Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Snake in Your Eden


 It was just a simple question.

 The most crafty of all the creatures God made, the serpent, plants the evil seed in our thoughts and our flesh does the rest. He simply asked Eve when he saw her desiring forbidden fruit:

"“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?

Wow. That's all He had to do. Make her question God's words. Once she did that, her desires took authority, her actions placed her on her own throne and pain, regret and death resulted. The taste, texture and rush of the fruit were quickly forgotten. 

All the enemy has to do to us is question God's Word. Our own desires will then take over and history repeats itself, over and over again. Is it no wonder that our society, and dare I say the church has done the same. God's Word is so questioned, twisted and disregarded that we have dethroned God...and Adam stands by silently watching. 

Then the serpent says:

“You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

He lies to us. He tempts us to think that God has bad intentions toward us and that WE can be God.  Master our own destiny, have control and live a fake freedom. I don't know about you, but I believe I would prefer a world under Jesus' rule than the one we have experienced for the past 7,000 years or so. 

Are you questioning God's word? Explaining away the clear reading of His words? Eve did. It didn't end well. Are the varied words of mere men and your own thoughts  more secure than God's? Every belief needs faith, the question is, who are you trusting in most?

"So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Have the courage to say I believe
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see" -Michael Card

Thank you to Paula for helping me understand this truth. I treasure the humble, honest and faithful teachers (and doers) of the scriptures.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hold Your Brushes Close

They want our children. Who is "they"? People in high, authoritative positions, who honestly think they know better than the average Joe, what is best for kids and society. Of course, I think I know what is best too, but I do not dictate nor manipulate to that end. I have no visible power to turn the tide of current thinking...or do I?

Studying history with my kids, as a homeschool mom, has opened my eyes to many things I never really knew before. The people who changed the world for better and for worse, how they did it and the echo of those actions on centuries to follow. The cyclical pattern of history, repeating unnecessary pains for lack of hind-sight. There are still WW2 witnesses who warn us concerning the making of a monster, the slow, molding of a nation to think a certain way...by having authority and influence on our young children. 

 “Give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man” -St. Francis Xavier
We seem today to be somewhat unaware of this repeating pattern. When I paint, I have a plan. I have an image in my mind that I try to create. I attempt to produce the exact colors, texture and values. A painting is "done" only when I sense a satisfaction in what I see. It never looks like what I imagined exactly. Many times, I make mistakes that end up looking rather interesting, unique...irreproducible. My art teacher has a painting on her wall that she changes every so often depending on her mood, so in a sense, it's never "done", but always on display. Our kids are like a canvas that a Divine image waits to be displayed upon. For some undeserved reason, we are given the brushes and paints to be life-givers of the masterpiece. Only we have the passion and vision for each canvas. We can hand it off to someone of lesser motivation, but what emerges will never be as good as the original intention.What kind of man or woman might our child become if we do not hold the brush of color and hand it over to someone of contrary thinking?

I have been in situations where I HAD to hand the brushes over to someone else for a time. It was out of my control. God provides in these situations and shows us that He is the most loving parent and can get by fine without us if he so desires. We are meant to depend on one another and to entrust all things to His leading, His people. Sometimes I do let another of kindred spirit, make a mark of their own on my canvas. Adding something I didn't think of that enhances. I have the God given control to do that and pursue the wisdom to know when, where and who to let contribute. 

All of this painting symbolism to get to  the point of education. I chose to home-educate mainly for this reason. I wanted to hold the brush when I could and as long as I could. Handing the brush to someone else is something I can do, if necessary, but not until then. Why would I? God gave me the vision and passion for His intentions. The process is an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.

When I see governments drawing children farther and farther from the reach of their parents, I shudder. They lure them with worldly ideas of higher intelligence, social acceptability and ease of life. Take them out of the rural settings...basics, simplicity, interdependence, hard work,  family, friendliness, natural learning spaces, individuality and the personal touch. Crowding our young into more centralized, detached learning spaces removes the environment that grows quality and uniqueness. Larger numbers of cookie cutter reprints should not be our goal for the next generation. There is nothing like and original and an original needs a personal touch, time, inspiration and love. Can we not see that this has happened before? It doesn't end well. It started with the taking of our kids' minds. Keep you children close, impart your ideas on their hearts. That is His intention. Be careful who you hand the brush over to. Let God create a totally unique image of His beauty, with the grace of your touch hidden in every stroke.