You’re ‘m-bare-us-in me!


Funny_EmbarrassmentA two-year old fell on the floor in the Winn Dixie kicking and screaming when her mom told her, "no, you cannot have that candy".  Much to the surprise of the two-year old, the cashier and other shoppers, the mom promptly fell to the floor kickin' and screamin'.  The two-year old jumped up and stomped her foot, "stop, you're 'm-bare-us-in me!"  That two-year old never threw another tantrum in public.

Two teens bickering in the amusement park are stunned by their mom stopping and disco dancing right in the fairway.  "STOP MOM, that's embarrassing".  Mom: "YOU TWO are embarrassing me, turn about's fair play!"

Oh, that's so embarrassing. Are your kids embarrassing you? Are you ashamed of them? They know better, you taught them better, right from wrong. Don't they realize they are a reflection on the family.  Where do they get these ideas? Sometimes you want to just deny they are yours.  Maybe they are trying to be disassociated from the family, they do not want to 'belong'.  It is not right, they do not know what they are disclaiming.  Hopefully, one day they look back and realize how good their family was and is and they start to reflect good on the family and not be an embarrassment. Every parent wants to point to their child with pride.

Matthew 26:34 HCSB “I assure you,” Jesus said to him, “tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times!””

Peter was afraid if they knew he was with Jesus, they would take him too.  Jesus knew Peter would deny Him.  It took Peter those three crows to figure out what he was doing. There was a price to being in the family with Jesus.  He had to wake up to that and decide if he was going to pay the price.

Sometimes, we need “three crows” to realize and wake up to the fact we’re denying Him.  There’s a price for belonging to the family, His family.  We have to walk, talk and ‘look’ like Him.  People have to see Christ in us.  Sometimes, we’re the only Christ a person will see.  What are you doing today that will reflect on Him?

Will you be willing to pay the price, or will you be an embarrassment to God?

 


How did we get there from here?


Webster’s Definition of TOLERANCE

1: capacity to endure pain or hardship :endurance, fortitude, stamina
2a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own b: the act of allowing something :toleration
3: the allowable deviation from a standard; especially: the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece
4a (1): the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure
As parents, grandparents; neighbors, employees; voters, bystanders … we have taken tolerance as an excuse to become apathetic.   We are tired, we do not want conflict, we just want to live and let live.  We do not want to be bothered.  We all have a reason for allowing things to just be.  With each year we just throw up our hands, turn away, give up and sit.  Hoping it all will go away, or “IT” will get better on it’s own.  “IT” can be many things in our lives.  People, situations, habits = “IT”.  Our attitude towards “IT” did not happen over night.  With each generation of neglect, apathy, or however you want to label the response to “IT”, we strengthen “IT” until it is insurmountable to overcome and take back control.  We do not like labels, society does not tolerate labels.  So we do not call “IT” by what it is.  The truth is, “IT” was, and always will be SIN.  When we first tolerate SIN and turn away, we strengthen SIN and begin to be tolerant.  Slowly we quit naming it SIN and create “IT”.  Unnamed and harmless.
I hope my ramblings are not confusing.  To best sum up my thoughts I offer this quote:

“One of the penalties of sin is our acceptance of it. It is not only God who punishes for sin, but sin establishes itself in the sinner and takes its toll. No struggling or praying will enable you to stop doing certain things, and the penalty of sin is that you gradually get used to it, until you finally come to the place where you no longer even realize that it is sin. No power, except the power that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit, can change or prevent the inherent consequences of sin. ‘If we walk in the light as He is in the light. . .’ (1 John 1:7). For many of us, walking in the light means walking according to the standard we have set up for another person.” ~ Oswald Chambers

I think Chambers sums it all up nicely.  So what do we do?  We acknowledge we turned away.  We stop denying and return to the truth.  As Chambers says, only the Holy Spirit can do this work in our lives.  Yes, we pray but we pray specifically for the Holy Spirit to renew us, to open our hearts to the Word we read each day.  We ask for discernment and we ask:

Psalm 51:10 (ESV) “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Philippians 4:8 (NASB)  “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.”

At the risk of repeating myself, JUST DO IT (previous blog).  Stop and call “IT” by the right name, SIN.  Tolerance by Bible standards = love thy neighbor as they self.  You can love someone and not love what they do.  We should not let anything that the Bible calls SIN become “IT” simply because we have become desensitized by the world and we do not want to deal with “IT”.

“A Baby Changes Everything”


A Baby Changes EVERYTHING

WOW.  Where did the year go?  Things are pretty hectic here with work and all the family heading into town.  I have so many notes of things I would like to write and I promise this will be the last ‘repost’.  (I hope) This one is from December 2010 and I have updated it for the repost.  Enjoy.

Faith Hill sings the song “A Baby Changes Everything*”, the story of Jesus’ who came to Earth and changed the world.   If you have not seen the video or heard the song, click on the title above.

A year ago I had just returned from Montana.  God had perfect timing in our lives.  I am in retail and could only get away for a few days.  My youngest daughter was due to give birth Christmas Eve.  However, as I landed on the 10th she was already in the hospital in labor.  I was able to be there for the birth of her first child and our first grandson.  I was able to be there for my oldest at the birth of her oldest daughter, our first grandchild.  God knew my grandmother’s heart and has allowed me to be at the hospital for my daughters.

I often say that God provides minuscule pictures on earth of the ‘big picture’.  Both of my daughters lives have been changed forever by the birth of their children, as mine was with each of their births.  Nothing is the same, everything is different.  Circumstances, challenges, life … day by day a mother handles what is handed her.  What a difference a child makes.

As we come together to celebrate Christmas, let us not forget that a Baby changed everything.  Circumstances, challenges, life … day by day each of us handle what is handed to us … either WITH or withOUT the difference the CHILD of God made when He came to earth as a new-born child, to a mother who had no mother to be there for her.  What a sacrifice He made in leaving Heaven to come to a stable.  What a difference He made.

We often get frazzled by the season’s hustle and bustle, plans, and traveling.  Let us not forget that Jesus is the Reason for the Season and YOU may be the only witness that person sees that “A Baby Changes Everything”.

Will He make a difference in your CHRISTmas celebrations this year?

Have a BLESSED CHRISTMAS! ~ Renee’

*A Baby Changes Everything Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp

It’s All About The Fishin’


I love a sunrise or sunset walk along the beach; sun creeping up over the horizon or setting in the west.  The lap of the waves, the call of birds, the peace and beauty of God’s creation is all there at the beach.  I stroll, pickin’ up little treasures along the way; thinking, praying, singing.  At the beach my world is peaceful.  People smile and greet me, sometimes wanting to know what I have found.

A fisherman greets me with, “Find anything good?”  I smile, “not yet … just started … and you?  Catch anything yet?”   He smiles, “No, but it’s not about the catchin’, it’s about the fishin’.”   I continue to walk and think.  Raising kids, working, day-to-day living … it’s about the fishin’ not the catchin’.   God places each of us here for His purpose … the fishin’.  Sometimes we cast nets to get bait.  Other times we  re-bait a simple hook.  Fishin’ takes patience and time.  Sometimes you catch nothin’, sometimes you catch a lot.   Some days are beautiful and others stormy.   Life is a lot like fishin’ and we need to remember it is not about the catchin’.

Some days it seems you are always fishin’ and never catchin’.  Sometimes it seems like stormy days will never end.   Days turn into weeks, weeks to months and months to years.  It is so hard to focus on the fishin’ at these times.  It does not matter if it is struggles with raising kids, working at a job you dread, struggling in a marriage or whatever other difficulty you may be facing.  You have to face the day and focus on the fishin’.

When my husband takes our oldest granddaughter fishing, he knows there will be little catching.  Mainly it will be re-hooking and untangling.  He has to focus on the time he has with her and not the results of the catch.  It’s about the fishin’ … being with her.                                                                                                                       

In our day-to-day life with others we need to focus on the time we are spending with others.  It may be our children, our spouse or other family members.  The majority of my time is spent with customers in a retail store.  The phrase ‘quality time’ is over used, however, it is the best way to describe what God sent Jesus to do … 33 short years on earth, yet the quality of His time with those He came in contact with and the effect on their lives resulted in touching all mankind for all eternity.

Today, you’re fishin’.  As a parent, spouse, employee, etc., your daily fishing touches others.  Make sure you spend time in the Word and in prayer (proper preparation for fishin’).  My husband takes our granddaughter through the steps of preparing to fish knowing it may be a long while before she is able to fish on her own, and even longer before she may catch anything.  We also must show others around us by the way we “fish” how to prepare for life.  Maintain your fishin’ equipment so that you are ever ready for the day-to-day fishin’ at home, work, school, the mall… everywhere.  Having dull hooks, broken lines, and a messy tackle box will keep you from being ready to fish.

Jesus never said you were to go out and catch.  Leave the catching to Him.  He simply says to prepare yourself. 

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

In-Action = Action


Have you ever thought about your actions?  Sure you do.  You tell your children, employees … discuss it in Sunday School – “Your actions speak louder than your words”.

What about your “IN”actions? When you do nothing … nothing at all.  Life is inaction or action.  You arrive with a blank slate … lights, camera, action.  When you are sitting there doing nothing … the ‘camera’ (life) is still rolling.

When you come to a scene change (a fork in the road if you will), you make choices.  As Christians we pray about our choices.  Sometimes we have many choices for one road … many doors.  We pray that God closes all but the right door. What if there are no doors, no forks in the road?  You’re standing still, waiting on Him and His timing to open a door …show you the forks in the road … (as opposed to throwing up your hands and saying ‘woe is me’).  When you’ve done all you can and are waiting on Him, this is not ‘inaction’ … this IS action.

Inaction is when you sit back and say, “God you’re going to have to do it all”, and you do nothing.  Action is when you acknowledge you are at a dead-end or in a room with no doors, so you pray, you read His word and you wait on Him.  This is ACTION at its most intense, its most suspenseful, …tension packed if you will.  Trusting in the unknown next step because you know the final chapter is already written and you’ve won because you are linked with Him that won 2,000+ years ago (which in eternity time zone is probably like 2 minutes).

Take your blank slate today and as life rolls make sure that any “IN”action is action.  Apathy towards life is ungodly.   There is no room for despair, discouragement and gloom.

1 Thessalonians 2:12

James 1:2

1 Peter 4:19

“Shackled by a heavy burden…”


Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 

We've all had days like this ...

There are so many ‘clichés’ Christians use when going through hard times.  We tie them to scripture, halfheartedly believing them with our heads and not our hearts.  We sing songs like, He Touched Me … buy books, plaques and bookmarks to encourage… all are well and good.  Somehow though, we don’t get to the heart of the matter.   None of these make the burdens go away.  Just because He is carrying the load, the problem, the burdens … it does not mean they are gone.  It means you are trusting Him with your entire life, good and bad and waiting on His time.  The ill may be  healed on earth, but they will be healed in Heaven.  That crisis will resolve, in His time and in His way.  That job will come, in His time … in His way.

God did not let Abraham sacrifice Isaac, but He did allow him to place his son on the altar and raise the knife.  God took Abraham to the brink.  Why?   Abraham knew God is sovereign and faithful; he trusted God.  Sometimes  we go down to the altar kickin’ and screamin’.  Oh if we would only say …

2 Timothy 2:12 “…for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”

Sounds like the beginnings of another good song.  We allow ourselves to believe with our heads and not walk with our hearts as well.  We are shackled because we talk the talk and do not walk the walk.  All clichés we speak.  Some of us are like, “that’s my burden … and I’m stickin’ to it!”  Some wear their ‘thorn in the flesh’ like a badge of honor,  almost as though they are ‘proud to suffer’ for Him.

The truth is, if we could solve our own problems we probably would not seek Him.  The deeper the problems the more we SHOULD seek Him?  Actually, we should seek Him everyday in every way.  But, being the humans we are … sometimes we need to go to the ‘brink’ for no other reason than He wants to take us to another level of trust.

The way Abraham reacted to where God was taking him taught Isaac truths about God.  Since Isaac was not kicking and screaming, I surmise that Abraham had long since been teaching Isaac to trust God no matter the circumstances.  What do our children see when we are asked by God to do a difficult thing or go through a difficult time? Are you shackled?

Running around … and around … and


Hurry, hurry, hurry ... running around in circles

Every one is running around … like chickens with their heads cut off … hurry, hurry, hurry … get out of my way I’m coming through …

We are always out of time it seems.  As a result everything is done at the last-minute … in a rush, with little thought sometimes.  I have customers daily that run in and need a gift in a hurry; or they are attending a Bible study at their church that night and “What?  You don’t have a members book?”  I guess they thought they could walk in and catch up later.  How about the ‘leader’ that comes in the day of a meeting needing something to present?  And what of the parent with the out of control teen that they need a book on what to do?  And then sadly the marriage in the courts that they want a book on how to deal with the results? All of these examples I see daily … they’ve waited too late, ran out of time because they “did not have time when it mattered”.  Of course when we are out of time we make others pay for it rather then admit we are at fault.  The sad part is that our children are watching always … and learning patterns for their lives.

We seem to rush around doing things that do not matter, neglecting what really matters until it is too late and we are all out of time.  It is the times we live in … right?   No, it is the decisions we make on our priorities.   We CAN slow down … at a sacrifice.  Usually, we do not want to accept the cost.

Good news!  God’s GOT TIME!  Always.  He is never short of it and He never runs out of it … He takes HIS time with us (sometimes to our chagrin).  Maybe if we took our time with Him each day, setting the pace and the structure for the day, then we would find time to prevent the disasters we cause when we hurry through life with no time for Him.  That toddler won’t become a wayward teenager if you are investing living time in them like God does in you.

Stop and take time today … for your love ones… slow down …allow patience and compassion to be part of your day … with family, friends, sales clerks, strangers ….

God is taking His time with you.