Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sometimes Being an Aunt Hurts

I love my nephews more than they will ever know. They put a smile on my face even when I am hurting. They motivate me to be better. They make me question why I do things.

But some days being an aunt hurts. I hurt when I can't be with them. Just the other day, I wished I could be helping my oldest nephew trace his letters. I wanted to help him learn everything at that moment. My mom came home, and my brain was bursting with words that began with different letters of the alphabet. "B is for bankrupt! T is for tractor! Or what about elephant, garage, Gram, octopus, old?" I said. "Did you think of those words while helping him?

After thinking about it and talking with my mom, I realized I wanted to make everything easy for Mason. I wanted him to have the best environment every day, one that was conducive to learning and growing. I wished I could have been there to read to him, but the fact was I couldn't be there.

Life is not perfect. "Really, Mason needs to go through adversity," I told Mama. "He doesn't need everything to be simple and easy. Adversity will make him stronger. I know because it made me stronger."

You see, I now understand just a tiny bit of what my mom went through raising my brother and I. She often tells me of the hard things I went through as a child. A part of her wanted to make things easier for me, but she knew she had to be firm so that I would be independent. I am SO thankful for that. 

Mason will be strong because of life's curveballs. It's okay that I wasn't able to help him that night. He will still learn and grow. I just have to trust God in the midst of those heart-wrenching moments. Auntie will not always be with Mason and Bryson, but my prayers cover them wherever they are.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

School Prayer for Teachers and Students

letters
© Tammy Sanders

My nephew just finished his first week of Pre-K at the big elementary school. He has done a year at another place that was half a day. As he was in school this week, I was praying for him and the teachers.

I thought I would share it here.

Father, thank You for the safety of all the students. Your angels are positioned all around the building. No weapon formed against them shall prosper, and I plead the blood of Jesus over all of the students no matter where they go during the day.

I thank You that give the teachers a grace to teach the material in the way the students can understand it, even the smallest ones. I thank You that the teachers mold the students. I say the students are being developed into leaders, problem solvers, and creative thinkers. Their minds soak up all of the information like sponges. They grasp the hard concepts and say, "I CAN do this!"

Thank You, Lord, that teachers have grace among the chaos. Peace reigns in their classrooms. They have the ability and wisdom to handle any situation. I say that there will be no distractions to learning. Teachers are able to discipline and get right back on track.

Thank you for a great year of learning and growth! Amen.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We Are Stuck

truck stuck in the mud © Nico van Diem via freeimages.com
It is common for muscles to stop working when you don't use them. The ability to move is there. You are just stuck. Even if you move around, you are not functioning at your highest potential. 

Some synonyms for paralyzed are: incapacitated, powerless, and immobilized.

While most people think about this in the physical sense, I started thinking about the Body of Christ. When the Church stops doing what they know to do, they are paralyzed. They are not as effective as they could and SHOULD be.

What are some things the Church has quit doing? First, the Church has abandoned the Word.
Psalms 119:11-16 says,  
"I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches."
The Church has not hidden the Word in our hearts. Instead of saying what God's Word says, we complain and whine. The Church doesn't delight in God. Sure, you might gather at church on Sunday, but it's just something to do. Church is just another place to go. A check mark on a list of good deeds.

The Church is stuck because we are not listening to God's voice. Every week, I hear from God through the messenger at my church. And each week, I get to choose whether I am going to do what God's messenger said.

The Church is stuck because we have compromised the truth. We don't want the pure Word of God. We want a message that will tickle our ears. We don't want to be challenged. We don't really want to change. We want someone to do it for us. Guess what? God has already done everything He's going to do for us! He paid the price at the Cross for all of our weaknesses, pain, and sins. Because of Him, we don't have to remain powerless. Through Him, we can be strong.


The Church is stuck because we have been double-minded. James 1:8 says, "Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do." Does that sound like the Body of Christ today? Yes, we have not been pursuing Jesus. We are not firm in what we believe, so our foundation is shaky. Jesus was the Word made flesh. We should be built on the Word. We have to abide in Him. Separated, we can't produce anything.

Are you tired of being stuck? Are you tired of not fulfilling your purpose with power? Let's get back to the basics and embrace God's Word as never before. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Have Your Standards Slipped?


Don't slip © blue sky via freeimages.com

I saw something tonight that inspired me to write. I saw someone who had let their standards down. They speak one thing out of their mouths, but their actions tell a different tale. Once this person got what they wanted, their standards have slipped. They are more lax about things than they used to be because it doesn't matter now. I don't have to be moral. I can let this slide. I can change my image just a little. I fit in now. 

They didn't say these things out loud, but the message is very clear. Some may not even notice a change, but I did. It left me heartbroken. I am sad because there are fewer and fewer people who live by any kind of standard. How long are we going to be comfortable with the way things are? How long are we going to be comfortable with how we are? When are we going to start raising the bar?

The first step is admitting that we have gotten slack in some areas. Someone told me, "The worst kind of deception is self-deception." I agree. My heart hurts because it's obvious this person doesn't realize they have let their standards slip. 

After this Sunday's message at my church, I have been evaluating my own life, asking for God to help me see the areas that I have quit doing what I know to do. I want to know the areas that I've allowed to grow dim. We are to be a light in the darkness, and we can't do that if we don't raise the bar in our lives.