Momma is Packing

“There are three types of people in this world:  sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs.  

Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep. 

Then you’ve got predators, who use violence to prey on the weak.   They’re the wolves. 

And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog.”  

-quote from Chris Kyle’s father in the movie, American Sniper 

Oh gracious we have come a long way!  From the pilgrims that died of starvation and sickness while seeking religious freedom to the PC police that call out every single damn little word that hurt their tender little feelings. (As a little side note, these wolves sometimes disguise themselves as “Christians.”)

And I have this baby, this girl that has been running ahead of me since she was born. A tough little cookie that is growing up a Noah in this world of sheep and wolves and where does she fit?

Well, if I may, this woman I am is a natural sheep. I like to graze in my little pasture and lay in the sun and drink from the clear flowing creek and not worry about what is beyond the fence and get along with all the other sheep. 

But then something happened. She is blonde and loves every single animal (even the ugly scary ones) and reads every single written word put before her. 

And I took one look at her and fell so deeply in love and then I stared that big bad wolf in the eyes and said, “Ohhhhh HELL NO!”  

And while I do not always write to one particular group, I realize that I am writing to parents here, and educators, and leaders, and those that care to voice their opinions to influence others. We have two jobs in this life as mom and dad and those caring for children:  protect and prepare. 

Protect.  I have been accused, the finger is pointed and they think they are laying the final blow, “Your daughter is in a bubble.”  My response?  “Hell yeah!”

Do you know what this world is like?!  In big ways, my daughter is protected that she has no clue what it means to be hungry. My daughter is among the few children that still lives with her mom and dad. She does not know what it means to wonder where we will sleep at night or how are we going to pay for medicine or any of the other luxuries that so many of us in our protected culture take for granted every single day!  

But do not think for one second that while I am protecting her, that I am not preparing her!  While we are laying the Biblical foundation at home, we are preparing her faith to be attacked. While we are strengthening her confidence, we challenge her to stand up for the weak. 

Lord Jesus, I am overwhelmed!  I am just a little sheep!  But you are not only a sheepdog, YOU ARE THE SHEPHERD!  You love your sheep!  You are not afraid of the wolves. And you have sent your sheepdogs into this world to protect. 

So, while I bring my little sheepdog every day to the Shepherd for lessons and while I know that my power and protection come from the Shepherd, when I am just a sheep hanging out with my sheep friends in this world of PC sheep that do not even believe that wolves exist, I have been pushed to the limit where I do not have the luxury to be silent anymore. I am stepping out where I know I am going to get shoved back and I know not everyone agrees with me. (AND THAT’S OK!  I am perfectly content to agree to disagree!) 

But when civilians are being massacred in GUN FREE ZONES, it is ignorance to claim that we need more gun control!  When ISIS is thinking up new cruel ways to murder Christian children, we can no longer tolerate leaders that will not identify radical Islam as our enemy because they are afraid of hurting feelings!  We have moved past that!  

And I will close my, what I hope is seen as a thoughtful opinion backed up with facts and not a rant, with something I believe so firmly in that has been lost in our modern comforts:  The Second Ammendment. 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

So, while everyone likes to talk about “my rights,” what really is my right?  Well, one of them is to carry a gun. Go ahead. Label me. 

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Your Children

“Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.” Ronald Reagan

For such a time as the this. I no longer have the benefit of raising my daughter to value her freedom. I do not teach her the history of her founding fathers and tell her to appreciate this great nation that she was born in to. No. I am raising a fighter, a Noah in this land that is handing over her freedom one entitlement at a time. I am raising her to stand against the tyrants that would come and abolish any signs of free America. 

Our nation is looking upon an upcoming election. It used to be that when people were called socialists, it was meant to be an insult. Now we see two candidates step up to the podium. They are two of the frontrunners of the election:  

Bernie Sanders, who claims with his own words to be a Democratic Socialist. Let me remind you that our country is NOT a democracy. We live in a democratic republic. Our founding fathers knew too well not to leave the country to the whims of a mob, therefore setting up a democratic republic, where our representatives were held responsible to the people but the people could not control with their emotional whims of the masses. 

The opposition to Bernie Sanders (one of them. The one I am writing about) is Dr. Benjamin Carson. This man is the epitome of the American Dream. Raised in poverty, he embraced education and hard work, becoming the leading pediatric neurosurgeon in the world. Dr. Carson has a testimony that is held against him. He claims the name of the Lord Jesus Christ boldly, despite the media attacks and attacks from fellow candidates for his past. (That is his message!  That is the power of grace!  Look how God can change a man!). Dr. Carson published a book, A More Perfect Union, in which he prints the Constitution in its entirety. He states its history and he challenges us to hold our representatives, including himself, to the supreme law of the land in the words that gave America her freedom and prosperity for so many years.

I do not hold our government accountable. I do not even hold the Obama administration accountable. I hold families, I hold parents accountable. 

In the last few decades, we have seen a trend of entitlement in our parenting styles. Children are raised being told they are perfect little angels that are entitled to whatever their little hearts desire. NO!

Coming from a mother that adores her daughter, I love her much too much to raise her to be an entitled spoiled brat. I love her much too much to neglect to tell her that powerful word: no.  Though she is still young, I am proud that she is such a hard worker. That is because she is required to do chores around the house she is required to do her best at the sports she chooses to play. She is required to practice piano. She has no option but to read at least 20 minutes every single day.  Never neglecting GRACE!  In this family, we all make mistakes. We forgive. We learn. 

Do you know what has happened?  SHE LOVES WORK!  My girl is the one that always has her nose in a book, she stays up late reading until I force her to turn off her light. Because she does not have the option to turn on the tv. She chooses veggies on her own at a restraunt because she is taught to make wise decisions and given limits where she lacks maturity. My girl complains that her Scienec lab is so short because she loves to learn about Creation. 

I get it!  Parenting is hard!  It is hard every day!  But I love my girl too much not to train her to be the intelligent, strong, kind girl that Christ intends her to be. I love her too much to take the easy route!

Do you feel lost?  Trust me, if you are a parent that is a daily experience.  (For me at least)  Can I recommend two books that have helped me immensely:

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

And 

12 Mistakes Parents Can Avoid by Tim Elmore 

READ!  Read to your child. Put down the phone. Turn off the tv. Daily, open the Bible and read. Let your children see you read. Require them to read. And learn. Why do you believe what you believe? 

Honestly, I believe this is not the fault of government. Government does what the people want. It is the fault of parents not teaching their children to work, teaching children that they are perfect little angels entitled to whatever they want, neglecting to teach them the word of God. Change occurs in the family, in the home, and sadly we have seen the erosion of the American Christian family. Dare not to fit in. Dare to be the change. Be the answer. 

Again I quote Reagan, “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.”   

And I will stand and proclaim, “It will not be lost on my watch.”

Dr. Ben Carson for President of the United States of America!

  
I do not care much to meet a movie star on the streets of New York or shake hands with a rockstar at a concert.  No offense or disrespect, just nothing about that inspires me.  Dr. Ben Carson coming to town for a book signing, now that excites me!

My family and I just spent most of the whole day standing outside of a bookstore in order to shake the hand of Dr. Carson and for him to scribble his name across the inside cover of his new book.  Total time in his presence: all of about seven seconds.  I SAID THAT I GOT TO TOUCH THE HAND OF DR. BEN CARSON AND HE WROTE HIS NAME ON MY BOOK!  It was amazing!  My heart was about to beat out of my chest and every star struck nerve in my body was on overload.  The man is my hero!

Please PLEASE please read his books!  I have read his life story, Gifted Hands,One Nation, his amazing book about his personal beliefs about how our country should be governed from a Biblical worldviewand I am currently sucked into his newest book, A More Perfect Union.  

In the last two books mentioned, he states a Bible verse at the beginning of each chapter.  A More Perfect Union is a guide to understanding the Constitution of the United States of America, the duty of each and every American citizen.

I wholeheartedly believe that this leader was raised up by God and is meant to bring our nation back to “One Nation Under God” in which we flourish and are an aide to neighboring countries, a country that we want to leave to our children, a country where we are not entitled to riches but we have the freedom and motivation to work until we see our dreams come true.

Agree with me, disagree with me, but read his words and be inspired from a little boy that was abandoned by his father, grew up in a situation that should have been labeled as another statistic in jail or dead at an early age, see how he lived the true American dream and became a leading pediatric neurosurgeon, author, and presidential candidate.

Not only will I vote for Dr. Ben Carson because I believe he is the better option running, I will vote for Dr. Ben Carson because I believe he has the knowledge and wisdom to save our country from the brink of destruction and return us to prosperity.

I Spoke and I Speak

I wrote and I write and sometimes it is because I do not like to speak, but I spoke. I wanted to shake his freakin shoulders and cry, “YOU MORON!”  But it was my college professor and it would probably not reflect well on my grade. 

This was a long time ago, well, only twelve years ago, but it seems much longer than that…a long time ago, “Things” did not happen as much then, as they do today. And “things” did surprise me then, they don’t much anymore. 

But we are told that we are intolerable, hateful, and racist if we stand up and voice our opinions. Once I was even told that I still believe the world is flat. I am not sure where that came from. (I don’t.) But I am quite sure it was meant to be an insult. 

But here I am talking about the then. And I sat in a large classroom of a credit that was required. Cultural Diversity. The class should have been renamed, “I Hate Christians” because that more closely followed the topic. 

And me, being a Christian, found that rather uncomfortable. I wish I could go back and say what I would want to say now. …But perhaps it is best that I don’t because I do believe that God said what he wanted to say then. 

The professor told us how awful missionaries are and how wonderful every religion is except christianity and how great and good all people are except for christians and how there is no sin and nothing is wrong it is just perspective and the only thing that is wrong is saying something is wrong. And there are no commas because that is how he spoke it. 

And then he thought he had delivered the message and hammered the nail into the coffin of Christianity and he thought we were all indoctrinated and would share in his love of evil, or people that had misconstrued reputations, “Let’s discuss some of the great qualities of Hitler. What are some of the good things he did?”  

My hand shot up because I couldn’t take this bs anymore and I spoke what little truth was ever spoken between those four walls:

“Oh, yes, you…what is something good that Hitler did?”

“HE KILLED HIMSELF!”

And I do believe that in public schools, in colleges and universities, in government buildings, lobbying groups, media, television, and voices shouting out everywhere are yelling, “There is no wrong, except to be a Christian.”

But my hand is shooting up and I do not care anymore if it is uncool to speak up (because I do not care about my cool status anymore) and I do not care if you label me as racist for my thoughts (because Ben Carson has my vote. And I think the whole meaning of that word has been lost.) and I do not care if you shout that I hate science (because I heart it and I have a personal relationship with the Crestor of it all) and say what you want, but this voice, be it one, will stand up in the sea of sitting students and glaring stares and the professor may laugh and scoff at me, but there is God that I answer to, he flows through my veins and he is the beat of my heart. This body is a follower of Jesus. My mouth still speaks and my body still writes and I have a message to share. 

I spoke. I write. 

The Culture of Negative Comments

Some of my greatest insights into her day come when I snuggle up beside her right before bedtime.  This is where she gained her nickname, “Chatty Maddie.”  Last night, as I cuddled up beside her, she taught me a great lesson, as goes much of parenting.

My eight year old daughter is training in a group of six girls (3rd and 4th graders) for a 5K race.  Madison begins to tell me about a new 4th grade friend she has in this group of girls and then she tells me something that stuck with me.  (I hope it will forever.)

“Mom, yesterday, we ran so much!  I was getting so tired and I said to my friend, ‘This is so hard.  I don’t think I can do it.’  And she said to me, ‘You can do this Madison!  You’ve got this!’  And know what?  It made me run faster when she said that.”

Drop the mic and walk away.  What more do we need to know?!  What a precious gem that my grown up culture needs to learn from that precious fourth grader!

Living in the year that I do, I get much of my news from the internet.  Call it positive or negative, one of our modern features is that the general public can comment on ANYTHING…and they do.  Aaaaaand I have pretty much stopped reading the comments.  Know why?  Because comment after comment, down to the one thousandth comment, they are mostly all negative.  And here is the thing, here is what gets me.  It is people that agree with the article (usually that is why they read it in the first place) but they feel the need to give negative feedback.  It usually goes something like this:

I agree with this but you should have also said this…

There was a mistake in your fourth paragraph.

I agree with what you wrote, but your outfit looks horrible in your profile pic.

If this insane impossibility happened, this would cause me to disagree with this whole thing.

“I could have written it better.”  And everything inside me screams, “THEN DO IT!  Stop talking and do it!”  We have become the culture of tearing each other apart!  When someone is tired, we just push them out of the way thinking it will make us look all the better when someone else fails.  Our culture is tearing itself apart from the inside out.

I adore the quote from Ben Carson that, “When the jihadists get here, they’re not going to ask you if you’re a Republican or Democrat before they cut your head off.”

Are we so worried with proving ourselves right that we tear each other down, weakening our world for the true enemy to invade?!  AND THEY WILL!  We need to learn to get along sooner than later before it is too late!

Speaking to myself first, I want to be more like my daughter’s fourth grade friend that sees people that are tired, that sees people that are about to drop out of the race and I want to encourage them, “YOU’VE GOT THIS!  COME ON, YOU CAN DO IT!”  I want to be someone that builds people up, rather than tearing them down!  I want to be part of the solution, rather than adding to the problem.

Let’s all remember the lessons of our childhood.  Stop tattling!  When is the time to speak up? When someone else is getting hurt.  Are babies being murdered?  This is the time to yell at the top of our lungs and do everything we can to stop it.  “Disagree comment” away!  And then there is a time to say:  Is this just a mistake the person made?  Keep my mouth shut.  Is this something that I should address with only the person and not all of public?  Go to them privately.

Or is this a time that I need to help this person?  Do I need to run alongside of them and encourage them, YOU’VE GOT THIS!  YOU CAN DO IT!

This is OUR FAULT, Not Theirs

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This article is written to Conservative Christians.  It is written for people that oppose homosexual marriage. All others, come back tomorrow, or read on if you wish, but I am addressing those that are in opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision to make gay marriage the law of the land. If you stop here, I hope to see you tomorrow and I love you.

To: Caroline and Conservative Christians,

If you have a problem with the Supreme Court’s decision to applaud gay marriage, if you disagree with gay flags bombarding Facebook and all other social media, if you see gay marches and shake your head, THIS IS YOUR FAULT!

Do not quote Bible verses, do not shout at them that they are sinning, do not cry that it is their fault that our morals are headed for destruction, do not yell that every TV show has its symbolic gay couple. This is our world! This is our Ninevah, our platform for the Gospel, our people in need.  These people do not believe the Bible, ofcourse they do not follow it!

It is US to hold accountable!  It is the fault of the church for not leading the world in love. Why don’t these people look at us and say that they can not disagree with how we give to the poor and open our homes to prostitutes and widows and orphans and the rejected of society?  Why are we flipping on sitcoms and valuing entertainment above morals?  Why are our children undisciplined, untrained, and just as bratty as everyone else’s?  Why are our marriages crumbling and falling apart?  Why don’t these people look at us and see something different?  Why don’t they say that our marriages last and we work hard and we give and we love?  Why don’t they want to be like us?  Because we are just like them!  Why don’t they know us by our love?

No!  They know us for being hypocritical, and we are!  They know us for judging, instead of leaving that to Jesus. They know us for buying a house and closing our doors and hiding in groups of those like us and yelling and hating anyone that is not like us.

But “they” are wrong?  But you are not afraid to speak the truth?  But what do I expect christians to do?  I expect them to be like Christ.

What did Jesus do?  He lived and breathed and ate and hung out with the sinners. When he said it, when he condemned, it was to the people of the church. Ouch!  He loved. That is what he did!

He called Christians to be different. Are we?  Do we believe that marriage should be one man and one woman?  Then live it!  How is your marriage?  Is it a model for the world?  Is it something that others want?

Not me?  Not us?  Not my church?  Look at what these Christians did?  GREAT!  Prove me wrong!  Yes, I know the world hates Christians and I know the Truth will be despised.  But guess what friends?  That is not what is happening here.  Here we have failed.  Here we have been hypocritical, we have been lazy, we have been hateful, we have NOT been a light, we have NOT been love.

So, what do we do?  And that is the beauty of the gospel:  GRACE!  We start now, new and forgiven and we LOVE.  We love these people that Jesus loved.  We love the world that God called us to go into and we spread his Good News.  We love the people Jesus died for and we change what we have been and we change who we are.  And how do we do that?  Ahh, beautiful, perfect, holy, and righteous Jesus, come now and LOVE through me!  Make me your hands and feet and reach this world in need!

The answer is the cross.

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“Gifted Hands”

BOOK RECOMMENDATION! “Gifted Hands, the Ben Carson Story”

“For days I kept saying to myself, I can’t believe this has happened. I think I was something like a kid who’d just had a dream come true. Look at me, here I am the chief pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins at 33. This can’t be happening to me.”

“From inner-city kid to renowned neurosurgeon”

The story of Ben Carson is absolutely amazing, what an inspirational man! He is the epitome of the American dream! I can not recommend the book enough!