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May 19, 2017, 11:08 AM

A Parent's Desire


Parent, what are your desires for your children?

As a dad of three young children, I know all to well the desires of a parent.  There are many things that I want for my children.  I also recognize my responsibility in preparing them and aiding their development and shaping their lives to be successful in those desires as well as their own dreams.  

If I were to list out my desires for them the list would be include, but not be limited to:  Becoming loving, caring, responsible productive adults.  For them to be successful in whatever career or life path that they choose.  For them to be honest, moral, hard-working, and intelligent.  For them to be generous, compassionate and faithful individuals.  I hope that one day they will find the love of their life, raise their own children and teach them the same values.  I hope they dream big, and reach higher.  I hope they love as they have been loved and live life to the fullest, every day.  

But most importantly, since before they were born, I have hoped they would call on God for salvation.  Since they have all made that choice to give their heart to Christ, I pray that they will continue to grow in grace and faithfulness.  I desire that they will be a faithful servant of God, obeying His commands, will, and let Him have His way in every aspect of their life, for the rest of their lives.  I pray they will faithfully serve God and the church  I desire that they will teach their children to do the same.  

As a parent I desire that I will teach my children to “choose the better things.”

I believe that the most important role of the parent is to help their child come to a saving knowledge of Christ and raise them up in the ways of God.  

King David had a similar prayer:

“…give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep your commandments, Your testimonies and Your Statutes, and to do them all…”

 I Chronicles 29:19

Parent, do you see your responsibility in giving your children every stepping stone to the cross and paving the way for them to be a faithful believer and servant of God?  Would you include that in the desires and prayers of your heart for your children?  Will you take on the mantle of responsibility to raise them in “the ways they should go” so that they will choose Christ and follow him all the days of their life, just as you would otherwise raise them to be productive, profitable adults?  Do you see and understand that if no matter how successful you are at raising them to be self sufficient, productive grown-ups, and they miss the mark in learning to be faithful Christians, you have failed them?

Yes, I know that our children must choose Christ for themselves.  Yes I realize that we can do all that we can to show them the way and they ultimately must decide for themselves the direction they will go.  Yes I realize that no matter how faithful of Godly parent you are, they might go the opposite way that they should and it is heart breaking when they do.  

But if that happens do not give up on them or on the faithfulness of God.  Don’t cease to pray for them, or to be there for them and to remind them of a faithful loving God who is waiting for them with arms wide open.  

No matter the risk of heart break at their impending decisions that will have to be made, won’t you take every chance to give them every boost and stepping stool, or stepping stone possible to see the way to successful life, is to follow the way of Christ.

Won’t you make it your desire to see Christ and the faithful obedient life become their desire?




May 18, 2017, 2:47 PM

Cleaning Up Your Messes


“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  Respect what is right in the sight of all men.” Romans 12:17

No matter how hard we try, and despite our best intention, we occasionally say and do things that hurt others.  Sometimes (often), it is those we love the most that we hurt the deepest.  Whether or not our hurtful outburst was in retaliation or not, when we do make a hurtful mistake, our pride and fear often keep us from properly making amends.  
Pride tells us that our hurtful words and actions were somehow justified and we have nothing to apologize for.  Fear tells us to protect ourselves and our image or people will not respect us, demean us, or take advantage of us.  Unfortunately this attitude of fear and pride only prolong bad feelings and prevent us from mending relationships that are predicated by trust.  

So what can we do when we are hurt or are guilty of causing hurt to make things right and restore a healthy relationship?

1.  Be the first to apologize.  Making the first move is not a sign of weakness.  On the contrary a sincere apology displays strength of character and true concern for the feelings and dignity of others, especially of those whom we may have caused hurt.  

2.  Don’t make excuses for your actions.  Take ownership of your mistake, and don’t try to justify your actions by the choices of someone else.  

3.  Maintain a humble attitude.  Scripture clearly teaches to be humble and not hold ourselves in higher esteem than others, or higher than we aught to think of ourselves.  

Demonstrating  this strength of character while remaining humble is referred to as meekness and the Bible says that the meek shall inherit the blessings of God. (Matthew 5:5 - The meek shall inherit the earth)  

Bottom line: No matter what your part is in a disagreement where feelings are damaged, surrender your pride and apologize.  It shows obedience, courage, humility, love, and strength.  

After all that sounds like exactly what Christ would do.  He was willing to lay on himself the wrongs of us all.  He made the perfect eternal apology through His blood on the cross.   It was his payment that God accepted for all who will believe and turn to Him.  




May 18, 2017, 12:00 AM

Cleaning Up Your Messes


“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  Respect what is right in the sight of all men.” Romans 12:17

No matter how hard we try, and despite our best intention, we occasionally say and do things that hurt others.  Sometimes (often), it is those we love the most that we hurt the deepest.  Whether or not our hurtful outburst was in retaliation or not, when we do make a hurtful mistake, our pride and fear often keep us from properly making amends.  
Pride tells us that our hurtful words and actions were somehow justified and we have nothing to apologize for.  Fear tells us to protect ourselves and our image or people will not respect us, demean us, or take advantage of us.  Unfortunately this attitude of fear and pride only prolong bad feelings and prevent us from mending relationships that are predicated by trust.  

So what can we do when we are hurt or are guilty of causing hurt to make things right and restore a healthy relationship?

1.  Be the first to apologize.  Making the first move is not a sign of weakness.  On the contrary a sincere apology displays strength of character and true concern for the feelings and dignity of others, especially of those whom we may have caused hurt.  

2.  Don’t make excuses for your actions.  Take ownership of your mistake, and don’t try to justify your actions by the choices of someone else.  

3.  Maintain a humble attitude.  Scripture clearly teaches to be humble and not hold ourselves in higher esteem than others, or higher than we aught to think of ourselves.  

Demonstrating  this strength of character while remaining humble is referred to as meekness and the Bible says that the meek shall inherit the blessings of God. (Matthew 5:5 - The meek shall inherit the earth)  

Bottom line: No matter what your part is in a disagreement where feelings are damaged, surrender your pride and apologize.  It shows obedience, courage, humility, love, and strength.  

After all that sounds like exactly what Christ would do.  He was willing to lay on himself the wrongs of us all.  He made the perfect eternal apology through His blood on the cross.   It was his payment that God accepted for all who will believe and turn to Him.  




May 17, 2017, 10:52 AM

God is Good!


For the LORD God is a sun and shield;  
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
- Psalm 84:11

Praying to God for what the things we need and want is so much easier when we have a clear understanding of His character, how good and generous He is. The reason God does not withhold any good thing is because He is good–infinitely good, completely good, always good.  When we “walk uprightly” we live a life with integrity, which means we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), we will more readily see that God does not withhold good things from His children.  

Sometimes we doubt His goodness because not everything that happens to us seems good to us.  Living in a fallen world such as ours, we do experience pain, suffering, confusion and frustrations.  But this does not mean that God is not good.  The Cross of Christ settled that question once and for all long ago.  

A Christian that doubts God’s goodness is in trouble.  We simply will not trust someone that we don’t believe has our best interest at heart.  And if we don’t trust God, we won’t grow.  It is as simple as that.  

However, if we understand His character, we will also understand that in His goodness, He does not always give us everything we ask for because He knows what is best for us and his will for us.  He is the sun, the light and can reveal the truth of our needs and desires.  He also is a shield of protection against our own wants and desires when our will is contrary to His will.  

Know that Satan’s number one strategy is to cast doubt in your mind about God’s loving goodness.  He will tell you that God has not really forgiven you, or that you don’t really need forgiveness.  He will make God out to be a cruel taskmaster.  

Don’t believe the devil!  God is good all the time, even when things don’t go your way, God is always good.  

Every time you are tempted to doubt God’s goodness, remind yourself of the cross.  For it is there that God’s loving goodness for you was nailed down once and for all.  




May 16, 2017, 10:23 AM

What This World Needs Most


No, its not Burt Bacharach and love, sweet love.  Although, love enables what the world needs most.  But, what the world really needs is to forgive and to be forgiven.  

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

Learn to forgive and to forget.  In theory, reconciliation seems to be a fairly simple concept.  Until it happens to you, or someone you love.  

Someone hurts you, you hurt them, or maybe both.  You get over it, forgive each other, and live happily ever after.  No grudges are held, no resentment ever lingers, and no retribution is ever sought.  No problem right?

The world would be a far better place if it were really that easy.  The problem is it is not.

Two things we need to learn as quickly is possible:

1.  Hurtful words and wrongful actions have a devastating impact with real consequences.  

2.  How to forgive and forget when others commit hurtful words or actions against us.  

Few things in this life are as difficult as true forgiveness.  To resolve such deeply felt anger and resentment is to let loose forever the wrongs that were committing in the first place.  To forgive but not forget is to never really forgive in the first place.  To not forgive is deny yourself the peace that accompanies true forgiveness.  

To put into perspective of your need to forgive and forget, let me remind you of God’s forgiveness.  What if God judged us the same way as we do for those who have hurt us or someone we care about?  We all have family, friends, fellow church members, or co-workers who have let us down over the course of time. But, how many times have we failed God?  And yet, he never puts up the same walls as we do with others.  

Wait, but we are not God you say?  True, but forgiveness through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is the root of the Christian life.  As Christians, we are to follow his example.  By His example and leading it is possible to break down those mile high-mile wide walls that separate us from others.  

Pursuing reconciliation with others shows that we understand and appreciate what God did in forgiving and forgetting our sin.   If our sin against God is forgiven, it is possible, in fact mandated that we forgive others their mistakes against us.  

Forgiveness is possible because of and through the power of Jesus Christ if you have turned to Him as your Savior.  Without His forgiveness through the Cross you could never spend eternity in Heaven with Him.  Forgiveness is what you need most from Him and is offered freely and completely because He loves you. 

Isn’t there someone with whom you need to forgive?  Won’t you do it today?

After all, it is what we all need most in this world:  To be forgiven and to forgive.  


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