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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Celebrating!

Yesterday was my birthday.  Because I was going to be helping at an academic meet all day and we would be at Bible study and worship last night, my husband decided to take me out the night before.  We ate at my all-time favorite place - a place where my husband I ate for several dates before marriage and several lunch dates since, but a place we don't have time to go to much any more.
We had several items to get at Walmart (a place I try to avoid, but actually enjoyed shopping all together on this rare occasion!)before heading home.  My husband said he wanted he and the kids to each buy me cards.  I told them to save the money (I'm cheap!) and just show me the cards! Ha ha!  (That's an inside joke my husband and I have, too!).  I read them and took this picture, but the kids said it would be wrong to take a picture of the cards individually.  (I was proud of them for realizing that it would be since we weren't paying for them!)

My husband bought me tulips, too!  And gave me a gift card for something I had been saving for each month!
And last night after we got home from worship and Bible study, they "surprised" me with this 'cupcake cake'!!!  They did the same last year and said it's a new tradition!  So sweet!  However, I must say, that next year I'm thankful that the Hostess recipe should be back on the market.  In my opinion this Little Debbie knock off doesn't compare!!  Several other family members agreed!

After that I sat down to reply to all of the wonderful Facebook messages and texts wishing me a happy birthday. I had HUNDREDS of messages from simple 'Happy birthday', to heartwarming, to funny, and one that made me cry!  By the end of the night it was no longer my birthday, but today.  I was soooooo wound up by the sweet messages that I could not sleep!  Finally, at 4:30, when my husband was starting to get up, he encouraged me to try to sleep.  I did....a few hours!  What a wonderful day!  I am truly blessed and humbled.  Thank you, God, for the blessing of family and friends!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

....NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD

As I was preparing my lesson for my Wednesday night ladies class about 'PEACE", I came across this verse.  

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 
Hebrews 12:14

I had read it many times before, but the last part really stuck out to me:  Without holiness no one will see the Lord.  I believe this verse is talking about a Christians' own holiness....that without holiness WE won't see the Lord, but also that without our holiness we can't help bring others to Christ and THEY won't see the Lord through us.

WITHOUT HOLINESS NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD! 

It reminded me of a quote I had seen earlier in the day:  May your life preach more loudly than your lips. (by William Ellery Channing).  

Now let's turn that phrase around and make it say:  WITH HOLINESS ONE WILL SEE THE LORD.  I like that, don't you?!  What a wonderful thought that ONE WILL SEE THE LORD - perhaps by seeing holiness within you.  Perhaps many 'someones' will see the Lord because of seeing holiness in you. Not that your example saves anyone, of course, but that your example might lead someone to salvation - only through Jesus Christ. Your life's example could ultimately affect where someone will spend eternity!

How we live our lives from day to day matters.  How we conduct ourselves, how we speak, how we deal with others all matter.  Choices we make matter. Yes, at some point we must open our mouths (or type on our laptops/etc. and write a blog post!) and tell others about Jesus.  We must tell others about salvation....about God's plan.....about His Word and His church.  But, our words won't matter if we're not living what we say we believe.  No one will care about our words, if they don't see our words evident in our own lives.  It's just that simple.

We must strive to live holy lives. That is how the world will see Jesus - by Him living in us.  We are lights of the world.  The moment we became a Christian, we became a light.  That is our job.  The problem is that sometimes we don't want to be a light....or we don't want to shine too brightly.  But we must.  Living a holy life means we must shine brightly.  The world needs our light!

Our motivation for shining brightly shouldn't be from duty or obligation, but because we love Him so much, we want to live holy lives because we want to be like Him.  We want to imitate Him in all ways.  And we want to share His love with others.  

Someone you know is looking for Jesus.  They may not realize it, but they're craving a close relationship with Him and their Father in heaven.  God may be trying to use you to reach that person.  Maybe no one else could.  Without holiness no one will see the Lord.  Perhaps that person is seeing the Lord in you.  What a wonderful thought!  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We're All Different

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. 
Romans 12:4-6a

I've been thinking about how different we all are.  I was actually thinking of my own family in regards to our recent bout with sickness - and how some bounced back in a day, while others didn't.  

This morning another child felt yucky again and didn't go to school. (I knew it was 'real' when my threat of, "You have to stay on the love seat all day long, can't get up and play, can't go out and play after the others get home from school, and can't watch anything on TV", didn't phase him!)  He doesn't have many symptoms, but I know from experience how that "yucky" feeling feels.  I sympathized with him.  He's still sleeping, almost two hours later.  Maybe that's what he needed.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14a

This illustration of my family and the differences in how we handle sickness makes me think of the church - and how we are each a part of the church.  The same body, but different parts.  There are stronger parts and weaker parts.  There are working parts and hard working parts.  There are some that do things that are seen, and others who do things quietly and unknown.  All different. All unique.  All needed. All useful parts in the kingdom of God.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

No one part is more special than the other part.  All are a part of the whole - the body of Christ.  But just as my family has had to help each other out during our 'sickness', we, as members of the body of Christ, must help each other at times of need.  Within the church, there is ALWAYS someone else in need.  Maybe someone is sick.  Maybe someone is struggling in some way.  Maybe someone is grieving, or lonely, or worried.  Maybe their faith is wavering.  Something isn't right.

Our job, as sisters in Christ, is to reach out to those who need us.  They're most likely not going to ask us for help. They're not going to call us and say they need something, but it's our job to LOOK for those who are needy.  We must be willing to turn our focus away from ourselves and look for ways to help others.  There is something we can do each and every day to help someone else.  We just have to be willing to look.  We probably won't have to look very far.

And, at times, maybe we will be the ones who need the help.  Perhaps someone will look around and see that we are the one in need.  That's what is so great about the Lord's church!  He knew we needed each other so He provided us with a unique and special way to connect with each other - by making us His children.  We're sisters in Christ!

Yes, we're all different.  But we're all the same, too, if we are members of His body.  So today, let's see what we can do to help those other body-members.  Most likely someone is needing your help today.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. 
Galatians 6:10

Monday, March 25, 2013

When Sharing Isn't Nice

After teaching children for years and years that it's nice to share, over spring break we learned in a BIG way why sharing ISN'T nice!  It's not nice to share viruses!  It's not nice to share stomach viruses!  Which is exactly what our family has been doing for the past six days..... YUCK!  They shared it with me twice....with a good day in-between.  

What else isn't good to share?  Sickness is obvious.  But there are other things:  Gossip, rumors, dirty jokes/stories, bad habits, bad attitudes, bad advice.  The list could go on and on.

However, though there a many, many bad things we shouldn't share, we have plenty of good things we can share with others - most importantly the GOOD NEWS of JESUS!  Share it freely and openly with others!  In fact, we're commanded to do so.

So, what are you sharing today?

But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[a] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's Spring Break Week!

I pray you are having a great week this week! 

My family is enjoying spring break this week - no school and also a week off for my husband.  We had a livestock show for the first few days, but now we're ready to tackle some "home improvement" projects and have some fun together.

I'm taking this week off from blogging, as well.  See you next week!



Friday, March 15, 2013

What Am I Doing?

Yesterday, as I was driving down the highway, this scripture came to mind:

If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

I began to question in my mind, "In what way am I denying myself that will cause me to walk more closely with Jesus today?"  What about you?  In what way are you denying yourself that will cause you to walk more closely with Him?

From time to time, I believe that it's good to closely examine our lives and make sure we are using our time wisely - in order that we may have time to spend getting closer to God and more closely walking with Jesus.  It may mean having to give something up in order to have this time.  Maybe I will have to get up earlier (yuck!) or stay up later.  Maybe I won't stay on the computer as long.  Maybe some of you would have to give up other forms of entertainment (TV, games, shopping, hobbies) or other self-indulgences.  But maybe it would be just getting more active in 'doing' for others....taking the time to help and serve.  Maybe it would be writing a note of encouragement or calling someone to check on them.

There are many, many ways we can deny ourselves.  The problem is that many times we just don't want to.  Our society says that life is all about "me", to do what feels good, to do what is best in my eyes and for me, and that is all that really matters.  It's totally against the norm to take "me" totally out of the picture.

But that's what Jesus did.  And so must I.  And so must you if you have committed your life to following Him.  He commands that from His followers.  As Christians, we are Christ's followers!

It's a simple plan:  Pray to God.  Read His Word.  Meditate on His Word.  Keep a thankful and grateful heart.  Strive to be more like Jesus every day.  Simple?  Yes! 

Little by little, with each passing day, by following this simple, yet profound, plan, we will find ourselves denying our selves and our selfish desires, but walking more closely with Him each day.  The wonderful thing about it is that, by doing so, others will begin to see the light of Jesus more evident in our lives.  We'll be spreading His message more and more all of the time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

GOOD STUFF!

From time to time, I hear/read/see some really good "stuff" that I want to share with you.  This is one of those times!  I hope you'll take the time to listen to or read these things.  They will inspire you!

One note about any video links:  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of my blog home page if you are on there and "click" the little circle with two lines in it like an eleven.  That will turn off the playlist music so that you can hear the videos.

1.  After my Biscuit post yesterday, this was just so sweet of him after school yesterday.  I wanted to share it with you:
Sometimes it's hard to believe Tyler is only 10 years old. He's always thought a lot deeper than most people - even adults! This afternoon he came home upset because his teacher thought he rolled his eyes at her. He said he apologized immediately, but still felt badly about it. I consoled him and told him how much I appreciated his tender heart. And, of course reminded him to make sure he didn't roll his eyes. I figure he did it, but didn't realize it (I've seen that look myself!). Sweet boy who reminds us all if the time why Jesus said we should be more like children.

2.  I've never confessed this on my blog, but I'm not a huge Duck Dynasty fan. However, my three boys and husband like it.  The boys like it A LOT.  My daughter is on my side.  We're not rednecks! :).  But, I am very, very impressed with the way they share Jesus with others, and for that reason, I will post things about them in regards to them spreading the good news on Facebook and here from time to time.  On a side note, Jace Robertson was as OC (Oklahoma Christian) on Monday. He did chapel there.  I had experienced OC chapel myself, the Friday before....then Sunday at worship the President of OC sat in front of us and my brother/sister-in-law introduced my daughter and I to him and shook his hand.  Monday he stood in a pond on the OC campus with Jase, shaking his hand.  They're just down to earth Christian people.  No different than you and I - our modes of spreading the gospel and being shining lights are just in different areas.  Isn't that great to know?! God uses ALL of His children!

Here are the links for two of Phil Robertson's (the dad.....I'm sure he looks kind of like Abraham might have! :) sermons.  They're really worth watching and sharing: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KwrmlTPI8w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DApqTMJYGMU

3.  Another sweet video of a little girl telling all about Jesus!  It's seven minutes long, but the end is so cute....you'll want to watch :).  Notice her daddy, too!

http://www.dimewars.com/Video/This-Little-Girl-Was-PAYING-ATTENTION-AT-CHURCH--She-Sounds-Like-She-Gives-Mommy-A-Sermon-Every-Night.aspx?bcmediaid=45613c24-04c0-4869-a35c-f917d15d67f2

4.  And these great thoughts from a Facebook page called "Parents Raising Godly Children":


Your family will not get heaven on accident! The wordly influence is too strong. There must be deliberate action of training, discipline and love on our part as parents. Faith in Christ must be on purpose, lived out loud in front of the ones we love! We cannot let up or turn it over someone else to 
raise our children to be Spiritual Champions! So:

If you are tired, fight one more day!

If you feel defeated, get on your knees and turn it over to HIM!
If you are distracted, stop, pray and get focused on Jesus!
If you have been lazy, get back on track!
If you need strength, get into HIS BOOK - the Holy Word of God!
Stay in the fight and FINISH STRONG today!
Leave a Legacy!

4.  Finally, a blog post about why many churches aren't growing like they should be.  This is so very true and sad!  Please take the time to read this important message.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Part of the Plan

Note: The Chronicles of Biscuit - Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit

Recently Biscuit got in trouble for having a bad attitude.  It was while we had company, so I had taken him into his room to talk to him and made him sit on his bed for a while before coming back in and joining the group.  While he was in there, he wrote a sweet letter - acknowledging his bad attitude and the fact that sin is in the lives of both sinners and forgiven sinners.  Here's his letter (his words and punctuation):

Dear church:

If possible I would like prayers from you. I've had problems with attitude towards my family & others. And ever time I hear what a wonderful plan it was to put Jesus on the cross I ask myself, "How could sin be part of the plan." They say that God is amazing but why did he know that sin was gonna come?

(And then his signature.)

What a sweet letter of repentance!  Biscuit knew as soon as I looked at him and asked him to go with me to his room that he was in trouble.  He knew why right then, because he knew how he had just talked to me was a BIG NO NO!  He especially knew that doing it in front of guests was even worse.  But Biscuit also is a Christian, so he knows of God's plan for forgiveness.

Each time one of our children has become a Christian, the first thing I've talked to them about was the fact that they still would do things wrong - that we all do.  I don't ever want them thinking that being a Christian means that one will never sin again.  Obviously that's not true. Only Jesus was totally sin-free!  But, I also made sure that they knew about recognizing sin and repenting of it - that God would forgive them.  The blood of Jesus continues to cleanse!  That is the plan!  God's wonderful plan!

So obviously Biscuit is having a hard time understanding all of the plan, and that's okay.  He's still young.  He is learning to recognize sin....learning to have a repentant heart....and learning about forgiveness.  Sometimes mature Christians even have trouble with that concept.  On this GRATITUESDAY, I am grateful for God's plan!

As I write this post this morning, my head is humming the tune and words to "Thomas Song".  It goes so well with Biscuit's thoughts.  I want to share it with you.  It's sung by Hallal - the group I have playing on my blog - along with The Zoe Group.  It has a beautiful message in the lyrics.

Join us for GRATITUESDAY at Heavenly Homemakers!


Thomas' Song
Ken Young
Verse 1
Jesus, You were all to me,
Why did You die on Calvary?
O Lamb of God I fail to see
How this could be part of the plan.

They say that You're alive again,
But I saw death and ev'ry sin
Reach out to claim their darkest win.
How could this be part of the plan?

Chorus 1
If I could only hold your hand,
And touch the scars
Where nails were driven.
I would need to feel Your side
Where holy flesh by spear was riven
Then I'd believe, only then I'd believe
Your cruel death was part of the heavenly plan.

Verse 2
Holy presence, holy face;
A vision filling time and space.
Your nearness makes my spirit race.
Could this be part of the plan.

I see the wounds that caused the cry,
From heaven, ocean, earth, and sky;
Where people watched their Savior die.
Could this be part of the plan?

Chorus 2
Reaching out to hold Your hand,
And touch the scars where nails were driven;
Coming near I feel Your side
Where holy flesh by spear was riven.
Now I believe. Jesus, now I believe.
Your cruel death was part of a heavenly plan.

Ending
I proudly say with blazon cry.
"You are my Lord and my God."

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Aroma of......Onions?

My daughter and I were in Oklahoma City Friday, when we received this text from my husband:

Ate a burger with onion. Onions were strong they were strong on me. I couldn't figure out why it was so strong, even the secretary commented on how strong I smelled. Finally figured out I had dropped an onion down in my shirt pocket it had soaked through to my t-shirt.

We laughed and laughed!  What an unpleasant aroma!

How do you smell today?  What is your aroma?  Hopefully it's not onions!  But is your aroma just as yucky as onions - or is it sweet and pleasant?

Under the old covenant, the Lord required animal sacrifices in order to please Him.  The sacrifices burned on the altar were often described as "an aroma pleasing to the Lord".  But with Jesus dying on the cross, He was the final sacrifice.  God no longer needed an animal sacrifice from His children.  With the new covenant, God wanted and does want,  our aroma to be pleasing.  Our aroma should be the aroma of Christ.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?  Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
2 Corinthians 2:14-17

So, do you smell like Christ?  Are you spreading the aroma of the knowledge of Him?  When we smell like Christ, we will be following Him - walking in His footsteps (serving, loving, obeying).  We will be imitating Him in our own lives.  The aroma we leave behind will be, or should be, pleasant to all who are around us.....not the smell of onions!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Making Ourselves Available


I've heard it said, that if you want something done, you should ask the busiest person.  That's because the busiest person doesn't usually say "No", but also because the busiest person can usually handle being busy and is always glad to help.  On the other hand, many who frequently say, "No", could say, "Yes", sometimes - so that the majority of the work doesn't fall on just a few.

Here's a cute story and some good thoughts about "Making Ourselves Available". It's from Alan White's "Thought for the Day" posts and is used with permission.

MAKING OURSELVES AVAILABLE

     A man was going up to bed, when his wife told him he'd left the light on in the garden shed - she could see it from the bedroom window.  But he said that he hadn't been in the shed that day.  He looked, and there were men in the shed, stealing things.  He rang the police, but they told him that no one was in his area, so no one was available to catch the thieves.

     He said OK, hung up, counted to 30 and rang the police again. "Hello. I just rang you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed?  Well, you don't have to worry about them now, I've just shot them all."

     Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, an Armed Response unit, the works.  Of course, they caught the burglars red-handed. One of the policeman said to this man: "I thought you said you'd shot them!"

     He replied, "I thought you said there was no one available!"

     The same thing happens frequently in my life.  Someone asks me to do something and I respond, "I don't have the time."  Often, what I mean by that is, "I don't regard this as important enough."  The truth is, we find (or make) the time to do whatever we regard to be important.

     Someone has said you can tell a person's priorities by looking at his checkbook.  There is a great deal of validity to that.  We are willing to spend money on the things we think are important.  But perhaps a greater indicator of our priorities would be our planning books -- a record of how our time is spent.

     For all of us, choices must be made.  We don't have time to do everything, so we must choose those things which are of greatest importance to us.  Just be careful that your choices are those things which are also most important to God.  The greatest men and women in the Bible were not those with the greatest resources or talents, but they were men and women who made themselves available to be used by God whenever He called.  May God never hear us say, "Sorry, but I'm not available!"

     "Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." (Ephesians 5:15-17, NIV)

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ladies' Salad Supper - 2013

Last night was the annual ladies' salad supper I host in my home each year.  This year I was able to plan it while the Sojourners were here, working at Tipton Home.
The many different salads were delicious, but my favorite part is always the fellowship of Christian sisters. (Note:  I've concentrated on the Lady Bug party theme on my other blog...www.3cherrycokes.blogspot.com)
Usually we play some kind of "story" game or have a theme for the stories, but this time I had different questions for the ladies - a list of questions they were able to choose from and answer. I've listed them below: 
What is one question you want to ask God?
What has been your favorite decade in your life?  Why?
What was your favorite age? Why?
Where has been your favorite place to visit?  Why?
Where has been your favorite place to live? Why?
When you were young, what did you want to grow up to be?  Did you?

  1. What is your favorite month of the year? Why?


  1. What is your favorite childhood memory?  


  1. What is your favorite scripture or book in the Bible?


  1. What is your favorite memory?


  1. What do you consider the worst mistake you ever made?  What did you learn from it?


  1. What is your favorite tradition?


  1. What advice do you have for the rest of us?


  1. What do you wish you had learned sooner in life?


  1. What is your favorite Easter memory?


  1. What is your favorite food? 


  1. What has been your favorite job? Why?


          What is your biggest fear? Why?

It's so much fun learning more about each of the ladies as they answer their questions.  It is good for them to get the opportunity to share, as well.
It's always a fun evening together!  I couldn't help but get a little saddened thinking about a few of the ladies who are no longer living.  We all loved hearing their stories!  I really wish we had some of them recorded so that we could hear them once again.

I'm thankful for the examples each of these women are in my life.  What a great thing to be able to share together as sisters in Christ!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Parenting 101

Our children's minds are like sponges - soaking up everything they learn through seeing, hearing, and experiencing.  It's amazing to watch little ones learn as they grow - learning to talk and communicate - learning to live in this world.  They only learn what they are being taught.  

What are your children being taught?  Are they learning the limits of their surroundings, what is safe and unsafe?  Are they experiencing life of a loving family and extended family who care for them and want the best for them?  Are they learning about God, Jesus, the Bible, and the church?

Sadly, many, many children in the world are not learning what they need to be learning.  They are not learning what God wants them to learn.  Instead of learning about God and His Plan for them, they are learning about the world and how the world says is the right way to live.  They're watching too much TV.  They're playing too many video games - some inappropriate for anyone, not just children.  Some are learning that in order to survive, one must steal, cheat, and that everyone is out to 'get' them in one way or another.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Learning begins at home. And the kind of learning God wants us to learn begins at home.  It begins by living out our Christian lives in front of our children. It begins by sharing God's Word with them - both by reading and by our actions.  It begins by demonstrating a servant's heart so that our children see the example of Jesus in the lives of their parents.  It begins by how we treat one another and respond to one another.

So many problems in the world would be alleviated if we all just took these two simple, yet profound, verses to heart - and lived them out in our lives and in the lives of our children.  Imagine a world where these verses were taught in the home daily!  Imagine the difference it would make in our schools, in our communities, and in our world.

It starts with YOU, and it starts with ME.  We must be the ones to start thinking and living and learning how God wants us to - and not in the way the world says is right.  He has the plan.  We just have to follow it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Bible on TV

Did you watch "The Bible" on the History channel last night?  If you didn't, I hope that you will take the time to check on the next airing of the mini-series. It was a very well-made movie, and our family is looking forward to watching the remaining eight hours in the series.  

We enjoyed talking about how the Bible was depicted, searching scriptures about certain points in the TV story - comparing them to the Bible for correctness, and watching the way miracles of God were played out on the set.  Seeing the difference in the Israelites and Egyptians - in the way they looked, dressed, and lived was very interesting.  

It was really good to "watch" the rebellion of the people that we read about so often in the Word.  To see Lot's wife turn to 'look' at Sodom and Gomorrah, then turn to salt in front of our eyes was very graphic, but made a great point.  To see the faith of Noah, Abraham, and Moses was very inspiring.  It made a big impression on our children - seeing it and not just hearing or reading it.

When Abraham bound up Isaac and placed him on the altar as a sacrifice, our youngest said, "I couldn't do that!".  We talked about how hard that would have been to even consider doing, but that God wants us to have that deep of faith that we would trust Him just as Abraham did.  I want to have that kind of faith, but I'm not sure I do right now.  That's the kind of faith we should all strive to have.

I couldn't help but wonder how God feels about all of us now.  Yes, He loves us.  Yes, He is patient with us.  Yes, He wants all of us to be saved and live with Him for eternity.  But just like the story depicted, there are many rebellious people in the world.  So many refuse to believe Him and His Word.  Many live only to please themselves and don't care about Him or His Word.  They don't care about the Savior.  

Then others may not yet know about the Savior. That's why our job as Christians is so important!  It's our job to tell the world about God and His Son!  It's our job to teach others the truth found only in God's Word!  We must diligently work to spread the Good News!

Let's get busy!  We've got a lot to do!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
2 Peter 3:9-12a

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Chronicles of Biscuit - When People Aren't Kind

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Stories about our youngest son, whose nickname is Biscuit.

This morning Biscuit requested that I make "green eggs and ham" because they're celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday today at school.  Funny that he requested it that and he's the one who doesn't even like egg! :)

Anyway, we were in the kitchen, along with two of his siblings and he started talking about something a classmate had said about him.  Rather than get upset about the classmate, I asked if he had been mean, too.  I asked if he had said anything unkind to her and on and on.  He said no, but admitted that in the past he has probably been unkind to other classmates as well.

I asked Biscuit what God would want us to do in this situation:  forgive, pray for the classmate....and I told him to just not let it bother him, because what was said wasn't possibly true, anyway.  (It had to do with paying to get into a certain thing at school.  That isn't possible, and if it was, we certainly wouldn't pay for it!)  Biscuit's response was so honest and sweet.  He said, "But it's hard."  I agreed.  "Yes, it is Biscuit.  It really is.  Just remember that when you treat people unkind.  It's hard for them, too."

Why is it so hard to forget the negative things in life, yet so easy to forget some of the positive things?  Maybe it's because the negative things hurt us - sometimes really deeply hurt us.

There are things I remember from childhood, and sadly a lot of them are not pleasant memories, yet I really had a great childhood!  It's those negative things that stick out in my mind!  I don't dwell on them, but they just stay there and pop into mind every once in a while.  Unkind words.  Unkind actions.  Mean people or attitudes.  But you know what, I alway think back and remember some of the times when I was the mean one!  That's even worse!  I've apologized over and over to my three best friends for being ugly to them in elementary.  We all laugh about it now, but if I could go back and change that - I would!  God has forgiven me.  They have forgiven me.  I still want to 'punish' myself!  Sometimes that's just how we humans are, isn't it?!

The most important thing to remember when people aren't kind is to first remember God loves you.  But also remember that God loves the other person, too - just as much - and He wants us to love others.  Sometimes 'liking' others is hard.  Sometimes forgiving others is hard.  But loving others enough to care about their souls and where they will spend eternity means that we will love them enough, and love ourselves enough, that we won't allow unkind words and actions to ruin our relationship with Him.  He'll forgive us when we ask.  He will help us forgive others.  He will help us when we're struggling with difficult people.

So, I'm praying for Biscuit today as he goes to school and faces the struggles of elementary life.  I have a feeling that there will be more and more kinds of things like this going on for a few years - simply because it always seems to get more prevalent in the preteen to early teen years.  I ask that you say a little prayer for Biscuit, too....that when people treat him unkind....that he will also respond with kindness (or nothing at all!).  That he will treat others the way he would want to be treated.....even when it's hard.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
 
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