Tag Archive | truth

The Parenting Trap

Here’s the hard truth. Are you ready to hear it? It’s not going to be popular or sugar-coated or comfortable. It’s a trap many parents walk into with the best of intentions, but ignorance of the gospel. Ready? Here it is:

12-2-03You can do everything according to all the experts in your parenting journey, and your kids could still walk away from Jesus.

♦ Stay together as a couple with love and happiness in your household. check

♦ Go to church as a family, build a firm foundation of faith. check

♦ Pray together, both as a couple and as a family. check

♦ Encourage openness, ask the hard questions, be there for them emotionally. check

♦ Provide things for them, but don’t over indulge. Help them learn the value of work and study. check

♦ Give lots of physical affection and words of affirmation. Let them know they are always loved. Show grace, yet speak truth. check

♦ Give them both an anchor and wings. check

Fact of the matter is, no matter what you do right, or what you do wrong; no matter how hard you pray or how close you feel your relationship is, your children still have the choice to go their own way.IMG_6263

It’s heartbreaking.

That’s how God feels all the time. He so loved the world that He gave His only Son to restore the broken relationships. And still people argue that He doesn’t even exist. They insist that they’re better off without Him. They want to do their own thing without restrictions. Without consequences. Without fellowship with God.

It’s devastating.

And yet He loves His children, rebellious or not, and we love ours. He refuses to give up on them, constantly seeking to woo them back. And we don’t give up on ours.

Love them well. I haven’t yet figured out what that looks like, but I know part of it is not throwing their sin in their face. I know it means maintaining a relationship and speaking truth in love. I know it means letting them know that they are loved no matter what they have done, simply because they are my children.

“Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5b, NIV.)

fullsizeoutput_193On this earth, our nights of weeping are not yet done. But the promise is this: rejoicing comes in the morning. If I didn’t believe that, I would curl up and die.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4, NIV.)

If loving wayward children well can reflect the deep, deep love God has for them, then I will keep loving mine, praying for that day of repentance.

I could look back and say, “We should have made sure they were owning their own faith. We should have listened better. We shouldn’t have let them hang out with that person. We should have kept a better eye. We shoulda, shoulda, shoulda.”

Don’t fall into that parenting trap. Do the best you can, and surrender your children to Jesus. And pray, pray, pray.

Their salvation is not your burden.

Their decisions are not a reflection of your worth.IMG_0780

Much as I want my children’s lives to look like the pretty postcard I pictured when they were born, it’s not about me, and I’m not in control.

No matter the pain and heartache I experience with every decision that rejects Jesus, God is still good.

Through my tears I won’t fall into the trap that says I blew it somewhere along the line; I should have been a better mother.

After all, it’s not about me, it’s about Jesus. It’s always about Jesus.

Fairytales: A Guest Post From Instagram

My 13-year-old daughter recently posted something on her Instagram that I wanted to share. I was blown away by her words. I fixed the spelling but left the punctuation as is.

prince on horse“You know the perfect fairytale has a prince and a princess, and in the tale, the princess is in danger and the prince comes to rescue her? Well let me tell you one of those fairytales right now.

It’s about a prince, a noble, kind, and truthful prince who loved his princess very much, but his princess was in danger, she was in danger of herself, she was broken.

The prince made it his mission to help her, for even though he loved her, he could not be with her if her shattered parts were never mended.princess by hedges

He sacrificed everything to be with her, fixed her with the power of his blood, and he took her and told her to trust him, he loved her with all of his heart, and he promised her that one day, she would be his bride, and they would live happily ever after in his kingdomperfect kingdom. The End.”

Sappy teenaged-girl story? Or a truth for the ages?

He loves us. Oh, how He loves us.






photoillustrations from: imgur.com and Pinterest (2)

OJ Didn’t Do It (and other myths I’ve believed)

I am an optimist by ntruth vs liesature, and I like to believe what people tell me. After 54 years on planet Earth, I’ve had a few things chip away at that naiveté. For instance, back in the day when O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering his wife and waiter Ronald Goldman, I thought there was no way he could be guilty. He was a football icon, for heaven’s sake. How could he have done something so terrible?

Well, apparently I was wrong. My faith in humanity took a huge dip. Recently, I have been confronted by the arrest of Bill Cosby, an entertainer whose work I have loved over many, many years. I have read differing points of view: some people say it’s about race, some think the women accusing him only want notoriety and money, others think he’s an evil person. He hasn’t been convicted, of course, but why would so many women lie?

Then there’s Woody Allen and Ben Roethlisberger and Jameis Winston. I’m sure I could name more. Who’s telling the truth?

Did you know that Tim Tebow travels with a small entourage all the time so that he’s never alone? Not only does he want the accountability, he wants there to be no opportunity for anyone to accuse him of anything, because there is always a witness.

My daughter is reading Chuck Colson’s book Born Again for school and I’ve been reading along with her, sometimes to her because it’s so complicated, and I am seeing that not everything you read in the media is right. Go figure. We complain now about a biased media, but they sure were biased back in the 70’s as well. There was so much going on behind the scenes in Washington during the whole Watergate scandal, but apparently many of the inflammatory headlines were completely fabricated. Rumors fly so freely, especially in this day of the internet, that separating truth from fiction is very difficult. Anyone can say something about someone and suddenly it’s gospel truth.

Even a solid track record doesn’t guarantee a hero won’t fall. Everyone is vulnerable. But we also know that people have been accused falsely, like Chuck Colson was. So how do we know?

I don’t believe being suspicious of everyone is the answer. The Bible tells us to be discerning, (1 Kings 3:9 for one: “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”), and that comes only through prayer. God alone knows the truth when it comes down to he said/she said. It’s not our job to determine who’s lying unless we’re on a jury. Our job is to pray, to share the gospel, and to love those who have fallen because but for the grace of God, there would we be as well.

image from NTK.com—Don’t believe a word they say

What Is Truth?

truthWe have been inundated lately with ‘fessers; those who now feel the need to come clean on some sin of the past about which they have been silent heretofore. Lance Armstrong comes first to mind. I supported the guy. Never failed a drug test, yadda, yadda. Remember O.J? I didn’t think there was any way he could have committed the terrible crimes of which he was accused. I’d seen him run with a football. I knew him. I have a Barry Bonds bobblehead on my shelf. I’d like to believe him. Recently we’ve been hearing about Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o. He is denying having a role in the dead-girlfriend hoax. I don’t know him at all, but I’d like to believe him. I’m all for the “innocent until proven guilty” way of doing things.

Those are some athletes I can think of.

Don’t even get me started on politicians.

Movies that depict the good guys, like police officers or firemen, going bad make my blood boil. I was a faithful watcher of the TV show “24,” but I was always so irritated by the traitors, the evil infiltrators who lied and schemed and made people trust them. Made ME trust them. It’s just not right.

There is something deep within us that wants truth. We want to be able to trust people. Those who lie to us break our hearts down deep inside. I don’t want to become a cynical person, but the plethora of public liars puts us at a disadvantage. Who, really, can we trust? If my spouse says he’s not cheating on me, can I truly believe him? If my sons say they aren’t looking at pornography on the computer, do I take them at their word? (Yes, but I also have a filtering and accountability program on all the computers.)

Where is the integrity? Who can we really trust?

In John 14:6, Jesus declares, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Phew. Finally. And how can we know that we can trust Him? Look at His track record. Has He ever not followed through on something He said He was going to do? Has He ever told us anything that wasn’t true? That’s what got the pharisees so upset: He told the truth, and it didn’t reflect well on them.

Try Him; test Him. He is trustworthy. His followers died painful deaths for what they believed to be true about Him. I believed Lance Armstrong, but I wouldn’t have died for him. I didn’t trust him that much. He is human, after all.

Ah, that would be the difference: human vs. divine. One you can never fully trust; one you can bet your life on.

Thankful today for:

774. Giggling girls

775. flowers in January

776. grades nearly done

777. people I can trust

778. old friends

779. new growth

780. scented oils in a warming bowl

781. service projects

782. shadows

783. orange juice

784. natural health care

785. my sisters, who make me smile

786. my brother, even though I never hear from him 🙂

787. worship music

788. warm sunshine streaming in my windows



Truth, if you Dare

There’s a saying in journalism circles: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Years ago, I was assigned a story about a man who was then very old living in Phoenix. Apparently, he had been a gangster in Chicago way back in the day of Al Capone and his ilk. But God had gotten ahold of his heart and he had experienced a dramatic change in his life.

So I was sent by the magazine to check out his story. What I heard was an amazing tale of organized crime activity and redemption. But, of course, being the good journalist that I was, I had to verify these stories.

This was in the days before the Internet, so a simple Google search for any corroborating newspaper articles or anything was not possible. So I went to the library and did things the old-fashioned way: microfiche.

Boy, was that painstaking–and fruitless. I simply couldn’t find any evidence that what this sweet old man had told me was true. It made me feel a little better that his family wasn’t all that sure it was true either.

Nowadays, with all kinds of information right at our fingertips, we still have to be careful about what we believe. Websites like truthorfiction.com and snopes exist to help dispel erumors, but not even they can catch everything.

And wonderful tool that it can be, Photoshop has made even the statement “pictures don’t lie” untrue. Just take a look at the National Enquirer if you have any doubts about that.

So, when Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” how can we trust that? Check it out. Read the Bible and test and see if anything He’s ever said has not been true. Joyce Meyers says this, “Believing what others say rather than exploring God’s Word for yourself will actually limit you and even keep you from doing what God created you to do. But, if you will contend for the truth, embrace it and build your life upon it, you will succeed in every endeavor.”

“O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)

Thankful today for:

255. a fun field trip to Green Meadows petting farm

256. sweet baby goats, ducks and chicks

257. goats that will push each other out of the way just to be petted by you

258. cold water

259. so many teens going on misson trips this summer

260. good mid-term reports for my kids

261. a two-day work week

262. my identity in Christ

263. digital photos