During a season of tough love with one of my girls, the resounding theme was “I don’t want to”. Without going into details, this was the answer that I received every time I tried to make her understand that her behavior was unacceptable and needed to change. She wanted her way, no matter what. She would risk everything to have her way even if it meant disappointing me and mom, getting grounded or even a spanking.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you – Ex. 20:12
The honoring of a father and mother creates not only sability in the home but also in our society
So I began to try to show her that the very thing that SHE wants, she cannot have. That her disobedience would lead to much heart ache. Disobedience is nothing new I said. I explained to her about Adam and Eve and how they were created here on earth by Almighty God and given everything – EVERYTHING, with the exception of course, one thing that was withheld for their protection and because God loved them so much. And yet the one thing that they were told to avoid, to leave alone, they had to have.
Now before I am too hard on Adam and Eve, I would have done the same thing I am sure given the same circumstances and so would you – we have all proven that.
I remember hugging her tightly and saying, “You are loved. We love you and because we love you we can’t allow this to go on behaving this way. You are loved”. And so We continue to love her through this season of growing pains, teaching her that God loves her, that we love her and that we are here for purpose – to honor the One who created us, to have charity, patience, to care for all those we come in contact with and to show the love of Christ so that it is real to anyone who sees. Is it tough? Absolutely! But press on friends. The final product will be amazing.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God – 1 Cor. 10:31
Father, Help us to understand that You want what is best for us and always have our best interest at heart. Lord give us the wisdom we need to see things the way that you see them, that we might glorify You with our obedience. – Amen
This is something that I wrote Tuesday morning and stuck to my bathroom mirror. It is the first place that I stand in the morning and will be a reminder of who I belong to.
These feet, these hands, this heart, these lungs, this mouth, these eyes and ears – are Yours Oh Lord. By Your strength….
…I will love truly
…I will walk in faith
…I will breathe as one with You
…I will speak boldly the Truth
…I will keep my eyes and ears pure
…I will fix my heart and mind on You
Thank You Lord for using these hands to build Your Kingdom. May You receive honor and glory for these.
Before you read this post perhaps you would like to take just a moment to read John chapter 8:1-10. I know, I know, you might be thinking, “we know the story of the adulterous woman”. But I feel that re-reading this story really sets the mood for my post – so please humor me.
In the movie “Forrest Gump” there were 3 scenes involving rock throwing.
1. Forrest was a very young boy and he and his friend, Jenny were walking. Ssome mean boys smashed him in the face with a rock and continued to pummel him as he ran away.
2. Forrest was in High School , still walking with his friend Jenny and apparantely the same bullies were still throwing rocks and this time chased him with a car.
3. Much later in life, his best good friend Jenny came home – finally. As Forrest and Jenny walked they came across the house that Jenny grew up in. She stopped and starred at the house for just a moment remembering how her father sexually abused her as a child and then in explosive rage she grabs a rock and throws it at the house and another and another until finally one goes through a window breaking it.
As she falls to the ground and weeps bitter tears Forrest sits down in front of her and you hear his voice say, “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.” Throwing rocks makes us feel better. We throw rocks and people are injured. We throw rocks that sometimes come in the form of judgments and words. We’ll say, sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” This statement is just not true.
Why did the men want to throw stones at the woman in John chapter 8? The same reason that we want to throw them – because the heart is wicked.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer. 17:9
- We throw stones because store up hatred and bitterness in our hearts.
- We throw stones because of unresolved anger in our hearts.
- We throw stones because we want to have revenge and because we will not let go of the things that upset us.
Jesus is the only one with the right condemn. Yet Jesus always exhibits love; love for the sinner and hatred for their sin. Sin destroys! It destroys the very lives that Jesus came to save. He came to save you and as the scripture says to cast your sin as far as “east is from west”. Ever wonder what that means?
The measure of North and South is finite. If we travel North from where we are right now to a definite point like the North Pole eventually we will begin traveling South to the South Pole, another definite point. If we begin to travel east we will continue to travel east as long as we continue to travel in that direction.
Would you like to have your rebellion cast away from you? Would you like to have the slate wiped clean? God is leaving you a message, not in the sand, but on the cross. That message is “I love you.” TRUST IN HIM!
Every day is a gift – that is what Paul Senior said on American Choppers concerning the tragic death of a worker at his son’s bike shop. And yet the 2 men, father and son, still are unable to put their differences aside for one to give comfort and one to receive comfort. All the while arguments about who is right, who is wrong, about money, fame and fortune continue as people all around struggle with life and death. I think of how very petty those arguments are as I watch some dear friends struggle with the question, “Why?” as their 3-year-old son is diagnosed with cancer and the next day in surgery having his kidney removed.
The book of James teaches us in Chapter 4, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone .” GONE! That poor worker could have very well been Paul senior’s son and while this is not to beat anyone up it is to wake us all up!
Life IS a gift, given to us by Almighty God and it is short – no one knows how long but I can promise you this, when your time is up, you will think “It is too short”. Jesus said in the gospel of John, “the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy but I have come that you might have life to the full”. LIFE! Not a life that seeks to gratify the flesh with sex, drugs, fame, power and all the things that our society says that you can’t live without – But a life that has meaning, that has a positive effect on eternity. A life of love and compassion and serving the helpless and hopeless; being Jesus with skin on; being light in a dark world.
What child takes a gift and sets it aside and never uses it? Would you ever take the gift of a toy race track and use it for snow skis or who would take the gift of a ball bat and try to mix cake batter with it? The gift of life should never be put up on a shelf but should be used for its intended purpose – a life that honors God in ALL that we do, all that we say, all the we sing, all that we have, all that we love. receive the gift of God and LIVE! (To be Continued)
Father, Help us all to live the life that You have given us as a gift from above for Your glory and honor. Lord let us never take for granted Your love for us and Your generosity. May we please You with all that we do, all that we have. Amen.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” Romans 1:20.
As I pondered on the passage, I began to look out in front of where I was sitting. It was early, 9:30am, and I expected to see grand clouds, a marvelous sunrise and rolling mountains but instead I saw thick fog and 2 pine trees. As I listened for God’s voice, I heard the wind blow. I asked, “Is that You God?”
And the wind grew silent. Then a most peculiar sound…a creaking. It was the sound of the pine giving way to the almost inaudible wind.
Once again I asked, “Is that You God?” At that moment God spoke to my heart and my pen began to write. God revealed to me that the pine tree was me, in need of deeper roots, sometimes being uprooted and blown over by wind or breaking under extreme conditions.
I am without excuse.
I took the words given me by my the Lord my King very seriously and began to strive to be an Oak tree and not a pine but a tree with deep roots and strong. May I always be His obedient servant.
I hear the wind. Is it You;
Or are You the quiet stillness and calm after.
I listen for Your Words.
Your fresh, clean air and season is a demonstration of newness,
Your cleansing power and pure Holiness.
I am the pine as the wind blows in the cold. I break and am uprooted.
Make me as the oak.
Give me deep strong roots to stand firm against all that seeks to destroy me
I give all that I have, all that I am, my greatest riches,
even my poverty to You and for Your service.