Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What I've Been Up To

So, here's your basic update on life since I've been neglecting my blog.

1. Family Camp. It was super fun, as always! I had two bad migraine days and one moderate migraine day. The weather was gorgeous except for one storm - see above re: migraine. The speaker this year is from the Milwaukee area and spoke about love. His whole week's worth of talks is summed up in this: Love. One. Another. 

2. Kids' Family Camp Stuff. We took Wild Man's girlfriend, J, to camp with us again this year. For the all-camp fun day, they did a bunch of station games with a talent show in the evening. Wild Man sang "America" while J did her flag routine. They were a rousing success! 

Wild Man, Rosie Girl, and J did a rap that I can't begin to successfully explain. Wild Man did the beat-boxing. Rosie Girl and J were Peter and Paul having the argument in Galatians 2:11-21. It was beyond amazing. And frighteningly theological.

Wild Man did music stuff (of course), playing bass one day and drums one day. And, he won the carpetball tournament!! They didn't have the archery tournament because of rain - if he had placed in that tournament (which he has for the last few years), I would have tried to get some of his ice cream!

3. Migraines. Yes. I still have them. No, I don't enjoy them.

4. Books. I have discovered the author Terry Brooks. I am loving his Word and Void series and am getting started on one of his Shannara novels. Friend me on Goodreads to see what all I'm reading these days. (I think it's mostly up to date!)

5. Knitting. The Waupaca County Fair is coming up! I've got two items completed and two yet to go. The hardest thing is remembering my form - due this week.

6. Pokemon Go. Are you playing? Rosie Girl thought Christmas had come early when she heard that I signed up. I love collecting the critters and evolving them. But, I'm a lover, not a fighter, so I haven't gotten into a gym. We'll see how that goes. We live right by a Pokestop, so I collect a couple of Pokeballs from my living room every few hours. And I got a Meowth while sitting in my rocking chair last night!!!!

7. Sophie. We took Sophie, Rosie Girl's cat, to live with her in Stevens Point last week. Sophie is undisputed queen of the roost, right where she belongs. On that same day, Rosie Girl, PWM, Wild Man, J, and I went down to the park in Stevens Point right on the river to hunt Pokemon. Some people had practically set up camp. Of course, I was kind of tempted to join them when I realized how many magicarp there were! 

8. Rhapsody. This is my new kitten. I got an adorable 8 week tabby from J's family. Rhapsody and Rory are still separated. Rory isn't too thrilled with having a kitten around. As soon as I clip Rhapsody's claws and put her claw covers on (hoping to prevent declawing), she should be ready to hang out with Rory. Rhapsody is totally adorable in all her kitteness! She plays until she's completely tuckered out and then goes back upstairs to the closet where she's been sleeping and lies down.

9. Rosie Girl. Started a full-time job!! And it's a job that will offer benefits after a certain period of time! And it pays tolerably well!! And she likes it! Yes, we're all pretty excited. Rosie Girl is feeling like her choice to not return to school was a good one. 

10. PWM. He's starting to feel the impending start of school. But, first, he does two weeks of training at Milwaukee School of Engineering. Yay! NOT! The training is important for the new class that he's teaching, but I'm not thrilled about him being gone for two weeks. In any case, he's getting lots of walking in with Pokemon Go.

11. Wild Man. He's working at a grocery store and can work some shifts at the same chain when he starts school at UWSP. Hopefully, he can handle a few work shifts along with school. We also have to finish up his school shopping. And, I told him he gets to make his own doctor and dentist appointments before school starts - his schedule is too complicated for me to sort out. Besides, as he likes to point out, he's an adult.

That's what's up in our little corner of the world. I've got lots of stuff in my brain that wants to come out. I'll try to let it out in bits and pieces that make sense. Fat chance!! Stay tuned for the crazy!


Friday, July 01, 2016

Spiritual Growth

Let's start off with the fact that I'm not an expert in spiritual growth, OK. I'm trying to walk with Jesus the best that I can, but I'm pretty sure that there are times that he's dragging me along and shaking his head. But, a couple of things about spiritual growth came up that I want to explore. So, here we go.

Al Mohler is quoted as saying, "Our spiritual maturity will never exceed our knowledge of the Bible" by Tim Challies (which I saw on Twitter). On the face of it, this seems like a reasonable statement. After all, the Bible is how we know about Jesus for the most part, so it seems like it's needed for spiritual growth.

On closer inspection, though, the argument breaks down. From a logical and historical point of view, there are problems. It follows from this statement that seminary professors and other well-educated people would necessarily be spiritually wiser than those less able to avail themselves of such knowledge. Yet, I dare say that we all know that this is just not the case.

It also doesn't work biblically. According to scripture, the way to grow spiritually is through trials. James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (See also Romans 5. And Job. And Lamentations.) Our walk with Jesus becomes closer and deeper with the more life that we live, particularly the hardships of life.

This brings me to the other quote I came across this week. "It is spiritually formative to be dissatisfied and unable to resolve it." Dallas Willard. Stop and read that again. He doesn't say that we learn something through resolving it. Rather, his point is that the very state of being stuck and not being able to fix it is the place where God wants us to be. That is the point where Jesus meets us. 

Yes, the Bible is the foundation of our faith. Yes, we study and learn as much as we can about Jesus. But, our spiritual maturity comes not from books and computers; it comes from experience and time with Jesus. When we are dissatisfied and can't do anything about it, it's time to get real with Jesus.

This is why that statement by Mohler was so elitist. It assumes that every Christian has unlimited access to scripture. Many believers have limited access to Bibles and even less to commentaries, etc. Yet, they are not lacking in faith. They are living their faith and walking with Jesus with the scripture they know. I have a feeling that God's OK with that.