Archive | April 2013

Stuff just got real…

Everything happens for a reason. There are no coincidences. God is always talking to us. He is always communicating in ways we can understand and give meaning to.

God is always at work providing for us and protecting us from others and ourselves. No doubt we can’t imagine how much so.

Today something was shown to me. For a moment I could not think. I could not speak. One voice came to my mind: Before you respond, speak to God. Tell him. Ask him. Listen to him.  I did. I cried. I prayed.

I’ll have to get back to you on this one. Suffice it to say, I trust God.

 

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God’s Very Pointed Question

This morning one of my devotionals said that “to truly live you have to forgive”.

The reason this is relevant to me is that just yesterday, as I was driving, I was thinking about my “I forgive” letters that I wrote last year forgiving every person I thought I was to forgive as  a way of getting past any and all things that may have been holding me back. While my list wasn’t long it did reveal something very powerful which will remain with me for now.

During the course of my thinking on the matter, God spoke to me and asked why I had not written a letter to myself. I thought about it and my response was that I never thought about the fact that I needed to forgive myself. We’re so often focused on exercising forgiveness to others that we miss the mark on looking first at ourselves.

Matthew 7:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Absolutely mind blowing. God is so good.

I am still pondering the idea to the point that I nearly need to keep with me a small tablet as I think about all of the things for which I need to forgive myself. Listing my “infractions” is one thing but letting go is indeed another. Even if I am able to articulate my issues with me, how do I forgive myself? Where do I start? Is this the key I’ve been looking for? Will this change my life? What will my forgiveness of me reveal about me? Only God could introduce something so simple, so scary to think about and so exciting all at the same time.

Being aware of others and counting their debts is easy. These days, I’m learning to be more aware of me. Admittedly, my debts are what they are. Thankfully, God’s grace is what it is and that is more than enough.

 

Do You Hear What I Hear?

When I thought about the title of today’s post, I decided to look up the history of this Christmas song. Turns out, “Do You Hear What I Hear? was written in October 1962 as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was not a good time in history. The call to action was sent out through the song appealing to all influencers and government leadership to do something about a threat of nuclear disaster. The song was plea for peace for our world as we know it.

The song asks if we are hearing the same thing (do you hear what I hear) and if we are seeing the same thing (do you see what I see?). That”s what I’m asking today.

I am considering that there seems to be so much going on in our world that forms the perception for us that it is sad and hopeless. I listen to the news only to hear horrible stories of things going on locally and nationally with families, children. I tend to opt for comedy reruns over some of the nighttime television depicting stories inspired by the news and still wonder how the “dramas” could be construed as entertainment.

Walking through the mall or into other outlets, I hear young people speak so disrespectfully to each other. They could care less if you hear them or if you approve of what they say or how they say it. I reflect on the fact that these are some of the representatives of the next generation. From what I can see and hear, I’m left to wonder what their contribution will be.

Recently, a father was videotaped disciplining his two daughters for behaviors he found unacceptable. Apparently the daughters were videoed dancing in a highly sexual and seductive manner. The videos were posted. Dad found out. Soon after his video “whipping” his daughters went viral, he was arrested.  The whole incident prompted responses on several blogs about whether or not his discipline was abuse. As suspected responses ran the gamut. See the news of it here.  What Got You Here Won’t Get You There… What struck me in a couple of posts was the fact that the writers found watching this episode between father and daughters “uncomfortable”, another discription was “difficult” and yet another was “appalling”. I’m left to wonder if these same posters found the posted videos of the daughters doing what they were doing equally “uncomfortable”, “difficult” or “appalling” to watch?

When it comes to our young people, is anybody seeing? Anybody listening? We are losing our children and devaluing parents in the big picture by creating roadblocks to families “handling” their families in the ways that generate the expected and reasonable response. Gone are the days for some children that a strong talk is all that’s needed to turn  problem issues around. Disciplinary actions have elevated as a result. If parents can’t get their children to obey, respect authority and honor them as parents, is it reasonable to assume these children will obey others? Will they obey God and respect his authority in their lives? What the Bible says about discipling children

Our children are out of control. Controlling them in strong verbal and physical ways is now being looked upon as abuse. Are you kidding me? This is troublesome.

I don’t have the answer. What I see and hear are things that call right wrong and wrong right (Isaiah) and this is not good. There’s more going on than the call for peace. I hear and see a call for reclamation! It’s time to reclaim our children, our families, our authentic relationships and our ideals that follow God’s way and not that of society. Something has to give.