Why Patience Is Needed!

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  Titus 1:1-5 NIV

Patience is mentioned 34 times in the New Testament and patient mentioned 9 times in the Bible (once in Old Testament in Ecclesiastes). I’ve concluded–speculatively–that patience was not a strong character trait in many before Christ made an appearance. I base this speculation on the fact that the Children of Israel were so impatient with God, that they moved away from His guidance in an effort to more like other nations (needing a king,etc).

Here–in Paul’s instructions to Titus--we see a reason for patience and that reason is to teach others how to walk in the light of God’s love. If we really want to others to learn something well, we must be willing to patiently teach them–expecting them to make mistakes, but will be quick to hear correction.

This then may explain why some people are not good teachers–spiritually or naturally. If we get angry or frustrated with those we attempt to teach–we actually inhibit their desire to learn. One of the reasons we tend to get impatient with people is because we forget the road we traveled to get where we are. Someone had to have patience with us in order for us to know what we know. Even if much of what we know was through an inquisitive nature where we sought information on our own, we still had to exercise patience with ourselves.

Not to long ago, a person who observed my teaching a class told me that I had the patience of job with my students. I was amazed at her assessment because I do not always think I’m very patient with students when I’ve repeated myself–ad nauseum. At any rate, I realized that she was referring to my ability to give them time to think about a question before providing them with an answer. In fact, I seldom provide answers to questions when reviewing information–I simply wait until someone comes up with the right answer and I confirm. Teaching is not about trying to pour information into someone’s head, but about giving them the tools they can use to draw conclusions on their own.

Think about it! How long did it take us to realize that the answers we needed were found in Jesus Christ.  Questions about life and direction–found in Jesus. The voids we felt in our lives–filled with Jesus. And with me–He was very patient until I honed in what life really meant.

So, with patience–with self and others–will we move forward in teaching others about how to live the life God wants for us.

 

Discipline Saves From Death!

“Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death. Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” (Proverbs 19:18, 20 NIV)

Considering how the government attempts to intervene when parents discipline their children, it’s no wonder we see foolishness that leads to violence and death–the death of children and of others.

We see such stupidity as the “knock-out” activity--where gangs of idiotic males find vulnerable older citizens to just “knock them out” just because. When young people have no respect for the elderly, it is a strong indicator that no discipline was ever employed in their homes. If they don’t respect their parents, they are certainly not going to respect others. And every time the idiots are caught–their parents try to defend their action and the worst excuse in the world is–there was no father in the home.

Why was there no father in the home? Because someone forgot to discipline them when they were younger and many are locked behind bars or in morgues or cemeteries. The lack of discipline has a domino effect on many in our society and it tends to be a generational problem. However, even if a father is not in the home, mothers can and have been strong leaders in the home, when they care enough to teach their children right from wrong and live it as an example in front of them.

But there is another reason why discipline is lacking in so many homes. Many parents are afraid to discipline their children because of laws pertaining to corporal punishment. Children have been encouraged to “report” any act of corporal punishment because we have adult idiots who decided that if we spank a child, we damage their “emotional growth”. Well, I’m against child abuse, but I’m a strong advocate for corporal punishment–as prescribed by God–using the rod (figuratively) of correction when needed.

There is a difference between beating a child and abusing them–breaking bones, putting them hospitals and causing death. I would never advocate abuse as a method of discipline. And I would never advocate using any method of scarring a child or doing anything that leads to death or disfigurement–ESPECIALLY WITH CHILDREN UNDER THREE YEARS-OLD. Tapping a child’s hand lightly when they’re doing something wrong usually gets their attention. But before anyone can try to discipline a child, they must take the time to teach the child–if after being taught right from wrong a child persists on doing wrong, then disciplinary measures must be established and used repeatedly to deter the negative behavior.

Generally speaking, most children who are disciplined at home before they start school, are wiser academically and never cause a teacher a problem (except for the transition years of puberty). When schools are limited in doling out consequences for misbehavior, students tend to try to rule the schools, and when they are tossed out the door, drop-out rates increase and the potential for poverty-stricken individuals increases. More poverty, more crime–more crime more jails and the cycle never ends–and it won’t until we understand the necessity for appropriate discipline.

The wages of sin–the payment and end result is death. Though we don’t often call misbehavior in kids, sin, it is and we should treat it as such, disciplining them to keep them from experiencing–unnecessary deaths.

We must teach them to accept responsibility for their actions and accept the consequences that ensue so they might live and others won’t have to fear for their lives at the hands of undisciplined, out-of-control, people in this society. When we learn to obey God, we are wise; if we don’t–we set ourselves up for failure.

God loves us enough to provide us instruction and consequences for actions. We need to love kids enough to provide them with sound, Godly instruction, and consequences for their actions and see them live to the full potential God has designed for them.

Pointing Fingers At The Wrong People Solves Nothing!

It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. (Romans 14:11,12 NIV)

The time is coming and very quickly when we will see God’s Word–front and center–alive and blazing brightly so everyone will see and know–He lives! And whether a person has lived their life in belief or unbelief, they shall bow before The King of Kings and acknowledge Him as such.

For those of us who know this–our lives should proclaim this truth–on a daily basis so all who know us will have opportunity to see God’s Word in action. And when He returns, none will have an excuse for not believing Him.

As it is now–we know by listening to the media reports–many do not believe Him and certainly have not given Him Lordship over their lives. It is sickening to see how people have so little value for not only their lives, but for the lives of others. In one week, how many times do we have to hear about gun violence and people being killed? How many times must we see car thieves kill innocent people when they attempt to “run away” from the police?

In particular, two children–on a sidewalk–were killed yesterday when the driver of a stolen car, running from the police plowed into them. That wasn’t enough–they kept going and injured three more children and an adult before crashing. The driver attempted to run, but was caught.

Here’s the problem for me–today: Interviews with parents, witnesses, and others appear to blame the police for trying to stop a thief. I know there has been uproar about police chases, but at what point are we going to stop blaming the police for trying to stop a crime and put the blame where it belongs–on the criminal?

If the person driving the car had not stolen it, there would have been no need for police involvement. Had they had any respect for life–they would not have plowed into innocent children. THE POLICE DID NOT KILL THOSE CHILDREN! THE IDIOTIC DRIVER KILLED THOSE CHILDREN AND THE BLAME–WITH ALL FINGERS POINTED IN HIS DIRECTION–IS HIS!

This is not necessarily a popular position to take–especially in life of all the police abuse of others as we have recently seen, but let’s get real. Honestly, every time a person commits an act that requires police involvement–they are to blame, not the police. Let’s stop pointing the fingers at the police and change the culture in which we live where young people (and older people, too) think they have a right to help themselves to the property of others, trespass on the property of others, and do whatever they want–without regard for the rights of others.

If all we do is point fingers at those we think are the problem, we’re not solving any problems. Parents must be better parents in teaching their children right from wrong and holding them accountable for what they do. We need laws that are enforceable and court systems that are more interested in justice being served than serving their political agendas.

What we need is for people to believe God now and live like they believe Him! Then and only then, will we see an end to senseless violence and the loss of innocent lives.  We shall all give an account to God for what we have or have not done, so let’s get this living on earth, right!

Keeping His Covenant and Obeying Results In Generational Love From God!

“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” (Psalm 103: 17,18 NIV)

Though there are many who think that God’s love is simply available to all, this psalmist reminds us that although He is Love, He is selective about who receives His Love–at least proportionately so that others will know–they are loved by God.

Now, I can imagine how many readers will immediately think of John 3:16 and attempt to counter what I just said, but John is not saying anything differently than the psalmist here is saying. God loves the world so much that He came to save any who choose to believe. The psalmist declares that for all who reverence The Lord enough to obey Him, have a guarantee that His love will cover their children’s children when they remember to keep His commandments.

Receiving God’s love is as simple as understanding receiving a gift and being grateful for it. Since He is love, we open our hearts to Him and receive it, showing our gratitude in our obedience to His Word. So simple, but many people miss it.

When we choose to live our lives in confusion, promote or perpetuate confusion, and refute God’s Word as an authority in our lives, we have chosen to reject His gift of Love. God does not force Himself on anyone and we have the opportunity to choose Him and His love or to reject. As we look at current events and shake our heads, we can see the evidence of those who have rejected His gift of love. Satan’s influence is running rampant in the minds of those easily influenced by the need to make a statement about themselves–in opposition to God’s Word.

When Satan confuses a person’s mind, the end result is murder, violence, insensitivity to others, hatred, sexual promiscuity, and self-loathing.

When Holy Spirit governs our thinking we move in peace and harmony, seeking to do good, not harm, able to love all, and not hate any. We are compassionate, but obedient and promote God’s righteousness over self-righteousness and our desire is to please Him, not self. We receive His love and our actions are the evidence of gratitude. And because we receive His love and obey, His love will be poured upon our children’s children, when they receive it and obey.

During The Test!

“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,” (Hebrews 3:7,8 NIV)

In Hebrews, new converts–followers of Christ–are reminded about what had happened with the Children of Israel during their wilderness journey while Moses was leading them to the promised land.

Just as the people hardened their hearts against Moses when he did as God instructed and stopped listening to him, people are still hardening their hearts against Holy Spirit when He speaks because He gives instructions that are contrary to fleshly dictates. Holy Spirit will only say what God says and when people don’t agree–they get angry and rebellious–like spoiled children who cannot get their way and they do stupid things (murder comes to mind).

Is that what we are today? Spoiled children trying to get our way, even though we know that God is right and He only has our best interests at heart. Children who have never been taught discipline throw tantrums to get their way with parents. Most try and the tantrums have to be nipped in the bud, rather than used to manipulate. When my children threw tantrums as toddlers, I did, too. I rolled in the floor, screaming and pounding on the floor and they ended up looking at me like I was crazy. The tantrums ended because they could not have their way. When tantrums are not stopped, those same children become undisciplined adults and think their rebellious natures will get them what they want. They think–like the child thought!

I can imagine God looking at us in the same way, shaking His head because we think our little tantrums and acts of rebellion are going to make Him change His mind. But we forget one thing--“I the Lord your God, change not.” We can be as rebellious as we want to be and we’ll end up getting the same results as those who went before us–tragedy.

In this era of people testing God to see if they can manipulate Him into giving in to their tantrums, the rest of us–who truly believe and understand God’s nature, must hold onto our faith in Him and know–this is just a test! Rebellious people do what they want to do, but the final outcome will be as it was before–disaster and then people will want to blame God for what happens to them, simply because they would not obey.

When you hear the voice of Holy Spirit speaking to you about righteousness and obedience–don’t harden your hearts–listen and obtain the best life God has in store for you!

Disciplined by Love!

“For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” (Hebrews 12:6,7 NLT)

I remember thinking back a little while ago about my mother’s discipline. Those memories were triggered by the Adrian Peterson incident–when he used a “switch” to discipline his child. I remember having to get a switch and if I chose one that was too thin, I’d have to go back to that tree and get another one. If my mother went to get one, I would really be in trouble.

While the “whipping” hurt, it concluded in the desired effect–I didn’t get into trouble very often because I did not like the sting of that switch. She did not beat me with a tree branch; she disciplined me with a method that got my attention and she did it out of love–to teach me to be obedient. That’s what she had learned and it worked!

Now, to revisit history for a moment–I find it amazing that people who think whipping a child with a switch is such a crime, but no one thought much about “the slave masters beating people with a horsewhip” scarring and maiming them for life, sometimes unto death. Where was the outrage then? Adults and children were beaten at a whim and often because they simply didn’t understand what was being told to them. People were starved, but expected to work the land on empty stomachs and beaten when they could no longer stand. Where is the outrage for that time in history? These beatings did not occur out of love–but to instill fear and submission, and no one was decrying this injustice.

But because a father dared to discipline his child, out of love, he has lost his source of income and is being tried as an abusive parent. Why weren’t any of those people who beat slaves brought to court and tried for treating people worst than their did their animals (they fed the animals sufficiently)?

God’s idea of discipline–out of love–is designed to make sure we have long life and that more abundantly. He does not “beat us down to get us into shape,” but He allows us to suffer the consequences of our actions. We will reap, what we sow in life and when God allows the consequence–it is because He loves us enough to want us to learn from our mistakes.

Good parents discipline their children so they will learn to be obedient and have long life. No parent wants to see a child beaten down by life simply because they never knew discipline.

One of the reasons that our society is so out of order now–with total chaos reigning–is because the same government that allowed people to be beaten into submission, now wants to interfere with parental discipline–and children never learn discipline and often end up in jails or the morgue. I’d rather see a loving parent discipline their child and then see that child as a successful adult–knowing what it means to love enough to discipline.

I’m thanking and praising God for His love and correction and for the mother He gave me, who loved me enough to discipline me when I needed–and that has led to my being a disciplined parent and successful adult. Love–never wants to see a child go astray, but when they are undisciplined–we see the results, everyday in the media.

Love With Us!

“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” (Psalm 103:17,18 NIV)

With those who keep His covenant–the relationship firmly established out of obedience and reciprocal love and respect, we can count on His love always being with us and our children for generations to come. This is a promise we can expect to hold true, when we do what we must do.

When we won’t do what we must do, then we can count on the opposite occurring–for generations to come–His love won’t be with those who break the relationship with Him out of disobedience.

For all of those who can only say, “Jesus is all about love–not judgment,” you might want to read and seek understanding of all The Word, not just one segment. Yes, Jesus did remind us to love one another and He also said, if we love God, we would obey Him. If we are truly His children, then we can expect Him to be the model of parenting for which we all should aspire.

When children are obedient, they reap rewards from loving parents.

When children are disobedient, they reap punishment from loving parents.

The only type of parents who do not discipline their children are those parents who do not care about what happens to their children and they let their children run wild, doing everything they think they want to do.

This is not so with God, our loving Father. He wants the very best for us, so He has established rules for our safety, and to make sure we can benefit from all of His promises. When we obey Him, we have no need to fear negative consequences, but to expect all the rewards He has in store for us. That’s love.

We do not teach children respect, love, or discipline when we allow them to do whatever they want. They grow up thinking they can do whatever they want and then we are left with a society full of self-serving, rotten kids who never mature–in their adolescent behavior. We must teach them respect for authority by disciplining them in such a way that we provide deterrents for negative behavior so they can navigate the transition from adolescent to adulthood, successfully.

Children who throw tantrums have not been disciplined and go through life thinking that’s all they have to do to have their way about everything. When parents give into the tantrums, they are not showing their children they love them, rather they show them how to manipulate others. Perhaps the real problem is that some parents manipulated their parents and so they know no other way to parent.

When parents know their child has committed atrocities with animals, playing with fire, breaking windows of property, and bullying other people and don’t do anything about it–we end up with serial killers who think they have a right to kill. There’s no love from parents in this situation–just apathy and nonchalance.

When misbehavior is stopped–from the beginning–and the deterrent memorable enough–the behavior is curved and love wins for all.

Let’s be obedient to our Father and reap the rewards, knowing He will never withdraw His love from us, when we obey!

Run and Tell That!

“For if you return to the LORD, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.” (2 Chronicles 30:9 NLT)

When King Hezekiah sent runners throughout the nation, urging the people to return to God and His ways, many ignored the runners and the admonition the letters contained. They laughed and made fun of them, but there were some who listened and obeyed. And God, turned the hearts of the tribe of Judah to one heart, in obedience, and blessed them for their obedience.

We may not have “literal runners” who are running through the land with a cry of “return to The Lord,” but we do have many people who are using whatever access they have to people to encourage all to “return” to The Lord. Our fingers are running through keyboards typing messages of encouragement and repentance. Our satellites are transmitting messages of hope and encouragement via televisions, Internet, and still–radios. So, in a sense, we have runners who are still urging people to turn to God. And the message–is pretty much the same–if you return to The Lord and His Ways, your children will be treated mercifully…”

When I wrote my blog yesterday about “Cursed Children” I was remembering all those things that I was taught as a child: how to clean house, make a bed, respect elders, say grace over food, say prayers at night, work to do good in school, knowing right from wrong, never lie or steal, and most of all to remember there is God–who sees everything and knows everything we do and will reveal it to others. This is what I was taught and the lessons were deeply embedded, thoroughly entrenched in my mind and soul to the point that these are the same things I taught my children. I pray they will teach them to their children.

If the time comes–that I can no longer be a runner for The Lord–I want my grandchildren to pick up the baton and run on–urging all they meet to return to The Lord and be blessed.

Simply put–if we don’t return to The Lord and His Ways (not our own), we will remain captive to the dictates of our flesh and soon see the results of that captivity that may even result in captivity by enemies of God. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility. If we refuse to acknowledge God, why should He acknowledge us when we are assailed from every side by those who hate Him and then–some of us–laugh and make fun of those who were runners–trying to tell us the truth?

I’m sure there are a number of people who are laughing and making fun of my blog-posts daily. I’m sure they share the laughter with those who are like-minded. But I am equally sure that there are some who will read and heed what is being said and encourage others to return to The Lord before it’s too late.

If you must laugh at what I do–laugh–full belly-laughs with tears running down your face and your body shaking so hard you can barely stand. The more you laugh at what I say, the more The Lord will bless what I do–because it is all about Him, not me! He knows those who are His and He also knows those who are counterfeit believers–pretending to know Him, but really do not have a clue. If they did know Him, they would not promote hatred of others–for any reason.They will receive the reward for their actions and it will not be a place reserved for them in heaven, unless they “return to The Lord” completely and allow Him to govern their lives and especially their tongues and fingers.

Now, Run and Tell That!

Happy Father’s Day!

I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father. (I John 2:13 NKJV)

 

Know that the God we serve is the same as He was yesterday, and will be until the end.  Look unto Him to know all things in how to be a godly father, doing all things well for your children.

Happy Father’s Day!

 

Hypocrisy–The Bitter Pill!

“But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?” (Matthew 22:18 NKJV).

What is hypocrisy? One definition of hypocrisy is “a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.” (dictionary.com)

So then a hypocrite–would be “a person” who thinks they have a particular character or virtue, when they actually do not, and expect others to respect their pretense.

Wow! How many times do children see “hypocrisy” in the behavior of the adults around them? We demand certain behaviors from them, but we do not do what we want them to do or another way of saying is–“we’re talking loud and doing nothing.”

And we wonder why our society is in the shape it is in and why children have so little respect for adults. There is nothing to wonder about it. They see our true selves–when we cannot see us for looking at them.

Remember the commercial with the kid whose dad was jumping all over him about smoking weed. Finally, the kid just blurted out, “I got it from watching you” and the dad stood looking perplexed. Are we looking perplexed when our children do what they see us do when we tell them just the opposite?

The old adage–“do it because I said so,” just doesn’t work with kids today. If we want to see better kids, we must show them better modelling in our own behavior. And until we do, “we’re just hypocrites, living hypocrisy, and won’t admit it.”

But it is not just what we say to kids and don’t do that makes us hypocrites. It is criticizing others for behaviors in which we indulge ourselves.  We say, we don’t like to hear people bragging about their things, but whenever we get the chance, we brag about every new thing we do or obtain. We say, if that was me, I’d do things another way. And yet, if we were them, we’d do the same thing.

Admitting that most of the time we are hypocrites is a bitter pill to swallow. The bitterness is a reminder that we have not reached perfection “in anything” and until we do, we should not be so hard on others who are in the same boat we’re in–the luxury liner–called “Hypocrisy”.  The word “hypocrite” is mentioned 20 times in the bible–14 times in Matthew and we still do not get it. We apply the word to others, but not to ourselves because we refuse to see ourselves as hypocrites. Until we face the truth of the matter–we won’t be in a position to change anything–not in our homes, not in our churches, not in our communities and certainly not on a global level.

If the world is going to change–the change has to begin with us acknowledging just how much of a hypocrite we can be and the change must come now!