Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mismatched Values

James 1:22-27 ESV

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. ...

Before school, my son came up to me and began his morning soliloquy on the importance of living a debt-free life. I chuckled as I could see his father's influence overflow from his lips.

So often, we impart our values on our children without even knowing it. Some of these are what we want our children to learn from us, such as the importance of a debt-free life. However, sometimes, we send messages to our children that do not correspond to our true values. For instance, yesterday, a car almost ran into me and I called them, “stupid.” My daughter asked me, “Mommy, who is stupid?” I immediately retracted my statement and told her that the person was not stupid, but they simply made a mistake which almost caused us to be in an accident. However, had she not said anything, I would not have corrected my rhetoric. I was convicted that I had not acted in a way that tries teach my children to value all people.

What messages could someone's current actions be sending to a child? Each week, when a parent decides to skip church, they subtly are saying to their child, fellowship with the Body is not THAT important. When someone uses foul language, they are in essence saying that Colossians 3:8 doesn't matter. When one speaks words against someone, you are telling them that it is really okay to slander your brother.

What values do you want to instill into your children? If you don't have children, what values do you want others to see in you?  How consistently do your actions match your values?  For instance, if I truly valued living a healthy lifestyle, it would be logical that I would eat leafy greens, not eat my weight in Kit-Kats, and I would exercise in moderation.  In the same way, if we hold true to our values, our actions will be consistent with what we believe.   However, f they are not, we serve a God of grace, who wants nothing more than for you to turn from the wrong path, get back on track, and move forward.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I'm just me, but my God is AWESOME

Psalm 139:13-14 -

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

I sat at a conference today and as I was talking to a woman about my goal of being a writer, I told her, “I know it's a long shot though, because I'm just normal. I am not famous. I haven't done anything remarkable and I don't have an “amazing” story. Basically, I am unmarketable. We both laughed as we discussed how the publishing industry looks at the number of blog followers you have before they will even look at what you have to say.

As I was spending time in my prayer closet (shower) this evening, God reminded me how HE chose a murderer to free the Hebrew people, a shepherd boy to be king, and a Jewish girl to be queen. He chose fishermen, a tax collector, and a zealot to be apostles, a persecutor to become the greatest missionary, and a virgin girl to carry the Savior. There was not ONE THING that these people did to deserve their role in God's plan. They simply said, "yes" to His call. They didn't force their way into His will. They didn't try to alter His course.

For many believers, we think that we have to prove our worthiness to be a part of God's plan. We feel that we have to try out to “make the team.” However, by the grace of God, shown through the love and work of Christ on the cross, you are already on the team!!! So, there is no reason to be sitting on the bench while the most important game of all time is happening right now. God created you with your own unique gifts and talents for a specific role in His kingdom. He created you to leave an impact. How great an impact you leave is determined by how often you say yes to the opportunities He gives you each day to bear witness to Him.

Will I ever be famous? It doesn't matter. Because I am fulfilling my calling in writing the truth that comes from the Word of God. I am saying yes to the opportunity Christ has given me today.