For His Glory!
From one of the ladies in our group.
The Ripple Effect
This last summer, my children went to our denominationís youth camp and, because my oldest daughter, who is disabled, needed some assistance, I had the privilege of going along for the week and escorting her through the experience.
As the week progressed, we enjoyed the beautiful outdoor setting, late night girl conversations in the cabin, swimming in the quintessential weedy lake, and general hubbub of camp.
I witnessed in the younger campers a zest for the activities. They threw themselves into the crafts, the music, the games and seemed, for the most part, to relish the adventure of coming to camp for the first time.
In the senior campers, however, I witnessed frequent apathy, disrespect and even outright rebellion. There were, thankfully, many exceptions to this, but the negative stood out many times, to the dismay of those on staff.
More than once, staff members sat at morning meetings discussing the state of the kidsí attitudes. There was an unpleasant tone, an uneasy spirit, in the camp.
Some teens openly refused to follow simple instructions because they werenít personally interested in a particular activity. Often, certain individuals came to Bible class, for example, without their Bible. Not because they forgot; they simply didnít intend to participate. When music and witnessing classes were presented, some refused to sing the praise songs.
I donít like to focus on the negative. I donít like to appear picky or overly strict. I donít like to give the impression that nothing was pleasant at camp that year.
However, we in the body of Yeshua are called to be watchmen on the wall. We are called to pay attention to what is happening out in the world and to what is happening in our midst. We are called to sound the alarm when something is wrong.
Something is wrong.
Are we parents standing so joyfully and courageously faithful that our children are drawn to a faithful life of their own? Are we focused on Godly standards without wavering so our children have a clear vision of right and wrong? Are we communicating with our children, about the Word of the Father, or anything at all? Do our children know without a doubt that we love them?
These are questions to consider as we look forward to passing the baton of our generation to the next generation; questions to consider as we examine what I call our spiritual ripple effect.
We are called to be salt and light. Salt brings out the best in something else. It has a preserving effect. Light reveals shape and distance, clarifying our perspective on life.
Do we bring out the best in our children by our words and examples? Does our example and demeanor help to preserve their innocence, confidence and diligence? Does our life help clarify our childrenís vision of the Fatherís ways?
Granted, the relationship our children have with the Father and the level of their faith, are ultimately up to them. Yet, while we have them in our home, we are called to conduct our lives in such a way as to teach them 24/7. Not just for their benefit but because, at some point, we will send these "arrows" out of the "quiver" to an independent adult life.
Sitting around the last campfire devotional service at camp, a father spoke to the kids of his concern for them. He was sad that so few sang praises with joyful abandon to God in the church services or at campfire. He expressed disappointment that their concern about whether or not something was cool in the eyes of their peers was holding them back from reaching their potential.
One particular statement he made stands out in my mind even now. "You are more than you have become." In other words, he saw that the kids had potential to be much more than they were exhibiting at that point. As adults, we must ask if we too have held something back and refused to be all that God has created us to be in this life.
We cannot make the choice to grow for our children. Our job is to ripple.
At the lake, I could look out and see where the fish were, quite easily, if they moved and especially if they jumped in the water. A ripple would go out from the point where they moved. I am sure that those ripples extend much further than the naked human eye can see.
Yeshua is the Living Water. Are we moving in Him or not? Can our children see and feel the ripple? If not, how will they know of our faith, how will they know their own potential as children of the living God?
Go swimming in the Living Water. Swim with vigor. Swim for your life. Swim for theirs.
Parents have a responsibility toward their children. What can be learned from the proverbs?
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
If a child gets his own way:
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
How can we be sure we know the right way?
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge.
The congregation can help by setting the right example. We can also be another set of eyes for the parents; however, we are not to physically discipline others.
"Paradigm shifts are like being in a room lighted by a red light, and then a white light comes on. The room looks different, and we see things that we could not see before. But the room hasnít changed, only what we are able to see of it. " Stephen R. Covey
When the Spirit of God calls and we respond, it is as if a bright white light comes on and we now see things differently. The world has not changed but we must change because we now walk a path we did not see before. How? By the Word of God, Yeshua, the Light of the world.
John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life.
Matthew 4:16 "THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED."
In our pursuit of humility:
"In the temple and presence and worship of God, everything is worthless that is not pervaded by deep, true humility toward God and humankind." Andrew Murray
When we come before the throne of God to receive grace for our daily existence in this life and the one to come, we need to see all our efforts as worthless in the presence of the Almighty. "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:14). Our exaltation is the presence of the Son of God in our life reflected outward toward others, to the glory of YHVH.
The Center of the Bible
What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
Answer - Psalms 117
What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
Answer - Psalms 119
Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?
Answer - Psalms 118
Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118
Fact: There are 594 chapters after Psalms 118
Add these numbers up and you get 1188.
What is the center verse in the Bible?
Answer - Psalms 118:8
Does this verse say something significant about God's perfect will for our lives?
The next time someone says they would like to find God's perfect
Psalms 118:8 (NKJV) "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
Now isn't that odd how this worked out
(Or was God in the center of it)?
When things get tough, always remember...
Faith doesn't get you around trouble, it gets you through it !!
Are you in the center of His Word?
Some of us like a good poem.
Jake, the rancher, went one day to fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty and the clouds rolled gray and dense.
As he pounded the last staples in and gathered tools to go,
The temperature had fallen; the wind and snow began to blow.
When he finally reached his pickup, he felt a heavy heart.
From the sound of that ignition, he knew it wouldn't start.
So Jake did what most of us would do if we had been there.
He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.
As he turned the key for the last time, he softly cursed his luck.
They found him three days later, frozen stiff in that old truck.
Now Jake had been around in life and done his share of roaming.
But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked Ė it looked just like Wyoming!
Of all the saints in Heaven, his favorite was St. Peter.
(Now, this line ain't needed but it helps with rhyme and meter)
So they sat and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three.
Nobody was keepin' score - in Heaven time is free.
"I've always heard," Jake said to Pete, "that God will answer prayer,
But one time I asked for help, well, he just plain wasn't there."
"Does God answer prayers of some, and ignore the prayers of others?
That don't seem exactly square - I know all men are brothers."
"Or does he randomly reply, without good rhyme or reason?
Maybe, it's the time of day, the weather or the season."
"Now I ain't trying to act smart, it's just the way I feel.
And I was wondering', could you tell me - what is the deal?!"
Peter listened very patiently and when Jake was done,
There were smiles of recognition, and he said, "So, you're the one!!"
"That day your truck, it wouldn't start, and you sent your prayer a flying,
You gave us all a real bad time, with hundreds of us trying."
"A thousand angels rushed, to check the status of your file,
But you know, Jake, we hadn't heard from you in quite a long while."
"And though all prayers are answered, and God ain't got no quota,
He didn't recognize your voice, and started a truck in North Dakota."
BETTER KEEP IN TOUCH!
RUN IN THE RAIN
She had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.
It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.
We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world.
Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.
Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in. "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said.
"What?" Mom asked.
"Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.
"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.
This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain."
"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.
"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.
"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"
"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!"
The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.
Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.
"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said. Then off they ran.
We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.
And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.
Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.(Ecclesiastes 3:1)
TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN
* Keep in touch with your friends; you never know when you'll need each other.
1. The Place of the Skull Mark15:22
3. In Tarsus Acts 22:3
4. Cheerfully, not reluctantly or under compulsion 2Chorinthians 9:7
5. A staff Exodus 4:2-5
6. Shem, Ham, Japheth Genesis 9:18
7. Martha John 11:39
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