2016: why it’s worth it

January 12, 2016

Any day now there will be a newborn baby Andersen welcomed into the world. 38 weeks. Just 2 more weeks until the due date, but I think she’s coming early. I just came in from a walk in the snow and basically felt like she was going to fall out of me any minute…is that normal? ANY DAY now:)

(We don’t know for sure she’s a she, but I’ll be shocked if it’s a boy. We’ll see if my mother’s intuition is correct- So exciting!)

2016- a new year and a new baby, it’s got me thinking. 

Some people Tyler and I know actually do not want to be responsible for bringing children into this world the way it is now. Too messed up, too many dangers, no hope of things changing in our government, world economy, state of security, etc. and no point in subjecting new little humans to the pain of it all.

I mean they have a point….

Here in the homeland:

The top Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential election has absolutely no filter or class and seems to enjoy leading American politics even further down the track of becoming a full-time venue for entertainment (ahem*DonaldTrump*) while

The top Democratic candidate (with almost 50% of the vote as of today) if elected would continue along with Obama’s plan to further impede on our 2nd amendment rights (new and unnecessary gun control laws that actually won’t do a thing to stop the prevalent shootings in our country), continue to fund the organization that is murdering millions of humans each year WITH TAX PAYER DOLLARS (Planned Parenthood), and will continue to back the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that turned a flawed capitalist healthcare system into a train wreck of a socialist healthcare system that is even more expensive and frustrating for the average American than it was before.

So…it’s not like we have much hope in the direction our country is headed.

Out there in the world:

ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Levant- the general geographical region) continues to wreck havoc worldwide as the radical Islamic group’s primary goal is to dominate the Middle East region by maliciously dominating local populations through violence while also promoting general jihadist behavior throughout the world.

Though last year’s most catastrophic jihadist initiated terrorist attack happened in Paris, France when suicide bombers attacked multiple public locations and killed 130 leaving another 300some injured, there is no telling where they might strike next.

Not only were the attackers Muslim jihadists, they were also reported as being almost all citizens of France; terrorists from within.

So with the current U.S. President (Obama’s) plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into our country without a foolproof vetting system, how are we to not expect that some of those seeking sanctuary in our country aren’t really members of ISIS or general Muslim jihadists intent on harming America?

As my current favorite radio show host, Janet Parshal of Moody Radio, says- God gave us hearts for compassion AS WELL AS minds for discernment. “We must be as wise as a serpent and as innocent as a dove.” Simultaneously. So asking for our country’s leaders to figure out a better way of handling the refugee situation is not a matter of being uncaring or unChristian, but of being wise and informed about the reality of the global situation in which we find ourselves in 2016.

Oh baby. There are so many things wrong and evil and distorted in this world into which you are about to be born.

And yet…what God said in Genesis 1:28 (before the Fall) and again in 9:7 (after the Fall), “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it,” didn’t include the caveat when you think the world is safe enough for your children or when the economy is stable, etc., etc., etc. He just said to be fruitful, to multiply, to have children and raise them to follow His way.

So that’s what we will do, to the best of our ability in this messed up world. We’ll raise you with a Christian worldview that sees reality for what it is and yet has a profound answer for the hard questions of life.

And that’s exciting. Because as awful and perverse as it is in our world, God is here too. And ultimately He wins. Giving birth to a baby means that I get to be part of giving another human life with the opportunity to KNOW who God is and to be known by Him. And who am I to prevent that beautiful potential.

So baby, your daddy and I are as ready as we will ever be for you to make your way into this world. It’s not perfect, it’s not safe, it’s not even fair. But God is here. And you have the chance to get to know Him and serve Him and love Him as He has already known and molded and love you by making the ultimate sacrifice- letting his son Jesus die for the sins that are in your heart even as a newborn baby so that you might be able to have a relationship with the Holy Him.

That is the gospel truth, and that is why, even in this insanely messed up world, it is more than worth it to be ALIVE. 

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We live in Hoonah, Alaska. A Tlingit village of about 800 people. In this tiny village are 7 churches.

a catholic church

a presbyterian church

a russian orthodox chapel

a baptist house church

an assembly’s of God church

a Salvation Army church

and a Christian farming community called “The Move” that lives about 10 miles out of town.

The Russian Orthodox is really just a historical landmark these days, but that one aside the six remaining are all very much striving to stay alive while dividing the Christian population in Hoonah up into even smaller sub-groups.

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I just read an article in R.C. Sprouls June 2014 edition of Tabletalk (his monthly magazine that you definitely should subscribe to here) that was so applicable to my towns situation it startled me!

It was about separation in Christian relationships, and specifically churches relationships with each other. We need to get back to the fundamentals. The core beliefs of the Christian faith such as the Trinity, Jesus’ death and resurrection, salvation by grace through faith and not works, and so on. Besides “The Move” (which may not admit to this today, but the doctrinal roots from which they came would not necessarily agree with all of the previous statements), the three primary Christian churches here in Hoonah- Hoonah Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, and the baptist house church- would all agree on these foundational truths. What the article from “Tabletalk” explained is that the secondary issues like when to be baptized, the role of women in the church, and the stylistic elements of the service, etc., etc., should not divide churches to the point of no contact or connection. I think this is especially true in a town like Hoonah where the Christian population is lacking. We don’t have to agree on all doctrine. We don’t have to all combine into one Church of Hoonah. But I think we would all benefit from mutual encouragement and acknowledgment of what the others are doing for the Lord in our village.

I think we’re all missing out.

So here is my idea: an evening worship/prayer meeting

Maybe in one of the churches, maybe in someone’s home, maybe in our trailer.

But I think it should be a time of worship and a place of prayer and it should be targeted at the young people. Youth is stretched here in Hoonah so it might be a 17 year old coming with their 35 year old bff. Who knows. That is if anyone would even come.

What I long for in my new community is for God to work. I want people to care, I want them to meet God and see that there is more to life than their government aided problems. I want authenticity without cheesiness. I want profound encounters with the Lord without fake emotional hype. I want to spread the gospel and the joy I have in Jesus. And I want the awkwardness of which church we choose to go to to fade away with a new united focus on what God is doing HERE in Hoonah despite our separateness.

God bless this dream. Lead it.