Just DO IT!


A popular logo on sportswear/equipment uses the slogan,

The world sets standards and we push to prove ourselves to the world.  We think nothing of it as we strive to be better than the next person.  Our ego wants us to be better than them in all ways imaginable:  better car, better house, better looking, better kids, better at this and better at that.  The media pushes it at us from every direction; clothing, billboards, commercials.  It is subliminal sometimes and we buy into the mindset.

Yet, when it comes to our spiritual life we become wimps, milk-toast, wall-flowers.  Scared about what His word tells us to do.  Scared to take a stand.  We buy into satan’s* lies and hide.  We cannot DO IT!  We do not know how to DO IT!  Excuses, we have plenty.  The Holy Spirit urges you to spend more time with your family in His word, in worship.  You see a need and you think, “next time”.  That hurting homeless person on the side of the street you see gets a “quickie” prayer, “Lord help them.”  Your child’s classmates need shoes.  The elderly neighbor just wants someone to take time to talk with them.  The Spirit nudges and you keep moving, in the opposite direction … too busy to JUST DO IT.

We are so prone to talk about the things we are going to do when we have time.  A mission trip, the soup kitchen, the coat drive…. making up handouts for the homeless**. Jesus’ first miracle recorded  in John 2, tells of His mother asking for help.  She told the others, “do what He tells you to do”.  And they simply did as they were told.  It would be so wonderful if we would simply do as we are led.   Our cups overflow with His love through His gift of salvation.  He wants you to share His love.  JUST DO IT.

Start each day asking the Lord to use you in His will.  When He shows you a need JUST DO IT.  Do not stop and think you are not capable.

ROMANS 8:26-28  26 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

He has a plan for your day.  Open yourself up to the possibilities.  As a parent, grandparent, co-worker, spouse … God uses each of us each day IF we allow Him.  We are not puppets and He is not a puppet master.  It is our choice.  Do not think about it, JUST DO IT!  No matter what He is asking you to do today, no matter what obstacles and trials He allows you to go through, it is for a reason.  He is there through it all, working it for GOOD.

NEVER forget that the day ahead of you carries no task or trial that is greater than the POWER behind you as a Christian.

*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.

** Homeless handouts: NEVER give cash, but you can carry several 1 gallon zip lock bags (something they can use later when it is empty) filled with: Tuna packet, crackers, snack size nuts, etc..  Include: package of  tissues, comb, trial sizes of hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.  You can put a New Testament or Christian track in there as well.

” O be careful little mouth what you say…”


 
O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above

Pretty is as pretty does

And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say
 

I was walking in the parking lot and I heard the most profane comments, including the Lord’s name linked to profanity.  The voice was young.  I stopped and turned around.  Three girls and a boy were  walking behind me; none over 15 years of age.  I looked at the girl with profanity flying off her lips and wanted to tell her how pretty she was … until she opened her mouth.  Her words made her ugly.  Not cool, cute or popular.  They made her ugly.  You can dress up like a princess all day long, but one flow of inappropriate words will destroy that image.

The woman pushing the cart in front of me was on her phone talking loudly.  “Now this is between just you and me.  But, she ….”.   Really?  There were about ten others in earshot listening to her gossip.  If she had been quietly shopping others would have thought her to be a diligent mom out shopping to feed her family.  Her words made her a gossip and she spewed hurt and shame on an unsuspecting audience that may or may not know her victim.

I hear so many words coming out of mouths that grieve the spirit within me.  Parents to children; children to other children.  People lying, calling others names.  Gossiping, half-truths … words, words, words.    I think Christians need to be very cautious in this area and not fall into the world’s standard of speech.  God’s word has a lot to say about our words:
James 1:19 
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”

James 1:26
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”

James 3:6
“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”  (You should read all of James 3:1-9).

Ephesians 4:29 
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

God expects us as parents to make sure our children hear the correct things to say.   The shows, video games, computer games that they watch, influence their speech.  In our house I did not allow my girls to call each other stupid, idiot, jerk or other demeaning terms.  We do not say shut up.  Speech is important to developing a Godly character.  Sadly, some parents think it is not anything to worry about.  However, speech is a sign of respect.  God thinks a lot about the words we say.  The verses above are only a sampling of how He wants us to guard our speech.

If we are not guarding our speech then we are not guarding their speech; we are not guarding their minds.  If we are not guarding their minds, we are not guarding their souls.   What they think to say becomes their speech.  Their speech reflects in their actions, their actions in their character.  It all starts with a word … then more words.

“O be careful little mouth what you say …”

IF I knew then …


How many times have you said (or heard), “If I only knew then what I know now?”  Sometimes we say to our children “you’ll understand when you’re older”.  We use all kinds of sayings to convey a truth that we ‘know’ … yet we do not live like we know.

IF I Only Knew ????

WHAT IF instead we said,  “IF I KNEW NOW … WHAT I WILL KNOW THEN?”  The waiting game … not knowing … worrying, fretting, stressing.  We all do it … yet, over and over we have to come back to the truth.  The truth is WE KNOW WHO DOES KNOW.   But, in our frail little human minds, we continually go back to pick it up and worry over things we have no control over.  God KNOWS … HE knows.  Our worries of the second, the hour, the day, the week, the month, the year(s) … HE KNOWS.

Time … He created time for us … the seconds, the hours, the days, the weeks, the months, the years … all so we could ‘manage’ and not be overwhelmed by life.  Our life is broken down into manageable increments of time for our benefit.  GOD does not need time to manage His plan.  We impose our need for time on God.

So we need to take a deep breath and trust and wait while He unfolds His plan for our life in time … time we need (not Him).  Remember, time means nothing to God … what seems loooooooong to us … is less than a blink to Him … not even one of our ‘seconds’.

No matter what you are going through … remember, you will KNOW someday so trust TODAY in Him that KNOWS today what will be THEN.  Also, remember that sometimes you may never know why but, you KNOW Him that knows ALL.

Jeremiah 29:11

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Amplified Bible (AMP)

5Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

    6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

“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.

♪♫♫♪TRADITIONS! ♪♫TRADITIONS!♫♪♪♫


Ahhh…Mother’s Day!  Brings back so many memories.  Raised in the South meant following traditions.

Happy Mother's Day!

On Mother’s Day all five of us would go out to the rose bushes and select a red rose.  My brothers would get buds and my sister and I would pick open blooms.  Mother would select a white rose for herself and a white bud for my father.   You wore a red rose to honor your mother who was alive, and a white one for a mother in Heaven.  You simply would not go to church on Mother’s Day without a rose on your shoulder to honor your mother any more than you would go to church without your gloves and hat on Easter.  In fact, many (including my mother) would take extras roses and pins for those who did not have roses in their yards.  Flowers and their colors were non-verbal traditions of deep beliefs.  The practice was carried out on Father’s Day, at funerals and of course  in weddings.  It was a way of saying what you could not necessarily say to everyone.

My youngest daughter was married 18 months ago and I made all the silk flowers.  The grandmothers had two white roses to symbolize the two families they were bringing into the union of their grandchildren.   The groom’s mother wore a corsage of two red roses, symbolic of the two grandmothers she and her husband represented.  I wore a corsage of one white rose and one red rose since my mother is in Heaven and Phil’s mother is alive.  No one ever wore black to weddings as that was a symbol of rejection of the bride or groom’s choice in life mate.  Guests could simply look at flowers and know that grandmothers and mothers were alive even if they were unable to attend; and that by the attire of all those present in the family, that it was a happy and accepted union.

Symbolism … traditions.  Things we pass on as a heritage to our children.  Unfortunately, many points of traditions and heritage are being scoffed at in modern times and legacies are disappearing.   All the world went gaga over a royal wedding of a couple that had lived together for two years and were already  married in God’s eyes.  The girl wore a white dress and full veil, a slap to the meaning of purity they have stood for all these years.   The last royal wedding was not sanctioned until the bride-to-be proved her purity.   Yet so many Christians got caught up in the fan-fare and glamor of a royal wedding, missing the sad part of how they desecrated marriage and the church.   The church sold out the sanctity of marriage for the sake of royalty.  With so little value placed on marriage is it any wonder that motherhood and the value of an unborn child’s life is also devalued.  The morality level of the world slips each time Christians get caught up in the world’s ways.

Sadly, Spiritual traditions are fading with this trend and children are not the spiritual legacies of their former generations.  Grandmothers are not bouncing children on their knees singing to them songs like,  “Only A Boy Named David”, or “Build Your House Upon A Rock”.    Everyone’s lost time for what matters.    So many feel we have to ‘keep up with the times’ which leaves little time for traditions of Spiritual guidance.  In reality, the times have not changed.  There is nothing new under Heaven.  God has not changed.

The scriptures have not changed:

Deuteronomy 5:16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

God’s Word sets the standard for the traditions that lead to a legacy in Christ.   Honor your parents … honor your mother.  Your children are watching to see if you honor your parents.  They will treat and honor you as they see you treat and honor your parents.  Create a legacy in your children by being your parents legacy. 

♪♫♫♪TRADITIONS! ♪♫TRADITIONS!♫♪♪♫

I hope each of you gave your Mother’s a great Mother’s Day if she’s alive and that you were given one by your children in turn.

“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?

Doing what’s right. Right?


Parents try to raise their children to do the right thing.  They say things like, “because it’s the right thing to do”, or “we want to make it right” … “we want to do the right thing don’t we?”   And sometimes even, “two wrongs don’t make it right!”.

Right. Right?

The Bible says in Romans 3:10 (ESV) “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;”

Doing the right thing will NOT necessarily make you or your child right in God’s eyes. 

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are you saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—

9 not from works, so that no one can boast

That does not mean that just because your child and you are saved that you stop doing the right thing.  Salvation is not a license to do as you please and your children need to hear you say that.  You never quit trying to do the right thing just because you’re ‘safe’.   Remind them that God’s word says:

James 2:17

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

There are those that think if they ‘make it right’, either by man’s law or society’s rules, then they are making it right with God.  Make sure your children are taught by you what the Bible says about right and wrong, about making it right with God and others.  Broke a law?  Did the time, paid the fine?  You still have to go to God and make it right and maybe those that were harmed by your actions.  Do not fall into the world’s views and traps of “it’s OK, you tried to do the right thing.”  Doing the ‘right thing’ will not automatically make you right with God.  Paying man’s ‘dues’, fulfilling man’s laws, does not make you right with God.  That is why we read His word and learn what He has to say about every aspect of our lives: Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual.  Do not take the ‘hearsay’ of the world on any issue.  Dig into His word and find out for yourself.

You want to be RIGHT with God, not ‘right’ in the eyes of the world.