Tag Archive | respect

Gray head

Proverbs 20:29 – “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.”

Yesterday, I had a patient that was a young teenager in Munich during World War II. I had a million questions to ask her, but since it was our initial meeting, I kept them to a minimum. 

As I was laying in bed last night thinking and praying about my day, many of the people I have treated in the past came back to my memory. I saw their faces. I remembered their story. I remembered our story. It made me smile. 

I have been so blessed to have had so many truly amazing and history filled people in my life. I treated a man who survived the beaches of Normandy. I have treated people who have overcome significant medical incidents. I have treated many completely ordinary people with extraordinary personalities – beautiful souls with hearts to share. I have treated people who have challenged me physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have cried in the bathroom because they passed away. I have listened to them cry and have laughed profusely with them. I have been there when they did something they never thought they could do. 

So as I was thinking about all of this, this verse came to my mind. The thing that I have right here and right now is my strength. Oh, I’m not ready to compete in any competitions but I can hold my own, so to speak. But I try to be strong emotionally and spiritually too. Sometimes people need that just as much as they need my physical strength. I do this because one day, I will be the gray head. I will be the one telling stories and crying with some poor soul that has to try and teach me how to get in and out of bed. Truly, I hope the Lord comes back before then. But if He delays, I know He will send me someone like me to laugh and cry with. 

My point is this, our aging population is vitally important. They have so much to offer. We can’t neglect or forget about them. They need love and compassion and respect. God has them here to teach us and nurture us and love us in a way that we don’t yet comprehend. So reach out to that person that is struggling to get their groceries in the car. Reach out to that neighbor who can’t easily bring in their garbage cans. Take some time to listen to their stories and hear the desires of their heart. God has them here for you. Love them. Happy Friday. 

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Children and wrath

Ephesians 6:4 – “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

I know that everyone who reads this doesn’t necessarily have children. But we all have children in our life. And the same principles apply to them and to the adults in our life as well. It’s about living in peace. 

Yesterday as we were driving home from soccer practice, my son was concerned over a text he received from a friend, who happens to be a girl. She was having symptoms of a panic attack stemming from an argument that she had with her mother. 

When I heard this, it truly burdened my heart. It made me sad. What is going on in our homes? 

I am not naive enough to think that people are living peaceably with teens and preteens all the time.  I know that hormones and society and many other factors are and can be given the opportunity to wreak havoc on our children. But how do we follow the commands of the Lord and not provoke our children to wrath in this delicate time? How do we keep our teens following after Him instead of following after the world?

I don’t know. (I hate saying those words!)

I’m not the perfect parent by any stretch of the means. I just TRY to follow the commands of The Word and do the best I can with what God has given me. 

Before my children were born, I found a poem at an art show. I had to buy it because it exemplified exactly how I wanted to bring my children up in this world. It is titled “Children live what they learn”. It has made me think, over the years, about what and how I am teaching my children. 

  
So how do we live peaceably with those around us? One of my main attempts is through respect. I want to respect my children. I want to respect my husband. I want to respect my family, my church, my government, my work, my patients, the person at the grocery store who is tying up the cashier, the crazy person who cut me off in traffic, and I could go on and on! When people feel they are respected, their attitude, and mine, take on a whole new demeanor. 

So let me encourage you, whether you have children or not, to be respectful and do not promote others to wrath. Yep, it’s hard sometimes because people make us so mad, but how would Jesus handle the situation? Jesus dealt with teenagers too. You know there had to be some in His following. I’m sure they spoke with Him as well. We have no record of it but how could He not have interacted with them? But one thing Jesus did do, He respected everyone – from the highest official to the lowest beggar. And we should do the same. 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Genesis 23:7 – “And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.”

Respect is a rare gift in today’s world. I fear that it is one of those things that has fallen by the wayside. Not only do people not respect others, they don’t respect themselves. Why else would boys walk around in public with their under shorts showing and holding up their pants?

Anyway, Abraham was showing the people of this country he was in, Hebron in the land of Canaan, respect. He wanted the people to know and understand that not only was he conducting business but that he was doing so with the highest regard for their position in their society. Several times in the 23 chapter of Genesis does is document that Abraham bowed himself before the people. And when he spoke, he did so with integrity and honor.

This passage documenting the retrieval of the cave at Machpelah to bury Sarah is short but full of a marvelous lesson in respect and dealing with others.

Back in the day, men would open the doors for ladies. People would rise when an elderly person entered the room. Females dressed modestly to protect their virtue. Children did not talk back to their parents. People didn’t question whether they attended worship on Sunday mornings. Here is a very short list of the acts that our society approves that demonstrates a lack of respect for others, themselves and most of all God.

Manners is one remedy. Caring about others is another. Understanding our place in this world is yet another way to help rectify the situation. I’ve always tried to remember that if I show respect, then I am more likely to receive it. Sometimes I achieve this and sometimes I don’t. But it is something that I have to make myself do sometimes.

So let me encourage you today to try and be more diligent at showing respect. Respect your coworkers by helping them if you can. Respect your children by knocking before you enter their room. Show respect to your spouse by stopping what you are doing and listening when they speak. Respect your boss by getting your work done in a timely manner. Respect God by reading and meditating on His word today. Respect can be a beautiful thing when chosen to be given. It can be difficult sometimes but giving it can smooth over many difficult situations.

Mighty Men of Valor

Joshua 1:14 – “Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valor, and help them”(KJV)

Mighty men of valor. Where have you gone? Those men who would go out before their family and fight for what was right.

What is valor? It is a term that we don’t often hear these days. Probably because not many are worthy of the title. It means “strength of mind in regard to danger; that quality which enables a man to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery; courage; intrepidity; prowess”. I got that definition from an 1828 Webster’s dictionary.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are still mighty men of valor. But what does it take in today’s world to earn that title? Oh, the first thing that comes to my mind is a Navy Seal or someone like that. People that don’t even think twice about danger. Those people are rare. They are certainly worthy of honor and respect. I know I couldn’t do that task.

But let’s think in our own homes. Men, and I know I have male readers, let me encourage you to be one of these “mighty men of valor”. As a wife, I want to depend upon my husband to make the tough calls. I want him to lead me with “strong hands”, to “stand up when I can’t”. I want him to face the dangers. I want him to lead me spiritually. He has a tough job, being my husband. Poor guy. I feel sorry for him. I can be a handful. And I admit it. But yet, I see him as a “mighty man of valor”. Oh, he’s not perfect. He makes me mad. But I know it is reciprocated. We don’t have the perfect marriage. But we are determined to try, with God’s hand around us.

The reason I’m writing this is because we need more “mighty men of valor”. We need them in our homes, in our churches, in our community, in our government. Look at David’s mighty men in 1 Chronicles 11:10-47. These men were TOUGH! They are out there defending Israel like it is nobody’s business. They are doing things that made Samson look like he needed a lesson. And they did it out of loyalty and love. Loyalty to their king and their brothers. And love for their family and their nation. These men were ready to take on the world – or at least a 7 1/2 ft tall man(vs. 23).

So my princess blog today is for you fellas. We princesses need a knight in shining armor. You may not win our heart, for our heart may belong to another, but you will certainly win our respect. We need to see you choose to stand up for what is right, even when it is hard and you don’t necessarily like it. Make the choice to love your wife. To honor her by choosing to work through it. Show your sons what it means to be a “mighty man of valor”. Show him how to make those tough choices. Show him how to love. Show him how to face danger. And please, whatever you do, don’t give up. God has called you to a very important task. One that can make or break the future. Make the choice to follow after David’s men or Joshua’s men. Whatever you do, just be God’s man to use.

Daniel

Daniel1:8 -“Now Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in this way.”

The world is hounding us. Daily we are bombarded with images that attempt to tell us how to look and act, what to eat and drink even what to drive and where to live. There are people out there that would like nothing else than to tell us how to live each and every aspect of our life. I don’t know about you but I do not like that. The rebellious part of me wants to do just the opposite because I don’t want to be told what to do.

But let’s take a look at Daniel. This verse in the book of Daniel shows us so many characteristics about Daniel that we can apply to our life today.
1. He resolved. That means he decided firmly. When you resolve to do something, good Lord willing, it will get done. Nothing short of Him will stop you. This is what happened with Daniel. He resolved that he was not going to defile himself by eating the food that he knew he should not eat, according to God’s law. How many times do we “resolve” to do something? If you are like me, not too often. You really don’t want to put forth that much effort into something. So sad. So sad that we don’t have that kind of passion any more.
2. He asked permission. This is a sign of respect. He knew in his heart what needed to be done. He knew what was right, but he had been taught to respect authority. Too many people today do not respect authority according to God’s word. God wants us to be respectful of people, especially those who have been given authority over us. Remember, their power over us came from Him and ultimately, they have to answer to Him for all that they do and the choices they make.
3. Remember Daniel’s age. He wasn’t very old here. Verse 4 calls the people the king chose from among the Israelites “young men”. Young people would do well to read the book of Daniel and study his life at this time. They should study his way of presenting himself and see what was really important to him and his 3 friends.

In conclusion, just be on your guard, princess. The world is out to control you. To ruin your testimony of Jesus in your life. You have to resolve to let God guard you and show you the way to go. Don’t let someone tell you otherwise. Choose to be different but be respectful when you do so – that impression will go a long way.

Move it! Move it! Part 5

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Godliness. Now, doesn’t that sound like an unattainable word? How could I possibly act godly?

Let’s look at its meaning. My study Bible has the best definition I could find: “A genuine reverence toward God that governs one’s attitude toward every aspect of life.” I like that.

It is funny how God works. Last night at our revival service, the speaker spoke about being genuine. And here this morning, God is once again reminding me to be genuine.

Godliness is truly respecting God, His place in your life and the control that He has upon your life. It is not walking around with your nose in the air, thinking you are better than everyone else. No. Quite the opposite. It is knowing that you are no better than everyone else but rather blessed by God that you are called His.

Notice how the definition goes back to attitude. I can not tell you how many times I have been reading the Word and attitude jumps off the page. Our attitude is so vitally important to every aspect of our life. It can make or break a situation. We cannot grow properly if our attitude is out of whack. We cannot service properly if an attitude of pride has found its way into our thoughts. Attitude is a game maker or a game breaker.

Our reverence to God, our respect of God and who He is, should affect our daily attitude. It should make us want to genuinely serve Him. It should make us want to repent immediately every time we sin. It should make us desire what He wants for us in our life more than what we want.

Godliness is not unattainable. It is not unrealistic. It is another tool to grow. Another opportunity to draw closer to Him. Another way to show Him you love Him. It is a penetrating trait that can make you move. And moving is what it is all about.

Kryptonite

Proverbs 16:6 – “Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.”
Do you ever stop and think about what all Jesus really did for you? I mean really think about it? It is hard for me to do that because it makes me want to cry. I want to cry not only for His suffering and shame but for my lack of continual acknowledgement.
It was His love and faithfulness that has brought me to where I am, nothing of my own doing. His sacrifice covers it all. It gives me the opportunity to stand before the Father spotless.
But do we really stand? My pride may cause me to stand but in reality we should be on our faces before God. I mean, this is God we are talking about here – Creator of the universe, Knower of ALL things! Hello! Not Someone to quibble with!
I think our society has lost touch with a healthy fear of things. We think we are invincible – modern day Superman. Even Superman had his fears – kryptonite. But it was a healthy fear.
We are told here in Psalm that the “fear of the LORD” helps one to “avoid evil.” What does it mean to “fear” The Lord? In my life, it means that my deep love and respect for Him make me want to do my best for Him and not hurt His feelings by doing something wrong. I don’t want to disappoint Him. If I were perfect, I wouldn’t have a problem doing this. However, when my sin creeps into the situation and I forget all that He has done for me, his “love and faithfulness” bring me back around and set my feet on solid ground.
So today, princess, take some time and analyze your level of “fear of the LORD”. If things are lacking, run to His “love and faithfulness” and claim the promise of atonement and your place on solid ground.