Let’s Call It What It Is, Selfishness.

Let’s Call It What It Is, Selfishness.


There is nothing new under the sun. No new faults, desires, sins. It all boils down to self, the “I wants”, right now, greed.

Greed, the hardening of the heart to put self before all else is as old as time. “I want”, “I need”, and “me first above all else” is priority. Self leads to all sins because self rules.

People want to be rich, they want success, they want prosperity, they want everything centered around them, they want… want… want. Wants, not needs, is as old as recorded time.
Yesterday New York celebrated a “want” for women. High society, highly successful New York, so sophisticated, so highly educated, right? Or, are they just turning back time to archaic and barbaric practices? Did they not just erase centuries of advancement for women?

The Canaanites, circa 1509 BC, practiced a ritual of offering their first born to the fires of Moloch so they would receive riches, prosperity and a successful life. Malkam was the same for the Ammonites and Melqart for the Tyrian. Placing their first born in a fire, how barbaric people say. How ignorant, how selfish. God thought so.

Leviticus 20:2 “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death.

Imagine what He thinks now as New York has just turned back time. Women can now offer their first born to the fires of abortion. Yes, fire, saline abortion is toxic and it burns. Essentially it burns soft tissues, even skin in the womb. The baby is burned even from the inside as the child swallows the solution. Such torture. Unthinkable. Unimaginable. How barbaric. A modern woman would never do such a thing.

New York has done the unthinkable. A woman can choose to torture an infant for convenience, for costs, for unwanted, for wrong gender, for any reason. Be careful though, you still cannot disturb a turtle or eagles nest. Those eggs, fertilized or not, are still protected by state and federal laws.
Welcome to 2019 New York. Your women can sacrifice their first born for convenience, career, riches, gender choice …. success and prosperity. Moloch just changed his name to abortion.

A civilized woman would utilize self control over selfishness. A civilized society would fund adoptions, not abortions.

“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.

Sorry doesn’t cut it …


Ever said those words? I have heard it in my store, in the grocery store, today at a park … everywhere. Families interacting … the hectic pace of the holidays … the short tempers … selfishness … stubbornness … both in children and adults.  When the offender is called to task for their behavior they utter a meager ‘sorry’.  To which the other responds, “sorry doesn’t cut it”.  How many times do you hear your child say they are sorry and know they do not mean it?  How many times do you utter the word ‘sorry’ because it is expected? Worse, how many times do you tell the Lord sorry for the same repeated offense?

Children are watching.  They see you tell God you are sorry and tell others you are sorry. They watch you tell your spouse you are sorry and hopefully they hear you tell them you are sorry when you should.   How you say you are sorry is more than likely the same way they will grow up telling others they are sorry.

An apology should equal in fervency the intensity of the insult, accusation or ‘crime’.   Did you get that?  Think about what it means.  Sometimes sorry does not cut it … you need to really apologize in equal proportion to how much you hurt them.  NOT how much you think you would have been hurt in their place, but, listening carefully to them express their pain, you respond in kind with your words and actions.

However, that being said, do not hold your breath for someone to apologize.  God has to deal with some people a long time before they learn how to apologize and mean what they say.  You must learn to let go, and teach your children how to ‘let it go’.  The Bible says:

Ephesians 4:26 “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry…”

We should keep short accounts and not hold grudges.  NEVER go to bed mad.  That was one of my rules when the girls were home.  No tears or pain will be remembered as deeply as the knowledge that you let someone slip away without settling accounts.  I often have said how glad I was that my middle brother and I talked early in the morning and were on good accounts when the plane crash took him away that day.

Start today with telling God how sorry you really are and do not repeat patterned prayers.  Talk to Him.  Let your children hear apologies and make sure you include an apology to them. when needed.   Always make sure you go to whom God places on your conscience through the Holy Spirit and make real apologies that fall in line with the real pain inflicted.  Keep tabs of your accounts and keep them short.


Will They Be Like You?


Focus

We recently learned that our youngest daughter is expecting a boy in December.  We have two wonderful granddaughters by our oldest daughter so this will be the first grandson.  Well of course I had to go walk through the baby department to see what is out there for boys.  As I was browsing I heard this loud voice and I looked and there was this very tall, athletic man on a Blue-tooth talking away.  He had a little 7-8 year old girl tagging behind.   They were in the little girls department next to infants so I could hear and see the whole incident.  Obviously dad had her out to look for things for her.  Maybe mom had the little one’s at home, maybe it was his weekend … it really did not matter, it simply was not ‘her time’.  The conversation went like this, “yeah man, it was like that game when the Bucs (Tampa Bay’s football team) played … you know, the year before they won the Superbowl”.   OK, time reference here … the man is discussing a game circa 2001.  His little girl probably was not born.  I wanted to shake him and say, “look at her face … see your child … what are you doing?”   I wanted to go to the little girl and tell her to pull up Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s In The Cradle” and play it for her dad.

Where is your focus?  Children know when they are not getting your best.  God’s word says in Matthew chapter 6, that He loves us and cares for us.  He knows our every need and want and He takes care of us.  As Christians we are to mirror God’s parenting as we parent our children.  I do not see God with a cell phone in His hand, watching His favorite TV show, or reading a book.   He is not out playing some sports game, or going to some event at our expense.  Our children get their value of themselves from us.  We tell them by our actions how valuable they are.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing things for yourself as long it is not at your child’s expense.  No matter if you chose to be a parent at this time or not, you are the parent.   The child comes first.

I remember growing up watching a relative with their kids and comparing them to my parents in my head.   If there was a cake to be divided that parent would always make sure they got a piece,  the biggest piece.  Yet if there was dessert on our table, my mom (who LOVED dessert and would eat it at the beginning of the meal  if she could) always made sure we got some and then if any was left she had some.  One time  my dad gave mom the money to go buy herself a new coat, TWICE.  After she returned from the store twice with things for all her five children, the third time dad drove her to the store and stayed until she bought herself a coat.  She taught us how valuable we were.  It was not just ‘things’ either.  She spent time on her knees for us; she made our favorite foods; she went to the school events; was PTA and band booster presidents.  She invested her life in us.  She was a mom first, and “Gwen” … well, after all others’ needs were met.

My goal was to grow up to be a mom like her and to raise children that felt loved and valued and then they would pass it on to the next generation.   Throughout the Old Testament (like in Leviticus and I Samuel) there are stories told of ‘sins of the fathers’ being passed on to generations.  Basically, this means sin begets sin.  A drunk raises drunks; a thief raises a thief, a liar a liar …  an adulterer raises an adulterer; and an inattentive and unloving parent raises another generation of inattentive and unloving parent.  The cycle stops when someone in the chain makes a conscious decision to repent of the pattern of sin in their family and chooses to move forward in God’s strength leaving the past sins of the father’s behind.  Then and only then, will God heal the family.

Leviticus 26:39-43 (New International Version)
39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away.
40 ” ‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees.

Your kids, they’re going to grow up to be just like you!  Scared?

It’s Me or Them!


From May to October there is a common sight along the shorelines here in FL.  Sea Turtles come ashore and deposit their eggs.  Humans walk the beach each morning looking for the tracks they leave and stake out their nests, cord them off and post signs to protect the nest and the future baby turtles.

Left in Others Care

Some people are sea turtles – drop the eggs on the beach and swim away letting them hatch or not, and make their way in the world if they can.  The parent turtle goes back on its course and lives their life.  As humans these parents tuck their heads in when they don’t like what they see.  They may not abandon their offspring physically but, they do mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  They tend to their own selfish needs and seek out their own path and pleasures.  They are all about ‘me’ and never ‘them’.

More and more I am saddened by the parenting I see in public.  They can’t put their book down or get up from tanning on the beach or what ever they are doing for THEMself at the time.  They have no time to be bothered with taking their young to the rest room; seeing they are not in danger or are not bothering others on the beach.  “Hey Joe, take little Johnny to the bathroom!” says the mom.  “No, it’s your turn”, says Joe.  Little Johnny sits there wondering if anyone cares about him.  When he’s in a dangerous area around the rocks the Lifeguard finally talks to him and then the parents.  These parents are in the malls and stores as well. Store clerks and security pick up their messes, stop them from hurting themselves and finally help them find their parents when they are lost.

Growing up there was a saying, “if they act like that in public, I wonder how they act at home?”  That phrase could be applied to everything from “they need a spanking” (children) to PDA (public display of affection).   Today I am using it to refer to parenting.  If they do not act like parents in public, how much worse are they at home?  So many parents are focused on one thing, “ME”.  The children get what is left.  As Christian parents we quickly say, “no, I do not put myself before the kids”.   We see to all our kids ‘needs’.  However, satan* is subtle and oh so stealthily he has swung us towards the ‘me’ from the ‘them’ in our attitudes.

Ever Watchful, Diligent.

As mom’s we should be lionesses and as dad’s we should be lions.  God has provided in nature the very attitudes we as parents should take in the protection and raising of our young.  God expects us to be always watching, taking turns, seeing to ALL the needs of our young.  Raising them in all aspects of life so they can become a complete adult.  We as parents are responsible for showing them God by the way we treat them.  We treat them as God treats us and so we should by our actions be teaching our children they are made by God (physically) loved by God (emotionally), taught by God’s word (mentally) and guided by God (spiritually).  As we teach them about God  we are preparing them as adults to seek God in all areas of life: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Do you think that you get on God’s ‘last nerve’? Exactly, remember that when dealing with your children.

God expects us daily to see they are RAISED in the Lord that they may live up to their potential in Him.  Are you a lion/lioness or a sea turtle?

*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.

Practical Lessons


Today I have spent time adding a new tab to my blog, Practical Lessons.  It is summertime and rather than allow your children to vegetate in front of some electronic device, find ways to teach them about God.  I had an adult S.S. teacher that called this “I SPY GOD”.  It is good for all of us to constantly see God in all that we do and arm ourselves against satan’s attacks.  There is so much to learn about God, from the kitchen to the shore, to the back deck and more.  (I know, but I love to rhyme).  I hope you enjoy the few lessons I have put up and will add to them from time to time just as I add to Gwen’s Pen and Dinner Time.  ENJOY!

PS: These are excerpts from my book and are copyrighted (sorry, have to throw the legal jargon in – see my copyright notice for blog at bottom as well).

But, I want it NOW!


It is no secret that we are earnestly praying for Phil a job.  For 19 months we have prayed, and prayed and prayed.  I was raised by a praying mom.  My girls were raised with prayer is the answer to all of life’s problems.  You would think I would have learned all there is to know about praying by now.  But, something occurred to me today.   Something I want to teach my girls (even though they are grown).  I was checking in with my sister in KY via a phone call and during the conversation she reminded me of the following story.

The little boy asked his mother to buy the used bike from the guy down the street.  He wanted a bike really bad.  He kept nagging and nagging his mom for that bike, until one day she gave in and bought him the used bike.  The next day she went to the sporting goods store and canceled the new bike she had on lay-a-way for his birthday.  He could not wait and had forfeited a new bike for a used one just so he could have it when he wanted it. Sometimes, like the little boy, we pray for things and we want them NOW.  We do not know what wonderful thing God has in store for us if we will wait on His timing; so we beg and nag until we get something less than His best.  It does not matter that what we receive is also good, it is that it is not His best.

So, we are thanking God for His daily provisions.  We have no clue what the future will bring or where our provisions will come from.  Although we are still praying while looking for jobs (God expects us to put action to our faith), we are praying differently.  Now we are thanking Him for His daily provisions, asking Him for the faith and patience to wait on His timing, and thanking Him for the perfect plan and perfect job that is going to unfold in His perfect time.   We are not going to whine and demand until we have settled for something less.

Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.

2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.