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Monthly Archives: November 2012

“Shine, Shine, Mommy!”

 

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I heard it so many times when I was growing up that, frankly, I got tired of hearing it. It was the same thing all the time. I would hear phrases like “You will never truly be able to understand sacrificial love until you are married and have children.” Or “When you have children you will be amazed at what they can teach you.”

Hearing these things all the time made me want to run away from those who were continually telling me those things. I would think to myself, “I know plenty. There isn’t anything that a baby can teach me.” Then, I grew up, got married, had children, and suddenly, all those things make sense. (This is my humble admission of childhood pride and arrogance.)

I find that most of my ideas for sermons, blogs, devotionals, and my personal meditation come from being around my children. It is incredible the things they say, and the things they do that will make you think. A few weeks ago on Sunday morning, my wife and I had been hit hard with a stomach bug and were unable to make it for worship, as we were laying around the house early that morning, my daughter who is 2 came out of her room with her shoes on, looked at me like I was crazy for laying on the couch and said “Daddy! Get up! Time for church!” Her excitement for the Lord’s day brought a smile to my face even while feeling miserable, it was so heart warming to see that even though there had been no mention of getting ready for Bible class that morning, she knew where we should be.

The most recent lesson she taught me was profound. My family was enjoying a nice road trip one day this past week. As we were cruising down the road, my wife started singing “church songs” with our children. She was singing “This little light of mine.” It was so good to listen to them sing. This song is a favorite of both of my children. When the song was over, my daughter raised her voice and her finger up in the air and said “Shine, shine, mommy!” with a smile on my face I said “we already finished shining” to which she responded matter-of-factly “No! Not finished shining!”

I wonder how often we fall into the mindset that we are “finished shining.”

  • I came to Bible class AND worship twice this Sunday, I’m finished shining.
  • God used me to bring someone to Christ last year through prayer and study, I’m finished shining.
  • I went on a door knocking campaign with my home congregation, I’m finished shining.
  • I lead a devotional with my family once already this week, I’m finished shining.
  • I taught Bible class for the last 2 quarters, I’m finished shining.
  • I read my Bible all the way through last year, I’m finished shining.

As we go throughout our busy lives we have so much going on. We often feel burdened, we often feel as though we need a break. Maybe we need to take a break. It would probably be good to miss a ball game, to miss a concert, to miss an evening out on the town, to cut out some of the overtime we have been working, to let the yard work wait another day. Sometimes, we need a break. But always remember, no matter how tired, no matter how busy, we are never “finished shining.”

Mat 5:13-16 ESV  “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.  (14)  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  (15)  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  (16)  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Daddy! Don’t Let Me Fall!”

It was a normal day, I was walking around our second home (also known as wal-mart) with my family. I was trying to help keep our little ones happy while we wandered around the store. I started playing one of my favorite games with Jacy. I told her “I’m going to drop you” and pretended to do so. Each time her smile got wider and wider laughing and laughing. She loves it!

Then on one “round” of this game, I guess I let her get to close to the ground for her comfort, she began to climb up my neck (fingernails digging in) and cry out “Don’t let me fall Daddy! Don’t let me fall!” Part of me laughing inside, while the other part felt bad for letting her think I would actually let her fall, I simply held her tight and promised “I won’t let you fall.”

What a great promise we have from our Father with similar words, regarding spiritual matters. We read in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that God will not allow us to be overcome with temptation to a point of no way out. We also read in Hebrews 13:5- “…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

When you are having a rough day, when you feel like the temptations might be to great. Turn to your Father, reach for him with all your might, and hold on to Him. He will never let you fall.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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“Am I leading my children toward the goals I have for them?”

   It was a usual scene, Jacy was asleep in her bed, I carried Jagger to his crib to lay him down. These are the moments parents dream about (when they are all asleep!) Everything would have been ok, except for one thing.

Jagger smiled in his sleep. You see, I flashed back immediately to my daughter. I remember just like yesterday when she did that all the time. It is very eerie how much my two children look alike. All of a sudden upon seeing this precious smile, I felt like a was punched in the stomach. I remembered Jacy doing that at Jagger’s age which really was just yesterday right? No, it was 15 months ago.

It is incredible how fast they are growing. I sat down on the floor. In between my sleeping children, and began to pray. I prayed for both of them. I prayed that Jacy would grow up understanding how beautiful she is regardless of whether or not she ever puts on makeup or wears the “right” clothing. I prayed that Jagger would be strong enough to keep his mind and body pure. I prayed that Jacy and Jagger would marry Christians who are on fire for Jesus. I prayed that Jagger might even consider preaching. I prayed that both Jacy, and Jagger will not just be “pew sitters” in a church building (God already has plenty of those) but that they would be true soul-winners.

As I finished praying and was just about to get up and go to the living room, I realized something. Maybe, just maybe I had higher hopes, higher dreams, higher goals, and a greater amount of pressure that I was putting on their future, than I was my own.

Ouch.

I was reminded of that old saying “You can’t lead where you don’t go.” It caused me to do a little bit of soul searching one might say. In no particular order, below are the tidbits of scripture and thoughts I am clinging to as a result. I pray they will encourage you as well.

My children will not follow where I don’t go:

Far too often we see parents (maybe even ourselves) who want their children to have a love for the Lord that is much stronger than their own. Parents, fathers, we must SHOW our children how to be a Christian.

We must show them we love the lost by praying for the lost (with them.) We must teach them the importance of making disciples as they watch us reach out to set up Bible studies, invite others to worship, and sit across our kitchen tables in our homes with open Bibles.

We must show them what it means to be pure by modeling it in our lives. Making sure our lives are free from filth, we cannot allow things on our computer screens and tv screens that we wouldn’t want them to be enticed by.

We must lead them to finding a Godly spouse by teaching them what characteristics to look for. One major way we can do this is by praising those characteristics in our own spouse.

“I really appreciate how you stepped up to teach that Bible class today.”

“I love the fact that you take time to read the scripture to our children”

“It amazes me to see the love that you have for studying the Word every day.”

“One thing I love about you, is that when anything good or bad arises you always want to spend time as a family in prayer.”

Statements such as these could go a long way in influencing the minds of our young people. The list could go on forever in regards to was we need to be leading our children. I hope this serves as a simple reminder, as I was reminded that having high goals for our children is extremely important, however we must not expect them to do things that they do not see us doing.

Allow me to ask you 2 questions:

  1. What spiritual goals do you have for your children?
  2. What are you doing to lead them to those goals?

Proverbs 20:7- The righteous who walks in his integrity– blessed are his children after him!

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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