The story goes something like this. A little boy asked his father:” Did you go to Sunday school when you were little?” “Certainly,” said his father. “I never missed a Sunday.” See, Mother?” said the little boy. “It won’t do me any good either.”
What kind of example are we portraying to those around us? Is it like the little boy’s father who proclaims to be Christian but lives a different type of life? Do we truly believe we can claim to be one thing and live a different life and no one will take notice or say anything at all?
Children take notice of everything we do, right or wrong they are silent witnesses and the portages of our actions. Many times we live our lives as if what we do doesn’t matter to the world, but it does, to our children and the ones we love. If we act like life matters to us, then it will matter to them.
How we act matters to God, it matters so much our spiritual lives depend upon it. If we act like our physical lives don’t matter and we needn’t be an example of righteous living, why would God believe we would treat a spiritual life any different?
Nothing is guaranteed for the world; just believing isn’t all you have to do. If that were the case the demons would be given front row seats in the Kingdom, James 2:19 “Even the demons believe-and tremble.” Just being a Christian isn’t enough, just saying you’re a Christian isn’t enough! Like a little child, you have to put away worldly traditions, look past the fog of deceit and do something for God for the first time in your Christian life.
A young man had a terrible falling-out with a neighboring farmer. One night, in an act of cruel vengeance, he crept through the neighboring fields, sowing the seeds of persistent, virulent weed. The weeds sprang up, and no amount of effort would eradicate them.
Years passed, and eventually the young man fell in love with the farmer’s daughter. He married her and, at length, inherited the farm. He later confessed that he was spending the rest of his life reaping what he had sown in that one act of angry folly.
(Nelson’s complete book of stories.)
How often has our anger caused us to years of anguish because we acted impulsively for a brief instance? The story illustrates a self-imposed justice that life seems to hand down upon us all. Our acts of anger often can become a ball and chain, and as we mature and we find ourselves shackled by our past in ways we often regret.
Fortunately, Christ gave us a key to these chains and a way to prevent any more self-imposed damage, its forgiveness. Forgiveness stops acts of anger, it stops the hate inside us and it stops future repercussion. But we have to institute the act of forgiving within our lives; it must become a daily practice. It should begin when we’re young and only end when we’ve taken our last breathe.
Should we fail to forgive, we’ll surly will reap what we sow both physically and spiritually. The physical may come back to us in ways we’ve never considered, but the spiritual will affect us in ways that will last forever.
In the halls of our nations capitol words are being spoken illustrating different individuals outrage over our veteran’s treatment in V.A. centers across this beloved nation. One leader in particular our commander in chief, seemed especially displeased and made the comment, “I won’t stand for it.” In light of this being the weekend of Memorial Day honoring those how’ve served and made the ultimate sacrifice for every other American citizen, I thought it fitting to illustrate what not standing for something really means.
The founding of this nation was codified upon the premise we were a free people and wouldn’t allow foreign nations to run roughshod over us. Many gave their lives and fortunes based on this idea and wouldn’t stand for anything else.
The civil war tested our resolve as a nation giving rise once more that all its citizens must be free and equal, and have the right to pursue happiness and prosperity.
We couldn’t stand for anything different, because it was right, and the honorable thing to do. As a Godly nation we took up arms against our brothers to ensure the liberty for all Americans. The war against brothers left many in this nation wounded and suffering, and as a result the V.A. was born to deal with the injuries of war.
World war one & two gave rise to newer medicines and treatments born out of the misery of our fallen and wounded heroes. Once more our men went to war because of the oppression of others and their cry was, “We won’t stand for it.” As a world came together to confront the wrongs to the oppressed, our nation was at the forefront of every conflict showing, we truly won’t stand for it.
Korea, Viet Nam, Iraqi, Afghanistan and countless skirmishes around the world had always reflected our attitude of not standing for evil where ever it was found. We may not have always been one hundred percent right, but we had our principles and honor and that was our guide.
Today in our nation’s capitol, not standing for something means you’ve said the words a political play book says you should say. It has little meaning to those exposing the words, only that the words are said and the tenor was right. Honor means nothing to many of our nation’s leaders and it’s reflected in the treatment of the men and women who have served this nation. It has become a sad day in America when we won’t stand up and do the right thing for those who’ve served.
We The People should not stand for it! We are a nation because others didn’t stand by and let professional politicians make a joke of their sacrifice, neither should we. We should be screaming to the top of our lungs, “We won’t stand for that,” and maybe Washington would hear us and do the honorable thing. This weekend honor those who have fallen, and honor all the other veterans by telling your congressman to help do the right thing and fix the V.A.
God Bless this nation.
The story goes, Jimmy had trouble pronouncing the letter “R” so his teacher gave him a sentence to practice at home: “Robert gave Richard a rap in the ribs for roasting the rabbit so rare.”
Some days later the teacher asked him to say the sentence for her. Jimmy rattled it off like this: “Bob gave Dick a poke in the side for not cooking the bunny enough.” He evaded the letter “R.”
Jimmy isn’t alone, especially today. Many folks have great problems with the letter “R” in the form of the following words: respect, responsibility, rightful, resolute, reverent, remorseful, reviling, rigorous, reality, and righteousness. Words that might describe someone that calls themselves a Christian if used to describe their day to day actions. Words that otherwise can only be found in a dictionary these days and has little meaning to those outside of God’s law. Words not used in normal conversation with those opposed to scripture or belief in Christ.
One word left out that typifies the Christian more than any other word and it too begins with the letter “R” repentance. Repentance is foremost among the words beginning with “R.” It is the word of all words in the alphabet and has the greatest meaning when acted upon. To repent is to change, change from the everyday person to the rarity of God’s creation. That makes the letter “R” the reason for great revelry in God’s kingdom. We all need to practice using the letter “R” more often, especially in conjunction with God.
It seems I’ve always had high hopes in nearly every endeavor I’ve pursued, but I eventually became overcome with low expectations. My high hopes were more prevalent when I was much younger, being naive with how the world actually works but I was always optimistic in my pursuits. The positives pushed aside any reluctance to press ahead even in the face of overwhelming odds.
The low expectations come in when my hope succumbs to realization of the facts. I’ve never began any event in my life with low expectations but ended there when hopes vanish away like the wind. Settling with the low side of life isn’t the ideal frame of mind anyone should seek. But it becomes difficult to keep having high hopes when every experience one might have leaves them with low expectations.
One place in my life where my high hopes exceeded my expectations was with God. The expectation of change was real, so was the blessing I’ve received in my life. I’ve learned low expectations are from the human side of life because nothing matches the relationship we can have with Christ. I know some have said they’ve had high hopes with Christ and wound up with low expectations but my question to them is, “Were yo expecting God to do everything for you?”
Did you not know God has high hopes for each of us and He will do His part in our lives if we let Him. But, we have expectations to fulfill in the relationship between us for there to be the greatest expectation of all, a reunion between God and us in the Kingdom. This is my high hope and total expectation, what’s yours?
Two young boys had a favor to ask their mother. They were afraid she wouldn’t grant it. “You ask her,” said the older one. “No, you.” “Go ahead and ask her,’ the older boy repeated. “No, it would be better if you did it,” answered his younger brother. “You’ve known her longer than I have.”
Moms are special people, and really good moms are the heartbeat of the family that keeps it alive and functional. They were our nurse when we were hurt needing that special touch for just the right amount of sympathy. They were teachers of math, reading and writing. Moms taught us the bible, all about Noah, Samson, and Jesus. Moms taught us how to say words we couldn’t pronounce so we would quit embarrassing the family. They counseled us on behavior both from the heart to our behind, and consoled our grief when our favorite goldfish died. They cooked our meals to fill our stomachs and gave us hugs to fill our hearts. Moms mended our clothes and made our beds picked up and washed our clothes without as much as a thanks. They took us to school and all the extra activities afterwards just so we could enjoy the things we loved.
We’ve known our moms all our lives and they’ve rarely failed us. They deserve our love and admiration. So on this special occasion, Mother’s Day. Hug them, console them, help them, feed them, and love them, but most of all thank them. After all, they’re Mom.
In Texas we have a vine that grows, and grows and grows. We call it a briar; I’m not sure of the scientific name but in country-boy lingo it go something like this, “That *%$#! &^#$*&^ vine.” If left unabated it can grow until you can’t walk through and it can stop a riding lawn mower from penetrating its thick foliage. It will grow as long as it has something to hang onto, even to the tops of tree.
The vine becomes so evasive and so thick they block the sunlight’s life-giving rays destroying whatever it covers. Wrapping its tentacles around a tree like a sea-monster pulling down a sailing ship, the vines will smother trees leaving nothing more than deadwood. The vines smother fences, barns, old windmills, and electric lines with the same indifference.
The vines are overpowering and hard to manage, you can cut them down but they simply grow back. Weed killer has little affect and who wants to keep spraying poison after poison on the ground? Burning them seems to be the best way to deal with them, but with the drought and not much rain there are few times in the year where that options is available.
The vines are like the world, always closing around us, becoming thicker and ever intrusive. The world is chocking the life out of many Christians, consuming every bit of light from God, leaving only former shells of once vibrant lives. Destroying the choking vine of humanities worst effects takes special care. It takes constant cutting and pruning so new growth can happen. Burning away the old and allowing the new to spring forth is the remedy Christians should be applying. But few it seems understand the vine has a hold on us all, even those we call leaders in our churches.
Christ is the fire we need to wipe out the grappling vines of the world. The vines fade away one by one as we apply His words to our lives. It takes fighting daily for the good to keep the choking vines at bay. Daily instruction and encouragement from Christ reveals God’s creation around us without the smothering affects of the choking vine.