Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maybe she IS listening

I teach my daughter Faith's 5th grade Sunday School class, better known as small group these days.  I actually had this group of great kids last year in 4th grade too.  So now they have the "privilege" of hearing my same soap boxes for another year.  I especially feel for my daughter who gets enough of this at home already.  Poor thing.   I often imagine my voice must sound like Charlie Brown's teacher to her :)  You know, all muffled and easily tuned out.

But then, God gives me a little glimmer of hope.  The kind that keeps me motivated and determined to teach these kids what He has laid on my heart.  Even if I sound like a broken record or Charlie Brown's teacher!

He gave me a little glimmer last night...

During dinner, my husband asked us a Bible trivia question.  True or False:  People were healed just by having Paul's handkerchiefs touch them.

We went around the table and each gave our answer.  My husband then told us that the answer was TRUE. 

That's when my daughter said, "I have a question.  Where is that found in the Bible?"

I almost fell out of my seat!  That is one of my soap boxes!  I tell my 5th graders ALL THE TIME how important it is to have their Bibles with them, especially even at church, so they can look things up for themselves.  They need to see what God's Word says with their own eyes and read it for themselves!  I really try to instill in them not to automatically take someone else's word for it.  They need to read the Bible and allow God to speak to them personally through His Word. And He will!

The only way to know if something is false is to KNOW THE TRUTH!!!  And there is nothing more true than GOD'S WORD!!!

I warned you.  This is one of my soap boxes.  I'll try to slide it out of the way and finish my story.

So, my husband got his Bible and read Acts 19:11-12 to us which says,

"God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled."

(I hope you are reaching for your Bible right now to see if what I'm telling you is true :)

*A Quick Soap Box Note - I grew up in a wonderful God-fearing church.  But some things I was taught as a child "from the Bible" by people with great intentions were actually NOT in the Bible.  I did not find this out until I was studying the Bible for myself as an adult!  When something like that happens, it can make you doubt other things you were taught too.  So to help avoid this, I teach my kids to go directly to God's Word.  Investigate.  Ask God to show them the truth.

I'm not being paranoid.  I'm trying to equip these kids with the Truth.  As a matter of fact, our lesson this past Sunday was on Jesus being tempted by satan in the desert.  Jesus used Scripture as His weapon against each of satan's temptations.  On one occasion, satan actually used Scripture himself and tried to trick Jesus with it.  But, because Jesus knew the whole Truth in its context, it did not work.  If it happened to Jesus, it can certainly happen to us as His followers.  We MUST be prepared.  We MUST prepare our children.

Let me slide my soap box out of the way one more time and finish my story!    

After my husband finished reading the Scripture to us and we had some discussion, Faith said, "There is another question on the table now.  I have another question."

Then she asked, "Who shared the Gospel with someone today?"


You see, each night at dinner we have a standing question at our table - "What did you do (nice) for someone today?"  This is how we hold each other accountable to make sure we are thinking of others throughout the day and not only ourselves.

But, Faith just took our dinner time question to a whole new level!   


So, maybe.  Just maybe Faith is listening to me and actually hearing my heart each time I repeat myself.  Either that or she heard someone else say it one time and it stuck with her!  I'm fine with that as long as she gets it!  As long as she gets God & His Truth!

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,


Sunday, September 11, 2011

What is Hindering You

This weekend, I went to Beth Moore's simulcast at my mom's church - Calvary Baptist in Rock Hill.  Their women's ministry absorbed the cost so ladies in the community could come for FREE!  How fantastic is that??!!!

Once I've had a chance to go back and meditate on what God revealed to me through Beth's teaching, I will share it with you.  But right now, I want to share a connection God made between a Scripture Beth used and my devotion today.  

Beth ended her teaching with Acts 28:30-31 which says,

"For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house (*he was on house arrest*) and welcomed all who came to see him.  Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." 

My daily devotion comes from Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God Day by Day Devotional." Here is what September 11 said,


"Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  Matthew 28:19

Our Master commands us to "go." We need permission to stay! The gospel is the account of Jesus' leaving His Father's right hand to go to Calvary.  Jesus instructed those who wanted to be His disciples to leave their homes and their comforts and follow Him.  Some insisted that they could not go yet because they still had to care for elderly parents (Luke 9:59-60).  Others wanted to make sure everything was in order first (Luke 9:61-62).  Still others expressed willingness to follow but wanted to know the details of what they would be doing (Luke 9:57-58).  Jesus never excused those who struggled to follow Him.  He made it clear that to follow Him meant He set the direction and they were to follow.

We can convince ourselves that Jesus does not really want us to adjust our lives, pointing to the success we are enjoying right where we are.  Yet Jesus often told His disciples to go elsewhere in spite of the success they were experiencing.  Peter had just pulled in the greatest catch of fish of his entire career when Jesus invited him to leave everything (Luke 5:1-11).  Philip was enjoying astounding success as an evangelist when the Holy Spirit instructed him to go to the desert (Acts 8:25-40 - to encounter the Ethiopian man - yes, that would be in AFRICA!)  Success where we are can be our greatest hindurance to going where Jesus wants us to be.

If you become too comfortable where you are, you may resist Christ's invitation to go elsewhere.  Don't assume that God does not want you to go in service to Him.  He may lead you across the street to share the gospel with your neighbor or to the other side of the world.  Wherever He leads, be prepared to go.


I need to say that again....WOW!

So, the question for you and for me is are we telling others about Jesus Christ boldly and without hinderance wherever we go or are we letting our comfort, our wants, our dreams, our success or even our fears hinder us from obeying God's call to go and share the gospel? 

Oh Lord, please help us through the power of Your Holy Spirit to be bold and unhindered so we can share the Good News with everyone we meet - across the street and around the world. 

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,