What happens when you use a knife repetitively? Over time, the blade starts squishing tomatoes instead of slicing them. Pencils need sharpening. Pens need refills, drills need charging. Tools have to be maintained in order to be effective. In a similar way, we are instruments of God. Are we sharpened, filled, and charged for action? Or, are we gunked up, run down and dull?
Election years are always tumultuous here in the states, but the last four presidential elections have been particularly pernicious. One side foretells utter doom if the other side wins. One side threatens to abandon the country if so-and-so is elected (aaaand they never do). This house is divided, and if we don't start getting our act together, it's going to fall. Anger, Apathy, Angst---all are present for the show. Do you feel these things?
Water rolled down her cheeks as she was lifted from the cool water. A thrill of joy sang within her. Her sins were gone! She was no longer lost! She wished Jesus would come right at that moment so she wouldn't mess up this new life into which she was entering. After drying off, she re-entered the auditorium where a small crowd was waiting to hug and congratulate. One older lady, embraced her tenderly and said, "The angels in heaven are rejoicing for you, dear." Yes, the angels were rejoicing! "And so am I!" she thought. Two weeks later, the same girl lay curled up on the floor of her bedroom crying. She had made so many mistakes since her baptism. Was she really saved? Did she have to lose her best friend, be humiliated in science class and lose her temper with her mom? She thought being a Christian would mean that she would make fewer mistakes.
In case you've been wondering, I have not forgotten about the GenNext series, nor have I fallen off the face of the earth. I'm currently working on editing some of the tools in the upcoming articles, and waaay behind schedule. I posted the following to our Elihu's Corner Facebook Page a few days ago, and am sharing… Continue reading What’s slinking around in your heart?
Welcome to life---a constant stream of unexpected twists and turns, frustrating interruptions and derailments.
Elisabeth Elliot has mentioned in multiple books how her family had devotional time every morning. Corrie Ten Boom noted that her father read a chapter from the Bible every morning. In both cases, all the children in their families grew up with a love for the Lord. That tells me that consistent, active teaching is of great value.
The ancient Israelites showcase the rewards of following God and the pitfalls of apathy. We would do well to learn from their mistakes. The above passage from Deuteronomy, while addressed to the Israelites, holds a very important principle for parents and teachers alike: actively teach your children about the Lord and His commands. In this series on training GenNext Christians, we have covered two of our 6 E's---Engage and Exemplify. This next string of posts will cover E number three: Equip: Teach and Train.
Brilliant flashes of colorful fireworks set the faces of my children aglow beneath the darkening Texas sky. We reveled in our new-found Texas freedom and the love of country that swells in this region of the United States. I was thankful to live in this nation, in spite of the issues that plague us. That was Monday. Monday feels like an age ago. This week has been traumatic for Lady Justice and her best friend, Wisdom. They weep unrestrainedly at the black events of the past few days.
No matter how old you are nor how long you've been a Christian, it's your job to be a good example whether you are with Christians or non-believers. Your choices and lifestyle reflect what is in your heart. Do these things encourage or discourage your fellow Christians? If we want to see the church stand firm tomorrow, we need to be a solid example of faith today. How do we shine our light to each other?
Children are keen observers and imitators. Compliant children will try to do what their parents do in order to make them happy. Strong-willed kids amy try to be little rebels, but even they have a tendency to imitate their parents to some degree. They are always watching how we handle our circumstances. What we do has a greater influence than what we say. Is your example one worth following??