Friday, May 11, 2018

What comes out when you are POPPED?

Whoa! I’m doing some journaling in my Journibles for Galatians and was totally convicted.  (Love these Journibles.) This however, was a good conviction – a clarifying conviction. 

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

How many countless times have we all read this part of scripture and just skimmed over the words?  (Did you do it just now?)  We haven’t murdered anyone; we are not into idol worship or the other stuff in there – of course because we are all perfect, right?!  Well, I was convicted because my flesh was exposed – not my physical flesh, ladies but the works of my flesh.  Here’s the story:

Recently, our family went camping with other families and I took it upon myself to organize the meals.  We were to all bring such and such to share.  From what I understood it was all good and everyone was on board.  However, over and over during the weekend I heard questions about the food list.  We were coming up short in some things and I felt like everyone was blaming me.  Well, the burden of it built up so much so that at one point I yelled the loudest I may have ever yelled before, and said, “That’s IT!...” I don’t remember every word but I was angry and frustrated.  I POPPED!

You see, the evidence that I was not walking in the Spirit was that I blew up in the flesh.  My buttons were pushed and I popped out what I had been putting in.  If you saw me that day you would have said, “but Laura, you did your devotions this morning, why didn’t that come out?”  Good question, I asked that too!  The clear answer was that I was just going through the motions. <jaw drop> I was caught!

Are you caught, too?  What comes out when your buttons are pushed? 
Fill yourself with the truth whether it’s just meditating on one verse all week or a whole chapter, etc.  Better to pop out that verse than your flesh!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

No Boundaries... Enjoy!

God the Father, Jesus the Son. 

I read Colossians 1:9-18 again this morning and was enlightened with a flood of fun imagery. 

It’s like one day God said to His Son, “What would you like as a gift?” This question is much like what we have asked our children recently – “What would you like to have for Christmas?”  However, this Son and Father team were very creative.

My husband and I brought the kids to Grandma & Grandpa’s house last night so we could go on a date…AND Christmas shop.  We had decided this year that we wouldn’t go buying like crazy so we adopted something my mother & sister-in-law are doing at their house.  Buy three gifts for each kid – one they need, one they want and one to help strengthen their spiritual growth.  This did help us have healthier boundaries.

As I read this section of Scripture this morning, I thought of God & Jesus having a conversation.  God says, “What would you like as a gift?  I want to bless you.  You are worthy of anything.  There are no boundaries.”  Jesus thought for a minute and then they both began to input creative ways to bless each other making the Universe and us too.  Oh, what fun they had!  Then they wrote a script and much like we do these days with Barbies or Legos, the plan starts to be acted out.  They made us in their Image.  They made things in heaven and earth that would be for Jesus’ enjoyment!  (see Colossians 1:16)

For our kids, whether their behavior has been “good or bad”, we still want to bless them… like God did for Jesus!  But Jesus was/is perfectly worthy!  Our kids (and us) are flawed yet we want to bless them, still, for their enjoyment. 

Think about how you and your family can bless and worship the only One truly worthy.  Take a minute to read His Word and worship Him.  After all, He chose to enter into “our” world even though He is above it.  But He did it so we would KNOW Him – our Creator and Savior.  (see Colossians 1:17)

Consider this: Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Prayer & Plans

The other night I wanted the kids to get into bed at a certain time so they would be able to wake up early the next morning.  Well, they were all wound up just coming from church so it was hard to get them into ‘sleep mode’.  Usually, I pray over them before they drift off to sleep but this night I was upset.  I found myself all worked up because we were past the time I had planned to get them into bed.  So, I asked if anyone else would like to pray.  Our daughter began to pray with her sweet, precious voice, “Lord, we pray that Mommy would be happy again…” 

GULP!  Lord, please listen to her prayer!!  She was right!  The Bible says “to REJOICE and be EXCEEDINGLY GLAD”, to “rejoice always”, “in everything give thanks”, etc. But it also says to “pray without ceasing.(Matthew 5:12 emphasis mine, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Lord, please listen to our children’s prayers and help us mommies be happy even on those days…  Help us to filled our agendas with the peace of Christ (Your Word) and grace first before the clock.  Help us fight through those times we feel that we can’t pray.  Please help us pray without ceasing.  You are so good, we are so thankful for how You love us.  Please do that good work in us mommas today.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Behavior...Standing Firm

 “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil…”        
2 Timothy 2:24-26

My husband and son went to the hockey game last night.  At first, I was a little unsure of how our daughter would handle going to bed without her brother being in the room with her.  The hockey game fell on a night that my friend and I would usually get together to pray and hold each other accountable for living this Christian life.  I had planned to let our daughter watch a Veggie Tales movie while my friend was over but her behavior throughout the day was such that I couldn’t bless her with watching the special movie. 

While we were doing a puzzle before her shower and bedtime she expressed to me that she didn’t understand what the relationship was between her behavior and the ban from the movie.  (It kind of floored me that she was able to articulate all this without whining!!!)  I explained the relationship between the behavior and the blessing and that I couldn’t bless her for her poor behavior during the day.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,” Ephesians 5:15

In those kinds of tender moments, we have to communicate in love and truth.  Correction not condemnation.  If we don’t “stick to our guns”, “put our foot down” or in a better phrase, “stand firm” our word will become weak and not trustworthy to our children.

If I would have given in to her sweet little face, she wouldn’t have learned anything.  Even if she didn’t this time, I did!  And I will have other opportunities to “stand firm” again and again I’m sure.  But next time being more confident that I’m leading her to behave wisely rather than as a fool.

BTW she was a complete angel upon my friend's arrival, and went right to bed.  I know God is doing a good work in all of us.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

As mommas we might tend to feel the need to "control" all the happenings of our family.  Here's a little devotion from Our Daily Bread to help us remember the majesty of our God.  We can sing that little Sunday School song, "He's got the whole world in His hand..." but we tend to forget it when life's issues pool upon us... (Spilling Through My Fingers, by Kirsten Holmberg. March 16, 2017)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trees Planted

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

These verses have been very special to me through the years.  When I was in my twenties I spent a year in Costa Rica to attend a language institute for missionaries to learn the Spanish language and Latin culture.  The Costa Rican family I lived with were awesome Christians and they daily spoke into my life…or just listened to me speak in my budding Spanish accent.  One day my “Tica” mom gave me these verses to help me through the crazy journey I was on – the journey of Life. 

A decade later I would hear my mother-in-law teach these verses to her foster kids – no matter what their ages – so they would have this truth embedded in their brains for life.  And now, I get to teach it to my children. 

Just a few mornings ago, Jeremiah 17:7-8 popped up in my devotional book and so I shared it with my kids – especially to the one we’ve been having some hard moments with.  The Holy Spirit gave me a great analogy using a tree we have growing near our canal out back.  It was a tangible way to teach about how we need to be firmly planted and rely on our water source, the Bible.

(However, after I thought we were really connecting in our conversation, one of my kids said something so far off, like about the pretty colors that are on the other bushes… Well, maybe some good nuggets sunk into their sweet brains so we can revisit the conversation again another day.  As Zerby Derby says, we can just “try, try again”!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Life Lessons Taught

Matthew and Jordan enjoy playing Legos and Barbies.  While they play I have found great opportunities to teach some life lessons on what the Bible says about certain topics.  These topics usually include marriage, living together and what clothes are appropriate to wear.

In our present day, it seems as though some or all of these topics, if left untaught at home are left vague or skewed in the minds and hearts of our children.  Teaching them what is right in the eyes of the Lord is what our kids need as they are hit with opposing views all around them.  We can help them be confident when they are face to face with decisions about how to conduct themselves in the world we live in.

Lord, thank You for giving us Your Word as the lamp to our feet (and our kids' feet) and the light to the path You want us to go in.  Please help us to prepare our children to live in the world but not be sucked into the popular views held all around them.  Prepare their hearts to receive Your Word so they can live to give You glory.  In Jesus name, Amen.