Stinkin-in and rotten-in!


As toddlers our girls were spoiled rotten (yeah, I know, they still are).   But, we would tell them they were rotten to the core; stinking and rotting.   Now, when they would tell it back to us it sounded more like … stinkin-in and rottin-in.   Their dad still tells them they are rotten in the toddler terms.

Truthfully, things that are rotting are usually stinking and it is anything but cute.   stinkWhen something stinks, it usually has sat around awhile, soured and rotted.  Unfortunately, many Christians become rotten from sitting around and souring.  They get upset, get discouraged and get down.  Instead of going to their knees, seeking fellowship and prayer partners, they just sit and stew … and stew … and then they sour and after a while they just SMELL.  You would think they would get the message when people start avoiding them.  You can not stand to be around them.  They are sour on the world.  Nothing is going right for them; nothing is going their way.  As the saying goes, “misery loves company” and they want you to be miserable with them.  You just want them to get “washed in the blood” all over again.  All you can do is bathe them in prayer.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15(HCSB) 14 But thanks be to God, who always puts us on displayin Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.15 For to God we are the fragranceof Christ among those who are being saved  and among those who are perishing.”

Hopefully, you are not the one stinkin’.  Each day you make a choice.  You get up and you choose your attitude.    In Matthew 5:3-11 you will find the Beatitudes:

BEatitudes = Attitudes To Be (a previous blog)

 

If you are going to “smell” … smell sweet!

 

Bless Your Pea-Pickin’ Heart


Bless Your Heart (otherwise know in the South as “you poor stupid thang”).   Now in the South when we say that, it can mean a myriad of things. If one is trying to be sarcastic … they’re telling you that you are being stupid.  If one is replying to your circumstances … they’re probably still telling you you’re being stupid.  Basically they are telling you to focus … you’re blessed and you don’t know it!  You are concentrating on circumstances.  Of course telling someone to focus on the good in their life  will cause them to call you a Pollyanna … but, that is okay, there are worse things to be called.

Are you blessed and don’t know it?  More likely you are blessed and you are too busy focusing on the ‘wrongs’ to see all that is RIGHT in you life.  COUNT your blessings, LITERALLY … out loud if you have to …WRITE them down … name them ONE BY ONE  <~ click (George Beverly Shaw is 102 and still counting his blessings).

Play “I Spy God” with your family.  It is fun and rewarding … and you cannot play it without realizing all God has done for you.  It will make you focus on what counts in life.  “Spy” God in creation, in circumstances … everywhere.  Make yourself SEE how involved He really is in your life.   Every day you are blessed but you are so busy you seldom see the blessings.  You take ‘good days’ for granted and forget to thank Him for all He’s doing.  Yet, the minute something goes wrong … “Where was God?” …. “Why God?”   Did you ask Him where He was on your good day?  Did you ask Him ‘why?’ on your good days?

Count your blessings … one by one … spy God in all that He has done.  “I spy God …

….in my daughters and their families

… in my grandchildren’s laughter and smiles

… in my husband’s smile even though he cannot find a job (he’s counting his blessings)

… in the music He has given me

… in His word that He reveals His truths to me

… in the butterfly that flitted by

… the blue sky

… the close parking space I asked for

… the crystal blue ocean

You are blessed … do you choose to believe and recognize your blessings?

1 Thessalonians 5:18“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”(NASB)

Above all, thank Him for your salvation, for if you are “Soul Safe” … saved … have eternal life in Heaven with Him, you are truly blessed, regardless of circumstances here on earth.

2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!”

“I’m Becoming My Mom >:-O!”


~ or your dad … or you’re “just like Aunt …’ or maybe you “act like uncle …”

"OMG! You're just like ...."

We all hear it sometime.  I worked in a mall while in college.  During my lunch break I would go out to eat at the Chic-Fil-A.  There were these three ladies that came out every week to eat there.  One was 20ish, one was 40ish and one 60ish.  They looked, dressed and acted like the same woman in three different decades.  The youngest was fast on her way to becoming her mother (and grandmother).

That is not a bad thing, to be like one’s mom or dad … grandmother, etc.  My girls like to tease me about becoming ‘grandmother’.    Many  would love to be 1/2 the person we might be ‘likened’ to by others.  On the flip side though is the negative.  When we’re young we see things in others and say, “I will never do that.”  Yet, the liar begets a liar, the thief a thief, the verbal abuser … the yeller … the drunk … the angry … the impatient … the stubborn ….

Why?  Because it is generational and someone has to break the chain.  As parents we want to set patterns and behaviors, lifestyles and habits that children need to become.  Unfortunately, kids zero in on the negative.  It’s the nature of them?  It’s satan’s* dirty little tricks in life?  It really doesn’t matter, it happens.  Look at toddlers that have picked up cuss words … why one bad word when so many good ones are spoken?  Or pinching, hitting, etc.  The negative sticks out more?  Whatever it is we have to focus on teaching them the positive.  If a child emulates you, if they become you, hopefully it is all the positive and none of the negative.  I know I had negative times I am not proud of that I hope my kids never become.  Frustration, anger, hard times … they come out and those moments stick out in memories and outweigh the good sometimes.

So it is two fold … you work on making positive memories and they work on remembering only the positive when they are older.  The scriptures says in Philippians 4:8 , “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

We guard their ears, eyes and minds from what the world throws at them through the various mediums, yet our own mouths sometimes does more damage.   Ephesians 4: 29 “When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.” (NCV)  You know yourself that in your memory the harsh words spoken stand out more.  ALWAYS, go and undo what you say in anger or frustration … when you’re too tired, etc.  Don’t let that apology and that ‘rebuilding’ go undone.

Passing on the bad from generation to generation will happen if someone does not make an effort to stop the chain.  If you have  alcoholics, liars … suicides, etc.  Don’t pass it on … stop the cycle.  It is not a heritage you want.  When children are old enough to know about what was in their family’s history is when they are grounded in why it is wrong.  I cannot tell you the number of young people I have counseled that say, “well what can I do, I’m just like … and you know I was always told they did ….”.  Your kids do not need to know the details of your past until they are young adults (if ever).   We had a youth pastor come through once that told of his wild and sinful days … laughingly … almost with … “yeah it was fun … but, then I had to settled down so I got saved.”  This teaches that you can have your fun and repent later.  No one has a ‘later’ promised to them.

You have no later … work on what needs changing today.  Teach your children the positive part of you they need to become and forget the negative part of your own past that your parents were … forget and forgive.  Decide today that you want to be the good part of that person and pass along only the good part of them and the good part of you.

Always go back to the Beatitudes … attitudes to be.  Then you are passing on a heritage of being Christ like.

“I’m becoming ….the good part of…”

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

BEatitudes = Attitudes To Be


BEatitudes:

When I was in college in Atlanta, we traveled over 30 miles on Tuesday night to a Bible study that sometimes had over 400 in attendance.  There was a three-piece band and a speaker.  Simple music, simple truths.  The concept was, “if you teach them, they will come” and we did.  We studied the Bible a passage at a time.  I remember it was the first time I heard the phrase “the Beatitudes are Attitudes to be”.  Most of what God has to teach us and our children is simple truths.  We just like to complicate them.

As parents or workers with children of various ages, we know “attitude”.  We probably get several doses a day.  Have you ever thought about teaching children a conscious attitude; attitudes to be?  Jesus did and gave a wonderful lesson that we should teach to our children early on.

English lesson:

BEatitudes!

TO BE verb and auxiliary verb

  • present singular 1st person: am(I am)
  • 2nd  person: are(you are)
  • 3rd person:  is(he/she is)

Attitudes are something you ARE.   You choose to BE.  It is a decision.  Very early on you must teach children that they are choosing their attitudes and those decide how they act and those actions have consequences.   At the first sign of an inappropriate attitude you look them straight in the face and say, “you need to make a decision.  Make a good one.  If you continue in this ____ (name it – action or attitude) then YOU are DECIDING and CHOOSING this consequence (name it).”  You have to teach them as early as two that they are ‘asking’ for consequences by their choices.  If they are acting out they choose to be punished.  Do not let them blame you.  Encourage them to choose wisely and receive good consequences.

I hear mom’s say, “he/she’s in their terrible two’s” or, “oh, he/she’s carried the terrible two’s into the terrifying three’s”.  Don’t CLAIM it for goodness sake.  Do something about it.  You do not let children control you or your home.  I know I have said it under other sections, but, let me say it again.  Parenting is a SMALL minuscule picture on earth of our Heavenly Father’s relationship with us.  Remember what happens when you try to control your life; you try to control God?  Makes a mess of things doesn’t it?  Well, why are you allowing children to control you and the home?    I see toddlers in control of large adults 4x’s their size and I shake my head and think, “when did you hand them the keys?”  Most turn over control before they are two believe it or not.

I won’t mention which daughter, but one of mine wanted something in the checkout line and I said, “no”.  To which I received a tantrum, her first.  I looked at her and told her she was embarrassing herself and me and that was no way to behave in a store.  I told her to make a decision or I would have to embarrass her.  She continued to scream.  So I dropped to the floor and threw a tantrum.  She was mortified.  She told me I was ‘mbearinsing her’.   I told her I would stop if she did.  😀  Quit laughing, it worked.  We were in Winn Dixie and a mom looked at me and said, “Oh, if I only had the courage to do that.”  There were no more tantrums in the store.  There are those that say not to humiliate your child in public.  HOGWASH! (<~ I have become my mom, it was her fav word).  Half of what is wrong with children is we are protecting them from good child rearing techniques for fear of what others will say or think.  Or worse, what some ‘professional in the world’ says will hurt the child.  The world is not in charge of raising your child.  The truth is, you answer only to God for how you turn out your kids.  Any child still living at home and you pay the bills, is your responsibility, your stewardship under God’s eyes.  I am sorry to say that an out of control teenager did not wake up that way one morning.  It started years before when someone stopped parenting and handed over the keys. It is very hard, but not impossible, to get those keys back and start over.  God expects you do to just that.

He gave you a manual on teaching attitudes to yourself as well as your children.  These are simple Bible truths that Jesus taught in Matthew 5. (This is greatly simplified due to BLOG constraints – everyone should really do a thorough study of God’s attitudes TO BE.)

  • 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (our BEatitude is recognizing we OWE all to God) God is teaching us and we need to teach children, that we are blessed by Him and stewards of all that we have; we should have a humble and thankful spirit and not a proud and greedy one
  • 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (our BEatitude of SORROW  for sin that brings repentance, recognizing when we do wrong and REALLY being sorry) God is teaching us, and we need to teach children, that we should be sorrowful over sin and wrong doing; that we are dependent on the Holy Spirit to walk daily in Him and that we cannot do so without Him. Teach them to yield to that conscience; yield to the tugging of the Holy Spirit.  We know when we are doing wrong and we know when we are ignoring that tugging on our conscience.  If we ignore, the Holy Spirit within us grieves.  We ignore that, we harden.
  • 5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (our BEatitude of  SUBMISSION to God) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children,  to be quiet and rest in Him, to not get upset when we are wronged but to turn the other cheek and show His love to others as He has shown it to us.  We are to be patient with others as God is with us, that includes being patient with the children you are teaching patience!
  • 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (our BEatitude is one of SENSING our need for God and striving to be more like Him) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, through two things the human body can understand, hunger and thirst.  These needs keep us alive and our hunger and thirst for righteousness are vital to our spiritual life just as food and water are to our physical body.  Priorities must be set and followed.  Putting God first makes everything else fall in line.
  • 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Our BEatitude is one of SHOWING our Christ in our actions) God is teaching us that when we hunger and thirst after Him, our ACTIONS will show Him.  This is our testimony in action.  We show love for others as He has loved us.  For a long description of LOVE see my “For The Greatest Of These is Love” post.  We give forgiveness as we are forgiven.  We show compassion, pity, patience, just as we have been shown them by Him.
  • 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Our BEatitude is one of seeking His Holiness) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children,  to put away the world and seek only that which is pure.  God cannot look on iniquity so having it in our heart separates us from Him.  To see God, we must have a pure heart.  Pure hearts come from what we put in our minds through our eyes and ears.
  • 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Our BEatitude is one of SOLVING not creating problems) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, to strive to get along and find good in others and situations.  To establish Peace through Him.  Our light in a dark world should bring comfort and peace.  As the old saying goes, “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”  When actions display God in us and not us in the world, then we are part of the solution.
  • 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”(Our BEatitude is one of SELFLESSNESS) God is teaching us, and we should teach our children, that when we take on all of these BEatitudes, the world will not understand.  Sometimes you will be walked over, made fun of and some will even give their lives.  This is hard for us as adults and certainly not something little children can grasp.  We simple must teach them that sometimes, even though we are doing right, bad things are going to happen; people are going to hurt us.  This is when it is even more important TO BE the BEatitudes through His strength in us.
  • 11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”(Our BEatitude is one of STEADFASTNESS standing strong in the Power of the Blood).  In America today, Christians are being picked apart and ridiculed.  You and children will face more and more verbal, if not physical, persecution for standing in the testimony of Christ. During these times our resolve may weaken, or we may become apathetic if we do not stand in His Power.  There are times when I just get quiet and pray, “Lord, by the Power of the Blood, for the Victory that HAS BEEN ONE, I bind satan from this situation.  What is bound on earth is bound in Heaven. (Matthew 16:18)  I claim this VICTORY.”  And then I move in His Power, not my own.

Learn the BEatitudes and pass them on to your children.  What’s your BEatitude today?