The Value in Traditions!

The Value in Traditions!

Follow my example as I follow Christ. I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. I Corinthians 11:1,2 NIV

There are some traditions that hold intrinsic value to a functioning society in stabilizing order and peace. When we think about which traditions we follow and honor–some without realizing how they came to be or why we still do them–we should also consider the purpose or how they impact society as a whole.

If one continues to read the above-referenced passage of scripture, they would notice a tradition that was established by many churches because they misunderstood what Paul was saying. First of all, in order to understand why Paul said anything, we have to know that he was responding to questions posed to him by members of the churches. He provides us with a specific order that we should recognize and to avoid further debate about the man-superiority/authority-over-woman syndrome, understand this reference was to those who are married.

The head of every man–is Christ and if that is not true, nothing else matters. The head of the woman is the man (in Christ) and the head of Christ is God. While understanding this, we have to know that God is the head of all. This is why Paul implores the church to follow him as he follows Christ.

Okay, getting back to the tradition–women wearing hats in church services–some people missed the point that Paul said, “her hair is her covering.” Anyway, here’s where I catapult to other traditions.

Some traditions we should honor and some we should abandon. We should honor those traditions that were instilled in us by loving parents and a caring society.

We should speak to people in passing since it doesn’t cost us anything to be polite.

We should raise our children to be respectful of self and others; especially the elderly.

We should instill in our children the value of doing what’s right and always telling the truth.

We should always instill in our children the value of earning respect and their way in life, legitimately.

Raising children right these days appears to be a challenge for many and I can only conclude that somewhere along the line–valuable traditions were dropped by the wayside.

When it comes to our contemporary society, we must encourage all to pay attention to truth, push back against the lies, and be willing to stand for justice–for all people.

One of the reasons why we have such chaos in Washington right now is someone dropped the ball. Discipline was not the rule of the day in the household of the trump family and it is evident in what we see in the Oval Office and how out of order things are.

I was thinking back to some of the traditions I was taught as I was doing my mile walk this morning and I appreciated my training in common courtesy. Everyone I saw, I spoke to and they returned the greeting. This happens on a regular basis, but it made an impact on me this morning, realizing that it was because of those traditions instilled in me that I could speak to a person and be pleasant to them whether I knew them or not. In fact, most people I pass by often smile with their greeting and I can only imagine it’s because I smile when I greet them. Such a wonderful tradition!

The other traditional values instilled were about honesty and the consequences of lying. I learned early in life that the consequences were not worth a lie. That still holds true–it is so much easier to tell the truth and not worry about anyone discovering a lie.

What I often repeat to my grandson is this: If you only do the right thing, you never have to worry about doing the wrong thing. It’s a premise that works and leave me in a position not to concern myself with oppositional research.

I can own truth and disregard manufactured lies. I have no control over what people manufacture and I have no reason to address such things. I do know everything I’ve ever done and nothing in that knowledge led me to jail or doing drugs. Therefore–all the haters can do is seek and discover truth; if there are lies presented it’s because they manufactured them. Simple as that.

No matter what happens, I’m on a mission to seek support for my presidential bid in 2020 and I won’t stop until it’s over. I hope readers will have an opportunity to review my stances on some issues, what I think a president should know and hear me speak out about the same. Videos are less than three minutes long and will be updated periodically. I encourage all to stay tuned in to http://www.facebook.com/YesIAm2020.

eda

 

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The Prize!

The Prize!

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

For those who understand the nature of competition, the goal is to obtain a prize.  However, in Christ, we are not competing for a prize as mere mortals understand it. We are running a race to obtain the end promise-eternity in Heaven with Jesus. If we are competing for any other prize that will rust, fade, or tarnish, we may miss the opportunity for the true prize.

Professional athletes compete to win world recognition and rings and trophies for the team. In order to do that–they prepare by participating in grueling workouts, team practices and disciplining themselves to stay focused on the goal. And when they win national competitions, many on the winning team tell reporters–the next stop in their journey is Disneyland.

Musicians in high schools compete for medals and trophies. In order to win, they prepare by studying the music, practicing their instrument and disciplining themselves to focus on the end goal.

Writers compete for prizes in various genres and sometimes just for the sake of energizing creativity and stamina in staying focused in completing a project under deadline. In particular–the National November Writing Month is not about competing with others necessarily, and there is usually a great deal of support from other participants to encourage one to keep going to write that 50 thousand words in 30 days. I’ve entered the competition for three years and always finished under 15 days. The win–though rewarding–did not garner me anything other than bragging rights and a certificate. And so this year, I’m not writing because I have already won–the knowledge that I could do it.

Unfortunately, in the same competition–some people start out with projects they have started years before and in essence–they’re cheating themselves because their participation and possible completion has been rigged with the early start. So even if they complete the goal–it’s not really a win.

That’s how I view our recent election–a rigged election for a win is not really a victory–and the evidence of such is so apparent that even a blind person could see it. But until we change how we do business, we are stuck with the possibility of more rigging–through deliberate lying and undermining–trying to win by any means. But winning an election is not the prize–it is a responsibility and a commitment to govern all people–with equity and justice for all. If this role is not taken seriously, then democracy begins to unravel and we become vulnerable to all the predators who seek to destroy. For their goal–is to control.

Though there are some who say we simply have to accept the status quo, I believe that change begins with action and until there is action, there is no change. So, I’m going to use the same discipline exercised in competing for a prize, to energize others to see change that benefits all–starting now, so that we have a leader who knows and understands the need for preparation in order to govern and lead. 

About The Children’s Children!

About The Children’s Children!

A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:22,24 NIV

God–in His infinite Wisdom–addressed every situation we would encounter in life–being a parent and a grandparent. This is why we should–not just read The Word, but study it so living life won’t frustrate us.

I’m veering a little today to discuss parenting, children and grandchildren–seeking to reflect upon what I’ve done and what I should do. I’m in one of those unique situations in which I’m a grandparent, raising my grandson–doing the “grand parenting” thing so many of us do.

First of all, the one thing that most parents discover–if they have more than one child–is that parenting is a special task–that eludes instructions–from all, but God. And when a parent doesn’t have a relationship with God, they miss the mark and parent by trial and error. What most realize is that no two children (not even twins, triplets, or more) are exactly alike. They develop their own personalities and defy any logic to make them “fit” any mold. So, parenting with its many obstacles becomes a great training ground for many of us–learning things we never thought we’d have to do.

And if we thought parenting was fun–grand parenting–is a riot! Not only do we discover what we missed while parenting, we get to complete the cycle all over again–without the benefit of spoiling the kid and then sending them home. Now–if the grandchild is living with us–we have to discipline as well as spoil. It’s truly a balancing act–especially going through the teenage cycle, again.

The bottom line–in this short reflection–is that raising a grandchild can be a blessing or a nightmare. It is a blessing when the child in question understands the magnitude of the role the grand parent is in and a nightmare when they don’t. At this point in time–I’m trying to find a middle ground so I can continue to enjoy being a grandmother and yet raise a responsible, respectful young man–who can stay focused on goals to make sure his life is worthwhile.

Here’s what I’ve discovered–we must–at all costs–raise children as God has said–no matter how much we love them, we must stand firm in our resolve when we mete out discipline and love ’em at the same time. The benefit for us–a chance to mold a child’s future–again. The benefit for them–an opportunity to receive the inheritance many of us have planned for our children’s children.

Of course–if the grandchild chooses not to be the responsible, respectful young person God desires for us to have in our presence, then the child gets the reward they deserve–the consequences of their behavior.

Loving living this life to the fullest–and still learning what I almost learned fifty years ago–praying my way through to its end.

 

Holy Spirit Control!

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32 NKJV)

Whenever we hear foul-mouthed conversations in which every other word is profanity, we know Holy Spirit is not governing the person using the profanity. Whenever we see the end results of raging tempers–violence and death–we know Holy Spirit is not governing the person or persons involved. And usually, when one person demonstrates a lack of self-control, they engage or ignite the same type of reaction in others. The problem–people are too reliant upon their own self-control instead of allowing Holy Spirit to control what they say and do.

Submitting our thought-life and our tongues to Holy Spirit is not easy, but it is definitely a better path to take than depending upon our ability to control anything. What does it mean to submit our thought-life? It means that we stop thinking the thoughts that lead us astray. If the enemy tries to plant a thought in our minds that is not honoring God, we submit our response to Holy Spirit and allow Him to replace those thoughts with thoughts of righteousness.

Since most of us are fighting a constant battle with self-control, we are yet a work-in-progress. We have buttons that can be pushed and when we allow others to push them, we forget who we are and whose we are–to let others know, we are not a doormat. But do we really have to let others know anything other than we belong to God?

When we’re attacked–verbally–we don’t need to respond, but under stressful situations when frustration and agitation get in the way, we engage and the heat rises, sparking fires that sometimes rage out of control.

When we’re attacked–physically–we have a right to defend ourselves (though some would argue this) and our families. We do not have a right to instigate foolishness that embroils others into “never-ending feuds” that do nothing but create hostile environments for all. This is especially true for kids who tend to get caught up in stupidity. If a brother or sister starts a fight with someone else–let them handle on their own. If more than one person attacks a sibling, then by all means, we should do our best to protect them.

However, when people do stupid–no matter who it is–family, friends and neighbors should stay out of the fray. I’ve seen entire neighborhoods destroyed because of stupid people who thought they had a right to treat people any way they wanted to treat them and then expect no response by those who are harmed. Those attacked call in reinforcements to counter the action and the feud mushrooms–out of control until someone ends up dead.

When Holy Spirit is “allowed” to control our thoughts–we don’t think stupid-we think pleasing God. When our thought-life is controlled by Holy Spirit, then our tongues speak those things that build, encourage, and edify others. But Holy Spirit has to be allowed to control–He will not force us to do anything, and will allow us to think, say, or do anything we want to do. Of course when we do things that grieve Him, most of us know we need to repent, back up and give Him control so we don’t bring shame upon ourselves and displease God.

Life would be so much better for everyone, all over the world, if we would just allow Holy Spirit to be in control of our lives.

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.

Who’s Governing Your Mind–Flesh or Holy Spirit?

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 85-8 NIV)

Who lives according to the dictates of their flesh? Everyone who does not live in accordance to the direction of Holy Spirit. The result is easy to see and when we have evidence to support our conclusions, it is not an opinion nor a rash judgment.

Overeating is evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh. The flesh says it wants more to eat than it needs and when it governs the mind, people eat–far more than is good for them and as a result, become overwhelmed by the flesh–evident in their appearance and in health issues that are result from overeating.

Being rude and disrespectful is evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh. Flesh tells people they are superior to others and must have the last word, no matter what and the mind caves to the dictates of the flesh because it feels good and sounds good. The results as we can see on a daily basis are those who are discourteous drivers, loud-mouthed and obnoxious people waiting in lines who think they shouldn’t have to wait–for anything or anyone. We see them cussing at those in authority when they can’t have their way and in front of their children–demonstrating to their children that it’s okay to be rude and disrespectful and we see this in classrooms across the country.

Sexual immorality is evident in what people do–promiscuously–having sex with random people and sometimes people they just met and the evidence is all we see on television, in the movies, and hear in the music. The mind is governed by the flesh, because if it feels good, then do it. The results are increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDs, and increase in low-esteem, depression, and suicide. Why? Because the devil loves it when people submit to him and then he leaves them high and dry, when they cannot find real love or a reason to keep living once they understand how they have used and abused their bodies.

Addictions of all types are the evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh–drugs, nicotine, alcohol, shopping, shoplifting, pornography–all are a conclusion of the matter–the feel-good-syndrome-for a moment and when the moment passes, it must be repeated, and repeated, and repeated until it fulfills its vicious cycle–in death–naturally or spiritually.

A person who has deprived themselves of the leadership and guidance of Holy Spirit is prone to making the same mistakes, over and over again, expecting a different result–which by definition is–insanity. When chaos and confusion exists, God is not in it and certainly there is no evidence of Holy Spirit guiding anyone.

What happens when our minds are governed by Holy Spirit? There is peace within and then there can peace without–in our environment and everywhere we go. When Holy Spirit leads–He reminds us of those things we have been taught, strengthens us to live by faith and ignore the temptations of the enemy, and keeps us focused on pleasing God, not flesh.

Where’s the evidence? The evidence is seen in those who do not have to resort to cussing out people, involving themselves in road-rage, or even randomly acting out. The evidence is in the person’s ability to remain calm, exercise wisdom in all situations, and to discipline themselves to hear God and act accordingly. They know when to stop eating, stop smoking, stop giving into the desires that make them feel good only for a moment, and start doing those things that bring the heart joy and they know they are pleasing God.

So, what’s it going to be for you today? Will you allow flesh to dictate or Holy Spirit? Do you want temporary pleasure or lasting joy? It’s up to us–we decide and I choose to allow Holy Spirit to reign in my life!

What Must We Believe?

“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:21,22 NIV)

Most of us know the story of Jesus and the fig tree that had leaves, but no fruit. When Jesus saw the leaves, He expected to find figs, but there were none and since He was hungry, and now frustrated, He spoke to the tree and said it would wither and die. When the disciples came back past the tree, they were amazed that the tree was withered.

The tree with leaves had the appearance of bearing fruit, but was barren. When we look at ourselves in our walk, following the precepts of Jesus, how do we look? Do we have the appearance of bearing fruit, yet no fruit exists? Are we just superficial Christians–mimicking phrases, following traditions that have no meaning, giving lip service, but no real praise, mumbling words resembling prayer, but have no power, carrying our bibles that we won’t read, and wearing crosses that bear no witness of our understanding of the work on the cross?

Do we know how to generate love in any environment we find ourselves simply because we know how to love? Is there real joy in our lives that overflows onto all we meet? Do we have peace in our hearts, homes and community? Do we know how to teach with gentleness, remembering that we too are imperfect people? Do we know how to show kindness and compassion to those in need? Are we faithful–totally committed to do that we do, to do it well? Have we disciplined ourselves so others can see we live a disciplined life–free of anxiety, anger, and intolerance? Are we fruit-bearing Christians or do we just have the appearance of being one?

Now, what Jesus referenced to His disciples was more about their faith and what they would be able to do if they believed what they heard. They heard Him what He said to the tree, but apparently did not believe it would happen since they were amazed at what happened. He knew there was doubt lingering in them which is why they were amazed and told them that if they “didn’t doubt” they could say, to the mountain, “go move into the sea and it would.” Why must they say it? So they could hear what they said and since Jesus told them to do it, it would be so. “Faith coming by hearing and hearing by The Word of God.”

We must believe The Word (Jesus is The Word) and when we pray, we can have whatever we ask for when we don’t doubt The Word. In another passage, Jesus reminds us that whatever we ask of the Father, in His name, He would do it–as long as we don’t doubt it will be done.

The reason many do not see answered prayers is because of doubt and unbelief or because of asking for things that do not align with The Word. When we know The Word, we do not pray amiss (out of alignment with The Word) and we know that God is not hard of hearing or forgetful. Those are our weaknesses, not His.

So when we pray–we only need to ask for what we want–once–and then we give thanks for it until we receive it. Giving thanks to God what we have faith to receive--removes doubt. For if we know, we already have what we ask for, why would we need to keep asking for it?

In order to see faith operate on a daily basis, we must “hear” The Word and keep hearing The Word, building our faith in Him so He will move on our behalf since He is moved by faith, not by feelings.