Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Raising Up Bold

Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 KJV

I sit here with a Momma's heart.  A heart of faith, belief and strong conviction.  A belief in moral absolutes, right and wrong while holding a high value of life...ALL life.  I am a Momma sitting here in horror thinking and praying for Momma's around the world of children being persecuted for their faith. 
 
I just minimized the screen of a report on the attack of a Michigan State University student, Zachary Tenner.
 
 
Quiet sigh...
 
All my heart could think of as I read was the Mother of this child.  This family has raised their son to believe in their faith.  They have taken care of seeing that he went to school, learned, achieved and grew.  This is a Mother  who I am sure proudly packed up her son and sent him on to a higher institute of education with all the excitement, anxiety, fear and accomplishment.  Proud. 
 
And now this son whom she raised to believe in the Jewish faith has been attacked viciously because of believing the very values that she, her family and her religious community instilled in him.  I can not imagine.
 
ANGER.
 
Then as my world worked through the silence I am angry.  Angry that yet again we have another innocent life attacked because of what they believe.  Attacked because they are different.  Attacked because they were BOLD enough to walk in their belief rather than cower down to the pressures of the world that want Jews and Christians to believe in NOTHING.  They want us to believe that there is no God.  They want us to believe that there is a value system that is worth while beyond the Testaments that we hold so near and dear to our hearts.  The world wants to reshape what we believe, who we are and many are willing to do it at any cost.  ANY COST.
 
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Proverbs 28:1
 


SO here I am...a Christian Mother raising my little boy whom I love more than breath...and I am wholly committed to raising him to be bold. I am determined to raise up a strong, spirit-led, outspoken Believer in a world that is ever so increasingly hostile toward Christians.  And I think...we must....because that is what we believe and trust and know to be true.  We believe in an absolute Heaven and Hell.  We believe in the realness of Satan and in the Saving Grace of our Savior.  We believe because we BELIEVE...we KNOW...we have seen the hand of the living God at work in our lives and we know that in Him and through Him all things are possible.  And to that end....
 
WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:10
 
Are we losing the battle?  Do we really live in a world that would rather hate people of faith, hate those who try to serve and to love and to encourage and pray for the needs of others?  Why...how...when did we get here?  My fear is that authentic love has been replaced with treasure, emotional distraction and instant gratification. 
 
Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble...
Proverbs 15:16
 
I am not sure of the details of the attack.  I do not know the verbage that was exchanged prior to.  What I do know is that the barbaric details that have been released reveals a frightening picture of the upcoming generation that is being trained up far away from the ways and the will of our Almighty Creator.
 
PARENTS, we should be parenting with spiritual intent.  It is our responsibility to raise up the next generation of bold followers of Christ...a generation of worshippers who will seek Him in spirit and in truth.  It is our duty to be praying for this generation...may people AWAKEN...rally their courage and take a stand for RIGHT while being led by the Spirit of Love.
 
Take a moment today and in the days to come and  pray for the healing of  Zachary Tenner and for the protection of persecuted people of faith throughout the world.
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed...
II Corinthians 4:9
 
DAYS GONE BY:  As a child I remember attending big tent revivals in the middle of hay fields in rural Arkansas.  My Grandfather was a minster and the tents were always perched in his fields of green.  We sang, listened to evangelist, prayed, baptized in cattle troughs.  Our worship community laughed, hugged, loved and always and ALWAYS enjoyed homemade ice cream at the end of our meetings.  It was a simple thing as a child...it was a simpler time.  Ahhh, such precious memories.  I pray that my kiddo will some how create and relish in his own sweet memories of days spent in worship, surrounded with amazing people...without worry or fear...and possibly a scoop of homemade ice cream.
 
 
 
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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Waves of Grace


Summer has come to a close and I must say that I am sad to see the long days of laughter, outings and company end.  Our home has been in constant motion, a revolving door of visits from friends and family.  As one wave of company would roll in, unload, unpack, play, repack and roll out the next wave could swish right in to the "Happy H B&B".  We have played, fished, a bit of boating and shelling, ate, cooked, water parked, climbed lighthouses, toured museums,  swam and laughed.  My family has been blessed to savor simple summer moments with the best of the best and I do mean the BEST!

WHICH HAS ME TO THINK...
How is my life so full of such amazing, wonderful people?

I have spent my life choosing carefully who I allow into my space.  I am friendly of sorts, often misunderstood but for the most part cordial to everyone I cross paths with.  But there are those who God sent just for me...those few people who have sunk into the deeper places of my heart.   I am surrounded by amazing people who I love and  through the summer, when the doors have closed behind their visit, tears have streamed down my cheeks.  I have been captivated, caught up and swept away in the waves of blessing.  
 
THE DEEPER PLACES OF YOUR HEART
 
Do you have relationships in your life that are amazing?  Has your cup been overflowing with encouragement, hugs, laughter and insight that comes from the friends and family that hide themselves in the deep places of your heart?  If yes, then praises be to God, you are BLESSED!  If not, below are a few things that I mulled over as to what I have used through many years of relationship building as a guide.  Life is is a gift from our Creator, he intends for us to be rich in the area of relationship...if you struggle in this area, pinpoint your weakness and start strengthening your waves of blessing! 

Start evaluating and begin to surround yourself with amazing, life speaking, God loving, genuine people!

AUTHENTICITY
  • I have not patience for surface level interaction and self centered thinking...I just do not have it in me.  My people are real with me and I am real with my people!
Are the people in your life as interested in your struggles and triumphs as you are theirs? 

RESPECT
  • I may not agree with ones belief, opinion, direction or choice, but I have deep respect for those who believe what they believe and stand on it with authenticity.  I do not force my beliefs on others, I live my beliefs in front of others.  Respect must be a mutual force for any longstanding, worth while relationship.
Do the people in your life respect your code of beliefs?  Do they respect your values when they are in your home?  Do they respect your convictions when you are in mixed company?  Do your beliefs ever become a target with the people who are in your circle?  Know what respect is, give others respect and expect it to reciprocate.

TRUST
  • I expect honesty, integrity, authenticity within my relationships.  I will not accept being lied to, deceived or manipulated.  Authentic relationships MUST be centered in honesty. 
Do you have to mingle through the junk to find truth?  Are you constantly second guessing the relationship?  Be honest with yourself and and make an honest evaluation of the the TRUST factor in your relationships.  If it is not rooted in trust then TRUST must be addressed, IN LOVE.

I can honestly evaluate the relationships around me and say that they are all amazing people. Me and my sweet peeps have a genuine belief in who we are, centered in trust and honesty.  To be able to say this with confidence is a blessing.  I am beyond thankful for the people God has so meticulously placed in my path...I am loved and that love reciprocates...that my friends is Amazing Waves of Grace!!
 
 
WHAT A SUMMER!
Summer 2012 is all wrapped up and has proven to be one of the highlights of my life.  The first week of June marked the completion of my radiation treatments and I began to look ahead to all that God has for me.  This summer I have been alive!  I have laughed harder, played louder and savored each moment with more intensity than  ever before.  Life is sweet, we are blessed and I am so thankful for each amazing wave of love that has rolled my way and swept me off of my feet!

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There is to much about me for this little space. I think big and dream bigger. I love people. I love family. I love to be loved. I am a wife, mother, sister, Meme and friend. I am a believer in the Christ Jesus, I worship him and him alone. I am amazed at my abundant blessings and take each day as it comes. My life is a gift and I am forever grateful.

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