Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Ferocious Fight for the Heart of Man

“You cannot serve both God and Mammon”
Either you serve God, or Mammon. If you serve God, you cannot serve
You do not serve God. You do not serve Mammon,
Therefore, you serve Mammon Therefore, you serve God
1. Luke 16:13 states that “a servant cannot serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon,” Luke 16:13

The term “Mammon” can be translated a couple of different, ways, the most common being “money.” For the purpose of this essay, however, I will be defining “Mammon” as “wealth for it’s own sake.”
The general population of America lives out this mentality with a ferocious zest. Despite poles stating that the majority of Americans are “Christian”, this majority also proclaims “success is defined by the number of zeros in your bank account,” “fewer kids, fewer bills, a successful life,” and “buy a new car, it saves on gas.” This majority goes to church in buildings costing thousands, if not millions of dollars. Their whole lives are caught up in this fantastic money making monster, and hardly take a break from it.
Although I have never had the opportunity to live an upper-middle class, or wealthy life style, and so don’t know from personal experience how money can draw one in and become a possible addiction, I do believe that a majo reason for the Unitesd States economic struggle we are facing, as of May, 2009, is not only due to natural economic fluctuations, but also due to my generation, and that of my parents, over-the-top, frivolous, “because I deserve it” psychology.
My uncle and his family try to life a Christian life-style (which, in my opinion differs greatly from a Christ-like life-style) count success in dollar bill signs. As my uncle and sister discussed the hardships of living a life free of financial wealth (as our family has due to unusual circumstances), and living always on the look out for God’s moving in our lives, he admittedly stated:
“I would rather my brother (my dad) not be a business man in his trade as
a psychologist, because then he would be a money shark and not much
care for his clients.. nor would he be nearly as eager a listener (which has
been a great blessing and quite helpful in my life for several years)”

Even those how do try, and consider themselves to be “good Christians” take up the monstrosity of the money god, battling this state of mind daily.
In all probably, this battle has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands of years. What better lie to bestow on mankind than “if you don’t provide above and beyond abundance for your family financially, then you are a failure.” Even in the Garden of Eden the Serpent used Mammon to logically seduce Eve into exchanging her non-material relationship with Abba God for material possession, or ownership, of “being like God” – “knowing good and evil.”

(In our day and age this could also be defined as “differentiating from your parents (God, in Adam and Eve’s case, was their parent – and having the “wealth of independence” from God, their parent… And this has been the state of mind since the Garden of Eden, and is Mammon in it’s most clearly defined way.)

In my own life, I see Mammon clawing, fighting, seeking every way possible to entice me into thinking of him as fondly, if not more, as my Eternal Abba, God.
He has taken a foothold, I believe, in my life, more than once, and catches me by surprise in little, “inconsequential” things; such as my future, dear of having no financial cushion, fear of losing control of my life on this earth, etc. Only through the tender blood and courageous, infinite strength of my Lord Jesus Christ can Mammon release himself from me, and I throw myself at the feet of Jesus, proclaiming, “His kingdom come, His will be done,” and not Mammon kingdom, nor my will.
All this being said Satan’s faithful fight for victory over our hearts is very real, through the power of Mammon. And in order to fight back, we must remember that wealth is not found in independence from God, but independence of worldly good and complete and utter dependence on our fiercely passionate Abba Father, God of the Universe, in Heaven, with us.
(This essay was written as a part of lesson Ten in Traditional Logic by Martin Cothran.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Graduation Pictures

Mom took all of these pictures early this month, for graduation.

She is truly an artist, don't you think?

The top three were my "official" graduation invitation pictures. The last two are just a couple of a whole slue of fun pictures!

We took about an hour to take them all, but it was so much fun. I wish mom and I could do stuff like this more often (hanging out playing)...


My Mother and baby sister, Hannah Grace

Woo Hoo! I'm FINALLY graduating from High School, thanks to my mother :)

I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from, be taught by, and showered by all the talents and blessings of my mother.

Having been home schooled my entire life, I think I have had a much more impactful relationship with my mother, in the sense that I look to her as a friend and look to her for advice in life, as apposed to asking people my age who lack the knowledge and wisdom of time and age, just as I do.

My mother's extraordinary patience and zeal that pave the way for each of us kids' education is absolutely incredible. She's very artistic and creative. Every moment is a teaching moment.
My mother's mind-set of "it's the little things that make a day brighter" challenges me to find the beauty and joy in all of creation, especially in circumstances that seemingly have no positive attributes to speak of.

When I grow up, I want to be just like my mother:
A vivacious light to all who see her. Bubbling over with love for her family and the passions that God has given her.
I want to be obedient to my Father in Heaven and "just keep walking" when I stumble, just as she does.

I want to grow in my talents and gifts, using them in my day-to-day life to bring glory to God and bless others, just like her; to be a teacher, mentor and student of my future children, and honor, serve and passionately love my future husband, just like my mother.

I love my mother very much.

Warmth for Winter

* Burnt-orange nail polish
*feather-down, fleece-lined blanket
*Hot "English Breakfast" tea, if a tsp. of whipped honey
*Pictures of tropical islands
*knitted scarf
*An adorable puppy to sit on your lap
*blazing fire
* Basic Message Oil
6 tsp. carrier oil of your choice
8 srops of essential/ fragerance oil of your choice
Blend the two together, well. Warm up the oil before using - make sure to message between your fingers and your cuticals.
.... any questions?