Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolution/prayer

Well, it is almost a new year and time to take stock of where you were and where you are going.

I pray that God will help me be gentle and kind. That He will show us clearly where he wants us to be and what he wants us to be doing. I pray that He will show us whether to home school the little ones or keep them in school. I pray He will help me focus on being a godly wife and help stay focused on reading His word and applying it to my life. I am going to be more mission minded and find a way to serve in the community. I am going to work even harder on our budget (as I need a newer car)! I am going to be grateful for every person he has put in my life and especially for my family.

Happy New Year

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween, continuing training, and holiday stuff

We had a fun Halloween this year. We went to 2 fall festivals and trick-or-treating last night. My 6 year old was a sumo wrestler and my 3 year old was Captain America. My 16 year old pointed out that together they looked like Captain America and his fat, naked girlfriend. I know I shouldn't laugh, but it was so true! Hopefully I will get around to posting the pictures this week.

My week of child training has not gone as smoothly as I would have liked, but tomorrow is another day. My prayer for this week is still for God to give me the endurance I need to get the children under control. I also will be praying for God to help me be a better housekeeper (as it stresses my husband out for the house to be messy). :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

training children

I looked up one day and suddenly realized my two young children are out of control. I mean, they always have been a little unruly and I just chalked it up to "boys will be boys". Well, now I believe that it should be chalked up to permissive parenting. This is the week. The turning point. I have reread a couple of books. One is Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson and the other is What the Bible Says About... Child Training by J. Richard Fugate. I need prayers this week as I deal with trying to undo years of bad training. When it gets to this point it feels like all I am doing is disciplining. I feel mean. I must remember the heart is deceptive and I can only rely on God's word, which is clear on child discipline.

I wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. Proverbs 10:1

The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. Proverbs 29:15

My prayer today is for God to help me have the endurance I need to correct these behavior problems in my children. I know if I don't teach them to obey their parents now, they will have a harder time obeying the Lord when they are older.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

homemaker vs. housekeeper

Being a homemaker is not the same thing as being a housekeeper. For many years I equated being a homemaker to having a clean house. This is not necessarily correct. I do think it is important to have a clean house, but that is just one aspect of being a homemaker. In my opinion a homemaker is responsible for many things, including the house work. (disclaimer: this does not mean some jobs cannot be delegated.)

First and most important is raising our children to love the Lord.
These words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
If our primary job is not being a homemaker, can this be accomplished? (A question for another post might be can this be accomplished if the child is being sent off daily to receive a secular education.)

Second and also important is the health of our families. I believe when I am pregnant I am responsible for eating well and making sure the baby is well nourished with "good" food, not junk food. This carries over to breastfeeding, as formula is not as good and causes increased risks of all kinds of problems in childhood and adulthood, which includes higher rate of SIDS, diabetes, cancer, intestinal problems and hospitalization. (When has man ever made anything better than God!) After weaning, it is still our responsibility to make sure that they are eating nutritious food, getting fresh air and sunshine, and exercise. These physical needs must be monitored and met. Also, our husbands need good nutrition and may need some encouragement in this area. It takes a lot of time to prepare homemade, preservative free, dye free, high-fructose corn syrup-free food. Not that we don't have some of the garbage more than we should, but at our house, healthy food is the norm. Pop-Tarts and Capri-Suns don't fall into the healthy category. Also, french fries and burgers from the drive-thru don't either.

Third, academics are important, though not as much as many people think. The goal should be to raise intelligent, articulate, born-again Christians who will impact the Kingdom. This also takes a lot of time, but it is worth the effort. Remember, children are a gift from God and deserve to be treated as blessings and not burdens.

Fourth, making the money last. This is particularly difficult in today's society. In the 50's young housewives might share stories and tips with each other about how thrifty they could be. Not so much now. With the focus on what kind of house we live in and what we drive, what we wear, etc., this becomes more and more difficult. For the family that says "mom has to work", I would encourage them to seriously consider downsizing everything in order to make that happen. When my husband and I first learned that the bible tells women to be homemakers, we had to do some praying, and scrimping, and saving. We even went without cable for over a year and applied every single penny we could to debt, until I was able to work less and less. Eventually, not at all. But this took repentance on our part. We did not know what the bible said about homemakers or debt and our lifestyle showed it! IF you had to choose between the electronics, the cars or even the house and being obedient, BE OBEDIENT! It would be better to live in a hovel and be obedient, than to live in a nicer house and be disobedient. Of note: the first $21,000. that I earned was going toward increased taxes, increased tithe, increased childcare, increased healthcare, clothing, convenience food, and transportation.

Therefore, I want the younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.
I Timothy 5:14-15

They (the older women) are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands, and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2: 3-5 emphasis mine
I know there is a lot of debate about what is really meant by keeper at home, worker at home, homemaker, etc. My understanding (and I am not scholar) is the Greek word for "keep house" used in I Timothy 5: 14-15 is oikodespoteo. It literally means to "rule or guide the house". Note in Titus 2 the consequence of not doing these things is that the word of God will be reviled. In the King James version it says blasphemed! I think it is clear that God has told us to do this and if we know right and do it not, then we are sinning. I believe that when we repented of our actions, even though they were from ignorance and not rebellion, that God put a blessing on our finances and we were able to pay that debt off quicker than we thought we could.

Remember, when making decisions, especially lifestyle decisions, don't follow your heart. Follow God's word. Even if it makes more sense to do it your way, still do it God's way. The heart is deceitful.
The heart is deceitful beyond all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

This post is written in love. My goal is not to offend, but inform and encourage families to STUDY the bible on this subject. I want wives to see that staying at home is a huge responsibility and requires a lot of research, knowledge, and skill. The reward is priceless.

Monday, October 19, 2009

once a month cooking

Thursday night I found a link to a once a month cooking site. Well, I tried their sample week last night. The food looks good. She said in her instructions that it should take you about 2 1/2 hours to prep and assemble 7 meals. Well, I must be a little slower because it took me about 3 hours to assemble 5 of the meals and then I just quit. I am curious to see if I will think it is worth it after this week is over. It felt like I was preparing a Thanksgiving dinner with so many different things going at the same time. I am thinking it will save a lot of kitchen cleaning time. I made one HUGE mess last night, but cleaned as I completed each thing. For example, after I did both chicken dishes, I cleaned all the stuff and loaded cutting board, etc. in the dishwasher. So by the time I got done cooking, the kitchen was almost completely clean. I so hope it is worth it, as we have been eating a little more junk lately, as I get busy. Hopefully this will solve that problem. I should be able to thaw out the meal in the morning and then just have about 30 minutes of cook time in the evening. This is actually about how much time I spend anyway, but the cleaning time should be cut WAY DOWN. And if all the prep and assembly is done, even though I'm tired, at least I won't have to think about it, just go on autopilot. If the family likes the food I am definitely going to buy the book and start once a month cooking!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Entertaining Church

"The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them...providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church...the need is for Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men aflame.” --Charles Spurgeon

I think this specifically relates to youth groups. The Barna Group has the numbers. Entertaining the kids doesn't work. So why do we keep doing it? This is a question I ask often. Is it because we have pride and don't want to admit that our little youth experiment failed? I think it is probably that it makes sense, therefore it should work. I mean, why doesn't it work?

It doesn't work because it was never in God's plan to replace the father discipling the children with youth groups and children's programs.

I read a book I got from our church library called the Open Church. In it the author talked about the history of churches. He stated that the very early church met in houses and when the meeting place got full, they split and started meeting in even more houses. Now, they didn't have sound systems, bands, lights, curriculum, programs, games, ice breakers, or any of the stuff we have now. How is it that they were ON FIRE! Is it possible we are trying to substitute an emotional experience for true salvation and could this be the reason why so many churches are just fizzling out instead of "spreading like wildfire".

One last point, If we are to take the verse below to heart, how can we mix worship and outreach, or discipleship and outreach. If unbelievers feel comfortable at our churches week after week, without salvation, then we are NOT being the light we are supposed to be.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

Monday, October 12, 2009

Help for Wives

I was watching an episode of I Love Lucy this morning. It was about Ricky not paying attention to her anymore. She found a book that was going "fix" the problem, which according to the author was the wife's fault. Now I am a reformed feminist, so I did not take offense to this. In fact, it reminded me of a book that I credit with saving my marriage. The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan.

A little day at a restaurant my husband looked me in my eyes and said "I can't do this with you for the rest of my life." It wasn't mean or angry. It was just a statement of fact. Well that was my wakeup call. After a silent ride home, with me in tears, I prayed that night for God to send me what I needed to help me "fix" my marriage. The next day, I was at our church cleaning out the library and I found a very old copy of The Total Woman. I took it home and read it. Now it wasn't a bible study by any stretch, but she was a Christian and had applied Christian principles to her marriage and the results were amazing. I did the same thing and my results were amazing. I am not saying we have a perfect marriage, but we don't think the D word anymore. This sent me on a quest to find out what other things I had been doing that were contrary to God's plan and what were the consequences of doing it my way. I will stick with marriage on this post.

Here are the things I did.

1. I made myself "available and ready" for my husband every night for one month. I took a bubble every afternoon and got ready like I was going on a date.

2. I quit questioning his authority and second guessing every decision he made. For one month, I held my tongue.

3. I found things to complement him on every day. I didn't make anything up, I just spent time looking for the good in him instead of dwelling on what I thought was the bad.

4. I let him hear me praise him to the children. I always have done this, just not where he could hear.

5. I applied the Golden Rule. I would want him to find out what made me happy and do it. I have heard often since I started this 6 years ago, that I should stop trying to make him the man of my dreams and start trying to become the woman of his dreams.

6. Take off the mommy hat and put on the wife hat. This is something I still struggle with. Sometimes I get so busy being the mom, that I forget I am also a wife. I am working on it though! One thing I heard in a bible study stuck with me. The leader said "we need to be making memories". Now I always think this about the kids and about our family, but I never thought about it as a couple.

A while back I thought marriage was supposed to make you happy, but in reality I think it is supposed to make you Holy. One of the reasons it is so important to have a Godly marriage is because our marriages represent Christ's relationship to the church. If the wives represent the church, then we should be obedient, submissive, and willing to live for our husbands, who represent Christ.

My prayer today is that God will help me focus on the important role of being a Godly wife. The Proverbs 31 woman is the model God gave me. I may not ever be as "good" as she is, but I can certainly try and with God's help I know it is not impossible.

Blog Party

I just want to say how wonderful the blog party was. If you haven't signed up already you have until 5 today. The link to Michelle's blog is" I have been very encouraged by reading all the other blogs and I hope you will stop by her blog and check it out!

Friday, October 9, 2009

My struggle with Materialism

I struggle often with materialism and I have for a while. Our last church seemed to help me in that area, as many of the people were struggling financially, so we didn't feel that need to "keep up with the Joneses." I did struggle with it some then. I remember going to Sunday school one morning and talking about how I felt guilty that I was working 10 hours a week away from home and my 8 month old and 3 year old just because I wanted to go to Disneyworld and wanted things. I guess I was expecting for some of the wives to give me some advice on defeating materialistic attitudes, but instead I got support. I heard that there was nothing wrong with that and that some women were not meant to stay at home with the kids and many of them said they would "go crazy" if they had to stay cooped up with their kids all the time. And of course, no one even mentioned Titus 2 or Timothy or God's OBVIOUS plan for women by examining our biology and the consequences physically of changing this plan. I have to say that I was beyond shocked. I guess I still am, even though it is 3 years later. I guess my question is how did we get to this point? We are the church. We should not be justifying materialistic attitudes. I hate to over simplify, but What Would Jesus Do? Substitute Do with Buy and you have a whole new can of worms. I often think would Jesus think it is OK to spend this kind of money on a vacation. You see, Disney is my worldly desire. Some people desire sports cars and motorcycles, electronics, clothes, boats...not me. I want Disney! I would live there if I could. Is this OK? Can I possibly justify the expense of that kind of vacation? We went 3 years in a row and each time I felt a little guilt. When I talk to my sisters in Christ, they tell me I shouldn't feel guilty. By the way, it is hard to find the non-materialist sister to talk to. We are all so worldly. The general consensus, I think, is that if you are tithing and God has provided that extra money, then use it! And of course, how can we counsel each other against materialism when we are mostly all so materialistic? In our class we often talk about ambition and how it can be good or bad. About our motives and that makes a difference. I wonder to myself if this is true. Does God put conditions on his instructions. Does he say don't covet... unless of course you are doing it for your family, then it's OK. How big a house do we really NEED? How many pairs of shoes do we really NEED? This can go on and on from food, to furniture, to cars, to entertainment, and vacations. We have become a church that looks exactly like society. And every time I log on to Facebook I see pics of some other toy one of my brothers or sisters in Christ has just bought. I know I should probably suggest alesson on materialism, but then I might be forced to give up MY materialistic desires...and I am really hoping to go to Disney next year so maybe this lesson should wait.

Monday, September 28, 2009

the children of cesear by voddie baucham

This clip is just a few minutes, but made a huge impact on me. I am very blessed to have found Voddie Baucham on the net and hope others will be blessed also.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Righteous anger

Anger is bad. We hear it all the time. Maybe that is why so many Christians just sit back and let misinterpretations of scripture stand. Maybe we take Jesus telling us to "turn the other cheek" and apply to things he wasn't talking about. Maybe we do this because we are scared...scared of hurting someone's feelings, scared of people being mad at us, scared that we might look stupid. Well, all of these "scared of" things are unbiblical. We should care about other's feelings, but not at the expense of allowing them to keep sinning. We should do it in love, but we should do it. Do you think Jesus was afraid of hurting feelings when he flipped over the money changers tables in the temple? No. He was mad. Real mad. I think I may know how he feels because I feel that way about scripture. When I hear people making a mess out of scripture I get mad. I think "how dare you water down God's word". I mean we do realize this is GOD'S WORD. The things he tells us to do are not suggestions. The bible is the same as if GOD himself, looked you in the eye, and audibly told you to do something or to not do something. I know most of us Christians would never ignore an audible command from God, but we have no qualms about watering down his word to suit our worldly ideas and lifestyles. Some examples of thing we change/ignore because we want to are : homeschool/secular schooling, recreational dating, church model, biblical headship, biblical womanhood, discipline of children, money and debt, and even what Jesus says about who will get into heaven. I get so angry when I hear people skimming over the hard truth of the bible. However, I am afraid. Afraid of all the things listed above and so I do nothing. I pray God will help me be angry enough to turn over some tables.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Quote of the day and biblical worldview

"It isn't that Liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so." --Ronald Reagan

This is an interesting thought. It sums up what I think about many of my liberal friends. I feel like they are just brainwashed. I'm such a researcher, especially in the last 6 years, since I discovered much of what I learned through my secular education "is not so". The history I learned in school is not complete. I was always told that those that don't know history are destined to repeat it. I thought that was the point of learning history. I actually feel betrayed by the education I received. I ended up with a distinctly secular worldview. For many this will effect their belief in God. However, I always believed in God, but I will say that my view of His awesomeness was diminished by the false teaching and omitted events and motivations that I learned during my secular education. And I',m just talking about history right now. How quickly "they" were able to diminish our committment to the Lord with just a couple of generations of an education devoid of the Lord. The chances of the "church" in 3 hours a week undoing the brainwashing that goes on for 35-40 hours a week are slim. Especially when the topic is usually God's love. I mean, we know, God LOVES us. I mean we know it. But do we know the greatness of His plan and His power. Do we understand the natural consequences of defying is "perfect plan" for everything from dating, to marriage, to motherhood. Certainly I didn't. I think maybe the ones who knew were to afraid of speaking out. In this liberal society (including the church) if you speak out against feminism and women's lib you are a freak. I am trying to not care what people think about me and just shout from the rooftops what I KNOW from SCRIPTURE is God's plan for women and the family. I know part of the reason we can't just reason it out for ourselves goes back to our lack of biblical based education and the result is an unbiblical worldview.

Monday, September 14, 2009

conservative quote of the day

Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace. No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history. -- Will And Ariel Durant

This is so true. As a church we may often hear that we shouldn't do things only because it is tradition. This is true, but the other side of the coin is that we shouldn't STOP doing things only because it is tradition. Sometimes traditions were created after much trial and error and found to be the best way to do things. We have a rebellious nature and need to be very aware of why we want to stop honoring some traditions. Is it because it doesn't glorify God or is it because it doesn't glorify us?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

God's plan for women, zero population growth rant

This is the Q&A link from the website for the movie Demographic Winter. I haven't researched this, but I believe it is probably true. This is an example of why we as children of a Heavenly Father don't know best. Look, God gives us free will. We can do whatever we want and if we are his child, he loves us anyway. He probably shakes his head at the things we do, just like we shake our heads at our own children. God knows EVERYTHING. Yet, we still think we should control our own lives. Many of us think the bible is obsolete. I think as Christians we have forgotten the old testament. Hey people, there is a reason for the old testament. There was a reason for all the laws and guidlines. We are not under the old law. I realize that. But did maybe we stop to think there were reasons we were told how to live. Here are some examples of scientific and medical foreknowledge in the bible. Just in case there is someone reading this who might still doubt that God knows EVERYTHING. Even when we think some old testament guidlines are silly, such as circumcision on the eighth day, we find out recently that God had a reason for that. How many other things are we accidently ignoring, that may be very important, not just for our physical well being, but for our emotional well being and that of our children, especially.

Here are some examples of foreknowledge in the bible:

Before the learned ancients surmised that the earth was spherical, the divinely inspired Isaiah wrote "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth...(NKJ, Isaiah 40:22)". In addition, from the Book of Job we have "He stretches out the north over empty space; he hangs the earth on nothing (NKJ, Job 26:7)". It should be noted that just last century scientists believed space consisted of a hypothetical substance called Ether (not the chemical), which was the medium between the celestial bodies. Also, the pagans of that time believed in such things as a mythical Atlas character who supported the pillars that held heaven and earth apart, and later carried the earth around on his shoulders. Another interesting tidbit that illuminates the divine nature of Job 26:7 is the recent discovery of a huge hole in space in the direction of the northern hemisphere

Scientists have only recently discovered springs of water in the depths of the oceans4. Perhaps this is what the Bible is referring to in the following: "Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths? (NKJ, Job 38:16)".

Researchers at NASA's Ames Research Center confirmed that every element in man can be found in the soil, prompting one of the scientists to say "...the biblical scenario for the creation of life turns out to be not far off the mark"5.

The dimensions of Noah's Ark as described in the Bible are ideal for stability. In fact, South Korean architects who examined the dimensions found that the boat was virtually impossible to capsize! Their modeling and analysis found that the ark could survive waves higher than 30 meters! (note that a typical tsunami is only 10 meters high) Many other cultures have flood legends similar to the account in the Bible, but their ark descriptions were never palatable. For example, the Babylonian Gilgamesh Flood legend described an ark that was shaped like a cube, which would be horrible for stability.

Hyssop oil was charged by God to Moses to be used as a purifying agent. Hyssop oil has been shown to contain 50% antifungal and antibacterial agents (Numbers 19:18, Psalm 51:7).

For centuries scholars must have been perplexed by God's law of circumcision which required the procedure to be performed on the 8th day after birth (Gen 17:12, Gen 21:14, Lev 12:3, Luke 2:21). Medical researchers recently discovered that the two main blood clotting factors, Vitamin K and Prothrombim, reach their highest level in life, about 110% of normal, on the 8th day after birth. These blood clotting agents facilitate rapid healing and greatly reduce the chance of infection. You can verify with any Obstetrician that the 8th day of life is the ideal time for a circumcision, and that any circumcision done earlier requires an injection of Vitamin K supplement. By the way, this is a favorite of mine!

By the 1980s, all the health organizations of the United States had adopted low-fat, high fiber dietary guidelines. This was the culmination of numerous scientific studies that had demonstrated that diets high in vegetables, fruits, and grains reduced the risk of heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. Secular physicians generally agree that these dietary guidelines that were producing longer life spans were first developed by religious movements founded in the 1800s, particularly by the Seventh-day Adventists. Where did the Seventh-day Adventists get their guidelines? From a meticulous and careful study of the Bible. It appears man has finally caught up to the dietary recommendations given by God to the Israelites some 3500 years ago!

Is it at all possible that we are ignoring important instructions from God and what might the consequences be? What about God's intention/plan for a woman's body? Let's start from the birth of a baby.

Let's start at the beginning. The real beginning. Genesis. Woman was created for man. To be his helpmeet. Many a feminist will fight against this, but if we believe the bible is the true, complete, infallable word of GOD, then we must believe this is what our purpose is. So we are to marry and be a helpmeet. Next we are to populate and subdue the earth which is also in Genesis. Many people think that we no longer need to subdue the earth, but maybe God didn't mean for us to stop when there were "enough" people. Maybe subdue the earth isn't about the number of people, but the number of people who serve the Lord. See the statistics below related to limiting the size of your family.

Question : What is population stability, and why is the number 2.1 so important?

Population stability is the point of equilibrium at which a country’s population is neither growing nor declining. In order to maintain current population, the average woman must have 2.1 children during her lifetime. Essentially, she needs to replace herself and a man. Because some children will die before reaching maturity, slightly more than two children are needed. Hence, 2.1.

A birthrate of more than 2.1 equals population growth. A birthrate of less than 2.1 means long term population decline. The rate of 2.1 is based on currently low infant mortality rates. In countries where infant mortality is higher, the birthrate required for population replacement would also be higher.

Question: What does the expression “Demographic Winter” mean?

“Demographic Winter” denotes the worldwide decline in birthrates, also referred to as a “birth-dearth,” and what it portends.

Demographer Philip Longman (author of “The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity”) observes: “The ongoing global decline in human birthrates is the single most powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society in the 21st. century.”

Worldwide, birthrates have been halved in the past 50 years. There are now 59 nations, with 44% of the world’s population, with below-replacement fertility

Sometime in this century, the world’s population will begin to decline. At a certain point, the decline will become rapid. We may even reach population free-fall in our lifetimes.

For some countries, population decline is already a reality. Russia is losing three-quarters-of-a-million people a year. Its population (currently 145 million) is expected to fall by one-third by 2050.

The term “nuclear winter,” popularized in the 1980s, alluded to the catastrophic environmental impact of a nuclear war. The long-term consequences of demographic winter could be equally devastating.

Question: What is replacement fertility, and why is the number 2.1 so important?

Replacement fertility is the point of equilibrium at which a country’s population is neither growing nor declining. In order to maintain current population, the average woman must have 2.1 children during her lifetime. Essentially, she needs to replace herself and a man. Because some children will die before reaching maturity, slightly more than two children are needed. Hence, 2.1.

A birthrate of more than 2.1 equals population growth. A birthrate of less than 2.1 long-term means population decline.

Question: If birthrates are declining, why does the world’s population continue to grow?

If it’s already in motion, a car in neutral will continue moving for a while, especially if it’s going downhill, even if gas isn’t being injected into the engine.

Today’s population growth is due to two factors: 1. higher fertility rates in the 1950s and 60s, and 2. people living longer than ever before.

The thing to remember is this: Declining birthrates will equal a declining population worldwide at some point in the next few decades. In the West (especially in Europe) population decline will become a reality much sooner. In some countries, such as Russia, it’s already happening.

A nation’s demographic future can be seen in its current birthrate. In Europe, the number of children under 5 has declined by 36% since 1960. Worldwide, there are 6 million fewer children, 6 and under, today, than there were in 1990. If present trends continue, the United Nations estimates that by 2050 there will be 248 million fewer children in the world then there are now.

Question: Where are birthrates lowest?

Of the 10 countries with the lowest birthrates, 9 are in Europe. Overall, the European fertility rate is 1.3, well below replacement level (2.1). No European nation has a replacement-level birthrate.

Italy’s fertility rate is 1.2. Spain’s is 1.1. That means in the not-too-distant future, absent massive immigration, these countries will lose half of their people in every generation.

Russia’s birthrate fell from 2.4 in 1990 to 1.17 today – a decline of more than 50% in less than 20 years. Each year, there are more abortions than live births in the Russian Federation.

While birthrates are also plummeting in developing nations, most still have above-replacement fertility – for the time being.

The U.S. fertility rate is around 2.1, just about replacement level, and continues to hover around that rate, due in part to higher immigrant birthrates. How long this will continue is anyone’s guess.

Question: What are the consequences of demographic decline?

Economist Robert J. Samuelson wrote in a June 15, 2005 column in The Washington Post: “It’s hard to be a great power if your population is shriveling.” Samuelson warned: “Europe as we know it is going out of business…. Western Europe’s population grows dramatically grayer, projects the U.S. Census Bureau. Now about one-sixth of the population is 65 and older. By 2030, that could be one-fourth and by 2050, almost one-third.”

By the mid-point of this century, 16% of the world’s population will be over 65. By 2040, there will be 400 million elderly Chinese.

If present low birthrates persist, the European Union estimates there will be a continent-wide shortfall of 20 million workers by 2030.

Who will operate the factories and farms in the Europe of the future? Who will develop the natural resources? Where will Russia find the soldiers to guard the frontiers of the largest nation on Earth?

Who will care for a graying population? A burgeoning elderly population combined with a shrinking work force will lead to a train-wreck for state pension systems.

This only skims the surface of the way demographic decline will change the face of civilization. Even the environment will be adversely impacted. With severely strained public budgets, developed nations will no longer be willing to shoulder the costs of industrial clean-up or a reduction of CO2 emissions.

Question: What factors contribute to demographic decline?

A number of social trends of the post-war era have converged to create a perfect storm for Demographic Winter.

Men and women are delaying marriage, making it less likely they’ll have more than one or two children. Today in the West, almost one in two marriages ends in divorce. The children of divorce are less likely to marry and form families themselves.

More married women are putting off having children for careers. After 35, it becomes progressively harder for women to conceive.

The news and entertainment media tell young adults that satisfaction comes from careers, romance, travel and “personal growth” – not from having children. It’s rare that Hollywood even portrays large families (today, more than 2 children). The culture’s message is live-for-moment and live primarily for yourself, with no sense of obligation to generations past or concern for posterity.

The growth of cohabitation also has an impact. (In Scandinavia, almost as many couples are living together as married.) Cohabitation is not conducive to childbearing or childrearing.

For the past 20 to 30 years, children have been taught that over-population (the so-called population bomb) will wreak havoc on the environment and economic development. Not surprisingly, children thus indoctrinated frequently choose to have fewer children when they reach maturity.

Religious observance has been shown to correlate with higher birthrates. The increasing secularization of Western societies has been accompanied by lower birthrates.

Thus, every aspect of modernity works against family life and in favor of singleness and small families or voluntary childlessness.

Question: Can’t the problem be fixed by increased immigration?

In a demographic sense, this is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The host country gains people, but the home country loses. The developing world, which has seen its own birthrate cut in half since 1970 (from almost 6 to barely 4), can ill afford to lose large numbers through emigration. The loss of labor from these countries adversely impacts their own economy and since the majority of those who leave are the men, many children are now growing up without a father, creating other social problems for these countries. The developing world is paying a high price to bail out the developed world’s lack of labor due to low fertility rates.

Mass immigration changes the national character of the host country. Immigrants tend to have a lower education level than natives. Many never learn the language of their new home or identify with its history and heritage.This changes the social and political makeup of the host countries, in some cases so dramatically that it is causing social and political unrest.

Question: Can’t demographic winter be countered by governments encouraging people to have more children?

This is being tried in Western Europe and Russia. The Russian Federation pays families a bonus of 250,000 rubles (the equivalent of $9,200) for every child after the first – in a nation where the average monthly wage is only $330. It’s not working.

Couples decide to have children for all kinds of reasons – religious, emotional, cultural, etc. Money doesn’t seem to be one of them, although money concerns are sometimes cited as a reason for having fewer children.

Children are a life-long commitment. While governments should make childrearing easier, by lowering the tax-burden on families (out of self-interest if not fairness), cash incentives so far haven’t worked.

Question: If the United States has near-replacement fertility, why should we care?

All of the factors that are leading Europe into the depths of Demographic Winter are present in the United States as well, including high divorce rates, the rise of cohabitation, families putting off procreation to pursue careers, an anti-family culture and voluntary childlessness.

We may be a few decades behind Europe, but we’re heading in the same direction.

National economies are interconnected to such an extent that the impact of economic collapse in one country or region can be felt around the world.

The social, political and economic decline of previously stable nations can destabilize entire regions and create perils for neighbors and far-away allies. The United States is connected to Europe economically and through multiple security treaties.

Question: What Is “Demographic Winter: Decline of the Human Family”

“Demographic Winter: Decline of the Human Family,” is the first of two documentary films. Together they explore every aspect of demographic decline based on interviews with scholars, researchers, economists, demographers, government representatives, civil and religious leaders from 33 countries.

Produced by Barry McLerran and directed by Rick Stout, with executive director Steven Smoot, “Demographic Winter” brings together a number of disciplines to examine and analyze what could be the greatest threat confronting humanity in the 21st century.

No all this stuff is secular. It is not related to religion. It is just a fact. No the Lord did not say when we should quit populating the earth, but as early as the 1900s men and women started playing GOD and deciding how many children they needed to have. Now the bible tells us children are a gift from God. Who are we to deny the gifts of God and are there consequences? Of course there are.

For example, a woman waiting until she is over 30 to have her first child has greatly increased her risk for uterine cancer. What? you mean there are consequence for being a rebellious, willful child. Of course there are. Who are we to decide what is best for our bodies. God made them. He KNOWS. We just think we know. We find out more and more every year from the medical and scientific community that proves we should be doing exactly what the bible says. These are WORDS FROM GOD!!! Is anyone a little scared to live life differently than He planned? While we are on the subject of babies, what about breastfeeding. Many of us think it is a choice how we feed our babies. God decided how we SHOULD feed them. So what might the consequences be for choosing to do it our way. Well, increased risk for early breast cancer for women who do not choose extended breastfeeding. The risk of breast cancer goes down something like 25% for every 2 consecutive years you breastfeed. HMMM. You mean if I practiced natural child spacing, having at least 4 children and exclusively nursed my babies my chance of having early breast cancer are 0%. Gee, why would I do it anyother way. Oh, yes, I am being brainwashed the feminist in this country into thinking I am disposable and unnecessary to my children and if I want to give my baby formula in a bottle then it is just as good.
Well, it is not just as good. It is definitely worse, for the mom and the baby. Did you know that breastmilk causes cancer cells to implode. "The relative risk of childhood lymphoma is nine times higher in bottle-fed infants, and the risk for carcinoma is also elevated"). That is amazing! Because God is amazing. When he created us, he thought of everything. What if the reason we have to much cancer now, is not only because of the environment, but maybe it is because we are not killing it, when they are babies. This is just speculation on my part. Not like the breast cancer, that is an actual fact. Let's talk about breastfeeding some more. Breastfed babies have a lower SIDS rate, a lower hospitalization rate, they are less likely to have childhood cancers and juvenile diabetes. Now that is if you look at the studies using formula as the baseline. If you look at them using breastfeeding as the norm, then by using formula you are INCREASING your babies chances of being sick and sometimes even dying. Why isn't this common knowledge? In Bolivia, where they don't have access to such medical equipment as we do for premies, they use something called kangaroo care. This is where a baby is held, skin to skin, by its mother in a sling, so that it can stay warm and nurse frequently. Do you know, when this study was completed, the finding showed that the temperature of the mother's chest rose AND fell to keep the babies temp constant. We mothers are God's incubator. He thought of EVERYTHING. Also, the milk a mother produces for a preemie is different...exactly what that baby needs. How amazing is the LORD? I sing it all the time in church. How amazing is my God. But the miracle of life just hits it home. The Lord did all of this. and we have the nerve, the audacity, dare I say, the stupidity, to think we know better. No wonder we are compared to sheep. Left to ourselves, we can't survive.

Moving on. My OB says it is ideal to wait about a year to get pregnant after having a baby. Guess what people? If you have a baby and nurse it exclusively, more than likely you won't even have a cycle until that baby is 9-10 months old. Not everyone, but most people. This is God's birth control, cancer control, obesity control, detachment control, temperature control, my goodness, who knew so much hinged on one little decision? Not me. When my first baby was born, I did nurse him, but not exclusively. I won't go into the details, but I will say that if I had only nursed him then I wouldn't feel any doubt or guilt, or wonder if I had unintentionally messed something up.

Friday, May 8, 2009

"The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules th world"

This is a popular quote from William Ross Wallace.   I think this is true.  We can just look at the state of the 30 somethings and younger and tell that many of them were raised or "their cradle was rocked" by people working 12 hours a day at a minimum wage childcare job.  When exactly did we, as a society, quit looking at motherhood as a profession.  For goodness sake, we used to have classes in highschool to prepare us girls to be homemakers.  Remember home ec.  I took home ec and what I learned in cooking has been very valuable.  (Ask my husband!)  My point is that not to very long ago, we considered being a homemaker and a mother as a worthy profession.  Even now you will hear some people say that it is the hardest job in the world, but they don't really see it as rewarding or noble.  But it is both of those things.   Well, when we quit looking at as a profession, we quit studying for it.  Why bother when we are only going to really be taking care of this baby for a couple of months before turning it over to someone else.  It constantly amazes me that my sisters in Christ are the same way.   I think that the "job of motherhood" has responsibilities.  These include:
1.  Proper nutrition from conception to adulthood.  Now am I always perfect?  No.  Do I go through the drive through? yes.  I usually feel guilty, and I should.  These children are a blessing from God.  Give to me to nurture physically and spiritually.  Processed and prepared foods are not good for us.  This is from pregnancy, to breastfeeding, and on up until they are out of my authority.   Women, we were obviously made, by God, to be having babies and breastfeeding them, and then having more babies.  The way we were created shows Gods intention that we be with our babies.  This is why they depend on us moms for their nourishment.  If you think that formula is just as good, do some research.  It is specifically NOT GOOD.  Lest you think I am sitting in judgement, I will confess that my first child was not exclusively breastfed and had formula.  I have discovered since then that this is not God's plan for babies.  

2.  Biblical discipline.  This is another one that I struggle with. This means very clearly that if I love my children I will consistently and concientiously discipline them.  If they don't learn from me to be obedient to me, then they will struggle more being obedient to the Lord. 
  24He who withholds his rod hates his son,  But he who loves him disciplines him diligently Proverbs 13:24.   WOW! HATES HIS SON!

3.  I hear all the time from people sending their children to secular schools that they are supposed to be a light to the world.  This is their mission field.  This also is hard because I had my first son in a public school until he was in the 5th grade.  Now I know alot of you will roll your eyes at this. I also know alot of kids turn out "just fine".  There are 2 problems with this.  The first is that "just fine" is not supposed to be the goal.  Raising warriors for Christ should be.  Salvation is not the finish line.  We have got to see that.  The second problem is that our responsibility is not foremost to everyone elses children, but to our own.  They other children are a secondary responsibility.  When we switch those around, we are making a mistake in our priorities.  Listen, this culture has made a golden calf of education.  Everyone needs to be educated, I will agree, but when we place the importance of education over the importance of the childs "training" and walk with Christ then we have made an idol of knowledge.  Let me also point out that Jesus started his ministry in his 30s.

4.  Lastly, lets consider that we may be teaching our children to be materialistic.  I know this is going to be a bit harsh, but I think some of us need to consider this.  If we are putting children in the care of someone besides their mother so that we can have 2 incomes, we are basically telling that child that money and the things you get with money are a priority over them.  Many will balk and say this is not true. We have to have my income to survive.  I seriously believe (and I have made the same mistakes) that many, many Christians desire to live somewhat differently than the Lord would have them, drive nicer vehicles, worship at the alter of higher education, etc.  This is a hard pill to swallow.  From above -- Women, we were obviously made, by God, to be having babies and breastfeeding them, and then having more.  They way we were created shows Gods intention that we be with our babies.  This is why they depend on us moms for their nourishment.  If you think that formula is just as good, do some research.  It is specifically NOT GOOD.  Lest you think I am sitting in judgement, I will confess that my first child was not exclusively breastfed and had formula.  I have discovered since then that this is not God's plan for babies.  Plus, it costs more, adding to the "expense" of the baby.Many times if we take our JOB seriously and learn how to do it, we may not need that other money.  If you had a garden, knew how to sew, and repair things yourself, many of the financial burden would be lifted from your husband.   "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:10

One thing that sticks in my head though is what Jesus said.  Matthew 25: 45 45"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me."

Do we consider, in everything we do to or with our children:
"If this were Jesus is this the decision I would make?"