Sunday, January 18, 2009

End of the Book

So I was teaching the Sabbath School class yesterday and we were talking about Spiritual Gifts. I asked the class if that was something from the days of the disciples. "That's all in the book of Acts. We don't have Spiritual Gifts anymore, right?"

Of course many in the class responded with an emphatic No! Spiritual gifts are still being used by God's people today for their intended purpose - to strengthen and build "the church" meaning wherever God's people are gathered.

But one man took it one step beyond. His comment still stops me in my thoughts and sometimes even makes me shiver. "The Book of Acts isn't a closed book. It's not finished."

The point: We are all disciples of Jesus called to spread the good news of His love to a hurting world. The Acts of the Apostles isn't finished, because God's people are still acting/doing/moving/working. More importantly, God is still acting/doing/moving/working.

What an awesome thought. The Book of Acts has final chapters still to be written. There is still work to do.

musings and cogitations

Saturday, January 10, 2009


It is hard to believe I have a teenager in the house. I certainly don't feel old enough to have given birth to a child that is now a teenager. Yet at the same time, Michael appears to be making the adjustments into adolescence is his own way; advanced on one hand and behind on the other. So the full throes of teenage woes have yet to make themselves known. I am grateful.

There is one little issue that continues to bother me though, room assignments. Our small house has only three bedrooms. For some, that is a luxury, so I'll try not to complain too much. However, for us, it can be a real challenge. With six years between Michael and his younger brother Matthew, it makes things a little tense at times.

Matthew has as much drive and passion for life as a professional race car driver, all wrapped up in a seven-year old body. To his young mind, if he wants to do something, he should just do it. He doesn't understand the difference between Michael's agility and therefore ability to do things that he cannot. He just wants to copy his older brother, in everything. In some ways, this keeps Michael from growing too fast, so perhaps it is a good thing, but at the same time I'm fairly certain some of Michael's likes and dislikes would change if room assignments were different.

Greta, being the only female child in the family, gets a room to herself, but at 5 1/2, she is closer in age to Matthew than Michael is. What keeps us from putting them in the same room is the gender difference. So, we are stuck with a teenager and a seven-year old in the same room. Conflicts arise on a regular basis because Matthew is still in the stage of immediacy. When he wants Michael's attention, it is right then. Michael however would like to retreat into one of his favorite hobbies, reading. Tonight was another episode of an all too familiar scenario: Matthew coming to me crying because his feelings were hurt since Michael ignored him when he wanted to play.

I still think there is another solution to our problem and I will continue to pray about it, but in the meantime the issue has taught me a few lessons and given me a few reminders. One of the biggest reminders is about togetherness. Jesus asked if two could walk together unless they were agreed. Because of their age differences, Michael and Matthew don't always agree. I'm trying to help them understand that each of them wants something and that doesn't mean the other is wrong. It is just that their age difference makes things so difficult. Yet at the same time, they are both boys and they both love building with legos and dreaming up the perfect space ship. As Michael embraces adolescence more and more, the difference in age will manifest itself proportionately. I hope I can continue to remind them of all the things they still have in common and can choose to build their relationship on these instead of their differences.

Perhaps the same thing happens with Christians. For whatever reason, there are differences among us. You can be greatly different from the person sitting in the pew in front of you. Since God calls each of us into a personal relationship with Him, we have to admit the fact that we are all at different stages in our journey with God. There may be vast differences in our "spiritual ages," but there are still many things we have in common that we can build our relationships on.

So I'll thank God for the lessons learned and pray for strength when the tension between two boys gets to be too much. A four bedroom house might be on my prayer list as well.

musings and cogitations