Sunday, March 30, 2014

Religious vs. Grace Parenting.

There are three things most Christian parents desire for their children; that they be happy, healthy and holy. It seems simple enough, but the older kids get, the harder it is to force them to eat their greens, be nice to their siblings and read their bible.

When it comes to our children’s spiritual growth it can seem outright overwhelming. Where once sat an outspoken child full of enthusiasm and questions about God’s character, now sits a withdrawn, introspective, grouch who questions God’s actual existence.

This response to faith in our teens send us holy parents reeling into panic. We step into fear, fall into a lack of trust in God and succumb to a whole whack of crazy parenting, including religious parenting.

I’ve been guilty of being an over religious parent. Especially when my kids rebel I want to go into lock down and shove proverbs down their throat! It’s so tempting to raise our children under the law, cursing the world, pointing out their sins, expressing judgment on others as an example of what they shouldn’t do, constant criticism, hiding them under lock and key, instilling fear of them losing their salvation, focusing on works in the home and church and so on. Sound familiar?

This is when Jesus steps in and warns us of another form of bondage, religion. Did you know we can actually cause greater spiritual harm to our children raising them under the bondage of religion than if we left them to the wind?  The freedom Christ unselfishly died for needs to be extended to our children.

Moms and dads, even teachers and grandparents have such a God given responsibility to reveal the love of God to our children through grace and forgiveness, just as Jesus extended that to us. Don’t be like the pharises demanding our child be stoned for their rebellion but rather be like Jesus who showed love, grace, forgiveness and yes a little stern talking to.

I’m in no way downplaying discipline; discipline done in love is essential. However, what religion does is say that what they did was wrong -  therefore they as a person are fundamentally flawed and wrong. It is a constant reminder they don’t measure up. Grace and forgiveness says, that the behavior was wrong, but they are still valued and loved to the core of their God created being. Love really can cover a multitude of sins if we let it.

This article was originally published in City Light News March 2013

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Pondering Mother

I laid in bed last night thinking about when Jesus would have discovered He was the Son of God. Had he always known in his heart, did the prophets tell him when he was a child, or a teenager? I was thinking about how a child would grow into the knowledge that He was not like all the other kids. Was there angel visitations? The audible voice of God? Was he accidentally shooting off power at the age of 8 playing sticks with his cousin John?

I was pondering this idea, enjoying the mystery of it and then a few scriptures popped into my head.


(Jesus has just been born and the Angels are rejoicing and the Shepherd's visit the baby)

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:19


(Jesus goes missing for a day and Mary has been frantically searching for him when she finds him in the temple)

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:49


(Jesus is now an adult and performs his first public miracle) 

1The next daya there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
4“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2: 1-4


So back to my pondering question as to when and how Jesus knew he was the son of God. 

I believe he knew this from birth because HIS MOTHER TOLD HIM!!!!!!

His mother, pondered these signs and wonders in her heart and from the moment He was born she spoke and sang to him, his purpose, his calling. Mary would have parented him with the sole purpose in mind that He was born t save the world. The fact that Jesus said to her, "my time has not yet come." suggests to me that they talked about this a lot. 
Perhaps Mary lost sight of it a bit as she panicked through the streets, imagining the worst. "I just lost the son of God!" but Jesus, at the age of 12, reminded his mother of who he was, so she pondered, and then realigned her focus helping him to "grow in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."
Mary may have been anxious to show off her son, to reveal to the world who He was. Jesus may have rebuked her several times as a teen "Mom, stop talking about me with your friends, It's not time yet."
Thinking of this last night challenged me to ponder the calling on my own children's life. To seek God's heart for each one and help remind them who they are and who they belong to.
Thanks Mary for your pondering heart!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Should we legalize brothels in Canada?

The  government has issued a survey on whether or not Canada should legalize sex businesses, so to speak. 

AGAHST! Lord help us and our sons and daughters.

This is not freedom people, this is bondage! 

I was just reading 1Kings 20 this morning and it struck me how King Ahab quickly gave into the demands of his bully adversary Ben-Hadad, the King of Syria. 

This is my ad-lib - but please read 1 Kings 20 for yourself.

"Give me your gold, silver and your best looking wives and children!" he bullied

King Ahab replies, "sure okay, whatever just leave us a lone."

Ben-Hadad the bull headed King sends another message "Alrighty then, I'm coming tomorrow and I'm going to take all you said I could and whatever else I want"

Then the cowardly King Ahab realizes this isn't looking good for him, and they go to war. 

God steps in and saves the day, Of course, and Ben-Hadad comes back with his tail between his legs.

"Please don't kill me, I didn't mean to be bad, brother."

King Ahab relents and signs a treaty, "let's be friends"

God comes in “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’”  Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria.
1Kings 20:42

CANADA - LET US NOT GO AROUND SIGNING TREATIES AND MAKING COMPROMISES AND DEALS WITH THE DEVIL. He will always come back for more, always and it will be our children and our children's children who suffer. Please pray this discussion never comes up again in Canada. 

Go to the survey and share YOUR VOICE.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Satan is a Spiritual Bully

I don't usually wear dark purple eyeshadow to church, but today I slathered it on. As I was pushing the brush hard onto my eye lids I said to myself "warpaint." I put on my biggest heaviest earrings and I said again to myself, "She-Ra, warrior princess!"

Before I dozed off last night I was praying for my pastors wife who was preaching today, for my pastor and friend ministering over seas, and for my friends and my family. Last night we were all attacked in some vicious way or another. All completely unrelated scenarios, all around the same time. I woke up at 12am with sheer anxiety and doom, it rattled me, and at the same time my daughter came in crying with a nightmare. (Not a coincidence!) It took me an hour to shake off the feeling and I woke up, after a highly disrupted sleep, to text messages about others who received major darts from the enemy last night.

So when I woke up this morning, I felt my self say "I'm getting really tired of these attacks, I'm not sure I can put up with it any more." That's when God came in and said "You don't have to!"

Darn right we don't!

When I was around the age of 14, my younger brother burst through the doors after school bawling his eyes out. He could barely talk. "There were these guys, and every time I cut through the park to get home from school, they attack me. Today they chased me all the way home."

I have always been a very mild tempered person, but I was ticked. "Where they at!?' I asked. "In the alley" my brother said.

 I marched out of my house down the street, through the park and to the alley, and sure enough there were those bullies, who happened to be a grade older than I was. I yelled after them "hey! You!!" They stopped and turned around. I marched in a giants pace, my ponytail swaying in the momentum, I grabbed the biggest guy by his shirt and looked into his eyes.


I'm not sure if it was my violently swinging ponytail, or my painted on BLUE eyeshadow that did it, but they apologized on the spot, walked away and never bothered my brother again.

So I put on my war paint again this morning, which was just an outward expression of my rage at the enemy on the inside and I marched into church.  WE DON'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS ANYMORE! I announced to as many people who would hear me. "We don't have to be intimidated, we don't have to avoid the alley, or expect an attack every time we step out into action, we don't!"

We have the authority to march into the enemies alley and demand HIM to go! And if we don't have all the strength ourselves to defeat him we have a big God that will clear the way!

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. LUKE 10:19

Friday, March 7, 2014

Trust God or Die

After three years growing my Mommy blog Virtuous Woman Exposed, I feel God is calling me to a different platform. I still plan on updating VWX for family, friends and faithful readers, but my waking, sleeping, and eating project will be this. A Voice with… me.

Letting go of 144,000 page views, and multiple subscribers, is equivalent to Jesus asking his disciples to lay it all down and follow him. I totally realize that having a new URL address is not the same as saying goodbye to your dying father and fishing boats, but I am saying goodbye to a beautiful blog and to an experience that opened many doors for me, gave me sanity, created lasting memories and filled my lonely hours as a mom. It's a part of me and my identity.

Over the last 6 months I have had so much more to say, that doesn't seem to fit into the mommy blog genre. Though the mommy blog is soooo me -  I have 5 children and I mother,a lot! 

But there is a HUGE, HUGE part of me, yes even greater than my desire to be a mom (AGHAST!) and that is my walk (run) with the Almighty.  I have a hard time talking about the Prophetic, or John the Baptist's humility, or what the Holy Spirit is saying now, next to a post on childhood vomiting, and cupcake recipes. 

I feel like God is moving, and HE is moving fast, and that we need to start running and grabbing hold of his robe WE CAN NOT  lose sight. I think God is wanting to speak to his children, almost more than ever before. There's an urgency, and the time is now. I want to create a blog where God's voice can be heard, where we are challenged to not become lukewarm Christians, to be challenged to be open to the NEW THING that God is doing and to set our eyes on him. 

This is risky for me, this is a TRUST GOD or DIE scenario.

We recently put our house on the market, we have been praying about it for years. I woke up in the morning a few weeks ago, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said "Change is Good" and through nothing short of the Hand of God, it sold that day. (it wasn't even listed). 

We were so excited, but then reality set in. The bank gave us a reality check, and the market did as well.  We have seen every possible house that could fit a family of 7 with a budget of a family of 4 and I have to say, there has been much panic.

This is risky, this is a TRUST GOD or DIE (homeless with teenagers who hate you because you made them live in a box in -30 weather because you wanted a bigger ensuit!)

We lay down what is past, we lay down what we have, what is great and good, for something that is God. So welcome, and I hope you will join me and even encourage me, as I step into this NEW THING. 

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. 
Isaiah 43,19