Friday, April 22, 2011

Sweetness in Suffering 4/22/11


Mountain View

“A mountain view can literally take your breath away. Getting a clearer view of God can do the same. Here at the Warming House, you’ll find truth that will help you know and understand who God is and how He feels about you. What you find here may cause you to live your life a little differently. "

Suffering. It’s something none of us desire for ourselves. We question why it’s allowed to exist in this world and we want to know who to blame for it. It can make us angry, frustrated, impatient, and it can hurt like hell.


Bonfire Memorial at Texas A&M
- The Warming House

As we approach Easter Sunday, I’ve been thinking a lot about the suffering of Christ in His final week on earth. His suffering is something that really resonates with me this year. You see, during the past two years my husband and I have been severely damaged by betrayal, vicious persecution, slander, heartache, and loss. Three separate and extraordinary crises occurred during this season of hardship, and the healing process was hindered by the fact that we didn’t have time to process one crisis when another came crashing down on top of us. As I stomped my feet, whined, and moaned before God, He graciously did something that helped me tremendously. He tenderly reminded me of the suffering of my precious Savior. 


In my vehement dislike of adversity and my desire to run away from it, God reminded me that Jesus Christ did not run from suffering. He intentionally chose it, pursued it, embraced it, and endured it.



Statue of Jesus at site of
Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

He was spit on, slandered, beaten, flogged mercilessly, hated, persecuted, betrayed, abandoned by those closest to Him, unjustly condemned, and nailed to a cross. He knew heartache and what it meant to be physically weary, weak, and frail. On the cross, He experienced rejection, humiliation, total frustration, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, desperation, uncertainty, bewilderment, confusion, insecurity, loneliness, oppression, torture, and abuse.  As He became our sin, God poured His full and complete wrath out on Him – a terrifying thought. Christ bore it so that we wouldn’t have to. (2 Cor. 5:21) Our natural inclination is to avoid suffering. His natural inclination was to embrace it. By embracing it, Jesus equipped Himself to be the exact kind of leader we need. He gets it. He’s been there. He knows what we’re up against.

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death . . . For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement, for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:14-15, 17

He also knew suffering was necessary in order for Him to break us from the claws of sin and put us in good standing with God. The movie, the Passion of the Christ, depicts Jesus, broken and beaten, crawling up onto the cross. The soldiers didn’t drag Him kicking and fighting. He willingly dragged His battered body up on it and laid Himself down. Knowing His heart, I imagine that’s exactly how it happened.

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” John 10:17-18

“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12:27-28

God also reminded me of Christ’s perfection. Jesus was perfect in His faithfulness and obedience to God. He never did anything wrong – ever. He was utterly blameless and lived a selfless life doing only good things.

‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was in his mouth.’” 1 Peter 2:22

"For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God." 1 Peter 1:18-19

It is impossible for me to say the same about myself. I am a sinner – imperfect in every way. Am I better than Christ? Do I deserve better treatment in this life than He received? The thought of Christ’s holiness and the unjust treatment He endured on my behalf, soothed the frustration chafing my soul about the injustices against us.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

Suffering wasn’t the end of the road for Jesus. When He said, “It is finished,” it was not a cry of defeat but a shout of victory. God’s plan for the redemption of mankind was finished. Christ’s purpose on earth was finished. The pioneers of the Christian faith had been trained. All was complete. Three days later, Christ rose from the grave and moved on to glory!





“He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even to death on a cross! Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Phil. 2:8-11

The power of God that brought Christ back to life now lives in those who follow Him. That power is big enough to resurrect not only your life and your relationship with God, but also your damaged and broken heart. Those who share in His suffering, also share in His eternal glory. (Romans 8:17)


I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

God specifically used the pain in my life to help me understand in a brilliant and vivid way the gravity of Christ’s sacrifice. It is difficult for me to comprehend how anyone knowingly walked head-on into that kind of suffering (and worse) for me. As I took my wounded heart to God and shared my struggles honestly with Him, He gave me insight that left me feeling deeply and passionately LOVED! He is the sweetness in my suffering.


"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us." 1 John 3:16


Happy Easter!




Fireside
Join me by the fire for conversations about how to nurture your family and create a warm and inviting home for family and friends.

This portion of my blog is dedicated to nurturing home and family. Today I want to make you aware of some precious families who are in extreme crisis. Let me start by sharing some statistics.

  • There are 27 million slaves on earth today - more than double the number of Africans enslaved during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
  • Human trafficking brings in 32 billion dollars per year. About 28 billion of this is generated through the commercial sexual exploitation of persons.
  • 1.2 million children are trafficked annually for sex. That’s 2 children per minute.

In the sex trafficking industry, human beings are treated as sexual objects and as commercial objects - nothing more. Their personhood, identity, and human rights are lost and completely ignored. They are threatened, coerced, lied to, forced, manipulated, beaten, starved, tortured, sexually abused by multiple customers, and gang raped. Unprotected sex and forced abortions threaten the lives of these victims. This is an evil unlike anything I’ve ever seen – and something I have trouble wrapping my mind around.


This past week, I talked to Sherry Quam Taylor, the Director of Operations for As Our Own. As Our Own is a ministry that works to break the cycle of enslavement by building stronger communities through their Lighthouse church network and Hope College. They also rescue and provide after care for children born to mothers who are enslaved as prostitutes in the Red Light District in India.

The demand for children in India’s sex industry is high. Children are traditionally taken from their brothel mothers and forced into the slave trade at age 6. As these children grow up, the vicious cycle is perpetuated as their children are also forced into the sex trade.

Sherry told the story of a 22-year-old enslaved mother. As a child, this young woman had purchased snacks on a daily basis from a road-side stand in her community. One day her snacks were laced with drugs. She was kidnapped and woke up three days later in a brothel where she was brutally raped by a dozen men as part of her initiation. Unprotected sex and a dozen forced abortions per year will expose her to disease and limit her life-span to approximately 35 years. She cannot escape her enslavement. This woman eventually birthed a child in the brothel and has courageously chosen to give up her child (the only source of true love in her life) to the care of As Our Own. Her selflessness brought severe threats from the brothel owner – but it also delivered her daughter from unimaginable evil. It has given her daughter a chance to be recognized as a human being, to have dreams and freely pursue them, and to live the life God desires for her. In a conversation with a staff person at As Our Own, this mother wanted to know what would happen to her child when she died. She was assured that her daughter would be their child for life and would be loved as one of their own daughters.

This Mother’s Day, I want to invite you to consider honoring your mother with a gift to nurture the Christian ministry of As Our Own. As you honor the courage and selflessness of your own mother, you will honor the courage and selflessness of the mothers in India. Your gift will help to rescue vulnerable children from a horrific future and break the cycle of destruction in these families.  Families for generations to come will be blessed and forever changed because of your support.  

Click on the As Our Own link in my sidebar to go to a site with the following info:
Here’s a special way to say, “Thanks, Mom!”

STEP 1 :: Give to our Thanks, Mom! campaign to honor your mom by Mother’s Day, May 8.

STEP 2 :: In the donation comments box, tell us what you appreciate most about your mom.

STEP 3 :: Download a certificate for your mom that explains the gift you’ve made in her name.

About As Our Own

The extreme poverty in India places girls at great risk for exploitation, enslavement, and neglect. Girls are regularly abused and degraded, forced into lives of bonded labor, either in organized begging or the sex trade.

These girls will face a dark, horrific future—unless someone intervenes.

God has opened the door for As Our Own to rescue girls before they are exploited, giving us the privilege to care for each one as our own—for life. We are building strong communities through our Lighthouse church network and training strong leaders and pastors at our Hope College, all to break these cycles for girls in future generations.

Your gifts make a lasting difference for these girls. Thank you!



Pinecones and Twigs:
Just like gathering nature’s treasures on a hike through the woods, you never know what you’ll find here – a great read, an inspiring photo of nature, or maybe the latest bargain. Check out this spot at The Warming House for something fun.


While we were in Texas last weekend, we captured these pictures in front of the setting sun. The beautiful glow was actually caused by ash in the atmosphere from distant wildfires.












A Steaming Hot Mug

Stories of Compassion to Warm your Soul from the Inside Out


Submit your stories (150 word maximum) to thewarminghouse@gmail.com for publication to this blog. Your stories must fall into one of the following three categories: 1) Stories of a time when you experienced God’s compassion directly or through the actions of another person; 2) Specific things you’ve done to teach your children compassion; or 3) How your church or someone you know has demonstrated the compassion of Christ. Can’t wait to hear (and share) your stories here at the Warming House!

Thank you for stopping by The Warming House. Be encouraged on your journey with the knowledge that God is with you everywhere you go. Until we meet again . . .

Stay warm and cozy,

Lisa

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Faith on the Firing Line - 4/12/11

Sandia Peak; Albuquerque, NM
-The Warming House

Mountain View

“A mountain view can literally take your breath away. Getting a clearer view of God can do the same. Here at the Warming House, you’ll find truth that will help you know and understand who God is and how He feels about you. What you find here may cause you to live your life a little differently.

This past week I had an experience that I’d like to share with you. I’m a little hesitant to share it because I don’t want it to come across wrong. My intention is never to condemn someone for their choice of religion or their beliefs. Please keep this in mind as you read this post.

Last Friday, a Jehovah’s Witness came to my door. I could have politely explained that I didn’t have time to speak to him, but something inside of me said, “Let’s do this.” So I engaged him. First time I’ve ever done that. Yikes! I started by saying that I had questions about some things I had heard about their faith. I wanted to give him a chance to explain their beliefs a little so I could understand where they were coming from. For instance, I had heard they added the word “a” in John 1:1. My Bible says that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” He showed me his Bible. It says “ . . . and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” Adding one tiny letter and changing capitalization completely altered the meaning.

In our conversation, this young man continually tried to convince me that Jesus is not equal to God and He should not be worshipped. At one point, he gave me his bible and asked me to read Colossians 1:15-16 which speaks of the Supremacy of Christ (in my Bible). Because I had seen how his bible added to the scriptures, I said, “If you can wait just a minute, I’m going to get my own Bible.” I came back and read the verses from Colossians and he responded, “Hmm. Well that’s different from my Bible.” At this point, a female who had been waiting in the car joined us.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them . . .” 2 Peter 2:1


I asked what Bible they used. He showed me the cover – "The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures" bible. He said that it’s a translation and the King James is just a version. I explained that the King James is a translation where great care was taken by noted Bible scholars to carefully translate the Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew texts as accurately as possible. I explained the difference between Bibles that are interpretations and Bibles that are translations. He kept insisting it was a version as though that was something bad. He then said that on Jeopardy, it was stated that the New World Bible used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses is the most accurate. So I asked, “Who translated the texts for your New World Bible?” He said “a community of people”. I asked, “Do you know who those people are?” He said, “No. They’re all anonymous.” I replied with, “So you have no idea what their credentials and qualifications are?” He said, “No.”




He took me to another scripture and had me read it out loud. I couldn’t explain it’s meaning, so I went to get one of my commentaries. When I came back, the young woman asked, “What is that? I’ve never seen one.” I explained that when I study the scriptures, I ask God to teach me their meaning. As I read I consider many things such as: the historical context, who is writing and who they are writing to, what problems prompted the teaching, what do the preceding passages of scripture say and how does it fit in context with those passages of scripture. Sometimes I will look for key words in the passage and study the Hebrew or Greek word it was translated from. All of these things help me to draw out God’s intended meaning. If after doing these things I am still unclear, I will go to commentaries that explain the meaning. I stressed how important it is for me to use commentaries from Biblical scholars and theologians who are noted for their knowledge of scripture and for being true to the Bible’s intended meaning. Even then I pray for discernment.


I got the feeling in our conversation that they had not read the Bible in its entirety. I didn’t see them cross-referencing scriptures. When I would take them to various scriptures related to a particular topic, they seemed unaware of their existence and demonstrated a resistance to acknowledge them. It seemed that they had chosen to focus on select scriptures that validated the image of God they had created for themselves.


“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:8-10


We discussed many things and all the while I prayed, “God help me. Give me the words you want me to share.” In the end, I came in the house and went to a little booklet we have that outlines the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some things I already knew, but many I did not. I was amazed because some of the scriptures I had repeatedly referred to in our conversation directly addressed the principles of their faith that were in opposition to the Holy Bible – and I didn’t even realize it.


When they drove away from my house that day, I was so sweaty under the armpits that I had to change my shirt. Our exchange left me feeling inadequate – but I was also energized and I recognized a couple of things:


1)  How well-prepared and convincing  Jehovah’s Witnesses can be.
2)  The incredible peril for those who don’t know the scriptures well enough to have the discernment they need to recognize a false teaching - and how easily precious hearts can be led astray.



Waters of the Zambezi River just before they drop over the top of
Victoria Falls in Zambia, Africa
- The Warming House
  
That is the reason I’m sharing this experience with you today. My intention is not to criticize or condemn the sweet, devoted people who stood at my door. It is to protect you by encouraging you to equip yourself with knowledge.


We live in a time where we are being inundated with many ideas and belief systems through technology, the media, television shows, radio, I-pads, I-pods, Facebook, Twitter, the internet, blogs, self-help books, stars in the entertainment industry, etc. Be careful!! God does not want you to be led down a path to destruction so he has warned you about these things in the Bible.



In the last days, there are those who will “worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” 2 Tim. 3:6-7


  
God has also given you His teachings to prepare you, protect you, strengthen you, and guide you. It can be intimidating and overwhelming to consider studying the Bible. It’s a really big book. But that’s the beauty of it. We can spend our whole lives studying it and we will never master it. It's a continuous adventure of discovery that never grows stale. Each time we read it, we learn something new about God and find something valuable that helps us in our daily lives. We all have to start somewhere. I encourage you to start today. Get involved in a Bible study at your church or download a one-year Bible reading plan and commit yourself to reading through the entire Bible. (You don’t have to do it in a year.) Just start. Today’s the day to gain greater understanding of the nature of God and why you believe what you believe.


“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33


Links to Bible reading plans:







  

Fireside

Join me by the fire for conversations about how to nurture your family and create a warm and inviting home for family and friends.

Both of my boys are celebrating birthdays this week. I am so incredibly thankful that they were born, for the years God has given us together, and that God entrusted them to me in particular. Birthdays are a big deal at our house as each life is the cause for great celebration. We have some specific family traditions for this special occasion. Every year, the birthday person's meals are served on our "You Are Special Today" plate. To start the day, French pancakes with a little candle on top are ALWAYS served at breakfast along with a rendition of "Happy Birthday to You". We also decorate our home with lots of streamers and balloons.






Family traditions create rich memories that bind families together and give the family a sense of identity. They build unity, character, and personality within the family, and bring greater meaning to family life. Years ago, I compiled a book of traditions from families in our school. Here are a few for you to enjoy.


-My mom and I like to pack a picnic lunch and a lot of books. We eat our lunch and read books together.

-On Friday night, we put aside the cares of the week and all other activities for "Family Night!" We usually rent a movie, pick up or make something fun to eat, pile all sleeping bags and pillows on the floor to "camp" out for the night, and stay up as late as we want!!

-A tradition we started a few years ago was to create a memory book for family members who reach certain milestone birthdays. For example, when one of the grandparents turned 60, all of his children contributed to a book of "60 Memories" of special recollections of that person over the years.   

-During the week before Easter we have an Easter egg hunt everyday. My parents only hide two eggs: one for my brother and one for me. The eggs have a symbol in them to represent what Jesus did on that day and a scripture that tells about what happened. The eggs also have a piece of candy in them. Once we find our egg, we read the scripture, talk about it, and eat the candy.

What are some of your family traditions? Feel free to post one of your favorite traditions in the comment section of this blog.



Pinecones and Twigs:
Just like gathering nature’s treasures on a hike through the woods, you never know what you’ll find here – a great read, an inspiring photo of nature, or maybe the latest bargain. Check out this spot at The Warming House for something fun.

I ran across this photo in my digital files today. It made me chuckle. Thought it might make you smile too. This is a stop sign Hawaii-style. Gotta love it!






A Steaming Hot Mug

Stories of Compassion to Warm your Soul from the Inside Out


Submit your stories (150 word maximum) to thewarminghouse@gmail.com for publication to this blog. Your stories must fall into one of the following three categories: 1) Stories of a time when you experienced God’s compassion directly or through the actions of another person; 2) Specific things you’ve done to teach your children compassion; or 3) How your church or someone you know has demonstrated the compassion of Christ. Can’t wait to hear (and share) your stories here at the Warming House!

 

Friends, thanks for stopping by! I hope you've found something here that is valuable to your life. Believe it or not, you are a valuable part of mine. Until next time . . .

Stay Warm and Cozy!

Lisa

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jesus - God's Plan for Man

Mountain View
“A mountain view can literally take your breath away. Getting a clearer view of God can do the same. Here at the Warming House, you’ll find truth that will help you know and understand who God is and how He feels about you. What you find here may cause you to live your life a little differently.

How are things in your life today? Are you doing well or are you struggling? How are your finances? Have you been betrayed, failed a test, gotten divorced, lost your job or even your home? Has your normal turned upside down? Do you feel that God has a plan for your life? Does He care about your needs? Is He even in control?

There is a story in the Bible about a widow who experienced unbelievable hardship. She lived in a town called Nain. After her husband’s death, this woman’s son had been taking care of her. Unfortunately, her son soon died as well. With the unthinkable loss of two people who were so important to her, her grief was complicated by the fact that she now had no one to provide for her. In Bible times, widows had no inheritance rights. Her future looked very grim on many fronts.

Basically, her daily life had moved abruptly from a place of complete security with people she dearly loved and a husband who provided for her to a place of destitution, grief, and loneliness. She had experienced purpose as a wife and mother, but that had been lost as well. I wonder if she ever thought to herself, “God, where are you in all of this?”


At that time, Jesus had been traveling from town to town teaching, preaching and healing sicknesses and diseases among the people. He came into this woman’s life literally during her son's funeral procession. Lucky for her, because her encounter with Christ changed her life dramatically.

Take a minute to read her story in Luke 7:11-17 then go back and drink in Jesus’ words in verse 13.

"When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."  

His words just melt my heart. They show me His compassion. Do you remember the definition of compassion from a previous blog? It's “an inner feeling of distress regarding the ills of others that causes us to suffer with another”. Jesus is deeply and genuinely concerned about our struggles. He feels our pain. We don't suffer alone. When I'm hurting, it means so much to know that someone recognizes my pain and cares.


Notice what Jesus did next.  “Then He went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” Did anyone ask for His help? Do you hear any requests for a miracle? Why did Jesus help her? What motivated Him? Could it be that He was motivated by His love for people and His compassion to help those who cannot help themselves? Truly, death is something we cannot save ourselves from.     
      
In Luke 7:15  “the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”  Wow! Imagine her joy! Jesus made the widow’s problem His own, and He voluntarily did something about it. He didn't do this because of something good in her or because she deserved it. He did it because of the sweet goodness in Him. Bringing this boy back to life was not only an act of compassion, it was an incredible display of the power of God present in Christ. This same power was demonstrated when Jesus rose from death after His crucifixion on the cross.




 
In verse 16, the people in the crowd recognized how Christ had responded to this woman’s needs and said, “God has come to help His people.”  They were exactly right. Through Jesus, God had come to help His people in more ways than they could imagine.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Colossians 4:19

At the beginning of time, mankind had perfect fellowship with God. There was no suffering and no death because suffering and death were not God’s natural plan for man. Perfect relationship was His plan, but the serpent deceived Eve with his poisonous words. She – and Adam fell for Satan’s lies. They ate fruit from a tree God had forbidden them to eat from. As they rebelled, sin entered the world. Their disobedience broke the perfect fellowship they had with their Creator and brought great consequences. Mankind's rebellion is the reason suffering and death exist in our world today. 

While the apple was still sweet on their tongues, God had already put a plan in place that would meet mankind’s biggest need (Gen. 3:15).  His plan involved a Savior who would crush the “head” of the kingdom of darkness (Satan).  Satan and all his evil intentions would be crushed through Christ’s death on the cross as He paid the penalty for our rebellion. (God is a just God and a price has to be paid.) Through this act, Jesus the Messiah would win a great victory over Satan by restoring what Satan had destroyed – man’s intimate fellowship with God. His sacrifice and His resurrection from the grave made a way for man to gain freedom from the consequence of sin which is death.



“Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious life God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with Himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be. And He did it by means of Jesus Christ.” Romans 3 (The Message Bible)

God was intentional. He saw our need for a Savior and desired to fill that need - not because we deserve it, but because of the goodness in Him. Motivated by love and compassion for those who cannot help themselves, He developed a plan that would meet our greatest need - without being asked. That plan’s name is Jesus.

His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!
Ephesians 1:5 (The Living Bible)

So what does this mean for you? It means you're not living some random, haphazard existence in a crazy, chaotic world that seems to have gone out of control. There's a God who's in control. He cares about your struggles and wants desperately to meet your needs. His plan for you is good. His plan will save you from the destruction that sin causes. His plan makes it possible for you to have a place in His family where you can experience a forever kind of relationship with Him. His plan opens the door for you to live forever in a perfect place called heaven. His plan is and always has been Jesus Christ. 


Fireside
Join me by the fire for conversations about how to nurture your family and create a warm and inviting home for family and friends.



My son will be graduating from high school this year. It’s impossible to believe that time has passed this quickly. As our son leaves our home, we want to make sure he’s prepared for life. In light of that, I recently bought him a book titled “Fathered by God – Learning What Your Dad Could Never Teach You.” The author, John Eldredge, calls men back to a simple and reassuring truth: God is our Father. It talks about how God initiates boys and men through the stages of manhood in life’s trials and triumphs. Wasn’t sure our son would actually read this book. Recently found out that he has made a point to read it every night before he goes to sleep and has indicated an interest in getting the accompanying workbook.



Link:
Because equipping our son is so important, I also bought a book called “Raising a Modern-Day Knight” by Robert Lewis. I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and am intrigued by kings, kingdoms, knighthood, noble character, and people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for a greater cause.

“Raising a Modern-Day Knight” helps Dads “confidently guide their sons to the kind of authentic, biblical manhood that can change our world.” This book talks about a vision for manhood, an uncompromising code of conduct, and the importance of a noble cause they can invest their lives in. Of course, in our home the code of conduct for authentic manhood includes cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Not sure that's a Biblical code of conduct though!


The men in my life.


As I read this book, I'm learning how desperately boys need a definition of manhood. They drift and flounder when they don’t have a masculine anchor and knowledge of what it means to be a “man”. In our culture in America, this definition isn’t being communicated to boys. Many of our grown men never learned it from their dads either. There is a desperate need for what this book teaches.

If your child’s father is not open to teaching your son about authentic biblical manhood, find another male mentor who will – maybe a grandfather or uncle. If this isn’t an option either, do what you have to do mommas. This message is extremely important and your sons deserve the training so buy the book and teach them yourselves. The information they receive from you will anchor them and prepare them for life.

I've typed up a teaching outline for my husband to use with our boys. If you’re short on time, I’d be more than happy to share it with you; however, you’ll still need to buy the book for reference. Just email me at thewarminghouse@gmail.com and I’ll send it to you.


Pinecones and Twigs:
Just like gathering nature’s treasures on a hike through the woods, you never know what you’ll find here – a great read, an inspiring photo of nature, or maybe the latest bargain. Check out this spot at The Warming House for something fun.


Early this winter, a starving kitten showed up at our back door. She was literally a walking skeleton and near death. My allergies to cats would not allow us to take her into our home. We certainly couldn't let her die, so we fed her. Once she discovered her food source, she adopted us - as we knew she would. We named her Viva Nueve. I think those are Spanish and Italian words that mean “live nine”.  People often say cats have nine lives. Because she had been so close to death, we felt she’d gone through all nine. We tried to find some foreign words that meant "nine lives", but Viva Nueve was the best we could come up with!

Viva scored a bed in our garage, and we eventually made an appointment to have her spayed. However, (and that's a big however), a male cat in the wild got to her first. Yesterday, she had her kittens. In about six weeks, we’ll have “Kittens – Free to Good Home”.

Here’s Viva's happy family. Very cute!




A Steaming Hot Mug

Stories of Compassion to Warm your Soul from the Inside Out


Submit your stories (150 word maximum) to thewarminghouse@gmail.com for publication to this blog. Your stories must fall into one of the following three categories: 1) Stories of a time when you experienced God’s compassion directly or through the actions of another person; 2) Specific things you’ve done to teach your children compassion; or 3) How your church or someone you know has demonstrated the compassion of Christ. Can’t wait to hear (and share) your stories here at the Warming House!

Just a reminder: If you are the head of a ministry, nominate your favorite single mom for a massage gift certificate. (We'll be giving away several!) All you have to do is submit her name, a brief description of why she deserves a massage, and your name and contact info to thewarminghouse@gmail.com.

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I know things are crazy out there. I will never sugarcoat that fact at all. I hope that The Warming House is a safe place where you can find compassion, rest, and reassuring truth. No matter what, know that you're not alone. God cares for you and so do I.

Stay Warm and Cozy,

Lisa