Jesus And The Fallacy Of Fairness…

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Have you ever felt like you’ve been treated unfairly?

I have.

Oh, so many times. When I worked I felt I wasn’t compensated enough for the work I did. And I definitely deserved to have more vacation time. As a full-time mom, now I find it unfair that I don’t have the same kind of freedom I once had. I deserve more me time and I really should get paid for this. It’s also not fair that other moms are able to get their hair done all the time, have more help and can afford a Starbucks every morning.

Growing up it was unfair to me that I wasn’t able to go do the same things my older sisters got to do. Even at the tender age of 3 and 4 we can have an acute need for fairness. Mom, jimmy has more marshmallows in his hot chocolate then me!

When we are little it’s petty, and when we get older we call it unjust.

Our inner desire for fairness is confused for justice. But justice is not the problem. The problem is me and my desire to please me. And most of my idea’s of unfairness are the result of envying those around me who look to have more or have it better.

Jesus gives us a parable about this very thing called the Laborers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16. Read it.

This parable is the perfect response to Peter’s question in Matthew 19:27. Peter had just witnessed the rich young ruler basically deny Christ because of the ruler’s attachment to his own money. This made Peter curious, so he asks…“See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”

Surely everything the disciples rejected to follow Christ would garner extra special standing and blessing. Jesus assures Peter and the disciples of their stature in heaven, but then he gives a stern warning (Matt 19:30), But many who are first will be last, and the last first.  Then he launch’s into the above parable as a lesson for us all.

The early laborers agreed on the days payment, and then went to work. More workers joined and then even more later in the day. When the day was done and it was time to be paid, everyone received the same amount of money. The early laborers who worked the longest with sweat on there brow started grumbling.

Wouldn’t you?

I would.

This is not fair. Wouldn’t you assume that your master was kind of being a jerk and a cheap skate? Wouldn’t you grumble and complain and maybe even confront the guy with a fool-proof argument about labor laws and rights? Then maybe you would form a union? And then who knows, maybe you would strike?

Culturally, this scripture kinda hurts a bit.

This hits a little too close to home because practically speaking it definitely represents the world in which we exist and need to navigate with a biblical worldview. And the applications can get tricky.

However notice in the text that there is nothing unjust about the master’s actions (Matthew 20:13). The first laborers got exactly what they agreed to. If there was a contract, the contract would have been abided by lawfully. If they were to be angry at anything it would be at the masters generosity…but that’s it.

Jesus (as He always does), challenges us with an upside down gospel.

The message is this: Quit your covetous hate, because the first will be last and the last will be first in the kingdom of heaven. Seniority is irrelevant to Christ. We all come to Him equal. None of our work ultimately earns us anything.

 “Significantly, many Christians who study this parable identify with the employees who put in a full day’s work, rather than the add-ons at the end of the day. We like to think of ourselves as responsible workers, and the employer’s strange behavior baffles us as it did the original hearers. We risk missing the story’s point: that God dispenses gifts, not wages. None of us gets paid according to merit, for none of us comes close to satisfying God’s requirements for a perfect life. If paid on the basis of fairness, we would all end up in hell, (Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace, 61-62).

What we have on this earth is more than we deserve and what we receive in heaven is completely up to the Lord.

Worldly fairness is a fallacy.

We must rest in what the master says to the second set of workers in verse 6, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ Whether a person receives grace the day before his death or labors all his life for the Lord, God see’s us all as equal. And whatever HE feels is right, HE will give us.

Posted in Christian Living, Theology | 2 Comments

Let Me Direct You Elsewhere…

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In Defense Of Dawkins (sort of): Last week Richard Dawkins tweeted some disgusting things about abortion and children with Down Syndrome. And this is just an article about how although there was outrage over his words, the majority is on his side.

The Ordinary Christian Life: I have struggled with this plenty as a very ordinary stay-at-home mom. So this was encouraging for me!

Jimmy Fallon – Good News And Good News: I love Jimmy for this kind of stuff. Here’s an upper for you!

Posted in Christian Living, Culture, Let Me Direct You Elsewhere, Video's | Leave a comment

Our Father Who Loves…

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The break was needed. But as the road that led us back together seemed to stretch out longer and longer the more miles we accomplished, I found my heart longing for them even more.

There smiles of love first thing in the morning. There little hands grabbing at my shirt. Kisses on cheeks and noses pressed together. Extra long prayers for princess’s, monsters and stuffed animals. Goofy dances and running feet.

We needed our five-day anniversary getaway. And it was so glorious! But I also couldn’t wait to return once our trip was coming to an end.

No matter how hard and all-consuming this mothering thing gets. No matter how frustrated with potty-training and fights and attitudes I get. No matter how little sleep and rest is experienced. No matter how many wits-end moments I have in a day…I just can’t stop wanting my kids around. My love won’t quit.

Love like this is so confusing at times. But it is beyond beautiful.

And if this is how I feel about my own off-spring…how much more is God’s love for His children.

For me and you.

When I stray and leave Him and give Him attitude and fight Him…He just can’t stop loving me. Unbelievable.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” ~ Romans 8:15

Every prayer to our Father in Heaven who lovingly listened to our request is like us reaching up and pulling at His cloak with little hands, saying Abba! Father! Hear and respond please! We are His children, and His love is wide and deep and unending.

God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.  ~ Jerry Bridges

Rest in that love today.

Posted in Christian Living, Devotional, Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Theology | 1 Comment

Here’s My Hobby…My Home…

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I’ll never forget the day my mom decided she would paint our entire living & dining room red. I thought she was nuts. But I also knew that it was defintely time to paint over the beigey pink walls we had going on. And as we dipped our rollers into the paint we wondered if it was a big mistake. Luckily it wasn’t. The finished product was lovely in its time. It was a bold and risky choice that totally paid off.

From then on I was hooked on creativity in home decor. Growing up I was known by my family as having the tackiest bedroom around. And I took pride in it. At Christmas time my room was decked out with all my moms reject 70’s decorations, as well as my own home made stuff.

When I got older I insisted that my mom paint two of my bedroom walls bright yellow, and the other two bright blue. It was like an explotion. But somehow I loved it.

When the day came that I would get married and have the joy of decorating my own home (which was a little basement suit), I reveled in it. Browsing Michaels for Candle holders and picture frames was my happy place.

And today my love of home decor has organically turned into a hobby. One that if I didn’t have, I might go a little crazy. But let me just quickly address something. This blog will not turn into a home decor blog, and I’ll tell you why. Because as much as I love creating and moving around and flipping old into new, its all just STUFF. And stuff doesn’t really matter. Mason jars, although they are trendy now, will one day mean nothing to everybody.

Also, every stay-at-home mom on the planet does what I do, and I in no way think of myself as being original. Pallet wood projects? Yup, I do them. See, nothing new happening over here. I get inspiration all over the place, and very little of anything I do is ground-breaking.

Style is to each is own. And I love seeing the way other people decorate, because it shows who they are. Whether you know it or not, what you put on your walls is what you value. So I find the whole thing really interesting.

Now let me move on. I figure for you to get to know me better, maybe I should let you in to one of my favorite hobbies and show you my home and some of the projects I have had so much fun doing.

We are on a tight budget, so usually I am trying to work with stuff that I already have that I can flip, or something free like pallets, and supplies that are cheap from the dollar store. So most of my projects are small and cost less then $10. It is possible to flex your creative muscle whilst sticking to a very little budget. Also I love to bring the outside inside. Why buy a $6 bushel of fake branches from Michaels when you can just wait for a wind storm and then collect the debrie yourself!?

Without further ado, here are some not-so quality pics…

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Above is my front porch and front entrance. I got the owl from the dollar store! I built our coat hanger fence from old wood, added some paint and hooks and there you go!

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Because our kitchen has dark floors, counter tops and cupboards I try to have lighter colored stuff on top. I believe the beauty is in the details. That’s why I paint cork pot holders and the white tin that holds all of my spatula’s in the middle pic is a painted coffee tin that I wrapped in twine. Cheap and easy.

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I like my home to be functional. So everything that has a place on my counters are things I use daily. Which means I have to try and make it all also look pretty.

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This was one of my biggest projects. The buffet was my moms that I grew up with and it was about to go to MCC, so I painted it creamy white and then spray painted the hardware dark brown. I liked it so much I decided to paint my then black table the same color. So it became a matching set! It might be my favorite part of the house. (Don’t mind the toddler seats, I do have kids in the house which means all these pics are how things rarely look!)

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This is one of those center pieces that can stay the same all year round. And all I have to do is add some leaves to it for Fall and some pine cones for winter. And I got the sticks from my back yard.

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I don’t want my house to look like I am trying to hide the fact that I have kids. I just want everything to at least have a place.

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I made my headboard out of pallets and the canvas’s have verses from Song of Solomon on them (tame verses haha). And We have two rules for our bedroom and it might sound cold-hearted…No pictures of kids and no TV. Every other room and space of my house has pics of the family and I love it! But our room is for us. Also, my bedroom is a place for rest, not entertainment.

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This picture in our bedroom used to have a stock art picture in it with a browny red frame. I hated it. So I painted and distressed it. And got a roll of dollar store flowery shelf liner for the “art” and there you have it!

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I want my living room to be more cozy and inviting then anything else. So lots of blankets, pillows and candles is a must. It is well with my soul is one of my favorite hymns, so I had to put it on our wall. It serves as a constant reminder of what is important in life.

house3 My TV stand is my old dresser from when I was a teenager. I took out the top drawer and then built a DVD cubby from pallet wood. And the old door above my fireplace was built by a friend of mine who makes and sells stuff like that. I love it! My grandma got me the tiny rocking chair long before we had kids but now it is perfect for them. And the over-sized picture frame was also my grandma’s that I took the art out and painted.

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My my most recent DIY edition is a big soap dispenser jar that I made and am really happy with! And that is it! Your tour is officially over!

So what are your hobbies?

Posted in Homemaking, Life | 1 Comment

Let Me Direct You Elsewhere…

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7 Signs We May Be Worshiping Our Family: I can’t stress how important this is. It is possible that most of us are worshiping our families more than we think we are. I am going to pin this and return to it regularly as a reminder.

Things You Should Know About Introverts: Ya, I pretty much relate to every single one of these. It’s kinda nice knowing I’m not the only one!

16 Tips For Drama-Free Parenting: I have no idea how good this list is because I have yet to parent a tween (Lord help me). But I like to be ahead of the game and read about this stuff early instead of fumbling around in the middle of those tricky years.

Driscoll, Pop Culture, And Trying To Sound Like Chuck Palahniuk: I have lots of opinions about Mark Driscoll, but none of them really matter. He’s in a pretty big hole right now. And I feel sad for his family. But leave it to Ted Kluck to identify the subject so awesomely.

How To Dad – Cheerio’s: I think Cheerio’s has some of the most effective commercials. And this one has gone viral because it has an anti-idiot dad message. Which is refreshing. Also it’s cute. And funny.

Posted in Christian Living, Culture, Let Me Direct You Elsewhere, Parenting, Uncategorized, Video's | 1 Comment

Take Up Arms Of Prayer…

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My heart is heavy. There will be no picture of the week today. The happenings in Iraq and the persecution against Christians and so many others is big news right now and rightly so. Those are my brothers and sisters. My nieces and nephews. This morning all I could do is pray for justice against ISIS and protection for all the Iraqi’s running for there lives.

Children are being beheaded.

And I sit in my comfy chair drinking tea.

Prayer is my only contribution to help against this evil that is taking place. But as I read from Isaiah 40:15, Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastline like fine dust. I know that the God I consult is big. And these prayers are warfare.

As many Christians all over the world take up arms of prayer for God to be merciful, for justice to come, and for peace to prevail we are indeed fighting against evil. It may feel like nothing, or not enough, but our God is mighty. His Spirit unites us as one in our petitions. And so we will be strong for those who are weak.

Lord hear our plea!

But you, O God, will cast them down into the pit of destruction; men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in you. ~ Psalm 55:23

Whether it be on earth or death, justice will come. God will have His way, and so I will trust in Him. And I will keep praying that He will return in glory and judge the living and the dead. Oh, Come Lord Jesus. Please return!

Dear saints, pray with me!

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Do We Want Our Kids To Live Our Lives Over?…

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A couple of weeks ago I watched an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. In it Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Jessica Parker go for coffee in a very old Ford Country Squire that Parker had just got for herself. She bought it as a way to reminisce about the past and her childhood. And something Seinfeld said as they were driving around talking about parenting today and the way things were, has stuck with me ever since. He said this

“I can’t escape what I feel must be some narcissism. I grew up in the suburbs…didn’t like it; always wanted to live in the city. Now I want to live in the suburbs….I just want my kids to live my life over, that’s narcissism.”

I talk with my peers all the time about how, when I was eight I would hop on my bike and ride to my friend’s place and only come home when it started to get dark. You know, stories about being self-sufficient at a young age. We all have them. And we love to talk about them and how it used to be.

I just read another article from a stay-at-home dad bemoaning this “play date” era and how structured and adventure-sucking it all has become. I agree with him. I understand what he is saying. Although I haven’t experienced it much yet, because I live in a town home complex in which spontaneous play is regular. But I imagine once school friends become acquired I will begin to enjoy the awkwardness of play-dates.

However I remember how annoying it was when I was a kid and my parents would gripe about kids of that day and the way it was for them. Walking to school up hill both ways. Playing in the dirt because they were too poor for toys. Not having TV to watch. Having to wear home-made clothing.

And now I do the same thing. I bemoan the way things are today and wish my kids would have a childhood that resembled mine much more. Which is strangely kind of narcissistic. Isn’t it?

Of course we can always learn from the past. And I highly encourage that we do. I have consciously become more willing to not create fun for my kids and let them make their own. The TV goes off and I do housework, which means they have to entertain themselves without me micromanaging their time. I also try not to bust out the iPhones for the kids on long drives or at the restaurant because I want them to learn how to be patient and how to just be, without being amused by something flashy. And that is old-school in todays culture. I also long for more community in my life and world of parenting like back in the day, but not just because it’s an old-fashioned concept but because it is a biblical one.

However I’m kinda done romantisizing the past and trying to make my kids have my childhood. The culture has changed. And with it, so has parenting. But that’s how it continues to work every time a new generation is born. Things change. And now we have new challenges to navigate. Which may mean, not allowing our kids to ride their bikes alone till they are a little older. It may also mean, having coffee with an unknown mom so that our kids can play with each other for an afternoon. Which means I could also gain a friend.

What a terrible thing.

It could be worse. So how about instead of complaining about how we want things to go back to the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or pick your favorite era, how about we all just ask God to give us wisdom for today! And unless one of us figures out how to time-travel we all better get used to the age we are in.

Relax a little and try to enjoy it.

That’s all.

Posted in Culture, Homemaking, Motherhood, Parenting | Leave a comment