Monday, January 16, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Count the Cost

 Good morning! I hope you are having a good start to your day. I'm cuddled up in a quilt, surrounded by some of my cats and listening to my son in the other room. His joy touches me no end. 
  Before we continue with the verses that will end chapter 14 of Luke, I feel I must apologize and clarify a point I made in yesterday's Cup of Tea post concerning excuses for missing worship. I am sorry if I offended anyone with the way I worded it. I did not attend services yesterday. I was home with my son. My husband had to work a twelve hour shift yesterday and because his weekend morning shift lasts from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM and we have one car, that keeps me at home one Sunday a month. We live about 52 miles from my husband's work and (don't quote me on this, my husband is asleep and I haven't paid much attention to mileage when it comes to distance to the church building) are about 45 I'm guessing miles from the building -- in the opposite direction.  At any rate, the mileage alone would prohibit me from taking my husband to work so that we could attend services and I don't feel comfortable asking someone from the church to drive out of their way to come get J and me.  To some, including myself, those are excuses. But it's also fact. If we lived closer to the church, which we would love to do, we would be that much further from my husband's work. If we moved closer to my husband's work (which we are looking into) it would most likely take us away from a congregation we dearly love. There are some fine congregations in the area where my husband works, don't get me wrong. But I hesitate because not everyone "gets" my son. He is comfortable with the church members here and they love him as well. They talk to him directly, not through my husband or myself, and have since day one. Our church has been such a blessing to us.  My husband has been looking into finding work closer to home so we can stay in the area and possibly move closer to the church, and I pray that he does. But I also have to realize that this is not in God's plan. In the meantime, I'm doing the best I can to do what is right. 

  I am sorry. I meant to apologize, clarify and move on but there is my life in a nutshell. If you're still with me, thank you.  I'll take a deep breath and move on to today's lesson. Yesterday Jesus reminded the Pharisees that if the ox is in the ditch on the Sabbath you arent going to leave the poor animal until the next day. Same with us on the first day of the week. Sometimes there is an ox in the ditch and you have to take care of it. If you are a single mother and the child is sick, of course you're going to miss service. But if you are married and the child or the husband is sick, why miss both services? Surely one can stay home while the other cares for the sick child, then switch for the evening service. 
  Today Jesus reminds his followers , which includes us , to count the cost of what we are doing. In verses 26 and 27 of chapter 14, Jesus told us that if we do not hate our father or mother or other family members we cannot be his disciple. Or if we will not bear our cross and follow him, we cannot be his disciple.  Does this mean we cannot love our family members? No. It means that we shouldn't love them so much that we cannot give them up. Missionaries leave their families (minus their wife and kids if they have them and it's possible for them to go as well) to go to sometimes dangerous places in the world to teach others about God.  It is not an easy life.  And sometimes, in becoming a Christian, we may be forced to choose between our Christian family and the family we grew up with. This is all part of counting the cost. 
  We each have to deal with the situations in our lives. Hopefully we don't deal with them alone. We should be able to talk to our brothers and sisters in Christ and they should pray with us. We should encourage one another, and help one another as best we can. 
   I've talked your ear off enough for one post. If you have any comments, good or bad, please feel free. I would enjoy hearing from you and maybe we can learn together. Until next time, have a wonderful day! :)


  1. Thanks for explaining, Dottie. I knew it was something. You are not so faithful for nothing. However, something has to be done! I'm joining a group of ladies that are fasting and praying for a while. I'll pray for you and this problem to be solved for you so that you and your son and even your husband can all make it to worship together. God is more than able.

    I am guessing your son is deaf? The way you said they talk directly to him rather than through you or your husband makes me think that. It's wonderful that your congregation is interested in him enough to treat him with dignity. Good for them!

    I like what you've said about putting God before family. It's not always easy, but He is the one who died for us through His son. In that sense, didn't He love us more than the life of His Son? Not that He didn't love Jesus, of course He did. But He knew the outcome, and putting God ahead of our children, we can know that the outcome is best for them as well as us and God blesses that.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      J has autism, He's mostly nonverbal (meaning he can't hold a conversation with you although he's anything but quiet unless he's asleep! :)) and he has a few other issues. He does say a few words appropriately, and he is on medication that seems to be helping his adhd and aggression. Prayer and medication seems to be the right combo. There are people who tend to pretend he does not exist because he is 18 and has these problems, and unfortunately I've seen that habit in Christians as well. It just makes me sad. We are all human and make many mistakes --I know I do-- but I feel they are missing a learning chance and a blessing by choosing not to interact with J.
      I do appreciate your prayers. The prayers of the faithful accomplish much.