Archive | April 2016

scripture friday.

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

The Bible

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teach your children well.

When you have children, you are sure to experience heart ache.

They will grow and make their own decisions. This is how it’s supposed to be.

But some of those decisions will not be good, bringing heartache to their mother and/or father.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately in terms of how God must feel when we do not make good decisions.

Jesus said: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?”

God is a father, too.

When my child does something wrong, it hurts me.

When we do something wrong, I think it hurts our Heavenly Father.

The Psalmist says, I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

I don’t believe the Psalmist said that because he was afraid but because he loved God and did not want to be hurtful toward his Heavenly Father.

As parents, we invest so much into our children. There are sacrifices made because we love them so much. We teach them well.

God invested in us, too. He sacrificed a slow, painful death for the sin of all mankind. He left us the bible to teach us well.

To knowingly and willfully to go against God, to sin, is like throwing what God did for us in his face.

Like how our child can hurt us.

But God is also patient and enduring. He waits way longer than we would ever think of waiting for things to turn around.

Can you? Your patience will continue to teach your children well.

God will help you.

God will help them.

You, who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so, become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye

Teach your children well
Their father’s hell did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by

Don’t you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you

And you of tender years
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by
And so, please help them with your youth
They seek the truth before they can die

Teach your parents well
Their children’s hell will slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by

Don’t you ever ask them why
If they told you, you will cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

“Teach Your Children Well”
Graham Nash, May 1970

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the more I prayed.

I used to think the more I prayed the better things would turn out.

That is pretty much  based on the scripture knock and it shall be opened to you.

Add this to the American culture conducive to performance and productivity, along with books written on someone’s experience of answered prayer, well… there you have it.

It wasn’t only the death of my son that got me wondering, but other prayer worthy situations which began balancing earnest prayer with just as much earnest acceptance.

Some of us have neglected the Lord’s prayer because of its common place of rote recitation. Words we might become desensitized to.

But the word of God stands forever. Each time it is spoken it has the power to refresh and regenerate.

Human nature is attracted to new ways of doing things. Bigger and better. Faster and sleeker. Out with the old and in with the new.

Those things excite our emotions – often fleeting and not solid enough to anchor.

When I have been faced with great difficulty and sorrow, I have been drawn to writers from decades ago. Elisabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael, C.S. Lewis, Oswald Chambers, and others. I feasted on these books alone in my room when Chris died.

Our world has progressed in many wonderful ways. Yet, we need wisdom in what is good and what is not. And wisdom comes from God. 

Nothing is new under the sun. When pain comes to us, we need to hear from people who knew pain.

New isn’t always better.

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scripture friday.

when it hurts

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

rest

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emotions.

when it hurts

Emotions are part of who we are.

But they aren’t the whole story.

How we feel doesn’t necessarily line up with what is true.

You may feel really blue about something. It seems as though it won’t get better.

I can tell you that it will. God does not allow pain without relief – without hope.

Whenever you are blue, remember cloudy days aren’t cloudy forever. Behind those clouds the sun is shining.

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It will shine on you again – no matter what you are going through.

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scripture friday.

He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble …

-The Bible

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when things go wrong.

When things go wrong in our lives, when things hurt, we don’t like it.

It’s normal.

One thing that helped me move a little past personal tragedies is realizing things have been going wrong in a whole lot of lives for centuries. Why did I think I was immune?

One reason is American thinking. We can be a driven culture with success in our sights. We have so much in terms of possessions and opportunities compared to other times and places, we can get thrown off when something goes wrong. We want to fix it. We want a solution. And the quicker the better.

But things like grieving do not allow it. It’s slow and methodical. Not very American.

Add to that a kingdom minded, serving, giving, doing church mindedness, and grieving better not take too much time.

Additionally, I was a committed and dedicated Christian who believed in intercessory prayer. I meant business.

It’s not that I do not believe in prayer now. It’s just that now, I don’t believe it can change as much as I thought. And if you also prayed and believed it would keep the devil at bay (aka pretty much removed from too much bad stuff happening to you), anchoring yourself to Psalm 91, take heart.

Prayer is good. But trusting God is better.

One of the most important things to do after a tragedy in your life, after you have cried all the tears, is take a step back. Our pain causes us to focus intently on ourselves. This  can go on too long.  I believe we are wired to take that step back but sometimes we just don’t want to.

When we do, we realize we are not alone. Pain is universal.

This helps. Misery likes company? Kind of.

One of the difficulties of pain is: what do we do with it? We take a pill for headaches. We go to the dentist for a toothache. What is the remedy for emotional pain?

God.

Not an unnamed force or higher power who has left you without words of comfort, strength, and guidance. But one who knows how we are made – what works and what doesn’t.

Our hearts yearn for connection with our Creator and there are no substitutes. He is the key that unlocks the questions and supplies the answers of the human heart.

And even though we won’t have all the answers to our questions, trusting Him with what we do not understand is an answer in itself.

And Psalm 91? I only  saw the deliverance from snares and pestilence part.

Now I see the words refuge, shelter, rest, faithfulness … my God, in whom I trust.

This is where we put our pain and heartache. This is how God walks through it with us.

The stark chill of tragedies will come and try to destroy you. You will want to succumb to it. God doesn’t want you to.

He wants you to know His care for you and how He can help you to persevere…when things go wrong.

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