Monday, February 24, 2014

Love One Another

We all know that Satan is our one true enemy. I was reminded of that this morning in my quiet time. The end of Ephesians 6 reminds us that our battle is not against flesh and blood (each other), but against the powers of this dark world (satan and his minions). I was also reminded that this battle with him is won in 2 places....through prayer and through God's Word. Let us not be so na├»ve as to think that Satan will sit in the corner and sulk as we stand victorious.
I want to challenge each of you to commit with me to spend additional time in prayer every day and to spend time in God's word every day. This is where we will win the battle against Satan's schemes. His best attack is against the unity of the body of believers. 
We don't often think of the following as Satanic attacks...but they are some of his best weapons against the body of believers...
Having a critical spirit - Defined as drawing attention to the perceived "wrong" in a person with no acknowledgement of their good. God's Word says that we are to love  one another.
Having a complaining spirit - It is FAR too easy to get caught up in complaining. There is little that will cause damage to the body of believers and halt spiritual growth like complaining.
Not only do complaining and being critical damage the church family, they drive a wedge between you and God.
I have personally seen these two sins all but destroy people. I have seen them obliterate friendships. I have seen them destroy ministries. I have seen them split churches. These are the parents of gossip and slander. They are born of pride and selfishness and flow freely from a judgmental heart. Satan sticks with what works....and the body of believers falls victim to these attacks far too often.
Thankfully, God gives us the remedy for these destructive sins...LOVE one another. Re-read 1 Corinthians 13 for a lesson on what GOD expects our love for one another to look like.
Be sure to encourage each other, support each other, be patient with each other, and pray for and with each other as we serve together!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Its important

The other morning, just as we were going out the door to go to school, my little one said, "Wait! I forgot something!"
She came to the car with her Bible.
On the way to school, she asked me where it says that Jesus was baptized. I told her to look in Matthew 3. She found what she was looking for and highlighted it. Then she said "So I can find it later." I told her that she could use her book mark to help her find it too. "Thanks Mom"
A little bit later she said, "Now, what are the ABC's of becoming a Christian? Is it A - Admit that you are a sinner, B- Believe that Jesus is God's Son, and C...Mom, What's C?"
"Confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord"
She said "OK" and got really quiet.
Then she said "Can you be a Christian in California?"
I told her that you can be a Christian anywhere.
"Can you be a Christian in Hollywood?"
I told her "Of course you can...what's going on with you this morning?"

"My friend Kennedy is moving to Hollywood, California, and I need to make sure she is a Christian before she goes. What if she moves and there is no one in California to tell her about Jesus?? I have to make sure she knows that Jesus loves her. It's important Mama." And my sweet little baby girl started to cry.

We got to school about that time and she composed herself and I told her that I'd be praying for her and for Kennedy. I cried thankful tears all the way to work.

I'm thankful that Izzy loves Jesus and is a Christian.
I'm thankful that Izzy realizes that Jesus loves everyone and wants a relationship with everyone.
I'm thankful that she wants to make sure that her friends know Jesus.
I'm thankful that she has been in Sunday School, Children's Worship, and Wednesday Night WOW and for the adults who have taken time to teach her the Bible because she knows that Jesus was baptized and that she can share that from her Bible.
I'm thankful that she has been in VBS and has learned the ABC's of becoming a Christian.
I'm thankful that she watches her big brother who prays with his friends and for his friends and openly talks about sharing Christ and the Plan of Salvation with his friends.
I'm thankful for the teenagers in our church family who pray for and with each other and take time to make sure that the "little kids" grow spiritually.
I'm thankful that Calvin is a strong Christian man who loves us and leads our family.
I'm thankful for the adults in my children's lives because they have shown the love of Christ to my kids...who are in turn showing the love of Christ to others.

It's easy to get discouraged when parenting. It's easy to question whether or not I am doing a good job. I fail every day....multiple times a day. I try to pick my battles and often I pick the wrong ones to fight. I worry that I am not doing enough to prepare my children to be mature, productive adults.

God in all His graciousness has shown me that both of my children understand the most important thing. They both understand that we will all die one day and that, when we do, we will either go to heaven or to hell. They both want to make sure that the people they love are bound for heaven. Nothing has made me more proud, more grateful, or more humble than knowing that God has entrusted me with these 2 precious children.