Sunday, September 18, 2011

Praising the Lord in Challenging Times

It has been a difficult time recently. It would seem that our lifestyle
has ruffled a few feathers. In my human-ness, my first reaction was one
of shock and disbelief that we would be singled out and attacked. We
have broken no law and rest easy in that knowledge. The fact is
however, that someone disagreed with our lifestyle and reported us to
child protection services. As I mentioned, there are no laws broken and
the complaints were more on our simple lifestyle & the fact that our son
is built like his Dad's side of the family, who are thin. The children
are happy and healthy. We are going to be fine through this challenge.
Joe and I talked often about this, including late into the night his
first night back home. We have chosen to praise the Lord for this
challenge! Sound strange? Think about it. How often in times of
struggle and challenge did the Apostle Paul praise the Lord for those

When we accept the Lord into our lives and are baptized, we are in
essence allowing the Lord to come into our life completely. As we give
control of our life over to the Lord, we become more aware of the Lord's
influence in our life. He is a part of everything we say and do. If
you truly have given yourself to the Lord, there is no way to
compartmentalize your life into portions - this part is me, this part is
for the Lord. To do so is to serve 2 masters - the Lord and your own
human nature.

When Joe and I chose to be off-grid several years ago, we were following
the Lord's leading. We believe in not allowing ourselves to be put into
bondage voluntarily. I have discussed this before. In our belief, if
you are hooked up to a power company's service, you are in bondage to
that company if you want electricity. They own the pole, meter, and
lines. If you want their service, you must pay whatever amount they
require to get it. You cannot comparison shop for a better price. You
are bound to that company and are forced to step in line with their
demands. The same goes for all public utilities. Unless you have the
ability to choose from whom you will buy the service, you are in
bondage to the company that provides in your area. For this reason, we
gave up electricity. We realized just how dependent we had become on
them. For us, that dependence was not good. It was a form of bondage
and one that we had the ability to remove from our lives. The Lord
showed us that we could easily make the changes. He allowed events to
play out in our lives that made the change easier. He has blessed us in
that change as we followed the leading He gave us.

Through our blogs and Facebook, Joe and I are very open about our
lives. It has been a ministry of ours to help others to learn how to
live a more simple lifestyle. We never preach that our way is the only
way. Each person must pray and ask for the Lord's leading for their own
family, then follow where He wants them to be. Whether you live a
simple, Plain life as we are striving towards or not, our hope is that
we can provide information that will bless others. To censor ourselves
is to censor what the Lord is guiding us to do. When I write my blogs,
I do so only if prompted by the Lord and say only what the Spirit leads
me to say. I cannot censor the Lord or the Holy Spirit. To do so would
go against what the Lord has asked of me.

To be dealing our latest challenge, Joe and I are realizing that our
words and lives making an impact. Praise the Lord! We are touching
lives in His name and are helping to bring about changes that are
pleasing to the Lord. Our obedience in being willing to be open will
not make the evil one pleased. Surely, the evil one will want to find a
way to silence us. He will desire to make us doubt the Lord's being
Sovereign and in control. We cannot allow this. We will continue to be
bold in our praising of the Lord. If anything, this will strengthen us
to become even more bold! We are humbled and give praise to the Lord
for the impact He is making with others through the words He gives us to
write or say.

We are fully aware that our boldness, in spite of the evil one's
attempts to silence us, will ruffle even more feathers and make us a
target for his actions. There may be more attempts to silence us. We
know that the Lord is faithful and is in control. If we are challenged
due to our boldness, it is NOT because we are doing something wrong. It
is because we are doing what the Lord has asked of us. In our obedience
to the Lord - the evil one will never be happy. The focus for us
however is to keep our hearts open to the Lord's will and have the trust
in HIM to bless our family.