Wednesday, December 17, 2008

He joined the angels today

He joined the angels today. He is in no more pain and has no fear. I can just picture him standing up from his wheelchair and running into the arms of Jesus. His pain is gone forever, and he is rejoicing with his heavenly family.

Mr. Scott passed away this evening around seven. I was at church at the time with my family when the news came. I was expecting it, but a sharp pain still stabbed my heart. I do not hurt for Mr. Paul in any way. He is at peace and cannot be made happier. I hurt for the family and what they must be feeling. I watched the four little girls run around the church building playing for a few minutes while those of us who knew what had happened stood watching. I saw the childish joy spread across their faces as they played Hide and Seek with the other kids. All I could think about is how the smiles are going to slide off their faces when they learn of their father’s death. I grieved inside at the thought of little Sarah, only five years old, growing up without a daddy. I hurt for Mrs. Scott and what she must have felt as her husband breathed his last. I cried inside at the thought of David becoming the man of the house at nineteen. I cried for their pain.

And then I remembered how Mr. Scott must have felt the moment he saw the face of Jesus. What is it like to run into Jesus’ waiting arms and hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”? What does the embracing Jesus feel like? I only know that one day, it will be my turn. I cannot imagine the joy that will well up inside me.

Mr. Scott may be gone from this earth, but his memory lives on. This next year will be terribly hard for the Scott family, but they know that they can lean on Jesus, and He will comfort them. I ask that if you read this, please intercede daily for them. They will need support and strength, and prayer is the best way to go about it. It is the Christmas season, and it will be incredibly painful for them. Pray for peace and comfort.

God has relieved all of Mr. Scott’s pain, and he is rejoicing with all the people in heaven. He has never been happier, and will be waiting for the arrival of his family. His death may be a loss for this earth, but an eternal gain in heaven. Do not grieve over his death. He knew where he was going, and it does nothing to grieve over him being in heaven. Instead, pray incessantly for the family that is left behind. Their pain will be much greater than Mr. Scott’s ever was. If you had someone close to you die, you know the pain of being left here on earth. It is possibly the most gut-wrenching feeling you will ever experience.

I have often seen a plaque that has this saying on it: “If tears could build a stairway, and memories build a lane, I’d walk right up to heaven, and bring you home again.” Personally, I think this is horrible. If a person you love was suffering and died, would you really wish them back from heaven? In heaven, they are dancing on streets that are golden, and worshiping God at His holy throne. If they have been made perfect, how could you wish them back?

My point is, do not wish for what cannot be. Mr. Scott has been made perfect, and will rejoice for eternity. It does no good to wish him back here.
Thank you, God, for relieving the pain of Mr. Scott. Bring peace and comfort to the family, and let them see the joy of Mr. Scott as if they were there with him. Amen.
I want to pay a tribute to Mr. Scott through this blog, and not depress those who read it. I have written a poem for him, and would like to share it here.

He joined the angels today,
He has no pain and no more fear.
He joined the angels today,
And God has wiped away his every tear.
He joined the angels today,
And has been made whole and new.
He joined the angels today,
And has left this earthly view.
His joy has been made complete,
And he is praising his God of love,
He’s dancing with the angels,
And singing to the Lord Above.
He joined the angels today,
For an eternally wonderful stay.
He joined the angels today,
And his joy outshines the sun’s brightest rays.
I will not wish him back,
For he is happy and perfect, too.
I will not wish him back,
Because his body has been made new.
And now, I can rejoice for him,
No matter what the day,
Because he joined the angels today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Most of you who read this probably know what is going on, but even if you don’t, please pray anyway.

Mr. Paul Scott has been living with ALS for quite a while, and his life is drawing to a close. He is on a ventilator, and his kidneys are failing. He is in so much pain, and needs prayer desperately. It is not too late for God to work a miracle. It has happened before.

The Scott family has six children: David and Coyote, who are in college, Anakin in fifth grade, Tabitha in fourth, Maya in second, and little Sarah just barely in Kindergarten. Mrs. Jacqueline Scott is a woman of great faith, who has stayed by her husband every step of the way. She is an awesome woman of faith, who is a hero in every way. She loves her husband with all her heart, and is heartbroken at the prospect of losing him.

This dear family goes to my church, and is a great example of acceptance and unconditional love. It is the Christmas season, and it is incredibly hard for them right now. Your prayers are most needed and appreciated.

When you pray, I want you to pray for his healing, but most of all for God’s will to be done. His pain is so great, it would not be kind to ask for him to hang on a little longer. If God lets him live for a little while longer, ask that it will be a pain free time. Ask God to do what is best, not what is most convenient. If you were dying and in a great amount of pain, would you want to go and meet your Lord and Savior, or suffer?

God works in amazing ways, and it is not too late to ask for a miracle. If it is God’s will for this man to die, then we can praise him. If it is for him to live, we will still praise him. The word “praise” is mentioned 351 times in the Bible, and it is not only when things are going well. Look at Job; his life was filled with tragedy, but he never slandered the name of the Lord. God does not ask us to praise him when we want to, but to praise him forever (see 2 Corinthians 11:31).

Pray for this family. Ask for strength and peace for the children, and the same for Mrs. Scott. This family will be hurting for quite some time if he dies. Ask God for His will.

Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there I will be with them.” If we all pray, God will answer us. Please! Get on your knees and pray fervently for this hurting family.

I believe that God can work a miracle if we ask Him to. His answer may be no, but we can try.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookies or Christ?

I love the Christmas season… It’s my favorite time of the year. I love the lights, trees, decorations, cookies, and the fun atmosphere. To me, Christmas is the most joyful season of all, not because of all the things I listed above (although the cookies are pretty important), but because I celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior.

I have talked to many people who don’t celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th, because some religious experts think he was probably born in the summertime. This always irritates me. For one thing, we don’t know when Jesus was born. Besides, does it really matter? As long as we’re celebrating Christ’s birth, does it really matter? I don’t think that when we get to heaven Jesus is going to say, “Well, my birthday was really July 27th.” Seriously, I don’t think He’ll care.

I want you to ask yourself this Christmas what you are focusing on. Are you worried about getting your Christmas cards out on time? Do you not have all your presents bought and wrapped? Are you worried about the number of people that are coming over on Christmas day? If you are, then you are not getting into the real spirit of the season. This whole holiday was created to worship the Baby that was born in a manger. Stop yourself and look around you. If you go to the mall, you can tell who is focused on stuff, and who is focused on the Birth. If you see harried women frantically running from store to store trying to get the best deals on the most things, then they are focused on the presents. If you see kids dragging their father to the toys and saying, “I want THAT one!” then they are focused on getting exactly the right thing. If you see a family walking leisurely making small talk and not hurrying, they aren’t worried about how many presents they are getting (or they have all their shopping done. Ha, ha.). If someone was watching you walk around the mall, what would they think? Are you consumed with the worldly aspect of Christmas, or are you focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Veggie Tales called “The Toy that Saved Christmas”, but it really captures the world’s perspective of Christmas. The children are so consumed with the toys they will receive, that they forget the real meaning of Christmas. So, a toy named “Buzz-saw-Louie” tells everyone in Bumblyburg that Christmas is not about the toys and material things that the kids will get, but about the birth of Baby Jesus.

Isn’t that what we Christians should do? Shouldn’t we proclaim to all the world that Jesus Christ is born? I challenge you to tell one person who doesn’t know what God has done for them about the birth of Jesus Christ. One person. That is all I’m asking. I think that you will find that it is very fulfilling.

If you are a Christian, focus on the manger scene. Think about the heavenly Baby that was sent to us in human form to save the world. Can you imagine what Christmas would be like if you did not have the joy and hope that the birth of Jesus brings? I think it would be extremely depressing after all the gifts are unwrapped and the cookies eaten. When everything is gone, so is the joy of giving and receiving presents. To the unbelievers, it is all over, and there is nothing more to celebrate. We as Christians can celebrate Jesus’ birth all year long for the rest of our lives.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh, good grief!

About a week ago, there was an article in my local newspaper that absolutely astounded me. The title is “Survey: Students cheat, steal in alarming numbers.” Evidently, a survey was taken of nearly 30,000 students at 100 random high schools. This caught my attention (because I am in high school), and I proceeded to read the article and was shocked at what I found. Here is just a piece of it:

“In the past year, 30 percent of the U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test, according to a new large-scale survey suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.”

As Charlie Brown would say, “Oh, good grief!” I couldn’t believe what that tiny little paragraph said! 30 percent have stolen from a store, and even more shockingly, 64 percent have cheated on a test. What is this world coming to?

It really was the last sentence of that paragraph that caught my attention ( “…suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.”). If you have ever read my dad’s blog, you can see that this last phrase is his whole point. My dad is trying to make people wake up and see the world through Christ’s eyes. If Jesus lived in our world today, do you think he would say we are “too apathetic about ethical standards”? I personally think he would! We as Christians should be able to stand up to the low standards, and create ones that are right in God’s eyes.

The article goes on to say things such as: “These kids have more opportunity to cheat. Their professors didn’t have the resources that they do now, so the temptation is greater.”

I don’t think that the temptation is any greater than it was twenty years ago. I think that today’s high school students are just weaker. We may have more opportunities to cheat or steal, but doesn’t 1 Corinthians 10:13 say that no temptation is too great to overcome? Doesn’t it say that God will always provide a way out?

God is not going to leave those who serve Him to fight off the evils of this world. When you are trapped by a temptation, turn to Him and He will help you do the right thing. If we do not succumb to the world’s mindset, it will not be nearly as difficult to resist temptation.
Here’s some more statistics to boggle your mind:

-- 35% of boys and 26% of girls admitted to stealing from a store within the past year.
--20% said they stole something from a friend.
--23% said they stole something from a parent or relative.
--38% said they cheated two or more times on a test.
--36% said they plagiarized an assignment from the internet.
--42% said they sometimes lie to save money.

The saddest part of the entire article is toward the end. “Despite such responses, 93% of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77% affirmed that ‘when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.’”

If you are a high school student, do not strive to just be better than your friends. You are to work towards being like Christ. If you set a limit on how good you can be, you will never grow in your relationship with God. Don’t fool yourself; you should never be satisfied with how close you are to God. There is always room for improvement.

Choose to be different; it is not a bad thing. If you try to fit right in with everyone else, you will compromise your witness. You cannot tell people to do the right thing and then not do the right thing yourself. No one will respect your witness if you live the life of a hypocrite.

God wants you to follow His will for your life, and I can assure you that it does not include cheating or stealing. But if you have already cheated or stolen, there is always room for forgiveness.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The day of Thanksgiving was one of the most joyful I have ever had. Maybe it was because of the great food. Maybe it was because of the time I got to spend with my wonderful cousins. Maybe it was even because I didn’t have to worry about my problems!

But I know the truth: It was because I got to meet Esther.

This girl is two years old, and was adopted from China. She is my Mom’s-brother’s-wife’s-sister’s-daughter. (Whew!) I had not yet had the chance to meet her, and was really looking forward to it. I had heard about her from my cousins, but was anxious to meet her in person. I knew that her adoption from China was a wonderful story, and was very eager to hear it from Esther’s mother and father (Joyce and Dayton). When Joyce, Dayton, and Esther showed up on Thanksgiving day, I could see that they were so thankful for this sweet little toddler. I later learned that she was born in China and found abandoned in a garden. Joyce and Dayton adopted her when she was nine months old, and she has been a joy to them ever since.

I was so excited when the doorbell rang, and Esther walked through the door. I could not believe how adorable she was! Her sweet face was graced with a broad smile, and her eyes lit up with happiness. I knew instantly that I was going to like this little girl nick-named Essie.

The more I got to know her, I realized how often she laughed. This little child was so joyful and so beautiful, I could not imagine how thrilled her parents must have been when she was presented to them as Yang Fu Yuan. I cannot imagine the emotion of having a long-awaited baby placed in your arms. It is obvious that Joyce and Dayton have fallen in love with her, even though she is from a drastically different culture.

I could not get enough of her laugh. It came straight from the belly, and made every person in the room giggle out loud. My cousins and I thought up every possible way to make her laugh again and again and again. She was so happy, it did not take much.

Every person in the house sat around in the living room that night, not knowing what to do. It did not take long until we were all thinking of something to teach Esther. My mom began to teach her how to bow, and that kept us all laughing for quite a while! Essie began playing “Simon Says” with anyone who would participate, and it began growing later and later. The more we laughed, the more giddy Esther would become. Her infectious laugh spread throughout the room and had all of us rolling on the floor. Her beautiful smile shone and had everyone in a happy mood. Joyce finally announced that Esther truly did need to go to bed, and we soon followed. The next morning, it was as if everyone had a hangover, but not the usual type. We were all still giggling and happy. When we saw Esther the next day, the first thing we were greeted with was a bow and a giggle.

You would not believe how much a little laughter can affect someone. The two days that I spent with this sweet little girl were some of the best of my life. Her giggle showed me that I can be joyful if I only choose to be. I am not typically the laugh-at-everything-am-always-happy sort of person. I tend to be rather pessimistic. My pastor said several weeks ago that we choose to be either happy or sad. He asked this very thought provoking question: Are you joyful or jaundiced? I know which one I am, and I am not proud of it. If you know me well, you probably know that I am not happy all the time (although I don’t think anyone is) and don’t always look on the bright side.

I sincerely want to choose joy over sorrow now. I am going to work on this for as long as it takes so I can be like Esther. I don’t think anything has inspired me more lately than the laughter of my adopted cousin Esther. Her laugh has spread into my life and changed me.

Thank you, Essie, for your impact on my life! I know you can’t even read yet, but you are such an amazing girl. I know you will change many people throughout your life, and I can only say that I am thankful you were adopted by a family that can appreciate the laugh that God has given you. Live for God, sweetheart, and don’t let anything keep you from laughing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Scientific Ramblings

WARNING: If you are not a science freak like me, you can go right on ahead and skip this blog.

I love science. This year I am doing Biology, and am loving all of it. I hope to one day be a Physician’s Assistant, so I guess it is a good thing that I like Biology.

This week, I learned about the scientific process of osmosis. The definition of osmosis is: the tendency of a solvent to travel through a semi-permeable membrane to areas of higher solute concentration.

If that went right over your head like it did mine, here is a simpler explanation. Osmosis is when you have a barrier (in this case a semi-permeable membrane) that separates two solutions. Both solutions have different amounts of molecules. Only certain molecules are allowed to pass through the membrane into the other side. The molecules that are not able to pass through are simply caught in the membrane, and filtered back out. When the molecules that are allowed make it to the other side, the water (or whatever solution you are using) levels change along with the concentration levels.

If you don’t understand this, don’t worry. It took me a while to understand it, too. I will not be offended if you stop right here and don’t read any further.

Okay, so I have finally reached the point of this very scientific blog.

While I was reading my text book, I started thinking that osmosis is kind of like the kingdom of heaven. Only those who have repented and been baptized may come into heaven. The same goes for osmosis. Only very specific molecules may pass through the membrane to make it to the other side.

Now most importantly you must understand that the membrane will only allow certain
molecules to pass through. It WILL reject the others.

God is not going to make exceptions for those who do not follow Him. We have to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38) and live according to His will. God is kind, but he is also just. We do not deserve His offer of eternal life, yet he gives it to us readily. We need to make sure that our hearts are just right so we can pass through that “semi-permeable” membrane into the kingdom of heaven. Trust me: you do not want to be rejected.

Okay, so if you actually made it to the end of this blog, you are probably thinking that I am totally nuts (which I am). Yes, it is true, I am a science geek. This is probably the weirdest observation you have ever read, but I thank you for taking the time to read it.

And so ends my scientific ramblings.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Seize the Day!

When I was in fourth grade, I had a really hard time. I was still in public school, and my teacher was horrible. I was very unhappy, and even considered running out the classroom door and all the way home. This was just a fantasy, but one that I thought about often. My teacher was fired at the end of the year after my class got up the courage to go talk to the principal together, and the next year my family decided to homeschool.

My fourth grade class really was a wonderful group of kids. We really became like family that year because of our teacher. It’s not that we became rebels and specifically set out to work against her. Don’t worry; we were much too scared of her to do anything like that. Instead, we relied on each other to get through our day. If you asked me today who all was in my class that year, I think I could name every single one.

One of the students in my class really sticks out in my mind. His name was Doug, and he was a very nice boy. He was taller than everyone, and very quiet, but he could be funny when he wanted to be. I guess you could say our friendship started in the lunch room. I had gotten waffles and sausages, and I couldn’t eat all of my sausages. Doug asked if he could have them, and I said yes. Unfortunately, we both forgot that we weren’t allowed to share food. The lunch lady walked by at just the wrong time, and saw Doug stabbing his fork into my sausage. She began reprimanding me for sharing my food with Doug, and I told her I was sorry. Doug stood up for me, and told the lunch lady that it was his fault: he had asked for the sausage. I didn’t really know Doug that well, but we were pretty good friends after that. To be honest, I was really scared of the lunch lady.

Doug and I weren’t close or anything, but he would tease me, and I would tease back. He was a football fan, and tried valiantly to get me to understand the game. Poor guy, he never did succeed.

One day, we were asked to write a story about a character (or characters) in a book. I chose to do Adam and Eve. I don’t really know why I picked the subject, as it is not my favorite Bible story, but I guess it was the first thing that popped into my head. I wrote my story, used my best cursive, and colored a border around each sheet of paper, and then turned it in. I don’t really remember how this came about, but Doug asked me if he could read my paper. I let him, and as he read, he began to frown. I asked him what was the matter, and he told me that he had never heard the story of Adam and Eve. To my 10-year-old mind, this was shocking. I thought everyone had heard about Adam and Eve! Doug began asking me lots of questions about the story, and I answered them, but not really to the best of my ability. I was very confused at how Doug could not have heard the story, and I didn’t really want to talk about it. I answered his questions, but not with very much interest. I was embarrassed, and I just wanted the subject to drop.

Oh, how I regret that day. I should have looked him in the eyes and told him everything I knew about the Bible. I should have told him about Jesus and His love for everyone who chooses to accept it! I should have done better. My heart aches for what I could have done. I so badly want to go back and change what I did. I could have planted the seeds in him so that one day he could choose for himself to be a follower of Christ. How could I have been so stupid?

My point is, no matter how busy you are, take the time to talk to people about God’s love. Don’t shrug them off and act like it is a burden. You will regret it. I regret it, and I was only 10-years-old. We must take every chance we have to show God’s love to those around us.

I’m reminded of a song by Carolyn Arends that applies to this blog: “Seize the day! Seize whatever you can, ‘cause life slips away just like hourglass sand. Seize the day, pray for grace from God’s hand, and nothing can stand in your way. Seize the day.”

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Seize the day, and spread God’s everlasting love.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Are you truly thankful?

I don’t think we realize how blessed we really are.

I do not like the word “lucky”. I think luck is a figment of our imagination. We are not lucky, we are blessed.

Lately, I’ve been able to see how blessed I am to have my family. I have an AWESOME family. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is approaching. Maybe it’s because God has just put it on my heart. I don’t know, but I am so thankful for them.

Thank you, Dad, for being a wonderful father. Thank you for working so hard for us, so that we can have a wonderful life. Thank you for giving me the correction that I need, and showing me how to look at things through a Christian perspective. And I thank you even for helping me re-write my blogs so that they aren’t so offensive to other people! (Ha!) I love you so much.

Thank you, Mom, for taking the time every day to teach me. Most women would not want to give up their lives so they can homeschool their children. Thank you for making that sacrifice. It is worth it! I am deeply grateful for our late night talks. You always know when I need a shoulder to cry on. You have amazing insight and I am so glad I have you to turn to for wisdom and guidance. I love you more!

Thank you, Noah, for being such a servant. Your heart is as big as the world, and I think you will be able to do amazing things with it! I am so thankful that you are my brother. You are a wonderful 11-year-old, and I thank you for helping me when I am down. I love you.

Thank you, Lexi, for being the joy of my day! What would I do without your happy outlook on life? You have taught me so much about choosing joy over sorrow, and I thank you for it. You have brought so much love into my life. I love you, too.

So many girls my age are only concerned about themselves. I have had countless teens come up to me and complain about their parents, and whine about how unfair they are. If you are a teen, look around at your family through God’s eyes. Are your parents really as bad as you think? The answer is probably no. I know that being a teen is awkward and tough, but imagine being a parent of a teen. (Are you laughing yet?) We put our parents through so much heartache, and we don’t always apologize. This Thanksgiving, look around you, and be thankful for what you have been given.

So many times, I have seen girls my age out with their mom, just shopping or doing something of the sort. I see annoyance in their eyes as their mom asks them questions about their likes and dislikes, and about what is fashionable. Don’t treat your mother like she isn’t as smart as you. The fact of the matter is: you don’t know everything. You have not lived as long as her, and, if you give her the chance, she can teach you a lot about life. Don’t brush her off, or pretend that you don’t know her. She loves you, and wants you to treat her with respect out of love, not obligation.

I have also seen the way some girls treat their dads. I had one girl tell me once that, the only reason she let her dad take her out on “dates” was because she could always get her to buy her stuff. BAD IDEA. Don’t love your father for worldly reasons. Love him because God tells you to. “Honor your father and mother,” Exodus 20:12. This verse does not have conditions put on it. It simply says to honor them.

Treat your siblings with respect as well. You only have so many years with them, and then you will move on to your own family. Do not waste your time with them through arguing. Simply love them, and treat them with respect, even if they do not reciprocate the love.

This Thanksgiving season, look around you and see how wonderful your family really is. Even if your family is not perfect (nobody’s is), look at your many blessings.

Thank you, my dear family, for providing me with the love and support I need to grow up in this world. I love you so much.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Life from a spanked child

I have met countless people who do not spank their children. Most of them believe it is a form of abuse, and should not be used on kids. I was spanked when I was younger, and I never found it to be a form of abuse. Although, I didn’t like it - who would? It’s supposed to be a punishment, right? - it was probably the most effective form of punishment I ever experienced. I never felt like my mom or dad was beating me, because they always did it out of love, not anger. I’m sure that there are many instances when a parent is angry and spanks their child for the wrong reasons, but my parents are not included in that group. When I did something wrong, I would be sent to the bathroom, and I would wait there for several minutes. I never knew why I had to wait so long, but I now know that it was because my parents would calm themselves so they could discipline me in a loving manner. It always brought out true repentance in my heart, and I always felt better after I was disciplined accordingly.

My parents are probably the best disciplinarians I have ever met! They are able to come up with many creative forms of discipline that help my siblings and I to understand what we did wrong, and more importantly, how to correct it. My mom came up with a real winner when I was in first grade. I was a very grumpy child in first grade, because I was bored to death. I was still in public school at that time, and, if you’ve ever experienced first grade, it is all about learning how to read. I was so bored with all the phonics, as I had learned to read two years earlier. My teacher, who was a very nice lady, couldn’t give me the attention that I needed, so she sent me out in the hall with a book and a worksheet about it. I spent much of my time in the hall reading all by myself. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to read, and would have much rather been out in the hall than in the classroom, but I was very lonely. By the end of the day, I was a real grump. I know that is no excuse for being grumpy, but it is true. Well, one day, I really got up on the wrong side of the bed, and was not being very nice to anyone. My mom came to me, and very calmly said, “Molly, I want you to go in the bathroom and sing ‘This is the Day’ at the top of your lungs until you can be happy.” This terrified me. I was not a very loud child, and I did NOT sing in public. I know now that my mom did this out of love, but back then, I was mad. I obeyed, but I highly doubt that I was happy about it. I went in the bathroom and began singing very softly, “This is the day, this is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it.” Pretty soon, Mom’s voice filters in saying, “Molly, I can’t hear you. Sing a bit louder!” I don’t really remember the rest of the story, but Mom told me many years later that she could hardly keep herself from laughing as my voice boomed out into the house! It sure is funny! (Now anyway…)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to someone’s house to babysit and they begin going down a list of instructions. “Give the baby her bottle at 7:00.” “Put him to bed at 8:00.” “Make sure he eats his dinner.” All of these are just part of babysitting, but my least favorite one to hear is, “Oh, you won’t have to worry about spanking. We don’t do that.” When I hear these words, a groan wells up inside me. I know that the children will not be on their best behavior if I have no means of discipline. (This is not true for all un-spanked children. I have met some wonderful ones.) I have tried “time out”, and was even subject to it myself several times, but I can tell you from personal experience, it is not very effective. For me, I always just waited out the timer, said I was sorry, but never really felt like I was truly sorry for my mistakes. I’m sure it works on many children, but it did not work on me. I really didn’t mind being in time out; it did not really feel like a punishment.

Please don’t get me wrong… I’m sure that some of these methods work on many children. This blog is just from my personal experience with different methods of discipline. If you choose to spank, please make sure you do it out of love, not anger. Trust me, the child is able to tell. I think one of the hardest things to understand as a child is when your parents discipline you out of love. Talk to your children, and help them understand that you discipline them because you love them. Remember Proverbs 13:24: “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” I am not a mom, and I do not know how hard it is to spank a child (although I’m sure I will find out someday), but please consider your decision carefully. Another good verse is Proverbs 23:13 which says, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.”

If I could thank my parents for only one thing, it would be for spanking me when I was younger. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for giving me the correction I needed out of love and not out of anger. I love you very much.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An example to follow?

I do a lot of babysitting, and I always find that I have to set an example for the children I babysit. Not too long ago, I was babysitting for three little boys. We decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, so I loaded the youngest into a stroller and let the older two lead the way. While we were walking, the oldest child began telling me a story. I can’t honestly recall what it was about, but I just remember that after he had finished, I remarked that one of the characters had done something dumb, and that the child shouldn’t follow the character’s example. The oldest child’s eyes got wide and he began shaking his finger at me. When I asked him what was the matter, he said, “Mommy says that dumb is a bad word, and we should never say it! Ever!” By then, I realized I had made a mistake and began apologizing. I told him that he was right, and I should never have said that word. When we arrived home, he ran inside yelling, “Mommy! Molly said a bad word! Molly said “dumb”! What should we do with her?” I turned bright red and began stammering an apology, but the mother pulled me aside and said that it was okay, I didn’t know. She said that she just wanted to keep that word out of her boys’ vocabulary for a little while longer. I was embarrassed, but glad the mom wasn’t angry.

Several Sundays ago, my pastor said something that stuck in my head. He was speaking specifically to the fathers in our church, but it applies to me, too. He told the fathers that whatever their children see them doing, they (meaning the children) are more likely to do.

I also need to be careful when I am around young children. I know that there have been several times when I have made a small error, and have been imitated by a child who witnessed my mistake. At moments like this, I realize how much of an influence I have over the people around me, especially children. Although this might make some people feel powerful, it scares me. I didn’t know that the children I work with in the nursery, babysit, or am just around look to me as an example.

The question I must ask is, am I a good example? I know I work hard to be a good influence over everyone I meet, but I wish I didn’t have to work so hard. Honestly, I wish it just came naturally! Titus 2:7-8 has this to say: “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” I want to follow this verse to the letter!

I encourage everyone who reads this to examine your own life and see if you are setting an example that you would want other people to follow. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and ask yourself this question: “Would I follow my own example if I was someone else?” I hope that setting a good example comes easily to you! It is not always easy for me, but I am going to work hard to set a good example all the time.

Join me today in asking this question every day when you wake up: Are you setting an example to be followed?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We Must Pray

(I am not trying to put you down if you are a woman who has had an abortion. Please understand that I am not judging you in any way, I am only stating my beliefs. If you are a woman who has gone through this experience, please do not feel burdened in any way by this blog.)

I watched the election tonight, and my heart hurts. This is not only because most of the people I was rooting for lost, nor is it because Colorado was categorized as a blue state (although these things do disappoint me). My heart aches because of the outcome of Amendment 48. This amendment defines the word “person” to include any human being from the moment of conception. This could have possibly led to abortion being viewed as murder, instead of the easiest option out of a pregnancy. Sadly, this amendment was defeated. 74% of people in Colorado voted to overturn this amendment. That means that 74 % of the citizens in Colorado do not think babies should be characterized as “persons” at the moment of conception!
To me, this is appalling. I hate the thought of so many people thinking that it is okay to abort a baby. I am a Christian, so I believe that God has a purpose for each and every baby. Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

To me, this means that at the moment of fertilization, it becomes a baby; a living, breathing, baby who may grow up to be a doctor, lawyer, politician, or any one of the many possibilities. Because this amendment was turned over, millions more babies will be killed without ever having the chance to take their first steps. Right now, over 4,000 babies are aborted each day in America. 50 million abortions occur each year just in America! Think how many more people could be used for God’s purposes if they had lived to see their first birthdays.

God gives life to all things, including babies. We must pray with all our might that God will intervene and save these babies' lives. We must pray for our country, and for the president. Even if Obama is not the man we voted for, we must pray for him and his future decisions. He now has a mighty influence over our country, and he could use it for good or bad. We must pray that he will make the right decisions, and not be influenced by the world. Our country is a powerful and wonderful country. We have a great influence over the rest of the world, and much of the world looks to us for help in times of need. We need to make sure that our example is a good one that shows God’s love and power in our lives.

Please join me in praying for our country and all that is to come in the next four years. Please pray for the millions of babies being aborted every year. If we want our country to be strong and have eternal foundations, we must pray ceaselessly for it. I am going to commit to praying for my country and all of its leaders. I hope you will join me.

God Bless America.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Am I the only one?

Lately, I have been hearing about a series of books that is very popular with girls my age. I’m usually very skeptical about popular reading material, so I found an article in WORLD magazine that helped me better understand what the books were about. The review said that the books are filled with immoral love scenes, and even deal with vampires. The covers of the books are very creepy and have haunting titles.

I have heard about these books from many girls, even some Christian ones. I heard many people discuss the characters, and talk about the movie which comes out next month. I had already decided that I would not read these books, and was shocked to hear that nearly every girl I met had read all four of the books in the series. As I watched teenage girls talk about these “amazing” books, I could see a gleam of hunger in their eyes. They just couldn’t seem to get enough of whatever was contained in the pages of these books. To me, they seemed obsessed. They couldn’t stop talking about them, and were moaning that the movie wouldn’t come out for another month.

I felt as if I were staring through a one way glass, looking at a group of people who are blind, and cannot see the truth. I feel as if I am the only one who can see that these books should not be read, especially by Christian girls. Why are such young girls filling their heads with material that only pollutes their mind and thoughts? Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think on such things.” Even though I haven’t read these books, I know that they are not what girls my age should be filling their minds with. Someone that I believe has the sagacity to determine whether the books are wholesome or not skimmed just the first few chapters and told me that they are not appropriate for anyone to read!

I can’t help but ask myself, why? Why are young teens reading books filled with words that are only a temptation to do the wrong thing? Why are so many Christian girls reading these books at all? Am I the only one who is able to discern what I should and should not read? It is not hard to begin reading a book, but it is very hard to stop. I believe that my generation needs to realize that, even though something is popular, that doesn’t make it okay. We need to develop a discerning heart. If we are able to discern what is right and wrong, our minds will not become impure. We need to be able to look at something and say, “No! God says that this is wrong, so I will take no part in it!”

Although these books are only one example of many, it is what has really been bothering me lately. I look around at the world and think “Am I the only one?” I feel all alone, but I will not let my loneliness keep me from doing what is right. I will not do things that go against God’s will just to fit in and be popular. I want to teach people to have a discerning spirit and a conscience, but more importantly to listen to what God says is wrong and stand up for what is right. I am different, and I will not let anyone or anything make me stumble and fall away from God’s will for my life.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Send me!

I don’t know if you are familiar with Focus on the Family, but they have a radio drama called “Adventures in Odyssey”. Just recently, they released a set called “The Truth Chronicles”. The purpose of this collection is to teach kids about the importance of worldview and standing up for their beliefs. The first episode in the set is entitled “Here Am I”. It goes through a story in which Connie Kendall, a high school girl struggling with the idea of worldview, dreams about heaven and the influence that her worldview has over every decision she makes. At the end of the episode, Connie dreams she is in heaven and that there are creatures with wings flying all around her. One of these creatures (called a seraph) comes to her and touches a piece of coal to her lips to represent taking away her sin. (This is described in Revelation 4.) The voice of God booms out over all the heavens saying “Whom shall I send? Who will go to be our messenger?” To this Connie replies with much conviction, “Here am I, Lord. Send me!”

This episode touched my heart and showed me that I have not fully dedicated myself to the Lord. I have always held a piece of myself back from Him, out of fear. I did not want to commit my life into His hands completely, because I feared being sent to a distant country as a missionary. Why did I fear this? It was because of the torture I have read about. If I am a Christian, should I not be willing to go through anything to serve my Lord and Savior? If I was fully devoted to Him, would I still be afraid of dying for my faith? The answer is no. I should be willing to go to any length to spread the Word of the Lord. As I listened to this drama, a part of my soul that I had kept hidden away for many years opened. I realized that I no longer want to do things on my own. I want everything to be in God’s hands. I know He will take care of me, and that I have nothing to fear while I am serving Him. I struggled for a long time because I didn’t feel like I was connecting with God. I now believe that it was because I was living in a way that said, “God I give you my life and my heart….except for this little piece.” God wants all of us! Not just the parts that we want to give to Him. James 4:7 says this: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This verse does not say to give God part of yourself, but simply to give all of it.
I write this today to tell the world that I am not going live my life in fear of what is to come.

Today, I want to live for God in everything and do exactly what he wants me to do. I do not know what he has in store for me, but I now want to do whatever it is he asks of me. If this means becoming a missionary to Africa and living there for the rest of my life, I will do it. If it means being a stay at home mom, I will do it. If it means serving in China at an orphanage to save children, I will do it. If it means dying in prison for my faith, I will do it, and I will not be afraid.

I say these words now, and I mean them with all my heart: “Here am I, Lord. Send me!”

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My First Blog

I'm new at this blogging thing, so I apologize if it is kind of lame. My mom and dad have both started blogs this last year, and I've seen how they have influenced other people to look at the world in a different way. I have lots of ideas rattling around in my head that I really want to write down, but somehow I manage to keep putting it off. Instead of avoiding them, I'm going to blog my thoughts and ideas.

I suppose I should introduce myself now... My name is Molly Michele Metzger and I am fourteen years old. I am homeschooled and in 9th grade. My passion is dancing, and my lifelong dream came true in August. I was accepted to take pointe at the studio where I dance. I love to dance en pointe, but enjoy tap and lyrical just as much.
My life is dedicated to serving the one and only God. I was baptized on May 18th, 2002, in the bathrub of my parents' bathroom. On that day I promised God that I would never stray from the path that He has chosen for me. My sin was taken away, and, although I make many mistakes, they are wiped off my record by Jesus' cleansing blood.

My dad, Alan, works at General Electric, but is attempting to start his own Christian media company (click here for his blog and website). He is a loving father and husband and I look up to him in many ways.

My mom, Wendy, is a full time teacher for myself and my siblings, and has taught many wonderful classes on mothering at our church. (click here for her blog.) I am told that I become more like her everyday, and that makes me glow with pride, because I want to be just like her!

My brother, Noah, is eleven years old, and enjoys building lego sets and making movies. He's very sensitive to my feelings and is a great support to me when I'm going through something difficult.

Lexi is my bubbly eight year old sister who enjoys jazz dancing and talking! She is very energetic and uses it to cheer up everyone she meets. Although we are polar opposites, I enjoy being around her because she lifts my spirits.

My dog, Linus, is the funny one of the family. He entertains us all with his many quirks and habits, but especially by coming up to us and saying, "Mama!" He may be almost three-years-old, but he has not grown up at all!

I hope that by starting a blog, I can teach people who do not know Jesus what being a Christian is like. I do not want this to be a place where people com, read my blogs, and then walk away feeling depressed. Instead, I want it to be uplifting to those who are sad and comforting to those who are discouraged. I may be coming from a completely different worldview than you are, but this is my take on life and the world around me.

As you can see, I am not your average teen.