If you aren't, you should be.
I recently read a blog by a female evangelist who is successfully living in her calling, with a ministry that is ssooooo needed. I continued reading and learned that, according to her Amazon account, she had read 200 books on apologetics, theology, or faith in the past four years! Holy cow!! So what does Victoria do? She does the math. That is 50 books a year, about 4 books a month, nearly 1 book per week, and (depending on the length of each book), roughly 30-50 pages per day! Plus, I assume, her daily Bible reading, study, and prayer time. All the while growing three babies from toddlers to kids and blogging 3-5 times per month. Her name is Natasha Crain and you can see visit her wonderful ministry here (www.christianmomthoughts.com).
Now, while we can’t all be what seems to be super-mom (although, if you ask our children, that is what they would call us), we can fulfill our purpose through the calling that the Lord has placed in our lives at this time. Keeping in mind that the purpose of our existence is to glorify god and make Him famous, all callings are important. Simply put, one’s calling is the means by which God has a person glorify Him and spread His name. While our calling may change in life, our purpose is steadfast: to glorify God. In doing so, He will continue to spread throughout the world. (For more on this topic, check out this book.)
Miss Crain’s calling may seem more glamorous than yours or mine to the human eye, but to God its importance is exactly the same. And, if you are anywhere close to the same place in life as I am right now, that calling doesn’t look so glamourous. It looks like a two-year-old with a water hose and an unlimited supply of dirt, used eraser shavings all over the dining room table because that “b” is written as a “d” for the 29th time, scheduling another conference call with the science teacher because she insists on teaching your 8th grader that evolution is the only viable explanation for the origin of life, and Sunday morning mascara smeared across your face because “Satan just won’t leave your family alone on Sunday mornings!” which caused you to loose your temper with your husband, yell at the kids until they dragged themselves out of the house, and popped one (on account of your frustration, not their misbehavior) because they seemed to be taking a little too long getting inside the church (after all, you are already seven minutes late).
This messy, unglamorous calling on the lives of moms is just that: messy. And it doesn’t get easier. Soon the wishes of them getting the pee and poop in the potty and dressing themselves turns into pre-puberty attitudes. Then, before you know it, they are coming home from college…different. They introduce you to their transgender friend (which, by the way, they think is Biblically supported), they write a paper on the positive impact of the “New Atheist Movement” in your community, or get upset because you won’t financially support the LGBT Special Olympics taking place in your town (after all, you do have a special needs child…why would you not support this?).
These examples may seem extreme to you, but they are the culture in which we live. Many of your reading this live in “Bible-belt” areas (mainly the southeastern United States) so you consider yourself “safe” from our ever changing culture. Well, if that is you, let me pop your bubble. Literally, if I have to. You are not “safe” from the changing culture in which we live. What should shake you more than that is this: Your children are not safe from this culture. Let me tell you a story…
As a child I attended church weekly, went to VBS, said my prayers and tried to read my Bible. As a teenager I was actively involved in our youth group. I went on youth trips, worshipped, learned, and was at church every time the doors opened. I thought I was growing. I was competitive in two sports - soccer and pageantry (yes, that is a sport, but we can argue about that later). My parents were good examples. I had great teachers. I even attended Campus Crusades for Christ my first year of college. Somewhere along the way it seemed reasonable that, since God loves both homosexuals and heterosexuals, and since God is love, if two people love each other homosexuality should be OK. Likewise, God is God. I worship God as a Christian, other’s worship him as a Muslim, others as Mormons, and so forth. As long as we are all worshipping God and He is being glorified, that is enough, right? Then there was The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes which helped me live out the scripture that says if we ask and believe, then it will happen. So I started the motto, “See it! Believe it! Achieve it!” For pageantry this was very helpful.
Then came a problem in my mind. The problem was the Holy Spirit. He told me my thinking was incorrect, but I couldn’t tell you how it was wrong. I couldn’t grasp the truth behind why homosexuality was wrong (saying, “the Bible says so” just wasn’t enough for me). Learning how to articulate the truth and purpose of purity, as well as the difference in orientation and acting on that orientation corrected my thought process. Consider Eve: being tempted wasn’t the sin. Acting on that temptation is what destroyed the perfect union between God and humans (see Genesis 3).
Likewise, while I knew that Hindu’s didn’t worship the same god as Christians, I couldn’t figure out how the God of Christianity and the god of other religions was so different. He had to be the same one, worshipped in different ways. Again, saying, “Jesus said that He is the only way” wasn’t enough because other religions also believed in Jesus’s teachings. Learning about the facts and evidence behind the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, biblical and extra-biblical, changed everything.
The same is true with my former love of the Law of Attraction (as is defended in The Secret), which says that you will attract whatever you think. It made sense in my mind, but it’s anti-Gospel. Consider Jesus, who prayed for God to remove his forth-coming crucifixion (Luke 22:42). Had it stopped there we could all be dead. Literally. Dead in our sins. Dead forever. However, he prayed that His Father’s will be done, not His own human will. He was the ultimate servant-giver, rather than the selfish receiver. The Gospel teaches the first, the Law of Attraction teaches the last. These teachings do not work with the Gospel, they go directly against the Gospel.
I share this story with you not to scare you or make you anxious or worrisome about the future of your children. Rather, I share it to plead with you. I plead with you and God - for you, Mama - and for your children; that you would take the steps necessary to teach your children the truth behind the Gospel.
Bible stories are great. Well, Bible stories are a must! Sharing the Gospel is a even more of a must! But teaching your children the reasons why we can know with great certainty the Gospel is true changes their life forever.
This is pivotal because it doesn’t stop with your children. Teaching your children why they believe what they believe allows them to be a conduit of change. Rather than learning as a child and dismissing it as “superficial,” “unnecessary,” or “outdated” as they grow into young adults, the hope is that they will hang on to the facts they have learned. They will understand that it is OK to question, seek answers, and think intellectually about God. Furthermore, they will stand up to the facts when put in a compromising situation.
If your name is “Mama” this is your calling. You have been sent (Mark 6:7) to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). And you have been sent to do it NOW, right where you are. When you are completely dependent upon Jesus for the journey, He will provide exactly what you need (Mark 6:8), including the knowledge and boldness to prepare your children to take a stand for Truth in a world that is waiting to devour them like a pack of wolves. Mama, are you ready?"
Victoria Harris holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Victoria is a lover of Jesus, a wife, biological mom of a preschooler and adoptive mom of a tween. She is a former Miss Florida Teen USA and Mrs. Florida United States. Follow her on twitter @VictoriaDHarris, Facebook at www.facebook.com/vdharris or instagram @VictoriaHarrisInsta.
My 3-year-old, Billy Wayde and 10-year-old, Asa, are best friends, even though they have only known each other for seven months.
Their kind of attachment brings many "taking it out on each other moments." After being disciplined due to one of these oh-so-precious moments, he said, "I think I need to go pray."
As he wiggled his way into the chair that I tossed in his closet due to lack of space, I was in awe. He was sitting in his father's rocking chair, praying to his Father for love, patience, and forgiveness.
Though it was hard to leave him, I snapped a pic and walked out, leaving it between he and God. I've always said that I would never invade the private conversations my children and husband have with their Creator.
But, it did make me stop and think. Why did he go to the chair in his closed closet? I told the story to my mom and she said, "Hasn't he seen you in your closet?" Tears fell down my face as I thought, "Yes, but not enough."
As the close of Christmas 2017 approaches it makes me think - what are my children seeing from their Mama? Are they seeing me wrapped up in lights, presents, and tradition? Or are they seeing me wrapped up in Jesus? Do they see a servant like Jesus or one seeking more stuff for their castle?
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -Mark 10:45
Addressing Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (See video at bottom)
On the surface it seems like God might simply want “good behavior” from His creation, doesn’t it? After all, in the creation story He gives Adam and Eve free reign over everything and only gives them one order: to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Seems simple enough, right? Maybe not.
That is when I was reminded of Adam and Eve. Had Eve made a different decision perhaps I wouldn’t be struggling with so much sickness and pain right now. After all, one of the repercussions of their actions was that women would have great pain in childbearing.
I thought, “What if I was Eve? Would I have ‘behaved?’” The answer is no. I would have made the same decision as Eve and Tate would have been right beside me, silent, just like Adam.
Referencing Satan, Isaiah 14 says, “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the Earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the pets of the pit” (v. 12-15).
Talk about a bolt of lightening striking the night sky. That is how I feel when reading this scripture. More often than not, I intentionally or unintentionally attempt to ‘make myself like the most High.’ If we are honest with ourselves, we all know we would have made the same destructive decision as Adam and Eve. In fact, we all do it, probably multiple times a day.
We know this through the work of Jesus Christ. Scripture tells us that He was the only perfect person to walk the Earth (see 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21). Even Pilate, who condemned Him, said to the people demanding he be sentenced to death, “I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him” (John 19:4).
Rather than focusing on redemption, America’s newfound religious movement, MTD, teaches that being “moral” and “happy” can be obtained apart from God. (See this video for examples.) Rather than being good in and of our own self-control and behavior modification techniques, we can only gain righteousness when we admit that 1) we don’t have the ability to do it ourselves, 2) Jesus Christ is the only one who has the ability to do it for us, and 3) His perfect life, death, and resurrection cleanses our bad and replaces it with His purity, allowing us to be resurrected with Him after death.
Don’t let the subtle, inciting schemes of Satan blindly lead you to the desert. #reDISCOVERtruth #RaisingDefenders #BeautyofTruth #MTD
Just the Facts:
When God gives you a detour sign...
A few weeks ago it was laid on my heart to write a personal blog about what the Lord is doing now, four months after becoming parents of two crazy, wild, lovable boys…But I just didn’t have the energy. It was all I could do to keep the kids alive until Dad got home.
Now, with a day and a half of some relief, this is what I feel lead to share with you…
I guess the Lord has a sense of humor, as we are batting 3 for 3 in 3 years. Yep! If the Lord continues with His plan we will have added three kiddos to the Harris family in just three short years. Whew! (You can take a minute to gather your thoughts on that. Trust me, it took more than a minute for the parents of these sweet babies to pick each other up off the floor.)
With each pregnancy has come a specific lesson learned. He has highlighted one area of His sovereignty to teach me with every child.
Yes, absolutely, as long as we completely love Jesus. Let me explain.
When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment in the Law, he responded: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”(1)
What does it mean to love the Lord with all your heart? Often times, and in this case, “heart” and “soul” are used interchangeably.(2) I think it is well worth it to point out that the heart is the center of our personal life. Romans 2:15 tells us that the heart is the seat of consciousness, which where our evil desires arise. Due to the Fall it is naturally wicked and can only be regenerated in the saving work of Christ. Only then will we willingly obey the Lord’s command to love Him with all our heart…soul…and mind.
What does it mean to love the Lord with all your soul? Simply put, it means to love the Lord with every ounce of affection you have. The soul is what transcends our physical body when we die. The spirit, which has arguably been said to be a faculty of the soul, along with the mind, will, intellect, desires, and so forth, is how we communicate with God. The word soul, as used in this Scripture (also see Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27), refers to one’s affections. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible refers to loving the Lord with all your soul as with one’s entire affection.(3) As moms, we strive to give our kids everything, especially to show them love. But are we loving them with our entire affection and giving God the leftovers?
Victoria is a wife, mom, ambassador of Jesus, and a lover of all things that involve learning.