The blame for the girl wielding a knife attempting to kill another girl doesn’t begin with the officer taking her life. It started long before she ended up in a foster home full of defiance, anger, and a disregard for life. For her, it began at home.
Long, long before God created the church or established Israel as a nation, before cities, God established the family as the basic unit of society. Parenting is one of the most demanding and most rewarding jobs ever. It is where we teach the love of self and others. It begins at home.
No parent is perfect, and even when you think you’re doing your best, things still go wrong. Missing subtle signs of depression, bullying at school, a child’s desire to be liked, willingness to sacrifice their (or your) values to succeed but then realized it costs them their soul. Parental conversation, church, counselors were still no help. It’s still the parent’s responsibility. It was mine.
Today we live in a world that flaunts Christian values as outdated, ridiculous, and even judgmental of others. The plumb line of Truth for the world has moved gradually in the seventies to drastically today. Raising a child amid that change can leave one blinded. Hind-sight has that glorious 20-20 vision.
Moving away from God’s design for the family, away from the families’ umbrella of protection, using the world’s plumb line for truth is the path to brokenness. There are many ways that brokenness enters our life and will whether or not we’re Christian. Healing comes by trusting God to mend our brokenness.
How many times have you started your day like you were already behind? Your list of things to do is long, necessary, and mundane. You have pulled up into the driveway on auto-drive and didn’t pick up the milk. In the Bible, there is a reference to people being like grasshoppers. The grasshoppers never lookup.
Maybe today, you take a long way home and slow down, knowing your destination will always be there. Raising a family is for the long haul, but you are here right now. Give yourself permission to enjoy the ride, take time to look at your moments, write them down.
Love your soul like thesoil loves the tree and gives it all the space it needs. (That is not my metaphor. It is by Dovan Beck, my niece, Chloe sent it to me through FB) I’m borrowing his metaphor with a different application.
Colossians 2:6 speaks of being rooted in faith, growing in knowledge, and overflowing with gratitude- one faith, one hope, one Lord.
Colossians 2:6: Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed and overflowing with gratitude.
God’s Word is the soil where we root our faith. The soil (God Word) loves the tree (me) and gives the tree (you and me) all the space it needs to grow. Give yourself permission to look up and take the rest your soul needs.
I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
I have learned life consequences can take you beyond your emotional ability to handle, especially if it involves family and their decisions that cost so much. Grief and sadness are natural and break the heart in two. Tears well up, and loss overwhelms and hopes dashed. These emotions are overwhelming and indisputable, know that. But also know that God’s heart for you is real.
God intends me to place my faith in His Word and not in the caboose of my emotions. The engine is God’s Word, and my faith is like coal that I put in the engine. Faith in God’s Word is putting your trust in Him, not your feelings.
I said to a friend one day, if I were writing the Bible, I would leave out a bunch of David’s sins or wiping out nations, but then I would not have seen the depth of David’s torment, his hurt —his return to God and a relationship restored.
Now that is a wow! God loved David and He loves me too, even when I doubt.
In Romans 5 describes a sequence of growth. Tribulations brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character and proven character, hope: and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hears through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
“Will,I created you with a free will to know Me or not,” say God.
“It is my choice,” says Will.
I can choose.
Truth weathers time with no variation. You can trust it.
How can I be sure?
I created time for you to know Me.
Why free will?
During your time here, you have with-in you the capacity to love and not hate; to experience joy and peace, not to stir discord; to develop patience and grit as you overcome anger and idleness; to show kindness, not intolerance or selfishness; to have a heart filled with goodness, not meanness; to have a gentleness of speech with others; and to grow in discipline and self-control as you hone your mind.
Haiku: Winter folds a tree- into a counterfeit death – Gray, boney, lifeless.
As I sit on the back porch, high in the Ozark mountains looking down into the valley, I welcome the cool morning breeze. The rolling mountains covered in deciduous trees are in full bloom. Billowing white clouds stationery in the pale blue sky, show hints of rain in the underbelly. Tree limbs sway in the wind, leaves rustle ever so briefly and stop. A red-headed woodpecker sails pass without stretched wings maneuvering the air currents with ease. With slight turns between the trees, he disappears. Birds sing their early morning songs, hidden from sight. Shaded spots cover the mountainside from the clouds above offering its cool shade as the day heats. Life plays and dances in the wind, life grows in the sunlight’s warmth and exists as created.
But standing amid this background of life is a giant dead stick-gray, boney and lifeless. It stands in contrast to its surrounding. Haggard branches extend outward out of place in the middle of summer encompassed by life. Its lifeless form yearns for the dead of winter, for the facade of a counterfeit death, so to fit in.
So, don’t let your Christian life be a giant dead stick, comfortable with your Christianity in the dead of winter. Dig your roots deep, grow in knowledge and wisdom, and overflow with gratitude.
Jeremiah 17: 7-9 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green. And will not be anxious in a year of draught nor cease to yield fruit. The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord search the heart and I test the mind…
In today’s world one’s voice can get caught up in many types of whirlwinds, instead of the stillness of God’s spirit. I am guilty of being politically stirred, seething over general and personal attacks over my Christian beliefs and taking offense at the vitriol of people who have a great disdain for the gospel. Jesus did say they hated him first.
I lived in a bubble where it’s okay to disagree as long as we were civil. But that bubble was a lie to lull me into a state of safety to think freedom to worship was intact, and a right to disagree was viable.
It is time for me to pop all bubble and breathe in the freshness of God’s Word. We are at war with this world but God said not to fret because of evildoers. Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass. Ps 37:1. This season seems long, I saw a need for change with Ross Perot. This verse is not a reason to step into another bubble but to gain a fresh perspective of the trouble times or season we live in. Intake the freshness of God’s Word daily to find rest for what troubles your soul. Be ready!
In the turmoil of the world’s wind, God says in Isaiah 30:15, “In repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength. Is 30:15. (I’ll have to say this verse reminds me of Ben Carson.) I may not understand the turmoil of this world but I can gain a fresh new perspective daily with Jesus. Whatever type of season, it is God who prepares the heart for salvation.