Monday, November 28, 2011

Sermon Part 2: Youth ministry

There are three problems with youth ministry: 1) there is no clear mandate in the Bible that we should have youth ministry 2) It takes the God-given responsibility from the parents and then also from the church as a whole 3) youth ministry has not accomplished what it started out to and now needs to be "reformed". Many churches have switched from having a youth group (ages 12-18) to what they now call "Students Ministries" and has expanded to include the college age "kids" too. Seems young adults no longer want to grow up and join "big" church bc there are no games and the songs are boring and the elders "just don't get it!" So a church within a church has been created, a sub-culture that does not include parents. They are being taught, whether out-right ot inadvertently, that "big" church is not relevent, the pastor doesn't understand you, only the youth minister fully understands, there is simply no place for you with the "big" church or place for your parents or church elders in your service. That the old ways no longer work, everything has to be new. No hymns, I think hymns are very relevent to us and it saddens me that so many churches simply refuse to ever sing a hymn anymore. See Colossians 4:2-6, Ephesians 2:10 and 4:11-14. I find it interesting regarding that last reference that some use these verses to back up "student ministries" but they cut it off before verse 14, that clearly states there comes a time to put childishness behind you. Hmmm..... We cannot find ant scripture supporting age seperation in church, instead we see many verses that would support integration instead. For example the Titus 2 mandate for the old women to teach the young women, you cannot have that happen if the older women are never around the younger women. You cannot OUTimpact a parent! Someone named Christian Smith did a survey on the theology of our youth to see what they believe: 1) a god exists - created and orders the world and watches over life (note though that this does not define God as the one and only, the Alpha/Omega, only acknowledges that a god does seem to exist) 2) God wants people to be good, nice and fair as taught in the Bible and most world religions (but there is none good - no not one, none righteous except God! This basically states that today's youth believe all religions are basically equal, that we all serve the same god, but this is simply not true! There is only one true God, the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The Great I Am!) 3) central goal of life is be happy and feel good about oneself (what about all the verses about serving others and not seeking self?) 4) God does not particularly need to be involved in one's life except as needed to resolve a problem (so we just ignore Him all other times?) 5) good people go to Heaven when they die (but the Jesus clearly states in the Bible, "no one comes to the Father but by me") This is the product or our youth ministries. I want to leave you with a few more thoughts. If you win a father's heart, you will gain his family! but churches try to do this backwards, they want to gain the children to get through to the parents, when it should be the other way around. Let the fathers lead their families, teach the fathers and encourage them! Trust that the Word, God's Word, is sufficient!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why? Why a family-integrated church? Part 1

Here are some of my notes and thoughts on my Honey's Sunday sermon, please keep in mind, these are MY notes and MY thoughts on what he taught. :) There are two reasons for a family-integrated church: 1) The Bible shows us a family-integrated example, 2) we want our babies to know what the Bible says about how a family should operate. In this day and age of professionalism, it seems like the trend is to trust everyone but yourself. You need to read better, hire a tutor; you need to build a house, hire a contractor; you need to be healthier, do everything the doctor tells you; you need to your children to learn the Bible, hire a sunday school teacher! Society has this mindset of leave it all to the professionals, forget using your brain or searching out answers for yourself, leave it all to the professionals and that attitude is seeping into our churches. They are the professionals in theology, they have ministry degrees and parents are left with the belief that these are the ones who should be teaching their children. That we need to leave our children to the experts, it's for the best, parents no longer believe that they are equipped to teach and nurture their own children. I hear it over and over in reference to homeschooling; "I could never do what you do", "I just don't have the patience", "I'm not that smart". It saddens me when moms tell me these things bc I just want to say but YOU are what's best for YOUR children, God chose you for them! He knew your weaknesses and wants to strengthen you for this task. I am not always patient! There are plenty of days that just fall apart! Don't think I don't question our decisions, sometimes weekly! However, I trudge on, I pray, I cry, I laugh and then I look at my babies and there are moments when it all works and in those moments I have the peace that we are right where we are supposed to be and that God is with us on our journey and has not left us alone, that He and He alone eguips me with all the things I need and all the things my babies need. The church (in general) is trying to conform to an unbiblical society. Instead of shaping society, the church is letting society shape it! We are supposed to be seperate from the world, we are supposed to be light in the darkness, to shine out! The professionals will do it for it, so you can sit back and just relax, leave everything to those who know what they are doing. The church will teach a politically correct view of Christ, the schools will teach government propaganda, and the cops will be our protection, no need to study your Bible, worry about what your children will learn or to bear your own arms! Children NEED correction and this is the parent's God-given responsibility. Psalm 78:1-8, Glenn stopped at verse 5 and asks, "What is this saying?" and Kirsten answered, "that you are to teach YOUR own children" and she added an emphasis on the your! Deuteronomy 6:6-7 We are to teach our children at all times, in all things. Then my mind wondered from the sermon a bit and I wrote this in my notes, feels so peaceful this way - Kayson is sleeping in my lap, laundry is going, lasagna in the oven, kiddos coloring while listening, Mama and Daddy are here too. Then I tuned back into the preaching. :) Is this only an Old Testament concept? Ephesians 6:1-5 fathers, bring them up in the NURTURE (not nature!) and ADMONITION (instruction) of the LORD! Salvation is NOT genetic! Our children need to hear the gospel. They need to know Christ! in their own everyday lives! They need to see Him in their parent's everday lives too. There are two differences in the traditional church and the family-integrated church. 1) There is no segregated sunday school. One person, among others that has influenced age segregration is Plato. In 380 B.C. he wrote that children should be seperated from their parents, he even went so far as to say that children should not even KNOW their own parents! That children should be raised by the state and they would be better for it! This goes directly against Biblical principles and mandates that fathers are to teach their own children in the ways of the Lord! I know children will not understand every thing they hear in every sermon every week but that's not really the point, The babies benefit from learning how to sit in service but also from seeing the example of their parents sitting in church, by seeing their parents engaged in the sermon and soaking up Biblical learning, they may learn more from witnessing their parents' reactions to church than any sermon could ever teach them. :) 2) There is no youth ministry. To be continued, Honey says, "come next week to hear why I changed my belief on youth ministry (what I believed I was called to)" I am looking forward to hearing what he has for us next week, he has already been working on it! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011


Saturday we took a trip to Tyler, to the new grocery store by Brookshire's called Fresh. I was so excited, I had heard so many wonderful things about it. We wanted to have lunch there bc they have an area with ready made food and places to sit, inside or out. As we are pulling into the parking lot, I am seeing this beautiful building and Kirsten notices a John Deere tractor outside one of the doors. That's the door we decide to walk into so I can get a pic of the babies standing beside that beautiful piece of machinery. :) If you ever decide to visit Fresh, you might want to take a jacket, the first thing I noticed upon entering was how cold it was! And then the local produce sign. We walk past the produce and the meat (sampled a smoked turkey and discovered they are $40!), past a fix your own salad area with all kinds of fresh chopped veggies or salsa to buy and then we get to the ready-made food area, they had chicken parmesean, twice baked potatos, spaghetti, quesadillas, all kinds of food! They said we could taste anything we wanted and as many things as we wanted! One thing I found interesting is they keep it all cold and don't heat it unless you are going to eat it there. Then we see a sandwich making station and a dessert station and there was an outside grill. The babies and I decided on Turkey sandwiches, mmmm, were they good! They really loaded on the turkey! I got mine on some kind of rosemary bread with bacon and toasted. It was so good! We decided to eat outside, it was so windy, the babies had to keep chasing the napkins! Then began our shopping! My that store is huge!! They had samples everywhere and employees everywhere! In produce we were told that they would cut anything we asked them to for tasting, they carry knives in their pockets for slicing! We decided to taste the cheapest apples and oh, they were so good! We bought some! bought some HUGE grapes after tasting them! Found some bins that were full of organic sugar, spelt flour, pumpkin seeds, animal crackers, sesame sticks, wasabi peas, granola, just all sorts of things with an employee present to help or to give you samples of any of it! There was a bakery with $30 cakes! and all kinds of breads, you could taste any or all and if you bought a loaf, they would slice it for you. You should have seen us there! We had Kayson in the stroller with an older child pushing it, a big racecar buggie with Keegan and Cayden *driving* and a small "costumer in training" buggie with an older child pushing it! lol, I am sure we were a sight to behold! I told the babies we were a parade! We sure got plenty of stares that day! lol only one stare seemed malicious, everyone else was smiling or curious. All the employees seemed very patient with all my kiddos, talking to them, making them feel special, making sure they got samples too if they wanted them. Once when Glenn took Cayden to the restroom, I was kinda looking lost I guess (I was wondering which aisle the canned pumpkin was on) bc a worker asked what I was looking for, took me straight to it and even asked how much I wanted, took it off the shelf and put it in the buggy for me! took us at least 4 hrs to eat and shop and just enjoy the experience! Every grocery store should be so enjoyable! We came home exhausted, with a van full of groceries and heads full of memories! :) I am already wondering when I can go back and if I can skim grocery $ out of every check to save for another trip out there in a few months.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

some questions

I started out this morning by asking the babies some questions about God and how they see the world, kinda testing to see if we are teaching them all that we should be. I wanted to find out their views of God, man, truth, knowledge and ethics. So I started with Chris by asking him what do you believe about God? "He gave us Jesus, made Heaven and angels, there is only one" He was a little stumped at first, like, unsure of what he thought I wanted to hear bc he wanted to answer correctly but I was just like just tell me what you think, the first things that come to mind. I didn't want to put answers in his mind, I wanted to know what he was thinking. All that to say that my babies answers are there own. :) what do you believe about man? "God made him out of dirt" what do you believe about truth? "the Bible is truth and always will be, no matter what people say" how do we know what we know? "the Bible says so" how do we know what is right or wrong? "bc our heart tells us" to which I was thinking uh oh do I need to clarify how we decide morals so I started my question so if my heart says, and before I could say anything else I hear, "no, God tells us, He talks to our soul and our heart and the Bible tells us too" I didn't need to continue my question about if your heart says one thing and mine says another does that mean it is wrong for me and right for you, he answered it on his own. Then it was Kirsten's turn, I did them one at a time so they didn't influence each other's answers. God - "He's all powerful, only one God" man - "God created them from dust and His own breath, I believe the Bible" truth - "in the Bible" knowledge - "God told someone to write the Bible" ethics - "we know it in our minds, the Holy Spirit tells us" I am so glad to hear to talk about the Holy Spirit and watch her relationship with Him grow! on to Cayden, God - "we pray to God, only pray to God" he talked about how we say our night night prayers, he really likes night night prayers. man - "God made us" truth - "we should always tell the truth" knowledge - "our schoolwork" I thought since I get Bible-based curriculum and he is only 5 that was a good answer. :) ethics - "God" Now Keegan, who entered the room about this time announcing that "Jesus died like a dinosaur", God - I thought about not asking this question bc he already compared Jesus to a dinosaur! lol he still had an answer though, "go to church" he really loves to go to church :) man - I had to tell him that God made people, God made you and me (he is only 2, well almost three!) to which he says, "God made Chris-y too!" truth - I just told him to always tell the truth knowledge - I asked him who's your teacher and he pointed to Kirsten and I was like no so then he points to me ethics - I asked how do you know if something is wrong? he pointed to me, so then I asked, what does mommy do if you get in trouble? he said, "spank" yep, I think he understands that concept well! :) And then there was Kayson, lol, he's just one but bc Kirsten said I needed to question him too, I did and he actually *answered* every question! I have no idea what he said but he sure was telling me all about each one, even pausing his jabbers so I could ask him the next one! I love my little family and feel so privileged to have the chance to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord our God! Our wonderful Saviour! How blessed we are to be able to homeschool and make sure they get these most important foundations early on!

Friday, November 11, 2011

100 things I believe in

1) God, the Almighty, my heavenly Father, omnipotent, omnipresent and all knowing
2) The Bible - the infalible word of God (see above)
3) Jesus Christ, my personal Lord and Savior who died on the cross for my sins to save me from eternal damnation! yep, I said it.
4) Holy Spirit, comforter, guide and imparter of truth
5) tongues, a personal prayer language, powerful
6) family-integration in church, I am really loving this new journey we are on! :)
7) homeschooling - we love it
8) large families - define it how you will :)
9) modesty, I mean, seriously, girls, cover it up!!!
10) discipline - let your children know who's in charge and stand firm, make them take responsibility for their actions and teach them obedience!
11) Easter
12) Christmas (my favorite holiday!)
13) Bibllical submission - wives to their husbands, husbands to the Father, nope this is one female that is NOT a feminist!
14) murder is wrong! Yes, that includes abortion! We do not get to decide who lives and who dies, who has the privilege of being born and who doesn't, that is God's decision!
15) pumpkins! :) I love them, all bright and orange, I just love decorating with them.
16) church membership
17) paying tithes, the whole 10%, sometimes it may seem impossible but if you will take it off the top, no matter what, God will bless and provision will come from unexpected places, Godplaces! :)
18) family, family, family!
19) government - order in all things
20) that the government needs to get their noses out of our business!!
21) marraige is defined as one man and one woman joined together for life
22) divorce is a dirty word!
23) friends, we were meant to share this journey together
24) facebook isn't to the blame, the people who use it wrong are to blame
25) generosity
26) SNOW! too bad it doesn't much here in Tx!
27) baths not showers, cleanliness by immersion! not by small little drops coming out of the wall! :)
28) speaking of immersion, let's add baptism to this list
29) and speaking of baptism, let's add standing up for what you believe in to this list!
31) that this list is harder to make than it at first seems like it will be, seriously, 100 things?!? :)
32) smiles - give them freely
33) exclamation marks bc seriously, shouldn't we be excited about life!?!
34) question marks bc how else will you find out necessary information?
35) a good story
36) some good country music!
37) if I change the word things in the title to people than I can list each person I believe and this will go a tad faster :)
38) Honey, my Honey, Glenn David Derr III, my DH, just learned that stood for dear husband! :)
39) Kirsten, my oldest, my only daughter, she is so beautiful and such a great help, I am so blessed to have her!
40) Chris, my clown, the one who believes in a good laugh but will protect me from all those evil bugs!
41) Cayden, my middle one, oh, my, you never know what's he's thinking, what will pop outta of his mouth next!
42) Keegan, my two yr old, such a strange child, I was told today that he is an entertaining child, I'm still trying to figure out if that was a compliment or not as he was running circles around her children who were minding their own business, riding their toys when she said it!
43) Kayson, such a sweet, happy baby boy!
44) music!
45) you need to be careful what you're allowing into you're children's minds
46) entertainment is NOT just entertainment!
47) Horror movies are NOT ok! they are not fun, they are evil.
48) halloween should be taboo in your home
49) park days
50) mommy dates
51) courtship - teens have no business dating!
52) abstinence till marrraige - maybe you should consider not kissing till your wedding ceremony
53) Biblical judgement, if the Bible says it is wrong, then, it is wrong!
54) on the other hand, there are times when people just need to mind their own business!
55) LOVE!!!!!
56) Hymns! I love them, well most of them, if they are sung right, wow, some powerful pretty words in the old hymns
57) poetry
58) It's a slow fade, look up the song on iTunes
59) the virgin birth
60) Don't mess with my family, especially my children!
61) Heaven
62) hell
63) Dancing, tastefully, even an infant will move to the music!
64) laughter
65) TRUTH!!! liars will find their place in the lake of fire! God hates lies! the truth fitly spoken in love will set free!!!!!!!!
66) go to the source
67) adult time!
68) PRAYER!!!!
69) annointing with oil!
70) obedience
71) eating meat
72) reading well, everyone should
73) not every person is good, there are those that mean things for evil and while I think in most cases we should believe the best of people, there are times that we need to be aware of wolves in sheeps clothing
74) black friday shopping, it's fun! but children don't belong in the stores that day!
75) good strong names, go ahead ask me what my babies' names mean :)
76) kisses
77) hugs
78) affection in general
79) No electronics day, we have one once a week
80) sometimes good people need assistance, even government, and that doesn't make them bad people
81) sometimes you just need quiet
82) flowers, I love flowers, mini roses
83) living in the country
84) the CROSS!! PTL! thank you Jesus!
85) butterflies, they are so beautiful!
86) SLEEP!
87) naps
88) fun!
89) boys and girls are different! they are made different in the womb! its nature, not nuture, a boy is a boy is a boy and vice versa!
90) courage
91) nail polish! :)
92) broccoli
93) chips and dip and comfort food!
94) it's not the holidays without lumpias!
95) some people change
96) the Trinity!
97) breastfeeding, natural = yes, always easy = no!
98) the creation as laid out in the Bible, God did it in six 24 hr periods!
99) a day of rest! God did!
100) finishing well! yea! this one is done! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bad Looks for Large Families! :(

posted this status on FB yesterday upon leaving Wal-Mart: "How do you explain society and why we get bad looks in wal mart for having a large family to an 11 yr old?" Which prompted a discussion among my friends as to why people stare and maybe cause they're curious, I don't mind the curious stares and have even answered the curious questions, usually when people are staring out of curiousity and you catch them staring they will smile or look slightly embarassed or say sorry or something of that nature and you know they aren't having mean thoughts and then I smile back or say that's ok, or have the babies say hi but they were very few smiles for my babies yesterday, maybe cause it was monday, remind me never to visit Wal-Mart on a monday again! lol The question of are we a large family also came up in some of my friends comments, we starting getting all the are you done yet, oh you have such a sweet family, why would you need more, don't you know what causes that, just how many more are you going to have etc when I was pregnant with #3!!! yep the norm in the US isn't even 2 babies per family!! So by society's standards we are a large family, even though quite often I still think of us as a little family! How's that for irony. So I decided to tell my whole Wal-Mart story in this comment that I posted: "yesterday was a no electronics day, so everything I was doing was on my phone and I didn't feel like typing a long comment from my phone. :) so here goes, my kiddos were being (by my standards) distracting at times and the afternoon had already been a rough one (eye appt before that and the glasses place giving me the run around and explaining everything to me 2 or 3 times, I mean do I look stupid?) but I needed groceries, so we found ourselves in the middle of the frozen food aisle, we had already been through most of the grocery section as we had started at the milk and on almost every aisle there was someone (never the same someone) with a not very nice, shall we say scowl, for us and some of those times my kiddos were actually behaving! and mind you, while my boys were frustrating me, I have seen far worse behavior by others children, like I said, I have pretty high standards and expectations for my children's behavior, I had also already ran over the foot of the one that kept trying to run around the buggy (he had already been swatted for this after having been sternly spoke to several times). I did get a good laugh on one aisle (might have been what actually got us ALL out of Wal-Mart in ONE piece! lol) I was giving Chris the "eye" for not getting Kayson's stroller out of another lady's way fast enough, she had 2 kiddos of her own with her, and she goes "oh, I understand!" and we both just laughed, it was a good tension breaker! :) so we are in the freezer aisle and Chris and Kirsten were being a tad louder than I wanted and this old lady shoots us a look dripping with disdain and that was the last straw! I looked at my olders and said, "look, everyone is looking at us! they already look bc we are a big family and now they are looking bc you won't behave, and they're NOT smiling! and I'm getting a headache and I just can't handle it today! so just be nice so we can get OUT of here!" The looks on my babies faces when I enlightened them that we are indeed a large family were good! wish I had that on video (not my rant, but their looks! LOL). so anyways, this must have stayed on Kirsten's mind the rest of the store and she must've known better than to ask before we were all checked out bc as we are walking out of the store (thankful that daddy came by on his way home from work to help us load up! He got their right as we started checking out! I was soooooo thankful for a friendly face!) she starts asking about big families and why would people stare and why would anyone else care how many babies we had and how can you control how many babies you have (I skipped that question!) and I said that society thinks you should only have 2 or 3 babies, which prompted the what is society question and I found myself stumped as to how to explain society in 11 yr old understandable terms. that prompted my status, searching for how I can explain what society means and why it seems to dictate so much of what people do and believe. Sorry so long but that was the reason behind my status. :) thanx for reading if you made it all the way to the end. love you, my friends." and so I leave you with this question, "How do you explain society and why we get bad looks in wal mart for having a large family to an 11 yr old?"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our First Service

This morning was our first service as Hallsville Family Fellowship. I know it's been a few weeks since I have posted and I neglected to tell you that we are starting a Church in our home. We are so excited to see what God has in store for us. We pray that He will guide us through all this. We all worked really hard to make our house presentable. I see God's blessings and hand upon us. We got up this am and the kiddos cleaned their rooms, we had breakfast and did baths (bc cleanliness is next to Godliness :) right?) and lunch was in the crock pots, Honey worked on his sermon some more and we were ready to praise our God. My daddy came to our first service (mama is still with my Meme and Papa, she took them to Santa Fe last week) and he made our bulletins. Since it was just us this first Sunday, Honey decided we would watch a video sermon and he would preach his on a future Sunday. We started with prayer and went right into P&W. Oh, I so enjoy hearing all my babies singing and watching them fell free to express their love for God. Even my two year old was singing "power in blood, power in blood"! So, precious! We enjoy being not so...ummmm...formal. :) We then had an old testament scripture reading, we read Deuteronomy 6 aloud. We are still learning how we want the order of service to go, forgot to take up an offering this am. Then as we settled in to watch the message, the little boys sat at the school table (yep, it's in my living room!) to color in coloring books, daddy sat down to hold a sleeping Kayson, Honey sat down with the DVD remote, pen and paper for note taking and I and the two olders sat on the floor with a big pile of socks for sorting (no sock sorting will not be a weekly practice, LOL, but it seemed like a good way to keep hands busy and minds listening). Occasionally someone would have a question and we would stop the video and discuss. We had Bibles open and Strong's out and us three adults were engaged in a time of scripture searching and you could see the older kids watching us discuss and I know they were listening. We ended in prayer and had lunch, Roast, potatoes, greenbeans and a store bought pumpkin pie tart thing. I so enjoyed our time in the Lord this morning and really look forward having other families join us. Daddy headed home after lunch and we watched Flywheel together as a family and then had "quiet time". Thank you, Jesus for all you have done for us, thank you for the opportunity to serve you and for us to worship you together as a family. Amen!