Just Say “Whoa!”

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Upside down and backwards – that’s how you and I can turn the devil’s schemes, if we will evade the trap of judgment.

What is your burden, what is your lament?  That is also your clue to where you have power.  Take that thing that irks, bothers, grieves you most, and pray!!!

When you catch yourself (as I did recently) feeling utterly defeated and hopeless and just plain aggravated about something, and you hear yourself saying STUPID things such as, “That battle is too far gone, it’s hopeless, that problem is fully entrenched in our society (or in your marriage, family, child, friend) and will never go away,” JUST SAY “WHOA!”

The grief over that problem – in this case I was talking about the ravages and seemingly hopeless problem of drug addiction – is your latest unction to pray.  The Bible sets a very opposite picture of what we’re to be, from what we often are.  We are not called to be defeated, defensive, hopeless whiners and sideliners.

We are to be, and are promised that we are, way more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).  Matthew 10:8 says, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

Does that sound like a tall order?  I don’t look at it like that.  I just say, “OK, Lord.  I believe.  Show me how.”  I want to turn the devil’s tricks upside down and backwards.  I want him to wish he’d NEVER messed with me and mine.  I want to turn every lament, every whine and gripe fest into Victory in Jesus.  Amen.

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Fathers, (and Mothers) Provoke Not Your Children to Wrath

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My motives are pure:  I love children.  They are of exceedingly great value in my eyes.  Therefore, when I see them, as in the grocery store not long ago, screaming at and hitting their mothers, I am more than grieved, shocked, and appalled.  I am mystified.  Or was.

I drove home sick at my stomach.  “I don’t understand, Lord,” I prayed.  “Why would a mother put up with this?  How does this happen?”

And insight came:  She hasn’t done the nurturing, she knows deep inside she has no right to admonish.  Ah yes, Ephesians 6:4, KJV–And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

That child was provoked to wrath, in this case I surmise by the mother as well as the father, because of the absence of balance.

I, for one, have always preferred nurturing to admonition.  John (my husband) told me long ago, that if I had to err, my children would be better off with a little less nurturing and a little more admonition.  My response was that I don’t have to err, not if my nurture and admonition are directed by the very Spirit of God Himself, and that I will nurture my children until their cups runneth over, thank you very much.

I secretly thought I would just leave most of the admonishing to him, and I know I have plenty of sisters who think this way.  Not good.

My daughter is acquainted with a young woman who said she wished her mom had married someone else.  This is a family where the mom never disciplined, so the dad had to be the bad guy.  Not fair, not healthy.

We must all be brave enough to examine our parenting in the light of scripture, and let our child’s behavior be the indicator of where we might be missing it, be it nurture, admonition, or simply complete disregard for the author and finisher of good parenting–that would be our child’s Creator.

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