Saturday, April 11, 2015

The power of a parents words

So I know it seems kids do not listen.  I know they act like Mom's advice is lame... But a little story of a know it all teenager ... me... who acted like a teenager who didn't make life decisions based on what mom and dad said.  Pretty typical...  So I always loved to sing.  I sang privately in my room or with friends on occasion or in the car when I was driving.  I always secretly wanted to share songs I wrote or sing in front of others, but I knew I was not exceptionally gifted and saw others who were and had no confidence in my ability, so I kept it to my room and usually horrified if someone walked in while I was singing into the hairbrush.  However one day when my first daughter was about a year old I was sitting with her while she was in the tub and to keep her entertained I would sing to her songs from Barney or Sesame Street.  I was living with my parents at the time due to my whole having a daughter at 19 in my sophomore year of college thing.... and I was singing to her Sing a Song from Sesame Street and my mom said you have a pretty voice.  It was that sentence that gave me the courage to begin to sing in front of others.  It was one sentence, one opinion I valued (even though I would never have admitted it) more than all others (except my dad!)  So remember moms and dads, that encouragement may be the piece that gives your kids courage to fly.  I never got to tell her this because she died before she ever saw me sing in a church, so kids make sure you tell your parents while they are still here how much their words mean to you!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Temporary situations

You see it in the lives of Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, Paul and mostly every chapter of the Bible.  No I don't mean the amazing stories of how God used these men (and women) to change history (although they did).  I mean the parts where they struggled, when it was monotonous, when they did as the Lord asked and no one was listening or they were being persecuted.  I can totally respect the part of Moses that again and again return to God saying, ITS NOT WORKING!! THEY AREN'T LISTENING! and I can imagine many times the followers of old waking up thinking, are you sure Lord this is right, I mean I know you have a plan, but do you really want me to keep walking through this desert or do you really want me to go and talk to that nation??  I can't see how this is going to work out.  I see it today in people lives and my life in so many areas.  Things come up in life that throw us off, We think, that is not what I was thinking when I began this walk.  I could like a thousand things we hear about from family or friends or experience ourselves, anything that starts with kinda where I am going...unexpected diagnosis, unexpected pregnancy, unexpected break up, unexpected job loss.....  Publicly we can put out our faith in God, he will work it out, he will have a plan, and sometimes even in our private moments we can be strong and confident, but if we were to be honest, our hearts get scared.  We cry out of our fears, we feel weak just when we want to feel strong.  We want to and might call out to God as Moses did and let him know this plan isn't working or hide like Jonah and say I don't want to....  I am writing this post more for myself than anyone else.  I confess I want a clear plan for the future, I want to know everything is always going to be OK for me and my family.  I want to save any us from any trouble or pain.  I want heaven now....  However, some days I fall apart and its OK, life is hard, The Bible proves it always has been.  There is nothing new under the sun.  But yesterday was Easter and it was a reminder that unless a kernel of wheat dies, it cannot grow.  God was clear, death entered the world, but from this death comes true life, heavenly life.  At church my heart was thinking of those in Kenya and Syria who lost their physical lives for Christ.  But I realized those who were truly dead were not the Christians who would not return to their earthly homes that day, but those who walked away without the love of Christ within them.  Yes our days can be hard and our futures here uncertain, but at the cross I traded that for a certain future, one with the Lord for eternity.  I encourage anyone facing an uncertain to hang in their, talk to someone, cry with someone, pray with someone and rediscover the hope that lies within you, given as a gift from the Lord.  This life is temporary and so are our problems and situations because HE IS RISEN.