Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Taste of Success!

The Taste of Success!

Proverbs 24:16 (NKJV)
16 For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again,But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

Just as the fork approached his mouth, plop! The meatball fell off of the fork. 2, 3,4,5,6 more times he picked the meatball out of his bowl of Chef Boyardee spaghetti and placed it on his fork. 

Repeatedly, his efforts to enjoy that feisty meatball were thwarted by the ball falling before the success of consumption.

Standing close enough to watch yet not get involved, I was enamored at my son’s tenacity. After the second attempt, I think I would have either switched back to the noodles, thrown that troublesome meatball, or whined for assistance. A part of me wanted to grab his fork, stab that meatball then place the fork back in his hand.

But, my son’s focused persistence wouldn’t let me jump in. With each failed attempt, he laughed and tried again.

A popular verse that is often misinterpreted is in the book of Proverbs chapter 24 and verse 16.
Many people quote this scripture with the thought that the seven face plants happen daily (some manuscripts have it added) or that the falls are into some type of repetitive sin. However that is not true for the original translation. 

The falls that are being referenced are the unavoidable circumstances that occur in the life of a believer. Seven references the fact that there is a plurality to events taking place. You didn’t see the death of a family member or friend coming, that flat tire in rush hour traffic wasn’t planned, and that large bill was not on your to do list – but nevertheless they happened.

The bible encourages us by saying a righteous man (or woman) defined as someone who is morally right or in right standing will rise again. I like to put it this way, anyone who is known to stand up right with God will be able to get back up if they become tripped up by situations. 

Take a lesson from Peter. He didn’t plan to be in a storm with the disciples, but it happened. He didn’t make some major moral mistake when he began sinking, but it happened. Nevertheless – Jesus was right there the entire time watching and teaching.

Don’t be discouraged when God is seemingly silent – even schoolteachers are quiet during a test.
On the seventh try, my son mastered that meatball and enjoyed every bit of it.

Trials come but just as Jesus got up – so will you. Get up and taste Success!

Monday, January 13, 2014

It's only a flesh wound - or is it?

How many times have you heard "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"? I would venture to say that you have probably heard that saying as many times as I have heard it preached -- that words DO HURT.

I ascribe to both thoughts but with greater insight.

When any of the youth I work with at church approach me and tell me that they were in a fight, I immediately ask for details. As interesting as it is to hear the blow by blow commentary - I am more interested in HOW it all started. The funny thing is that a majority of the altercations were ignited by somebody's words. Someone said something about somebody and everybody got excited.

Although the words never drew blood the intended opponent still saw red

Proverbs 18:21
New King James Version (NKJV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Matthew 26:51-52
New King James Version (NKJV)
51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish[a] by the sword.

Often, the difference between our words giving life or taking slices from life is minimal. One thing said the wrong way or in the wrong moment changes WORDS to SWORDS and somebody's getting cut.

It is my challenge to you that you consider the content of your conversations. 

Peter, protecting his leader, drew his sword and for all intents and purposes aimed to remove the head of the soldier, Malchus. However he only severed the soldier’s ear.

I believe that someone is always listening and our words could be the very swords that remove the ears of those who need to hear about saving grace and the favor of God. 

Thank God for being a healer even to the lost that they may know Him and still become saved.

So although it is true that words do not draw blood - they can paint an ugly picture. You have the ability to use your words for good and when they need to be swords allow them to cut up and rightly divide a lie to expose the truth.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The biggest LOSER just WON!

The biggest LOSER just WON!

Galatians 6:4 (NKJV)
4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

In order to keep the peace while driving, I allow my son to play on my phone. (Sidebar: This is also my ingenious way of keep me from texting and driving). I am always amazed at how he navigates the different apps on the phone. 

If he feels like watching one of his favorite cartoons, he goes to the Disney Jr. app. If he feels like doing some learning, he goes to the learning apps, and if he feels like hearing his own voice in a shrill and very annoying tone for daddy, he goes to the talking tom app. But lately, he has advanced to some of my personal games that I thought were a bit too advanced for him. His personal favorite is temple run. Now mind you, he is not very good. He just enjoys the sound of the game and watching the little guy run until he falls.

Today, I heard him playing the game in the backseat and laughing to himself. When we arrived at his daycare, I pried my phone from his hand, and walked him into class. As I was getting back in my car, I noticed that I had several Facebook notices. This little dude had posted his score from temple run to my Facebook page and people were commenting on the terrible score.
I would have been ok with him posting his score but it wasn’t a very good score. Hey, my reputation is at stake.

Then I thought about it. For my son it wasn’t about getting a high score – he was happy to play the game and was more excited about his ability to work the app. 

In life, we cannot measure our accomplishments against everyone else. We must not only be our biggest competition but also our biggest cheering squad. It’s not about being boastful or braggadocios. It is about challenging yourself to make great personal accomplishments and then having the where with all to be ok with your own applause.

I challenge you to celebrate yourself this week even if your accomplishment isn’t as big of a deal to someone else. And, be sure to take off the post feature on your phone when you let your kids play with it!

God Rocks!