Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sabbath Musings, Part 1

I wasn't born into a Christian household and neither were either of my parents; both dad and mom came to salvation after my brother and I had joined the family. As new converts, we were starting with a completely blank slate: pretty much all of Christianity was foreign to us and we were like dry sponges: we soaked up every bit of knowledge and instruction we could get our hands on.

It seems to me that the majority of the Church in America is dispensational in theology, so it's no surprise that the first church we joined, and subsequently every church we've been in since, was dispensational and as such it was this thinking that shaped our understanding of scripture, it's application and interpretation. A good chunck of the Old Testament was thrown out the window, labled as "Applicable to Israel Only" and one precious truth/doctrine that was thus discarded as "fulfilled" was that precious teaching of scripture regarding the Sabbath. We based our belief on Romans 14:5,
                                "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind"

We basically believed that Romans 14:5 taught that so long as we were "persuaded" we had no biblical obligation to observe the sabbath as a day of rest from our labors. Of course we were not to forsake the gathering together of ourselves (Heb. 10:25) and so we attended church on Sunday, but it wasn't uncommon for us to stop at the store and pickup goat feed or groceries, or even go out to eat on the way home. We also often used Sunday like any other day of the way to get chores done, specifically ones that required dad's help as he had the day off. So we had a 7 day work week of sorts.

And then, I met, fell in love with, and married Reformed Baptist, Pennsylvania farmer.

Jonathan, using his oft quoted principle for undertanding the scriptures, "the clear must interpret the unclear, not the other way around" helped me to understand that Paul was not speaking of the Lord's day in Romans 14:5.

In this series on "Sabbath Musings" I am hoping to show you what Paul was referring to in Romans 14:5 and why we are still to observe a day of rest and worship based on the scriptures. Will you join me?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Communicating with our Children

Elise and I are home from the gathering of the Church this morning as neither of us are well. Jonathan and I thought it would be wisest not to expose Elise to any more germs than necessary during this time so that her body can focus on healing itself.

I've been listening to the Bradrick family's messages on "Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World" this morning while my baby girl is napping and, wow! have I been so challenged and encouraged in my role as a mother! Specifically I've been listening to Susan Bradrick as she talks about the training of children from birth to 3 months, which while I missed that opportunity with Elise I plan to take advantage of it with this new little one that we are expecting in June :-) Although, the point needs to be made, that while Elise is past the ideal time for the training that Susan lays out, she still needs these basic truths to be structured into her life:
- Establishing Communication/Relationship
- Time for Mommy and Daddy to be wrestling in prayer for the wisdom to discern her personality, her strengths, weaknesses and her sin nature so that she can be trained rightly.

Susan shares how we build a relationship with such a tiny, helpless infant by communicating with them through talking, not at them, but with and to. For example, rather than just giving instructions, or talking for the sakes of hearing ourselves talk, speak things such as, "Oh, you woke from your nap! Mommy is so happy to see you awake and cheerful. Why don't we change your diaper?" etc. It is sharing our thoughts, ideas and desires with our children.
We communicate not only through words but through our tones and responses, our actions, the world we 'create' for them, family relationships, music, scheduling, etc.

Overall I was amazed at how much we communicate without even realizing it! I was inspired to really put forth the effort to redeem my time with my daughter and communicate to her in all of life the goodness of God.

I hope to come back and address a few more of her points in detail, they were just so good! However, right now, Elise is up and  in need of her mommy. . .