Good morning, beloved,
A strange picture to start a blog, eh? Well, stay with me..I had no idea…but you need to know…but first, Happy Mother’s Day! As I wander my favorite sites this morning, even youtube has a nod to Mom’s…so I’ll tip my hat to you all. And to my Mom…I’ll see YOU lata. ;)
Last night at Willow Creek, Bill Hybel’s daughter presented the message after Nicole C. Mullen rocked the house. Very, very fun. Shauna Niequiest gave me much to think on and ponder, yet after God gave me this picture this morning…I feel as though He has some things to teach me. So bear with me. :)
What is this picture?
Well, wait, before I answer that, do you know the tenants of the Anabaptist faith? Here’s a great article on their faith from Christianity Today but for our purposes today, in case you don’t get around to it:
The name Anabaptist, meaning “rebaptizer,” was later given them by detractors.
These believers didn’t want to merely reform the church; they wanted to wholly restore it to its initial purity and simplicity. Such a church, they held, consists only of people who present themselves to be baptized.
Congregationalism was another key belief. The Anabaptists could find no justification for elaborate church bureaucracies. Decisions should be made not by a hierarchical leader but by the entire local assembly. In fact, the Anabaptists were the first to try to practice democracy in the congregation.
Another central teaching was the separation of church and state. The church, they said, is to be composed of free, “uncompelled” people. The state is not to use coercion on people’s consciences.
Jesus taught the way of nonviolence, the Anabaptists believed, and so pacifism became another important feature of their lives. Even the hated Turks must not be fought with a sword. By obeying Jesus’ clear commands, his followers should be distinct from society, even a society claiming to be Christian.
This was NOT well received by the rest of society… To both Catholics and Protestants these extremes justified persecuting the Anabaptists, executing them by fire or sword or drowning. CHBlog
So what was their response? Well, to save themselves, they were forced into hiding. Hence, the picture above, yet instead of me describing, I found this beautiful blog:
…Anabaptist story happened late in the afternoon of the same day at the Taeufer Hoehle, or Anabaptist Caves. HansPeter Jecker had also provided us with information on how to find them about an hour southeast of Zurich. Without these directions we would never have found them. They are not clearly marked. Even our GPS system could not find us in the alpine meadows we crossed to get to this early Anabaptist hideaway! I guess the persecuted early Anabaptists had chosen their hiding place quite well – even beyond the reach of modern satellite tracking systems! Eventually, by means of frequent enquiry, we found the end of the road. I guess a hideaway you could drive right up to would not have been that appropriate.
After a twenty-minute walk up a mountain trail, across a rickety bridge over a small stream, there they were – right in front of us. A large opening in the side of the mountain sporting a small waterfall right in front of it cascading down into a deep ravine. We made our way gingerly on a slippery boardwalk right into the caves. As I progressed deeper into one of the caves I could see numerous shadowy hiding places. I wish I would have had a flashlight to explore them all. In any case, here I was squatting in the shallow hideouts that early Anabaptists used to avoid capture and certain death half a century ago. I am not sure that I felt at home here. But it was an awesome experience to crouch down in the same places where my Anabaptist forbears had huddled in the cold and dark, seeking comfort in the presence of each other and the God who had promised not to forsake them.
Finding these Anabaptist connections made our time in Europe “worth the trip”. It was a dream come true – a dream that I had gradually allowed to die. When dead dreams come back to life one knows what it means to be truly alive!
Why is this so tremendous to me on Mother’s day? Why am I sitting here on Mother’s day pondering Anabaptists?
Because they stood up. They said no. No further. We will stand up for what we believe. This is how we read the Scriptures and they were willing to die for their beliefs. They had courage and as I look at my sweet kids, this is what I pray for my family!
9 [Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good.
10 Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedenceand showing honor to one another.
11 Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.
12 Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.
13 Contribute to the needs of God’s people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]; pursue the practice of hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief].
16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.
17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.
18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Mother’s day will come and go, whether you felt treasured on this day by your children or not, you are beloved of God. He loves you more than you’ll ever, ever know!
God bless you
If you are a Mom and want to start getting your voice heard: Join One Million Moms
If you are a Dad and want the same: Join One Million Dads
If you want to hear a Christian perspective on the news: Citizenlink (Focus on the Family affiliate) or Janet Parshall on Moody radio…
The American Family Association also will send out information, but not as often as the above groups…
Yet, to look at that picture above, oh, my, remember beloved, we know who has won the war.