Saturday, February 1, 2014

Post-Miscarriage Hedonism and Second Portion of Conference Notes

I'm afraid this week is turning me into a bit of a hedonist.
(John Piper would say I'm fine, as long as I'm a Christian I'm excusing myself for now.)

Right now, I've got a cup of coffee in hand--- the first cup of our second pot for the morning.  Michael has Creedence downstairs while he works on tearing off the ceiling in the basement.  (Just trust me, Creedence will be fine.)  And Million is napping.

So I have a little time to myself.  And I'm wrestling with my desires.  As Million said recently "I wish somebody would buy ME something sometime."  It's stupid really.

I just want a new shirt.  It's absolutely not necessary.  But my emotions are telling me that I want one because I was looking forward to possibly even buying some maternity clothes this pregnancy.  (I never ended up using maternity pants with Creedence, and I only bought one maternity shirt for myself....the other shirts were lent to me.) Sigh.  And I know that it's not necessary, and that I should be practicing the contentment I just preached to Million...I also know that if I ask Michael, he'll say "just buy a shirt." 

Okay. Back to the topic I'm *supposed* to be writing about.  The notes from the conference.  Now that I've blathered about my shirt desires, I don't have as much time to type... So here are a bunch of quotes or questions I wrote down from the weekend.  If you have questions about any in particular, I could expound on them.  There are Bible verse references too, which I have not included, for want of time.  I've bolded the ones that I thought would be the most useful for you.

How free is the holy spirit to be radical in your heart?

Consistently declaring "Be good" and "stop that!" doesn't captivate the hearts of your children.  Speak positive words into their hearts.  i.e. "I wonder how God is going to use you to change the world.  Don't ever forget that God has created you with a specific story."

God's desire is to take a normal person and use them to change the world.

Fill your home with good because that is what God did for His children.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they were forced into a pattern of brokenness that made them self-cetered and compelled to attempt to provide for themselves.  We do the same thing today in our rebellion.

What causes Christians to be so weak and impotent in our culture?  Where is the disparity between God's design for Christians and how many Christians become defeated?  Don't look for validation from the world, but look for the favor of God, and you will live freely and confidently.

If you aren't partnering with God, don't expect supernatural results.  You can't live in fear and faith at the same time. 

Sally did personal focused time with each child.  She called it tea-time discipleship.  When she took them aside and made them feel valued and respected, that's when she got to speak into their heart. This honors your children.

Your message is going to come out of the life you live.  She spoke of her "hidden years" of service before any public ministry, constant obedience building her faithfulness and integrity.

If you understand how deeply you're loved, you will love your kids deeply.  You can only have a godly impact if your heart is healthy.  God understands your helplessness in a dark world and has compassion for you.

We live in a culture that can't produce heroism because we are hesitant and fearful.  Heroism is about taking hold of a great story.  We are not called to anything less than heroism.  Emphasize to your children when you read them Scripture that "this is your story."  The way that you can call your children to righteousness is to give them a vision of who they are and what they can become.  Understand yourself as a narrator.  You have the power to narrate the world to your children.  Equip your children to live into the vision you have cast for them.  We cannot be people of faith without imagination. 

Technology is not bad or evil, but it is also not a neutral thing.

The more impersonal Satan can make us, the less influence we have.

If you don't have the shared language of ther values you want to transmit to your children, your character training will be ineffective.

Feasting is about the "it-is-goodness" of the world.
Creation is filled with variety, color, tastes, sounds, beauty, humor, textures, interest, fun.  Return to the Earth and nature to understand how to incarnate the living God.  You are a co-creator with God and called to create life, beauty, variety in your life to reflect Him to others----He is beyond just a thought to be known.  Therefore, we are to honor the Earth, our bodies, and our garden or domain.

Christians should be the finest, most excellent artists, doctors, teachers, mothers, politicians, builders---the best people overall, excellent in all of their ways.  Be a co-creator, co-redeemer, thinker, and lover, because you know the real creator, redeemer, knowledge, and lover.

If your God is too small, your joy will be miniscule. 
Okay.  That's it, for now.  I'll get some links later.  I have an amazing book resource for you that I'd love to talk about, but we do have weekend plans that require some travel.  And I just might go shirt shopping later on. 

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