Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What I Learned At TeenPact Survival Part 2

Often when you are about to experience something new, you come up with your own expectations of what it will be like. The week I spent up in Glorieta exceeded my expectations! It was exciting, challenging, and I learned so many things, as well as being reminded of other things I had forgotten.

Real quickly, I’d like to share with you something that may not seem like a big deal, but really touched me. During TeenPact Survival, the students were taught many different things, such as navigation, how to make a water still, using and sharpening knives, making a sun compass, how to create a solid shelter, and so forth. The day came, later that week, when we were to apply a lot of what we had learned, by “setting up camp“. Some of the staff took the different teams to various places they had chosen, a bit farther out in the woods (more secluded then we were, when by our cabins) and left us for a while, as we prepared our campsite. Our team of eight seemed to work really well together, (Of course, I am biased) and we finished our set-up early. While making sure everything was just right and waiting for the staff to show up and check on us, one of the members of our team suggested we pray together, for our week, that the rest of it would go well,  we would work well as a team, and glorify God as we work together that whole week. We gathered by the shelter we had made, and had sort of a mini “prayer meeting”, since most of our team members ended up praying as well. I think it really helped our team bond together, whether we realized it or not. There we were, out in the woods, among all of this beautiful creation, and offering up our own simple prayers to the Maker of it all; what a blessing!

Here are some other thoughts I brought back with me from Survival.

  • Working As A Team
When you get some people together, they could be referred to as a gang, community, assembly, team, group and so forth; so what marks the difference between a group of people and a team of people?

Think about it for a moment. Anyone could gather together a group of people-but it takes some effort to build a good team. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you have a common goal in site, and everyone in your team knows what they are to do, and does it cheerfully.

-1 Corinthians 12:5-11

Now, there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

So what are some ways to build a good team?

When you work as a team we all need to know each others strengths and weaknesses. God has a purpose for where he has put us, and we need to fulfill that purpose, to the best of our ability. The Team mentality applies to many things in life, such as siblings, the work world, marriage,the church and so forth. Right now though, I'd specifically like to mention the church.

- 1 Corinthians 12:12
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

As I previously mentioned, we have all been given gifts from God, but they are not going to be the same gifts. Although this may seem basic to you, I think it’s important to say this; God made us all different. We are given talents to use to the glory of Him, and we should not spend time looking around at others and their “wonderful talents and gifts.”

When you complain about the gifts you have been given, you condemn the God who gave them.

Strive to glorify God with the gifts you have been given, and look around you at the strengths and weaknesses of others. In the church, we are to work together as the body of Christ. Each member should do their job as we all work together to further the kingdom of God. Let’s take a  look at:

1 Corinthians 12:27-31

“For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

Something else mentioned during my week at Survival, was that we shouldn’t be only willing to fill the place in the area that “we are good at.” Maybe “your” position is already filled. Be teachable and willing to serve others in a place that maybe you don’t think you’re the best at. God knows what He’s doing and the body of Christ won’t function if we have two or three of the same member, and at the same time, lacking of another member.

I would now like to talk a bit about cohesion. In Webster’s 1828 dictionary, “cohesion” is defined as:

“The act of sticking together; the state of being united by natural attraction, as the constituent particles of bodies which unite in a mass, by a natural tendency; one of the different species of attraction.”

Cohesive is defined as:

“That has the power of sticking or cohering; tending to untie in a mass, and to resist separation.”

Something we talked a lot about at Survival, was how to work together as a team. Team members are to be unified together as a group that is cohesive. Or, “glued” together. An example used was, one piece of wood being held off of the table by two other pieces of wood on either end. A student was called up to break the wood. He successfully karate chopped it in half. The student was then given two pieces of wood, of which he broke as well. Then, he had the task of breaking three pieces of wood in half, and although a bit more difficult, he was able to do this as well. Then, he was given two pieces of wood, only this time, they had both been glued together; the student had a harder task of breaking the two pieces then before. Lastly, he was given three pieces of wood, all of which, were glued together.

These three glued pieces, cohered together,he was unable to break.

The point of this demonstration? The closer you are as a team, and the better the members work together, the stronger you will be, simple as that. When little pieces of wood were stuck in between the blocks of wood, about five pieces at a time,  they were more easily broken. There were large gaps in between each piece.

A team, the body of Christ, siblings, couples, and even families in general, will encounter occasional difference of character and disagreements and conflict or strife. This comes with being human, unfortunately. The important thing is knowing how to work through these conflicts in a way that honors and glorifies God.

How do we respond when accused of doing something wrong? How do we respond when there is conflict that we have involuntarily been brought into, or maybe had nothing to do with at all?

When accused of something we have or have not done, what we should not do, is get uptight, angered and defensive. Instead, talk with your accuser and, if wrong has been done on your end, make it right.

Sometimes though, we have nothing to do with the conflict; but maybe, as a leader, it is your job to get involved before great disruption and separation creates those nasty little wedges in your team. In this case, talk with the person one-on-one, and if nothing is resolved, bring one or two people, who both disagreeing parties respect, to help resolve the conflict. Almost nothing breaks a team faster, then one, rife with disagreements, or people who do not know how to properly, and biblically deal with them.

Let me give you a warning though, taken from Proverbs 26:17 :

“He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.”

In other words, be prudent in the arguments you choose to step into. We are to be wise as serpents, gentle as doves. Pray that God gives you the wisdom to know when you should speak out, versus when you should step down and choose to settle into a meek silence.

Something else we discussed at Survival, was witnessing. What are some ways we do this? Do we throw out a bunch of “good arguments”, statistics, proof and data to “convince” this person that the Bible is real, and God exists? Do we convince the nonbelievers that if they ask Christ in their heart everything will be “sunny days and rainbows"-happy all the way? Now, I don’t want to go around, telling you “the sure-fire way to witness to a nonbeliever” because, quite frankly, none exists. There is no “formula” for witnessing. We should be careful however, with our words. Facts and data have their place, but you don't want to go overboard.

If you can "convince" someone into Christianity, they can be convinced out of it.

Also remember, this person has a heart, and we are no better, if not worse, then they in our sin. Thankfully, we have been introduced to a God who can help us overcome these sins, or He will work through us despite them. (And even using our sin to bring about His perfect will!) But I don’t want to get off track here, (as I am very good at doing!) and this topic could lead into a whole other paper.

Most of all though, make sure your life is one that pleases and honors God, giving glory to Him in all that we do. We are reflecting Jesus Christ, and our light will show only if we are living a life that is pleasing to God.

Since we’re on the subject of witnessing, there’s something I’d like to mention.

There have been times when I feel God gently tugging at my heart to witness to someone and tell them about the gospel. Some of those times I have listened, and, although I can’t think of specifics now,  shamefully, I know there have been times when I did not respond to that gentle call. Why? Is it fear? Pride? Probably both. Something that I must remember though; If I feel the Lord is telling me to witness to someone, then I shouldn’t worry about what words will come out, or how I will sound. God presented the need, and gave me the job to fill it. If I don’t, or make excuses, I become a disobedient child, a quivering Moses, a proud and conceited individual, unwilling to yield to God's call, as well as, in my eyes, a person who is wholly inadequate to fill this need; Well, I AM inadequate and I cannot do it on my own! What pride must be lurking to think that it is all of my doing, when telling others about Christ?

No! May I be a willing child, teachable, in the hands of a God I am not worthy to serve. May we all be humble- moldable as clay in the hands of the potter.

So to sum up my week at Survival- Challenging, engaging, thought-provoking, entertaining, inspiring, and much, much more! You’ll just have to go and check  it out for yourself!

God Bless,

Kelsey Anne

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Should Young Ladies Earn a Degree "Just in Case"?

. Before you read this though, I want to say that I am not attempting in any way to "condemn" or "judge" those who go to college. It is a decision  you and your parents need to make. This is simply my thoughts on the subject. Also, continuing your education is not a bad thing. Take every opportunity to learn what you can from the home. (Online courses are another option!)

My 15 Reason's/Comments Why I Think it is Unbiblical.

1. If you trust in the sovereignty of God, you shouldn’t have to worry about all of those “What if’s”

2. Prepare for the “most likely” scenario, not the unlikely ones.

What would life be like if we went through it worrying about all the possible "bad things" that could happen. We would be miserable. Be prepared-yes, but don't be unwise and rash.

"Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From the evil which never arrived."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. We should strengthen our arms for work and prepare at home.

4. It is not the ordinary neither a fitting role for women to work alongside men in public as their equals, or in their same sphere of dominion.

5. The Word of God is full of biblical examples on how to care for the widowed, sick or needy. For the young lady-preparing to be a potential widow and earning a degree based on that-is not the right thing to do.

6. Women are creative. You can easily find ways to make money from the home

7. Staying at home had a different meaning/connotation in the past, then it has today.

The phrase "staying at home" in our modern world today usually comes with a bad connotation. We picture idle hands, or girls "wasting" their time away learning how to do laundry and bake cookies. A keeper at home, or a stay at home daughter, however, provides great opportunity for service, work, education, and so much more, all from the home!

8. You should develop and use your life skills in everyday life-not something useless stored away “Just in Case”

9. Learn how to be a successful entrepreneur; and don’t be afraid to try new things!

10. Learn and develop skills that can benefit others in your day-to-day-life, as well as skills that you can use for your own entrepreneurial spirit.

11. Being a single young lady in the home is not a time to be idle. Find work for yourself around the home, or in your sphere of dominion.

12. You don’t need a degree to make money. 

Although simply stated, it is very true. You can make good money without a degree.

13. Obtaining a degree generally cost’s you 100,000 + dollars. (Not counting the time involved)

Think about it. Really and truly, can you honestly say all the time and money it takes to receive a degree is worth it? Especially if it will be simply sitting on the shelf for in case of a "what if" situations?

14. Fathers will often send their daughters off to college because they don’t trust them to be useful nor diligent in the home.

Daughters, home is not a place to be idle! It is a place where you can be creative, learn to work well with your family, make your hands busy, and get first hand experience with things you wouldn't normally be able to do!

15. Even a degree is not a “foolproof plan“, and it will bring you either to poverty great debt, or both, getting a back-up plan.

I will now end my list by quoting from an article by Anna Sophia, and Elizabeth Botkin, on which my list was based. (You can visit their blog by clicking here. )

“ The times certainly are uncertain, and more may be required of us as things become more unstable. Three things, however, remain certain:

- We cannot rely on earthly promises of security (degrees, “stable” jobs) - only on biblical promises of security (the blessings of God upon obedience and diligence) In these unstable times, we will need to rely less on those things that will change and more on the things that will never change. The benefits of government accreditation, paychecks, personal peace and affluence, and the illusion of stability could pass away; the value of hard work, ingenuity, and faith will not.

- Faithfulness is blessed; compromise is not. We will not deserve the blessing of God if we respond to fear.

- Work is noble, and required of every person - “Not having to work,” or eating the bread of idleness, are not for Christian women. Every girl in every situation should strive after the example of the fruitful Proverbs 31 woman.

- Both those who put their trust in a comfortable, easy lifestyle and those who put their trust in worldly pragmatism have reason to fear “what ifs“; but a productive, creative woman full of faith will have no lack of gain. Let us then strengthen our arms, work willingly with our hands, and smile at the future ”

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
I am well aware that this is a very controversial subject, so if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask and I'll answer them to the best of my ability! I would also really appreciate any imput you have on the subject.

God Bless you all on your journey to glorify our Lord Jesus!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's a Birthday Party!

A couple days ago we celebrated Josiah Ezra's 6th birthday!  As his "main gift" Dad made him a fort with a slide. (or play house- whatever you want to call it!) Dad started late morning, and was able to almost finish by 6 ish in the evening. Though, it was a challenge to keep it a secret from the excited Josiah! I hope you enjoy these photo's. :-) BTW- Mom made the cake (Pictured above)

It was a birthday full of.....



(AKA "horsie" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider")

Goofing around...

Laughter and Smiles...


And of course...

Happy Birthday to my cutest little brother! Love you Josiah!