Wednesday, September 29, 2010


A child should be shown from an early age about making a choice to obey his father and mother always. When a child chooses to disobey ~ there must be consequences set forth ~ so that the discipline brings them back to the path of choosing obedience first.

To obey or not to obey? ~ this is the question of life – both for children and for us as adults in our walk with God. Using examples in our own life [to our children] of how God disciplines us and how we set forth to choose obedience ~ can help the child develop the same pattern.

All our efforts to discipline our children should result in teaching them to love God and ~ that God loves them!

God’s Word says:

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (New King James Version)
5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
[emphasis added]

Psalm 25:8-10 (New Living Translation)
8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
He shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them His way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep His covenant and obey His demands.

Do you see the pattern? In essence, God says to us here, “Go and do likewise!”
What pattern of discipline [or lack of] are you setting forth in your home?
Your comments are intended to help others who may be struggling.

Choosing JOY,

Monday, September 27, 2010

College Visit

College Visit

This week's post will be very short. Three-and-a-half years ago Cheryl and I drove our daughter Jenny 12 hours away to college. She is now a senior, getting ready to graduate in December, a semester early. She is student teaching this fall.

The school she attends is a Christain college and they have a Bible lectureship every fall, which happens to be this week. I just arrived on campus (2 a.m.) and am looking forward to spending 2 1/2 days with Jenny (as her time will permit).

That is why this week's post is so short. But it also has an important message. Dads, when you can, spend time with the kids, even when they are no longer kids.
Pics - when we dropped her off 3 1/2 years ago; assisting me in a wildlife presentation at an elementary school.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Rekindled Love and Devotion

"I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown."  Jeremiah 2:2

Remember when you were newly married?  Loving your bridegroom so much that you would follow him through a desert into uncharted territory?  Just being with your spouse was satisfying enough because the love was so fresh and so sweet!         

My mom has told me numerous times, "I loved your dad so much when we were first married that I would have been happy if our home was a tent.  I was willing to follow him anywhere."  Her young, hopeful love filled her heart.  Her devotion as a young bride seemed unshakable. 

Yet, as the years went on, the harshness of life chipped away at my parents' marriage.  Unchecked and unrepented sin ravaged both of their hearts.  The desert that once represented hopeful adventure was now a harsh reality of intense heat and dehydration.  Devotion waned.  Love was suffocated.  Though my parents never officially divorced, they were separated for twenty years when my father died suddenly of a heart attack in 1998. 

When we first make promises to our spouses through our wedding vows at our marriage ceremony, they often are just words spoken through giggles, smiles and joyful tears on a very exciting day.  The depths of the commitments we make are only realized as the months and years go by.  For better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.  These statuses define themselves over time.  Our devotion, our love and our vows of commitment are tested in the worse, the poorer and the sickness.

Commenting on Jeremiah 2:2, Blackaby writes this:
"God was concerned because the people of Judah had allowed their hearts to drift far from Him. In a powerful moment, God shared His heart with His people, recalling what it was like when they first began loving Him. He remembered how they had loved Him, as a new bride loves her husband, with excitement and enthusiasm for the future. He recalled the kindness they had expressed as they willingly followed Him wherever He led them. God reminded them of the love they had once had for Him, so that the memory might rekindle feelings of devotion and their hearts might return to Him."

A vibrant relationship with the Lord, our First Love, must be our first priority in our lives and marriages.  Our trust and confidence rests in Him alone.  He is our strength, our sustenance and our fruit-bearer.  Soak in these truths:   

Jeremiah 17:5-8
"This is what the LORD says:
'Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
Its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

Rekindled love and unwavering, committed devotion are rooted in our First Love.  But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.  Hosea 12:6    We are called to "maintain love".  If we have wondered from Him, we must return to our First Love.  If we are abiding in Him, we must remain rooted there knowing that He is our perfect provision. 

Expectant love bubbles over in the heart of a newlywed.  Devotion is unashamedly expressed.  Are you lovingly devoted like a new spouse or has your heart grown cold and unresponsive in your marriage?  Return to your First Love.  Humble your heart before Him and ask Him and your spouse for forgiveness.  Turn and repent.  Read God's Word daily.  Worship Him in reverence and in awe.  Plant yourself by the stream of living water.  Your leaves will always be green, even when the heat comes.  The heat will come.  The desert will call.  But the Giver of Life beckons you to abide and refresh in Him daily.  He will restore the intimate fellowship you once had with Him, and He can restore, renew, refresh and revitalize your marriage as well.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Wise Woman

Proverbs 14:1 - The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

I am a wise woman. Really. However, consider the fact that my six year old has to take allergy medicine during the fall pollen season. The problem was, I would always forget to give it to her. Dashing around each morning getting ready for school, it never would enter my mind. No, I would remember in the car on the way to school. As we sat in the quiet of the car, I would hear her sniffles and remember. And the guilt would come. I forgot...again! And I would tear myself down for being a "bad mom."

I tried making myself notes, enlisting the help of my husband, and encouraging my six year old to help me remember. Nothing worked. And then I realized that I remembered every morning without fail in the car. Why not just keep the allergy medicine in the car? Voila! No more problem!

Sometimes we get stuck in a way of thinking, and by thinking outside the box the problem is solved. We can build ourselves and our homes up, instead of tearing them down.

Consider your marriage. Is there something your husband does that consistently annoys you. Maybe you have to nag him day after day after day to take out the trash. Everything else is fine, except that darn trash! You have two options. You can continue to be resentful and harp on this subject, OR you can (*gasp*) take out the trash yourself.

I know, I know, you shouldn't have to take out the trash. But if this one thing annoys you to the point that you are "tearing down your own house," why not change it?

Obviously we all have things that annoy us, like me forgetting those allergy pills. Why not think outside the box to correct them. Just because it seems like allergy medicine should be taken at home, and keeping it in the car doesn't make sense, it works. Just because we think men should take out the trash, doing it yourself (joyfully, not resentfully) is a gift to your spouse and it works!

What things are you doing that could be "tearing down your own house?" Why not consider ways to build it up instead?


Monday, September 20, 2010


I can still hear my grandfather whistling, one of his favorite hymns. In the Garden would slip sweetly off of his lips and it was one of the first hymns I learned by heart.

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.

My grandfather was a painter; not your average housepainter. He took jobs to paint houses, but he was most often found dangling precariously from the tops of buildings or bridges as he colored our world. And he worked tirelessly, seven days a week, most weeks. Just recently, my mother recalled that he never took a vacation with his family. He would get them to their destination and return to his jobs to ensure that they would remain financially stable. He was perhaps the happiest man I have ever known. A twin, he and his brother grew up with 6 others and found great joy in hymn sings that occurred as often as possible. His life circumstances would not have necessarily bred the kind of joy that he witnessed to others. I have long believed that the joy of the Lord was what sustained and encouraged him.

Like my pop-pop dangled from places on high, I wonder how many of us dangle aimlessly in the high places, carefully struggling to maintain our "balance". Family, friends, careers, parents, sports, money and yes, even ministry occupy the deep spaces of our lives, filling the calendar and unfortunately, our hearts with things of the world and all too often not the things of the Lord. Everything vies for our attention ...and the hymn sings and quiet moments spent with God take a back seat to the chaos of our lives.

But, the truth, as demonstrated in one of the most well known occurances in the Bible is that God desires balance for our lives. We remember Martha. Oh, how I relate to Martha, as she scurries and scrubs, seeking perfection that could not possibly exist instead of sitting, as her sister, Mary did at the feet of Jesus. Luke 10:40-42 offers Martha's panicked plea, "Lord", she said to Jesus, "do you not care that my sister has left me to do all of the work? Tell her to come and help me." Jesus, the Jesus of the garden, responds with conviction, "Martha, Martha, you are so upset over these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it - and I won't take it away from her!"

The hymn, In the Garden, inspired by John 20 where another Mary, Mary Magdalene is awestruck by a meeting with Jesus proclaims, "I have seen Jesus!" And I find myself able to relate to this as well, how I want to see His face. And it brings me back to there is only one thing worth being concerned about. How easy it is to get bogged down with the details and tasks our servant hearts seek, but truly our relationship with Christ offers balance. He appeals for our full attention that we might be refreshed to serve Him and glorify His name.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet, The birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing.
I'd stay in the garden with Him,

Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go;
Through the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.

Especially now, as summer fades gracefully into the sunset, we anticipate the busyness of work days, school days and days of eager ministry. Where is your balance? Is His voice calling to you? My prayer for you this day is that you seek His face whether it be in the garden, the dining room or the church prayer room, as you share precious time with Jesus. Let Him walk with you and talk with you, your relationship is worth being concerned about.

Have a wonderful week in Him!


In the Garden was written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles after a request was made that he pen a song "sympathetic in tone, breathing tenderness in every line; one that would bring hope to the hopeless, rest for the weary..."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Celebrate Fall

There is change in the air! Tomorrow morning when you leave for work, or go outside to walk the dog, take a deep breath. Ahhhh, breath in the smell of fall. Notice the brisk morning air.

Autumn is my favorite season. I love the smells, tastes and feel of fall. One thing is for certain - I need to be outside in the fall.
Fair Park Pictures, Images and Photos
My hometown of Richmond, Va, celebrates fall with several festivals. One is the Virginia State Fair. Another is called Field Day of the Past. Both are geared around local farmers and lots of fall in the smells and tastes and sights.

It has gotten extremely expensive in my opinion, and we haven't been in several years. ($15 per ticket x 8 people!!!) But, for my date idea this September, I'm going to clip coupons and look for sales until I've saved up $30. Next I'm going to arrange a babysitter and blindfold my honey as we drive in the car to the Virginia State Fair!Steamer heads back to the watering hole Pictures, Images and Photos

I used to feel guilty if I couldn't take the kids, but quite honestly, I love being there, watching the horse races, tractor pulls and tasting the homemade goodies. Why not make it a special date with my husband and myself. It will be a date to remember!

Check with your local chamber or other sources to find out if there is a fall festival in your area and start clipping those coupons!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Showing a pattern of
God's Love

Discipline for a child [and for us] is a necessity according to scriptures:

Proverbs 10:17
He who heeds discipline shows the way of life,
But whoever ignores correction
leads others astray.

Disciplining a child
is an act of Godly love.
It must be done …
· in love
· with great patience
· under control
· with an intention to produce good fruit as a result.
· to show the child the very pattern of God’s love for him/her
· with consistency by both parents
· to build the child’s trust in the parent and eventually in God’s decision
· to set the boundaries for instruction and teaching
· to create respect for all authority [yours, teachers, babysitters, and God’s]

Each time we discipline we must discipline the same way God disciplines us ~ so that we show a loving, caring, patient attitude; one always willing to show mercy and grace – yet firm and just… as God Himself would discipline us.

In any discipline of a child ~ it must be done in love and with great consistency. It must not be done in haste or done without forethought… but it must be done and done in love, if one truly loves the child God has given.
Left undone …
· leaves the door wide open for that child to go astray
· gives the child the upper hand
· leaves the child in charge of his life when he is not yet capable of that end
· sets the pattern of ‘self-willed’ rather than ‘God-willed’
· lets the child rule the house
· leaves open all boundaries the child really longs for
· leaves the child feeling unloved and uncared for

Read that verse one more time in the Amplified version. No matter which way you slice it, ignoring discipline [whether giving it or receiving it] is not God’s way for us or for our children.

Proverbs 10:17 [AMP]
17He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray [but also] causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others.

What does it speak to you now?
Can you share godly ‘tips’ on discipline that might help others here?

Choosing JOY,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Men of Integrity

Men of Integrity

"The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old." Proverbs 20:29
Gray hair should be respected. The ancient perspective on gray hair, as reflected in Proverbs, is that it means someone has lived long and has accumulated wisdom along the way. Growing old means we lose physical strength and endurance, but it also means we gain something of even greater value: knowledge and insight about life and godly living. That is wisdom.

Young men are known for their physical prowess, ability and toughness. This is nowhere better observed than in the game of football. Young men in peak physical condition test their skill and strength like warriors in battle. I marvel at the hits receivers, linemen and quarterbacks receive, yet bounce back up to resume play. The glory of these young men is certainly in their strength and perseverance.

Danny Wuerffel is one man who tested his physical aptitude on the football field, and did so with remarkable ability. He led his Florida team to three SEC championships and won the Heisman Trophy in his senior year. Although never becoming a star at the next level of play, he did make it to the National Football League. Danny’s glory was in his strength.

But the story of his physical ability and toughness is only part of the story of Danny Wuerffel’s glory. Danny was invited by the Playboy organization to be a member of their all-America College preseason football team and a chance to be their Athlete of the Year. This honor would come with an all-expense-paid trip to a fancy resort and a photo-shoot with other college players named to the team.

While Danny may have regarded this invitation as an honor, he didn’t accept it. Commenting on his decision to decline the offer Danny said, "It didn’t take any thought at all. That’s not the type of person I’d want to portray myself as." He added, "My commitment is to represent God in all I do."

While the glory of a young man may be his physical conditioning and ability, there is a deeper strength that shines even brighter and lasts much longer: his character. Long after Danny has put down the football to pursue other interests in life, the story of his decision and the glory of his character lives on. I don’t remember his passing and touchdown statistics, but I do remember that he looked at an attractive offer, an opportunity for recognition and pleasure, and said, "No. That kind of attention in that kind of an environment is not what my life is about."

Young men need physical endurance to be healthy and to perform demanding tasks, especially if their work is in athletics or manual labor. But they need more than just the toning of their bodies to successfully perform at life. They need the toning of their hearts. Through instruction at home and church, they need their hearts developed to love God and pursue his way for their lives. The heart is the wellspring of life (Prov. 4:23). Through consistent teaching it can provide a lifetime of wholesome thoughts, pure behavior and moral fortitude. But if it is not painstakingly nurtured and cared for, instead of being moral and upright, the wellspring of his heart can become stagnant, even putrid and unholy. Instead of pursing a life of moral integrity, a man can become lost in the abundance of unwholesome sensual pleasures.

Mouths that erupt with vulgarity and unclean speech, eyes that are given to pornography, and behavior that is indecent, all point to a wellspring that is becoming polluted. In a young man there is still, prayerfully, time to intervene and make difference.

That’s why role models like Danny Wuerffel are so valuable, and why so many more are needed. He showed that physical strength and athletic achievement is not the ultimate glory for a young man. No, the real strength that matters is character. And when a young man with character gets his glorious gray hair, everyone will know it is a crown of honor and splendor (Prov. 16:31).

Integrity is what will enable us to be the kind of husbands and fathers our families need.

Warren Baldwin

Friday, September 10, 2010

Don't "One-Up" Your Husband

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." Proverbs 31:10-11

Sweet wives, I am sharing for us today because I think we are more guilty of doing the "one-up" on our husbands than they are of doing it on us. This post could really be titled "Don't One-Up Your Spouse". However, I want to encourage and challenge we wives.

This suggestion of not one-upping your husband may seem silly and inconsequential, but the root of "one-upping" is usually pride, disrespect or jealousy. So, as we yield our hearts to the Lord in our marriages, not one-upping our husbands can bear bountiful, beautiful fruit because it springs forth from humility. Let's talk about it today.

What is one-upping? Well, here is what says:

"having gained an advantage in some way that betokens success, especially over rivals"

"Having gained an advantage...especially over rivals." Just that definition makes me cringe! Do I want to gain an advantage over my husband? No, not at all. I am his helpmate. Walking together with my husband as the leader is my desire. Is my husband my rival? No. We are bonded together in Christ in the most sacred earthly union and we are to cleave to one another.

So, how can we not one-up?

When your husband has an idea, let it be. Don't try to improve it or add on to it. Just let it be. We women are good at tweaking our husband's ideas. He doesn't need our tweaking. If he has an idea for a date night for the two of you or for a family outing, thank him for his thought, tell him it is a wonderful idea and appreciate his heart behind it. Be sure to tell him at the end how much you enjoyed the time together and his choice of activity.

If your husband is sharing a personal success in conversation with others, sincerely build him up and show your respect for him. Don't start talking about one of your endeavors or a recent success you have had. Rather, share how proud you are of him and how thankful to the Lord you are for your husband's achievement. Rejoice with him and let him have the spotlight.

There are many ways we one-up our spouses; these are just two. One-ups can be loud and boisterous. They can also be subtle and seemingly sweet. One-ups can be private or public. Either way, one-ups tear down. We want to build our house. The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1

The condition of our hearts before the Lord, as with all things, is the issue. If our hearts are postured in humility, love and wanting the best for the other person, we will not one-up in any fashion. Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD...I have heard you, declares the LORD. 2 Kings 22:19

We are to be our husband's helpmate, not his rival. We are to build him up, not tear him down. The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18

In his book Sacred Influence, Gary Thomas says this:

"The typical man remains unmoved by power plays or criticism or by a wife who disrespects him. He's moved by a wife who lets him lead and then helps him get where he wants to go."

Avoiding the trap of one-upping our husband may seem like a small detail in marriage, but respect, admiration and submission are the fruitful root of avoiding the one-up trap. Our husbands are moved by our respect and godly submission.

When our husbands are moved, they lead and they grow. As Christian wives, our heart's desire for our husband is that he would always grow in the Lord and lead us with integrity and confidence. I like what Linda Dillow says below. Interchange the word "change" to "grow".

"Your husband will change [grow] as you allow him to be head of his home and as you are submissive to him. He will not change [grow] by your nagging, belittling, suggesting, reminding or mothering." - Linda Dillow

Building up and encouraging our husbands contributes to our becoming worth-far-more-than-rubies wives! Let's be mindful of not one-upping our husbands. Rather, let's move them by our honor, respect and admiration.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Phil. 2:3


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Postman

"Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." This is the unofficial motto of the US Postmaster. The thought behind the motto is that no matter what, the post office delivers.

The post office has faced competition in past years by "new" ideas. Overnight delivery by FedEx and others portrayed the post office's service as slow. Next came the facsimile (Fax) machine. Wow - that was "fast." (Remember standing over the fax machine as the document edged out.) Next came e-mail and PDF files. Instant delivery! Many people have moved on to these new ideas, but the postman continues to deliver.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Romans. In it, he created an unofficial motto for Jesus. It said "Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38, 39)

More reliable that the Postman is the love of God! It is always there. There are been new ideas through the age ideas. Thoughts such as as long as you're a "good person" you'll go to heaven, regardless of your relationship with Christ. The idea that we hold the controls of the universe, and are in control of our destiny. Many people latch onto these new ideas, but Jesus continues to deliver.

Even though I enjoy the convenience of email, nothing beats receiving a hand written letter in the mail from a good friend. And nothing beats having a God who loves me so much that he didn't just send me a letter; he sent me his son. That's not delivery my friends. That is deliverance.

Psalm 3:8 -- From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Grains of Sand, Waves of Power

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

This has been our mantra this year. Truly, I pray this scripture every single day. Sometimes once a day during my quiet time and sometimes, it is a constant prayer that reminds me, I am not in control. This week, I was reminded in even more tangible ways that I am most definitely not in control.

It is no secret to those who know me that I LOVE the beach. I adore the quiet moments with my children, the joy of doing things in slow motion as opposed to the frenetic pace we keep with jobs and activities. Nowhere on earth do I feel such a sense of calm and oneness with God as I do when I am toe to toe with sand and surf. Regardless of the weather, the beach is my sanctuary.

This past week, our family was blessed to spend some time close to the water. It was a beautiful week, though meterologists spun and churned, like the waves, preparing for a tropical storm which brought with it unusual force. Many times, I found myself standing... staring... praying before the giant waves, feeling His presence far more profoundly than if the water just whispered up to my feet.

His power was evident. Absolutely nothing but a strong and mighty God could create such majesty. There before my very eyes and very ears, I could physically see and hear the Will of God. It was far stronger and bigger and bolder than I could ever be. The sand yielded to the motion and pounding of the waves, allowing itself to be moved and changed.

"For in Him, we live and move and have our being." As some of your own poets have said, "We are His offspring." Acts 17:28

It is amazing to witness the dichotomy of our relationship with Christ, on one hand, He is sovereign and completely in control; on the other hand, He is close, personal and a vital participant in His creation. Our vulnerability is placed at the forefront when we stand in the center of the tossing and turning waves. Their power reassuring in the moments when fear has left us. Our faith is fed and strengthened in the fury of the storm and though we are tempted to plead for still waters and non-changing footing, that would breed stagnant water and worse yet, stagnant hearts.

I pray I am like that sand...evolving and changing, not by my own will, but by the will and power of the almighty Father, who even in His strength and magnitude is never too big to be close to me, yet always big enough to tackle the fiercest of storms. The physical beauty of what God can do is only surpassed by the spiritual and emotional beauty of the way He teaches our hearts and spirits to yield to His perfect will.

May we always seek our spiritual walk to be like that of the shore and the waves, changing, yielding, forgiving...powerful!

"Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:9-10

Be blessed as the Lord changes the landscape of your shoreline...


Friday, September 3, 2010

It's a Family Thing

What is the purpose of dating?  Well, I believe it's a time to make memories, and a time to share together, and most importantly it's a time to strengthen relationships.  So, with that in mind, does it always have to be just the two of you?

On Sunday, August 22, my family celebrated a difficult milestone.  It marked the one year mark for my dad going home to be with the Lord.  While we didn't want to celebrate our loss, we did want to honor his memory and celebrate his salvation.

We started our day by going (as a family) to the cemetery to pay our respects and remember my dad. We ended up walking all through the place reading stones and talking about the ones that really struck us. We soon realized how blessed we truly were, as many of the head stones revealed a sad tale of loss of children and spouses at an early age.

Next, we gathered under a large shade tree to have a family time of prayer. I started, then one by one, my children prayed and my sweet husband ended our time in God's presence.

At this point, my husband surprised the kids by taking us out bowling! It turns out our favorite bowling ally was having 25 cent games and hot dogs night! We had so much fun! We bowled until our hands hurt, and of course, ate hot dogs for dinner.

If you and your family need a fun date idea, then use this day as a model for relationship building. Even if you don't have a loved one buried nearby, try strolling through a local cemetery, just to remember and pay homage to those who have gone to rest before us. Ending your time in prayer is actually a peaceful way to close out your time there. Next, find a local sport to play as a family.

My prayer for you is this: That God will teach you how to build relationships and to treasure every moment together.

Psalms 144:4 "Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow."


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sowing and Reaping

Elizabeth George, who wrote A Woman After God's Own Heart, has long been one of my favorite authors concerning marriage, motherhood, and [for me] grand-motherhood. Her studies take us to a place which almost seems back in time, you know ~ the June Cleaver era...
June Cleaver: Eddie, would you care to stay for dinner? We're having roast beef. [inclusion of the unlikeable - and she cooks a delicious meal too]

Eddie Haskell: No thank you, Mrs. Cleaver. I really must be getting home. We're having squab this evening. [what his house is really like]

...where it is the wife's/mother's role and duty to make the home a pleasant and loving one. Our own fast-paced society of running children 'to and fro', often living on 'fast food take out', and shamefully neglecting husbands to the brink of divorce, are in dire contrast to God's ways. June Cleaver would be appalled. What about God?

Are your priorities in alignment before God - which many women these days seem to have backwards? I did as well, for a long time in my life. But it's never too late to put those priorities in the right order as God Himself commands in His Word.

"You shall have no other God's before Me" ~ Exodus 20
As wives and mothers and grandmothers our priorities should be in line with His Word:
  • GOD [first - and foremost]
  • Husband [second - and as God's authority in the Lord]
  • Children [third - as God has blessed us]
Today as I turned a page in my calendar reading from Elizabeth George, it was all about sowing and reaping. I pondered its contents and scripture and felt compelled to share it here with you. I have sown some things early on in my life that are reaping great [unfortunate] consequences today... so I come with less than a perfect record.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man [or woman] sows, that will he [she] also reap.
Elizabeth Geore writes: "As I considered the principle of sowing and reaping, I realized that, in a general way, what I put into my children on a daily basis ~~~ the seeds of patience or impatience, faith or lack of faith, kindness or selfishness ~~~ would be what I might gain back in years to come."

After reading that afresh, I thought about the things I had sown in my children back when they were young... and what I am reaping as a result [both in family relations and in spiritual terms].
So I ask myself today, as I ask you here... What are we sowing into our husband's lives, children's lives and even the lives of others in which God has given us a realm of influence? Because I did not always sow the desirable things of God in my past ~ it is my goal now to sow life ~ speaking life into my children, grandchildren, and others around me. If LIFE = Jesus Christ ~ what are you sowing that might reap great benefits for His glory and kingdom purposes?
Are we sowing?
  • strife and discord >>>>>>>>>> to later reap havoc
  • selfishness of 'me first' >>>>>> to later reap lonely lives
  • exclusion of others >>>>>>>>>to later reap ~ us being excluded
  • mediocrity >>>>>>>>>>>>>> to later reap discontent & unfulfillment
  • unforgiveness >>>>>>>>>>>> to later reap the death of relationships
OR are we sowing?
  • kindness and unity >>>>>>> >> to later reap peace and harmony
  • unselfishness of others first>>>>to later reap others helping us when we need it most
  • inclusion of others>>>>>>>>>> to later reap being included by all
  • life giving purpose >>>>>>>>>>to later reap untold blessings of God
  • forgiveness >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>to later reap a home in heaven with God
Everything in life and in God's Holy Word has its root in sowing and reaping. What can you share about something you have sown into your children or grandchildren in which you are reaping great blessings even now? Your answer might help someone reading this, to 'sow' what God desires as they ponder what they might 'reap' as a result.

Let us SOW to the glory of God >>> that we may REAP to the glory of God!
Choosing JOY,