Monday, July 25, 2011

Because I said so???

Dear Ladies,

       NO!  NO!  No!  We have all heard the word and have had many reactions to its very mention.  When I was a little girl, I would hear that word and rebel.  I wish I had handled it differently, but I did not see the wisdom in doing so.  In fact, I missed that NO was mostly for my protection, provision and education.

        This is the typical reaction of our children too!  I have been training my children to accept the No without question.  This was my way of having them obey me, but maybe not with wisdom.  When they are teenagers and becoming adults, what will govern them?  Certainly not "Because I said so!"  There has to be a way to do both.

       Recently during a retreat I hosted in my backyard for about 25 girls between the ages 10-17.  I had a discussion with them about that word NO.  We know it is a word that sends the little attitude mongrels marching in the hearts of their hearers.  I wanted the girls to start looking for the wisdom behind the NO.  So I boldly proclaimed a plan.

       I told them the next time they were told NO in regards to something...I asked them to take it with strength and dignity.  Obey it!  Accept it!  Do NOT  challenge it whatsoever.  Take it immediately in prayer and ask God to have you accept it fully.  Once you have accepted the next few days, go to your parent who issued the NO and say this first.  "I accept the NO.  I am not here to change your mind, get my way or make a case...I am here to understand the wisdom behind the NO." 

        Do we desire that our children would one day answer for themselves with wisdom?   I think the evidence of their lack of wisdom is when they say something like..."My parents won't let me do that."  OR  My dad is too strict." OR "My mom doesn't understand."  These comments tell me that they are lacking wisdom and in fact complaining publicly.  Young ladies should not be about the business of complaining...let alone publicly. 

       I am just beginning to see the wisdom of teaching them the wisdom behind the NO.  My rule is...not at the time that I am asking for your obedience.  Seek me later, while we can sit down alone and speak about the day together in the cool of the evening under the stars.  Teach them to come with a heart looking to discern and understand.  Encourage it and foster it in patience and love.

       If  I sense the motive is to change my mind, I will hold the conversation over for another time.  I still want to teach the wisdom but when the heart is burning with curiosity not animosity. 

       There is no better wisdom than God's Word and I want all the opportunities I can to give our children application for His Word in their everyday lives.  There is unmeasurable joy in seeing a child's life governed by the blessed assurances of His promises and the precepts of His law that keep them from harm.   Oh, that we might save them from a thousand hurts by such talks in the cool evenings under the stars.

        God wants us to explain Him to our children (Deut. 6, Eph. 6).  Hence,  I can no longer live with..."because I said so". 

Friday, June 10, 2011

It is More Than a Dishwasher

Dear Ladies,

When I was a little girl, I did the dishes by hand with my sisters.  We didn't have a dishwasher.  I can still remember my attitude toward this duty in my home.  Let's just say, I wasn't skipping to the chore with joy in my heart.  My view of this chore was way to narrow to give it any credence or relevance in my life.  It just had to get done!

That is an awful excuse to hear when you are growing up trying to become a young woman in a home full of sinners...who are your family!  It just seems to make the chore more meaningless than ever.

Since my children were three years old, they have always helped unload a dishwasher.  As they grew older they would handle this task with out any help.  I have always been the loader of the dirty dishes except for when they were teenagers and they could do it when asked.

Some things were lost with the modern convenience of a dishwasher.  There was this memory of the social aspects of doing the dishes by hand.  Though my sisters and I were not always kind to each other, we did manage to have some great times around the dishes.  I can remember the soap bubble fights and the laughter.  Some times are discussion would turn to a more tender nature, but we did not have the vision for the reason for the chores set before us.

The other day, I saw in my daughters countenance when she approached the all too familiar chore...the dishwasher.  She pulled open the tin box and reluctantly dropped its door open.  It may have been the early hour of the day or just an overall lack of my ability to communicate a bigger message.  Yes, I may not have been communicating this vision for her correctly...or at all!

You noticed I didn't blame her in this circumstance.  I could have.  I could have address this behavior as I have a thousand times before.  But something was missing from this picture and I had just see the light bulb go on in a rather unlit place as it had stood moments before. Thank you Lord!

She, like I, had no big picture.

I took my sweet girl and we stood over those dishes that extended out on the tray before us.  I looked at her and I remember thinking, I love when God gives me these moments.  I am without words sometimes as to what I want to convey.  So I pray.  Sometimes with my child and sometimes just in my little head.  I pray to be gentle, to be heard, and to have a hearts response from this child that belongs ultimately to Him.

Then I launched in...

"Those dishes,  they will teach you something about life and family you need to know." 

By her bewildered look, I knew I had not shared this before.

"Those are clean dishes that sit there waiting for someone to put them back where they belong.  But they are, believe me, my dear daughter, more than clean dishes.  They are a training ground to something greater.  Your character is being formed by these dishes.  This simple chore has the ability to take you from lazy to faithful and diligent.   Yes they are just dishes, but because you come every day to tend to them, one day you will have a greater gift.  This will train you for a wide sphere of influence and role model.  When you have your own family you will be faithful and diligent.  You will have many other tasks to do and you will stand, possibly one day, over your own dishwasher and share with your child what this little contraption can produce in you if you let it."

I went on to form questions for her future use...

"It is more than a dishwasher.  It can form your character.  Can you be counted on?  Can you be consistent?  Can you take all your thoughts captive to Christ, when the feeling of grumbling appears to destroy that which you are reaching for...your character?  How willing are you to be serving this family on a daily bases?  What does God say about serving one another?  Because a family that have streaks of independence will run a muck in our homes causing discord and unhappiness."

All these questions will become tools for her to study her own heart and its desire for independence.  Is independence the chief goal of man?  I shall be talking about that more later.  I think the Bible is quite clear on this subject.

I am pleased to say I am praising God for His work in my daughters heart in the area of the dishwasher.  Maybe the bigger picture helped her.  Seeing  how God intended for families to work together forms character and christian attitudes towards one another for His glory.

I guess I should mention, that I took the conversation to even a wider view and let my daughter know that if she saw that I was busy and tending to other tasks for our home, she should take the ownership necessary and load the dishes as well.  She is serving her dad and helping his family function by serving her mom in this way.

It is more than a dishwasher.  It is about belonging to a family.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Teaching What Matters...Trans-parently!

Dear Ladies,

Who knows our children better?  Why do I forget that I do? I am their mom. My children are not toddlers anymore.  The communication between my children and I can be deep and infinite.

When I look at my children I can see their character and some of it is not good.  They learn that from me...after all I am with them 24/7.   If there are areas of Diligence, Charitableness, Loyalty, Usefulness, Purposefulness, Faithfulness, Truthfulness, or Selfless and Sacrificial hearts, these are wonderful qualities for a family to rejoice in.

If Christ is the reason for these characteristics, then we will grow deep in our realtuonships and the result is glory to our King.

If the reason is not for our dear Savior, it should be.

We are not to malign the word of God with wrong behavior.  We do!  I know I do.  For self pride still longs to live in my members and have its way at all cost at times.

All this to say...Can't I help my children in this area?  Yes!   I have God's wonderful and effective word.

If there is an area in my child's life I want to help them with, I must examine myself first.  So as not to be a hypocrite to the watching eyes and ears of my precious children,  I must confess my weak areas to my children and set an example of setting a course for victory with scripture in one hand and my heart for Christ in the other.  How else will they know what is happening in my mind and heart if I am not willing to be transparent about my weakness in the first place.

Then I can ask for prayer.  This is a wonderful and humble process to allow my children to pray for me.

In all this, I am setting an example.  One they can follow when I take great care in approaching them with an area they may need to consider in their lives. There are so many role models but few that live so dramatically different and humble enough to admit it.  We need to be the kind of heroes of the faith our children can see in living color outside of the Bible.  Ephesians 4:29 states "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Our children say and do things in our midst that can make us upset, angry or even unjust.  I am convicted the whole time I am upset.  Frustrated with a child and there the Holy Spirit is gently  convicting me over my method or tongue.  I come to the conclusion that self still lives and has not died and trusted God to grow my children.  I can only plant and water, but God does the growing! If I do my part, do I trust Him with the outcome...what ever that will be.  My frustration is clearly a sign that at that moment I don't.

The truth of Ephesians 4:30-32 dwell richly in my mind and bridle my tongue. It says "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Convicting!!  But as a mother, I want to reach the heart of my children  the way God would like me to do it!   Then, they can see how great a God we have.  Our God loves us with a passionate love.  I want to show my children that kind of love for His name sake.

Does this mean there are no consequences?  No, may it never be...Consequences have there place when grace is cheapened and taken for granted.  But if we are full of the grace of God, will find the hearts of our children sooner than punishment can even achieve.  The principals of the New Testament are loaded with grace, love and mercy.  The power of love and mercy is like placing coals on the head of someone who knows their due punishment. A pardon is what we received from our Savior on the Cross.

If I know my kids.  Really see their weakness and strengths, I can help them.  I can purpose to teach a matter diligently in a way that pleases the Lord.  This may take time.  Weeks of instruction on a single purpose to help the child understand the principals found in the situation.  God is that patient with us when we are lazy and weak to change or cut something out of our lives.  And when they or even I fail....we have Christ!

But for the grace of God go I...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Let Me Be Found Faithful To The Lord

Dear Ladies,

The older my daughters get, the more I know my time with them is getting shorter.  My mom once said, 'You either are a good example or a horrible warning."  It has stuck in my head ever since.

I was not raised in a Christian Home.  The Bible was not the authority for the meaning of life.  Later in life, at the ripe age of 36, the Lord saved me.   My hubby and I had four children and we were behind the proverbial eight ball.  I wanted our children to be hungry for the word, walk in His ways and love God with all their hearts.  I had to make up for lost time.  I needed to tell them what the Bible said.   And it was a big book!!

Through out the years, God has grown me.   He replaced an anxious heart, with one that is learning to trust Him.  He is replacing an impatience heart, with a strong desire to have a winsome way of waiting on the Lord.  Notice, He is the one who is doing the work within my heart.  He gets all the glory!

So did a cloud angel hit me on the head and I just started to think this way about anxiety and patience.  NO!
Actually it was the word washing over my heart, faithful ladies who loving spoke into my life and lastly I needed to pay attention to the history God was writing in my life...who am I to get in the way of that!

After some time of reflection, I could see what God was using to teach me throughout the years.  The word, faithful ladies, watching for His faithful hand in my life.  Now can I now turn around an apply these things to my daughters.

I have become a student of their hearts.  I bring scripture to bear upon their thinking, some times day after day, until it lives in there.

Remember how you felt when you were studying Algebra.  You would said to yourself, "Why do I need to know this...I'm never going to use it!"  Maybe that's what is goes on in the thought life of our children.  So, lately, I have been connecting the dots.  If I share God's word, I not only apply it to the current situation, but to their future.  How it fits into married relationships, siblings, friendship, and work life.

Discipleship is a daily reality.  When the faithful ladies spoke into my life, they did it with love.  They had to be patient to see it germinate and then bloom, if the Lord willed.   This is were their winsome attitude was helpful.  It beat the heavy handed mouthful of judgement.  I know I have delivered that kind of discipleship with my children.  I certainly wasn't putting my fruits on display.  I was not worth following! 

Our children are so precious to us, I think we become frightened and anxious for them.  I want to see their fruit for the Lord and when I don't it causes despair.  I still need to be like my Lord whose kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).  I need to forgive, like Christ has forgiven me (Eph 4:32).  I need to love like my Savior (Romans 5:8).

I must enforce consequences, but without the rage, the disdain and the profane lack of love.  I wonder what we would say if we could see our faces on some cosmic TV screen during one of those times, saw what our children saw.  I know I would not be representing the gospel. I would be sending a different message. Worship me!!  Or our God is not worth following when things get difficult.

When God reveals, comforts and encourages us,  I want to be able to say...Did you notice how God worked that out?  We should not be discouraged or angry lest we miss what God will do!  How great is our God!

Now that is a great opportunity ESPECIALLY if my child have had the opportunity to watch me weather  the not so pleasant sides of life in a  fallen world.  I am not saying I have to be perfect.  I need to be able to recognize my sin and repent right away.  If I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me, then I will feel the effects of sin.  I can tell when my children are getting my blood boiling.  I need to stop it before it starts.  I need to renew my mind in the scripture Romans 12:1, Col 2:8.  Ask for any forgiveness

When our children leave our home and have families of their own, how do we want to see them nurturing and  admonishing their children.

I hope to be planting a vision for the future. Purposefully living now, so the fruit for the generations to come will be an effective evangelistic tool for a lost and dying world.

Many, faithful saints, of days of old, have proven this reality.  Faithful men and woman whose children and their children's children...All Walked With The Lord.

There is so much at stake.  Let me be found faithful to the Lord.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Birthday with a Purpose - 'Careful' & 'Bingo'!

Dear Ladies,

When our kids have a birthday, we put a scripture reference on their cake.  The verse is read to them just before we light their candles.  We take the time to explain why we picked that verse.  We give the verse to the child for one of two reasons.  The first reason could be we have seen the child grow in this area.  The second reason might be that this verse may well serve them in the years to  come.

The later is what we did for our thirteen year old daughter and her friends.  Emma and her friend Tabby made the cake this year.  A beautiful sunflower!

While they were baking away the afternoon, I was searching the scriptures to apply to this years traditional offering.  I knew that 1Timothy 4:12 was going to be my main verse.

"Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe."

I had ten sweet girls who have become friends with my Emma over to spent the night.  The living room was cleared and all the sleeping bags went down one after the other like they were a can of sardines.

Knowing I had this time with the girls, I was desiring to be purposeful with them.  I purchased 8 X 10 frames from the Dollar Store.  I printed out our verse - 1 Timothy 4:12 in a decorative font.  I pulled stamps and stamp pads, markers and stickers from the hall closet.

Then when I had all these precious girls around the table, I asked them to look around at all the faces.  These could be friends for all of eternity.  You could watch each other marry one day, have babies and even watch some move away...and you can still be great friends... except for one foe that could ruin the whole future with one another.

They tried to figure out what that problem could be but eventually I had to tell them...Unrepentant Sin! Sin that had crept in and took over and not one person at this table could help that person to cast it off because  that person loved their sin too much.

Then I shared the verses that spoke on what fellowship has darkness with light.  How we must be a people for God and that we need to turn from sin and its path. Eph 5:11, 1 John 1:6, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:21, Titus 2:7, 2 Timothy 2:22, Galatians 6:1, Matthew 5:8

I knew that the sins that may so easily over take them might be gossip and modesty.  The girls were so wonderful to help come up with code words to help each other convey a bigger message with out much explanation at the moment.  We never want to embarrass some one.  So for gossip...they came up with the word 'careful'.  They can politely interrupt the conversation and ask if they can speak privately with the person who is talking.  Taking them aside...then they can quietly say 'careful'.  Then the person has the choice to return to the previous conversation or choose to stop in their tracks and talk about something else.

The other word the girls came up with was 'Bingo' for modesty issues.  This was easily done if a bra strap was showing or the top was slipping downward.  These ladies had found a way to communicate a bigger message.  That message was...'I have your back'.  I am willing to speak in love and I pray you understand I care about you.

It was a privilege to see these ladies decorate their verse with beauty and frame it.  Then each girl sign the back of the frame to pledge in love they will uphold God's word with one another. 

I asked them to consider 5 years from now...sitting at this table once again.  Could they have the vision to care for one another in this way?  Could they see hanging these frames one day above the crib of their own child in memory of the group of ladies that pledge to live for the word of God?  It could be that special...It was up to them.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This last week, I was more Martha than Mary

Sometimes life is just packed with Martha duties.  Putting off the Lord and racing through the chores until they are finished.  Are they ever finished?

We are preparing to have foster children join our family for as long as God sees fit.  Rooms are being rearranged.  The massive amounts of books in our home have been categorized and made into a small library in the upper family room.  When I say small...I am kidding.  The kids love it, but oh how time consuming a task.

I have been reorganizing the walk in pantry.  Two bedroom are now reorganized.  I am almost done and praising God for it.

It has been interesting to me how being Martha for these last few weeks has benefited my family in practical ways.  Everything is organized!  I can find stuff.  I have de-clutter!  But,  I would not want to stay a Martha.   You see, Mary knew the better thing.  She learned at the feet of Jesus and like most well feed Christians, we can't help but blab about it!

During the past few weeks, I have been able to dispense wisdom to my children because of the grace of God and what He has planted in my heart to this point...Can you hear the BUT coming...BUT I would have liked to stop, look into their eyes, give all my attention and not be concerned about another box of books needing to be carried upstairs if I am ever going to get done!

My girls were gracious and understood the task I was undertaking.  They helped and blessed me so much.  Maybe because of their help, I am even more aware of not carving out time for them. 

Mary had the sweetest job ever.   To soak up the words of the God of the Universe, the giver of life, the creator of all we enjoy and see and she knew He was her Savior.  I want that job.  I don't want to put another chore in front of Him.  After Him but not before Him.

I am sure to be enjoying my chores, every interruption, and ease robbing moment if I am enjoy my God first!  You know it's true.  Days when we fore sake time with Him are just way different then the days when we start with Him!  Tomorrow, I am going to be a Mary!   Pray for me as I will all the moms out there who fall into the same routine of chores first and can't seem to put Him first
After all, He has put you and I first.  If we pray, we can over come!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Standing Before God

The other day, I was having an 'encouragement' talk with one of my girls.  She was struggling with something and I need to help her find a new way to think the situation through.  The old one was corkscrewing her into the ground.  You know the type.  I get a bee in my bonnet and off I go corkscrewing myself into the ground.  I just want to stop, but the bee just keeps buzzing in my bonnet.  I can hear it, but I can't find it!

So there we were talking about how it all started.  I asked her some questions to help her see how our heart's will devise a plan without us really be aware of it.  I could refer back to my bonnet, but I think you get the picture!  This is where I must be the most diligent in my own thinking.   Proverbs 4:23 'Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life.'

Our discussion was sweet and personal.  I shared my own struggles in this area and I won her conversation for it. 

As the conversation progressed, I realized a position in my thinking I hadn't really considered.  We were talking about what motivates the heart to do what is pleasing in the sight of the Lord.  We covered hiding His word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him, looking to the work He freely did for us on the cross and the huge thank you we desire to give Him for what He did even when we had not asked.  This eventually came to talking about standing before the Lord to hear those sweet, sweet words..."Well done, my faithful servant." 

Then it hit me.  Why do I put that at the end of the time line of my life?  Am I not standing before Him right now?  Why would I put that at the end of her time line too!  It was a sweet moment to share how God is with us every moment.  I am standing before Him now, tonight, tomorrow and until I see Him face to face. 

Live for Him will hear Him say...Well Done, Faithful Servant!    

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

They are Watching. What Do They See?

I just hear a sermon this last Sunday night on Revelations 3.  It was covering the church at Laodicea.  I had to think how that is really our churches in America.  The city was located in a the major hub for trade and industry.  Fashion,money changing (early banks) and health were highly regarded in the area.  Even their medicines were cutting edge.  Made me think of the City of Vanity from Pilgrims Progress.

They had placed so much of their confidence and faith in the things around them.  I had to wonder how much I do that.  Do I count on my abilities to buy nice clothing or even the security of money in the bank?  Am I really show my children what is important about this time on earth.

Of course, I like to dress nice and have the security of that magic amount. in our bank account to cover three months of bills...just in case!  These are my earthly comforts and quite frankly can be my safety net in my heart.  Is that a formula I can count on?  Are things going to work out because I calculated what my perfect comfort zone is?  Wow!  I bet God has a tracker beam on my idol and has placed a spiritual bulls eye right on it!!

The passage goes on to a pretty famous verse in Revelations 3:15-16  "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot, I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."

Have you ever drunk lukewarm water.  Not yummy or refreshing.  The people of Laodicea knew what the messenger was saying.  Geographically speaking, there were two aqua ducts that merged.  One came from the North and the other one from the South.  One had cold refreshing water great for drinking water and the other had what we would understand as a sulfur springs(Hot bubbly water).  When both of the waters arrived deep into Laodicea,  they were mixed and seemed neither good for drink or other uses.  So it was with them and God takes it seriously.  So did I that night!

It just has me thinking.  Do I really want to place my trust in God and what He can accomplish in time, money, relationships, and even my thought processes?  Or am I placing them in things and money like this church in Laodicea?  Here is my plan to find out the temperature of my heart for Christ.

  • How do I respond to having to deny getting a sweater that looks so darling?  Is that imortant in light of eternity or better yet, is it better for my girls to see my attitude of letting it go and still be happy.  I can appreciate something and not possess it. After all, I have eternity!
  • How about when my hubby is out of work or between jobs.  Do I worry?  Yes...Can I do something better than that and much more effective and useful.  Yes!!  I can give my cares to the Lord in prayer and be an example of one who puts my trust in Him.  How would it impact my children to see me in a joy, unaltered by circumstances?  Would they see Him as faithful, true and the only source of true joy?  Would not this be the BEST I could give my kids?
  • How about when someone is speaking coldly or indifferent?  Do I plan an attack?  Oh, the flesh loves to war.  Can I be of any better use than that?  Have I placed my earthly mission above my heavenly mission?
These are just some things that spin about in this puny brain of mine.  The word of God can effectively do this and more in the thinking of such a wretch.  Making me aware that it is not just about me.  It is my relationship to Christ and the testimony of that love for Him.  Grace, Mercy and Joy!  We have this in abundance and I probably don't share it like I should.

The Pastor said at some point, it would be far better that a small group of people on fire for the Lord represent Christ than to have a bunch of people lukewarm saying they follow Him.  This just made such an impression on me.  I want Hot not Cold nor Lukewarm lest I be spit out...What if believers were just Hot for Him.  We all know it...It would be an amazing testimony about God in our lives.  What would an unbelieving world say if we were Christ-like in all respects.  Willing to love when wronged, are not glutinous towards the things of the world, helped, shared, cared, prayed for, even suffer for other believers in this world.

John 13:34-35 says 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Are we so different?  Do we need to be?  We are here but for a pencil dot on the time line of eternity. Study the word and know it that you can live it out.  This is my prayer for me.  I pray it will be for everyone who loves our dear God.

They are watching... our children, extended family, our neighbors and co-workers.  They are watching.  What do they see?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Mission is to Show Them God!!

All of us have conversations with people.  Confess...for the believer those conversations that rock our world are always when God's word is in the middle of it.   The word can be expressed in so many ways.  By peoples actions, the imagery in a story they are retelling or the very scripture itself!

There are people in our lives that give us the big picture and some that show us the corners of our lives.

You know the corners are the places where dust collects and needs straightening up due to neglect or ignorance or sin.  Some times the things in the corner just need to be throw out.  These are the things that are hidden to the general visitors of my home because corners are out of the way places.  Then some one who loves me, says something about the pile I in the corner.  I love these people.  Really.  They desire my good.  They are looking at my testimony for Christ and do not wish the word of God to be maligned.  The Titus 2 woman is very much like this.  She desires to see your life give glory.  Not in petty things, but in the care and love of family.  Is my corner filled with wasted time, lack of diligence, managing my god given role or the all too famous need for more sleep.  I am afraid I could sleep my way to the gates of heaven only to look back and see what a waste of my God given time. 

The big picture people say something that gives me a broad stroke of myself here on earth.  I love when I am talking to someone and they don't even know they are speaking to my heart.  They are just sharing what God showed them or what someone shared with them.  Recently, I was so touched to hear a momma talk so fondly about her four boys.  The oldest was 7 and the youngest almost 2.  Someone had told her that God had entrusted her to have all boys.  That she was raising the next generation of leaders for the church.  Wow!  Now that just gave her such a blessed responsibility.  That how she saw it and she loved the thought that God would use her in such a way.  Her awe and joy was infectious! 

I don't have four boys but that message still rings in my ears.  I am raising girls and boys for the future church body of Christ.  Lord willing, He will touch each one of them for His use and glory. 

I love hearing things like this because I have all the tool I need in scripture.  I am just reminded how sweet and wonderful the mission is.  The mission is to show them God!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Will I Live This Life For Him?

Today is another day full of God's mercy and grace towards me!!!   When days where Christ is my focus and my dearest thought,  I have had the most wonderful experiences.  May my mouth love the Lord and do very little to care about my circumstances, interruptions to my day and the deeds the flesh so desires to do on it's own behalf.

You know how it get on the phone or your start cooking a meal and then you hear it...the unsettled issue in the next room.  The slow burn of whispers that turn into the full words of anger. Your children are at it again.  

You don't have to be yelling to achieve the goals of anger.  You just have to let those fleshly words pour out and annihilate the ones you have sovereignly been placed with by God.  If that relationship is a husband and wife, parent to child or siblings, we have the ever present chance to place our fist up to God and say this is not good enough!!  I want...

You can all fill in the blank. We all can.  I know I can!!  Every time my girls have a disagreement, I sit with them and hear all they have to say about the matter.  Truthfully, I am annoyed sometimes at what I hear.  I realize that all their excuses and reasoning are folly before the Lord.  At the same time, the faithfulness of the  Holy Spirit is convicting me of my own folly in my marriage and relationship with my own child.  Excuses and reasoning I tend to lean on like a life saver instead of the lead weighted anchor that it really is.

I can look at this in one of two ways. 

My flesh can tell me that I need to have what I want just like my girls in their disagreement.  We argue for and about things, that I can not for the life of me tell you what I fought over six months ago.  What seems so important at the moment is really a false sense of meaningfulness. 


If  I really sought the real meaning of such trials and inconveniences it would be for me to fall on my face and worship God.  To seek His face and ask Him to mold my heart to conform to the peace and promises within His word and  to be about the business of glorifying His name. How I focus on the comforts of life and the ease I believe it will afford me, instead of how wonderful it is to bless my Savior.  To live in a pleasing way for Him.  To show Him my love in the light of the love He showed me on the cross. 

When I think of the power of the gospel and the love of God, I can't help but think He has made me for Himself. I have one life to live. Will I live it for Him?     

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Season of Colds and Bad Attitudes

When the fall season appears on the scene, we start planning for the Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We write really, really tiny on our calendar spaces because we have so much on that day to do and more could present its self.  Exciting as it all is to visit friends, plan for family and decorate for the big day, we must keep our goals in check.

There are the "do it all" type person.  Others are a "if asked" or "if  needed".  I am all these.  To my detriment!

Please do not think it is not a wonderful journey of service and love  pored out to those along the way.  Can you just hear a BUT coming?

BUT, this is also flu and cold season. January 1st and one child is sick, then three days later another...Being stopped in my tracks due to a sickness can change my attitude. I admit it.  IT was not what I had planned.  My child is sick and grumpy and I need to be the mommy to the one in need. When I am sick, I  become tired and that leads to being grumpy.  Sin with an excuse!  That is what that is!

I know the all night, no sleep, feeling a little of the sickness yourself, cleaning up the throw up, changing the sheets, laundry, laundry, and more laundry are not the glamorous moments.  I know during those moments I have just prayed to get through them.  With my attitude in check and my 'will' lined up with the Lord, I can weather these moments without regret.  But what if I can even make more out of these moments.

The results of our fallen world includes sickness.  Do you think my child would feel and understand that just a bit more at this time.  How we need Jesus to help us through the trials in life that are a product of a fallen world.  Praying together, reading  (a good christian book!! maybe with a character that has more trouble then they do).

If I can see that God has given this to me, I might actually use it to grow and be blessed in the Lord.  How many times could I talk about the Lord with this little one while coloring a beautiful picture with them (distracting them from actually feeling "sick - technique").  Serving up home made soup (previously frozen for such a time as this).   Who knows, we might have to frame the art to remind us of the memories of such talks.

Let us find ways to nurture our families. Share with each other the productive time when we have been sick. Don't let the schedule run us into the ground, but look to the reason for the season we just enjoyed.  Be inspired to be like the One who loves us and sacrificed for us because of His deep love for us.