As we were finishing up our supper the other night- our 4-yr-old son said excitedly, “Daddy, can you tell us the story about when Jesus explodes the world with fire and we can play with snakes!!”
Apparently, as our 2 boys rode home from church on Wednesday night in Daddy’s big truck he was explaining a bit of end times prophecy- maybe to answer a few questions they had about the message.
We did get a good laugh out of the innocence of our son’s excitement over a big explosion and playing with snakes!! Sadly though, the reality is that it will be a very terrifying time as the end draws nearer.
Children are interested, and children are imaginative. So, where do we draw the line in teaching the Bible or answering hard questions?
The Bible tells us over and over to tell our children, to “teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Some of it they will understand now- and some of it they will understand later. But as parents, grandparents, teachers, and mentors we must speak of these things. They must know these things are true and God will keep His Word. They must know that the Bible is our authority on how we live and what we believe.
I am glad my son knows that Jesus is powerful enough to explode the whole world- yet kind enough to let the children play with snakes and lions safe and unharmed.
I like productivity. Okay… I love productivity!
But sometimes we need to be reminded that being “busy” is not the same as being productive. And our goal in life is not always to be as “productive” as humanly possible.
Our primary goal should be loving and serving Jesus. In whatever He has given us in this life- as we go about our day, we need to leave some margin space for Him!
As I am devising my way (i.e. to do lists, schedules, grocery shopping, teaching, cleaning…) it is so important that I leave room to allow God to direct my steps.
When I woke up today I knew of the things on “my” to-do list. Thankfully I was on track with getting the things done when they needed done- and because I have left some margin space- I was able to have some breathing room when the Lord brought in things “I” hadn’t planned.
My day is not over yet… but I was able to take my father to the store for his monthly shopping, unexpectedly see a friend who I really needed to hug, and promise 3 hours to take my daughter to help someone out with a project.
This was such a good reminder to me as I am still learning the balance between always being “productive” and just always being there to do the things God has for my day. For me, I am learning to keep my margins wide- leaving plenty of room for Jesus to direct my steps!!!
Lamentations is a very small book- only 5 chapters. Yet it is full of lamenting and sorrow. So many struggles and hardships are cried out…
...we are orphans and fatherless
...the joy of our heart is ceased
...my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed
Praise ye the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD from the heavens:
praise him in the heights.
Praise ye him, all his angels:
praise ye him, all his hosts.
Praise ye him, sun and moon:
praise him, all ye stars of light.
My husband is quite the adventurer. I have to admit... if it weren't for him I would spend most of my life just staying within my comfort zone. Yet he has taught me that without taking the adventure- we miss out on so many wonderful things in this life.
Paul took this photo of our oldest son fishing off an island one night while they were out past sunset.
They watched the sun go down, and headed home safely in the dark- with wonderful stories to tell!!
...through the waters
...through the rivers
...through the fire
There seems to some type of false pretense that if we just love God and trust in Jesus- our walk on this earth will be an easy one. Then life hits!
People are often asking, “Where did God go?”
The truth is- God hasn’t moved. He never does. And unlike the common cliche’s we may hear or have maybe once believed… He also hasn’t promised us a life of pure happiness.
Unfortunately many false hopes are based upon little sayings that make us feel good- and not necessarily on Scripture.
God’s promises are true. But we must walk close to Him and find them spoken to us through His Word. He will not leave us comfortless. He will give us peace, and rest, and joy. He will speak to us through His still small voice.
When life hits hard- forget about all the Facebook memes and beautifully crafted pins on God’s promises. Open His Word and ask Him to speak to your heart. If you are His child- He will be right there for he has said, “I will be with thee.”
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to understand good morals when applying them to ourselves? You know…
Don’t lie about me!
Don’t steal from me!
Don’t cheat on me!
Yet when the Bible tells us to love our neighbor as our self… it seems a bit harder. In reality- if we loved others even half as much as we love ourselves and love to please ourselves… we wouldn’t have many of the daily struggles we face as we strive to live the Christian life.
And the crazy part is… that’s all God asks us to do. He knows that if we just truly took hold of the meaning of living a life where we love our neighbor as our self… the rest of the law wouldn’t even need to be addressed! We wouldn’t be lying, cheating, stealing, envious, gossiping, or backstabbing. That might seem a bit harsh- but even if we sugarcoat our “little sins” they are a dark contrast to God’s righteousness.
Take some time today to read God’s Word, meditate upon it, and ask God to show you what it truly means to “love one another” and to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” As we go about our day… let’s be mindful of our actions, attitudes, and answers.
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13: 8,9,10
This Precious Girl Always has a Smile & Hug to Share With Me
Truly the most satisfying part of life is a relationship. At the end of the day- what is that one part that really mattered? It could be with your spouse, your child, your friend, or a complete stranger- but when you think back on that day it was that one moment when there was a spark between two human souls.
How do we make these connections? Sometimes they come naturally- at home, with our family- at work, in a conversation with a coworker. But sometimes we need to reach a little farther. Sometimes we need to take a step in an unfamiliar direction. Sometimes we need to listen to that voice whispering to us, “Make the first move!”
As you go about your day- how about taking a moment to speak to that stranger you pass. A kind word doesn’t cost anything- yet is is of great value. A genuine smile may be just the thing that a hurting heart needed to get them through another day. Take a moment to make a connection. Let somebody know that you truly care.
The days we will remember will be the days touched by a caring heart. God cares for each one of us- and yet we, as His children, can be so focused on our daily life that we neglect to see the relationships that pass us by each day. Show someone you care for them.
You can make a difference in someone's life today. Maybe your spouse could use an encouraging word. Your child would cherish that hug. A neighborhood child will know they are important to you. Or it may be a lonely cashier that smiles the next time you come into her aisle.
...Friendliness takes such little effort- yet gives us such great reward!!