Will our children have faith?

Today, I was at The Church at Woodland.  During the time of worship I am sitting and writing in my journal.  I start to notice several families with their children sitting next to them.  I began to watch one little girl with a beautiful smile sitting in her mother’s lap.  This is what I wrote as I took in the moment:

What can I say? Once again I’m thinking about the question, “Will our children have faith?”  I sit here and look at this little girl as she looks around and watches all that is going on around her.  She sees a man behind her raise his hands… then she looks at the woman next to him as she sings.  Her daddy is on stage playing in the band…  She is now sitting in her mother’s lap as her mom helps her clap with the beat as she bounces on her mother’s lap…  She’s a cute little girl.

I can understand why some would not want children in a worship service… but I still have to ask, “Will our children have faith?”  In what other setting can a little child begin to see, hear, and experience worship?  More importantly with their parents? 

We are taking a moment on our knees not to pray but to be thankful.  I can hear little voices of children and the beautiful sounds they make.  I am thanking God for the sound I hear.  I can hear one little child say, “Momma.”  Brad is speaking about the things he is thankful for and then as he speaks to God he states,“Our children are thankful – hear them Father.”

This moment would have been lost had they been in the nursery.  I’m thankful for having had this moment today.  My thoughts on this subject were encouraged and blessed by what I saw and heard. 

 

God is love.

Genesis 2:7 “God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life.  The Man came alive – a living soul!” (The Message).

What a great morning it is!  I got up with a cold… chills all over.  The house is quiet and all I can hear are the various birds outside.  Out the front window of the house I can see the green canopy that covers the house from the large Oak Tree out front.  I am about half-way into my large cup of coffee.  I have been reading Genesis 1-3.  I also have read the first chapter of The Love Of God by Oswald Chambers.  It’s incredible how this first chapter over-laps with what I just read in the first 3 chapters of Genesis. 

God’s creation.  God’s love.  All that he made was “good.”  He made man and breathed into his very soul the breath of life.  God is love.  God made man reflecting God’s nature… He blessed them.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8.

the Teacher.

I wish I were smart on things that pertain to a lot that I don’t know.

I attended a Passover Meal this week at The Church at Woodland.  It was a fantastic evening!  I was amazed at all the details that pertain to the Passover and how the Passover Meal tells the story of Jesus.  This sort of thing has always fascinated me… but I have not ever pursued more education on the subject. 

Tonight I was watching Glenn Beck and he had Joel Rosenberg an author and expert on “End Times”.  I am looking forward to the replay of this show so I can watch the entire interview (Or find it on the net).  Again, what little bit I heard was fascinating.  The caption below Rosenberg’s name stated the CIA, Pentagon, and the White House have called on him for information. Steve Forbes and former Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu have used him as an advisor. 

I don’t even know where to start to get caught up on all these sorts of things.  So much of what Jesus taught his disciples and what has been recorded in the Bible for us to read has a lot to do with the foretelling of the future… 

Jesus tells us in John 14:25-27,

“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you.  The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you.  He will remind you of all the things I have told you.  I’m leaving you well and whole.  That’s my parting gift to you.  Peace.  I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft.  So don’t be upset.  Don’t be distraught.” (The Message).

If we all begin to focus on the world around us we could easily lose hope.  Oil prices, war in the Middle East, rice rations, economy, housing industry, layoffs, this up and coming election… there’s so much out there to distract us.  We need to know these things… I don’t think we need to hide from them.  But we do need to have our eyes on Jesus.  We need to rest in him and allow the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher and our Comforter.

Jesus goes on to say in John 15:5-8,

“I am the Vine, you are the branches.  When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.  Separated, you can’t produce a thing.  Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire.  But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.  This is how my Father shows who he is – when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.” (The Message).

We are to not lose heart… not to lose faith but rather trust in Jesus.  Stay connected to the Vine.  Be a student of the Word and sit at “the feet” of the Holy Spirit… he will teach us all things.

Lots of oil and blue lights

As a new Christian, I leaned a lot on my friends to show me how to live.  My friends back then are still my friends today.  It’s amazing that I am once again living in the community I grew up in – hanging with the same guys (And now their families).

We were all together this past Saturday night talking about old times with some of our new friends.  (Brad, Jayme, Rusty, and Kara spelling?) along with most of our children!  I was sharing one of those stories about me being a young Christian.  Darrell had invited me to go to this Charismatic church in town where this evangelist was anointing people with Oil out of some sort of horn that used to be on a animal… and prophesying. 

Well, there I am in this church sitting just a few rows back with Darrell by my side.  He was leaning forward anxiously anticipating what I was going to do.  He had been going to this thing all week long.  So there I sit with my Chaps Ralph Lauren green shirt and my Bono like mullet.  The pressure is building within me to go forward… Next thing I know I am up front being anointed with oil and being prophesied over.  He prophesied I would see lights.  I think the only lights I have seen since then were blue in my review mirror.  Thankfully that’s been a long time since I have seen those.

So… I get home and my parents are in bed and I walk in with the shirt my mom picked out for my no doubt – now covered in Olive Oil.  She looks at me and asks, “What in the world happened to you?”  I replied with tremendous excitement, “I got anointed!!”  My dad sat up and said, “You got what?”

Ahh yea… the zeal I had as a new Christian.  The great thing about my walk with God is that I am still desiring new things… still desiring to grow and be challenged.  Now I don’t know that I would go forward and be anointed in the manner  I did when I was 19.  But who knows?

 

Psalm 40:1-3

You know how sometimes when you wake up in the morning and you’ve got a song on your mind that you can’t get rid of all day long?  I had one of those the other morning.  It was a song that I really like and one I haven’t heard in 20 years or more.  It was by The Cars!  The song was “Moving in Stereo” and now I want to go and buy the CD. 

Well, this morning I woke up quoting a passage of Scripture.  I thought that it was pretty cool to wake up with God’s Word on my mind like that.  It was Psalm 40:1-3 in the King James none-the-less.  I will post it here from the New Living Translation. I read it in the NLT all day today as this is the version I keep on my desk.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing, hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be astounded.  They will put their trust in the Lord.

Staying in tune

A friend told me today, “What I tell people: is to pray and make your decision based on what God tells you.” 

Have you ever wondered how someone can make a decision quickly?  I have.  I am not one to be quick with a decision.  (I will have to say I can be quick to second guess someone else’s decision.) I need all the details and to know how things work prior to making a decision… especially important ones. (OK, Lori was pretty quick… but no mistake!).  But when God tells you something – you have got to act.  Henry Blackaby, the author of Experiencing God, put it something like this, “At the moment God speaks that is God’s timing.” 

That’s why it is so very important for all of us to walk with God daily.  To pray and seek him no matter where we find ourselves in life.  We need to be ready for Him to speak.  And when He speaks we need to be ready to act on it and move. 

I am thinking about another friend (Nat) and his adventurous move to Savannah.  God spoke… he listened… and he took the appropriate steps and he and his family are now in transition to their new home.  I’m proud of him and his family’s opportunity.

So how does God speak?  Blackaby outlines it like this:

God speaks by the Holy Spirit through:

  1. The Bible
  2. Prayer
  3. Circumstances
  4. Church

In order to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.

 I’m very excited about the road I am walking.  I told Darrell yesterday that life was real good.  His response to me had to do with me coming into some money… I laughed and said, “Not that good!”  I joke about this but I really am encouraged where I find myself today.  I’m excited about where God is leading me and my family.  I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store as we continue to follow Him.