“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

“To Be PC Or Not To Be PC?”

Can’t believe I turned to Shakespeare for this one, but when tough topics come up we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. In the news all we hear about is being politically correct. What does that mean anyway? Of course the answers some learned in their secular college course somewhere will come out, but to be honest, I think this is what got us into the mess we are in now.

My intent is not to pinpoint a college for a fault, but what I am referring to is the idea that political correctness was taken to levels unseen by everyone. Now, we are stuck with it regardless of how far it has come and I have an idea that many of those who raised banners for it are now stuck eating “Crow”, but in order to save face are unwilling to upset the status quo they find themselves in. Why? Because quite frankly it could mean losing jobs, friends and their livelihood.

It seems to me in my simple mind that if I am being honest, it is a better quality than lying to myself and everyone around me about my feelings and what I consider to be right or wrong. If I give up my beliefs and betray my feelings I have just handed who I am over to someone else; something I refuse to do regardless of the consequences. Anyway, I am not mine to give away as I belong to God.

For those who are struggling with choices they know they must make to save themselves; make the choice you know your heart is telling you.  God has put His Law on your heart and by this you will know that the choice you make is the right one. Do not let sin cloud your heart and repent.  Let God in so that you can honestly and clearly examine yourself; remember God have given you grace through Jesus Christ – He is your gift so honor and cherish it.

For those around you who claim there is no God or God’s Law does not apply or other absurd claims; they too know that God exists.  If they truly thought that God did not exist they would not fight so hard to prove otherwise. For those who would challenge you in this our foundation comes from the book of Romans 1: 18 – 25. Although you may come from a biblical world view it is simple. Do not let anyone be the judge over God and His word, but remember that our example is Christ and it is with Christian love we approach the lost; not free love as they might have you believe.

As Christians we are constantly told that we have to prove that God exists so I will simply reverse the table and use the same weighted balance; prove that He doesn’t.  Theory and hypothesis do not count as fact or truth. Remember that the Laws of Nature are used by science which also agrees with Laws of Logic, so just because I believe in something that cannot be considered tangible does not mean that I am the only one in the room that uses faith as my foundation.

Praise and Glory to God as He continues to use those who know Him and those who claim otherwise – All for His Glory!

“A Prize Fighter”

Each day for me as a Christian can be like stepping into the boxing ring or octagon whichever your prefer. If we consider the challenges we as Christians face within the secular world that surrounds us, we at times will take some punches that cause us to reel or even buckle, but we still get up and face the next round.

I find it interesting that those who are either not Christian or do not share in our resilience will make comments to criticize our belief, and yet when things get a little tough in their life or they find themselves with nowhere to turn they complain, blame and accuse others for their misfortune.

One of the toughest punches I receive are when I hear someone take God’s name in vain. I have to say that these have the hardest sting, and for those who use His name as commanded otherwise i do try to correct them.  Along with the correction I also offer up a prayer for them.

So each day as we step into the ring of life we as Christians must always remember that Jesus Christ has placed before us the one and true prize of redemption through which He stood in our place to not only fight for us, but also to take every painful blow sin could throw at Him.

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already l obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: not forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God in all of His wonderful glory!!!

“Where Do I Start?”

Not being a man of high intelligence or extreme complex thought I usually try to stick to what I understand best and will at times shy away from those things that I find too complicated or difficult for my brain to digest.  This does not mean I am not willing to learn, it simply means that I choose to live my life my way as long as it falls within the confines of what God has planned for me.

In the quest for a fairly simple life I have attempted to follow God in the best way I know how, but with all the self-proclaimed Christian denominations out there I find it difficult to discern which one I am supposed to follow or none at all. One funny thing though; I have recently learned of Theonomy and find it a curious perspective that has caused me to dive even deeper into my bible  There are many well-educated authors on the subject which also leaves me a very long reading list to tackle!

Discouraging at best is probably the best way to describe my experiences and none more discouraging than the lack of fellowship.  This is a difficult subject because at our jobs we are to keep those subjects hushed, but I never thought that as a Christian I would consider myself lonely as one. I am also not naive enough to think that I am the only person seeking knowledge and fellowship in Christ, so don’t assume that this my version of a pity party as it is not pity that I seek.

Through these searches and during this time of difficulty I am still thankful to God for the opportunity to learn more about Him and myself. I will also count it to joy for any amount of time I have to be in prayer and in God’s Word; through these I consider myself not wanting for anything.

So in summary what I am experiencing is nothing compared to those on the other side of the world being persecuted and killed for their Christian beliefs which leaves me in a position to be nothing less than thankful.  I am however, left with the task of prayer for them to have strength in love and perseverance through faith.

“It’s Just a Flower”

For my beautiful daughter on her birthday.  I love you more than my simple words could ever say.  You are a pillar of strength, yet as gentle as the drops of dew held on the petals of a flower in the morning sun.

 

“It’s Just a Flower”

 

Slowly the sun opens the day with warmth that causes the flowers to blush,

The birds awake and sing to the sun as it moves upward with no rush.

 

A breeze begins to flutter some leaves as they lean towards the light,

But it is the flower so frail that stands tall after the cool night.

 

The world offers nothing as perfect as the flower with its colors and design,

The stems are thin and the petals frail, with a color only God can define.

 

Pounding and pushing, even the rain and the wind bow to its reign,

Though drooping and soaked the flower does not feign.

 

Although humble in its features and form, beauty and grace will continue to stay,

Covering the land in color and motion, nothing like it is found in all of God’s display.

 

Although all are alike, none are the same, each one a pillar of perfection,

It has always been the flower enduring the worst, always giving its best, never needing direction.

 

D.E. Jones

“As the Sun Sets”

As the world turns yet again for another day and the sun goes under the horizon, my mind takes me into a place where everything and everyone I see I must give thanks. This might sound easy on the surface, but I also have to be thankful to those who were not necessarily nice to me or worth, in my mind, giving thanks to.

This might be the thoughts of others as well; not sure.  To give thanks or even forgiveness is not always easy, as human nature dictates that these two things can be considered as optional. However it works for any of us is, well…, up to us. But is it really?

We say that we have “free will”, but do we really? If sin is controlling certain aspects of our lives, do we truly have enough control to say that the decisions we make are actually free from anything, other than the sin that permeates our total being?  The only way to let these go is to not only give our sins up to God, but we have to remember forgiving others must be done first before we approach God with the burden we want lifted from us.

Jesus speaks in the parable of the Unforgiving Servant about forgiving others first. Matthew 18:32″Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you? 34. And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35. ‘So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

As we go through our day as Christians, we know that not everyone we encounter believes what we do. Although this wall does exist, thankfulness and forgiveness are still understood by non-Christians.  Living for God is not easy and I too struggle with the secular challenges, so with that being said I do know that the days of not forgiving and keeping Jesus Christ under a rug of social acceptability are over.

So as the sun sets at the end of each day, take a moment to think about how to best thank someone or give forgiveness if needed. God’s judgements may sound harsh concerning forgiveness, but in reality the potential pain we can cause others by not following through with what God expects of us could actually be our last chance to do so since none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, but being judged before His seat is.

Matthew 16: 24,25;  “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

“Question of the Day”

The question of the day is certainly a Christian one, but I am not sure if I can answer the specific question, but I can offer the perspective of a Christian voter if that helps.  Today we are pressed by the question given to Scott Walker concerning Obama’s religious preference of that as a Christian and former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about the POTUS and his love of America.

Being in the same position as Mr. Walker I find myself in a little bit of a quandary.  Since I do not have first hand access to the President I am not able to give an answer to the question, but I do have a perspective to share concerning Mr. Walker’s answer to the press.

As a Christian of course I would love to know the true answer to the question posed to Mr. Walker, but I think I am more concerned with his response to reporters when asked.  His answer seemed more like an attempt at skirting around what was really being asked.  I think what was really being asked is; “if you don’t know, then why aren’t you asking the same question or at least making an attempt to find out?”

When it regards the leader of a nation I am certainly hoping that this prospect can understand the question posed and that even though it might seem direct, it actually implies something greater than himself and that most people would understand that Mr. Walker may not have the answer, so just say that you don’t know and please don’t try to hide behind political answers when the questions are posed; just be honest.

For the former mayor of New York I would offer that a little more digging might be required to get the real answer to the idea of whether President Obama loves America.  From my perspective (seat) I would first like to focus on how the POTUS views America.  Does he see it the same way I do?  More than likely not, so then we have to look at his own history of being a citizen.  Now this subject in itself is a contentious one, but for this discussion I am avoiding it.

The focus of the view could be broken down into “My Home, My Land, My Country” or “My Stepping Stone”.  I think it would be quite easy to distribute many people into either choice, but now how do we think the POTUS sees it?  My personal opinion is that he sees it as “My Stepping Stone”.  The reason I say this is due to how he makes decisions from how I see them.  Looking into his past is a key here since America served as a stepping stone to get him where he is now and with that he has become very Socialist in his politics and his directions concerning government programs.

No, I do not agree with President Obama on many things and did not vote for him, but I would ask that we be fair in our observations and judgements when it comes to evaluating who he is as a person.  We all love our country for various reasons and because of the rights we are given under the Constitution we can verbalize our ideas of how that is all put together.  As a Christian I will always turn to God for answers, but sometimes the answers are plain and sometimes simple, but the most obvious is love which for some reason can also be the hardest.