Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Political Ramblings

So I'm a Republican. The more I understand what the different parties stand for the more I realize that I'm almost as Republican as one person can be. One may think this is because I'm a moral conservative, but it really doesn't have much to do about that. Here's why I'm for the GOP:

1. Why does our government get to own words? Retarded. ORGANIC anyone? Oh, wait, can I even say unless the USDA says it is?

2. Why can't we go out and hunt wild game whenever my family needs food to eat? I understand that certain parties would take advantage of this . . . but landowners should have certain rights.

3. I pay to fix up my property - invest in it - work hard to make it what it is - and then have to pay more property taxes to pay for children of welfarians to get an education. Step back and think about how much of our lives the government controls our lives. It's scary.

4. I believe in hand-ups - not hand-outs. I have experienced absolute, desolate third-world poverty. And I saw happy children in the midst of it. The truth is people who are given things without having to work for them feel entitled. ENTITLEMENT LEADS TO UNHAPPINESS!

5. Richard and I responsibly borrowed money and live in a basement! We have three children and live in a two bedroom 850 sq. ft. flat roofed basement (that I really do love) because we were RESPONSIBLE. And now we're going to pay (through either higher taxes or inflation) for all of those other people who bought houses that they couldn't afford. I AM BITTER!

However, today I got a taste of some good that can out of government aid. I was talking to a student at the school where I teach. I'm guessing she is 30-something. A divorcee, with two pre-teen girls, she also has a young son with her current boyfriend. She had two other children who died during or right after childbirth. And last year, she had cancer. Her boyfriend who finished his degree while he stayed home taking care of their son and her when she was being treated for cancer, can't find a job, so he's taking care of the little boy while she goes to school. Where would she be if it wasn't for some of the programs we have to help families like hers? But more than I feel sorry for her, I respect. She works so hard.

By the way, I'm not opposed to taxes. I gladly pay them:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Some thoughts on ministry

I have to admit . . . I tend to go my own way. Not that I don't read, educate, learn and grow every day, but I'm not the type of person to jump on band wagons. I do what works for me. So needless to say, if I'm not the type of person to do fad diets, the latest parenting approach, yada, yada, yada, I'm certainly not the type of person to jump on ministry fads either.

The truth is that the church has been around 2000 years without me, and will continue to be around until Christ returns. So I'm not too worried about keeping up with the latest ministry trends.

But I thought I should take time to define my views on ministry.

While I've been working in youth ministry since I was involved in youth ministry, I really only count my last three years, since it's where I've had the opportunity to experiment. When I started at Calvary there were 5 kids in the youth group who were all juniors and seniors. So I prayed for them, and let them go. I turned my attention to a group of 5 6th graders. Is this right? Isn't it my job to reach all of the kids in the church? It's not that I don't encourage them to become involved, invite the, love them . . . I just didn't focus on them. I'm a stay-at-home mom and since I've started this job I've had two more babies! I cannot successfully nurture every child involved in the church. I would have quit by now. So that's my first stance in ministry . . . I accept that I cannot reach everyone.

Now to the five 6th graders. They're freshmen now. All five are still involved in the church. One is non-committal, one does not attend youth meetings, three are what I consider my core group. I know all of this sounds crazy unsuccessful! And you're thinking that I'm an idiot. But bare with me.

Those three, I disciple. I pray for them. I encourage them. I am confident that they have a personal relationship with Christ. I will predict that in the three years that those three girls have left in high school . . . our group will experience exponential growth. Why? Because they are sharing their faith with their friends!

My job for the next three years will be to let them lead, nudge them when they need nudged, encourage them when they're down, challenge them when they need challenged.

As far as the church as a whole is concerned? DO WHATEVER IT TAKES! I don't have a facebook page for my youth group because they don't use facebook! I text message my kids on the Saturday nights before we have youth group to remind them. That works! Before that, I sent them postcards. That worked! What if every Saturday night you got a text message from the pastor asking you to attend church?

Okay . . . this is no literary masterpiece but just ramblings.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I am definately lax in my blogging, which may serve as an idea of what the rest of my life is like. Ah! I have to admit that I never finished Mere Christianity. I also have to admit that while I stayed with the first two books, the third started going over my head, and I veered away from it. I also haven't been doing my scripture memorizing or yoga! And those are supposed to be my top two priorities. Well, besides making sure my kids get fed.

I guess I should put a disclaimer in here that the reason yoga is so high on the priority list is because I've learned that I'm a better wife, mother, youth worker, etc. when I'm in physically good shape. So it's a priority that I have in order to meet my other priorities.

I can partially blame the lice, which I think are finally gone! I spazzed out completely.

So here I am: wondering why I have no self-discipline. Back to my beginning blog making my spiritual life a priority in order to nurture the spiritual lives of others. Grrr. I am so thankful that God's grace is sufficient for me.

I am excited though that our home church started a devotional series entitled Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, so I will be blogging about it some! I'm going to be leading a group on radical hospitality: which is really one of my spiritual gifts:)

At the church where I'm the youth leader, we've also implemented a ministry team (I know that we should have had one for ions) and have some exciting stuff going on there. My honest prayer for all of these things is that I'll find someplace (that exists outside of cyber-world) where I can have authentic friendship, fellowship and accountability.