So Bonnie and I were talking some last night during our Bible time. I was reading over 1 Corinthians 13 and explaining how living out love is being obedient to what Jesus commands us to do. We took some time going through each one and I gave her pats on the back for the things she did well and opened the floor to discuss the things she was struggling with. We had a great little conversation that I could tell was sinking in.
And then it happened… I asked, “Bon, is there anything you would like to ask about Jesus or the bible? Anything at all…?”
She asked, “Pop-Pop, how did Jesus stop being dead in the tomb?”
After I calmed my racing pulse from the excitement of explaining more about the gospel to my eldest, I began walking her through the story. I told her, “Well, there are some things we just cannot understand. Jesus is one of them… The bible says he was God AND man. So when Jesus died on the cross, the yucky, sinful part of Him died away. The sins of all of the people who already died, who are living now, and people who haven’t been born yet… Jesus died for all of them.”
Bon: “Well, was Jesus stinky when He came out of that tomb?”
Me: “No, sweetie. Because He beat up death… He is alive.”
Bon: “That’s right. He lives inside my heart, doesn’t He Daddy?”
Me: “For those who believe in Jesus, ask Him to wash away their sins, and obey His words, yes… He lives in their hearts.”
Bon: “And those people are God’s Children…right?”
Me: “Yes, we are sons and daughters of God.”
Bon: “Like that song… ‘How Great, How Great that we believe by faith, that we can be called the Children of God’.”
Me: “Exactly right, Bon. And good singing.
Bon: “Yeah!!!! I’m so glad Jesus lives in my heart!”
Me: “Me too, Bon. Me, too.”
I guess kids do listen after all.
What goes up must come down. Or in some cases…What goes in must come out.
In most every serious blog entry I find myself trying to work through things or
beliefs or just my emotions. This one is no exception…no exception
I was watching the “idiot box” last night waiting for the Biggest Loser to come on the screen. As I watched, there were all these commercials for “Lipstick Jungle” and “Desperate Housewives” and a few more smutty, soft-core shows. Even some commercials for Nutrisystem and some Loreal products came on that were so provocative that I just turned my head in shame.
I know that the world is just that…the world. And that I’m supposed to live in the world, but not live as the world lives. These commercials are only offensive to Lovely and me as far as our house goes. No one seems to see the “world” in it. Sex-driven ads and provocatively/scantily dressed women splattered all over everything…not just TV. We need to shelter Little Bear from this world. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we go stupid and tell her to close her eyes when we watch something that is too racey…it means that we don’t watch anything racey. And along those means, we teach and train her what the bible teaches about sensuality in the context of marriage. It means that when she asks a question about what other people say things or do things that are contrary to our beliefs that we educate…not try to act like it didn’t happen. But, of course, we DO need to shelter her because as Proverbs says, “Foolishness is locked up in a child” and we have to be mature, not lacking anything. We have to teach little Bear that we need to surround ourselves with people that have similar sensitivity to God’s heart as we grow. And as we are empowered by God, we reach out to those not surrounded by the hope and beliefs in order to spread the truth of God and the gospel of Jesus, the Christ.
As I reflect on it, the Bible says that Jesus pretty much hung out with everyone that everyone hated or thought that they were the scum of the earth. He ministered to them and met more than their immediate needs. He met needs of eternal proportion. Like the woman at the well…Jesus spoke to her even though she was a Samaritain and He, a Jew. He spoke with authority into her life…and hope for the future. He didn’t promise that times wouldn’t be rough or that life would be easy and without pain or grief. He did promise living water that she would never thirst again. But you see Jesus throughout the Bible seperating himself from everyone else to pray and to be “re-energized” before going out again.
I’m finding that I should do a lot more praying and studying. My family and the people around me that I affect (whether pointing them to Christ by my actions and reactions or pointing them away) deserve a more clear and consistant Christian to watch and judge.
Father, please forgive me for being self-centered and prideful. I
make every possible plan that I can and neglect to wait for your direction and
plan. I fail to see your will as possible and try to make my own way,
which I know leads to failure due to rebellion and disobedience. God,
please correct me and guide me in Your way. God please restore my heart
and the heart of my family. I submit to your guidance and your will for
us. I long to be mature in faith. I know that I have failed trial
after trial because I have hardened my heart to your voice. Break my
heart, God. Please hear my voice and teach me to listen to yours.
On October 22 of the year 2002, there was a very amazing thing that happened. Most people are like, “whatever,” but for me it was wonderful.
It all took place at a church band practice on a Tuesday night. We were practicing for the upcoming Sunday’s p.m. worship set. After a few tunes Pastor Rodney led us in a soulful prayer time. Just on our faces before our Creator, the Holy One. After a little time and a few circumstances I walked to the front of the church where we had been practicing. It was around 11:15 p.m. I looked around and said, “I don’t know how to say this, but God is telling me that I’m not a Christian. I want to become one.”
The guys prayed over me and hugged and wept with me. It was an amazing time.
So where am I now? How have I grown? Well, I haven’t grown as much as I needed to or could have. I am still fighting the trust factor of all of the facets of life. I don’t study the truth everyday…or every other day…or consistantly at all. My prayer life is weak.
God is my strength. I have close friends that remind me to trust God. I have a wife that shows me compassion and altruistic love. I have a daughter that teaches me that dependance on God is a beautiful and intimate thing.
Fellow Christians- continue on the path set forth and set in motion by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.