May Finish Strong
As I sat in church today, Easter Sunday, I was listening to my preacher as he was reading about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Although the account has never changed, this time it hit me from a different perspective. Jesus was arrested, scourged to the point of His bones being exposed, made to wear a crown of thorns, mocked, humiliated, and beaten until he was unrecognizable. Just a ew days earlier, they were all celebrating His entry into Jerusalem as their Messiah. Now they wanted to crucify Him; they were chanting “kill Him”. Then He spoke those three powerful words, “It is finished”. The death of Christ fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah and the promises from God. When Jesus took His last breath, the veil separating man from the Holy of Holies was torn. The relationship between God and man was restored. …”He said, it is finished”… John 19:30 As I pondered these things, it occurred to me, WHAT AN AMAZING FINISH! After the church services were over, my mind returned to the subject of His finish. I began to think about my life, my work, and my ministry. Sometimes when we take on a task, we have a great start. There is excitement about doing new things and I for one, like to start a new project. I can take off in any direction I choose and push my progress until I see the finish line. Unfortunately, it is not always a strong finish. I don’t know if it is because I tire of the task, or get bored with the process. Regardless, there is never an excuse for not finishing well. Whatever the task or project, use Christ as your benchmark to complete it and bring honor and glory to Christ. Taking this challenge, I am resolved to finish strong. I would like to extend a challenge to you, as your school years comes to an end, and you plan the next steps, strive to be like Christ and “Finish Strong”.
“I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.“ John 17:4
April Are You Entitled?
You might not always like something another person does or says, but you honor the fact that they have the right to do it or say it. They are entitled to their opinions. Civility, respect, and common courtesy should be the standard that everyone is entitled to receive.
The idea that others are entitled to be treated with respect is different than people demanding entitlement. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of entitlement “is the state or condition of being entitled” (like a king, ruler, authority) also, “Belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges.” In this case, there is the condition of being deserving of the entitlement of certain privileges. I grew up believing that others came first; no one was entitled to anything unless they deserved or earned the privilege. Those that demand entitlement without deserving or earning it are a growing majority nowadays.
Today every little girl wants to be a princess; while every little boy wants to be a king. This self-appointed entitlement doesn’t stop with children but is often carried over to adults that believe they are entitled to everything, deserving or not. This prompted my thoughts to consider the crown: A reward of victory or mark of honor. While everyone seems to be in the quest for the crown, my thoughts go to the One who wore a crown for me. When I remember all that Christ endured; He was betrayed and abandoned. He carried the burden of the sins of the world. He was falsely accused by the religious leaders. He was mocked, abused and beaten by the Roman guards. He was crucified between two thieves. His body was pierced with a spear. And last but definitely not least, He tasted death for us all. Jesus did not deserve all that punishment. He is the Son of God and God the Son! Yet in the greatest act of humility, He said, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.” Luke 22:42
Easter is a perfect time to teach these truths to our children. Although Christ was crucified and died a horrible death, He only spent three days in the grave. On that third day, the angel rolled the stone away to reveal that our Lord had risen from the grave! Hallelujah! It was the single act that moved mankind from living under the law to grace. He was my substitute, the perfect Lamb that was slain; but it was not just for me that He died. He died so that all people might have eternal life. These events gave way to true entitlement. Eternal life is not something earned, yet everyone IS entitled.
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” John 10:28
When you teach your children all these truths about Easter, make sure you teach them to be civil, use common courtesy and respect authority. Truly everyone is entitled to be treated well by Christians. How can we expect those who are not Christians to treat others well, unless we model that behavior for them? “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:7
March Let’s Share Recipes!
The type of recipes I am talking about is for our children. It is evident to me that even if you put all the same ingredients into a house full of children who are siblings, the children don’t come out the same. Of course, we are not baking cookies so we should not expect that they would. It does not matter if you have one or twelve children, as a parent, I think you will agree that they each have their own personality. This personality begins to show up in the first few weeks and months of life. Not because they speak to us audibly, but because they communicate with us the way babies do. So if they have their personalities, is it important to shape them as they grow? Absolutely! The time invested in shaping our children is what helps to make us the adults we will become.
“…a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” Proverbs 29:15b
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deut. 6:7
In all your teaching and training, make sure that you always do these things in love. Your children are the most important recipe you will ever put together. If you want your recipe to come out good, you will need to sprinkle in God’s love, guidance, and protection. Everyone knows that your creations come out better when they are baked with love!
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
February is the month for love and romance!
All around the world Valentine’s Day is dedicated to lovers, the infatuated, the adored and puppy loved. As I read this on the internet, it
seemed so shallow. All four of those terms that the world goes crazy over, caused people to spend more money on Valentine’s Day than any other holiday, according to a 2015 survey.
Now if you look up the definition of love, according to Mr. Webster, you will find the following: (1) strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
It seems as though each definition is love “for a reason”. It is no wonder that all around the world people are “lovers, the infatuated, the adored and puppy loved”. This is all the world has promoted. How sad.
John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another.”
I would like to submit to you “love for no reason at all”. Agape Love is a term referring to unconditional love. This is the highest form of love. It is so much more than we could ever dream or imagine. The New Testament defines agape as brotherly love, affection, good will, love, and benevolence. Once you have experienced this type of love, to hear about puppy love seems very empty.
I John 4:7,8 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
As a wife, mother, and homeschool mom, we need all the love we can get. More importantly than that, we need to give all the love we can. So many problems can be corrected with our husbands and children with an extra measure of love. So the next time they make you angry, try responding in love, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I pray that you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day. If you have not experienced the agape love of Christ, let’s have a cup of coffee and I would love to share with you how you can find that love.