Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Event...

After weeks of waiting (and what seemed like years to the girls) the friends finally arrived. It was sleepover time!!

The night was filled with lots of fun and food and a few games. Homemade personal pizzas for dinner. Krispie Spiders, Candy Corn cookies, polka dot cupcakes, Reese's brooms and candy corn for snacks. Several games of Twister, Hide and Seek in the dark and tons of board games. Just Dance on the Kinect. Movies. Talking. Giggling.

Fun was had by all (even the boys!)!


Sydney & Bryonna
Sleepover

JJ and Zachary
Sleepover

Bryonna, Sydney and Olivia
Sleepover

Omolara, Natalia and Tahlia
Sleepover

Olivia, Omolara, Natalia and Tahlia
Sleepover

Snacks!
Sleepover

Sleepover

Sleepover

Sleepover

Playing a game of hide and seek in the dark.  Even Bailey had a good time at the sleepover!
Sleepover

Twister is always fun at a sleepover!
Sleepover

Sleepover

A few rounds of Just Dance before the girls had to leave Saturday morning.
Sleepover

Sleepover

Sleepover

Tomara

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sin...

What is sin? Who defines it?

We live in a world that is wishy-washy about sin. What was sin yesterday is no longer sin today. What is considered a sin today will be acceptable tomorrow.

I have always looked at sin as anything that displeases God. A non-Christian is not able to understand sin because they lack the conviction of the Holy Spirit. A Christian, on the other hand, fully knows when they are in sin.

So, in a world that changes its mind about right and wrong where do we go for a standard?

The legal system? No, that is based on how we feel. Years ago it was illegal to perform an abortion. Today, it is legal. Tomorrow it might be illegal again.

Do we rely on popular opinion? No, that, too, is based on how we feel. Years ago it was unacceptable to live with your boyfriend/girlfriend before being married. Today, it is fully acceptable. Tomorrow it might change again.

There is one standard that we can live up to that is not based on how we feel. It is not based on the popular opinion of the people. It has never changed. It is perfect and it is all good.

The Bible.

I live my life to the standard of the words God speaks. He doesn't change. His word does not change. There is no wishy-washy. There is no contradiction. There is no error. Every issue that presents itself today has a clear right and wrong answer. Not through how I feel about it today or what the laws of man say or through popular opinion. Only through unadulterated and perfect scripture.

Tomara

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sleepover...

What is a Christian?

This was one of my late night, trying to sleep, essays I wrote in my head the other night.

Tahlia wants to have a couple friends over for a Halloween sleepover. I asked her what made it a Halloween sleepover.

"Because it's close to Halloween."

"So, what do you want to do to make it a Halloween sleepover?"

"I don't know. It's close to Halloween."

"So that makes it a Halloween sleepover."

"Yeah."


Oh the logic of a 12 year old.

Her plan was to have two of her friends over Friday night, watch movies, play Monopoly and do all the girlie, sleepovery things that 12 year old girls do at sleepovers. Then she wanted Daddy to take the three of them to Busch Gardens on Saturday and go to Howl-O-Scream. Maybe that was the Halloween part of the Halloween sleepover.

After a little discussion I came to the conclusion that she could have a sleepover but either Friday, with no Howl-O-Scream (because Daddy has to work) or Saturday, and everyone would have to go to church on Sunday. She tells me it would have to be Friday because one of her two friends isn't allowed to go to church.

I immediately thought, "why on earth would any parent not want their child to go to church?" Then I was quickly reminded of all of the evil in the world. Satan. Hypocrites. Sin. Hate. It also made me think of how Christians are seen as by the world. Close-minded, hateful, hypocrites, intolerant, and almost cult like.

All this to ask what is a Christian, really?

The common misconception, or even stereotype, is that Christians are perfect. We've all seen the bumper sticker that says, "Christians aren't perfect. Just forgiven." Every sin a Christian struggles with is visible to the world - even amplified. They will see a less grievous sin as proof that we are all hypocrites. Then they will take the completely backslidden Christian and use it against the church as reasons why we are hateful and intolerant.

It is difficult to show non-Christians who we truly are. We Christians are just a people that recognizes we have done at least one wrong thing in our lifetime and have come to realize that Jesus can forgive us. From there we can only get better. Our lives are changed in the eyes of Jesus but we are still sinners in the eyes of the world. Sin is a struggle and it always will be. For some it's a daily, even hourly, struggle.

We must recognize that the world is watching, waiting for a mistake. Be on guard.

14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. --1 Peter 3:14-16 (NIV)
So I will do my best to show Tahlia's friends (and now Sydney's, too) what a Christian is really like and teach my children to be the influence on those around them.

Tomara

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Up For Debate...

I spent my Tuesday evening watching two men argue. Why? Beats me.

I spent last Thursday evening watching two men argue. Why? I have no clue.

I spent my Wednesday evening two weeks ago watching two men argue. Why? Don’t know.

I was hoping that it would give me a clearer picture of the men who will be running our country in a few months. I was hoping that the things I hear about politicians might not be true.

Empty promises
Skirting the questions
Opponent attacks
No clear answers
Political bickering
Partisan fighting

I watched all three debates (although I gave up halfway through the second presidential debate on Tuesday) without any bias. I made a concerted effort to listen to each candidate and understand their points. I even took notes! My effort was in vain. A few points were made that I agreed with and few were made that I did not, but there were only a few points made. Period.

I didn’t have much to work with. I spent most of my time listening to candidates argue about how the other candidate is wrong or how their plan and idea for this country is errant. Very few, if any, details on those "plans" and "ideas". No specific answers to the questions at hand. No clear picture of what that candidate will do for my country. I want politicians to work together to solve problems. Frankly, I saw two men who couldn't even agree on one thing and were barely listening to the moderator. I don’t really care which political party you pay your dues to; I pay your salary and you all need a demotion and a pay cut.

I want clear, specific, concise answers to the issues our country faces today. Only then can I tell you if I agree or disagree. Then I can make an informed decision on election day. The majority of our country's citizens are not politicians. They deserve simple answers. The solution may be complex in it's details but the answers we deserve should be easy to understand.

Right now I know which candidate has my vote but I couldn’t tell you if it will matter who is in office next year or not. Half the country will love our next president. Half the country will hate him. No one will be happy and that is so, so sad.

Just once I would like to vote for a candidate not against one.

Tomara