Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Our words’

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

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I want to be more like God.

I will never be God, something my imperfections remind me of quite frequently.

But I can certainly strive to imitate His nature.

Only good things will result from my demonstrating these characteristics so aptly described by the psalmist:

“But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15)

Do those around me want to see me display compassion and mercy and slowness to anger and unfailing love and faithfulness?

Of course.

People in your life want to see the same from you.

How much more influence would we have at work or home or school if people thought, “Yeah, that __________, he/she is so compassionate, so gracious, so cool-tempered, so loving and so godly.”

Let’s be like God, my friends.

God will love it.

And so will those whom God has placed into our lives.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

One morning, you hear the voice of the Lord calling you to take a few days off from work to go do something ministry-related.

Your heart and soul are convinced that this is the right thing to do because of the anticipated benefit for the Kingdom.

It might be a short-term missions trip to help dig a well in a parched village. It might be for four or five days to repair plumbing and electrical stuff at a low-income elderly relative’s house.

Perhaps it is simply the spending of time with a profoundly grieving sibling whose spouse just died.

In any of the above cases, it’s a matter of serving God by serving others.

But how do you get the time off unless you ask for it?

And how do you get the time off unless you’re in good standing with your boss?

Listen, we never know in advance when we’re going to be needed somewhere other than our job and we’ll have to ask for time off.

That’s why it is SO important to build a good reputation with our employer so that he or she is more willing to accommodate our request.

If we’re known as an employee with a rotten attitude or lazy tendencies, our request might not be honored.

But if we’re always loyal to our employer and work hard when on the clock in order to promote the employer’s best interests, our request will have a much better chance of success.

I encourage you to read of how this principle served the Kingdom of God more than 400 years before Christ.

This was the case with Nehemiah and you can read about it here.

Clearly, Nehemiah was respected and appreciated by his employer who not only granted the time off but also provided lots of material and security support for a very challenging mission.

It was Nehemiah’s years of faithful, godly service to a pagan king that paved the way for the granting of this ministry request.

Please be the best employee you can, always looking to serve your employer’s best interests.

For you never know when you’ll need to ask the employer a favor that will allow you to carry the favor of the Lord to someone else who needs it. As always, I love you Martin

Read Full Post »

It’s almost August and a good time to hold ourselves accountable.

Do we make clear and repeated efforts to say and do encouraging things to each of our family members?

Are we known within our congregation as a person who seeks to encourage everybody? Or just a certain few that are our “peeps?”

If I go through our church directory and cannot recall a time when I encouraged each person who attends, then I’ve got work to do.

I need to look for opportunities to encourage each person in my life, even if I’ve never received encouragement from that person.

The Apostle Paul clearly had the gift of encouragement and it overflowed once again in chapter 14 of his letter to the church at Rome:

“So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” (NLT).

If I’m not encouraging all the people in my church circle, I’m falling short of what God expects from me and what others need from me.

I’ve got work to do.

Perhaps you do, too, in your circle of influence at home and at church.

Let’s aim carefully.

Let’s let our love for God overflow into the lives of others as we thank them for the good things they do, the kind words they say, the helpful gifts they provide, the disciplined commitment to attend worship and read the Bible and for their God-honoring choices to vigilantly resist Satan’s temptations.

It’s what faith family members are supposed to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

I need to become more like King Josiah of the Old Testament.

You see, I have occasionally made wrong turns in life that weren’t clearly Kingdom-focused.

I can’t recall any defiant rejections of God’s path in my life. But I can’t say the same about random mixed-motive decisions.

You know what I’m talking about because you’ve likewise made mixed-motive decisions that were intended to benefit yourself and coincidentally benefit the Church.

Here are a few examples of how Christians have fallen short:

  • Single Christians sometimes invite opposite sex single Christians to church not just for Kingdom purposes but also in a desire to hook up in a relationship. If the dating possibility evaporates, so do the invitations to church.
  • Business owner Christians sometimes talk about faith and promote church attendance in order to build a business relationship, not just a Kingdom relationship.
  • Pastors sometimes fall into the trap of stretching out a counseling relationship with an emotionally fragile woman because of a desire to spend time with her when he should be referring her to a professional Christian counselor where she’ll get better help and he’ll avoid a trap that has claimed thousands of church leaders.
  • Husbands expect their wives to submit because it’s biblical but really he’s wanting the biblical principle to “bring her into line” instead of his being such a responsible, supportive, cherishing husband that the wife naturally wants to follow his leadership.

Josiah was a man who singly focused on the path of faith.

“He did not turn away from doing what was right.” (2 Kings 22:2)

Satan is constantly inviting us to step off the path of pure-hearted faith.

He dwells on what we’re missing by walking the straight and narrow.

Let’s make sure to focus on not missing out on the unfathomable riches and joy of heaven.

Let’s not try to walk two roads at once.

Let’s never turn away from doing what is right.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

There’s something different — something richer — about a relationship where the only reason somebody spends time with you is because they want to, not because they’re required to.

That’s why aging parents love it when their adult children break away from their busy lives to spend a few days with Mom and Dad.

Not in order to pick up a check but in order to make cherished memories.

We love such times.

God is a Daddy and He loves such times, too.

It’s very meaningful to Him when we break away from our busy lives and — by our own desire to show Him our love — we set aside time to fellowship with Him, to pray to Him, to worship Him and to be guided or even transformed by Him.

We aren’t to attend worship or place our tithes and other offerings in the plate because we think God needs it to survive.

He doesn’t. He already has countless angels and souls loving and exalting Him in heaven.

Instead, we worship and serve and give in order that WE might survive spiritually and thrive emotionally.

Here’s a verse from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible that reminded me of how God is SO much greater than we and how blessed we are to have a God that cares BY CHOICE.

“… human hands can’t serve His needs — for He has no needs.” (Acts 17:25)

Wow.

No needs.

Only wants.

And one of those “wants” is the love and loyalty of your heart.

This being the case, please link your need for salvation and fellowship with God and His want for fellowship with you.

It’s the desire of His heart.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »