Thursday, May 26, 2016

Reality Check

Parenting...cannot be outsourced

To disciple your children, you need to discipline them

Proverbs 13:24 - A refusal to correct is a refusal to love;
    love your children by disciplining them. (MSG)

Proverbs 19: 18 - Discipline your children while you still have the chance;
    indulging them destroys them. (MSG)

Proverbs 22:15 - Young people are prone to foolishness and fads;
    the cure comes through tough-minded discipline. (MSG)

Proverbs 29:15 - Wise discipline imparts wisdom;
    spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents. (MSG)

Proverbs 29:17 - Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did -
    they’ll turn out delightful to live with. (MSG)

As we celebrate Children's Day on May 27th in Nigeria,
I pray that your children will celebrate you for how you parented them...


P.S. Many thanks to my friend and fellow mother (@amareno4him)
- she shared this picture with me and I expanded on it.
I recommend you follow her...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

“Will it help?”


A few months ago, I watched a few scenes of the “Bridge of Spies” movie. I didn’t watch it to the end but the first few scenes made an impression in my heart. One of the main characters was arrested and accused of being a spy. The attorney assigned to him couldn’t help but comment on how unperturbed his “client” was about the gravity of the case facing him. Each time the attorney mentioned that he didn’t look worried about the case against him, his calm response was
“Will it help?”

The way you respond to this simple 3-word question determines how complex your life is or not.
When you worry, at least 6 things happen to you:
  • Wear yourself out - drain your energy
  • Open yourself to Panic attacks
  • React without thinking things through 
  • Rob yourself of peace of mind
  • You miss out on enjoying the moment

Think about it,
How will worrying about anything help?
Has worrying ever helped you in life?
Well it hasn’t helped me so far so I decided again that any time the “Worry-Bug” wants to bite and bug me, I’ll ask myself the same 3-word question. God knows that it’s not beneficial and has given us a “Release valve” when worry wants to trap us. It’s found in Philippians 4:6 -7:
6 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. 7Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (MSG)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

In other words, rather than worry, worship and then “war” in the Place of Prayer.

So the next time you feel the urge to worry ask yourself “Will it help?”


Addendum:
Believe it or not, the same day I finally wrote up this piece and set it up to be posted later, the Lord tested me. I misplaced a bracelet and only realized when I woke up at about 4am. I tossed and turned mentally retracing my steps the previous evening and thinking up a plan - I'm sure you know that I had to be awake to do that. Just then the Holy Spirit gently asked "Will it help?" Oops...of course, the answer was "No" so rather than lie there without peace or sleep, I got up and did some pending work. When I was exhausted, I went back to bed.


The next morning, by the time I asked the 3rd person if they had seen my bracelet someone was bringing out one "Lost and Found" item  - yes, it was my bracelet. So imagine if I denied myself sleep over a bracelet. In fact even if I didn't find it at all, it sure was not worth losing sleep over. Lord, thank You for the lesson and the blessing of recovery.

Friday, May 6, 2016

How strong is your advice?

I felt like reading Proverbs 31 through but only got to verse 1 and stopped. The version I read said:
"The words of King Lemuel, the strong advice his mother gave him"*
As I pondered on this verse, I decided to look up the word "advice." The result of my random internet search was:
"guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action,
typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative."**
Hear what a teenager said about advice:
How true Daddy's words were when he said: all children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. ~ Anne Frank***
Notice that she quoted her Daddy - this points to the realization that she regarded her Daddy as knowledgeable or authoritative. So knowing what advice means and hearing from a teenager, "How strong is our advice to our children?" - and this is a question for Fathers and Mothers. Note that I didn't ask "how strict/stern is your advice?"


When you think about it Erma Bombeck's words apply to Fathers and Mothers. She said "When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway."

Very true and well put. So back to my question: How strong is the advice we do give?
"Strong" means: "able to withstand great force or pressure." **
And Proverbs 24: 10 says "If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. (NLT)

References:


*emphasis mine, MSG
** Google search result
*** She lived for only 15 years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Frank