Before the World began

Taken from one of my favourite songs: Before the world began you were on his mind, every tear you cry is precious in his eyes.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

More poems/prayers

Dear God,
Help me to do good
in the little things I am allowed to do
so I will know how to do good
when I am allowed to do bigger things

Dear God,
Help me to be brave enough to risk adventure
and wise enough to stay out of danger

Dear God,
When I don't know the right answer,
please help me ask the right question.

Please. God, stay here with me
While I stand and wait.
Someone's meant to fetch me:
Don't let them be late.

A prayer

Thank you for this new day.
May I bring to it something good.
May I make of it something good.
May I take from it something good.

Today is my baby's first birthday. We are all so excited and she at least understands a little bit as she is very aware that it is all about her when we are singing. She has been sung 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' five times already today. The two older children are determined to make the day special for her. I cannot believe how fast a year has gone. I am a little sad that she is growing up too fast but there is nothing we can do to stop time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What I am?

Discovered a quiz you can do to find out what kind of Christian you are? on my friend Lynne's site so I have discovered the following:

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan.
You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 82%
Emergent/Postmodern 68%
Fundamentalist 57%
Classical Liberal 57%
Neo orthodox 50%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 39%
Reformed Evangelical 32%
Roman Catholic 29%
Modern Liberal 29%

So there you go I can now say that I am not a Fundamentalist (although I did quite like that description until some strange people changed the meaning of it)!! Well I am as much fundamentalist as I am Classical Liberal which all those who know me will know all too well that I am definitely not unless maybe I have been spending too much time listening to liberals and their worldview is having a detrimental effect on me. I was also interested to know that I do not fit the classic stereotype of Charismatic/Pentecostal considering I was brought up largely in that vein and I now attend a pentecostal/charismatic church. I can also see that some of my conversations with Lynne must have been rubbing off on me too as the Emergent/Postmodern came thru rather strong also and I didn't even know what these terms meant a year ago. Oh well I don't hold to surveys that much anyway but it was interesting nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Espresso

I have started going to Expresso/Espresso at Opawa. It is a place where we can eat, have a coffee and discuss, mull over some of the questions of life we have as we travel on our journey towards or with God. There is a lovely mix of people with lots of different stories to tell that have made them who they are. It has been nice to see familiar faces and get to know new ones. It has been nice to feel safe, to have my own opinions and to be able to express these whilst listening to others and seeing the world through their little window.

I am enjoying it!! and last night I was able to take a very special friend of mine too. She is related to me but she is so much more than that - she is truely my friend. I am writing about her in the hope she will read this and feel special as a result of me blogging about her. Thank you to Steve, Lynne, Paul & Ann for taking the risk of starting Espresso and allowing us the chance to attend and grow together. Thank you for starting to restore my faith in people.

The weather

I am struggling with the weather of late. I just want to have two days in a row (when I am not at paid work) when the sun is shining. I want to hang washing out and for it to feel warm when I bring it inside. Is this too much to ask? I get a little down when the weather is drab.

I have been thinking that if you read my blog I don't sound like a very happy individual but I am usually quite chipper so apologies if you think I am a serious, depressed sad little person my humour will return soon I hope!!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Children

I am sorry but this is another serious and slightly depressing post. I have been thinking alot over the last couple of months about Graham Capill's children. I just feel really sad when I think of them and I have prayed for them often.

The reason I feel this way about them is because my maternal grandfather has spent time in prison for molestation of a minor as well as other horrible charges. I have only seen him a few times in my life and he does not want anything to do with my family anyway because of the whole cult thing. At least Capill is remorseful for what he did - my grandfather was not and even claimed he did them in the name of God to help people (sick eh!). But even though I don't see my grandad, for years every time somebody at church or elsewhere talked about sexual abuse I would feel guilty because my grandad had done these awful things. Even though I have never done anything wrong I would take the guilt for the sin upon myself. About two years ago I got prayer for this and since then I no longer feel the guilt and have accepted that I am not responsible for what another human being chooses to do whether that person is my parent, husband, or adult child. Once you are an adult you are responsible for your own actions but unfortunately much of what we do does impact on other people.

So now I really feel for the Capill family who have done nothing wrong and yet now, like me, carry the stigma of someone elses sin. My heart and prayers go to them in the coming weeks, months and years as they go through life. At least for girls if we marry we can change our names thus distancing ourselves from the possibility that people will realise who we are. My heart is heavy as this whole situation has resurrected some nasty memories for me. Just felt I needed to get this off my chest and if you read this and feel anything please pray for the families affected by the happenings of yesterday.

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Christian Woman

I have been stirred over the last few days by some posts made on some of the blogs I read especially a link that showed up on one of my fellow blogging friend Sharyn's site in regards to the role of a woman in the whole scheme of things. This is something that I have always had a very firm opinion on and I am grateful for diversity in our world and that we don't all have to think the same and I may not necessarily be right on this one. I know that my viewpoint will not be exactly what God would have but I do seek as a woman to live my life as I think he would like.

I feel I should give some background about my history for those who don't know me as well. I also, like Sharyn, was initially raised in a cult (not the same one though) but my parents left when I was about five and like Jo I do not have too many bad recollections of my time there. However I was then raised slightly different to majority of girls my age even though my parents were living in the world as normal and attending a charismatic church they still held to alot of their former ways of doing things. I was not allowed to wear any form of trousers or shorts. My skirts were no shorter than 1 cm below my knee, my hair was kept long and we were not to wear any jewellery or makeup. We were raised to observe modesty at all times in our dress and speech. My parents taught me that there are very different roles for men and women but I was always had it demonstrated to me that they were both very worthy roles and we were all equal in God's sight. However my Dad was definitely the head of our home yet my Mum is a very strong individual character who has an opinion and is happy to share it. I have watched my parents make decision together but I have always known that my Dad will make the final decision if one needs to be reached.

I was raised to value education and to think carefully about what occupation we would like to go into when we left school but we were also taught to value the role of wife and mother. I always wanted to get married and have babies and this was something that my mum demonstrated to me was a very high calling and not something to take lightly. How children turn out I believe is based largely on how they are parented and the values their parents instill into their lives. I totally believe that society has sold girls and woman a complete lie that to choose to submit to our husbands, stay at home and raise children and to not seek to be in charge all the time are not worth while choices. Why must the important role of supporting a husband and choosing to stay home with our children be trivalised and made to look as if it is from the dark ages? Sharyn quoted some guidelines that a particular group of woman called the Patriarch's Daughters hold to. When I read these unlike her I did not feel the same disgust or revulsion in fact I actually realised that I held to much of these beliefs.

I do believe that people should allow God to have more say in the number of children they have. I come from a family of nine children which for me is too many and I know I would not have the patience or gifting for that many however I am alarmed when I speak to Christian couples who have never and will never consult God on when and how many children to have. Should we not involve God in these decisions? I also believe that women and girls should dress modestly and that a Dad is the best one to determine what that level of modesty is for his own family. Our society has taken away the innocence of childhood through dress etc. Our girls will grow up quick enough as it is lets not speed up the process. Even Ian Grant advocates that Dads should set the standard to dress for his daughters.

I also ask myself what is wrong with staying at home under the leadership of your father until you are married but I am not saying that it is 'evil' to leave home before this time. Why has the vocation of wife and mother become so looked down upon. I heard about the NZ Womans Convention that was held last weekend in the Wellington Town Hall. It was held in commemoration of 30 years since the Feminist Movement meetings of the 70s and they discussed how far things have come for women and outlined all their objectives from that period of time and then outlined how these have all been achieved. Things like making abortion on demand accessible for all women, breaking down the patriarchal family unit, legalising same sex marriage, free access to childcare for working mums, and other things that I can't remember. It was frightening to hear all these things that I thought were bad things being gloried in as being great advances for women. When did increased abortion rates make things better for women, why is advocating that women are better off raising children on their own good for women? I feel that all of these things actually make our lives worse not better. The Ministry of Womens Affairs (or whatever it is called now) believes that women should not have to choose and if I stay home for a few years to raise my kids that when I return to the workforce that I should be able to earn the same amount as if I had never been away. This is wrong and takes away the consequences for our choices. Why should someone who stays to slog it our for years have to watch me come back to work and get the same position as them. They think they are trying to make things for women better but in fact through these changes they have successfully managed to accomplish over the last 30 yrs they have made being a woman a whole lot worse. I truely believe every female needs to reclaim our God-given role of being a wife and mother and embrace it!!

I do believe that daughters should be under their father's authority and then under their husbands not that this gives men a right to treat women badly but that we are happy in our position as women and accept that God has given our husbands an important role - that is to take care of us, direct us spiritually and be responsible for his family. I also believe that if men are taking up the leadership roles God designed them for that there would be less need for women to hold these positions. I also believe that God places special gifts and abilities in each individual and when he leads a couple together it is for a reason so that their combined abilities can benefit those around them. Therefore if God calls a man into in form of leadership I would think that his wife would also have the same calling on her life and together they would be an awesome team. I do not believe that God calls women to take up roles in leadership as the first choice but I also can see a place for women who are willing to come under the leadership of those MEN over her to take up important roles in the body of Christ.

Sadly in saying these things people may believe that I have it all wrong, that I have been deceived and that I may even be part of a cult. The only thing I didn't agree with in the principles I read was that children are better home schooled. I do believe that there are very good Christian schools that are better able to teach my children. This discussion has stemmed from comments made over at www.thepilgrimsouls.blogspot.com I am not wanting to cause offense by my comments. I am very interested in other peoples comments and feedback and as you well know I could be wrong. I am fully aware that people may be tired from discussing this issue but it has certainly stirred me up. How can so many Christians advocate feminist ways of thinking? Feminism in my opinion is not godly and not something we should be embracing.

Comment away!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A prayer

This is just a little prayer I read that has stirred me:

All that we ought to have thought and have not thought
All that we ought to have said and have not said
All that we ought to have done and have not done

All that we ought not to have spoken and yet have spoken
All that we ought not to have done and yet have done
For these words, and works, pray we, O God, for forgiveness

May this go with you this holiday weekend. May we have no regrets for the words we speak and no regrets for the ones we don't speak. May our actions honor our creator, saviour and friend.