Thursday, March 24, 2011

some milligan happenings in march

we've had a few beautiful days early this spring.
the children begged to dig out their bikes from the garage.
leannora mastered riding her bike without training wheels one of those days!

able in his favorite "happy birthday" shirt

shiloh wanted to help hold "dahldee" (geldan) too

nikao had been requesting shiloh's rhinocerous hairdoo?!?!
we later realized he meant triceratops

some of the boys doing some bedtime reading

hats off to ya geldan, you can fold in half & eat your toes!

just a crack up picture of cutie shiloh

(oopsie, just realized these 2 are sideways)
mark and the boys playing in legoland


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fighting, loving, etc.

We read a story for school recently that included a bully, a farm boy, and an old prairie school. It brought up some interesting challenges to talk about. When is it alright to fight? When do you fight back in defense? How do we "turn the other cheek?" How do we love our enemy and bless those who persecute us? I thought our church assembly this morning was of interest to this subject.

Numbers 20:5 was read. It is where Israel once again grumbles against Moses and God. They ask Moses "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place?". In this question they forget to take their own responsibility for their predicament. They were there because of their own sin and rebellious hearts.

Also, we prayed for wisdom for how a family will relate toward their aging parents. Someone noted that parents must do things that their young children don't like "for their own good", and in the same way the roles can reverse with aging parents.

I also noted how the Father led Jesus into the wilderness to test him with hard things. It was for the best - His best and our best!

My thought on all this is simply this: God's true love (the kind He wants all of us to know and practice) is often mislabeled as hatred or malice. I think the Israelites in the above passage is a clear example. God would not have loved them as much if He resigned to just giving them the land in spite of their rebellion. Remember Hebrews 12, "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all," and Jeremiah, "Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished." Sometimes the best thing for someone (a blessing) is the very thing they think a curse. At least, this has been true for me. Bless the name of the Lord, for He has shown me sonship!

So, how do we bless those who persecute us? I think it may have less to do with violence vs. passivism and more to do with love vs. hate. Remember Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 5, "hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord."

God, teach me to see your love in the midst of my trouble, and then empower me to imitate You as I attempt to love my family and neighbors. May your name always be exalted!