Friday, June 16, 2017

DAD'S DISCIPLINE

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  Hebrews 12:7-11 (NIV)

“No, Dad. I didn’t do it.”
“Son, tell me the truth now.”

“No, Dad. I didn’t do it.”
“Son, tell me the truth now.

“No, Dad. I didn’t do it.”

Realizing there was a problem here, my Dad asked his 5 year-old son, “Son, what is the truth?”

With some trepidation, I responded, “It’s what you tell your Dad to keep from getting a spanking.”

We have to be taught the difference between truth and lie. We have to be taught the difference between right and wrong, and discipline is often needed to make the instruction emphatic. Fathers are on the front line in this responsibility, and fortunate is the child whose father is active and wise in this role.

At the beginning of their relationship, God gave the children of Israel the Ten Commandments to make clear what is right and what is wrong.  The Old Testament is full of lessons and discipline leading them toward holiness. Loving discipline is key in showing the way to true life and holiness.

Father, thank You for Your guidance and discipline in our lives.  Lead us in the way that leads toward holiness that we may enjoy eternity with You. Amen.

© 2017 Parker Wayland


Friday, June 9, 2017

YES, GOD CREATED US

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

Our eighth grade class was studying evolution. The teacher asked the class if anyone could prove that man did not evolve from apes. My heart pounded, but my hand shot up almost involuntarily.

Every eye in the class was on me. I had to speak up for God. Studying evolution was interesting. To me it was a lie.

"Bonnie, can you prove to the class that we did not evolve from apes?" the teacher asked.

"Yes," I answered. "Can I see the Bible?" I picked up the Bible on the teachers desk and opened it to the scripture above, and read it out loud. Then I read these verses from Genesis 2:21—23 which, paraphrased, said, God put Adam in a deep sleep and took one of his ribs. He closed up the flesh where He had removed the rib. Then, taking the rib, He made a woman and brought her to Adam to be his wife and helper.

Closing the Bible, I put it back on the teachers desk.

Dead silence filled the room. I sat down and waited, afraid to look at anyone and see the scorn on their faces. God's words had closed mouths and hopefully, opened minds.

I let out a long, cleansing breath. A warmth spread over my body. It was as if I had been hugged by some unseen arm embracing my shoulders.

The bell rang, ending the last class of the day.

Father, may young people open their minds and believe that You created them in Your image with a purpose for each of them. Amen.

© 2017 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, June 2, 2017

THE GOOD LIFE

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 (NKJV)

Many years ago, my husband and I enjoyed watching a television program called The Good Life. At the beginning of the show, we were introduced to folks who decided to leave demanding corporate careers and lifestyles for the good life—typically found in places where one could enjoy a slower pace of life and “stop and smell the roses.”

After the show, I’d close my eyes and dream about one day.

One day when all of our bills were paid . . .
One day when there would be more time to spend with family and friends . . .
One day when I finally achieved a healthy work/life balance . . .
One day . . .

If we are being honest with ourselves, one day never seems to arrive. Unfortunately, we sometimes wait too long and go to our death bed with a mountain of regrets—regrets stemming from words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

After making changes in my own life, it became clear to me that we are often the biggest obstacle standing between ourselves and the good life.

I am convinced the good life is not a destination, but a lifelong journey travelled with God, loved ones and others—in good and bad times. It is living life to the fullest within the boundaries God has established while being grateful and content with His provision in our lives. It is giving ourselves permission to enjoy life and live fully in the present—letting go of the past—and leaving the future in God’s hands.

My one day is today . . . is there something standing between you and the good life?

Lord, please give us hearts full of peace, contentment and gratitude—and show us the good life through Your eyes.


© 2017 Amy A. Verzi