Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blood Pressure

Confession time. I am OCD--no, I don't really *have* OCD, although my hubby *does* say I'm persnickety, LOL.

I have been on a quest. I've been listening to old sermons download-able from our church's website, trying to find the time when Pastor said, "We've been saying around here for years that 'grace is God's enabling power to do His will'."

Why I'm looking for that particular quote has to do with
1. proving it was said to begin with; or, in other words,
2. convincing myself that I'm not insane/hearing voices during church, and,
3. someday, hopefully refuting the claim that we as a local church body have "been saying this for years."

I've finally found it!!! Only 11 minutes into the 19th sermon I've listened to while reading everybody else's blogs about church & grace & raising kids & white-washed feminism (all inside this past week), I've finally found it! Eureka!!

And I'm not above owning when I'm wrong. The original grace quote in question was made about a year before the "we've been saying this for years" claim. So, the claim is only wrong by the hyperbolic addition of an "s." But I'm still annoyed. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and call me OCD again. ;-)

What all this has to do with blood pressure requires an even less linear thought train. *grins* I've been wondering why that particular sermon has stuck out in my mind so distinctly. And now, having found the offending quote and noted it's time-stamp, I have a theory. *bigger grin*

See, I was pregnant with BD #2 when the claim was made. That pregnancy was a time of great searching for me. Searching for a biblical definition of grace--especially as it relates to how we parent our children. It was during that pregnancy that the Lord began showing me just how much my theology affects my parenting. Our orthodoxy *should* inform our orthopraxy, right? But what if my theological framework is wrong? Wrong about grace? Wrong about depravity? Wrong about our precious children? I'm *still* wrestling through Scripture with these questions.

Still wrestling. Now? More forcefully. I theorize that this quest for quotes is triggered by my blood pressure. No, really! Yanno how certain smells will trigger memories long forgotten? For me, it's that rise in maternal blood pressure during pregnancy. I'm pregnant again, ergo higher blood pressure, triggering convoluted ramblings about grace and parenting. Makes sense to me! ;-)

Or maybe it's just coming to grips with another little baby dragon on the way... knowing that my selfishness will be challenged once again. Being reminded that my theology really does impact my parenting... and the sooner I come to a more clear understanding of a truly *Biblical* definition of grace, the better off my sweet babies will be. All 3 of them.

***Update 7/14/08***

Well, BD#1 has been enjoying watching the "movie of mommy and daddy" this week, a.k.a. our wedding video. There it was!! Not 5 minutes into Pastor's salvation message /address to the family and friends gathered for our wedding (before the wedding party came in): "Grace is God's enabling power to accomplish what He asks of us." .......I can't believe it hasn't jumped out at me before. I'm speechless. I'm still wrong. He *has* been saying that for years. Now why didn't I notice before '05 (when we've been in this church since '95)???

OK, now I'm speechless.


The Savage said...

Of course, the fact that the claim was 11 minutes into a sermon out of James 4 about how God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble... so we need to humble ourselves so we can get more of God's grace (loose paraphrase)...

Let's just say my blood pressure was already on high alert.

QueenKnitter said...

Where? Where is that quotation? I know that sermon, I think. Awful. . . .

I totally understand the pregnancy Mother-Earth kind of feeling.

RameyLady said...

I always figured parenting is a marvelous tool of sanctification, but I never thought of a rise in blood pressure that way. ;-)

Glad you're putting that Bible degree to good use. hehe

The Savage said...

Hey QK,

That quotation is technically attributable to Bill Gothard and IBLP. Page 6 of the "big red book" states:

The success of our lives is entirely related to how much grace God gives us. Grace is the desire and power to do God's will. (Philippians 2:13)

When I first heard that definition in the original sermon (the summer before "the claim"), I googled "Grace, God's enabling power to do His will" and came to Rebecca's page here, where she attributes the quote to Gothard. It took me two more years (not actively looking) to find it in my copy of the "BRB."

Naturally, I go look up Philippians 2:13. I mean, I must've missed something, right? Um, nope. Phil. 2:13 states: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Doesn't sound the same to me. That is, I don't see the word grace being defined in Phil 2:13. *Must* just be me.
*rolls eyes*

That conception of grace seems to be a popular one in this geographic area. Granted, not all who preach "doing more to get more grace" use Gothard's definition, but the spirit seems to be here. You must *do* to be sanctified. It's pervasive. Everywhere. But then, maybe I'm being hyperbolic. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new baby dragon! Also I like the new blog format.

That definition of grace that you're wrestling with would bother me too. It's hard to spot those kinds of things at first, they have such an air of being right. But I think that's because everything in the world works that way: tit for tat. You work hard, you get paid. You go to college, you get a good job. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. You be a good girl, mommy will buy you a treat.

And then there's God's grace to us in Jesus Christ which is not that sort of thing at all. Think of the parable of the workers being paid equally whether they worked hard in the vinyard all day, or just for a few hours or NOT AT ALL. I think that's probably what is meant by giving grace to the humble...the last people to show up on the job had nothing on their timecards....and they got paid anyway.

Joy said...

You mean I can get more?

Oh gracious. I agree with you, it totally bugs my blood pressure too. If it makes you two feel any better, DH and I have been on a similar search through the bible about grace. And we do like Tim Kimmel's Grace Based Parenting... lots to think about and take back and evaulate against Scripture...

The Savage said...


You're so right. This tit-for-tat mentality is so ingrained. But isn't that what Romans 4:4 is talking about when it says Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.?! If we're working for it, it's NOT grace!!

I hadn't thought of the parable of the vineyard in light of the grace discussion. Good application!! Thank you! :)


You've got littles not far off the ages of mine... any other "parenting with grace" books to recommend?!?! :D

alaskamommy said...

I'm currently reading through Clay Clarkson's book Heartfelt Discipline: The Gentle Art of Training and Guiding Your Child. It seems to fit together in many ways with Grace Based Parenting by Kimmel. Clarkson is a "no spanker" (now) from what I can tell; there's alot about relationship and "hands around" discipline instead of "hands on the hiney" type. =) BTW my little ones are 4, 2, and #3 due in October, so we're close in the parenting realm. God bless.

The Savage said...

AK Mommy,

Of all the book recommendations I've read relating to "gentle parenting" Clarkson gets the most votes. Hands down. Therefore he's been short-listed on my "add to the next book order" list. :-)

Lisa said...

Well, you know, the scarey thing is that I can follow your unlinear line of reasoning. Maybe it is because we are related, or maybe because we are both expecting. Either way I'm glad you found the quote an hope it helped your blood pressure. ;)