Asleep or Alive? Your Choice.

Good FairyThe Sleeping Beauty

I think battles are won by goodness. I think I’d rather be the hero in someone else’s story than asleep in my own. I think I’d rather be able to stand up against the forces of evil with a confidence that God’s goodness will prevail – and that, possessing such confidence, I will become both brave and gentle, both strong and beautiful.

Read and enjoy the lovely photos …

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Absolutely NO children allowed. We’re worshipping here.

Perhaps you’ve read about this incident on FaceBook. It first appeared on January 21, 2015 at a blog called “Pajama Pages.”

Last Sunday morning, Connor Shaw, the former USC Gamecocks quarterback and current Cleveland Browns backup quarterback, tried to attend a NewSpring service with his family, but found that NewSpring’s “children bouncers” (their term) prohibited his children from entering the auditorium with him.

He wasn’t impressed, and said so on Twitter:300x300xDot_not_touch-300x300.png.pagespeed.ic.lwg19gt7nx

Me & my wife were told we can’t go to congregation with our daughter. Too young?!? Don’t think He would approve ‪@newspringMatthew18:1-3

(Read the entire piece here).

“New Spring” refers to New Spring Church, a multi-campus group in South Carolina, led by controversial pastor Perry Noble. This is not a post intended to bash Perry Noble or New Spring Church, although I certainly could spend some time on our differences. No, it is my intent to bash a heinous and unbiblical policy being followed (and forcefully, according to Pajama Pages.

It is contrary to God’s Word to forcibly separate worshiping families. Throughout God’s Word we see pictures of the generations worshiping together. Where were the children during the feeding of the 5,000? There were elders and children and those “nursing at the breast” at the sacred assembly we read about in Joel 2:15-16. No need for a full Biblical exposition. You can find that in Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship.

This separation of families is what was done in the Soviet Union and its satellites. This is a practice long-associated with cults. It should not be practiced in the church. A separate “cry room” may be necessary. A changing room for diapers and other issues is fine. Even a voluntary opportunity for families to spend some time apart.  It should be the goal of every congregation, however,  to foster an atmosphere in which families can worship together. It won’t always be easy. It won’t always be fun. In the end, however, it will be rewarding as we train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD.

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Back Online

JanIt’s Sunday, 11 January, and we are back in the internet world. In case you didn’t know, we took a break offline to gather our thoughts before the LORD. That was supposed to end on New Year’s Day, but circumstances extended that time. And in a way, we feel we’re only now getting down to the nitty-gritty of exactly where He wants us to go and how to get there.

Our return to cyberspace is a cautious one. We’re learning that on our knees is the best place to be no matter what’s going on around us. Wouldn’t you think we would have learned that by now?

No?

Well, we would … actually, we did and it was nearly disastrous.

Anyway, we’re moving forward with the LWF ministry of writing and speaking. There is at least one invitation in the wings. We will be keeping you, our faithful LWF fans, informed of  our schedule so you can pray for us, make plans to catch up with us in person, or support us in any other way you can.

News to be posted here and over at Lifework Forum facebook.  Keep prayin’.

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Pause and Pursue

Us 4Greetings to you in this special Advent and Nativity season.

We trust God is blessing you and your family as you remember the first coming of the Savior of the world.

One way we’ve decided to celebrate this year is to PAUSE from the internet and PURSUE God separately and as a couple.

We feel strongly that we need to submit ourselves anew to His will for us and our ministry for the coming year.

There will likely be times when we need to enter cyberspace. For example, we hope to maintain our blogging schedules, but for the most part we intend to be offline.

We will miss you and hope you miss us. Whenever we come to mind, please pray God’s power and love, wisdom and mercy, grace and peace over us as we seek His face. We expect to return on 1 January 2015 refreshed and ready to move forward.

May our Loving Father bless you and keep you close between now and then.

with confidence in His sovereignty,
Curt & Sandra

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Hung up in the Dark?

Help BagWe’re still reading through the book of Numbers.

I’m still soaking up Truth and joy.

We were in chapter 10 today, but a cross reference took me back to Exodus 40:17.

“So the tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month in the second year.”

This is a simple statement that signals how long it took, after escaping Pharoah, for the Israelites to build the tabernacle of the Testimony. They spent one full year gathering materials and following the specific directions God gave them. The primary assignment for the first year of freedom was to construct a central place to worship the great I AM.

Things got interesting less than two months later.

“On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the Testimony. Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. They set out, this first time, at the LORD’s command through Moses.” Numbers 10:11-13

This was not a helter-skelter, grab a bag and go departure.

Verses 14-36 provide extensive information about the details of the journey: how the divisions proceeded, who their leaders were, what the tasks of the Levites were, how Moses addressed the LORD on rising to move and stopping to rest.

One specific point stands out to me.

“The tabernacle was to be set up before they arrived.” Numbers 10:21

The passage could be seen as simple information about a change in location. Since God chose to have the episode recorded and protected through the years, it speaks to me about a much larger dynamic.

1) When I find myself caught in a set of circumstances God has arranged I want to be alert that He’s probably got more in mind than spinning my wheels. I want to make the most of every situation the Father orchestrates to nurture my growth and development. My recent surgery and recovery is an excellent case in point.

Please cause me to harken to Your voice, especially when I feel stuck, Dear Abba.

2) When it’s time to move onward God will provide a signal that will be clear. It may not be as obvious to the eye as a visible cloud that drifts toward the horizon or a pillar of fire to light a path at night. I want to keep my heart and mind tuned to recognize the message when it’s given. It could be as obvious as a return to full mobility.

Please keep me vigilant and responsive to Your call, Gracious LORD.

3) When God gives the specific direction and process for stepping out, it may not be about how to line up. The example given here is that the place of worship was the most significant item to transport. And it was to be erected before the camp as a whole settled into place. I want to maintain the precedents God set for the Israelites; trust, obedience, worship.

Please secure my thoughts and attitudes to Your priorities, Glorious Father.

How about you?
Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a brown paper bag?
Do you try to fight your own way out or do you turn to God?

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“Giving Tuesday” – Consider Lifework Forum

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Lovelaces

We are speakers, writers, mentors.

We equip families to build honest, joyful Christ-centered lives in a fallen world by getting to know and love God.

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Past Service
• spoke at and organized conferences in Africa, Asia, Europe, USA
• wrote posts and articles for various media
• published Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship
• welcomed guests into our home for refreshment and restoration
• offered support to parents and children via E-mail and Skype
• provided educational materials and records

Future Goals
• continue the above as invitations and finances permit
• complete manuscripts underway by each of us
• publish teaching units for Children in Church
• broaden our online presence through videos, webinars, etc.

Want to keep up with our progress?

LWF news is FREE when you send us your email address.

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The average GivingTuesday donation in 2013 was $140.

What will you offer to empower us to serve families?

• the amount you’d spend on coffee or snacks to go
• the amount you’d spend to encourage a mother’s heart
• the amount you’d spend on Christmas gifts for us
• the amount you’d spend to enhance a father’s leadership
• the amount you’d spend to attend an uplifting conference
• the amount you’d spend to disciple your child’s mind
• the amount you’d spend for a refreshing day or week off
• the amount you’d spend to invite a mature couple to build you up in Christ in your home, through your church, in a small group, at a conference

Consider what amount the LORD would have you send.

May He bless you for your response.

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The touchstone of the Lifework Forum ministry is Romans 12:2.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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Our mailing address is:
258 East Shore Drive
Acton ME 04001 USA

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Lifework Forum is a 501(c)3. All gifts are tax-deductible.

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It’s a Long Way to Tipperary

Okay, it’s time for true confessions.
The craziness that was me the morning of Friday, 21 November 2014.Besides, it might be good to share some coping skills for the next time you’re facing surgery or some other procedure that might not be your first choice.”I hurt.”
This two-word sentence was repeated numerous times.
I think I was trying to tell myself the reason I was there.
It might have also been so that when I came out of the OR I would remember why I agreed to go into it.
Or maybe it was so the people around me would be extra gentle.

“I don’t want to do this.”
This six-word sentence was repeated numerous times as well.
I was working hard to express my feelings out loud since I couldn’t give into them and run out the door.
I might have been hoping somebody would hear and rescue me.

“I don’t want to put my clothes in a plastic bag.”
This sentence was only said a few times at one particular point.
I was expressing my feelings since once again I couldn’t do anything about them.
I didn’t like it that my ‘worldly goods’ were being reduced to a few items in a plastic drawstring bag.
I might have been hoping a smiling somebody would pop up with a velour clutch and help me nestle my clothes neatly inside.

“I wonder how long they’ll wait if I don’t crack the door.”
This sentence was a last ditch effort to avoid the whole thing.
I figured that if I just sat and waited maybe nobody would notice I hadn’t signaled I was dressed in the dreaded johnny coat.
I might have been hoping they would just move on to the next patient and I’d be free to go home – through no fault of my own, of course.

“This has to be the second biggest cultural lie.”
(right after the ‘Agree’ click on the computer)
That’s when they offered me the Consent Form and held out a PEN.
They actually expected me to write my name in ink saying I understood what was going to happen and all the possibilities that might arise AND I gave them permission to do whatever needed to be done.
How sick is that?
WHO could ever read the entire document and comprehend what the words meant while the medical world is swirling around preparing you for the dastardly deed?

Thankfully the medical team realized my humor was part of my coping mechanism.
Before she handed me the pen, Dr. Wiley’s assistant Jenna looked me serious eyeball to serious eyeball and asked if I was prepared to go ahead with the procedure.

In my most confident voice I said, “Yes.”
And the rest, as is said, is history.

You may wonder where the title of this post came from. I’m not exactly sure why the tune popped into my head when we went into that prep room, but it did. Perhaps it’s because I felt as if I were heading off to war and I wasn’t sure what would happen. That’s the title God gave me that day so I held onto it.

No confident walk through Bible verses this week.
No clever points about how to handle a conflict or confusion.
Just the real me in real life.

The only thing I can say about dealing with an upcoming STRESS is
FACE IT.

I can confirm that God was very close to me through my time at Concord Hospital. He’s also with me at home where I’m getting ready to graduate to a cane. How cool is that?

Some of you may wonder how I retained all these details. It’s because my Honey was my scribe. Thanks, Honey.

And as for that above photo? It was taken a couple of years ago as a spoof for a friend’s birthday. Everyone was dressing up like old ladies to make her feel better. Since I couldn’t be there, I sent along a photo of myself in similar costume. Now that I’ve posted it on the internet myself I trust I’ve cancelled all threats to blackmail. Right, Aunt Becky?

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Celebrate the Newborn King – Devotional

Celebrate the Newborn King

It’s almost time for Christmas and we’ve got a SPECIAL OFFER for Lifework Forum fans who want to support the LWF mission. 

We’ve put together our family’s response to the dangers of materialism that fill the Christmas season. The collection of references in Celebrate the Newborn King: 25 Advent and Nativity Readings is the lighthouse God used to show us the way into safe harbor. We want to share this resource with you.

For a LIMITED TIME those who support our ministry and subscribe to Children in Church will receive a gift copy of our brand new e-booklet.

There’s even a Bonus for this special occasion. 

Celebrate the Newborn King: 25 Advent and Nativity Readings is the result of a lifetime of family-building. It is a $20 value that we want to put into your hands for Christmas 2014.

Time is short. There are less than 24 hours until Celebrate Day 1. You will want this resource in your hands in time to begin your adventure. Hop over to Children in Church and find out how to take advantage of this valuable offer.

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Our third and final video

We’re receiving lots of positive feedback about our video efforts, our thoughts about focus, and the samples from our Advent and Nativity booklet. Now we want to get this valuable resource into your hands.

Watch and Listen. Then Subscribe over at Children in Church.com to take advantage of our offer.

May the Lord grant you a blessed Thanks-giving.

Resting in the grace that only He can grant,
Curt & Sandra

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Another valuable video

Friends, here’s another video from Sandra and myself. After you view it, you’ll want to subscribe at  www.childreninchurch.com.”  Be sure to leave your comments below.

Be on the lookout for our third, and final, video in the next few days.

THANKS….

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