GRADUATION DAY

Graduations are in process now at Universities, Colleges, Tech Schools and High Schools.  This is a life changing event filled with hope for the future. For most it is a step to further learning and degrees that will secure good income to support their families.  It is a big accomplishment, and I offer my congratulations to you and your family members for pursuing and completing that dream.

college-graduationThe dictionary offers one definition that works for this writing today: to change gradually or by degrees.

As I reach my 75th birthday I can honestly tell you that life is a learning process.  Oh boy, is it ever!!!   We can all identify with that fact!  The struggles….the victories!  The sad times…the happy times!  But, that’s what learning is.  If everything was easy we wouldn’t learn from a failed test.  Failing isn’t all bad because we can learn from our mistakes and improve our grade the next time there’s a test!!!

Have you noticed……life is a classroom of tests.  And the Unchanging Teacher is God through His Holy Spirit, and the text book is His Word….The Holy Bible.

The Book of Proverbs is full of wisdom.  In fact it says to not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight; preserve, keep sound judgement and discretion, and they will be life for you.   Wisdom is found in those who take advise.

King David says in Psalm 19:73…….Give me understanding to learn your commands.  And Job 34:4 says ….. we should discern for ourselves what is right, and learn together what is good.

Well….if wisdom is found in those who take advise, let me give you some advise, since I am a white-headed elder who has come through years of “gradual change”!!!

Read…study God’s Word so that you may learn wisdom and understanding at the Highest Degree.

LOOK FORWARD TO THAT GREAT GRADUATION DAY WHEN YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER SAYS “WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT…..ENTER IN TO THE JOY OF YOUR SALVATION”.

YOU CAN’T GET A HIGHER DEGREE THAN THAT ! ! !

WHAT IS TRUTH?

We are soon to take our responsibility as United States Citizens to vote locally and for the President of our United States of America.  This is a serious time and each one of us must be informed of the issues, weigh our decisions carefully, and ask God for wisdom in our choices.  We are listening for TRUTH but all we hear are false promises.

Two thousand years ago the Jewish people under the harsh rule of Rome thought Jesus would be their King.  They hailed Him as their Messiah who would rule them justly and throw over the oppressive Roman government in Israel.  As they discovered in one week….He said His Kingdom was not of this world.  They called Him a blasphemer because He said His Father God sent Him. They wanted to kill Him!

But when Jesus was brought before Pilate to be questioned, Jesus answered him (John 18:36-38) “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not here.

Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’  Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king.  For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the TRUTH.  Everyone who is of the TRUTH hears My voice.

Pilate said to Him, ‘WHAT IS TRUTH?”

Are you asking the same question today?  We are hearing and believing lies every day.  Satan’s language is lies….that is his native tongue! (John 8:44)

Romans 1:25 says wicked men exchanged the TRUTH of God for a lie.

The only absolute TRUTH is Jesus the Christ, who came from the Father full of grace and TRUTH. (John 1:14)  Jesus speaks the TRUTH.  He is quoted as saying “I tell you the TRUTH” thirty times in Matthew, thirteen times in Mark, eight times in Luke, and thirty seven times in John.

When Jesus was teaching His disciples, He knew He was going to die, raise from the dead and ascent to His Father in heaven.  He told them He was going to leave them…and they were afraid!

He said, (John 14:1-6)  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In my fathers house are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.  Thomas said to Him ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

That is a promise…..and God does not break His promises!!!

Jesus also said (John 8:32)  “You shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall make you free.”

NOW YOU KNOW WHAT TRUTH IS!!!

Thy Word

TEACH BY EXAMPLE

In thinking about this blog post today, and asking the Lord what He would want me to share with you….the word “teach” kept coming to my mind and heart. As I am the living elder of this family group it seems my thoughts often go that direction. My sister, niece and daughter easily share with you what they are learning from the Lord in their daily walk, but I am drawn to teach in some way each time it is my turn to write. Then I realized that because of my age and life experiences that teaching by example is what I should do. There’s not a better teacher than your godly older family members and friends…..after all we have been through the “school of hard knocks”!

And then I recall the book of Titus that admonishes the “older women to train 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 honor their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.”  Titus 2:3-5

Those of you who are of the male gender who are reading this, you are included in this small three chapter book, a letter written by the Apostle Paul to Titus who is pastoring the Christians on the Isle of Crete. He tells Titus to teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled (hmmm, heard that somewhere before!) and sound in faith and doctrine, in love and in endurance. Then they can teach the young men to be self-controlled (wow! must be important and covers a wide range of our personal character).

So, here’s the thing….whether you are single or married, young or old, we all have struggles with living a godly life, and this journey we are on is a never-ending classroom…..no recess, no summer breaks!

If you have a godly older person in your life to encourage you, teach you, pray with and for you, then you will learn that although life is tough, there is victory in every area  And remember the Word of God will never fail you in your classroom of life. It is the best textbook that ever was and ever will be!

More from Titus 2:11-15 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave  Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness, and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.  These, then, are the things you should teach.  Encourage and rebuke with all authority,  Do not let anyone despise you.”

Thy Word

ALL SAINTS EVE

That’s right…..November 1st is All Saint’s Day, so Halloween is the opposite of that…an evening where witches, ghosts and zombies are glorified!

It’s fun for little children (and adults) to dress up in cute costumes, but the glamorization of the underworld is not funny.  Evil, demons, witches and Satan worshipers are real.

Be aware!  Be wise and cautious.  Think about it……….

Deuteronomy 18:9-13

When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let not one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”

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Work Smarter, Not Harder

In just 9 days I will be 40. The past few months of approach have been interesting and I have vacillated between panic and disbelief, and the promise and power of what is to come. Finally, I have settled into the promise side and I am ready to embrace the beginning of a new decade.  

The approach to this milestone causes great reflection and somehow life focuses into proper perspective. It seems that the one way I can sum it up is, to work smarter, not harder. We’ve all heard this, but it seems like we don’t actually do it. I think it applies to life in general.  

I am happy to oblige you with an amusing example: 

Every summer I put up a small pool in my back yard to help beat the heat of the southern summer and to give my little doggie a place to get exercise. Lacey and I, and occasionally a friend or two, really enjoy that little oasis.  

Of course I have lounge rafts to float on. Lie back, relax, soak up some sun, enjoy a cool drink. AHHH. Lacey even has her very own float.  

When the end of summer rolls around, it is always sad to tear down the pool. Once it is down, I am left with all these floats to deflate and pack away for the season.  

Normally I use my manual pump, reverse the valve, and work myself to death to get all the air sucked out of those pool toys. This is a lot of work, it is frustrating, and it is a time suck.  

This year it finally occurred to me that I should just open the valves and let them sit there a few days. Sure enough (DUH) they deflated almost completely on their own, and all I had to do was give it time and let it happen naturally. It then only took a small effort and a few minutes to deflate the floats enough to fold them and properly pack them away.  

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Why had I spent all that time in frustration all those years working harder when I could have just worked smarter to accomplish the same goal?  

Time is an asset, but we seem to let it control us.

Perhaps rather than scheduling ourselves to death, we should leave some time for spontaneity, creativity and progress. Perhaps our list of tasks really aren’t as important as we think they are, and some of them should be treated with less stress and more patience.  

So, let’s stop working ourselves up into a manic frenzy trying to force things that should be cultivated and left to grow or dissolve organically. In this day of instant access to everything, let us remember that good things take time. That good things deserve time. Let’s remember that the most important part of life is that we don’t waste time, but use it to our advantage to strengthen ourselves, others and our relationships with God and one another.  

The challenge: To keep that “To Do” list but to make sure it doesn’t control you. Let your love for yourself and others take the wheel.

Take back your life and let time work for you rather than against you. 

You are only promised right now! Make the most of it!  

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12 KJV