Friday, October 9, 2009

Its more of a "step" than a "journey"

"Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven.... nor is it beyond the sea.... no, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it" Deuteronomy 30:11-14

The Matt 18:3 Principle

I must warn you, this will not be a post of sage wisdom and Biblical theology. This is more of me gabbing about my dear sister, whom I love. I pray you are blessed :) It is also a call to duty, for older siblings, mentors, parents, educators, and role models (that includes you, whether you realize it or not). I have a 3 fold message tonight.

My sister and I have formed a habit (praise the Lord) of reading the Bible every night and praying. My first testimony about this Matt 18:3 principle is something I experience every night. We read the Bible together, and then whoever didn't read out loud turns the nights off. Then, laying in bed, just before I drift off, I hear this soft voice in the darkness, "don't forget to pray Coco". *Sigh* I wish I had a better memory, but I am so blessed with a sister who NEVER forgets and always encourages me in this direction. I encourage each of you to instill theses habits in the young ones in your life, because when they are older, they will not depart from the way you train them up when they are young.

Now, we have read much of the Bible over the past few years- truly incredible how much ground you cover at a chapter a day! We have read through much of the New Testament (possibly all of it, but I'm not sure) and Psalms and Proverbs, and in the past few month we have been working through the Old Testament. I think we may have started this cycle in 1 Samuel, picking up with Saul and his story. We have read through Saul, David, Solomon, and Reheboam and Jereboam who both just died. Why am I telling all of this? Well, just so you have a little background for the story I'm about to tell. The other day at dinner, my dad was sharing a bit of a lesson he was learning, and referenced one of these Old Testament stories, and couldn't remember the details. So who piped up with numbers, names and facts? Little Miss Katie. The smallest one at the table was the only one who had all the facts. Lesson number two for us mentors and role models is to never underestimate the amount those youngsters can learn! When you present scripture as fact, and keep their Biblical history fresh in their mind, imagine the impact they can have! It also challenges us to study more, doesn't it? Our old decrepit minds have to keep up, and be able to present the facts to our brothers and sisters, lest our testimony be weak!

At night as we wrap up our reading, and I put the bookmark in its place, she often begs me to read another chapter! I oblige her sometimes, but often I am so tired I can't. Imagine, though, if we had the same exuberance and excitement about the Word of God? I hope that each of you takes an extra moment or two to help the Word of God come alive to the young people in your life. As Gregg Harris says, there are two things in this world that are eternal- the Word of God, and the souls of man. No life spent bringing these two together will ever be spent in vain.

I hope you were encouraged by my sisters witness, and I admonish you each to speak anew into the life that is looking up to you. Be the wind that God uses to blow them towards Him.

"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Love like Dandelions

I know that when you read that word you probably thought "weeds" because for some reason, everyone thinks that about dandelions :) But I want to challenge that. Websters Dictionary defines the word "Weed" as "A plant that is not valued where it is growing". My goal here isn't to influence you all to let them ravage your lawns, but rather, I want to shed light on a reason why God may have put them there. If I succeed, you will learn to value the bright yellow flowers wherever you see them- thus removing them from the "weed" category :)

Let us consider first the line in Toby Mac's "Diverse City". The line is "And we'll spread this love like dandelions". What does he mean by this? Well, the dandelion is just one flower, but from its spot in the yard it can spread hundreds of seeds in the course of its life. It spreads seeds faithfully, like we Christians should be. Planting them in lives wherever we can. Not every seed sown will produce another dandelion, but many will. and through the work of a few dandelions, many will pop up the next morning in your yard! :) Next time you see that, resist the urge to be frustrated, and be challenged instead!

Now, what about the song titled "Dandelions" by Five Iron Frenzy? In that song, an analogy is proposed. Imagine a young boy in a field, gathering these yellow flowers and taking them to his delighted mother. Now, imagine us, wretched sinners gathering up all our goodness and taking it to our Heavenly Father. Its the same picture. One of love, and mercy. We think we present something of value, and He sees the love in our weeds! Remember this, also, when you see those bright yellow buds! God loves us, even in our wretchedness!