Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our Babysitters

Our Babysitters

When I was growing up, there wasn’t any such thing as a “babysitter”. We were all given chores and things that were mandatory for us to do around the house. And, if the job(s) weren’t accomplished or done satisfactory there was discipline meted that met the need for reminder of how things were to be.

I remember in the afternoons after school, I was to practice my handwriting. I thought that was such a mean thing to make me have to do. Didn’t they realize I’d just sat an entire day in a classroom writing in some manner or another?

I remember sitting on the back porch of my grandparent’s house shelling peas. My grandmother always made those tasks seem so much fun. She would talk about growing up and the things in her life that she thought were “funny” or giving lessons in life of what she wanted me to learn – like “always wear good step-ins when you are traveling that way if you have a wreck they won’t see any holes in them.”

I remember picking blackberries. Afterwards, for hours, we would stir them over the stove to make jelly, to be rewarded by a huge cobbler after supper. I don’t think there is anything more awesome than a hot blackberry cobbler with Blue Bell Homemade Ice Cream over it!

I remember story time in front of the old fireplace. We didn’t have a lot of books, so my grandmother would read the stories from the Bible – sometimes she would just tell the story from memory.

I’ve watched and listened to parents nowadays. “I bought this DVD so that it would occupy them” or “they are watching the television while I do such and such”. Why are we allowing a television to raise our children?

I hear parents say, “I have no idea where they learned that.” Well, are you watching what they are watching? Are you listening to the conversations they have with their friends? Recently, I was told by a mother, that she didn’t know any of the last names of her daughter’s “friends” who had been coming around for over fourteen years, nor in case of an emergency, would she know how to reach them. I was shocked!

Parents you are this child’s future. The work ethics, the morals, the values, your time that you give to a child will be manifested many times over. When did you last read them a Bible story or sing a Christian song to them or with them? When you travel do they watch movies that teach morals or kindness or loving their neighbor as thyself or is it a current cartoon? When did you turn off the television and really do something constructive with your child?

I thoroughly believe, that television has a profound negative affect on family life. We have allowed it to control our lives. People try to paradox their lives after those on soap operas, or we try to incorporate the lives we see on television into our own, just as our children do.

We set our children or ourselves in front of the television and we neglect our homes, our spouses, and our devotional time with God. We neglect to teach our children the joys of loving Jesus. “Jesus loves the little children” was always a favorite song of mine.

Jesus said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: or of such is the kingdom of Heaven.” Mathew 19:14 Have we brought our children to God? Have we thanked God for our children? Are we teaching our children the way that God would have us to teach them? Are we teaching them values that will make them productive citizens in society when they are older? Are we teaching them to love Jesus and honor Him?

Do we discipline our children when they’ve done wrong? Or do we just give in to their whims because that is the easiest thing to do? “No” should always mean “no”.

Find the time, at least once a day, turn off the television, read a Bible story to your child and sing a song of God’s love to him or her or them. That little bit of time will be the best gift and the hugest investment to their future you could give them. “Train up child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. ” Proverbs 22:6 Pass good one!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Life Is For Living

Life is for Living

When we are young, we learn through watching others, hearing what our parents, grandparents or other important adults in our lives had to say or do, and in general doing what they said (or at least we did when I was growing up).

We learned what we all thought was the right way to be or the right way to act. Some of us learned to curse or swear, some learned to accept whatever life gives us, some of us learned to be independent and not take anything off of anyone, some of us learned to love, some of us learned to hate, some of us learned to dream, some of us learned ….nothing about who we are or what we do today.

For many years, I walked a path that I thought was pleasing to all. I would be what this one wanted me to be or that one wanted me to be – all the while never being who in life I really wanted to be or thought I could be or should be. I accepted that as a way of life.

After going through a very volatile marriage and divorce, I broke the chains that had held me in a holding pattern, as I call it, of life. I was going in circles, making the same mistakes over and over.

In making my decision to break my chains, I had to examine my life and the people I allowed in it. In doing so, I learned that many in my life were not good for me at all. They weren’t supportive of ideas, or dreams or the direction my life was going. They were jealous of material things I had or places I was going. I dealt with my demons from my past – the people who had hurt me, the hurts of growing up, the fear of not being a success in life, the fear of being self-supportive, the fear of failure. One day, I gave all those woes, people, hatred, hurts - anything negative – I just gave it away.

I gave them to God. In doing so, I learned that life is for living. For living it to it’s fullest, for smiling, for finding joy in the simplest of things, for saying “Who cares?” on trivial matters, for waking up with a renewed hope and faith that God loves me for who I am – not what someone else wants me to be.

I realized how hurtful things that people say to a child can damage them for life, unless that child finds the hope and desire for better. I remember the, “you will never amount to anything.” or the “You aren’t smart enough to do that.” For years, I believed every word. Not any more. We can all be anything we desire. We can be successful in our own ways.

God tells us, “Cast all your burdens on me.” We think that we can handle our own destiny and problems. We think we are the tough ones and WE can do it all. We don’t have to. There is no sweeter joy, than giving a problem to God and letting Him work it out.

I encourage you to live life to it’s fullest. Find your joy. God doesn’t want us to always be in bondage. Walking, talking and pleasing God, will surely help you find your peace. Live your life to it’s fullest. Pass a good one – today and everyday!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Baseball Game of Life

The Baseball Game of Life

I like football, but I LOVE baseball. I love watching the Astros, even when they are losing. They are still my team. I’ve been known to be driving through a neighborhood, spot the tall lights of a stadium, stop and watch a little league game without knowing a soul on the team nor in the stands. There is just something about the crack of the bat, the athletes, the excitement in the air, the pop of the ball in the catcher’s mitt that gives me a thrill. I truly like to watch the tee-ball players. You can see the dreams and aspirations in their little faces, not to mention pure frustration at times.

I watched the Little League World Series Baseball Saturday afternoon. By the end of the first inning, I wasn’t a happy camper with the pitching. The young pitcher appeared to show too many emotions, fears, and frustrations. I was shouting for the Coach to pull him. The Coach and the team were miles away from me, and as one of my Facebook friends kindly told me, “I don’t think he can hear you.”

After the game, you could see the disappointment in the losing team. All of a sudden I thought of the disappointment we will have if we aren’t allowed into Heaven.

What if there were people in Heaven waiting to see who was coming into the Pearlie Gates next and someone shouted, “Throw her out!”

Being a Christian does not mean that we are perfect, only that we are forgiven. How many times do people mistreat us and we do not forgive? How many times do we wrong others, even in the slightest, and we don’t ask for forgiveness?

I’m glad I serve a risen Savior. I’m glad that people’s judgment calls of me won’t be the reason I’m kept out of Heaven. Only by my actions and deeds, repenting, knowing Jesus as my Lord and Savior, will I get into Heaven.

Life is like a baseball game, each player can serve as ten years of our life. That’s a total of ninety years. I hope it doesn’t take ninety years for me to do the things I know I’m suppose to do and get my life right with Christ. I’m glad that our sins aren’t the three strikes and you are out. Sometimes we make it to first base, life gets a little tough, so we gotta steal second, and we make it in just barely before the devil gets us. I’m glad the Umpire is going to be fair and loving and kind. My coach along the way has been my Bible and the other players are the family and friends who’ve helped me and cheered me to Home Plate.

I want to be one of those standing at the Gate when you make it to Heaven and I want to be shouting “Come on in! It’s a Home Run!” I want to be among those cheering you making it to Home Plate. “When we all get to Heaven, What a day of rejoicing that will be…” Pass a good one…

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My God

My God

I had an atheist come by my place this morning. She proceeded, without invitation, to tell me how wonderful her religion was, what all the benefits were.

I saw no benefits in Atheism.

When she asked me what I thought about her religion, I simply stated, “Mine is not a religion. It is a personal relationship with My God. It is a relationship closer than a husband and a wife. It’s a relationship, not a religion. It’s a relationship which, without, I would be lost.”

“When I am weak, I can go to Him in prayer. When I am sick, He heal me. When I am lonely, He is there in the midst of it all. When I am confused, He shows me the way.”

The petite lady listened, I’m not for sure she really heard me, then she asks, “If your God is so big what is so tangible about him?”

“Look around you, at every living thing you see, MY GOD created all of this! So, if MY GOD can create all of this, what has your religion got that is so tangible or what has it created besides hate, discontent?”

The lady left without answering.

“I am the God of all Gods” “I am the truth and the light” “I created the Heavens and the earth” those scriptures kept popping in my head.

I think it is the most awesome feeling to be able to go to God, Our Father, with a simple request. Though our prayer may not be answered, we can always ask, and if it is within God’s will, it will be granted. “Seek and you will find, ask and the door will be opened unto you.”

Don’t forget to ask for God’s guidance in your life, seek Him and if it is within God’s will for your life, the doors will be opened. It’s all in God’s time, not ours .

Pass a good one today – Love and hugs, LinMarie