“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

 

“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!

“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.

“Finding Your Humble”

There might be times in our lives when God places people or things in our path to help us in “finding our humble”.  For me, today it happened when I sat down to start working on the next blog I wanted to write today.

To start my work I normally turn to my Bible for some inspiration that connects to my day.  Today I picked up a hymnal first and opened the book near the middle and it opened to a hymn numbered #496 and named “I Asked…God Answered”.  It was written by an Unknown Confederate Soldier.

“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve; I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy; I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life; I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for – but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all men, most richly blessed” (Schrader,2003. p.496).

After the day I had on Monday and Tuesday I thought I needed to be uplifted rather than being reminded of being humble.  After reading the above hymn I am convinced that it is being humble that makes me the most happy.  I will admit that there are times when I am in a low place when it happens, but in this case I was actually quite the opposite.

I find it very motivating that I found this hymn just by opening the book.  Not a single page was turned to search for anything else. The message was clear and understood.  I am thankful for what it contains for me, but I am also grateful that I am able to share with someone else who might also need it help them on their walk with God.

So if you didn’t find it here; get out there and go “find your humble!”

 

 

Reference

Schrader, Jack. (2003). “Sing Joyfully”. Tabernacle Publishing Company. Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188.

“Feel the Burn!”

Words from Sergeants who lovingly punished us during our physical training sessions, from the personal trainer who gets a kick out of watching you sweat and strain, from the latest and greatest workout video you bought through an infomercial.

Some days I wish those were some of the things I was encountering.  Lately it has been some pretty intense back pain that no only permeates my physical body, but also my mental state.  With the pain comes the challenge of keeping up the smiles and an image of “everything is A-OK”.

Some might say that this would be the time you need to turn to God and ask Him to help you deal with the pain.  I can agree with this up to a certain point.  As we are human we do have emotions and do feel the pain at differing levels.

So of course I am going to pose a question and it is this; “How am I supposed to approach God as it pertains to pain?”  Just when I think of asking God for help with the pain I think back to what the Bible tells us about what Jesus went through.  How can I possibly ask God for relief when he gave His own son for me in the most painful way possible?

I am in no way saying that we should not ask God for help in these situations, but should the request be more about thanks, than relief?  What I know from the Gospel is that through our suffering and sacrifice good things will come.  For whatever God’s reason I must go through this and through this I will learn or someone else will benefit.  My prayer is to simply be obedient.

Ultimately, I do believe that God’s plan is at work and where I fit in will be revealed to me when it is my time to fulfil my part.  Until then, it will be prayer, meditation in the Word and trying share Christ whenever and wherever possible.  Always forward…