Authentic parenting

Pr. 10:25: When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

3 times in the last 3 weeks my son has been given advice that goes against our Christian beliefs.  It’s amazing.  He is being offered things other than what the Word of God says.  In fact, one person’s sentence literally started with the words, “Just because the Bible says it’s wrong…”

I’ve been so proud of and amazed by my son.  He has stood his ground and defended his beliefs to the best of his 9-year-old ability.  Actually, he has probably done better than some adults.  He is a natural evangelist, and I have got to step up my game in my prayers of protection for this boy.  The job my son has ahead of him is not going to be an easy one.

What I’m impressed to share today is that we cannot hope that 1 or 2 hours at church each week will equip our kids for evangelism or for attacks from the enemy.  It will never be enough.

We have got to walk the walk at home, and talk the talk as we trust God in the hard times.  We have got to show our kids how to love the people who are living in sin, while pointing them to Christ.  We must teach them how to pray, by praying.  We have to give them a hunger for the Word by being hungry for the Word ourselves.  If we want our kids to love to worship, we have to love to worship.

Now, I understand that our kids are going to make their own choices, but I also know what the Word says, and it tells us that if we train them in the way they should go, that when they are old they will not depart from it.  We must never cease to do our job as parents just because we may not see the results on the outside.  We must do our job and let the Holy Spirit do His.

Our children need to be prepared with every piece of armor that is available to them and it is our job to equip them.

Even if your kids are grown and out of the house, do not give up.   There is still hope!  They are still watching you, and they still know whether you are trusting in God or not.

Walk the walk.  Don’t just be a Christian at church.  1 or 2 hours a week will never be enough.  We must be authentic if we are to truly win the souls of our children and the lost around us.  We have to equip them!

My motherly advice for today,

jamie

How ya sleeping?

Pr. 3:24:  “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.”

Solomon wrote that when we keep wisdom and discretion this will be one of the results.

I have nights where I awake in the middle of the night and am bombarded by terribly self-defeating thoughts.  I suppose that during the day I am more alert and ready to defend myself, but at night I am groggy and vulnerable.

This happened to me again last night.  As I was lying there being  attacked by thoughts of defeat, doubt, hopelessness, and despair, I heard these words come to the surface of my mind:

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

Christ alone is my Cornerstone.  On Him, the Solid Rock, I stand, and certainly all other ground is sinking sand.

Verse 2 says,  “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.”  How fitting for the middle of the night when my thoughts loomed so largely in the forefront of my mind.

Through wisdom, I was able to rest on His unchanging grace last night.  Through discretion, I was able to apply good judgment to which thoughts I would allow to take me captive and which I would no longer entertain.

Remembering on whom my hope is built brought me peace and I was able to rest sweetly the remainder of the night.

This is a good example of a reason we must have the Lord’s wisdom in our lives.  Satan loves to attack our thoughts with fear, deception, and lies.  Often he uses half truths to attack us, which is why we sometimes believe or give in.

If we know the Word, and His truth, we will be able to take up our shield of faith and withstand the fiery darts of the wicked one.  We will be able to remind ourselves that do not need to place our trust in “the sweetest frames,” but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

If we know the Word, we can rest on the fact that our hope isn’t built on anything that will sink or corrode, but is on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and His righteousness.

We have all we need in Christ.  I pray that when thoughts to the contrary attempt to take you captive, you will remember this story, and be able to rest sweetly in the truth of the Word.  I pray I will, too.

Trusting in Him,

jamie

Is the Word your treasure?

Pr. 2:1:  “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you…”

We just got home from a 6-day visit with our family in WV.  Last Wednesday, about 30 minutes up the interstate, I realized I had forgotten my Bible.  No!!!!!!!!  As the realization set in, I felt like I was missing an appendage.  I knew my in-laws had many Bibles at their house, and my husband assured me I could use his, as well, but that didn’t ease the disappointment in my heart.  My Bible is a part of me.

While the other Bibles still contain the Word of God, they can not replace the relationship I have with my personal Bible.  I have wept over, agonized over, and sought the will of God through my personal Bible.  I have diligently studied and voraciously turned the pages, trying to find more of God in my personal Bible.  The Lord has spoken to me, counseled me, rebuked me, and guided me through my own Bible.  I know exactly where to find scriptures in my own Bible, even without the exact scripture reference, because I’ve been in it so much that I know on what part of the page the scripture is typed.

I have poured myself into my Bible, and the Lord has poured into me.  I treasure the words in my Bible like nothing else.  Knowing I would be without it for 6 days truly felt like an eternity.

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Is this how you feel about the Word of God?  Maybe you’re not like me, needing 1 specific Bible to hear the Word of God. (like a baby with their pacifier.  haha)  But is the Word of God your treasure?  Do you need the Word so much that allowing a day to go by leaves you disappointed?  Does the thought of missing 2 days in God’s word leave you knowing that you’d be missing out on the most important thing in your life?

The Word of God is a critical component of our relationship with God.  We speak to God through prayer, and He can speak to us and to our hearts through His Holy Spirit.  We also need to hear His voice through the Word which He has provided.  The Word is vital, which is why it referred to as the sword in the set of armor we are encouraged to put on each day.  The Lord breathed life into His Word, and when we burrow in, consider, and explore it, He breathes life into us.

Pulling my Bible off the shelf this morning brought a rush of exhilaration to me this morning.  My Bible!  I was so joyful as I unzipped the cover and opened the pages.  I hope the same joy finds you today as you read and consider the Word.

Complete,

jamie

 

There is a better way

Pr. 29:22:  “An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression.”

My blog yesterday (Don’t let the commercials distract you) was written in a bit of anger.  Perhaps it may have even stirred up some strife.  If so, I hope the conflict or contention was directed at the same place as mine.  My anger is towards the real enemy:  satan.  Frankly, I am sick of him and his lies, deceit, temptations, distractions, and snares of sin.

I am angry that he is causing so many people to suffer, die, and become trapped in sin.  If I didn’t know there was a better way, I wouldn’t care.  However, I know that through Jesus there is redemption, healing, salvation, freedom, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, self-control, love, kindness, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.  I know that until Jesus returns, satan will not relent, but I don’t like to see people suffer or needlessly tempted.

Satan will do anything he can to get our focus off God and His truth.  2 Cor. 11:14 even tells us, “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”  We cannot simply allow ourselves to be continually deceived, or we will be devoured.  (1 Peter 5:8)

We must remain vigilant and aware of God’s will and truth, so that we will know when the enemy is trying to deceive or distract us.  2 Cor. 2:11 tells us, ” lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  We must remain fully aware of his devices.

“The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Cor. 4:4

He is intentionally blinding people’s minds so that the gospel will not shine on them.  Yes.  That makes me mad.  We are the salt and the light of this world and we must remain on alert.  We must make sure that we are prepared ourselves, and have put on the whole armor of God.  Then, we will be able to withstand the enemy’s darts and teach others to do the same.

There is also a lost, hurting, and dying world around us.  How can we show them the love and the truth of the gospel?  What is it you can do today?  What can I do?

We must stay in the Word.  We must make sure we know who the Lord really is and what is really the truth.  Then, we will be able to shed the light of God on the others who are deceived or lost, with whom we come into contact.  We will be ready and able to reach out with the love of Christ to bring help and hope to the hurting or dying.

Truly, there is a better way than satan would have us believe.  The truth is in the Word.  The hope for the hurting comes from the believers of the Word.  The mercy for the deceived came through the sacrifice of the Word.

Counting on Him,

jamie

 

Strengthen yourself

Pr. 31:17:  “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.”

This morning I also read Ephesians 6.  Vs. 10 tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”  Since we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but  against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, we are encouraged to take on the whole armor of God.  With the armor of God we will be able to withstand in the evil day.

So, how do we strengthen ourselves against things we cannot even see?  The armor keeps us covered for it all:

Gird your waist with the truth of God’s word.  Satan will try to use the word against you, just like he did with Eve and Jesus, but his words are always twisted.  You must read the Word and know the truth for yourself.

Put on the breastplate of righteousness.  When Jesus died and took our sins on the cross, we were made His righteousness.  Wear that righteousness confidently!  Do not let Satan take from you what is rightfully yours.  Jesus died for YOU!

Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel peace.  The shoes of the armor come with spikes to help you stand firm on the foundation of the gospel.  Believing in the Lord’s promises give us the peace to walk confidently, not worrying about what lies in our path.  No pain or fear can overtake us as the peace that passes all understanding keeps us going forward.

Take the shield of faith.  With this shield you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one.  Satan will not relent in his attack on us until we are called home.  Your faith in God and in His Word is what will quench every attack as you fully trust in and rely on the Lord of Lords, who is greater than he who is in this world!

Put on the helmet of salvation.  Salvation is not something we can earn.  Salvation is a gift from God, through the sacrifice of Jesus.  We must use the Word to renew our minds and remind ourselves of that gift.  Satan will try to attack our minds, and bring us low, but the truth about the gift of our salvation will protect our minds.

Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  The sword is the only part of the armor used for attack.  You must know the Word to use it.  When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus used the Word to attack.  When Satan tempts you or talks nasty to you, you can use your sword to cut through his deceit.  Remember that the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.  It can pierce through division, deception, and lies, getting to the joints and marrow of the truth.  It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Know the Word!  Use your sword!

When you think of strengthening yourself today, think about the One who gives us strength.  In Him, we can do all things.  Without Him, we can do nothing.  Strengthen yourself in the Word and in the confidence we gain from the truth.

Getting stronger,

jamie