After realizing this morning school starts for the young ones in two weeks, you almost had to grab a paper bag and breathe into it! Everything in your mind is starting to swirl around and you fully believe your brain may bust before the first day even comes. Well, thanks to some friends at The Stir, a few shortcuts could help the first week of school go a lot smoother than the last few years have. I can’t promise you the whole season will go smooth, only the first week!
Have you ever been eating out and felt a little uncomfortable praying before your meal? Well, a diner in North Carolina received a 15 percent discount on her ticket for doing just that! Printed on the ticket was -15% – Praying In Public.” The diner, Jordan Smith, said she and her friends talked about “what a cool thing it is that they do as business owners.”
Of course that’s not why we pray, but next time you’re eating at a restaurant don’t hesitate to give thanks! You may be inspiring someone else to be bold and live out Romans 1:16, which proclaims, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ…”
What makes you happy? Your favorite meal? Spending time with family? Hitting the road for your favorite vacation spot? Or are you a workaholic? What are you filling your time with? What SATISFIES you? Is it God? The new band About A Mile hits the nail on the head for many of us with their song “Satisfied.” It’s about making the pursuit of God the thing that we crave. To be satisfied in Christ alone. Will you make that your prayer today?
Many of you may have heard that Christian Comedian Chonda Pierce’s husband David, died last week of a pulmonary embolism. I wanted to share some of her thoughts that she shared on Saturday after the funeral.
She wrote on her Facebook Page, “The cabin is quiet now. Everyone is gone…. Zach and I sat in the stillness for awhile. I curled up on the couch and stared out of the window at the old red jeep… It sits in front of his work shed. What will we do now? How do we even begin to live with this giant hole that’s been blasted through our hearts…My son and I have a long road ahead of us….a field that’s going to need to be mowed. An orchard to water. Hedges to trim and a fence to repair….But first things first we decided…First thing we should do right now is take a nap. And so we will. Before I close my eyes – I am begging God to wake us up from this horrific dream and let my husband be sitting on the porch when I wake up.
Today she posted, “My husband was an incredible man. The last few years of his life he battled great sorrow… We had made peace with so much of our past hurts except for the lingering grief we shared together. Zach and I struggle through the same sorrows and mourn so heavily for what “should have” been. His legacy is his children, his beloved farm, his writing, his witty banter and his incredible ability to love unconditionally. So, today we rejoice for the peace he has, the joy he is enjoying and that makes our burden lighter, for sure.
Will you pray for the Pierce family and let them know that in that burden there is hope?
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Parents, if we want our teens to emulate the character traits reflected in this verse, we need to live them out at home. Focus on the Family has some insights on some of those traits:
As parents, let’s make our wrongs right by saying, “I’m sorry.” Our sons and daughters will more easily forgive others when they’ve experienced forgiveness at home.
Teens need to hear us say, “Thank you,” Especially thank them if they choose to confide in you about their secrets and struggles
When you do give advice, talk about how to handle temptation. Tell them you trust them to make wise choices.
Preach the Gospel
Encourage your teen to live a life that emulates the faith, hope and love of Christ so anyone who’s watching will be attracted to Jesus.
Whenever issues arise try to remember that God’s unconditional love for us isn’t based on our behavior. There ARE times when strict discipline is needed. But there are also times our kids desperately need grace. The Bible says mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).
If we show our teens compassion, they learn to be compassionate. When people are hurting, they need a safe place and understanding — not judgment. Inspire your teens to be that place for someone in need.
In a me-focused world, we need to challenge our youth to see beyond themselves. Our Christ-like examples are the most powerful influence to persuade our teens to be Christ’s disciples. We can equip our teens to offer the world something better — something of eternal value.
Rangers lost again. It’s now to the point that we look for the fun wherever we can in baseball. Like the “intentional walk”. What is that? You can’t find a more defeatist attitude anywhere in sports. Does Football have the intentional dropped pass? Is there a “I meant to miss” free throw in basketball? But in baseball, we have, “Well I doubt we could get this guy out…might as well let him have first base…” What is Eeyore pitching? So they intentionally throw the ball way outside 4 times and let the guy walk to first. If it was me I’d at least have fun with it and throw it way over the catcher’s head. Or throw it AT the guy. Or roll it in. “Intentional walk”. Sheesh...
I will always treasure the memory of my daughter Kristin when she a 2-year-old hearing us talk about being Christians. She shouted, excitedly, “I’m a Christian!” We thought it was because of her name. But, I believe God had a hand on her from that early time in her life. Well, Max Lucado shares a similar memory: He writes in “When God Whispers Your Name,” “When my daughter Jenna was six years old, I discovered her standing in front of a full-length mirror looking down her throat. I asked her what she was doing and she answered, “I’m looking to see if God is in my heart.” I chuckled and turned. Then I overheard her ask Him, “Are you in there?” She was asking the right question. “Are you in there?” It wasn’t enough for you to appear in a bush or dwell in the temple? It wasn’t enough for you to become human flesh and walk on the earth? You had to go further? You had to take up residence in us? Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” (I Corinthians 6:19). Perhaps you didn’t. If not, thanks for letting me remind you. The world says look inside yourself and find self. God says look inside yourself and find God.
From Kristin’s certainty that she was a child of God (she accepted Christ at age 4) to Jenna’s curiosity whether God lived in her heart, we can learn from the innocence of a child. The boldness, the excitement, the curiosity to ask the right question. To seek God and fall into his arms and make your heart his home.