Sunday, June 28, 2015

Red Rover, Red Rover....

As I type this post I am arguing with God.  When the big news about gay marriage came out yesterday I vowed to not jump in with the rest of masses and start voicing my opinions.  I've seen how every time there is a new debate we all tend to run to Facebook and give out our opinions which really change nothing.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely believe it is right to stand up for what we believe in when the time is necessary.  But does anything change by me blasting Facebook with my opinions on things?  Probably not.  Thus I had resolved to keep me opinions and moral convictions to myself.  Besides, anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a supporter of the most recent decision made by the supreme court.

While there is this side of me that wants to write a post with multiple scriptures to support why I believe the way I do I know that is not what God has asked me to write about today.

As I was praying over the situation and people's responses God gave me the image of the game "Red Rover" we used to play when I was a kid.  For those of you who don't remember it, you form two teams who face off in a line towards each other, each grasping hands as tightly as possible.  When it's your teams turn you chant "Red rover, red rover send {Rachael} right over".  The goal is for whoever was called out to run over and break the chain of hands of two people. If they fail to break it they have to join their team but if they do break it they get to bring one of the "chain links" people back to their team. This continues until only one person is left on one team. If that person fails to break through the chain on his or her last run then the opposing team wins.

For those who were pros at red rover you always called the weakest and slowest person out because they were less likely to break their chains.  However, if you were the one called out you always chose the weakest link to try to break through because it was more likely for you to make it through and bring some people to your side.

As the Lord showed me this visual my heart sank for the state of our nation.  Yes, the most recent topic of gay marriage is burning within everyone right now but how about some other topics like Obama Care, abortions, vaccinations, church denomination, home school/public school/private school, theology and doctrines, stay at home mom vs. working mom, etc, etc, etc.

This list of "hot topics" could go on and on but the common thread they all have is our reaction to others around us who aren't on our "team".  Let's be honest for a minute.  We are all making a mental note of the people who have freely given their opinion on any of these topics.  When we notice they aren't on our team we feel the need to divide ourselves from them until they come to our side, much like red rover.

While the Bible is very clear on God's views for sex and marriage I don't feel it's my job to play red rover with people by only speaking with them if they come to my side.   In fact, Jesus stands for anything but division. Jesus came to bridge the gap between us and God and as a believer it our job to continue bridging that gap between people and God by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.  Is it possible to show love to each other yet disagree at the same time?  I know I struggle with it but Jesus did it so I'm going to cling to him on a daily basis and let him lead me.

For my friends reading this who disagree with me on my stance on marriage being between one man and one woman, will you choose to love me anyway?  Will you choose to refuse to join the red rover battle and love me even if I don't see eye to eye with your life decisions?  Will you love me when I have sin in my own life that needs to be brought into the light and forgiven?   God loves us all right where we are at in life. He may not love the sin in our lives but He loves us. Let's all extend that same love and grace to one another.

I pray that God stirs a hunger for him in our nation like we have never seen before. I pray that our nation becomes so on fire for Him that we can't help but see each other through God's eyes.  I pray this post does not bring more division but instead helps us ditch our teams and join hands to serve our God like we were created to do.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Who are the Joneses?

A few weeks have gone by since I've blogged.  Our family is in the midst of some big decisions and when we have seasons like this God directs me to step away from social media and being online too much. I believe it's because He knows how much influence looking at what everyone else is doing has on our decisions.

I'm sure there are a million blog posts out there about "keeping up with the Jones family" and encouraging us not to compare.  But I want to take it a step further and ask "Who are the Joneses?  And has anyone ever officially met them or is it some made up family?"

We all know we shouldn't covet things our neighbors own but do we stop to consider we shouldn't covet their decisions too?  This is something the Lord has really been challenging me on lately as He is calling me and my family to make decisions that are not in alignment with the "Joneses".

Here's a few "outside of the Joneses moments" we've shared in our 10 married years:
  • Getting married while still in college(huge social need a career first to be married, right??")
  • Having baby #1 while still in college(she was at my college graduation)
  • Moving to Texas for my husband to attend chiropractic school(life changing decision for us)
  • Having another baby while husband was in school(don't you know the "wise" thing would be to wait to have more kids when he is finished with school?!)
  • Buying a practice that had been around for 28 years(don't you know buying a practice almost never works out?!)
  • Having 2 VBACS(vaginal births after cesearean).  Don't you know all the risks involved there?
  • Me starting this anyone is really reading?!  
These are just a FEW decisions our family has made over the years and there are more in the works right now(hence why I haven't blogged much recently).

In looking back at our life I can see God's hand so clearly in every one of those decisions.  While the world around us didn't always understand, we knew God was leading us.  We would not be where we are today had we chosen to disobey and not follow God's lead.  

My encouragement to you today is to stop looking to the right and left as you make decisions. Forget what your friends on Facebook are doing and hear God for your own family.  I believe God blesses us when we walk by faith and trust Him to lead us places only He can take us.  Following our friends will never get us to our destination.  

Stay tuned for more updates on our  "not the Joneses" decisions that God is leading us to!!

P.S. I FINALLY did a short intro video to better explain the heart behind Life Outside the Shell!