It's everyday. The same as yesterday, the day before, and the day before that... and it will remain this way tomorrow and all the days after; it's life. The existence of good and evil is infinite. There's always been a part of the human population that desires to do things that harm, maim, and/or defile others and it will be this way until the end. With that in mind, there is absolutely no reason to give up on living life to the fullest and striving to make a difference. Although the idea of changing this world is daunting, we have to remember we are not here to change it, but to plant the seeds of love, nurture them, and then let them grow. Some seeds grow faster than others and some seeds are ravaged by animals. Take heart, we simply sow them again. I know we all want to be a shining warrior for God, but I am convinced that love is the way not judgement. Simply because we are commanded to behave otherwise:
"Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others.[a]The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.[b]3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye[c] when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend,[d] ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye." Matthew 7:1-5 NIV
See how God has commanded us to not judge, but to examine ourselves. For to illicit change, we must first be the example of change. Then people find themselves asking, what do they have that I don't have? Plant the seeds; directly and indirectly and they will grow.
The news media lately is filled with one horrific tragedy after another, reports of threats from inside and outside of our country, and the inner turmoil of our country; from basic rights of food, shelter, and healthcare to protection of our people and our borders to the rights of the individual to choose their way of living. The opportunities to teach our children how to react are endless, and trust me
THEY ARE WATCHING and LISTENING more than you think!
We are the best example for our children. So are the people we entrust them to, so be aware of who is influencing your children. They watch us and listen to us discuss hot topics like gun control, marriage, gay/lesbian issues, the safety of our country, and then our individual family plights about communication, finances, jobs, and education. What are they hearing from their rooms, the kitchen as they quietly prepare their stuff so they can hear, or while they appear to be busy reading, studying, playing, gaming, or any number of things that we might assume has their attention? I can give you an idea.... it's whatever they repeat! They will repeat their own version of how they interpret what they hear at school, church, in activities, when conversing with family and friends, and eventually it will come back to you and you will wonder where on earth did they hear something like that!!! From you. I say this confidently, because I am increasingly aware of the fact that what comes out of mine and my husband's mouth during heated (and not heated) discussions I have heard repeated. Some make me proud and other's stop me in my tracks, shame me, and make me question if we are solely responsible for the corruption of our children's views of this world. And if so, am I failing as a parent? So, I've been spending time working on myself and trying to do a better job.
It's been a little new for me (and I am practicing what I preach for those eyes and ears), but I've been desperately trying to teach our children to do a few things before they react to something:
1. Try to make sure you understand what is going on. Ask an authoritative figure for some kind of confirmation if possible and/or research it for accuracy. Be responsible. We do not want to be guilty of spreading gossip!
2. Do not react! Make yourself take it for face value and ask yourself WWJD?
4. Take what you know, what you've been told, the discussions you have about it, and then dive into the Word of God. Pray. Seek out guidance. God will meet you anywhere.
5. Do your very best to put yourself in another's shoes and never judge them for their actions. Trust me, there's plenty to judge you about so let's don't go around like the "pot calling the kettle black." :)
6. When all else fails, remember this one VERY important old saying, "If you can't say anything nice (or supportive, or compassionate, or Christ-like) then don't say anything at all."
I don't have all the answers and I can't make anyone say or do what I think they should, but I can do my very best to raise children that are Christ-aware and as a result, hopefully, they are compassionate human beings with a desire to reach the world with the good news that Jesus has overcome and we do not have to destroy one another in an attempt of survival of the fittest. We are all fit, we are all loved, we are all His children, and He desires for each and every one of us to know Him and be able to live in the assurance that there will come a day!
A Message to our little seedlings:
A Message to our little seedlings:
As your parents our job is to love you, protect you, teach you, and nurture you into Godly men and women empowered with the tools to be and do whatever is God's calling on your life and to do so in a loving, prayerful, and praise-full way! Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is not merely a suggestion it is the Biblical foundation from which you should derive your behavior now and always. As you grow, please read the Bible for yourselves, God will give you great insight to the teachings that we strive so hard to instill inside each one of you daily. Remember, you are wonderfully and fearfully made and we love you!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
God can use anything; even blogging and Facebook to enlighten wayward thinking...
Well, it is for me anyway. My day stared normal. Up, coffee, rush around, now relax for bit a do my classwork while the babies play. But the ultimate distraction comes in... Facebook! Grrr! Why do I have it? AND it's on my laptop, my phone, and my tablet. So, I look... but it doesn't end there. I see my blogs that I subscribe to and think to myself, "I just can't keep up with the demands of blogging or I'd do it more often." Either I am schizo or the Holy Spirit whispers something to me at this point that makes me stop in the middle of the baby gate with my coffee. What demands? My droves of fans awaiting my daily reports? Hmmmm.... I wanted to blog just to do it, so why does it matter how often? Because I see other people doing it better, at least better on my terms. But it's not my terms that matter, it's God's. I blog to share life experiences and since life experiences take up so much of my time, it seems as though I am destined to be a casual blogger. Anyone that reads this already knows it's true and that's okay with me. I hope when I do post something that God can use it to bless someone. Maybe someone who just needs to hear and see that they are not the only ones going through this thing called life. We were never meant to do it alone, we were given each other for love and support. To infinity, and blog on! :)
Now, I sat here scrolling though the posts. I see people sharing pictures, stories, prayer requests, scripture, and words of encouragement... I wish I could block almost everything else because then there are the twisted versions of news stories, viral pics and videos of horrible things that make you wish you hadn't clicked on them, and more. I don't know have the answers as to what to do about them, I just know they are there and they are the reason for blogging today; at least, indirectly.
Today, there were pics of the President with a book making claims about his faith, reading choices, and then drawing conclusions about his intentions in the presidency from it. I rolled my eyes. I guess we don't have anything better to do, right?
Boston's tragedy during the marathon, No wait..... it's not just their tragedy, it ours! But it's blown up and people are sharing posts with twisted versions of the events, drawing conclusions about terrorist attacks, and then government conspiracies ... then the pics of Sandy Hook started rolling in.... claims that it didn't really happen and that this is all Obama's plot to disarm the country and make us slaves to his personal ideas.
Do you know what my initial reaction to the breaking news about the bombs going off during the marathon? It was a simple desperate prayer. Dear Jesus, PLEASE comfort the lives that are affected by this horrific event. Guide the authorities in finding out who is responsible for it.
It's easy to start demanding that Jesus return and take this all away, but we are here and there are people here with us that need Jesus. So I pray for the ability to see things clearly for what they are, to not be clouded by the news media or social media, and to be empowered with the knowledge and compassion to reach this world for Jesus!! We are subject to this world that we live in, we can't change it, but we can and are called to be light in the darkness. That, through us- the body of Christ, Jesus can reach everyone! We are the hands, feet, arms, voices, and hearts of God.... the very tools necessary to do the job.
We are called to be courageous! To stand out from the crowd. Don't fall for these pictures and conspiracies. Share things responsibly, so that we don't find ourselves guilty of gossip. Don't hate or blame our President or government, instead ..... Pray for our country's leaders! They have no power that God did not give them, so pray for their guidance. Jesus told Pilate, " You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above." John 19:11 NIV