“The Milestone”

As parents we go into the responsibility of raising children with many doubts and fears. What if I do or say something wrong that scars my child for life or maybe I disciplined them too hard; will they learn from the experience? Will I forget my own childhood and become a parent we all don’t want to be? These thoughts and many more run through our heads before they are even born; and so begins the adventure.

Before either of my children were born I had a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and knew that He was with me from a very young age. I felt that as a Christian raising my future children with the knowledge of God and a faith in Jesus Christ would help me get through the challenges a father may face when raising children. I must admit now that my wife was with my children much more than I because of my job during their younger years, but as they grew into teenagers I was able to help guide them through some of their toughest years.

Going back to the birth of my first daughter It was God who I turned to first when an emergency during her birth caused her to be placed in ICU for nine days. That first night of her birth I offered up my life to save hers if it were necessary and God chose for both of us to live and grow together. For this I will forever be grateful because she has grown into a fine young woman with a strong will and of good moral character. Above all she has also learned to know and trust in God through Jesus Christ.

My youngest daughter was born with a twinkle in her eye with her own unique spark for life. It was obvious from the moment she was born that she was going to be her own person with a free spirit who seeks out nothing but the best in people. One trait that she has is the ability to bring out the best in people. For some in her life they have been held down by either others or themselves and she has helped them become more than they thought possible. Yes, some might have not followed her as they might should have, but nonetheless she continues to be a light for others. This daughter too trusts in God through Jesus Christ and understands that through Him we have strength.

As a father who understands the world around us and the hardships we can face I learned as the girls grew older that it was my responsibility to prepare them for this world by being a good example and teaching them what I knew of it. Knowing that God must be put first, this was my first goal and although it was my goal both girls would have to choose God of their own free will and so they did. As the days, months and years go by I am able to tell by their actions and in conversations with them that they are both women of high moral character and have become someone to look up to.

Along with all the things we want for our children there is one thing that I worked the hardest on it was that my children would not be burden on society, but a positive influence on it. As with any of our children each is unique in their own way and we love them equally for it, thereby strengthening our connection with them. As adults we are already fortified in our beliefs and way of life, but for our children it is all new and now it is their turn. As they and of course we grow older we may actually disagree on things as they start to learn and form their own opinions. Some of these disagreements may simply be those times where we learn about each other, but it never means that our love for them is any less. It is actually then that we should love them more because in some ways they may actually be seeking guidance, but are unsure of how to ask for it.

This much I do know; when your daughter writes a letter thanking you as parents for being a positive influence in her life because of everything we did to help her grow, it not only melts your heart and starts the water works going, it also lets you know that as a parent you were successful. However, as the years passed by and they became a young adult the whole “Successful” thing kind of fell by the wayside as you realized that it was more important to have a strong and loving relationship with your child instead of some milestone that was met in your life.

Thank God for children and most of all for His own Son who He gave for our sake.

 

The Koifish Christian

“Build Your Road”

Each day we roll out of bed and make our way (half awake) through the house to start our day.  First it is to the coffee pot or in my case downstairs to let the dogs out of their kennels so that they can start their day.  I must admit seeing their wagging tails does perk me up a bit.  As far as this scenario plays out I think you know the rest, because eventually I get into my vehicle and head to work.

As that day begins each decision we make no matter how small builds upon the path we are on.  For those who believe in God we believe that no matter our thoughts, it is He who guides our feet.  Now this does not mean we walk around like zombies waiting for the next message to come down from God and then act upon it.  This merely means that for us there are little clues or even large ones that help guide our feet; the rest is up to us to make the right decisions.

When I look at the things I decide to do, each one is a pebble to be placed in front of me that will create the road I walk on.  Some pebbles are bigger or smaller, but each one nonetheless causes the road to be built.

For some people the decisions they make will be some of the hardest of their lives and it might seem like that pebble they have to place down in front of them weighs a ton.  Regardless of its weight it must be put down; we are the builders of our road and at times we will have to ask for assistance.

If you find that the pebbles to be placed on your road are too heavy, know that God sent down a stone that is the bedrock your road is being created on.  Jesus Christ is that foundation and with Him all things are possible.  Knowing this we must also see those times when we are too weak and must ask for help; it is okay.  This is exactly what God expects from us because He has already directed someone to be on your path to be that blessing.  Allow them to be the instrument God has intended them to be by receiving the blessing God has intended for you through them.

So think for a moment about all the pebbles you have laid down to build the road you are on today.  Is it wide enough?  Is it smooth enough?  Does it have a lot of curves or is it simply straight?  Is it built on flat land or in the mountains?  Whatever the attributes of your road; no one road is perfect.  Each are unique to the builder which makes them all the more interesting, thereby making the travel on them a wonderful adventure with God.

Don’t worry about the width of the road too much because God will always make sure that there is enough room for someone to walk on beside you and behind you.

Have a great day builders!

The Koi Fish Christian

 

“His Will or Yours?”

As I wade through my day and think of other things I would rather be doing, I also think of; what is it that God wants me to be doing? One thing that reminds me of how small my plans are is when I read in the book of Proverbs how man’s heart might direct his plans, but it is God who guides his feet.

Maybe what we as Christians should be concerning ourselves with is those who are out in the world standing up for Jesus, risking all for His glory.  It is easy to wrap our prayer lives up in our own little world, especially when we are continually asking for things that maybe we should not.  A better question to ask ourselves is; is what we are asking God for within His will for us or our will for Him?

Whatever we do it is our prayers and time studying the Bible that prepares us for each day; giving us the spiritual nourishment and strength to do what God asks of us.

Praise God and may the Kingdom of Jesus Christ reign on earth as it does in Heaven!

“Hidden Gifts?”

Each day we go about our business of going to work, taking care of the family, spending time with friends and just doing what needs to be done. For some this might not be the case and their pursuits might be considered wrong or wasteful. So with that being said I would offer that all the examples listed may not be using gifts they didn’t even know they had.

In the book of Ephesians starting in Chapter 4 Paul addresses the topic of “Gifts”. Starting with those of us who identify ourselves as Christian we are actually given guidance and directives towards our time here on earth as being used to seek out, grow and maintain our given gifts all for the glory of God.  The path is through prayer, discernment and pursuits equal to that of one that is mature.  We are instructed to put away childish games and to start acting out God’s will in accordance with the commission left by Jesus Christ.

Christians are also instructed to no longer pursue the things of the past life in sin that were once the focal point in our lives.  Basically Paul almost goes backward in his approach to explaining the role of gifts in our lives, but it does make sense.  His audience is more than likely Christian or new believers in Christ and his instructions are basically designed to give them hope for the idea of having gifts, but he is also clear that not everyone will have the same gifts and that we should accept the one we do get and make the most of it.

So if we take the time to read Ephesians I think each of us no matter where we are in life we can probably find within our daily grind that we have gifts that we might even wish that we could use more or have never used at all.  Whatever the situation the object is to use them for the sole purpose of glorifying God.  Considering what He did for us it seems to this blogger that what we can offer is but a small price to pay.

Remember this; if someone smiles at you, offers you a “Good Morning” or just a helping hand they might be working on their gift.

“A Piece of My Heart They Shall Forever Have”

Many of us have walked through stores and seen employees who live with limitations and must work harder than anyone else in the store to come up to what most of us consider normal or average.

For some people it is a momentary passing and a fleeting thought that appears or some of us think of how good it is that they are working and trying to be part of society and not a burden.  And then there those of us who either know are a family member to them.

For me as a father of a young adult with limitations, not only do I have thoughts into their trials in life, it is my heart that pulls so hard that it could come out of my chest because of the love I have for all of them.

I want to be their knight, their crusader, and their shield.  But there are also times I wish to carry their sword.  These can be one of the toughest times for a Christian when we have to choose between forgiveness and correction for those who forget that people with limitations are not to be discriminated against.  We are our brother’s keeper and must know that for those who cannot always speak for themselves we must.

If it were not an important issue we would not have laws in this country to protect those who are not able to do for themselves the things we take for granted every day.  There is a reason the laws God gave, Moses communicated and Jesus fulfilled were created and they were for the good of all humans, not just for a privileged few.  I believe for us it is a matter of task that we try to take them seriously and not just let bad things happen without somehow enforcing them where possible.  If not the laws, then at least the idea they represent must somehow be presented.

So the next time we see a person with limitations working in the stores we frequent, take a moment, tell them they are appreciated and are doing a great job.  Know that they are always giving their best, just as we should always give them ours.