Monday, July 30, 2012

Little Again

Matthew 18:2-4 is a passage that I've been meditating on lately: He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

So what are children like? 

  • trusting 
  • innocent
  • inquisitive 
  • helpless
  • dependent
  • vulnerable
  • teachable 
  • always wanting to be with parent  
I was thinking back to when my children were little.  They were always so eager and excited to be with me and/or their daddy.  Their minds were like sponges and they soaked up every little word or concept we would teach them.  They would constantly ask questions and of course they wanted to do whatever they saw mommy and doing.  They trusted that what we told them was true (they still do, thank the Lord!) because they knew how much we love them.  

Yes, I can see why Jesus said we need to become like little children.  Lord, help me to become little again.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Growing

Lately I have been trying to learn how to better hear the voice of God on a daily basis.  I want to know without doubt, what His will is concerning every aspect of my life.  Not only the "big" things, but the little, daily, mundane things as well.  I want Him to infiltrate my being like never before.  I think that so many of us have been raised on focusing on the future kingdom of God and being with Him for eternity, not realizing that TODAY He is with us.  TODAY is His kingdom.

I have had more personal encounters with the Lord lately.  I've seen Him in my mind.  I've talked with Him, not just to Him.  I've heard Him respond to me.  He smiles a lot.  He is so... calm.  I thoroughly enjoy my meetings with Him.  So much so that that's all I want to do is just sit with Him beside the still waters and be in His presence.  However, God still has me here for a reason.  He wants me to do His work.  I can't spend my days only sitting in His presence.  Somehow I've got to learn how to get up and go about my day still knowing that HE IS WITH ME.  I need to learn to walk in His strength, His peace, His power - not my own.  Without Him, I am nothing and I can do nothing.  It's the transitioning from the mental meetings to the active doing that I'm trying to figure out.

Just this morning He reminded me that I need to come to Him like a little child.  He said that I'm learning to walk all over again.  At first this hurt me because after 30+ years of being a believer, I would like to think I'm beyond the childish stage.  But then He called me out and said that I was being prideful.  Instead I need to rejoice in the moment of learning something new (to me).  I need to be excited about the opportunity to grow.  

In the meantime, right now, I can't help but feel, well, restless and out of place. Which reminded me of a song by Sarah Groves called "Going Home".  This isn't the only song that Sarah has written that makes me think she has been eavesdropping on me!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSq8LyCdtgk

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grateful, Not Hateful

My family's background and history is what I have assumed to be the "typical" American family history.  My grandparents worked in a cotton mill.  Long, hard, hot, noisy hours day after day after day.  I remember seeing my grandmother come home with cotton all in her hair, on her skin, clinging to her clothes.  My mother even worked at the cotton mill for a time and so I have a mental picture of her covered in cotton as well. We lived in one of the houses built near the mill just for mill workers and their families.  Our doors and windows were always open during the hot months to let the breeze go through.  I remember running around barefoot and playing outside ALL day long.  I remember either my grandfather or grandmother (depending on who was home) cooking a full breakfast, lunch and dinner every day; nothing fancy, but always filling.  My grandfather liked to dip hamburger buns in the grease! Oh, and he would scramble eggs in the bacon or sausage grease (I cringe to think of that now). 

We were not rich monetarily speaking.  My mother was one of six children, so money was always tight.  However, I don't recall hearing anyone complaining of how poor we were or how we weren't getting what we deserve or that the government should be doing more to meet our needs.  No.  I remember my grandparents and my mother always working hard, doing their best, persevering and just simply doing what needed to be done. 

I'm not even sure why I started writing this particular post, except that I keep hearing over and over how the government should be providing for the needs of the people.  There are those who covet the wealth of the wealthy and think that the wealthy should simply hand over their money to the poor and all will be well.  It seems that work ethic is no longer an issue.  We have a society that expects to be clothed, fed, housed, even handed cell phones, cable TV, and/or laptops, simply because they exist.  What ever happened to finishing school, starting out in a hamburger joint (like I did), paying for your own car, saving up for college and/or a home?  How did America get to this point?  What happened to the days of hard work?  

I just read a headline (which I suppose is what prompted this post) about how the "progressives" think the "middle class" should be rejected because they have no "relationship" to the "poor or people of color".  What does that even mean?  If you ask me (which no one did, but that's why I have a blog) as long as there are people on Earth, there will always be some who have more money than others.  That's just the way it is.  It doesn't mean those people are evil.  Some are, but not all.  It doesn't mean rich people or even middle class (which I suppose I am a part of) doesn't understand the needs of the poor.  That's why we have charities.  Also, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you know the importance of meeting the physical needs of the poor and you should be doing something to help in that regard.  However, our government should not - let me say it again, should NOT be encouraging people to not work and have all their needs meet by them.  America is better than that!  We should be encouraging people to get out and work.  Not everyone was intended to be a CEO of a corporation.  We NEED newspaper carriers, fast food workers, factory workers, and the like.  There is nothing belittling about any of those occupations.

It saddens me and maddens me to hear the rhetoric going on and on and on in the media today.  I long for the days of my childhood.  Days of getting up, thanking God for another day, going out (or staying home for us stay-at-home moms) and doing what needs to be done for the family, coming home and thanking God all over again.

That's the source of the problem.  God has been left out.  God is no longer recognized as the Giver of all good things, our Provider, our Source.  God is no longer recognized in general.

Well, I do recognize and thank God and I am teaching my children to do the same.  It is my prayer that soon America will turn back to God; then we will once again have homes filled with those whose hearts are grateful for what they have, not hateful for what they don't


The mill house where I lived as a child.