Life’s Hard


Which way to turn? Which way to go?

John 16:33NASB
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Social media is swamped with everything from pity and woe, to beware and be scared. It is not that I do not understand these emotions, these fears, I do.

I have lost loved ones too soon. The list is long. I lost a sibling tragically. I did not understand. I was not asked to. I know death up close and personal. I have watched it suffocate. I watched my dad crash. I watched his lung suctioned. Scripture asks me to trust. Obey. Faith.

I have walked through hard times of jobs lost, savings and retirement gone, car and home lost. No income. It is hard. It is devastating. But, God had a plan. I was not asked to like the circumstances I was passing through, just to stand on His firm foundation and trust His plan. It does not matter if I ever understand the reason this side of Heaven. I am asked to trust. Faith.

Seniors are missing end of year memories. It is hard, I know. I did not go to homecoming or prom. I had worked all summer with 8 girls; made them 3 uniforms each. Those 27 uniforms saw little use when my senior year world was turned upside down. A boy was stabbed in the heart in front of me. Memories? I was 16 years old. My brother turned to protect me and push me out of the way of the five boys attacking. The police took four of us as witnesses. They let my brother stay with me. It was an away game. Cell phones were not invented. My parents met the busses, heard there was a stabbing. My brother and I did not get off the bus. Someone told them we were ok and I was a witness. They had to go home and wait for a call. They caught all but one of the five that night. The guy that stabbed the boy in the heart got away. They lined them up in front of us and we pointed them out. No two way mirrors, face to face. Three days later I came face to face with the guy that stabbed the boy in the heart. Fear unimaginable. I got the detective. He got him. The threats came on the phone in the middle of the night. Dad took the phone off the hook. The threats and more came at school then. The school was suspended from all extra curricular events. My 17th birthday came and went. Two witnesses dropped out due to threats. The nightmares. The trial was horrible. The tranquilizers didn’t help. The stress and fear were overwhelming. I alienated friends, and eventually my high school sweetheart. Senior year? We got back activities after dad and another father threatened to shut down all 64 high schools if superintendent did not lift ban. Our teams, band, chorus, drama, etc., were able to do some events. I graduated. It is a blur. All the years of dreams gone. In the next six months dad had lung cancer. Senior year. It is not good for everyone. Focus on the good circumstances and memories you had and be thankful. You do not like the circumstances but, God has a plan. Grow. Look for the His plan. I did not at first. I dwelled on disappointment and lost dreams. I was grounded in faith, found I was still on His firm foundation. He carried me through. People look to see how you handle these circumstances if you are a Christian. You may never understand. Will you learn anything? Will you grow? Do they see faith?

These current circumstances are no different. Life is hard. Are these the end times? Does it matter? We entered the end times with the fall of Adam. There are no new trials or circumstances, no new sins. We should always live as this is the last days. Never take for granted our Lord’s grace and mercy. The Romans persecuted Christians in arenas for sport. The idol temples were filled with debauchery and sins unimaginable for profit. Plagues and famines have been recorded since Pharaohs’ days. Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to salvation. You cannot scare them into it. So point to God’s sovereign love, mercy and grace. Show them trust and faith in your Lord, not fear of circumstances.

This too shall past. Be steadfast.

Psalm 26:12 NASB “My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD”

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“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.

Celebrate Life (*IMHO)


Life Is Precious - Treat with Awe

We just celebrated our victorious child’s 24th birthday Friday.  She truly was a victory.  After five very difficult pregnancies she was born.  We first found out we were expecting her because I was being treated for bronchial pneumonia.  Due to the meds I was on that ‘could’ leave her brain-damaged, the other bad pregnancies and health risk to me and the fact Phil had lost his job, the doctor advised abortion.  I was not new to this advice.  I received it with my second pregnancy while in the hospital during a miscarriage.  I actually lost a twin, but still had one baby.  The doctor cautioned and suggested I go ahead and abort her.  After all, she had about  a 10% chance of living, ‘probably’ was brain-damaged and was a high risk to my health in my current condition.  I did die on the operating table with our oldest, but God had other plans.  Both of my girls are gifts from God and He knew when the doctors did not.  God IS the master physician. Neither was brain damaged, in fact just the opposite.  Both are college grads, married and mothers (Victoria is expecting her first within a month).

I named our oldest Rebekah Kristen (rebirth in Christ) as both of us were given a second chance at life.  I named our youngest Victoria Paige (victorious child) as she truly was a victory against all odds.  Naming your children is very important.  That is why God gives so many examples of why people were named what they were in the Bible.  (Gen 35:10; Gen 5:29; etc.) Equally important is raising them knowing WHY they were given their name.  It builds character and purpose.

When Victoria was in high school, she had to write a ‘persuasive essay’ for English.  Since abortion was controversial many students wrote on that subject.  The teacher had already read them so she knew Victoria had taken the narrow path and had her present her’s last.  Not only did she state the facts about how it is used as birth control and that the statistics of its ‘need’ for mothers at risk, rape, and incest (which are extremely rare – less than 1%); she told them about my decisions with her sister and her births.  Most of them did not know the facts and most of them were just parroting the popular voice.  Some argued we would have felt differently if she HAD been born deformed or brain-damaged.   She was able to tell them that we refused the amniocentesis test that would have shown such conditions as our resolve in accepting God’s will no matter the outcome.

So how did the world get to this state about human life?  When did we lose the awe over creation?  In my opinion it has been subtle.  I believe we as Christians are as much to blame as anyone.  We have treated motherhood as common and become flippant in our approach.  Why should the world treat life sacred and with awe when we have joined their ranks in the treatment of motherhood?  I truly believe that if we want the public to treat an unborn baby as a baby then we need to be the first to do so.  I firmly believe that if we as Christians do not change our treatment of motherhood and birth to align with God’s word and then raise our children with the same teachings, then we can see life treated with less and less respect.

Birth is about a living soul, created by God.  God knows us from before we were born.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

He does not label us as a ‘pea’, a ‘kidney bean’, a ‘peanut’ or a ‘bump’.  He would never treat us so trivial.  He would not focus on the mom and her physique and draw attention away from the awe of birth.

1 Peter 3:3 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

I believe the Bible means we are not to be worldly and take on the worlds displays of dressing and that includes motherhood.  We have become flippant and tolerant of the world’s views on life.  Women are drawing attention to themselves and referring to their ‘bumps’ instead of their child given by God.  I am sadden by some Christian women who would never wear a bikini to the beach yet place photos of exposed stomachs on FaceBook.  Birth is NOT a celebration about a woman’s body, but a celebration of a new life.  How sad that we have misplaced the focus and missed all these opportunities to testify to God’s wonder and miracle of birth to the masses.

So the next time you defend Pro-life and anti-abortion views, make sure your actions are not treating that life flippantly and worldly.  The world watches actions. It’s not a bump, it’s a baby, a miracle created by God.  Handle with care.

*In My Humble Opinion – I know this is not going to be a popular post but, I believe that we as Christians need to check our actions against our words and views and His word.  How do we as Christians expect the world to view life with reverence if we treat it worldly ourselves?

One Step At A Time …


I have fond memories of Bill Weston and his father whom we all called “Dad Weston” coming to our church on various occasions while I was growing up.  If memory serves me correct, they worked with the early years of Youth For Christ.  They taught us a song, that I believe they wrote.  I have not been able to find it anywhere but, it went something like this:

One Step At A Time
Only One Step At A Time
That Is The Way The Lord Will Lead You
One Step At A Time

Take That One Step Carefully
Take That One Step Prayerfully
For That Is The Way The Lord Will Lead You
One Step At A Time

Just a simple child’s song, but it has stayed with me my whole life.  Amazing how God brings it to mind during troubled times. 

Psalm 119:11 says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” 

Children should be taught the word of the Lord.  By memorizing verses as well as through song.  Most of us raised in the church remember little songs like, “Only A Boy Named David”, “I Will Make You Fishers of Men”, “This Little Light of Mine” and others.  Simple truths taught through simple children’s songs.  The mind, like the body, needs to be filled with healthy food.  Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

We are what we think on ...

What Goes In

  • What we read, see and hear become our thoughts and what we think on (Video Games, TV, Movies, Books)
  • Our thoughts become our attitudes
  • Our attitudes become our character and
  • Our character becomes our actions (Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.”)

Do not allow ‘junk food’ to enter your child’s mind.  Watch what they see, hear and read.

Renee’ Green Copyright 2010

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