Friday, March 21, 2008

Mullaney Pilgrims
never far from the road
(windmill photo by Katie Mullaney)

Write an email or write a blog? This is the question that I am asking myself after a phone call with my friend Becky in Georgia, who said keep us updated with what is going on. Some of you may or may not know that our daughter, Grace is in Holland right now and will be back in the States next month, Katie has become a great speech writer and Michael's comedic timing is near perfect (I don't want to say perfect because then there would be no room for improvement, there is always room for improvement).
If I just answer the question, "What is going on?" A possible answer is "I am going, and going, and going even though our address here in MA has been the same for nearly 6 months I have spend time in NH, FL, IN, KY, VA Beach, Houston, TX and next week we head to PA."

Living in an old seaside village just south of Boston is a great place for someone like me. Far enough out to enjoy solitude but only a drive away from Boston and the greater metropolitan community. Hull is also the former home of Paragon Park
and the place where I had my first roller coaster ride on the Comet or The Giant Coaster as it was known as back in the day. Since, taking this little detour down memory lane, I went on the web to learn a little bit more about the old ride and I came to find out that the coaster is still in operation at Six Flags in the DC area and is renamed The Wild One. Here I thought it was dead and gone. It makes me want to go to that Six Flags just to ride it with Michael who has never ridden a coaster.
The park closed in 1985 and there are now condos where the park use to be. There are still a few remnants of the old park down on Nantasket Ave.

The plan is to stay here until May 31st, another long stint. (Gainesville, FL having been our longest stay one day short of a year. This Monday will mark the beginning of our 6th year of traveling or will it?) To say that this is a time of evaluation, contemplation and speculation would be pretty accurate. Do we stay or do we go? Do we go somewhere and plant ourselves for a while? A cross roads and we eagerly await the road we will take next, or where the road will take us is probably a little more accurate.
Dan has been working a lot of hours which provides for all of our travel and then some. He is still passionate about his work, celebrating 10 years of nursing on Michael's 15th birthday and being named RN Network's Traveler of the year for 2007.

Since Katie, Michael and I have been on the road so much we have not had a chance to visit with a good number of people that we want to see while we are hear in our earthly homeland. Plans are being made to meet up with some of you and if you are reading this and we haven't been in touch and you want a chance to meet please email me.

The fun part is we have made new friends right here through the national speech and debate league that has taken us to a number of the places I have mentioned. I will end with a shout out to my new friend Sue who is celebrating her birthday today! Happy Birthday Sue!

For those who are followers of Jesus Christ, we remember the broken body and poured out blood of our Lord and Saviour this day.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Non-Readers read no further

Has your Christianity included a steady diet of Max Lucado, John Elledge & Gene Edwards, perhaps Ed Young & Joel Osteen, or G.K. Chesterton & C.S. Lewis maybe John Calvin, Martin Luther & Wycliffe? Now that I have probably offended everyone, please hear me out at least continue to read.

As a family we have been reading Table Talk for the last year and 1/2 or so. It is a monthly publication put out by Ligonier Ministries. The April 2008 issue's theme is the 3 forms of Unity. One of the articles is about the Heidelberg Catechism which I have never heard of before picking up this magazine, as I finished reading the article, it dawned on me - the Lord has given me a rich diet from a variety of saints who have gone on before me. This is why I posed the opening question. If we stay in one spot and let's say it is marked "Baptist & its' sympathizers" (my apologies to all my baptist friends) and only drink and eat the literature approved by them then we reject a whole bunch of wisdom that comes from other brothers & sisters in the faith.

Ecumenicalism is not what I am advocating but what I am saying is let us continue to be seekers of the truth. When the Bible says "seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open' it is not addressing the unbelievers - Jesus was speaking to His followers - when the Word says "seek, find & know" it is not for the unbeliever. Some may disagree but let's look at just three of those passages in context.
Matthew 5 verses 1 & 2
"1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying: "
The Lord began to teach these followers for the next 3 chapters including
Matthew 7; 7-12
"7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

John 8; 31 & 32

31"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

If you continue searching the Scripture for these 3 verbs, look at them in context and ask the question, "who is being addressed in this passage?" You may be surprised.

It was one of those shining bright moments of gratitude that I have not been limited to just a certain flavor of Christianity. Please know that I realize that we are called to be discerning (and some who I have listed you or I may have an issue with) and to not just accept every book, author or preacher who holds up the bible and says, I am in the way of Christ. The scripture is my measuring stick and if you are a believer then I hope it is yours too.

Grateful for a God bigger than all my aha moments! CM

Sunday, March 02, 2008

"I fall, I fail and I cry out for mercy"
Click for Simplified Reading

A week ago today we attended church with dear friends of our in central MA. There were two families who dedicated children to the Lord. One man who dedicated his second child to the Lord used the following scripture as a prayer request to the seated congregation. From Deuteronomy 6 verses 4 through 9.
"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

"You shall love the LORD your God with

all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

"You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

"You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

"You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

I couldn't help but think to myself, is he listening to the words he is saying? does he mean it? Is he willing to do what it takes to "teach" his children "diligently"? If I hadn't been so tired, I would have like to have gone right up to him and his wife after the service and ask him if he meant it. So many things get in the way of us accomplishing this goal.

As I have referred to in previous posts, we are in the home stretch, the heart break hill of parenting. We know that our time with our children now 15,16 & 18 is quickly nearing the finish line. Not that we will no longer be their parents but our role as their parents is changing drastically at this time. Every day I am more convinced that the shortest season of life is childhood. Some say that educating children at home is a calling and this passage above may indicate that it is a little more like a command. If you give away the most precious hours of the day to another whether they be private or public educators, I have a hard time seeing how you can execute Deuteronomy 6. Perhaps the messages of the modern day American church coupled with the messages of the culture seem to be right since that is what most Americans Christians are doing. The Lord however has given us minds, to think, to reason and to question the church and the culture. To see if what these two influences have to say match up with what the Lord has to say. It is difficult to stop and to seek the LORD, search the Word and have HIM search our hearts.

As a Christian, the first authority in my life is Jesus Christ and His Word and believe me I fall, I fail and I cry out for mercy because I can't live up to HIS standards, but GOD is bigger than my faltering ways and HIS GRACE is sufficient to meet all our needs. I have seen the LORD work in my children and I know that it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with God's purpose. The reason we continue to educate our children at home is primarily out of obedience to God and I can say without regret that this small act of obedience has produce the greatest joy in parenting. This time with our children has allowed us to cultivate relationships with our children that we could have never imagined. Hopefully, we have helped prepared them for life to be affective agents for God's Kingdom.

So my prayer for this couple who are longtime married and very new parents to two little ones is that they would take this scripture to heart, that they would be a living sacrifice in their parenting, indeed that they would walk and talk and impart the ways of the Lord to their children. I sit here convicted by my own words. With the little time left, I pray that my husband and I would take the time to give of ourselves to our children while they still live with us.