Raising Kids . . .

Some people say the toughest job is raising kids. Whether you are a stay-at-home Mom (or Dad) or a working parent, I think you’d agree that parenting is downright difficult. We spend countless hours when babies are very young teaching them to walk and talk, only to find ourselves years later telling them to sit down and shut-up.

Although I joke, raising kids is a very serious job that not everyone gets right. There are many parents out there who struggle to find a balance between working and parenting. Others try to balance showing affection equally among all their kids.

In the end, how do you know you’ve done a good job?

Although there are many awards out there stating: “World’s Best Mommy” or “Father of the Year” – we know that they don’t really matter. What’s important is to see the love and affection of your child being returned in kind to you. For many unfortunately, this doesn’t happen until later in life (we know it doesn’t happen during those teenage years.) But when it does, it’s probably the best feeling in the world.

Parents spend the better part of their lives parenting (say 50ish years? For some maybe upwards of 70 or even 80 years!) – it’s what we do. Providing a house, putting food on the table, teaching, etc….all because we love our children.

It occurred to me this morning that we aren’t the only ones out there trying to get back some love and affection. God has spent thousands of years, developing our house (earth), feeding us (physically and spiritually), teaching us the truth in Word, etc….all because He loves each of us: His children.

Have you showed God any love and affection today? He is your Father.

Idiot Light

That’s right. I think it’s the first use of that term in my blog: idiot. “Back in the day,” vehicles were equipped with about 4 or so gauges (speedometer, oil gauge, fuel gauge, and engine temperature – and sometimes a voltmeter, pressure gauge, and/or tachometer). Each of these were generally utilized by the driver infrequently to check on the status of the engine. Today, in most cars, the only remaining gauges are the speedometer and fuel gauge – although they have been replaced in some vehicles with electronic readouts. Most other gauges are no longer present in a car, but have been replaced by an “idiot” light – a light that comes on if the reading is abnormal. These lights generally don’t tell the driver if the reading is high or low, just that it is outside the normal operating range.

With or without idiot lights or gauges, I wish it was much easier to keep an eye on our spiritual life. Am I “full enough” of Christ today? Then again, that sounds like a stupid question. I’ve never read in the Bible of any such thing as too much God in our lives.

Ever feel empty of Christ? It’s a feeling that many people get way too often. Next time you’re feeling empty, be vocal about it and ask God to show up in a mighty way in your life. No need to wait until God gives you the “sign” that you’ve gone too far – that’s one idiot light I want to keep DIMMED OFF in my life.

It’s only a game!

I mentioned earlier this week to a few individuals that I was introduced to religion when I was a teenager. When I was 15, my family moved to Alabama. The day our household furniture arrived, I rode my bicycle down the street when a couple other teens stopped me and witnessed to me. They asked me one simple question: Are you an Alabama or an Auburn fan? I had to make a choice that day what my future held!

From that day forward, I knew what was important to many people in Alabama. Some might say this is the extreme, nevertheless I’ve also had the pleasure of serving in a church where the Deacons gathered early one year to discuss whether the church should cancel evening services on the night of the Superbowl. (Maybe they thought God might be busy watching the big game too?)

Although I tease, football is a serious sport in the Southeast and nobody should take it lightly. Yet, it truly is only a game. Next year will roll around and as the years pass, people will generally forget most of the details, (but not the FINAL outcome – did your team win or not).

Do you realize the same is true in faith? You MUST make a choice which team you are for. Are you WITH God or AGAINST Him? Today is the day to make the choice, and it WILL determine your future (for eternity)!

And even though the next year will roll around, unlike football, it’s NOT just a game, it’s your future. Although people will generally forget the details of your faith and actions, it IS the FINAL OUTCOME that mattersdid you choose God or not?

Make Plans to Attend…

When a big event occurs, the promoter usually sends out marketing literature that reminds us to “Make Plans to Attend . . ..” Obviously, this is for their benefit and yours. Planning your calendar in advance is a good way to make sure you don’t miss critical activities or events.

What’s this simple observation have to do with my blog? Simply put, I think the Bible is God’s way of telling us to “Make Plans to Attend Heaven.” If you fail to plan accordingly today, there will be no second chance when He comes to get us tomorrow (and that’s a VERY CRITICAL EVENT!).

Make Plans to Attend Heaven today – ask for His forgiveness and receive Jesus in your heart today (click here:  http://whativaluemost.com/Discover.aspx) . If you already have Jesus in your life, then take time to talk to Him, I think He misses us when we don’t talk to him.  “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17).

If you want more detailed reading about planning in your life, continue reading below, otherwise stop here, and Thanks for reading!

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How does this activity of planning compare with what the Bible teaches? The Bible is VERY clear in James 4:13-17 when it mentions that planning your life is really a waste (my interpretation), because “you do not know what tomorrow will bring” (James 4:14). In Proverbs, we find “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Pro. 16:9).

Furthermore, the Bible is also very clear that the LORD plans your ways: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:11a).

So, if an atheist was to employ this Scripture, he may convince a man to stop planning his life, and be more spontaneous. Sounds legitimate and Biblical to me!

So am I here to tell you to forget planning and be spontaneous in 2016? No, absolutely not. Yet, I’m still going to preach by the Word. Proverbs 15:22 states “without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed.” Psalm 20:4 states “May God give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with worldly views that conflict with Biblical teachings. Sometimes these views utilize pieces and parts of Scripture to convince people that they are “right.” Don’t let yourself be fooled into worldly thinking. Instead . . . observe the world, research the Bible, pray for understanding, and as the 1990’s would say WWJD?

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today I realized that it’s my dad’s birthday. Almost 9 years ago he passed away from heart-related conditions. I’m somewhat saddened today, which is very unusual. Normally his birthday comes and goes without even an acknowledgement from me, but this year it’s affected me more than normal. I miss him. I’m upset that he never got to meet his youngest grandson. My dad was a great man and a wonderful father who took time to be with his children. I wish he could be here to guide me and help me be a better father.

However, I also celebrate in the victory that he had because He knew Jesus. Today, he’s in Heaven without pain or worldly concerns, and that’s a better life for him than it was on earth.

Although I would question his Salvation in my younger years, I know that he came to know God prior to passing.

Who would you miss if they were gone today? Do they know Jesus? Can you be comforted in knowing that they will be in Heaven, and that you’ll see them again someday? If not, take time this year to talk to them about your faith. It’s not your responsibility to “convince them” to be a Christian; it’s merely your gift to them to tell them about Christ.

New Year’s Resolutions are a bad idea!

I think we’ve all done it – made a New Year’s resolution and then blown it. Experts say that between 80 and 95% of resolutions are blown within the first 30 days, most within just a couple weeks.

And most of these are attributed to weight loss. So why do it?

Obviously, we “want” to be healthy, but for some reason, our little minds just can’t get into the habit of better eating, exercise, and avoiding the sweets (guilty here!)

Anyways, a resolution is simply a statement – it is not a promise to anyone. And just because it’s a New Year, why is the timing so crucial? I challenge you instead to make a promise to God. Maybe today, maybe next week or even next month.

OK, some of you are saying, wait….you haven’t even given God any time recently on your blog, and now you’re trying to convict me? You’re right!

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and trying to figure out what plans God really has for me. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked – I haven’t received what I think is an answer yet. For years I had a blog, then went without. Then back to the blog again a couple years ago, then it faded. I’m back.

For how long? I don’t know. I haven’t promised to God that I’m going to keep the blog going, but I will blog from time to time as I feel I have something to say.

In the meantime, I’ve challenged you to promise to God to improve one aspect of your life. NOT a New Year’s Resolution, but an agreement with God. I was convicted earlier this year to do the same, and I’ve already started. It will be hard, but I know with God’s help that I can achieve it.

I know that you can too with enough prayer and confidence that God will help you!