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Post Election Day

1 Timothy 2:1-2 – “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

I’m writing this Tuesday night with no clue how the election is turning out. There is 15 minutes left in the polls in our state. 

But even though I have no clue who will be elected,  I have had this on my heart – pray for whomever is elected. 

We are in perilous times. People are calling right wrong. People are pleasing themselves more than God. People are killing unborn babies at an alarming rate. I could go on and on and on. 

We need leaders, in all areas of government, who will look to God for wisdom and leadership. We need leaders who will preserve our freedoms that people have bled and died to maintain. We needs leaders who are not afraid to call a spade a spade. We need leaders who know they need God. 

Life is too short for shoulda-woulda-couldas. We have to trust that God is in control and that even though we see insanity, He sees part of the storyline. By the time you read this, what is done, is done. 

Now, we pray. Now we focus on uplifting our elected leaders to make the right choices that will keep our lives at peace with each other and with God. 

Just a thought…

1 Timothy 4:8-9 – “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.”

My son has been trying out for a soccer team this week. Wednesday was a really tense night. The boys were nervous about their performance. The parents were just flat out concerned. You could cut the tension with a knife. 

And while exercise and challenge are important, I was wondering about these same boys’ spiritual development. My son is truly blessed to play for an organization that is focused on glorifying God with their athleticism. It’s pretty special. But I’m not foolish enough to think that all the boys and coaches involved put Christ first. Goodness, I’m sure go to church with people who are not followers of Christ. We should never think that just because we are involved in an organization that professes Christ that everyone involved does. No, we must diligently profess Christ in our life no matter what!

You know, it’s hard to encourage my son to be a follower of Christ and still encourage him to crush the other team. It’s a delicate balance. But I know that him learning how to be aggressive and passionate on the soccer field while maintaining his Christian integrity is vitally important. It is a skill we all need to possess. 

So while we encourage athletic ability in our culture, we need to just as diligently encourage spiritual ability in our young people – and each other. They (and we) need to learn to don the armor of God. They (and we) need to know how to handle challenges and aggressiveness. They (and we) need to know how to channel passion and manage anger. So, when you think that it’s just a pass time, it’s actually a learning moment for life lessons that will drive their future like nothing else. 

I love soccer. I love watching my son play soccer. I love listening to him talk for hours about soccer “boots” and shin guards and new clothing. I love watching international soccer on Saturday mornings. I love giving him a hard time about what he eats when he knows Coach wouldn’t approve. I love his calm excitement when he scores a goal. I love his passionate tears when the game is just overwhelming. It’s all part of him growing up and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. 

Contentment

1 Timothy 6:6-8 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing. We will be content with that.”

Contentment. Good old Webster’s 1828 describes it as: a resting or satisfaction of mind without disquiet. Content, in the same dictionary, means literally: held, contained within limits; hence, quiet; not disturbed; having a mind at peace; easy; satisfied, so as not to refine, object or oppose.

It is something we, as followers of Christ, struggle with in today’s world. Our society encourages a “more, more, more” attitude, while Christ encourages a “be content” mindset. A lot of the time it is more money that we want. Sometimes it is more affection or attention that we want. Sometimes we want recognition for all our hard work. Sometimes we want more alone time.

Plain and simple – we want too much. “Want” is the key here. In America, we, for the most part, have way more than we need. We are prosperous, yet we think we need more. You know, I heard on the radio, one time, a saying: if you woke up tomorrow and only had what you had been thankful for today, what would you have? For most of us, we probably wouldn’t have very much. We are too busy wanting more to be thankful for what we have today.

What causes this discontentment? We loose our focus. We begin focusing on our problems or focusing on the things of this world instead of focusing on God. It is so easy to get caught up in the perceived dissatisfactions of life. We think we have it so hard. Look around you, friend. I guarantee it will take you all of 5 minutes to find someone else with a harder time than you. Satan uses this self pity to get us to forget God. He wants us to forget our blessings, to forget everything that God has done for us and rather to focus on what we don’t have and think that we need.

And then when we decide that we are going to stop the discontentment, Satan tries to tell us we are giving up. Oh, so you have decided that you are going to be happy with what you have, then look at all you are giving up. You don’t have to live without, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Contentment is not giving up. It is being satisfied with what God has given you and looking for ways to share it. Do you really need that new piece of furniture? Do you really need to go on that expensive vacation? You just ate a half of chicken, do you really need dessert? Contentment in all things. Contentment with the stuff around us. Contentment with the food we have. Contentment with living in the moment.

Does contentment mean that we quit moving forward? By no means! We are told to keep growing. Keep getting closer to God. Don’t stop. But don’t want more and more along the way. Let the blessings of God fall upon you and be at peace. Watch God show you a more amazing life to live – for Him.

To my children

1 Timothy 4:12 – “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

This is my prayer for my children. They accepted Christ as their Savior at a very young age. They have gone to a Christian school all their life. They have been active in church since they were in the womb. Needless to say, they have a head start.

Be that as it may, some will look down on them because they are young. Oh, they are young now but as they age and grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God, people will still see them as young.

But they are a beautiful example of Christ even at this age. They are obedient (for the most part – no one is perfect). Couldn’t we all use a brush up on that? They are kind to everyone. Jesus was considered the “friend of sinners.” They love unconditionally. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8)

I could go on and on. My children are not perfect. But they are the most wonderful children I know.

I want them to grow up to more and more like Christ so that when they get ready to fly, God will take them higher than I could ever have imagined.

Today, princess, look at the children around you. Think and pray for them. Pray that God will give you a passion to make them better than yourself. And help them to be an example to the people around them. That their youth will not hinder their testimony for Him.

Someone is watching

Someone is always watching. Someone is watching how you live your life. Someone is listening to what you say. Someone is judging your life and how you live it each and every day. Does that make it okay to judge? Nope. But it does make us realize that actions sometimes speak louder than words.
In Matthew 12:1-2, the disciples were following Jesus through a field of grain. They were hungry. They picked off a few heads of grain and ate them. The Pharisees had a fit! How dare they do the unlawful on the Sabbath – work!
These guys were following Jesus around just waiting for Him to trip up. Fools. They had no idea that would never happen.
Anyway, this example reminded me that whether I like it or not, someone is always watching and judging me. So I need to try my hardest to do what I know is right.
1 Timothy 4:15-16 – “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Watch how you live your life so that others will see Christ and not sin.
And my biggest problem – my mouth. Psalm 141:3 – “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
Here is the key to it all – let God do the watching and preserving. If I try to watch how I live my life alone, failure is the sure end. Look back in Matthew. The disciples did not try to defend themselves. They let Jesus do it. That is where we need to be today, princess. Following right behind the Savior and letting Him be our mouthpiece.