February 8 – Order in the House!

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Many times as a parent I come across areas that need attention in my own life. This has proven true so many times that I’ve come to believe this is the primary reason for God giving us children. My parents refer to this as “paying for your raising!” Orderliness is one of these areas for me.

Recently, I walked through my boys’ room, and to my surprise (HA), the place had exploded once again. Automatically, I started to let them have it. “How many times do I have to get on to you boys about this room? This place looks like a tornado hit it! Now get it back together!” And I meant every word of it.

Then, as God would have it, I immediately walked back into my OWN room, only to find my closet strangely resembling my boys’ room. OUCH. How did this happen? I know full well how necessary order is in our life, and yet I found myself once again “behind on the basics.” Maybe you can relate.

And if so, there is great news. God never reveals what He, with your help, can’t heal. This is true with any issue we face. So I didn’t take much time whining over my shortcomings. I simply admitted them to myself, AND my boys. I had dropped the ball. And from there, I didn’t spend another moment beating myself up, NOR did I let myself off the hook by making an excuse.

 I believe as long as we are on this planet, we will all have adjustments to make. So, if you are human, there is a possibility you have some unorganized areas to fix. Order is the key component to anything God has set before you.

But don’t panic. If anyone understands our challenges, He does. And He’s already made provision for our lack of vision. So before we can say “help,” wisdom and comfort will come running to meet us.

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40 NKJV

Biblical Meditation: Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.

 

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February 2 – Every Day Counts

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“Repent, forgive, and believe… quickly.” I heard a man make this statement many years ago, and I still remember it.

It seems that those three commands can be easily bypassed in our day-to-day lives. Noah was a beautiful example of a person who took the directions of God and ran with them. We’re not sure exactly how many years passed from the time he built the ark and the time the flood came.

At the very most, around 100 years passed by. And yet, we see no record of the wickedness on the earth turning around for the better. Many years went by and no one was moved to follow Noah’s example of righteousness.

I believe that our physical, mental, and spiritual health all hinge on these commands. Repent, forgive, and believe, quickly. In the six hundredth year, second month, and seventeenth day of Noah’s life, the curtains of water fell.

And time ran out. God was speaking through Noah and his actions all of those many years. We are again in the “days of Noah.” Regardless of the moment of Jesus’ return to earth, our world is filled with signs that point to His coming.

Just like the days before the floodwaters came, it can be easy to ignore the landmarks all around us. God is gracious and full of mercy as we turn to Him and hand over the reins of our life. Let us follow in the footsteps of Noah, and may we let others know that every day counts.

Jen 🙂

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:11, 12

Biblical Meditation: Matthew 24:36-39 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

December 8 – What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

Diverse weights [one for buying and another for selling] and diverse measures—both of them are exceedingly offensive and abhorrent to the Lord. Proverbs 20:10

“Stop changing the rules, already!” How many times have I felt that over the years on this journey?! I know I am not alone.

It seems like when it’s my time, the game changes, the price is higher, or the sale is over. Oh, I know every time has not been intentional, but many of those times felt like there was a self-centered agenda hiding behind the scenes, hoping to remain undetected.

You don’t have to search very far these days to unearth this “double standard” infiltration of the most innocent matters of life. And no, it ain’t right.

But, just the other day, I called out to my boys to get their clothes off the floor, put their shoes away, and fix their bed. I thought the request seemed quite reasonable.

Then I walked into my room…hmmm!

And I heard a chorus of voices ring out in my head, “Stop changing the rules, already!”

Heaven help me.

Switching price tags and padding the expense account are two things God hates. Proverbs 20:10 MSG

October 28 – Gentle Persuasion

He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early. Proverbs 13:24 AMP

This morning, my boys and I loaded some calves. One was ready for the butcher and a couple of others were on their way to the vet for a little “male maintenance.” These calves were bottle-fed and have been handled much of their lives, so they move around rather tamely.

But when it comes time to load them in the trailer, persistent persuasion is necessary until the job is done.  My oldest son makes fun of me, respectfully, because I tend to lean toward a more gentle approach, while he’s all about the task at hand. He’s naturally gifted when it comes to farm and animal activities, but I am a dad. So, when it comes to using pressure, I have learned application requires a sensitivity to the will and nature of the individual. This is tantamount for a desired outcome that will be achieved regularly and successfully.

One description of discipline is controlled behavior resulting from such training. In other words, the word “rod” has as much to do with guidance and direction as it does corporal punishment. Diligence is the key to discipline (I totally believe this) because when I have been able to put the time in early on with my children, as they grow, guidance works a whole lot better. We can communicate because we have an understanding.

Fear is never what you want from anybody when you are training them, especially your kiddos. Unfortunately, because of misunderstandings of the broader insight of this Proverb, those who shy away from corporal punishment have tossed its wisdom aside thinking, “I am not going to whip my kid to make them mind. I don’t want them to be afraid of me.” I agree!

Discipline, however, is all about relationship and clear boundary lines. God designed our universe with absolutes and order. Therefore, if we navigate outside the realm of the absolute of gravity, things get dangerous in a hurry.

The same is true when little Johnny doesn’t abide by the absolute of mommy said “no” and tries to go down the steps by himself too soon and takes a tumble. For a while, mommy may have to use the rod of “holding little Johnny’s hand” a bit firm for a while so he doesn’t wiggle away until he truly understands how to go up and down without harm.

At the end of the day, discipline and training is this: yes, no, who’s in charge, and . . . I love you.