Lessons from Captain Hook

This morning I saw a cartoon where Captain Hook was sitting in some water.  He asked, “What is underneath me?”  Surprise, surprise, it was Tick-Tock Croc.  Isn’t that crocodile always right there, waiting to take a bite out of Captain Hook?

It reminded me of temptation.  It seems that we all have that one vicious temptation that seems to always be there, just waiting to attack.

But what does Captain Hook do?  Well, first he flees.  I’m reminded of 2 Tim. 2:22 that tells us to flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Next, after the Captain gets away, he just keeps on going about his swashbuckling business.  We can’t live in such fear of our temptations that we hide away and stop living our lives.  We have to keep moving.  Just as Captain Hook has a job to do, so do we.  We have been commissioned by Jesus to go into all the world preaching, teaching, and baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

One more observation:  that crocodile was underneath him.  Romans 16:19-20 implores and reassures us, saying, “I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.  And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”  Sin and temptation have no authority over us.

So, our lessons from Captain Hook today:  flee, don’t give up, continue to learn God’s wisdom, and remember that God has already won the victory!

Not just blathering,

jamie

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Prudently receiving instruction

Pr. 15:5:  “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent.”

Peter once had a remarkable vision of instruction from the Lord.

Meet another man:  a Gentile named Cornelius, a devout man who feared God with all his household, giving generously and praying to God always.  In a vision, he was told that His prayers and alms had come up for a memorial before God, and that a man named Peter would come and tell him what to do.

In His vision, the Lord revealed to Peter that no man is common or unclean, and that God shows no partiality.  This was a life-changing revelation!  When Peter preached to Cornelius’ household, the Holy Spirit fell upon the household.  The Gentiles not only spoke in tongues and magnified God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but they were baptized with water, as well.

Because Peter received the correction of his Father, this was a major shift in the church and in the meaning of the Great Commission.

Peter certainly had a choice.  He could have ignored the correction and refused to go to Cornelius.  Upon arriving at Cornelius’ house, he even reminded Cornelius that it was unlawful for him to be there.  He went on; however, explaining that God had given him new instructions.  Peter prudently followed the instructions of the Lord and our lives have never been the same.

Also worth noting…Cornelius was following the instructions of the Lord long before this happened, this fact went up as a memorial before the Lord, and his life was forever changed.  God’s instructions are always for good.  Perhaps they are for our own good, as in the case of Cornelius.  Perhaps they are for the good of others, as we see with Peter’s instructions.  Regardless, He knows best.

The Lord humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth.  (Ps. 113:6)  It is prudent for us to follow His lead.

Listening,

jamie

Watching over the household

Pr. 31:27:  “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

As a woman whose job is to care for her home, her children, and her husband, this verse runs through my mind quite often.  Although we all need breaks where we rest, we are urged not to be continually idle.  There is a big difference between a 1 hour break and a 1 month veg-out where little to no work is done at all.

No worries men, hang with me.  I have a different take on this verse today.  I want to talk about not watching over the ways of the household of God.

After Stephen was stoned, Christ’s followers were greatly persecuted.  Stephen had just been stoned for preaching the gospel.  Saul was making ‘havoc’ of the church, dragging off men and women to prison.  Now, the rest were being scattered throughout the regions of Jerusalem and Samaria.  I would imagine this would not only have been a sad time, with the death of a friend, but also pretty scary and uncertain.

It would be natural for those scattered to go into hiding.  Grief has many stages and effects, and it wouldn’t have been out of the question for some to simply tend to their own well-being at the time.  However, we don’t see that taking place.  Acts 8:4 says that those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.  It tells specifically of Philip going to Samaria and preaching Christ to them.  There were miracles, deliverance from unclean spirits, healings, and baptisms.  Vs. 8 says, “And there was great joy in that city.”

Wow!  What I notice is that instead of giving in to their feelings and emotions, those who were scattered were determined to take care of the household of God and not use this time to eat the bread of idleness.  When there is work to be done, someone has to do it.  It seems these followers took their work seriously.

We all need breaks from time to time.  We were created to rest and the Lord even modeled that for us.  It is good to spend Sabbath time where we rest, renew our strength, spend some deliberate quiet time with God in prayer and in the Word, and re-create ourselves in His strength.  However, we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into idleness.  We must care for our Father’s house and our Father’s children.  There is work to be done.

We can take notes from those early followers and remember that there is great joy to be spread.  Our family is counting on us!

Inspired,

jamie

How to bless your children

Pr. 20:7:  “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.”

I witnessed an amazing baptism yesterday that was a testimony to this verse.

Several years ago, a man stood at the funeral of one of his friends and gave his life to the Lord.  This “good ol’ boy” turned his back on adultery, alcoholism, you name it.  Since the day God changed his heart, his life has not been the same.  I’m proud to say he has been an active member of my church ever since.

His aims in life are to love and take care of the weak and helpless, and to tell everyone about the Lord and the Lord’s faithfulness.  He lives his life in complete faith, trusting God for his every need.  Honestly, watching his life is like watching the verses in the Bible about true faith come to life.  A 5-minute conversation with this man is really all it takes to hear about some amazing provision he has witnessed or experienced.  He is full of praise.

He is not alone is this walk.  His wife is ever by his side, supporting, praying, believing, and loving.  She is truly beautiful.  She loves the Lord her God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength.  I can honestly say that her adornment is the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.  This couple invests their lives into everyone around them.  They walk in their integrity.

Yesterday, one of their sons was baptized along with his wife and his own young son.  3 generations now declaring that their lives belong to the Lord!  Did this happen by accident?  Not a chance.

As I watched this man’s young family declare their submission to Christ, I was caught up in the beauty of the testimony of their choices.  Had that father/grandfather not changed his life and begun to walk in his integrity and love of the Lord, who knows where that young family would have been yesterday.  Certainly God can save anyone at anytime; however, the choices of the parents of this young man doubtless pointed him and his family toward the cross.  Praise God!

As proven in this man’s life, if you are walking in your integrity with the Lord, your children will be blessed.  It is clear that this man’s children, and grandchildren have been blessed by his choices.  Maybe you don’t even have children or grandchildren.  Even if the generation behind you isn’t your flesh and blood, there are generations coming after us all.  If you’re invested into any young person’s life, your influence carries weight.

Where do your footprints lead?  Are you pointing others to Christ?  They may not even be born yet, but those who follow are counting on you.  One day you may have children and grandchildren.  Where will you have led them?  In whom will you have taught them to place their hope, trust, and faith?  Will your life and your choices cause them to be blessed?

Encouraged,

jamie