are all healed. Yet I still wonder...

I found this statement on a pro "it's God's will you are healed" website:

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 2). This verse clearly tells us that it is the will of God for His children to be in health. Since it is His will for us to be in health, it cannot - at the same time - be His will for us to be sick! It is God's will to heal you!

In James 5:14, God asks, Is any sick among you? To whom is He referring? He refers to any person who is sick! ANY - the same word He used when He said He is not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). If salvation is for all who will repent, then healing is for all who will believe and act upon God's promise in James 5:14,15. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith SHALL save the sick, and the Lord SHALL raise him up!

Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits; Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases (Psalm 103:2,3). These benefits are for both soul and body - salvation and healing! Christ forgives ALL sins and He heals ALL diseases! So don't just remember some of His benefits, but claim all of them. Healing is the will of God for you!

It sounds good right?

Then I read from a web site that claimed that God sometimes heals... but only if it's in his will (which it's not always). Does God sometimes allow us to be sick, or poor, or martyred because the end result will best accomplish his will?

I do not agree that 'Jesus desires us to be healed of all our sickness'. His purposes are far higher than our desire for a quick fix to our problems. Having said that, it is also sometimes definitely the will of God to heal us and He still does so wonderfully today. But that is why He is our Heavenly Father, faithful through good and hard times. He knows what is best for us, even when we don't.

I think God has given us the book of Job to show that even for those whom He calls 'blameless and upright', He still allows them to suffer (and Job's suffering included physical sickness) if it is part of His plan for the individuals greater good. There are many other examples we could look at - even from the New Testament.

The Apostle Paul - it was because of a 'bodily illness' that he ended up preaching to the Galatians. There is no hint that it was against the will of God that this happened or that if Paul had just had more faith he wouldn't have got sick at all! (Gal 4:13)

Timothy - He suffered from frequent stomach problems. Again, when this is addressed by Paul, he doesn't say 'Timothy, you are out of God's will! Just believe and it will go away!' No, Paul takes a very practical stance in the matter and simply says 'Stop drinking only water and use a little wine.' (1 Tim 5:23)

Other examples could be mentioned like Tropimus (2 Tim 4:20) or Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25-30). But never is there anything in these examples to suggest that they shouldn't have been sick! Unfortunately, because of all the faith-prosperity fakes around, there is confusion on this issue within the church.

I'm confused. I don't know WHAT to believe. Both sides have such compelling arguments... both backed up with scripture. What do you think?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fake Smiles and My Son... The Ladies Man

Where is the time going? I've had such a busy week, and it won't let up until after Christmas. I've had the desire to write, but so little time to do so.

We have been doing the Christmas party thing.... with another party tonight. After this, only one more to go! YEAH. I am trying to like these things, because my super social husband LOVES them, and, I DO get new dresses out of the deal. So, time to plaster on the fake smiles and keep my mouth shut about politics and religion, while eating stuffed mushrooms and sipping champagne. Shallow conversations and egos abound. S-L-O-W death for non surface dwellers like me. Oh, but I'm a big girl (did I say I get new dresses?) and I can handle it. I can be shallow... for a good five minutes. That's where sipping champagne comes in handy. My mouth is preoccupied!

Oh, I do have to share, last weekend we went to a charity event, and they had a female pastor stand up to pray. She was abrupt, and new agey, and called God a "she". At that point she went on to pray to Mohammad. I felt a sharp pinch in my right thigh as my husband with pleading eyes and clinched teeth whispered "don't". Oh oh oh, but I must! Quickly I scanned the room looking for someone to unload on. Then I spotted her. A few yards behind me a wild charismatic from my old church sat snickering with her husband. Perfect. I hiked up my skirt and made a quick bee line (that might have got me a place on the football team) right to her. 20 minutes of righting theological wrongs, and I was ready to re-plaster the smile, bat the eye lashes, and keep quiet.

This morning I'm scrapbooking a book for my husbands grandmother (only one more page to go). I'll finish that up, run a quick load of laundry, then start getting ready for tonight. I haven't even got dressed yet... I think I may skip that step today.

As I was messing with my evil sticky photo thingy, my 5 year old son came up to me and said "Mom, I want boobs, but not on me... just some to have." "Um honey, you'll get that when God gives you a wife." "Oh yes.. I can't wait!" Lord help us.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


* (Another Conservachick disclaimer)*I know that many of you are not all that interested in Politics, but I encourage each and everyone of you not ignore this post, but actually read it, consider it, and GET INVOLVED! *

I didn't name myself Conservachick for nothin'! Most of my posts do not revolve around
politics (even though I love them so very much) but around my walk with God, my daily life with my family, and even some theological stuff. As we are nearing the 2008 election, I think it's important I live up to my name, and let you know why it's so important we support MIKE HUCKABEE!

When I first looked at our options for 2008 presidential election I was very discouraged. The Republican choices didn't support my beliefs, and Hillary and Obama would get my vote when hell freezes over! I looked at Mitt Romney (figured a Mormon might share my conservative views) only to discover his voting record was more Liberal than most LIBERALS!

Then I started to hear a buzz in Christian circles about an unknown... Mike Huckabee. He is UN APOLOGETICALLY a Christian. He believes just as I do on all the issues. Speaks with tact, and kindness, and is not run by the special interest groups. He was the Arkansas Governor for over 10 years and before that, a pastor! He was the youngest president ever of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention!

I thought.... this is too good to be true! I love this guy, but this "unknown" doesn't have a shot! Ah, but with GOD, all things are possible. Christians everywhere are starting to catch wind of this candidate who ACTUALLY supports their beliefs! Like wildfire his positive campaign and moral stance on issues are being noticed. People like me... and now hopefully YOU are sharing the news! We DON'T have to settle! WE CAN HAVE THE BEST!

Proof that God's hand is in this campaign? Last week, this unknown with only $475,000, shot up to 25% of the Republican vote. Today, CBS/NY Times poll as well as a CNN poll have us statistically tied him for first place in the nation with Rudy Giuliani! DID YOU HEAR THAT! Look at what GOD is doing!

So what should we do to get Mike Huckabee into office? GET THE WORD OUT! Just yesterday I asked a conservative friend who he was voting for, and he glumly said, Obama I guess. WHAT? What about Huckabee? He replied "who's Huckabee?" THIS is where WE come in. Tell everyone you know about this candidate who really supports our views!

I also encourage you all to donate. Let's encourage a man who is not taking money from special interest groups. Let him continue to answer to God, not the company or cause that throws the most money in his direction. TV ads cost $$$, traveling costs $$$. Shouldn't we as Christian's help support our brother's efforts to get in office, and create real and positive change in this nation? You can donate a just $1! If we all give a little, God can magnify it into a lot.

They also have the option to give $20.08 (for the 2008 election... cute). I thought, I'll skip the fast food this week and give to a GREAT cause instead. It's a win win! $20 bucks to a great cause, and 800 calories less on my butt!

Get a bumper sticker, a yard sign, or do what my kids did! They made homemade signs that said I heart Huckabee, and a few that said "vote for Huckabee or you are dumb" I made them put those up for later ( ;

Anyway, you get the picture, Huckabee is an AWESOME candidate. Hey, but don't take my word for it... see all the new links on my side bar? Click on any of them and you will get to his website. Read about him! Read how he stands on the issues! If God leads you, donate! Then come back and tell me you visited the site! Oh and here is a giveaway Conservachick style.... I'll even send one of you lucky commenter's a Huckabee for President bumper sticker! Yeah, maybe that's not the best giveaway incentive, but I think once you learn more about this guy, you'll think being a part of this cause, is reward enough!!!!



Friday, December 7, 2007

Better Than Enchanted

Check out this shirt! It's kind of blurry, but it says.... CONSERVACHICK! PLUS, it has little pink elephants (Republican ones no doubt) across the front.
Sorry it's not a better pic of the shirt, but my son was only good for two pictures, and he cut the tiara off on the other one (you can't have that can you?). Later I may just post a picture of the shirt... yes I'm that excited about it.

OK, to explain the tiara. I was cleaning the laundry room and there it was, calling to me. I placed it on my head and I was instantly transformed into a domestic princess. I'm gonna wear it all day! I mean really, I've been humming the song to Sleeping Beauty all morning. Even in my un showered, no make up, glasses wearing state, I still feel like I could talk to chipmunks and love dwarfs. Does it get any better than that?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Freedom (Homeschool post #2)

After my last post, I thought I'd never have the energy to write again. It took a lot out of me. Yet I find this process of writing it all out important.

I covered my Godly conviction in my last post, but I have the personal and emotional aspect of my choice as well. I have felt emotional turmoil over homeschooling for quite awhile, but I wasn't sure where God wanted me. I chose to not act, but to continue my homeschooling path.

Here I am, willing to openly share my struggles with you, and I ask that you please be kind, non judgmental, and understanding.

The first of my homeschool struggles would have to be my inability to keep my children on task. I might have one listening, one picking his nose, one throwing a fit in their room, and one running circles around the house. This could be the great makings of a funny homeschool post, but guess what, it's not funny. I will cry, and get angry, and throw the books down and scream "forget it". With four kids, RARELY do I have all of them quiet and obedient at once. Those precious moments are homeschool bliss, but not nearly frequent enough to maintain sanity.

Is this normal for homeschooling moms? Many books I read would say, "you need to get your kids in order, discipline them, THEN homeschool them." Sounds great, right? Only, as I'm dealing with attitudes, boogers, and 5 year old energy, I seem to never get around to the school part (or visa versa). 7 years of homeschooling, and these last few years I can't seem to manage to get my children to listen to me. So, I try to do school, I try to discipline, and feel like nothing ever gets accomplished.

School (and the drama that comes with it) takes up a big portion of my day, then we have the activities. Add to that cooking three meals, laundry for 6, and constant mess makers who make cleaning like shoveling snow in a snowstorm, I feel like I can never get ahead! Actually, I spend at least 2 hours + a day cleaning, folding, etc, and my house is never clean. It drives me crazy. I don't need immaculate, just tidy. Yes, I know, if I have my children help do chores I will only have to clean 30 minutes a week. I have that book. I guess I'm just not a good enough "manager of my home" to make it work.

While I'm at it, I should say that ALL of those homeschool type books that tell you how to raise perfect obedient kids, how to have a managed schedule, how to do it all... just don't work for me. I want to burn them all for the inferiority complex they have given me when I just can't measure up! I have them all, and all of them have caused me to TRY to perform as I should, but guess what! I am TIRED of performing.

When does the performing "grace" run out and you decide "I'm failing?"

My marriage is suffering. My husband comes home to a messy house, a stressed wife, and 4 unstructured kids. Is it any wonder he keeps coming home later, and later? I don't want to be here anymore than he does.

My health is suffering. I have my own issues I need to resolve (as stated on a previous post). I don't have the time to get myself back in shape (physically and spiritually). Health is important. My children need their mother to be healthy. My husband needs his wife to feel attractive.

My father is sick. They believe he has Alzheimer's. Is it selfish to want this time with my unsaved father? Before he forgets who I am?

Homeschool feel monotonous, miserable, and empty. Yes, we occasionally have those great breakthroughs. The ones where you feel like you made an impact, but each one is a trade off for weeks of uneventful, fruitless days.

What will the future hold? I don't know. Maybe it's for a season, maybe forever. This I DO know. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Mathew 11:28-30

If God calls me to homeschool again, the burden WILL be light! For a long time, I wondered, am I not praying enough for his peace? His homeschooling grace? Have I not "properly" handed this burden over to him to carry? Or is this burden not mine to carry at all?

You can all think what you want of me, but I am ready to be set free of this "burden" in my life. YES, I have handed it to God. "Fix it Father, I'm not able to do this on my own." So when he says "You've been released, only your fear is keeping you here" I want to shout out and dance for joy! I'm released. Do you hear that? I AM FREE!

Monday, December 3, 2007

A New Season

Alright, here is my conclusion to my gossip post! I really meant to have it written a few days ago, but the weekend ended up being busier than I anticipated.

Many of the commenter's from the last post said they couldn't wait for scandalous revelations. I think my "scandals" might be disappointing if you were expecting something of Desperate Housewife proportion's... sorry.

I DID however promise long and arduous. That my friends, I can deliver on! So grab a cup of coffee and pull up a comfortable chair. This is gonna take awhile!

To restate the original post, we are going to put our kids in public school after the Christmas break. This might not seem like a huge revelation, UNLESS you have been following my blog for awhile.

A brief history....

Gotta go WAY back first! When my oldest was 3 (she is now almost 12), my husband and I felt a calling to homeschool our children. I know this was from the Lord. It brought so much fruit and growth to our family over the years, I will always be grateful for that season in our lives.

During much of this time, we attended a homeschool group with a very strong leader that I would lovingly refer to as a Militant Homeschooler. This woman was amazing, but quite opinionated. She would preach monthly that homeschooling was the ONLY way. She also ran a course that would "qualify" you in the state of Washington to homeschool. The course required that you read nearly 40 books of her choosing. Many of them gems.. some of them not. All of them supported a homeschool lifestyle. A few of the books went into great lengths about the dangers of public schools, and the biblical mandate to homeschool. Add these teachings to magazines like "The Old Schoolhouse" that say to put your kids in public school is a SIN. And a healthy dose of the Pearls, the Cambels, the Maxwell's, and other perfect jumper clad homeschool families, and I was NEVER going to put my kids in school. I would be a homeschool mom FOREVER!

The problem.... I had taken the words of man above God. While God initially called us to homeschool, my conviction had been replaced by fear and performance. I was so brainwashed by the legalistic mandates that permeates much of the homeschool movement, that I was paralyzed to hear anything different, even the voice of my father. My devotions were homeschool based, we would seek out homeschool friendly churches, my friends were all homeschoolers. I honestly do not know when God's call to homeschool ended, but my suspicion is that it was SEVERAL years ago, but I like my slew of homeschool mentors was opinionated, and God just COULDN'T want me to NOT homeschool, could he?

Last Spring, my husband wanted to put our kids into Public school for the last 6 weeks of the year. I was horrified, but obedient. I cried and mourned my children like you wouldn't believe. I mean really, what kind of good homeschool mom would allow their children to even enter the doors of a public school?

I remember coming home after dropping them of that first day, and crying out to the Lord "Why did you make me do this? How could you make me feed my own children to the wolves?" God's LOUD reply "I AM BIGGER THAN THE WOLVES!" Peace.... my soul finally understood that God didn't call us to live in a bubble to protect ourselves from the world, but to go out and be a LIGHT to the world and GOD would protect us! WOW. I had been living in such fear, NOT faith. for SO many years. It took putting my kids in school for the shackles of legalism to finally start to fall off!

That brings us to what made me change my mind over the Summer, and choose to homeschool the kids again. The REAL reason.

Our school experience was actually a good one. My kids DID share their faith, pray for their classmates, and for the first time in years, I felt like we were making a real impact for the Lord. We had taken a step outside our bubble, not to find people that wanted to destroy us, but people ... children, hungry and eager to know what we had!

Somehow over the Summer, fear took root in my heart. With the busy summer days, my quiet time all but disappeared, and I fell back into my old patterns of fear and loathing of the world. My husband and I would pray for answers about the next school year only to spend twice as long rationalizing why homeschool was better.

Then is happened. One of my children had to face temptation over the summer. My oldest daughter asked me to go to the movies with some friends. She asked if she could just be dropped off, because that is what all the other girls where doing. I said we'd have to pray about it with daddy, but we'll see. Within a few seconds she burst into tears. "Mom, they are going to invite BOYS, and I just can't do it. I feel so uncomfortable, and I don't want to lie to you. I am SO sorry, please forgive me."

Now, this was a pivotal moment for me. Rather than me look at this situation and say, "WOW, my daughter was tempted to do something bad, and turned from it, look at what an awesome kid she is turning out to be." I thought "Look... the world is going to get us! See the temptation she is faced with already! After only six weeks! I must shield her and protect her and SHELTER her so she never has to be tempted again!" Talk about damage done to our relationship. "Yeah honey, if you share something like that with me, I'll freak out and never let you see other children again. Hmmm, sounds like lots of other people I know.

Now add THAT to the years of homeschool propaganda, my homeschool peers verbally assaulting my choice to put them in Public School (this is the peer pressure part), and it was easy to dismiss the hard thing God was calling us to do and fall back into our old pattern of fear.

So we homeschooled again. Fear for not just my daughter, but all of my children, that the big bad world was going to get them and God wasn't big enough to do anything about it.

We went into this year deciding that we were going to put forth full effort to make it the best year ever! While I was sad in my heart about keeping them home (maybe that should have been an indication) I went ahead and made it work.

It was going "well". My kids were learning, we were active in the support group, it was probably the smoothest year I've had yet. But, something was off. Very off.

Re-enter quiet time with the Lord. God brought me into a study about Exodus, and the Israelites who kept going back to their old ways (and yearning for Egypt) despite what God had said, the miracles he performed, etc.

Legalism and fear are my Egypt, and I keep going back to it! God wants me finally set free!

One morning after a study, as I went to homeschool my kids, I knew that God's hand was no longer in it. I could go through the motions, even make it look pretty, but God's hand had been lifted. The result? An empty void... Our time did NOT feel like time well spent. Our calling was elsewhere. I felt it, the kids felt it. My husband felt it.

That was a few weeks ago, and my conviction to put the kids BACK in school grows stronger each day. I am not afraid because I KNOW I will be walking in God's will, and it feels GOOD!

I've had many good years of homeschooling. Years that helped form our family in positive ways. I will always be a strong supporter of the homeschooling movement (at least the part of it that isn't legalistic). Yet I feel blessed to be released from it. I am excited to enter into this new phase in our lives. I know that God is going to do some amazing things! It won't always be easy, God never said it would be. But the renewed faith I have is helping me to live passionately for God.... on the edge of discomfort.

Finally, when I look at choosing between living a safe, fearful, sheltered life, or one one that is crazy and faith filled, and even a bit scary, I'd choose the faith filled life every time! Whether homeschooling, or in public school, in the mission field, or in our own back yard, we all need to let God determine our direction. We need to be making a real impact in our children's lives, and in the world around us. If we are not, it's time to take a second look at our choices. Look closely at the source, is it fear or is it God? For me, that choice was hard. But I'm ready. Ready to turn my head away from my comfortable place of mediocrity, and turn it towards my action packed, never a dull moment, amazing God! Bring It On!!!!!