Audio Teaching: The Christian’s Hope: Part One

I hope you’ll take time to listen to these audio teachings, if not here, then perhaps you’ll consider downloading them and taking them with you?

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What the Bible really says about Death, Judgment, Rewards, Heaven, and the Future Life on a Restored Earth. God originally planned for mankind to live on earth, and His plan, though postponed by sin, will not be thwarted – it will come to pass in the future when a new earth is created. The Christian’s Hope shows from Scripture that each Christian will be rewarded in the coming world in direct proportion to the quality of how he lives for God in this world.

Click the arrow to listen to the Acknowledgements/Prayer/Introduction.

Click the arrow to listen to Our Valuable Anchor.

Read along here.

A Biblical Look at “Hope”

In order to properly understand the Christian’s hope, it is important to examine the exact meaning of the word “hope.” “Hope” means “a desire for, or an expectation of, good, especially when there is some confidence of fulfillment.” It is used that way both in common English and in the Bible. However, the Bible often uses the word “hope” in another way—to refer to the special expectation of good that God has in store for each Christian in the future. This includes the “Rapture,” receiving a new, glorified body, and living forever in Paradise. Today, the ordinary use of “hope” allows for the possibility that what is hoped for will not come to pass. However, when the Bible uses the word “hope” to refer to things that God has promised, the meaning of “hope” shifts from that which has a reasonable chance of coming to pass to that which will absolutely come to pass. To be a useful anchor, hope must hold fast.

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Motherhood Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

I love, love, LOVE this video. I’ve always had a problem with sanctimonious mothers who think THEIR way is the BEST way to raise a child.

I couldn’t disagree more.

I bottle fed my children and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I used to be ashamed to admit it because whenever I would mention it on this blog, or anywhere else, quite frankly, I would get the disapproving stink eye or a snarky comment. And then I would inevitably feel inadequate and guilty.

Not anymore, dude. I’m not even going to justify my decision – I did what I thought was best for my children and my sanity.

It always annoys me whenever people feel the need to justify their decisions. I’m sure you did what you thought best. End of discussion.

And that’s where I stand on motherhood issues.

Whether you bottle fed, breast fed, stayed at home, worked out of the home, used cloth diapers or disposable diapers – in the end, it’s really none of my business. As long as you’re doing what’s best for the child and your family, it really doesn’t matter. The ultimate goal is to raise our children to be responsible, educated, compassionate human beings; how you reach that goal is up to you. There is no “one size fits all” answer, no matter what you hear politicians, the media, or even other mothers try to convince us otherwise.

You do what’s best for you and your family and don’t you dare feel guilty about your decisions or feel like you have to justify your decisions.

Ultimately – it’s none of our business how you live your life.

Excited to Board Our Ship

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Still waiting to board our cruise ship to Alaska. This was back in October 2013.

We chose Holland America. It was the last cruise to Alaska in 2013. It was a smaller boat and full of old people, we were one of the youngest couples on board. It was comfortable though and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It won’t be our first cruise line choice in the future, but we certainly don’t regret sailing with them.

If you’re ever in the market to take a cruise, TIP: stay overnight in the city where your shipped is docked. We flew down the same day our cruise was set to take off (it was our first cruise – rookie mistake) and very nearly didn’t make it in time. It was one of the most stressful times of my life and we vowed NEVER to do that again. Yes. It’s more expensive, but it’s money well spent in the end because you arrive, get to do a little sight-seeing, get a good night’s rest and arrive in plenty of time to board the ship the next day.

And speaking of cruises … I don’t think we’re going to have the money to go on a cruise this year. Which is very disappointing as this will be our 25th wedding anniversary and I’ve always told Kevin I would love to go to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary. I wanted to take a seven-day cruise around the Hawaiian islands this year but wow – expensive. And we would have to cash in ALL of our AA airline points THEN SOME and well, money is tight. We’ve been fixing up the rental house and … life happens. So. I know Kevin feels bad about it but I don’t want to stress him out so I have firmly declared that we’re taking a staycation this year.

There’s always next year, right?

Linda, Listen to Me

The doctor I work for actually showed me this video. We were coming back to Springfield after our out-of-town clinic last Friday and he, his PA and his nurse were talking about it. I mentioned not having seen it and Dr. M. pulled out his phone and showed me. (That sounds sort of dirty, lol).

What a cutie pie! Of course, after getting over the cuteness I would probably spank his little bottom but you have to admit, it’s pretty cute.

It won’t be so cute when he’s seven/eight though.

And you know he most likely picked up this “bargaining” power from the adults in his life. You can tell his mom is always saying, “Listen to me.”

This is a pretty terrible example to set for your child. Instead of teaching humility and responsibility, (“I’m sorry, mom. You’re right, I shouldn’t have tried to ask for cupcakes when you already told me I couldn’t have one”) it’s all about talking your way out of bad behavior.

Yes. Of course I realize he’s only three years old – you’re missing the point. Cute/funny aside, look at the big picture. What is this sort of behavior teaching him?

Kids are sponges. They react and learn from the people in their lives. Think about it.

Update on Roy

For those of you just tuning in …

We moved Roy into the house on Saturday.

It was … fun … ish.

The house needed a good cleaning though. It’s been vacant for a little over a year and with all the construction that we’ve had done and Kevin’s projects that he’s been working on, it was a giant dust storm. (In fact, when I got done cleaning the wood floors – which nearly the entire house is wood floors, I was actually wheezing).

Then Blake helped me move his tubs of clothes over to the house and Kevin went over to his parent’s house with Roy to get the rest of his stuff.

Two truck loads later (no seriously – TWO truck loads), we finally have all of his stuff moved in.

And the place is JUNKED up.

Let me explain.

I know people do what’s necessary to cope with stressful situations. I get that. However, it annoys me to no end that Roy’s caregivers didn’t see, or plan, for the bigger picture. Instead of allowing him to spend money on superficial, spur-of-the-moment and rash desires (I think he has five remote cars, one violin, a drum set and countless video game systems) in order to entertain and appease him into submission, why didn’t Roy’s caregivers start a hope chest for him. Like a bedroom set. Living room furniture. Kitchen gadgets and appliances. Items he could store away in his “hope chest” so that WHEN he moved out (because come on – it HAD to happen one day, one way or another), he would be better equipped to start his new life.

Instead, when we moved him into his house, he had nothing. Nothing. Not even his own bed. And being the middle of the month, and several hundred dollars poorer (not sure where that money went, quite frankly), he’s starting out with the barest of bare essentials.

We ended up buying him a $100 bed frame. It’s rickety and sheer plywood, but it’s a bed. He didn’t have enough money to buy a mattress, so we ended up buying him an air mattress. And he’ll likely have to sleep on it for several months because we’ve already budgeted his money out a few months and he has upcoming expenses that he won’t be able to get out of, unfortunately.

He doesn’t have anyplace to put his clothes, so he’s quite literally living out of plastic tubs, for now. He does have his own TV and plenty of entertainment, OF COURSE, and his own recliner that actually belonged to his mom (Kevin’s grandmother). He also got her dishes and towels, so there’s that.

We bought him super cheap (like you can actually bend it with your hands) cookie sheets, silverware, kitchen gadgets, toaster and pots and pans. (The pots and pans are so small, like almost look like they belong to a doll, but they will work for now since it’s only him). He already had a George Foreman grill and a toaster oven, which he’s okay using. We’re not sure he can handle a full-blown oven yet. And I’m not sure we feel comfortable with him trying. So, he’s not to use the oven, for now.

Of course, the house has a microwave and a fridge, so there’s that.

And that’s pretty much it.

I can assure you, Kevin now has full control of his money and will make every dollar count because Roy is going to need every dime in order to make a life for himself. No more brainless purchases. We counselled Roy and told him when it comes to money, bills first, needs second, wants third. Period. That’s how life works.

So what the heck was the two truck loads of stuff, you ask? Good question. We haven’t had time to go through it yet. But just Kevin’s initial survey? It looks like we will be donating a bunch of stuff to the Goodwill and/or filling a dumpster.

Roy has his dog. Who is 11 years old and not getting around very well. She belonged to his mom (Kevin’s grandmother) and she has several teeth that are rotting away. They made an appointment for her to see a vet the beginning of next month (government payday) and Kevin found out how much that is going to cost: $320 – they will have to put her to sleep and pull several teeth. And they also cautioned that since she’s so old, she may not even survive the procedure. So … Roy has the emotional stress of not knowing if his dog will survive another month or not.

This poor kid (I call him a kid, but he’s 44 [?] – a kid in a man’s body) has been through so much in his lifetime. I found out some pretty shocking news about his birth mom – Roy told me himself. I never knew his family history and I won’t repeat it here. Suffice it to say, NO ONE should have to go through life with the crap that Roy has had to go through. I think that’s another reason Kevin and I are so determined to help him – we just feel sorry for the guy.

I’m a little annoyed with Kevin’s family, to be frank. I feel like everyone is just waiting to write Roy off. No one offered to help move him into his own house, no offers to periodically bring him food – complete silence. (What the hell??) Granted, we have no idea if Roy will be able to handle living on his own, but at least this way, we can say that we tried it. This is a trial run for Roy. We’re hoping he’s able to handle it, and himself, and if/when the time comes that his parents want to move into the house, Roy will be used to living on his own and will prove that he CAN live on his own, so we can move him into a nearby duplex or apartment. If Roy can not live on his own, then we will have to look at a housing program for him. Which, in some ways, may be better for him because at least this way he will have people around him and can make friends.

Roy has lots of acquaintances. He is the most sociable, and likable quite frankly, person that I know. He has no qualms walking up to people and striking up a conversation. (Which is both a good and bad thing). But friends/friends? I’m not sure. He goes to church every Sunday (Kevin has been taking him) and he has friends there. We sort of have a standing joke that people are always saying “Hi Roy!” to him wherever we go. He seems to know EVERYONE. But I don’t know how “close” these “friendships” are, you know? I think people are just being nice to him because of his mental condition. I don’t know that Roy has ever been close to anyone outside of Kevin’s grandmother.

So maybe a home would be good for him in that aspect.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re in trial mode now. We’ll just have to see how he does and hope he doesn’t hurt himself or burn the house down.

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If You’re Going to Be A Christian…Then Act Like It!

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If you’re going to be a Christian…then start representing! Stop moping around…giving people attitude…and complaining about every little thing that throws off your day. People are watching you.

How do you think you’ll ever be able to convince someone that they should investigate Christianity if their only interaction with Christianity is poor old you and your negative outlook on things? Have you ever considered that you’re actually hurting Christ more than helping him with how you treat other people? Do you think that showing up on Sunday and listening to the band or singing in the choir is going to bring others to Christ?

Christ said that you should “let your light so shine” so that others will want come unto Him.

Instead…you’re like a walking fire hydrant extinguishing any light that might be burning faintly within others.

So if you call yourself a Christian…then just start loving others and overlooking their faults. Quit trying to make everyone else pay for their sins. God’s got that under control. Become ambassadors of mercy instead heavenly bounty hunters and you’ll never have to beg someone to listen to your message about Christ again.

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