Sanctified Tourist

Living holy and fit both spiritually and physically in today's culture.

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.


2 Comments

Why Our Family DE-emphasized Santa

From the earliest of age I have not been very impressed with Santa.  I remember laying awake terrified that a strange man would be lurking around in our living room, and worse, that my parents would let him.  Later, the idea of presents dried my tears when sitting on the mall Santa’s lap, but I still didn’t like it and I have pictures to prove it.

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.

When I had children of my own I decided that there would be no more white lies about Santa.  Here is my reasoning.  I spent a good deal of time training my kids to know the difference between real and make believe, especially from the Bible.  Let’s face it, there are plenty of crazy stories in the Bible that seem like fantasy.  When we opened the  Bible together, everything they heard…snakes talking, arks floating, men in fiery furnaces, Jonah being swallowed by a fish, God being born in a  manger…no matter how fantastic…all of it was TRUTH.  I was determined that my children would be able to trust me to tell them the truth, even about Christmas.  I would stop the innocent Santa lies of my mother, and my grandmother before her.  I would never tell them that there was another man who had the same omniscient qualities as God…someone who knew everything about them…when  they  sleep, and when they are awake. I just couldn’t do it.

Lest you think we were opposed to Santa altogether, let me be clear that Santa still came to our house.  We still had all the fun of Christmas morning that the rest of the world did.  The only difference was that the kids knew the real origin of all the gifts under the tree.    Our children enjoyed talking about Santa as if he were real, much like my granddaughter imagines she is having conversations with her stuffed animals.  We never had any problems with our children revealing this big secret to their classmates once they were school-aged.

I know this idea is not for everyone, but it worked for our family.  My daughter is now a mother and she and her husband are putting more emphasis on the birth of Jesus than I ever did.  If I could do it again, I would use this time of year for our family to grow spiritually together with an emphasis on giving.

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas, Alice

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any ads or products.

Advertisements
She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to be compassionate givers?


2 Comments

You Might be Richer Than You Think

At church one Sunday here in Cambodia, a Christian Khmer woman encouraged us with how Matthew 6:25 has played out in her life, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear…” She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher…a month y’all, and he makes about the same as a Tuk Tuk driver.  It rains a lot here in Cambodia, but during a dry spell, all of the rain water in the cistern outside was gone.  She had no money to buy water for the family and she remembers standing over the cistern and praying for rain.

And it immediately started to rain.

As I sat there listening to her praise God for His unending love for her, I thought about how different her prayers are than mine…the prayer of the one who has instead of the one who has not. I already KNOW where my food, drink, and clothes are coming from.  I don’t beg God to send me the necessities of life because I have excess.

Instead of skimming over this beautiful verse in Matthew 6:25 because it doesn’t relate to my situation, maybe I should speak this verse as a prayer. To ask Father to lead me to the people who don’t have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear, and to help me be bold enough to be the answer to someone’s prayer.

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to be compassionate givers?

Many times we compare ourselves to others who have more, instead of the other way around.  Even the working poor in America have it better than most who are suffering with poverty in other countries.  American homeless populations even have options like shelters and food banks, whereas the poor and displaced in some foreign countries have no options but starvation and death.  What do you do if you lost both hands in an electrical accident, your wife leaves you with the children, and you no longer have a way to make a living in a third world country?   This is a true example of a local beggar living here in our Cambodian city.

You can’t really say you are a friend of Jesus unless you are helping the poor.  Take for example the sheep and the goats, a story with a warning from Jesus.   (fact check: Matthew 25:31-48)  The goats didn’t seem to  “get” Jesus.  They missed the kindness characteristic of the Holy Spirit. (fact check: Galatians 5:22) Maybe they thought about helping, but never had any follow through. At any rate, Jesus says, “When you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.”

So how can you help your children develop a desire to give?  You must first develop that desire yourself, then go forth together.  Start by praying that God will consume you with a BIG  kind of love for others.  Have you read Love Does by Bob Goff yet?  Each chapter tells a story from Bob’s life, then ends with a spiritual application.  The beginning of each chapter starts with “I used to think…but now I know…”  Join me on the Sanctified Tourist’s Facebook page in January while I share quotes from this book to encourage and inspire you.

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher.   How do you teach your children to give to those in need.

Next, search the Internet for ideas on projects you can do with your children and grandchildren.  Here is an idea for a project from  Story of This Life.   Good literature can also help.   The King’s Christmas List  takes Matthew 25:31-48 and teaches children that every act of compassion is a gift for Jesus.  Maybe you could write your own family giving book using a photo book company.

I will leave you with this video that shows a little girl overcome with compassion for a homeless man outside the restaurant where she was eating, and then DOING something about it. click here  Father, lead me to the people who don’t have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear, and to help me be bold enough to be the answer to someone’s prayer. (Matthew 6:25)

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to give to those in need.

Note:  all the scriptures I used today in my post were straight from Jesus)

i love 2

Sanctified Tourist does not get paid to endorse any products or ads on this site. 

This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.


Leave a comment

Finding Perspective While Stuck in the Wilderness

As you rise the next hill your hopes are dashed once again, it’s just more wilderness for miles.  Your trouble seems to go on and on.  You are still waiting and waiting and waiting…and waiting for that relief to come, for that job to be less stressful, for that special someone to come along, for your health to improve,  for things to get better.

This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.

The same old scenery makes you antsy…makes you dissatisfied…makes you discouraged.  Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy…whispering  that God has abandoned you to the scorpions and cactus.  Poor you!

Not so, the Word says.  You can still have a fulfilling, beautiful life while you wander.  The Holy Spirit led me to find these deeply meaningful verses for you, if you read them with the spiritual in mind.

Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.  Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  Deuteronomy 8:2-3 NLT 

Here are some noteworthy observations from this passage.

You are being led.

If you remember Israelite history, the people were never alone.  God went before them in a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.  (fact check: Exodus 13:21-22) This is a profound truth for you to think about…God always kept Himself visible to His people.  All they had to do was look, and there He was.  It may look like you  are going in circles, but the leader is leading…the follower needs to follow.

You are being humbled and tested on purpose.

Somebody much bigger and smarter than you has your best interests at heart.  He promises that things are in the process of working out for your good if you love Him.  (fact check: Romans 8:28)  But now you are hungry…starving, longing for a bite of relief.  Just wait y’all, bread is on the way.

You are being taught how to eat.

There’s purpose to your hunger.  Sometimes you just need to hear that word…purpose.  The gnawing in your spiritual stomach is to teach you  that people do  not live by bread alone….that there is something sweeter for your soul than the physical….that time is not to be wasted with meaningless distractions, where a soul drops exhausted into bed each night, proud to have made it through one more day without dwelling too much on life. Y’all the bread of life is rich and satisfying.  This is how we truly live, by every word that comes from the mouth of God.   So breathe in the aroma of a freshly baked loaf, and cut yourself a slice.

 

This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.  
i love 2

 

 

Sanctified Tourist does not get paid to endorse any products or ads. 

 

 

 

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family. This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.


6 Comments

Will Wonders Never Cease? No, Never.

The literal answer to this age old expression is, “No, a thousand times NO!”  God’s wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, an answered prayer, a second chance, and the togetherness of a family.  God’s wonders take us to new heights if the one in the middle of the wondrous decides to catch the kite string and soar into the spiritual.

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family.  This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

1

This summer, my husband and I saw many wondrous things in our month long road trip and I would love to share some of my best pictures with you.  Psalm 148 just seems to fit.

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family. This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

2

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family. This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

3

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family.  This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

4

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family.  This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

5

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family.  This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

6

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family. This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

7

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family. This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

8

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family.  This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

9

God's wonders are in the food we eat, the scenery we take pictures of, in an answered prayer, and in the togetherness of a family. This post is to share a few wonders I captured this summer during our month long road trip, along with Psalm 148.

10

This excerpt from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones  captures the childlike simplicity of creation and its response to wonder.

And when God saw them He  was like a new dad.  “You look just like me,” He said.  “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made!”  God loved them with all of His heart.  And they were lovely because He loved them.  And Adam and Eve joined in the song of the stars and the streams and the wind in the trees, the wonderful song of love to the one who made them. 

This post is just a reminder to join the song.

i love 2

 

 

Pictures:  1)  glacial ice seen on our Alaskan cruise, 2)  hummingbird perched on a branch near her nest in my California son’s yard, 3)  California beach, 4) Oregon coastline,  5) View from a train in Skagway Alaska, 6) More Alaskan beauty, 7) It was a surprise to find Washington Lake Wanapun in the middle of such barren country, 8) My family’s Montana ranch, my favorite place, 9)  Ranch sunset on our last day.  The sky was especially beautiful.  10)  Ranch sunrise  on our last day.  The sky was especially beautiful.

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.

There is pretty good evidence in scripture of a pattern that shows that by the third generation a spiritual forgetfulness has emerged. Most turn from their parent's God to worship the gods of sensuality. I am making plans to do everything I can to thwart this cycle.


4 Comments

The Lost Generation

There is pretty good evidence in scripture of a pattern that shows that by the third generation a spiritual forgetfulness has emerged.  First a person, or a group of people, are called out from unbelief to belief, many times due to suffering.  This first generation is thrilled and genuinely grateful to know God.  The second generation, is caught up in the zeal of their parents, but suffer less conviction, because they experience God in a different way, by second-hand news.  The third generation is disconnected from the original story, treating their grandparent’s beliefs as inconsequential and myth-like.  They lack their own identity and most turn from God to worship the gods of sensuality.   Now re-read this paragraph  in context of 2016.

I heard a Bible scholar refer to this phenomenon as the law of the third generation.

There is pretty good evidence in scripture of a pattern that shows that by the third generation a spiritual forgetfulness has emerged.  Most turn from their parent's God to worship the gods of sensuality. I am making plans to do everything I can to thwart this cycle.

The cycle moves as such:  DESERTION OF GOD – SUFFERING – FAITH – PEACE – DISCONTENTMENT – DESERTION OF GOD  and so on.

Tragically, based on Biblical evidence, humanity seems to  lose our next generations during the peaceful times.  Do we talk less about God during these times?  Do we cry out to Him less when life is smooth sailing?  Do we fail to remember the family stories of deliverance, and that peace comes out of struggle?  Do we remain silent before our children to spare them, when in reality we damage them?

I personally have a gory history that I would love to spare  my granddaughter, but which I won’t.  When she is old enough, she will hear from an eyewitness (me) about the graciousness of God and the faithfulness of my mother.  I will explain how hard it was to forgive by showing her my heart and the aftermath of confronting evil.  She will hear the countless struggles I have had with my faith, and she will be shown how God has been compassionate to me and all those I love.

I plan to accomplish these goals by leaving behind my journals to the generations to come, and by adding to my gratitude corner so each answered prayer of anguish and trust will become part of our family history.  And, most importantly, as long as I have breath, I plan to speak the name of my faithful Father, worship the Son with enthusiasm,  and be a living example of keeping in step with the Spirit, even when it’s hard.  The important idea is to not let the generations to come fall into the desertion cycle.  I reject this thought.

A perfect example in scripture comes from Deuteronomy 11.  Moses points out to the people, the first generation,  that their children did not see the wonders and miracles. The second generation did not see how the Lord cared for His people in the wilderness,  but that THEY have seen these things with their own eyes.  vs. 1-7   Moses warns the first generation to be careful because consequences will follow those who forget Him.  vs. 16-17  Moses explains the ONLY way to keep our children faithful…

There is pretty good evidence in scripture of a pattern that shows that by the third generation a spiritual forgetfulness has emerged. Most turn from their parent's God to worship the gods of sensuality. I am making plans to do everything I can to thwart this cycle.

“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.”  Deuteronomy 11:18-20 NLT

i love 2

 

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.