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Posts Tagged ‘family’

This is too cute not to share.

Our daughter Jessica melted our hearts a couple of days ago when she shared with us a precious moment that occurred with our granddaughter Mae.

Mae just turned 2 but, in some respects, is advanced beyond her two years.

What occurred points to the value of parents who allow their love for the Lord to overflow in visible fashion.

Here’s what Jessica wrote in her mommy-daughter journal that she’s keeping as Mae grows up:

 

“Today I was desperately trying to get you to take a nap so I laid down with you and asked if you wanted to sing a song. You started saying “Missing geese! Missing geese!”

I couldn’t figure out what song you were referring to so I asked you how it went and you started singing “Missing geese” to the tune of “Amazing Grace.”

“It was incredibly precious.”

Wow.

Mae has heard her parents sing Amazing Grace and even though she didn’t have the lyrics down pat, she gave it her best shot.

And what a shot it was.

For her to choose “Missing geese” as what she wanted to sing is very inspiring.

Actually, it’s amazing.

When somebody we love is drained and needing a boost, perhaps we should start singing “Missing geese” to them in the adult form of Amazing Grace.

Thanks, Jessica and Dave for being such visibly godly parents and wonderful ambassadors of the parenting truths found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Let’s all look for opportunities to guide children toward the amazing grace of our Lord.

As always, I love you

Martin

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We all need more real friends.

And more people need us to act as real friends.

We can have plenty of acquaintances we label as friends.

But unless those people are actually willing to intercede to help us when needed, are they really friends?

If we’re not willing to help somebody that we’ve described as our friend, are we really their friend?

God knows that we want and need real friends, loyal friends, interceding friends.

People we can trust to help us, not harm us.

If someone gossips about us, are they our friend?

If someone insults us, are they our friend?

If someone sees us in need and chooses not to help in any way, are they our friend?

Friends love. And that means, according to I Cor. 13:4, they always protect.

I want to be a real friend to more people.

And that means I need to be more diligent in seeking ways to help others, encourage others, defend others, pray for/with others.

Solomon described our vision for friendship in Proverbs 18:24 —

“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

Let’s strive to build friendships that are not contingent upon circumstances but instead upon the leading of God to love in an enduring, interceding, encouraging, sacrificing way.

After all, there’s nothing better than experiencing a loyal love.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If our love for another is contingent upon what they first do for us, then we have a vocabulary problem.

You see, we’re not showing “love” to the person.

Instead, we’re making a deal with the person.

You do for me and then I will do for you.”

This attitude shows love alright, but it is egocentric.

It is a contract.

God calls us to have covenant love.

He wants us to be committed to loving others because it is the right thing to do, regardless of how we are treated.

If the person reciprocates, that’s a wonderful blessing.

But if the person doesn’t reciprocate to the desired extent, we are still blessed by knowing that we are obeying God’s command to love as He loves.

Check out this little bit of love language from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible:

“We love each other because He loved us first.” (I John 4:19)

God loved us before we loved Him.

Amazingly, He loves us even if we don’t love Him.

What He did — and does — for us is what we’re to do for the people in our lives.

Particularly those closest to us.

Yes, some people are sometimes hard to love.

But we are called to show kindness, patience, forgiveness, generosity, acceptance and then keep repeating these things over and over and over again with our spouses, our children, our siblings, our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors and our church members.

Sometimes it’s not easy.

But do you think it’s always easy for God to love us?

Let’s love first.

It’s what God does.

It’s what the godly do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Encouraging another church member is as easy as 1-2-3.

As in I Thessalonians 1:2-3.

If we’ll communicate the uplifting, purpose-focused words of this passage, I’m convinced that more of God’s power will flow through our lives with the Kingdom being strengthened as a result.

As you read the following, ask yourself how you would feel if you received a handwritten note with these words directed at you:

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I’m going to write some encouragement notes today.

I hope to communicate the purposeful love that Paul communicated to Christians in Thessalonica.

Please do the same for some in your congregation or extended family.

The Kingdom will grow stronger as a result.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When you were a teen and visited the homes of your friends, you could typically tell right away if the family members there respected each other and treated one another with kindness.

And if you sensed that relationships were not cherished but instead taken for granted, you probably didn’t want to return.

Who wants to stay in a home where people don’t do all they can to protect one another emotionally?

I Corinthians 13 tells us the “love always protects.”

If somebody trashes me in my family — whether biological or workplace or team or church — do I really want to be there?

I encourage you to be the kind of family member God expects you to be — caring, encouraging, protective.

This is what I need to do for others, as well.

Here’s what Paul wrote regarding the importance of this attitude when it comes to building strong congregations:

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)

We all know of congregations that could accomplish more for the Kingdom in their communities if a greater sense of unity — of humility and protection — permeated every heart in the flock. Perhaps this describes your congregation.

Please, be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Make every effort to be humble, gentle, patient, forgiving and surrendering your opinions/preferences to the greater cause of shared purpose and accessed power from God.

It’s what loving faith families do.

It’s what you and I are to remember the next time the Enemy’s whisper calls us to either turn away from a Christian brother or sister or, even worse, turn against them.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Nobody likes hearing about “dirty old men.”

It’s so much better to hear about godly old men.

That’s why it is so good when older men keep their hearts and minds — and eyes — focused on what is honorable, not shameful.

It’s bettter for everyone in their lives.

Including themselves.

Of course, this is true for men of all ages. Women, too.

The challenge for believers to remain chaste in their actions and thoughts is not an outgrowth of Internet porn’s explosive growth.

This challenge actually goes back to the time of Noah, it seems, when people were constantly thinking of ways to live for the flesh (Genesis 6:5) to the point that God was sorry that He had made mankind (Genesis 6:6).

Even 3,800 years ago, resisting sexual lust was a real challenge for the faithful, according to Job 31.

But it could be done.

And, thankfully, the godly man named Job did so.

“I made a covenant with my eyes 
not to look with lust at a young woman. For what has God above chosen for us?
 What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high?” (Job 31:1-2)

Job was in the midst of great pain and heartache and being married to a faithless wife. Yet he had done the spiritual math and had calculated that an eternity of peace and joy while gazing upon the Lord was a better deal than a collection of “eye candy” moments that prompted immoral fantasies outside of marriage.

This principle applies to all of us, not just the men.

Let’s make a covenant with our eyes to avoid those things that dishonor God and poison our loyalty to living a sanctified life.

Colossians 3:17 is a great compass for us.

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all for the glory of God.”

Amen.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I need to be more like Job.

I need to pray more for our kids.

Job prayed for his children’s relationship with God and when he was concerned that they might have sinned, he would offer sacrifices to the Lord on behalf of each.

Praying as he did so, of course.

You can read about in the first part of chapter 1 in the book of Job.

Perhaps you’ll be compelled by Job’s example as was I.

I need to pray specifically for each of our children and their spouses. I need to pray for our grandchildren.

And I need to do this every day.

The adult kids are not perfect just as I’m not perfect.

They sin just as I sin.

That’s why I need to pray for them to hear the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit so that they’ll fall before the Lord in the repentant desire for forgiveness, something that I need to do often as well.

Job 1:5 is so compelling regarding intercessory prayer and sacrifice — “This was Job’s regular practice.”

Let’s make our regular practice, as well, whether on behalf of biological children, in-law children, adopted children, godparent children, nieces, nephews….

You get the idea.

As always, I love you
Martin

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