Just the Nine of Us

Just the Nine of Us

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wisdom from the Word

The older I get, the more I realize that God's Word is really the only handbook we need for life. Every time I read through the familiar stories of the Bible, God shows me some new application for my life today. Lately He has been showing me how much parenting and marriage advice can be found in its pages. I've read the story from Judges 14, where Samson found a Philistine woman and told his parents to go get her for him. Samson's parents, knowing that God had told them to set Samson apart for Him from birth and that he would be used by God to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines, should have said, "Absolutely not son, you must choose a woman of God. That woman doesn't even know our God. You cannot have her. Choose someone else." But did they? No. They gave in to their son's desires. And just look where it landed him. Three wicked Philistine women later, Delilah tricks him into giving up his strength. The Philistines capture "Mighty Samson", and in the end he kills himself and three thousand others at the temple. What if his parents had simply not caved into him, but stood up and said, "Son, it's not about you and what you think you want. You must obey GOD." ?? A couple chapters later, a boy named Micah wants to use the money his mother has set apart for God to make an idol for their home. She allows him to do it, and before you know it the whole town is bowing down to the idol he has carved. What if she had said, "Micah, you know better than to carve an idol. Everything we have belongs to God. We will not use our money constructing idols." ?? Then in 1 Samuel 2-4 with Eli's sons. These boys had grown up in the temple. Their dad was even the priest! But at first we see them not following God's directions exactly by taking whatever part of the animal sacrifice they wanted and eating their portions before giving the portion to God. That may seem a little "legalistic". But Eli watched, knowing their disobedience before God and not stopping them. Within a few short verses, Eli's sons "have made themselves vile, and he (Eli) did not restrain them." The Hebrew word used for restrain here suggests a harsh rebuke that sets things right. Not just a halfhearted "Hey kids, you're gonna get in trouble for that" that we often hear today, and that Eli had already used on them in 1 Samuel 2:22-25. They did not heed the voice of their father. Obviously he did not get their attention and rebuke them in order to set things right. God's judgement falls on Eli and his sons in chapter 4 when they all are killed, the Israelites are defeated by the Philistines, and the ark of God is captured. What a sad story. If only Eli had rebuked his kids.

Gulp. That stings a little. It flies in the face of so many parenting books you see on the shelves today about loving your kids meaning giving them whatever they want and not being too hard on them. It certainly convicts me. That's all I will say about that right now. :) Okay well a couple of Proverbs from the Message I have reminded myself and my children since reading these stories: "The fear of God expands your life; a wicked life is a puny life." -Proverbs 10:27 "The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well." -Proverbs 10:11. The second one is for me, to remind me to give LIFE with the words I speak to my children, words that will help them and give them life in the long run instead of just empty words of flattery that will make them happy today.

I like the Message for my daily Proverb reading. When I read it, I keep the New King James side by side with it because it's not a literal translation and sometimes Eugene Peterson gets it all wrong. But sometimes, he absolutely hits the nail on the head and says it perfectly. Especially in the Proverbs. I love Proverbs 12:4, "A hearty wife invigorates her husband, but a frigid wife is cancer in the bones." Hearty and invigorating are words that paint such a great word picture for me to aspire to. I will often start the day declaring that today I will be a hearty wife. I will invigorate my husband. I will not be frigid towards him in any way. The King James version of that verse says, "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband; but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." I will be a crown to my husband today, bringing glory and honor to him in all that I do. How about all of this wisdom from Proverbs 15. . . "Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim" (vs 4). . . "A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day" (vs 13). . . "Hot tempers start fights; a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace" (vs 18). Pretty good relationship wisdom.

The garden is coming along. It is so fun to go out each morning and see what's growing! So many spiritual principles I am reminded of each day. Like how weeds grow without any effort, but the good vegetables I want to grow take a lot of cultivation and weeding and work. My heart is the same way. If I just don't make any effort, what grows in my heart is a bunch of weeds- anger, pride, resentment, bitterness, hurt, negativity, sin. I have to work really hard each day to weed those things out. And I have to put a lot of fertilizer on the things I do want to grow- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, to name a few. :) If I want something positive to grow, I have to continually cultivate and maintain it.

Bethany is growing so fast!!! She is gaining weight and I am making tons of milk and God is good. :) I have been putting a lot of effort into it, but I know that God is the one who is blessing it. His design is so good. :) I've almost taken all the placenta pills, but each day for now I take 4 placenta capsules, a probiotic, and the prescribed dosage of More Milk Plus. I've also been doing lots of oatmeal and water and eating healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado. Brian bought me a new juicer (yay!) that I have been using every day. I found a recipe for Green Lemonade that I tweaked a little to find the perfect blend of nutrients: 3 stalks of celery, 2 handfuls of kale, 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 apple, 2 TBSP liquid chlorophyll, and 4 tsp Stevia. It is DIVINE. And SO GOOD FOR YOU. I enjoy it after working in the garden. :) Allie even researched each ingredient and wrote a two-page paper on the health benefits of this wonderful drink! I will write about it in a different post. Anyway I drink 2 cups of Green Lemonade each day in addition to 60 ounces of water. And some coffee. :) Can't do without the coffee. :)

The mama goats are being weaned from their babies, and we are getting significantly more milk. The hens are going to be laying soon. Right now Brave is the only egg-laying hen in the pack of about 20 chickens. We have 50 more baby chicks (including some roosters!) coming at the end of May. We've been watching tadpoles grow, putting real dandelions in our salads, and generally enjoying the farm. It's such a learning experience for us all.

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