The Inspection

The Inspection

Do you have any traditions in your home? Oh! I mean, more than just what you do at Christmas, or Thanksgiving? I mean the subtle things that happen and you may not even realize it. These things come from who you are deep inside and often from your habits and the standard of which you were raised.

 

We have one of those at our house, it is now in the 3rd generation in our family. ,You see,  my father-in-law Trammel Miller was an amazing contractor and his standards were so high all that worked for him called him the “piano man”,  because if you tune pianos you have to be a perfectionist and that is exactly what Trammel was.

 

Thus, when he came to our home, after Jeff and I were first married,  if there was something that was not maintained to Trammels standard, he would give Jeff that,  “I am disappointed with you son” Look. The look may be followed by a few intriguing questions of exactly why it wasn’t this taken care of up to the “Trammel Miller Standard” .

 

The funny thing is, there was no handbook that told my husband that this inspection would come, no official notice was sent ahead of time, verbal or otherwise. My husband just knew, if his dad was coming over to visit,  he would rush around, getting those last minute honey do list items I had for him done. Sometimes he would go back over and check what he had done,  to assure it met the expectation of Trammel Miller.

 

And even funnier thing today, is that Lee Miller now does the same thing his father did,  all those years ago when we were first married. Trammel is now celebrating his anniversary of being in heaven 4 years this month, and we all know he is running the construction crew of angels,  who are building our mansions in heaven, because that is just Trammel Miller, and God needed Trammel up there because of his perfectionism.

 

See when we now call our son to let him know we will be visiting, his family in Tulsa, it isn’t uncommon to hear Lee tell his dad. “Well, I’ve got to go so, I can get done before you get here to make sure I pass inspection when you come. ” We often laugh about it as a family but the premise is the same.

 

You see there as been a standard set that my sons automatically knows their father expects of them and that got me thinking, isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father?

 

There is a standard that has been set by our Heavenly Father who will soon be coming to visit,  and if we don’t meet that inspection, we are not gonna pass, and we won’t make it to heaven.

 

The difference is, we have been given a handbook with every detail we need to know of what He expects and it is called the bible. We have even been given a family to help us understand what He expects and that is called the church. God has even sent a helper called the Holy Spirit to help us while we are here on earth to help us choose to do the right thing.

 

So the bottom line is,  we have no excuse for not following the directions, God has laid out for us. Everyone of us can pass the inspection that is coming, but it is up to us.  

 

My boys could not care, what their father thinks when he comes to visit. They could ignore standards they have been raised with and choose to walk away from. But they realize their father loves them and wants the best for them. They know, their dad would give his life for them and only expects these things,  because he wants the best for them and believes in them and loves them. Because of their fathers age, he has more knowledge and wisdom then they do and can often tell how things are going to turn out, because he has had the same problems, been in the same situations, and doesn’t want his kids to go through what he has been through.

 

The same is with our Heavenly Father. God loves you and He wants the best for you. He has given us all the tools we need. The question is, are you using them? Will you pass the inspection with your Heavenly Father when He comes? Take the tools He has given us and use them. Don’t hesitate to ask your Heavenly Father for help. After all, that is what a good good Father does!

 

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Clean Dirt

Clean Dirt

I don’t know about your house,  but it has never mattered what home I have lived in or what brand of dishwasher is in that house.  On occasion, someone in my family has pulled something out of that dishwasher that, had just been ran, that still had some piece of food left on it, to which my family member will say something to this effect “The dishes are still dirty” and I will reply “ It is clean dirt, it has been washed” We will usually laugh and then wash the item by hand.

 

You know that little scenario got me thinking. How many of us think like that in our own life. We think the little bit of dirt in our life, is “clean dirt”,  after all we are good people. We don’t mean harm to anyone and are just doing the best we can. We justify what we see in our lives often times, all the while condemning what we see in others.

 

But the truth is,  what we think about ourselves or others really doesn’t matter, it is what God thinks that really matters. In fact,  His word is the ultimate authority. The question is how well do you know God’s word? God’s word is His son’s dying wishes for our life. Just think about it, the creator of the Universe left you a letter,  with directions He wants you to follow.

 

Oh! I know some people say “I have tried to read the bible, but I just don’t understand it” to which I would reply “That is why we have churches and bible studies” It is important that each of us read those true stories in the bible. Those are lesson we can learn through others lives that have lived before us. We also see Jesus as He walked this earth and can learn from His stories as well.

 

One thing we all need to remember, past the 10 commandments, there is 1 commandment we all must follow,  in fact Jesus said it was more important than any other, and that is found in Luke 10:27  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

 

You know if you love someone with all your heart, and I mean REALLY love, then you want to please them, but there is no way to please God if we don’t know what His word says. So how about this week you do 2 things, take just 5 minutes and start reading the Psalms and Proverbs each day in the bible, then throughout your day,  show that love Jesus talked about in Luke to those around you.

 

Because if we don’t do these things, then can we really say we have surrendered our life to Him?  It’s really like saying you’re clean dirt when you don’t. We all know that doesn’t make any sense in anyone’s book,  and the fact is, we can’t wash ourselves on our own or by what we do. God’s love is unconditional and His grace is free ,but it is only when we receive that unconditional love that we realize how much He loves us,  and in turn wants to give that love back to Him, by living a life for Him and sharing that love with others. So let’s stop trying to hand wash our lives in our own ways and follow what the Jesus says.

” I Need to Go to the Bathroom, Get a Drink of Water and Blow my Nose!”

” I Need to Go to the Bathroom, Get a Drink of Water and Blow my Nose!”

Every family has their routines, anytime you have a family larger than 2 people, and you are planning on going together to an event somewhere, if someone asked anyone in that family, they could probably tell you which one, is going to be ready early, which family member is going to be late, and which one will be heading the group and getting everyone out the door.

 

When my children were at home, I have been known to begin a countdown about 30 minutes out. Now, of course I would have given the family plenty of warning well in advance before that , sometimes even days, but when it comes down to about an hour out, I would start mentioning  to my kids what they need to start doing to be ready, and about 30 minutes before we need to leave, my voice gets a little louder as I start walking around checking on where everyone is and how much longer it will be before they will be ready.

Then about 10-15 minutes out, I am going to start hollering out as I walk down the hall. “10 minutes, 10 minutes we are leaving in 10 Minutes”  which is the sign to my children and husband they better be getting their last minute things on and start heading for the car, then “5 minutes, 5 minutes we are leaving in 5 minutes” at this point my family knows they better be finding their shoes and start getting in the car, because if there is one thing I can’t stand, it is being late. I think it is disrespectful to the people who planned the event where ever we are going and personally, I believe in the old adage, “If you are 5 minutes early you are on time, and if you are on time you are late”, even if that means I arrive somewhere and sit in the car for 5 or 10 minutes before going in. That doesn’t bother me, in fact I kind of like the opportunity to not be rushed and just take a deep breath before going in somewhere,  instead of rushing in somewhere all disheveled .

My whole anxiety about being late probably stems from my mother. No, not that she ever cared about being on time, it didn’t matter how much notice we would give my mom about what time we were leaving.  It never failed, when the time came for us to walk out the door, She would say ”Okay, wait just a minute, I need to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, and blow my nose.” I lived at home for 18 years before I moved out, and cared for her another 23 or so years before she died and it never failed the story was still the same every time except as she grew older, it took longer for her to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water and blow her nose,  the older she got the later we were. That is why I started telling her we needed to be where ever we were going 30 minutes before we actually had to leave, because I knew if I didn’t we would of been even later than we were. In fact momma was known for being late so often, that my father used to say we are going to bring her casket in 30 minutes late, just to keep up her tradition when she dies. (we didn’t by the way but it was tempting)

You know this got me thinking, my mom is a lot like a lot of people today. They have been warned that Jesus is coming back, they have been told that they need to live their life for Him so they will be ready to go,  but they procrastinate and don’t do it, just like my mom procrastinated getting ready to go somewhere. They are all busy just doing what they want to do, when they want to do it. Not concerning themselves, with anything but what they want. They can even see the warning signs that the bible tells us about, similar to me hollering out to the children and giving them the 5 and 10 minute warning, they ignore all the signs of the crazy weather, the brother hating brother, the world being more and more like Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:26-30) , and all the issues happening in Israel.

All these are signs that Jesus is coming back again, to get His children,  just like He said he would in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ESV “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” He also warned us “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:13) Now I am not naming any dates or times because I know the bible says “ No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.: (Matthew 24:36) But doesn’t that verse alone tell us that we need to be ready because it could be any moment and He tells us in Luke “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:40)

My mom always had an excuse why she was late, she always justified her reason, but when we stand before God excuses won’t matter He has given us ample notice. With many opportunities to get it right. It is time we stop making excuses.God isn’t looking for perfect people to come to Him, He is looking for people who are watching and waiting for His return.

Many times people think they need to clean up their act before they come to Him. But God told us in His word.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

God wants us with all our baggage disheveled mess we are in. He calls us daily to come to Him. The question is, will we come? Because the 5 minute warning call is about to come and unlike I did for my mother, God hasn’t given us an extra 30 minute cushion. Once He calls come to get us, that is it. There is no one let in late to heaven. We may get by down here with going to places in our own time frame, but we have no control of when Jesus will return to take His children home.

So won’t you get ready today? To make sure you are ready, all you need to do, is as simple as A, B, C,  Admit that you are a sinner, Believe in Jesus Christ and Commit your life to Him. start, going to a bible believing church, start making Him a part of your everyday life, by talking to Him in prayer and letting Him talk to you through His word.

That is what that scripture is talking about, If we will come to Him, and follow Him as 2 oxen in a Yoke, one more experienced than the other,we will learn from Him and we’ll find rest for our souls, And we won’t miss the most important event of our life, Heaven!

My Imaginary Friend

My Imaginary Friend

When I was a little girl I had an imaginary friend, her name was Lindy. Now, because I was raised as an only child, It makes complete sense to me that I would need an imaginary friend. I would talk to Lindy and play with Lindy. Lindy went to the grocery store with me and my daddy,  and to his horror I would require my daddy to lift Lindy into the cart just like he had me, and place her beside me. I also would not rest until Daddy would put Lindy in the car beside me, and more than once daddy closed the door on her and had to open it up again and let her in. All of this was to his embarrassment as other adults looked on in whatever particular public place we were in at the time. Lindy was my best friend and this obsession went on for several weeks,  maybe even months I don’t really remember, I was just a kid living in the moment , but my mother used to tell the story. I am pretty sure that out of my parents exasperation one day, my mother must of mentioned her frustration to my Grandma Northcutt. (her mother)

 

So one day Grandma Northcutt sat me down and asked me exactly what did Lindy look like. As I explained to her that Lindy had long dark hair like me, and brown eyes, she wore a wedding dress sometimes and also had a red coat and boots. It wasn’t long before one day when I was at Grandmas house she had me sit down and close my eyes. As she laid something in my lap she told me to open my eyes I cried out “Lindy” with a loud shriek in my voice.  Because there in my arms suddenly laid Lindy!

 

My Grandma was an excellent seamstress and had taken the time to make me a doll just as I had described Lindy looked. She was even my size and Grandma Northcutt had even taken the time to embroider brown eyes and rosy red lips and attached long black yarn to her head for hair. She has stuffed the body with cotton so it was soft to hold and yes, she even made the wedding dress and red coat and boots I had mentioned. Grandma saw what I had imagined and made it possible for me to have it.

 

What are you dreaming and imagining today? Oh! It isn’t uncommon for children to dream and imagine things, from being super heroes to fireman or teachers and even having imaginary friends is a common thing for young children. From little children, we grow up and become teenagers and can’t wait to get our drivers licence, and from our drivers licence we want to grow up and have a family,  and as some point, some of us begin to dream about retirement and not having any of that, that they had we wished and hoped for, for so many years.

 

But somewhere along the way we grow up and we stop dreaming,  and by dreaming I mean we give up our greater hopes and dreams that are bigger than ourselves, that it would take a miracle to have and we start thinking about more realistic expectations we should have, but we stop imagining. Maybe it’s because we become wiser or some might just call it cynical. Maybe it’s because we have been disappointed so many times we just don’t want to risk it happening again.  But let me ask you something, have you stopped dreaming?

 

“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish adage meaning, “Man Plans, and God Laughs.” And I can’t totally disagree with that, nor can I totally agree with it.  See I believe God wants us to dream and plan. I believe He wants to give us the desires of our hearts. But the distinguishing factor is “What are we dreaming and planning?” Proverbs tells us “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way….” Proverbs 19:2-3 ESV

 

So I think the important thing we learn here is, what kind of knowledge do we need to have here? I don’t know about you,  but I think the best knowledge is God’s wisdom and guidance so we need to learn exactly what that is. What does God want us to dream?  If we look over in Matthew 5:6 ESV we see He says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” So we know He wants us to is to seek Him, to dream of what we can do for Him. All too often,  people want to dream of winning the lotto or having a bigger home, whatever meets their physical needs but God is more concerned about our character than He is our comfort. In Psalms 145:19 ESV we find Him telling us “ He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.” We can trust that God will take care of us, when our desires and focus is on building His kingdom and growing in Him rather than our own selfish desires. He tells us this time and time again in His word but nowhere is it so clear to me as it is in Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”  God wants good things for us, just like we want good things for our children but the direction He gives us says it all “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2 So let me ask you another question, where is your mind set? Is it more worried about what someone thinks of you or what you have to do tomorrow, then what God wants you to do and how you can bless Him with the way you live your life and love others. ‘

 

This past week our oldest spoke at his college alma mater and shared with the students some of the most basics of God’s love and how we as Christians should act if we are claiming to be Christ’s followers and living for Him. Jeff and I only got to view it on Facebook Live but after it was over I sent a text message to our son and said “ I have never been prouder of you son” to which he called me and said “Really Mom, Really?” He said “ After I have given you a grandson, I have graduated from college, gotten my Masters Degree and this is what you are most proud of” To which I replied “ Yes”,  and you know why it made me the most proud? Because it has an eternal purpose. What He was doing there had an eternal purpose and impacted those young people that will totally change their lives. To me, nothing else matters more. I believe that is the way God feels as well. He wants our focus and dreams and plans to be what can we do to make an eternal difference for Him. When our mind is focused on the things above, all this stuff on earth will come together. He promises us that in Matthew 6:33 When he said “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added to you”  So how about this week, we focus on the seeking after God and growing in Him, because I bet if you do, He is gonna say He has never been prouder of you!

The Parsonage (not my home)

The Parsonage (not my home)

I have lived in a parsonage most of my life, My daddy being a pastor and now my husband being one, has sealed my destiny in this. You may be saying “What is a Parsonage?, That is a strange word.”  Well, Webster defines it as “the house provided by a church for its’ pastor” Living in a parsonage is a peculiar position to be in, you aren’t renting but you don’t own either. The home isn’t yours,  but it is yours to live in for the season you pastor there.

It typically isn’t painted or decorated to your preferences, you simply have to take what you get. (and you don’t throw a fit)  Some parsonages have been poorly maintained and look like they haven’t seen any attention to detail or style since the 60’s, while others are immaculately cared for.  As new pastors to a community, you never know if the church is going to require the pastor and his family to get permission before you do anything to the home, like paint or hang things on the wall or will they be comfortable just to let you decorate and maintain it yourself. On the other hand, I am sure some congregations feel the same way and are wondering “How much does the pastor expect of us?”

I remember as a little girl, one week while our family was gone on a vacation, the church people,  trying to be helpful, came inside the parsonage without my parents knowledge and painted the whole interior.  To my mother’s horror she was not expecting people in her home without notice so it was in no way ready for any guests, after all when a family leaves for a vacation, they aren’t typically deep cleaning before they go. So, needless to say, it wasnt ready for furniture to be move out to be painted behind. But the worst part was,  they painted every room in the house without asking my mother what color she would like. The color turned out to be a green that my mother despised, well before those sweet dear members decided to help her out, and perhaps that is why we had nothing in the house that remotely matched it.

Some churches think it is important to keep their pastors humble,  so they assure you live in a home much less than any of the parishioners would choose to live in, while others honor their pastors and assure they have a home at least as equal or much better than any of their parishioners. (parishioners is another churchy word for people that go to the church)  Living in a parsonage can be a tricky thing. It can be uncomfortable for a pastor to have to make the board aware of broken appliances, especially when he knows that the churches finances might be tight and can’t really afford to replace it. But, at the same time, a home needs a stove or refrigerator and usually if the churches budget is tight, so is the pastor’s,  so it’s not like he or she can afford to replace it.

So you can see how living in a parsonage can feel like you are really living at the mercy of a group of people who hold your personal space and job in their hands. It can be very awkward.  while at the same time, you are very grateful for their generosity. But the bottom line is, it is not your home. and for me, it has never felt like my home. No matter where I have lived, and I have lived in at least 11 parsonages, that I can think of just off the top of my head.  Because for me , there is always that shadow, of “What will the board think if I do this?”, “What will the neighbors think of our church if the kids leave their bikes in the yard or the scrubs are trimmed imperfectly?” I don’t know if the congregations feels this way but, I am always wondering when they come into the house, “Are they judging how well I have kept it up for them?” It’s kind of like seeing your hairdresser out on the street when you are having a bad hair day.  

But the maintenance and style isn’t the only thing that is not our own in a parsonage. Your privacy,  many times, is given up because at anytime, by your sheer profession you can be called upon or dropped in on.

I remember one specific evening, when I was a little girl, my family was having some special time when an unexpected knock came at the door. It was a young teenage girl and her boyfriend that attended our church. She was crying and I was immediately asked to go to my room. Well, me being the inquisitive child I have always been, went down the hall toward my bedroom but just happened to stop at the rocking chair at the end and sat hiding behind it as I listened  to these young people tell my parents she was pregnant and they didn’t know what to do.

I have learned a lot behind these parsonage walls, and this one defining moment that taught me that I never wanted to be put in that predicament as a teenager,  and is probably what kept me a virgin till my wedding day.

But all of my family doesn’t carry the baggage I do of living behind the parsonage walls, they don’t understand that this is not our own home and we can’t be just leaving our underwear and socks around everywhere, because at some point and time,  because of our profession, someone might walk into our home unexpectedly with a issue or need, or maybe just want to paint the inside of our house.

All this got me thinking, the parsonage is not much different than our life in Christ, once we give our life to God. It is not our own either, it is His and we shouldn’t be just leaving the junk of this world laying around in it. We should always be aware that this world isn’t our home we are just passing through. The truth is we are living for another just like you do in a parsonage,  and that other is Christ. You don’t always get what you want because our flesh often wants things that are not good for us.

If we are truly following after God. We have to remember that the chains of sin have been broken over us when we accept Christ. But, because of God’s amazing grace,  He has given us a choice of our will. So we must choose to pick up the junk in our lives, and avoid the temptations that so easily trips us up.

When this world seems to be crashing down around us, we can remember that this world is not our home, we are just passing through, this is only for a season and God has a home waiting for us that supersedes anything we could hope for or image.

This life is only temporary and we can’t  allow the struggles that come our way to discourage us or distract us from what we should be focused on and that is living our life pleasing to the King of Kings. Troubles will come, things happen in our life we wish didn’t , but we can trust God has a bigger and better plan if we will just follow it.  

 

Worst Parenting Fear!

Worst Parenting Fear!

Being a parent can be one of the scariest things anyone can do. You hope to you are doing it right. You don’t want to miss your kids up to bad, because you know you, yourself, aren’t perfect, and well let’s face it we all think we are a little messed up and our biggest prayer as parents is “God just don’t let me mess up my kids”.

I remember one particular time this was heavy on my heart as a young mom. My oldest had to be in about 1st grade. We were associate pastors in charge of children’s ministries in Iola Kansas. Our children’s ministry there ran about 80-100 kids each Sunday.  We had a bus ministry of 3 buses that drove around town every Sunday, picking up kids to bring them to church. To assure the kids would come, we would go around door to door every Saturday and knock on the doors of homes in the area reminding the parents we would be coming by tomorrow to pick up their children.

Often Jeff would take our son, Lee with him on those trips. In fact pretty much every part of our ministry Lee as well as all our children have tagged along and been a part of it with us. Lee however was our only child at this time in our life so not only was our weekly canvasing the neighborhoods part of his weekly agenda, so was summer church camps. For several years we spent a month at kids and junior camps in the summer not even coming home on the weekend in between camps. Because we were Children’s Pastors, Jeff and I were counselors each week and Lee got to tag along with his dad in the boys cabins.

Wheat State Camp is 4 weeks in the summer that kids from Assembly of God churches all over Kansas come together in Augusta at our district camp ground where a different age group comes each week to play games and sporting events, have fellowship with other believers and all go to church services together in the evening. It was one of those evenings I was down at the altar crying out to God because my heart was so heavy. I felt as if I was ruining my kid’s life. I was probably about week 3 of being at camp for us and I was believing all the negative thoughts satan was running through my head that said “Lee is going to hate church” or “You are pushing our religion down his throat by keeping him here”. “What kind of mother are you?”.

As I was pouring out my heart to God that evening, with young girls from my cabin,  praying all around me. I felt God say, Looked up over to the boys side of the altar area. There I saw Lee standing with his arms raised to his Savior, tears streaming down his face. It was as if God was saying,” He is okay.” Because God knows, more than anything I want my kids to serve Him.

That kid is now 33 years old and running for a seat in the Oklahoma House as State Representatives for District 68. He was telling me the other day of how his campaigning was going. You see every evening after he gets off work and on Saturdays, he goes canvassing door to door the neighborhoods of his district.

He was actually canvassing with another candidate recently when the candidate of the same party said  “Man you are good at this!, Have you done this before?” To which my son responded “Sure have, but not for political purposes”.  See, it was all those years ago, that Lee walked with his daddy canvassing the neighborhood for the churches bus ministry that taught him how to handle himself and approach people in that type of situation. But we didn’t take Lee out canvassing with the idea that this is going to be a lesson, or with any thought that he would use it later on in life, and we never had any idea he would actually run for a political office at that age. But, it was a lesson that gave him confidence where another person might have been hesitate to knock on a stranger’s door without it.

All this got me thinking…….  Deuteronomy 11:18 – says “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds,…….. 19 Teach them to your children, speaking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and gates,… “.  In essence, it is saying teach your children about God as you go about your everyday responsibilities. All too often we expect the church to teach our children or we think I’ll just wait until they are older and let them decide for themselves what kind of faith they want to accept. But that isn’t what God tells us to do.  

Proverbs also tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents] Even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6 Amp) How do you train up a child, if you wait till they are older and let them decide? You don’t, this makes it plain that parents are instructed to teach their child in His ways. As a minister my dad use to say, it is better to build boys and girls for Jesus then rebuild broken down men and women for Christ. You may ask why is it better to teach them when they are young? Because we are creatures of habit. We get in good habits or we get into bad habits but either way they are habits and old habits are hard to break. I don’t know a better habit then going to church every week, reading your bibles, and praying every day.

As parents often times I think we negate the reality that our children are always watching and learning from everything we do and say. It is important that we keep in mind children learn what we live. I don’t care how old they are, they are like little sponges absorbing everything we say and do. So the question is what are we teaching are kids? It wasn’t our intention to be teaching Lee anything, on the days we canvass the neighborhood but we did. I also believe he has learned how to follow God by our example (habits) of going to church, reading our bibles and praying with our kids. Lee developed a relationship with Jesus Christ all his own and that has given him the foundation he needs to make good choices and why he cares enough to try to make a difference in this country.

Does he have some ideas that I have wondered about? Sure!  But the truth is we probably taught him that too. Oh! Not the exact ideas, but I believe his father and I taught him to not just go with the crowd. We have lived a life of entrepreneurship and pioneering new ideas since he was born. From being the first homeschoolers in Graham County, to deciding to start a church with absolutely no support except knowing God has called us. We have taught him to judge whatever you do to the word of God and in this day and age when there is more people just following the crowd of what has always been done or what everyone else is doing. It is not surprising, he choose to be in the libertarian party because he sees the present parties in place are not making any difference. Lee isn’t afraid to pioneer down a new path of politics and I am completely confident he will pave his own way down that path as well.  

So the question is, what are you instilling in your children and grandchildren?  What are you talking about as you drive around in the car, sit in your homes? What messages are you sending to them? The fact is, whatever you are teaching them, they will take it to the next level. They will push the limit of whatever you are doing, good or bad. Do you want your kid to do more of what you do? What legacy are you leaving?  

 

Driving Ms Alesa

Driving Ms Alesa

If you know me very well, you know that when there is an option to drive or let someone else do it , I normally opt for letting someone else drive. My husband Jeff is typically my chauffeur, I have often teased my children if their father dies before I do, they will need to hire me a new chauffeur and Jeff often teases he is “Driving Ms Alesa”.  Now don’t get me wrong, I will drive if I need to and have often offered to on long trips with Jeff, but he always responds the say way “ I got it dear”. I am not for sure if he always drives because he doesn’t trust my driving or because he just likes to drive, but either way I am happy with our arrangement.

 

On those rare occasions that I do drive with Jeff in the car. It isn’t uncommon for me to ask him directions. See, because he normally drives I don’t pay much attention to how we get there. I might be busy reading a book, scrolling through my phone or writing a story for the paper.  My other excuse for not knowing where I am going is Jeff rarely takes the same route to a destination twice. So ultimately. I just trust him to take me where I need to be.

 

All this got me thinking, Isn’t that a lot like us in life?  We often don’t pay attention to where our life is headed spiritually.  We allow the distractions of this life to weigh us down. From being occupied with working to pay the bills,  to self gratification of whatever we feel like we want that day.

 

We soon, stop reading our bibles, taking time to worship everyday throughout the day. We often neglect our time with other believers, who can encourage us,  by skipping church. If we are not intentional in living our life for Christ we will soon just slide into complacency and one day we will look up and realize we don’t know where we are spiritually, just as I have many times riding in the passenger seat of the car with Jeff. I will look up and think “ Where are we?”

 

Once we trust God with our lives, we need to allow Him to guide us and direct us. But we won’t know the direction we are suppose to go, if we don’t follow what the map (His word) says and if we don’t stay in a constant precute of Him we will soon lose our way. Although, He is our invisible friend who is always there,  he will not intervene in any part of our life, if we don’t invite Him in. .

 

Our lives don’t just automatically steer into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Just like our cars don’t just automatically steer in the direction we are going without someone taking the wheel and turning it. It’s up to us to intentionally make Christ a priority in our lives and it isn’t good enough to say “I believe in God or I love God” God created us for a personal relationship with Him. One where we are in constant contact with Him everyday, like you would a best friend. Satan wants to do everything he can to keep us from doing that. Satan wants to be that roadblock in our lives to distract and discourage us from what is really important.

 

I mean have you ever know anyone that said “ I don’t know how my life got here?”, or “ I don’t understand what went wrong?” It is almost as if they wake up from a daze and suddenly realize something isn’t right. Except they were the common denominator in their whole story. They were there all the time, but because they weren’t intentional in their relationship with God, they didn’t keep their eyes on the only real GPS, for our life (Christ) suddenly they have found they are lost and don’t know what to do.

 

The bible warns us in John 10:10,  that “Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy but Christ comes that you might have life and have it abundantly” . Are lives are a battlefield and it isn’t one of this world. We are told in Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Our battle is with satan and all his demons, and the only way we can can defeat him is by allowing Jesus Christ to rule our lives, then with the same power that rose Jesus from the dead will live in us and we can overcome satan.

 

But God tells us to put on the full armor of God. If we continue reading on verse 13 says  “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, stand” . He tells us to be buckled with the truth, carry the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace,  take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 

I believe in everyday language that means,  Follow the Truth, by living right and following God’s Word, we then have the Peace God,   through our Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us Salvation, by His promises in the Word of God.

 

But none of that just happens, it doesn’t happen just by saying you believe in God, it doesn’t happen by saying you love God, it happens by initially taking the wheel of your life and following hard after God. In Matthew 7:21, we are warned that not everyone who says they love God is going to make it to heaven. God warns us that, those people were saying “ We love God” But their hearts were not following after Him because He didn’t even know them, He wasn’t their best friend. They kept living life for themselves and only had a surface relationship with Him, when it was in the “in crowd” thing to do or perhaps just when they needed help. .

 

But let me challenge you today, if the people you hang out with don’t realize that there is something different about you. If you are so comfortable around people who you know aren’t living a life pleasing to God, that you never even think about it.  Then you probably need to pay more attention to where you are going in your spiritual life. Because God tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:17 to come out and be different, and I don’t think God is talking about your hair, or what you wear, I think He is talking about your heart and your passion for Him. That is what He is most concern with.

 

Is He just an afterthought of yours or is He the center or your attention?  

God wants our attention, He wants us to focus on Him. Because that is the only way we will get down this road of life.