We’re finishing up a series of classes on parenting this week and in two weeks, and I must say, I’ve learned a lot! Funny, I’ve been a parent for 31 years and there’s still more to know. I think the most impressive part of what I’m learning is what I’m learning about myself. There are principles, laws of parenting that I’m discovering that I never fully received in my own growing years. I’m fast finding out that those principles need to be applied to my life more fully if I’m ever to become the man God wants me to be; and for my children to become the grownups God wants them to be.
Archive for November, 2010
I love Thanksgiving! I know, I don’t have too much in the way of responsibilities for the day, the big meal or anything else for that matter. But I do love this holiday. We get to hang out as a family (ours has grown this year, thanks to the arrival of a grandson!) and we watch tv, eat, and converse. And that’s the extent of the agenda, except for one thing…
Thanks. Gratitude. We have a porcelain plate on our mantle that simply says that one word, “Gratitude.” And yes, we are grateful all year long in big and small ways, but Thanksgiving is our family’s big opportunity to voice it to each other. And voice it we do. Around the dinner table, talking on the couch and praying together. We review what’s happened in the last year and we take a fresh stock of what God has brought into our lives. That’s really the point. Every good thing comes from Heaven, from God Himself. We turn our hearts and our attention to Him and we say “Thank You!” with everything in us. Will you do the same? No matter how easy or difficult your situation this year? I’ve met quite a few people in my life, all with differing circumstances. Do you know what distinguishes the joyful and the depressed? It’s not what they’ve been through or not been through. It’s how much they say “Thank You” to the Lord. Gratitude. PB
This morning I was reading in the book of Ezekiel. Have you ever read it? Ezekiel is a priest who has been “relocated” by the Babylonians to ancient Persia. While he’s there with the others who have been moved there with him, he gets a call. The Lord calls him to be a prophet, but not just an ordinary one. Ezekiel is given out-of-the-ordinary visions and demonstrations of God’s messages to His people. Some people stop reading the book near the beginning; it just seems too fantastic to relate to modern day life.
It’s really a very practical book. For example, I was reading Chapter 18 today, which reveals God’s heart regarding repentance. Verse 31 says “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? ‘For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord God. ‘Therefore, turn and live!’ “ That was directed toward His people, Israel. And what does that say to us? Examine our lives and hearts. Turn away from what’s wrong. And let that be a process that continues in you indefinitely! The Lord doesn’t want death and trouble to be our lot. Repentance is meant to be a long term part of our walk with God. And when we do, He renews our lives. PB
I was reading in Proverbs 10 today and noticed that it comments about what comes out of your mouth in a few places in the chapter. (Verses 11,19-21, 31-32) Verse 11, the first mention, says this: “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.” As I thought about it, it seemed so true; what comes out of your mouth has everything to do with your heart. If your heart, your life, has been transformed by God, your expressions will reflect that transformation. You really can’t help it! If you have peace with God, a sense of security with Him, a new life, what you say and how you say it will bear the marks of what your insides are like. The truly “wicked” hardly speak at all (their mouth is covered) and when they do, it’s violence revealed. Violence of intentions, violence against someone else’s identity, their person, or actual threats of physical violence.
So listen to yourself. What do you hear? Are your communications a “well of life?” If they aren’t, there’s something in your heart that God wants to change – for the better! PB