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!