Saturday, May 23, 2009
Well, I am under wonder this weekend. Yep, I am engulfed with amazement; captivated by astonishment. I am left speechless and breathless by the waves of God’s ingenious creativity. I am totally wrapped up and saturated by the wonder of Him.
Okay, I know I should live in that place all the time, but I’m probably more human than I like to admit, and sometimes I’m not under wonder at all: I’m unfortunately sometimes just selfishly impressed with God. You know, times when he did something for me, or I benefitted from his character, so suddenly I see how good God is. Pretty shallow, eh? Sometimes I’m more like an immature kid who is happy with God when I get my way.
But prepping for and teaching this “Home Run” series has put me under – way under wonder! And while I have been sensing my wonder-meter rising over the past few weeks, it red-lined (in a good way) this week while running one morning. I was talking with God, listening to him, and just meditating on his wisdom and creativity regarding many aspects of this thing we call “home.” Things like how God has designed and wired males and females, how he has structured the most basic relationships to cooperate and connect in what is known as a family, how his wisdom in roles brings so much joy and prevents so much damage and hurt...on and on I could go! The mystery and vastness of it all -- biologically, physically, spiritually, emotionally, chemically -- just began to overwhelm me; I found myself under wonder right there in the middle of my morning jog!
Granted – I had spent much of the week getting ready to talk about sex from God’s point of view, so there was even more good reason to be stoked! But it was precisely the ingenious chemistry involved in that issue that put me over the top – what a gift God invented! And when enjoyed within his parameters, well, it put me under wonder. (There’s so much more I want to say about that subject, especially in light of all the perversion that goes in our culture. But let me instead just refer you to the message posted on our site – www.firstfamilyministries.com and then click on Listen. That will do more than I can do here.)
But it’s not just the biblical beauty of sex that got me revved up…under wonder. The whole man/woman/children/family thing has stirred me for weeks! I just find myself more and more awed with God, not solely because of his work, but because of his wisdom. From original creation to spiritual redemption to daily sanctification to physical satisfaction, God just knows best! There’s not an area where his wisdom isn’t seen! That’s why I’m under wonder! Saturated. Overtaken. Totally wrapped up. Engulfed. Swallowed whole. Surrounded. Captivated. Speechless. Wowed.
Friday, May 22, 2009
"Our chemistry corresponds in varying degrees to our primary family roles. Men have 15 times more testosterone than women. They are generally stronger and sweat more. This is good for men when they are out subduing the earth. Women have 10 times the amount of estrogen, which gives them greater endurance. They can endure more pain, and they live longer. This is good for women when they're bearing a child and raising it.
Men score higher in levels of aggression, dominance, and self-confidence, women in nurturance, empathy, and intimacy. Men take more chances and die sooner. Women are more cautious and stabilize their environment, creating longer life for all. Men are more direct and linear in their speech and reasoning, less concerned about the impact on others, whereas women are more indirect and connective. Men seek competition to greater degrees than women. Women seek cooperation in higher degrees then men. Men consistently score higher in math, science, and economics, women in philosophy, human relations, and verbal skills.
Why should these differences be so threatening? The issue isn't equality—that's a given. Nor is it about superiority and inferiority. It's about men being stronger than women and women being stronger than men in different and complementary ways rooted in creation." (John Ensor in Matters of the Heart)
Consider it today's handful of vitamins as you train to hit more "home" runs!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Okay, I just scribbled that title up there to get your attention. But I do want to take a moment and encourage moms and wives everywhere to realize their full, God-given potential to be the "fruitful vine" in their home (at least I got the word 'fruit' in there, so this isn't a total bait-and-switch blog).
To be sure, it’s not just dads who need to reject negativity and embrace an optimistic outlook on life. So do moms. And perhaps more so! After all, we all delightfully know the impact of a “fruitful vine” (Psalm 128:3) as it winds its way through our home bringing nourishment, life, and joy. And we all dreadfully understand the consequences of a “negative whine” (Proverbs 21:9, 19) that drips poison into every nook and cranny like an invisible IV line of pessimism in our houses.
I’m treading on some thin ice probably, but let me go ahead and dance for moment (all the while praying that the temperature doesn’t rise so my thin ice stays somewhat stable!). Few things can drain a home of its laughter and love like a constantly cranky woman. I hope you’ve never been around one, but if you have, you are probably nodding in agreement right now. In fact, I bet you’re thinking even now of that the old adage, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” The stark reality is that women have that kind of power and influence; it’s much of the thought behind the phrase “fruitful vine.”
Think about it – a vine feeds the fruit. It carries the essential elements for survival. It connects the various parts of the plant. It relays the necessary ingredients for blossoming. Truth is, if the vine dies, so does everything attached to it. That’s a lot of power.
I think there are at least two primary ways a mom/wife can be a powerful influence in a positive way:
1. Refuse to make sarcastic and doubtful comments (like Sara in Genesis 18). This kind of action undermines faith. Instead, speak words of blessing, encouragement, and hope. Embrace the possibilities of what God could do.
2. Reject the temptation to manipulate circumstances for the purpose of secretly getting your way (like Rebekah did in Genesis 27). This kind of action only undermines authority. Instead, stay unified with your husband and keep everything necessary out in the open. This kind of transparency will breed an unbelievable sense of optimism in everyone.
If moms and wives don’t use their power well, what’s the potential (and scary) result? If a child who grows up in a home where doubt and sarcasm are constantly spoken, and where secrecy and manipulation are always the first action of choice, the chances are much higher that you’ll have an adult one day who probably struggles with anxiety/depression and has issues with most authority figures. Not a pretty picture, is it?
Here’s to “fruitful vines” during this Mothers’ Day week…more power to ya’!