Wednesday, October 25, 2017

You have a mustache!

A month ago, our daughter and her family left for Northern Asia.  It was sad to see her go, but when she insisted on taking her four amazing and funny children with her, well that was just grandparent cruelty.

We love and miss all our grandkids, but our daughter's third child, kept us laughing with his funny 3-year old view of the world.  This little man has been struggling recently with telling the truth.   A few days before they left our house to begin their long journey to Asia, a black marker-goatee with a full mustache suddenly appeared on our little guy's face. (The photo is a reenactment of the actual event.) 
This boy!
His mom asked him, "Who drew that mustache on your face?" And his reply was. "I don't know."

When the story was retold to me, I laughed out loud seeing it was his face.  Still, he stuck to his story after being questioned a number of times.

There was so much going on in the packing process that our bearded-boy escaped punishment, except he had a beard for a few days that he couldn't see...but we all could.  It was a constant reminder to everyone but him that a wrong had been done.

The next day when his mommy was tucking him in for a nap, he confessed to the crime.  She hadn't asked him about it, he just confessed.  I'm sure you can only imagine her shock at a child admitting a wrong all on his own!  Evidently, his little conscience  needed cleansing.

That little preschooler isn't so different than, shall we say, YOU...okay, fine--me too. We may be walking around with black marker on our faces swearing to the world that we have no idea how it got there.

Great news, there is a verse in 1 John 2:1 (GW) that gives us all hope....

My dear children, I’m writing this to you so that you will not sin. 
Yet, if anyone does sin, we have Jesus Christ
who has God’s full approval. 
He speaks on our behalf when we come into the presence of the Father.

The day of this incident, I was gone but when I arrived home, I was greeted by my bearded grandson and I said with surprise, "You have a mustache!"  He smiled at me and went about his play.  He was't in the least bit affected by his actions...he couldn't see it.

We may think our sin is hidden, but God looks at us and says, "You have a mustache!"  He sees.  He knows and through Jesus Christ we can be clean.

Personally, I've never been fond of hearing these words..."You have a mustache!"

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Little Things

In marriage, it's the little things that remind us more than the big gestures that love is alive and well.  It might be coffee in bed, pants that make it all the way to the laundry basket, dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink, watching TV with the one you love and giving them full control of the remote, or even the occasional meal out.  It can be this type of little stuff that gets our attention.

(Actual note from one of our grandson's
 classmates following a minor surgery he had.)
About a month ago, I had a little things kinda week with the Lord.  It was a reminder that He sees.  He knows.  He cares.  The little things that impacted my life that week may seem inconsequential to some but not me. 
  • I noticed the food that was provided.  
  • I noticed the lost package that was found.  
  • I noticed the note that was discovered in my grandson's backpack.
God specializes in the business of "The Little Things."  In John 6:9, I'm sure no one could have believed that one boy's small lunch could feed thousands.  It was a little thing that brought a huge blessing.  Here's how John 6:9 (TLB) says it, “There’s a youngster here with five barley loaves and a couple of fish! But what good is that with all this mob?”  

I think the disciple’s question was fair.  "What good is that...?"  In the natural, what good is one little lunch when thousands need food?  When that disciple asked his question, there was just one little thing he left out of the equation...Jesus.  
  • A few weeks ago, my diabetic husband forgot his wallet and was far away from home without money or food for the whole day.  It was an unexpected little thing how Jesus provided for his need.  
  • My daughter, who was leaving for Asia in days, found out a package she needed was delivered to the wrong house.  After following up with the Post Office it seemed the package was missing and time was running out.  As I turned to leave the Post Office, the supervisor said, "Wait!  It's here."  A coincidence?  I think not.  It was another one of the little things. 
  • It's been a difficult season watching our son and daughter-in-law maneuver through the minefield of their children's readjustment to the United States after 3-years in Northern Asia. There has been lots of tears as our grandchildren adjust to a new culture, new home, new church, new school and new friends. Then another little thing that meant so much to them and to us...happened.    A thoughtful note was put in their son's backpack by another student.  It said, "I know it's hard being in a new place.  You're doing great."

Any of these incidents might have brought a "What good is that...?" comment.  But, not from me.  I rejoiced with gratitude in my heart that the Lord uses the little things to bless and remind us that He sees. He knows. He cares. He intervenes.  

I wonder what little things are coming your way this week.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Lead Me

Three weeks ago, 1-year old grandsons were staying at our house. (Yes, I said that correctly.  There were two new walkers at our house.) It was a delight to watch these little guys play side by side in the house.  They were completely occupied  with whatever toys surrounded them.

That was, until the glass sliding door opened to the great outdoors.  When this happened, both boys ran to the door.   They were filled with wonder at the world outside the safety of Grandma's house.

At least once a day, I'd try to take them for short walks around the backyard.  As we walked, I'd hold out one finger on each of my hands and inevitably both boys would latch on to that finger.  This allowed me to lead them.

To these little guys, my finger represented safety, and their act of latching on showed their trust.  

Occasionally, one or both would break loose and try to go their own way (usually right for danger).  I'd hurry to their sides and hold my finger out again.  It was like my finger and their small hands were powerful magnets being drawn together.  These little one-year-old boys couldn't resist and would latch onto my finger again.  Then I'd lead them in the direction I wanted them to go...away from danger.

This simple illustration goes well with Psalm 25:4

“Show me Your ways, O Lord;
teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation …”

In my many years of walking with the Lord, I wish I could say that I have always been drawn to His extended hand like a high-powered magnet, but not so.  I have resisted the Lord's leading and have at times choose my own path.  

This week, you may be at a crossroads in your own life.  You may be struggling with which path to take.  In times like these, more than ever, don't let go of the hand that leads you.  He will lead you into places that are fruitful, peaceful and pleasant.  Hold on to His hand.   

"Lord, here's my hand, Lead Me!"

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Promise is a Promise

There isn't a parent alive that hasn't heard the phrase...  "But you promised!" least once.

I know I have from my kids, grandkids, and even from adults in my life.  Sometimes promises are just dog-gone hard to keep.  Time management can get in the way, as well as, one’s personal finances.  How many vacations to Disney have you planned and canceled?

One of my personal favorite promise-breaking excuses is, "I'm too tired."

Any of these excuses will usually bring the prompt reply, "But you promised!"  I hope you read that with a 'hint of whine' because it was implied.

Yes, that all too familiar phrase, A Promise is a Promise, is hard for we mere mortals to live by.  It is our nature to be promise breakers.  But not God.  In 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV) it says, "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God."  

Now that I'm getting up there in years, there are some promises in the Bible that catch my eye more than others.  Like this one I read in Isaiah 46:4 (GW)

Even when you're old, I'll take care of you.
Even when your hair turns gray, I'll support you.
I made you and will continue to care for you.
I'll support you and save you.

 "Okay, God, A promise is a promise!" 


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