Category: Parenting


Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not [merely] look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”   Philippians 2:3-4

Yesterday God gave us an amazing opportunity to spend the day at a Madison Mallards baseball game followed by the Rhythm & Booms firework show.  We were treated like royalty, watching the game from the Duck Blind which provided unlimited ballpark food, all the soda and beer you can drink and space to move around and relax during the game without being confined to a stiff plastic seat!

Mallards Game            Duck Blind

Mallards Game

Then just in time for the best fireworks display in the mid-west, we were able to stake claim on some choice real-estate in the outfield!

outfield real-estate outfield

I will squish you!

A bit of fun before the fireworks!

It was sweet.

But early into arriving at the ball park, we heard that MLB’s Hall of Famer Paul Molitor was there signing autographs.  He would be signing until 6:30, so we decided to eat first and then head over to see him.  By the time we got there, the line was very long, it was 6:00pm and we were told that even if we got in line now, it wasn’t guaranteed that we would even get to meet him.  {gulp!}  But we decided to take our chances anyway.  We bought a baseball, stood in line and held our breath.

Based on knowing our luck, and the pace that the line was moving, I figured we might get close but was pretty sure we wouldn’t meet him.  So we prayed, asking God to get us up to him in time, and continued to move along at a snail’s pace.  The clock was quickly counting down and 5 minutes out they reminded everyone that Mr. Molitor had to catch a flight and must leave at 6:30 whether everyone got a signature or not.  {eeeek!} But we were almost there!  Just a few people away at 6:29 and my heart was racing.  “Oh please…” I whispered.

As we approached the table, Mr. Molitor stood to get ready to go but he extended his hand toward us to sign what we brought as they announced to the rest of the crowd that he had to leave and my son’s hat would be his last signature.

Paul Molitor           Paul Molitor

There were shouts of obvious disappointment and unbelief from the crowd behind us and immediately I felt badly.  Oh don’t get me wrong, I was (and still am) so thankful that God allowed us to reach Mr. Molitor and get his autograph, but what about the people behind us?  They wanted something signed too… just one thing… but instead, our large family got four.

It just didn’t seem fair.

Why is that?  Why do we feel badly when others are left out?  Why do we wish we could’ve done more for those who don’t catch a break, when we get one?

Or don’t you?

God made us so that we would love one another.  If we are formed in His image and He is love…then if we truly know Him, it is integrated into our very being to love.  It’s because of His love for us that we are able to love.

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”   1 John 4:8

But because of the lasting effects of sin, our desire to love is muddied, replaced with the idea based on selfishness and pride that we are more important and we deserve more than others.

But that’s a lie!  We can’t let the enemy fool us any longer!  If we say we follow Christ, then we must also say that we are willing to live the way He lived…

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus… who emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, [and] being made in the likeness of menHe humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross… that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW…and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”   Philippians 2:5-6, 8, 10

Treating others the way we want to be treated, showing love and rooting for the underdog.

love like Jesus

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”   1 Peter 5:8

I serve on the children’s security team once a month and this past Sunday was my weekend to ‘bounce.’

bouncers2

And because I’m monitoring the lobby and hallways, I’m obviously not able to hear the sermon let alone sit with my kids.  Thankfully there is a video feed of the sermon in the lobby while I monitor the areas to rid them of any shenanigans or hoodlums (which at our church are mostly said kids) so I am easily able to catch a glimpse of the sermon.

My pastor just started a sermon series called “Everyday Faith.”  We’re going through the book of James to learn how to take what we believe about God and bring it into everyday life.  It has been a most convicting series, one that would challenge any level of faith and one that could really change lives for Christ and that morning was no different.

It was a typical Sunday of bouncing, not much going on, so I was able to hear parts of the sermon which made me wish I was in there and listening first hand.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for [once] he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the [law] of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”   James 1:22-25

I could barely wait until it was over so I could talk to the kids to see what they thought and then go home and hear it online for myself.  But when church was over and my kids come to meet me outside the sanctuary, all I heard was complaining from Sami (my oldest) about how Sydney (2nd oldest) was not paying attention and distracting both the boys as well as people around them from the message.

kids_in_church

I was dumbfounded.  From what I heard it was a wonderful message, one that anyone would respond to.  How could she miss it and be such a distraction to others?

As I talked to Sydney about paying attention in church and being aware of what she’s doing and how her actions might be distracting others, God made it quite clear to me how effective His Word really is.

God’s Word is the one thing that the devil doesn’t have a grasp on.  He knows it and the power that it has, but he can’t control how it will affects us.  What he wants most in this world is to draw us away from God, and His Word, and the only thing he can try to do is distract us.  It wasn’t all Syd’s fault.  The devil was working overtime to pull people from hearing this message.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”   2 Corinthians 4:3-4

As I monitored the lobby that morning, shortly after the worship set was done and before the sermon started I noticed a friend of mine leaving the sanctuary, purse on her shoulder looking as if she were heading home.

I jokingly asked “Where do you think you’re going?!”

And she responded nonchalantly; “I’m just not feeling it today.”

I was so taken aback by her response that I didn’t even know what to say.  I thought it such a strange thing; she wasn’t “feeling it” so she was leaving and the sermon hadn’t even started yet.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there…when I wasn’t “feeling it,” but I always found that when I’m “not feeling it” that’s when I need to be there most!  But all I squeaked out was a measly “Oh” and she went on her way.

It hit me as I explained to Syd how the devil uses us to distract others from hearing God’s message, that He distract us from hearing it as well and why my friend “wasn’t feeling it” that morning.

God was doing a mighty work in that sanctuary and the devil wanted as few people to hear it as possible.  Like a magician with slight of hand, the devil expertly manipulates us to look away from the truth, he draws our eyes away from what we should be watching; that which matters most.

stayalert

Related Articles:
Master of Distraction   (daileyfamilyministries.com)
1 Peter 5:8   (amwjournals.wordpress.com)

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”   Matthew 5:4

September 11th attacks

The attacks of September 11th have been the most devastating thing that has happened in my life.  My heart still hurts thinking of those who lost their lives, both the victims and those in the armed forces fighting to keep terrorists at bay and I know our world has forever been changed.

I fully admit that I am ignorant to what is happening out in the world.  I am blessed to live in a country that does not have desolate lands, a lot of poverty, disease, hunger or war on the street and I haven’t known a lot of tragedy in my life.

I haven’t dealt with abuse, don’t come from a family of divorce, haven’t lost a parent, have not been sick, never miscarried or lost a child.  Sure, I’ve lost grandparents but they lived long, full, happy lives and of course pets…but I can’t call flushing a dead goldfish down the toilet real loss.

dead goldfish

I’ve experienced job loss and financial hardship but have never personally experienced anything that shook me to the core.

I haven’t written about any of the heartless massacres that have taken place over the last many years.  So many grievous, heart-wrenching and unfathomable acts of violence that have been carried out in places of learning, entertainment, recreation, healing, solace and safety.  Places all of us visit and had no second thoughts about allowing our children or loved ones to do the same.

Of course each one of these tragedies have affected me; shocked me, sickened me and caused me to question humanity, but they never quite hit home.  The Dark Knight Rises movie shooting caused me to stop and gawk in disbelief, questioning what people in this world are thinking and the tragedy that happened at a Sikh Temple only a couple hours away from our home saddened me and I prayed for those families affected by it, but I carried on with life.

Even this past week at a mall in Oregon confused me and made me wonder… but honestly I shrugged it off, “That won’t happen here,” I thought.

But what happened yesterday at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Hold them tight

Yesterday was different.  They were children.  Children!

This one hit home.

 

I don’t know why God gives and takes away.  Why He allows terrible heartache and trials in one life and not others.  Why He provides gifts and blessings for one and nothing for another.

“Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him?”   Isaiah 40:13

But I do know that God’s ways are best, His plan is best, His love never fails and He is still in control.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”   Romans 8:28

Hold them tight...

Last night I held my babies tight.  I cried while holding them in my arms… so very thankful that I could.

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”   1 John 4:4

 

Related posts/articles:
Columbine High School Massacre
Virginia Tech Massacre
Seattle Coffee Shop
Salon Meritage
Carson City IHOP
Carthage Nursing Home

Mentor

As many of you know, I mentor a young lady named Hayley.  I’ve written about her before in my posts:  Watercolor Blessings  and  Stand up.  We’ve been meeting now for almost a year and although I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing when we began to meet…surprisingly I have been doing something right.

I don’t know how that happened…obviously God is VERY MUCH HANDS ON in this relationship because believe me, I am a huge mess and certainly NOT tooting my own horn here.  I am very capable of and am probably causing serious permanent damage to this poor, beautiful girl, so praise God He knows how to shut my mouth and offer discernment!!

Poor Hayley.

But…I was asked by my pastor to speak, along with some other people, in a sermon this past Sunday called:  “I’m going to get serious about my faith!”  from his “Next Year’s Going to be Different” series.

Different topics were covered: Prayer, Devotions, Discipleship, Evangelism, Memorization, etc… and he asked me to speak on Mentoring.  I was stunned to say the least.  “But I don’t really know what I’m doing!!” I said.  “I might be totally messing Hayley up!!”  He assured me he still wanted me to speak and suggested that perhaps I do some research on the topic.

Y’know what I found??

It seems that even though I am unsure, that I question why on earth God called me to mentor Hayley; What have I to offer when there are so many wiser, smarter, calmer, kinder, gentler and much more qualified women in the church than me? that He gave me reassurance.

What God has taught me through mentoring Hayley is that being a mentor is not the image I had in my head of the I’m-so-wise-and-holy-you-will-learn-amazing-and-wonderful-spiritual-truths-from-me teacher…

mean teacher

Because yeah, I am faaaar from that…

But instead, all I need to offer is a heart for God and my friendship.

As I researched, He led me to a great article How Christian Woman Can Mentor and Be Mentored, which reiterated that exact point.

Of course, being a mentor is a scary thing…

“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”   James 3:1

but God calls each one of us to it…

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”   Titus 2:3-5

So I encourage you.

We can be mentored at any age…I have several women in my life whom I look up to, respect tremendously and go to when I need advice or have a question about something.  We don’t meet regularly and most of them probably don’t realize that they are mentoring me, but they offer wisdom, understanding and clarity when I need it.

If you think you aren’t qualified to mentor someone, kick that thought right out of your head.  If you are asked a question that you don’t know an answer to, find someone who does.  If you don’t know what to say, ask God to give you the words.  Just open your heart, admit your failures, love unconditionally and I assure you, you will be blessed by it.

Hayley is nearly 25 years younger than me.  Uff…that’s a tough pill to swallow.  But what I have learned from her through this unlikely relationship God brought together is more valuable to me than I can even explain.

She is a gem and I am so blessed to be called her mentor…her friend.

Friends

Have you ever wondered; “Why am I here?”

I have.

I do.

I know God made me for a reason…His Word tells me so  (oh, doesn’t that just take you back to singing a kid song at Sunday school?!!)

 

 

Great verse and certainly great reminder…

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'”   Jeremiah 29:11

But doesn’t it just seem so pointless sometimes??

As I sit here praying, asking God why I’m here…what do I have to offer…why did He make me…I am reminded that I know three things for sure.

  I am here to glorify Him.

“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Romans 15:5-6

 

  I am to love God.

“AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.”   Mark 12:30

 

  I am to love others.

“YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”   Matthew 22:39

 

I know all of those things, and long terribly to honor God with my life, to give Him glory, to live for Him…but nothing happens.

Why has He given me such a desire to write, but no direction?

Why did He send me to a writer’s conference, then leave me hanging?

So, where has God placed me?  I am a mother and a wife and if I’m not doing those jobs well, why would I be given more responsibility?!!

“So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”   Luke 8:18

Bloom where you’re planted.

 

Oh Lord, please show me how to love my husband and my family better.  Help me to glorify You through how I love them.  Please remove my selfish desires and help me focus on You. 

“…Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”   Matthew 25:40

 

 

Tristan is Start Student this week in his 1st grade class, which means he’s top dog.  He gets to fill out a “Read All About Me!” poster, bring in a favorite book and photos to display in the special Star Student spot, he gets to be first in line for lunch as well as lead when going to other classes and then on Friday, when he shares his photos and poster with the class, he gets to read his favorite book aloud.

When T found out he was going to be Star Student last Friday, he began preparing what he would bring in come Monday which included the book…

Great book…don’t get me wrong, but honestly I’ve never seen him read it.  I figured he knew I would be happy with his choice because it’s a story about baby Jesus and we encourage our kids to share their love for Christ with everyone.  Besides, after the whole Sneak & Share cross incident a couple months ago (They won’t understand) I just figured he was trying to do the “right thing.”  So I asked him,

“This is your favorite book?”

“Yes.” He said.

“It is?!!” I questioned.

“Yes.” He repeated.

“What’s it about?!”  I quizzed…and he told me.  Everything!  He knew the story!  Okay then, I thought.

Looking back now I should have realized how much that book meant to him, especially when Monday morning rolled around and the only thing he remembered to bring to school with him was the book, but I didn’t give it a second thought until a few days passed.

On Wednesday I received an email from Tristan’s teacher:

“… Due to school policy, we won’t be able to read that book to the whole class due to its content related to Christmas and religion.  I’m sorry.”

Honestly, it wasn’t a shocker.  Sure it was a bummer but T’s a reader and I figured he had plenty of favorite stories to choose from.  I’m sure he won’t care too much about it, and I said as much to his teacher.

Jax, on the other hand had more to say:

“… To not give Tristan the same opportunity as his fellow students (to have his favorite book read) because of the book’s religious content is nothing short of religious discrimination.  A six year old will not understand the (errant) political motivations behind the decision, only that he is being treated differently because he believes in God! …”

“Oh gees,”  I thought, “poor girl.”  Tristan’s teacher is a 2nd year teacher…quite young, and I was embarrassed a bit by Jax’s response.  I agree with him of course, but like Tristan’s teacher I figured this wasn’t a huge deal and Tristan could just bring in another book.  She was just following the “rules” after all.

Now this really is a mess, I thought.

It wasn’t long before Tristan came bounding through the door, fresh off the bus yelling,

“Moooooooooom!”

He told me about the book and that they can’t read it in class.

“Why?”  I said testing him to see how much he knew about it.

“She said I have ‘plenty of favorite stories’ and to bring in another book,”  eerily echoing the exact phrase I said to his teacher, “but I don’t!” He exclaimed.

“Sure you do, T!” I said.

“No, I don’t!  That’s my favorite!  The other kids got to read their books…”

His words hit me like a blow to the gut, I felt them cut straight to my heart.

 

I never liked kids.  Growing up I never enjoyed babysitting or being around kids and was a common belief among my friends that either I would be last to have kids or not have any at all.

I always thought they were annoying; smelly, whiny, loud and foolish.

After I accepted Christ as my Savior, when I heard a person (including my husband) share their story about coming to know Christ at the age of three, four or five I thought they were nuts.  There was no way a decision of that magnitude could be made by a child.  They were just spewing what they had heard their parents say…about “that one time they gave their heart to Jesus.”

But even God’s word tells us that it’s the the innocence and unwaivering eyes of a child that we will know truth and have faith.

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”   Mark 10:15

Now that I have children of my own (I can still hear the collective and shocked gasp from my friends) I fear I still don’t truly get how much they understand.  Children love and trust unequivocally.  Their thinking is simple and sincere and has not yet been corrupted by others.  They don’t need to have answers to the mysteries of the universe.  It is enough to know that God loves us and provides forgiveness for our sins.

God holds children in high esteem.

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.    Matthew 18:3-6

So should we.

 

Have you approached God like that of a child?  Forget everything this world has taught you.

When you were little, think back to a time when you were confused or scared and the only place you knew to turn was your Dad.  You didn’t know how he would fix things, you just knew he would.  You would lift your arms up to him and he would scoop you up, hold you tight and everything would be better.

That’s what God does for us.

It’s when we approach Him, nowhere else to turn… arms outstretched and nothing to offer… asking for forgiveness and to help make everything better…

We need to be that child needing only His love, His protection, His forgiveness…

 

He’s waiting.

If you want to start a relationship with someone; whether it be for friendship or romance, how do you begin?

What steps do you take to get to know a person?

wikiHow answered that question with seven steps:

  Ask Questions

Essentially, you need to ask questions to get to know this person better and open ended questions are best, of course, to allow a comfortable flow in conversation.  The point here is to get to know whatever you can about this person.

  Keep Conversations Active

You want to make sure the other person knows you’re interested in what they’re saying.  Pay attention and respond physically by nodding your head, using facial expressions and above all, looking the person in the eye!

  Verbally Respond

Ask more questions if the person is interested in something you know little about.  Keep the conversation going…and to quote wikiHow:

“Convince yourself that you want to know, and soon you will be having a very engaging conversation.”

  Plan Activities

Spend as much time as you can with the person; outings, phone, email, etc…  It will show them that you’re interested and allow you to get to know them better.

  Be Honest

If you are open and honest with the person, it will not only allow them to get to know you better but also allow them to trust you enough to be honest with you as well.

  Be Interesting

Share interesting things about yourself, your family, your background which will encourage them to tell you more interesting things about themselves.

  Bribe

Ok, so it doesn’t actually tell you to bribe them, but flattery does work.  As I told my kids when they were first starting school, if there was someone they wanted to become friends with, compliment them, bring a treat or offer one from your snack or lunch and be sure to share.  (Chocolate works well…)  No one wants to be friends with someone who’s selfish.

These seven steps are good, but I’ve thought of a few more…

  Observe

The best way to get to know someone is to, like #4, spend as much time with them as you can but especially in different situations and with different people.  You can learn a lot from a person just by watching how they act with others; parents, friends, children, teachers, at church, at school, at a restaurant, etc…

  Attitude

They say…”attitude is everything” and when it comes to starting a relationship, I believe that is true.  People are naturally drawn to and want to be around others who are kind, optimistic, fun, energetic, confident and happy.

 

I would love to hear from you!!

Do you have any other other ideas or suggestions?
What, to you, is most important when starting a new relationship?
Please share them here or contact me directly at  ispygod@gmail.com

Thanks!

 

Related posts/articles
How to Get to Know Someone   (http://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page)
How to Get to Know Someone Better   (http://www.ehow.com/ehow-mom/)
How to Get to Know Someone   (http://www.ehow.com/ehow-mom/)
12 Things Happy People do Differently   (http://www.marcandangel.com/)

So this week, week three, has proven to be quite difficult.  I blame it entirely upon Halloween and those darn sweet treats!!

I am completely feeling the face of Orange M&M…

I have found that this low carb, high fat, diet thing is not working well for me.  As you know, I do love the bacon and cheese but what I also found is that I crave bacon and cheese.  Great for the diet, terrible for the waist line.  It seems that although you CAN eat bacon and cheese, it is not suggested that you ONLY eat bacon and cheese…hence the rise in numbers on the scale.

So sad I know.

And I won’t even mention the chocolate calling me from my high fat bacon and cheese stupor that may have something to do with the scale incline as well.  It seems Kit Kat and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups have a unique spell over me…

“Do not desire his delicacies, For it is deceptive food.”   Proverbs 23:3

So although I will continue down the low carb path; instead of high fat I will heighten protein, fruits and veggies.  That has never failed me in the past…so we’ll go back to the old stand by!!

I did continue with the week three training and did well on this week’s plan although now I’ve lost Syd somewhere in the candy dish so we need to dig her out and get her motivated…

The week’s not over yet!

On Monday, Syd came home and announced she wasn’t going to run because she was coming down with a cold.  Sort of a lame excuse, but I’ve been known to do that myself.  I figured she would run Tuesday.  No such luck with Triple Treat at church and then Wednesday was Halloween…

So when she got home today, I told her to get on the treadmill.  We have three days left of this week and three training days so we need to get boogy-ing, and she completely stalled.  She did not want to run and announced that she would start training again next week seeing as how she hasn’t started this week yet.

I knew I just needed to get her moving so I told her to get her shorts on.  She stomped up the stairs, slammed the door, changed, stomped back down the stairs and headed down to the treadmill.  I followed her and got her started.  After the warm up and the first set of running, she smiled at me and said “Sorry…”

I knew, all she needed to do was run, and she would feel better.

Week 3:  Day 1, 2 & 3:
5 minute warm up
90 second jog/90 second walk
3 minute jog/3 minute walk
90 second jog/90 second walk
3 minute jog/3 minute walk
5 minute cool down

Mission complete.

Isn’t it interesting how we can convince ourselves that the best things are not what we need but when we finally do make the right choice… we always feel better!!

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”   Philippians 4:8

“Mom, can I play on the iPad?”  Sydney asked but before I could utter a word, a little voice next to me said “Did Syd read the Bible yet?”  Tristan, who also loves playing on the iPad, looked up from the open Bible in front of him, his question still lingering in the air.

I looked at Syd, my eyebrows raised and my eyes clearly revealing my thoughts, as she stood saying nothing.

At our house the rules for the boys in the morning is that they need to read the Bible first before anything else; tv, video games, movies… and they are very good at getting their reading done.  They don’t read a huge amount, they’re still pretty little, but it started out as a verse in Proverbs and a verse in John (relevant to that day’s date) but now they’re up to five verses in each book.

The girls don’t have the same rules, only because they tend to sleep in a bit later, so they are able to do their quiet time at their convenience.  I know Sam prefers reading at night before bed, but Syd??  Well, apparently I now know the answer.

“Hmmm…” I hummed as I looked at her and with a sigh she sat at the table, opened the Bible and began to read.

“I’m done” she said standing, “now can I play?”

“Already?!!”  I said incredulously, “What did you read?”

Proverbs 11,” she retorted.

“The whole chapter??”

“Mmm-hmm.”

“Syd,” I said “if you want to get to know someone you need to spend time with them.  You talk to them, listen to them and learn about them. This is God,” I said holding out the Bible between us “the Word, THIS Word, is Jesus and you can only get to know Him better by reading it.”

“Why don’t you read the Bible?” I questioned.

She stood in silence, her gaze staring off…far from me.

“Syd,” my voice startled her.  “Why don’t you read?”  I could see the struggle within her about how she should answer.  I encouraged her to be honest, I was only asking why, when she finally sat and said;

“Because it’s boring and confusing.”

“I know, Babe.” I nodded, acknowledging and completely understanding her.  “But,” I said  “if you pay attention and continue reading, God will reveal something to you. Why did you pick Proverbs 11?” I asked

“I don’t know” she said with a shrug.

“Well, then there’s something God wants you to learn if that’s what He had you open.”

We read through the chapter, a wonderful proverb revealing God’s views of righteous living and wisdom.  A great read showing how to live our lives with regards to money, pride, honesty, people, looks, possessions, wisdom… also exposing the fate of choosing the ulterior.

What a perfect chapter for God to lead her to.  A chapter revealing so much truth, so much guidance and insight into how God wants us to live our lives…and it can only be found by reading His Word.

God is not far away.  He has given us an amazing play-book of which to make our decisions and choose our moves.  When we are lost or feeling forgotten, we need to look to Him for guidance through His Word and to those who have gone before us and learned from His teaching.

Pick up your Bible, it’s your move.

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.”   Proverbs 11:30

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Tristan

“But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’ When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’”   John 20:11-15

After my six year old Tristan read this scripture this morning, his head snapped up, eyes wide open expressing an incredulous stare.  “He’s right in front of her!!”  He exclaimed. He could not believe she didn’t see it was Jesus.

When I was a kid, I grew up knowing that Jesus died on the cross, but it didn’t matter (or I didn’t care) much more than that.  I was taught that as long as I believed in God, knew Jesus died on that cross and was a good person, well…that’s all I needed.

I learned the stories of Adam and Eve at my Grandma’s church and Evolutionary fact at school and both somehow lived cohesively within my mind.  I ignoramusly never questioned the conflict between the two.

Creation surrounded me.  God’s protection covered me.  Jesus stood before me and I couldn’t see Him.

The Bible tells us that we are blind to God’s truths until it is revealed to us:

“in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”   2 Corinthians 4:4

“to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”   Acts 26:18

This morning God reminded me through a six year old boy that He is always there, always working, always loving, we just need to slow down, pay attention and open our eyes.  He works through so many inconsequential things, we hardly recognize Him.

Don’t be so concerned with the things around you that you miss what’s right in front of you!!

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