Ski Lesson

 David really wanted to go skiing with someone yesterday, and he didn’t have to twist Elias’ arm too hard to convince him to come along.  David got Elias’ skis on all by himself.  He spent a lot of time trying to get Elias to hold his poles right, and poor Elias who still has trouble getting his thumb in the hole of his mitten had a tough time gripping it properly.

 After a few minutes of frustration, David finally realized that beginners don’t start with poles.  So he took Elias’ poles away and said he can work up to using them since he’s a beginner.  I coyly asked David why he got to use poles.
“Mommy…I’ve been skiing for 3 years.”  (eyeroll)
O.  Right.

 The sisters decided to cheer them on from the kitchen window.  Solveig loved watching them, and Silje loved holding her so she could watch.

 Elias was a bit unsure at first.  It took awhile to figure out how to move with  them on, and whenever they would glide, it would strike him off balance.

 David skied around the yard to show him how it was done.  After he sped around for about 10 minutes, he enticed Elias to leave the driveway and go off into the yard and loop around the playground, chicken coop, and come on back. 

Elias had fun, but was quick to get the skis off after their loop, and plow some snow with his metal tractor.

Just now as I write this, David is out for a quick after-breakfast-ski before his reading lesson will start.  There’s not much snow in our yard, but he won’t let any of it go to waste while we have it.  Elias is inside this time.  David said he’ll give him another lesson later.  For now he just wants to race fast for a few minutes.

He and Silje’s first official youth race is just a few weeks away, you know.  He’s in training now.
Just like Daddy.

Please Explain to Me (political tangent)

Would someone out there please explain to my why the right to birth control and abortion = automatic funding.  I’m so sick to death of hearing that taking away funding for abortions is taking away someone’s right to something.

For instance, I have a right to own a gun.  In fact, most Americans do if they don’t have some sort of violent crime record.  Does that mean that if I want a gun, the government should give me one?  Does that mean that someone out there owes me a gun because I have the right to own one?

Let’s say I need a gun for my safety.  Let’s say my life depends on it.  Let’s say I live out in Montana in bear country and I will not be able to go on my daily walk if I’m not carrying a gun.  Will the government give me one then?

What about elective surgeries.  Multiple studies prove that pretty people get more attention, interview better and easily make more money.  Does that mean that everyone who is ugly is entitled to plastic surgery because their future happiness depends on it?  If I am born with a huge nose, it’s not enough to have the right to surgery. I shouldn’t have to pay for it.

The Obama administration is trying to make this claim.  In order for the right to birth control, abortive medications, or an abortion itself, it should be free.  Well, it should be free to those who want them.  Someone, though, will pay.

The one right which is not looked on too favorably by Obama is the right to practice religion.  You see, if you are a religious organization and have employees, you are required to pay for their “right” to this type of care even though it goes against your beliefs.  In the eyes of Obama, you can believe whatever you want.  It shouldn’t effect your actions, though.  Your actions should be whatever he says.  He’s not asking for your heart.  He’s asking for your cash.

He does not believe that where your treasure is, there your heart is.  He believes you can spend money on something you hate and your heart will not be affected.  He’s asking you to believe that too.

This tangent was raised in me when I read this article recently which is a call from the Catholic church saying they don’t want to have to pay for health care that covers these procedures and medications that are directly against their belief system.  I’m not Catholic.  I’m Lutheran who is pro-life.  Currently the Catholic church does pay for health care for their employees that omits these controversial, optional points.  They are not against universal health care.  They just don’t define birth control as maintaining “health.”

In their eyes, (and mine) abortions means death, not health.  As far as medications, the pill is essentially breaking a perfectly healthy organ of the body with the hopes of it being temporary.  The morning after pill is the same exact pill as “the pill” just a higher dosage.  I say “hopes of it being temporary” because even in my small circle of friends, I know a handful that have had trouble getting pregnant after being on the pill for many years, or suffered multiple, “unexplained” miscarriages after coming off the pill…which are both associated with that medication.  How is that maintaining health?

If abortion is a right, and sex is a basic human need, why isn’t the government providing sex as well?  If that is a basic human need, they should be making prostitutes available.  What would we say to any man who demanded sex from a woman because sex was a basic need of his, and he was entitled to it?

If going to church is a right, why do I have to tithe?  The government should be paying my pastor to maintain my spiritual health.  Isn’t spiritual health important?  It’s my right to have one.

In fact, maybe we should be handing out cars to people who get their driver’s license!  I mean, they have just received the right to drive.  We wouldn’t want to hinder that right based on finances.  Maybe they need a car for their job.  Are you saying they should be unemployed because they don’t have a car?

Whether or not I agree with it (and I don’t) I simply do not understand the logic.  Why should something be paid for because it is a right?  Why should the government decide what I need and who should provide it for me?  Pulling funding on abortions would no more be damaging to a woman’s right to reproductive health than pulling funding for handing out guns to single mothers trying to protect their kids in gang infested neighborhoods.  O wait…

BUT you say, if you hand out free guns someone may get killed or physically hurt.

My point exactly.

added 2/1/2012:
I want to thank those who have chosen to comment.  I’ve actually been surprised that the comments for the most part have been pretty respectful on both sides.  There are many I disagree with, but have left up because I think they are made with the intent to discuss the issue.  There are some that cheer me on, and I most definitely left those up!  There has been a small handful that I deleted and that’s because they were either on the verge of being nasty, or just made me want to throw up or shout at someone.  It’s not that the person doesn’t have the right to their opinion, but this is still my blog and I have the freedom to be the judge of what to leave up and what to delete.  On this particular page, censorship is my right.  If someone wants to exercise their freedom of speech, I suggest they start their own blog and write as much as they like.)

I’m Blessed

Yesterday when I was teaching my little Sunday school class, our memory verse talked about hiding God’s word in our heart.  We talked awhile about what that meant.  One aspect of that is memorizing the Bible, which is something I’ve been trying to work with them on this year.  I talked to them about how once we put God’s word in our heart, no one can take it from us.  They could take the Bible and burn it.  They could steal the Bible.  They could make owning a Bible against the law, but no one could take it out of their hearts.

Then we talked about how God’s word helps us to not sin.

It didn’t take long before the kids asked more about why someone would ever take a Bible, or make owning a Bible against the law.  None of the kids in the class (my own Silje included) had ever heard that in some places of the world, it is against the law to own a Bible.  Silje told me later she knew it happened before from history books, but did not know it was still going on today.

None of them knew about the persecution of Christians going on in the world.  Somehow we got talking about things around the world, and none of them knew that people actually starved to death.  They all thought that was something in history.  They tried to problem solve: couldn’t they just grow some food,  kill an animal, go to the store?  These precious, innocent children could not imagine a world where Jesus was hated, the ground was too dry to grow food, and there were no animals to shoot.

I’ve learned so much this year teaching Sunday school on how much I assume the kids know, and am surprised they have never heard.  Only one kid in my class knew John 3:16 in my class.  None had ever heard the story of the Good Samaritan.  Now, I realize our curriculum has been covering mainly Old Testament stories.  They’re only 7-8 ish years old and there’s a lot of Bible to cover.  I don’t expect them to know each and every Bible story by 2nd grade.

It is amazing to see kids hear these stories for the first time.  It is so amazing to see them grasp Biblical truths for the first time.  Truths I figured everyone knew, and have become so dull to me.

As for the I’m Blessed list, I think you may know where I’m going with this story.  I know there is always stuff to complain about in our country, and even things to really fight for and we will always have to fight for.  Now is not that time.  Now is the time to be grateful.

I’m Blessed:
to own a Bible.
Several copies in multiple translations.  Also, Bible study materials like concordances, Bible dictionaries, commentaries…(I used to work at a Bible bookstore in college and it sort of shows on my bookshelf).

to be able to meet with other Christians at a church on Sunday.
So many Christians around the world have to meet in secret, and at the risk of their lives.  We can drive up in our minivan in broad daylight, stay the morning, have a potluck, and discuss church business in an annual meeting afterward.  Just like that.  No soldiers, no secret handshakes, no fear of being discovered.

to be able to teach God’s word to children daily.
The Bible is big and there are lots of questions that sometimes take a lifetime to answer.  Kids won’t get it all in a day.  They don’t get it in a sitting.  Discipleship is a continual thing.  To see those light bulbs go off over and over, without any fear that they may tell the authorities on us, or mistakenly talk about Jesus in public and be removed from my home. 

to have to explain things like starvation, hunger, homelessness, alcoholism, and persecution to my kids.
They don’t have to live it.  They get to have to wrap their minds around such ideas, but the don’t have to live them.  They can learn these things through words and books and not personal experience.

If you’d like to participate in this “blog party” by leaving your comments, I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, while I’m at suggesting you do stuff, if you have kids you may be interested in  It’s the kid’s website for Voice of the Martyrs and has lots of resources for teaching kids about the persecuted church.  I may be going through that this week to see if there is some things I can bring to Sunday school next week.  I shouldn’t need to say this, but be sure to preview the stuff first and make sure your child is mature enough to handle it.  They’ve got lesson plans, VBS materials, activity books, and an up to date blog.  I just so barely found it Sunday evening, so I’ll be diving into their resources this week to see what we can use for our family.

If you want to participate with your own blog post please follow these simple steps:
1. Write a blog post on how you have been blessed.
2. Either grab the “I’m Blessed” button to your right and stick it in your blog, or leave a link to this blog somewhere in your post.
3. Post the link to your specific blog post below.
4. Leave a comment.  Well, this one is optional, but I’m sure if you have a blog, you know how much fun it is to get comments.  😉

Great Hair

Despite what people might say, there’s an amazing advantage to drooling and having your fingers in your mouth, and then tugging at your hair when you’re sleepy.  When you’re in this phase, you wake up from your nap with the coolest hair do. It’s all organic hair product.

Just ask Solveig.  She’ll tell you.