♪♫♫♪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.

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.

Soul Safe … “It is WELL with My Soul!”


Grieving over the recent death of their four-year old son to Scarlet Fever, the family was further devastated by the Chicago fire of 1871 that destroyed much of  their holdings.  The father decided to get away with his  wife and four daughters on a ship back to England where they were to join up with Moody in his evangelistic meetings.  At the last-minute the father had a business complication and sent the wife and daughters on ahead.   Their ship collided with a French ship killing 226 on board.  Nine days later Horatio G. Spafford received a telegram from his wife that read, “soul survivor”.   He booked passage  to join his grieving wife and while passing over the spot where the ship had gone down with his daughters, he penned the following hymn that we sing.

Soul Safe

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well,
with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Refrain
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Refrain
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
Refrain:
But, Lord ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
Refrain
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Refrain

There is nothing new under the sun … nothing has changed since Job’s time in the Bible … day in and day out good people suffer.  Our children should be raised to know that no matter WHAT happens, once we are Christ’s, “it is well with our soul”.  NOTHING can take that away from them … from us .. EVER.  And that is all that matters.

This was true for Job, it is truth on which we can stand.  The Psalmist penned:

Psalm 46: 1-3  ” 1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found  in times of trouble. 2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple  into the depths of the seas, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah”

What happens when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel?  When the end is not in sight?  When it DOESN’T get better.  How fair-weather is our faith?  Is our faith dependent on our circumstances? 

Twice yesterday I heard “It Is Well With My Soul” played on the radio.   And then at church we sang, ” Great Is Thy Faithfulness” .  The Chorus of this great hymn is also a truth on which we can stand.

Chorus
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Our needs are provided … the problem we have is that we let our wants get in the way.  Acceptance of Christ =  SOUL SAFE.  That alone is all anyone needs. God, however, provides our needs.  When you look at your life, and when you teach your child to look at their life, each of you realize that you have your needs met and provided for … Know Christ = it is well with YOUR soul.