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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Faith and Government

Bear with me as I think out loud...


I have been politically involved from a young age - not going door to door, but I follow those up for election, read the propositions, vote, stay involved, etc. I am not apathetic towards government. I am finding myself more and more perplexed by the "state of the state" and am not sure what there is to be done about it.


I am a Christian and know that my faith infuses all that I think and do, but I guess what I am trying to figure out is at what point (in a free society like ours) does one's personal faith affect the faith/lack of faith of others? This is a great puzzler for me as I am not sure what my responsibility as a Christian is with regards to moral issues in the public square. There are certain things I hold to be biblically immoral, but I am honestly asking how this plays out in a country that has freedom of religion? What is my responsibility and where do I have to draw the line? Does my moral compass determine what is right for others because I know the Bible to be God's inspired word? At what point does "freedom of religion" turn to "forced into my religion?"



I have no desire to return to the times of a state-run church or to the Spanish Inquisition where those who did not "tow the line" were eliminated. I have read enough history to know that I don't want to live faith by force. How does that play out in our world? How do we maintain a moral world when everyone's morality is different?



When it comes to answering questions like:



"Government should not censor any speech, press, media, or internet." and I have to answer "Yes, Maybe, No" which do I choose? As a freedom-loving American, I don't want my own thoughts and freedoms of faith in jeopardy, but there *are* inappropriate pictures on the internet, there are other horrifying things there too--and not just on the internet. Of course I don't want them available - so I do embrace censorship to some degree. There *are* appropriate things to censor. So who gets to decide what is censorable and where does our faith fit into it?



I was very interested to see the groundswell of support for Huckabee when he first came on the election scene. It seemed like he was embraced with fervor because he had all the right buzz words. His record didn't vouch so highly for him. (At least in my opinion.) I am not a person who believes that this country will be saved by politics or even by the actions of God's people. My Savior is not of this world. This does not remove our responsibility to be involved though--we have to be in a free nation or we have no say at all. Just how far though, do we go as Christians? What is our God-given, biblical calling, in the political arena? I am not talking about leaving our faith at the door of the election box--no way! I am trying to process the phrase, "You cannot legislate your morality." Do we draw lines? If so, what lines and when?



I would love to hear your thoughts. I am obviously mulling this around in my mind. I want to honor God in all that I do--to obey all His commands for me, and to glorify Him in all that I do. How do we do that politically?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Everything Impossible

God does and is everything impossible. Oh, how I love that! I have been in a discussion about faith in God and His work in creation and you know, sometimes it is just so hard to explain faith to those who don't share it. It truly is "...the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen."  (Heb. 11:1) God is just like that, isn't He? I just love love love Him for that. How easy would our faith be if Jesus walked with us face to face here on this earth? How much would we have to trust in His saving, life-giving, purifying, providing hand?

The discussion has once again brought the quandry of faith versus sight into view. This is so key in our homeschools, isn't it? Our all-important faith is not something we can convince another of. It is truly a gift of God, lest we boast. Oh God, grant that my children walk in the faith you have so beautifully given me!

As I was sitting here working, I was listening to Mercy Me's album, Undone. The song, "Everything Impossible" just spoke to me! There are others who wonder and marvel at our Creator God! He is all we could ever need - even if we don't have all the answers. Let Him be praised. I hope you enjoy the lyrics as much as I. They met my heart tonight.

"Everything Impossible"

I was taught to be practical in everything I do
Holding on to what is tangible, and then came You
That's when I found myself so far away, from everything I knew
I took a leap of faith

Even though You're difficult for me to explain
I know I'll never be the same

You're everything I cannot see
You're everything I cannot say
I know it all seems so illogical
But that's okay
You're the love You give to me
You're the love I give away
You are everything impossible
And that's okay

That's okay!

All the things that make no sense to me, draw me to You
Like finding freedom by surrendering, can it be true
With everything I can and cannot know
This mystery is bringing life to me

And all this love I have for You I can't contain
I know I'll never be the same

You're everything I cannot see
You're everything I cannot say
I know it all seems so illogical
But that's okay
You're the love You give to me
You're the love I give away
You are everything impossible
And that's okay

That's okay

What's so hard to understand
What I cannot comprehend
Is that You love me the way I am

You're everything I cannot see
You're everything I cannot say
I know it all seems so illogical
But that's okay
You're the love You give to me
You're the love I give away
You are everything impossible
And that's okay

And that's okay

Saturday, April 12, 2008

These golden years...

Life at our house has been pretty busy as you can probably tell by my extreme lack of attention to this blog! :+) So much has been going on that I have not had five minutes to compose an entry. So I am stealing time tonight and sharing photos. My seven year-old has lost her first top tooth. She was quite the happy girl once the deed was done, but it hurt so much to get the very loose tooth out that the tooth fairy gave her $2.00. :+)



We spent one of the nicest days at a tremendous gold rush living history site near Coloma. Below are a few photos from that wonderful event. If you click on the photo you can see a larger version. Here are the children hand-dipping candles. I was amazed at how many dips it takes to make a candle! It was well over 40.



Here are the beautiful finished products. Don't they look so pretty hanging there?



Here they are making rope with twine. They were making a very long rope the old fashioned way!



Here is another gorgeous shot of the area we were enjoying that day along with the rope twisters. :+)



Here they are making butter, ice cream, grinding wheat, and making fresh whole wheat tortillas by hand. All were wonderfully fresh and delicious!



Here is Abigail churning butter. This was such wonderful butter!



Here is the gold rush country in the spring. This picture was taken right by the American River as we were panning for gold. We did find some and now I finally know how to do it! There was not *much* to be found as I was only able to take gold dust, but boy, I could see the lure of it. It was something to figure out how to glean the gold from the riverbed!



Life has been hectic, but it has been so beautiful here. The weather just yesterday was 85! We have planted our garden and the flowers are all starting to bloom. It is a lovely time of year and we have had hardly any allergies! What a blessing. I hope you are all doing well!