What is your mailing address? Shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. email@example.com
How are your sores doing? Did you ever figure out what they were? The focus has been on Abby so much (rightfully so) but dont forget that you are important, too!
The infections responded to a Bactrim, so they were probably run-of-the-mill staph. I have a couple of nice red spots left that are a little tender but over all they seem to be healing fine.
My looks and balding head though are a whole other consideration… can’t seem to fix either of those.
No name asked:
What would you suggest is the first thing someone should do that is having faith issues? Someone that asks *why?* all the time? Is there a book that I could find that would help to explain how to just believe and have faith without constantly asking why.
Yes, I have the perfect book for you to read: the Bible. Too often we run around wanting to know what MEN have to say, instead of going directly to the source of Truth and Hope: God. And God’s Word is His revealed heart to us.
But reading the Bible is harder because it’s not a bunch of anecdotes, cute sayings and “selfisms”. So we look to well intentioned (most of the time) writers to tell us what God says in words that are more easily digested, and often avoid the more difficult truths of self-control, self-denial and self-discipline (notice that is the opposite of self-love, self-esteem and self-focus that has become the diet of most people, Christians too).
If you ask “why?” all the time about your faith (which is a GREAT question to ask), go to the Book that answers the question of “why?” As well, there is benefit in counsel with Godly, mature Christians who will tell you what Scripture says (then you need to verify it)… people who you can imitate as they imitate Christ for you.
The Bible answers the questions of faith and belief directly from the most reliable sources you could ever hope for: Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. If you cannot solidify your faith with the direct words of God, your faith cannot be solidified by the flimsy and shallow words of human writers.
What are the top 5 things you would suggest for someone who is just finding/growing their newly found faith in God? I guess I mean what are some beginner *faith steps* for lack of a better description.
First, read your Bible and pray. We poo-poo that as unsophisticated or even legalistic but that’s all just fickle humans who want something “easy” that will give them instant spiritual maturity. We want seminars, books, 10 Steps, 7 Secrets and miracles…. But we don’t want the hard work of routine, consistent, daily, non-stop, rhythmic, methodical absorbing of God’s Word and communicating with Him. The next four suggestions are a waste of time without this first step.
Second, the participation in ekklessia. The “ekklessia” is the “called out”, the “assembly” of Believers. I hesitate to say “church” because “organized church” is not really what I’m talking about. Often, the ekklessia occurs at a “church”, often it does not. The idea here is the regular fellowship, sharing, worshipping, recharging and refreshing that comes when a group of true Believers assembles together regularly for edification, sharing, teaching and worship of God. More and more this is occurring outside of traditional “church” organizations, and is returning to meetings in homes and communities where it began in the early church.
Third, Godly counsel and accountability of spiritually mature Christians. Lone Ranger Christians are rarely fruitful and consistent. There is a reason the Bible speaks of counsel and shepherding. Find yourself several spiritually mature Christians who can help guide you, challenge you and give you good advice when needed.
Fourth, learn to be a living witness and testify of God’s goodness. This is not so hard as what we usually envision as “witnessing” or “evangelizing”. What I’m talking about is simply sharing with other people the goodness of God in your life. How has God changed your life? What good things has God done for you? How does eternal life give you hope and joy? Share those things with other people routinely. THAT is what it means to be witness. You will hinder your spiritual growth if you are not willing to simply share with others what wondrous things God has done for you. If I gave you a million dollars, you’d tell everyone what a great guy I am. What’s a million dollars compared to eternal life?
Fifth, self sacrifice and service. We live I in a world focused on SELF... self-love, self-esteem, self-focus, self-forgiveness, self-love, self-improvement, etc. This is OPPOSITE of the life of true Christians. The Bible speaks clearly and extensively on denying self, sacrificing self, dying to self, taking up your cross, laying down your life, preferring others, not thinking highly of ourselves. God understands man’s tendency to elevate himself and embrace pride. Many of our Bible teachers and leaders have embraced the “love-me” ear-tickling approach of the world MUCH to the detriment of Christian discernment and maturity. Many, many Christians remain “babes” in Christ because they cannot move past thinking about “self” all the time because they are spoon fed this pabulum constantly.
Why do bad things happen to good people? My hubby and i had a huge debate on this one!
Because the entire human race is infected with the sin curse, indeed ALL CREATION is infected. So the curse of sin rains on whoever it may, good or evil, rich or poor, faithful or unfaithful. The sun rises and sets on ALL people, and in the same way, the consequences of the sin curse rise and fall on ALL.
Jesus’ victory over death gave us redemption in two parts: spiritually NOW and physically once this body and this earth passes away and we receive a new glorified body, and a New Heavens and Earth. This is the primary flaw in the “divine health” teaching we hear about so much today. YES, Jesus died for our eternal physical health, but that half of the promise (spiritual healing being the first immediate half) will not be ours in full until the sin cursed creation has been burned away and recreated.
That is why ALL people will die, which is itself “sickness”, the process of decay of the human body. If divine healing were in fact true for today, then we would not age or die since aging is in fact the degeneration of the human body over time. Divine health is ours in our glorified bodies, not in these temporary “tents” of sin cursed flesh.
I tell you all that because we have a confusing teaching about “faith” today that implies Christians should always be protected from “the curse” (bad things happening to us, sickness, etc.). Not only is this Biblically incorrect, it is experientially incorrect as we’ve witness FAITHFUL Christians since the Apostle Paul get sick, suffer, and endure hardships.
It is not a LACK of faith that causes or allows this, it is the curse of sin. Jesus broke the curse of sin INDEED, no question about that, but our redemption comes in two phases: spiritual NOW, physical in the future.
So bad things happen to good people because we all, good and bad, faithful and faithless, live in a Creation that has been infected, saturated and ruined by SIN. When we place our trust in Jesus Christ and respond obediently to His offer of eternal life, we immediately receive spiritual redemption. Our physical redemption is secured, promised and assured but does not come until the curse of sin is once and for all destroyed and the NEW CREATION is ours.
Bad things happen to good people because good people live in a sin cursed creation. We are able to endure those bad things because we have HOPE of complete physical redemption in the future, to go with our spiritual redemption now.
DJ Holly Rock asked:
When you DO sleep, how many hours do you get?
You know I don’t want to answer this because I’m just going to get a bunch of lectures from you well intention blogger friends. I slept once back in 1994, and I have some scheduled again next year.
My sleep goes up and down with the situation. I often go long stretches on a few hours a night, then occasionally I’ll go a couple of weeks on regular sleep. Sometimes I push it too hard, but overall, I think I’m just one of those types who doesn’t need as much sleep, and the energy that comes from constantly creating things is an energy that often keeps you going for long hours. I’d rather wear out than rust out.
Let the lectures begin. I already have several “wives” who constantly get on me about sleeping more, so feel free to jump on the bandwagon.
Quick photography question... what camera are you shooting with? What are your thoughts on the Canon Digital Rebel xTi, and what would you recommend for an aspiring photographer that is a teen? Im looking to spend under 800$, for a really great camera. Also, could you recommend a digital photography book that would be basic and give a great foundation? Thanks!
I have a Canon 40D and several good lenses. The Rebel is a really good basic camera, more than enough for good home shooting. The standard lens it comes with is fine for outdoor shooting but horrible for low light or indoors. You need to invest in at least one good lens that works in low light. Primarily you are looking for a lens with an “f/stop” of 2.0 or lower. They aren’t cheap, but one good lens is a necessity if you want good shots indoors and in low light.
You’ll have a hard time getting under $800 and still get a good lens. About $1200 if probably more realistic if you want to step up to the “next level” with your photography: not professional quality, but MUCH much better than the average person with a digital pocket camera.
Julie from Sacramento asked:
There are so few *large* families these days... not enough mentors for us who want to grow our families! Michelle, how do you manage so many children? i know this sounds basic, but literally, what is your schedule like (under your more typical circumstances)?
We love having a large family, and I’m excited that we have a “large family” writer now for Serious.Life Magazine. Brittany Claire is going to be writing a regular feature for the “large families”. If you’ll look in this month’s issue in the Family Section, her first article is there. Her website is “4 Little Men and Girly Twins”. Brit is so much more cool than I am, and since she claims to be married to a “smokin’ hot” hubbie, I guess they’ve got me beat there too (I don’t have a hubbie…).
How do you manage a large family? Well this answer is probably not what you hope for: we just do. You learn as you go, you adjust to lessons learned, you get smarter… and you love your kids so much that you just do what you gotta do. You teach the older kids to help with the younger. Consistent and effective discipline is the key to a peaceful house. While we certainly have our behavior problems, overall, our kids are well behaved and peaceful. We aren’t afraid to take them anywhere… church, stores, restaurants or someone’s house.
Our philosophy is firm, consistent, effective discipline soaked in extravagant love and affection.
You are correct, we need more MENTORS and teachers about parenting… REAL parenting, not this pop psychology social experiment junk we’ve been getting for 40 years. I’ll be happy to answer more parenting questions if everyone can be a little more specific. The broad questions – how do you be a good parent? – are too broad to put in one post or answer.
That’s all for this post… more answers to come later.