Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Help Wanted - NOT

Last week our youngest daughter appeared to be having some friendship difficulties. So on Wednesday morning, I devoted some time to praying for her and her relationships. That afternoon, as I picked her up from school, she got in the car with a tightly clenched fist. As it turned out, she was clutching a few tiny friendship gifts from one of her friends.

I was pleased and told her how neat I thought it was that God had answered my prayers from the morning. In an outraged tone, she replied, “you do NOT need to pray for me.”

As a Mom, it’s love that compels me to pray for my children. Especially in situations where I feel I have little other influence. Obviously our elementary schooler viewed it differently. She saw it as meddling. And I believe, in that circumstance, she felt she had everything under control and needed no help from me or God.

Now where do you think she gets that attitude from? Ever heard the expression: “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?” She probably learned it right in my lap. Oh, how I regret the many times I have consciously or unconsciously rejected God’s “meddling” by refusing to bring things to Him in prayer. It brings to mind the classic hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” I googled the words and found the tune and lyrics here in someone’s online devotion, including these lines:
Oh, what peace we often forfeit.
Oh, what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, we need to invite God’s meddling. We need to pray about everything. And whether she appreciates it or not, I’ll keep praying for my precious daughter. But maybe I just won't tell her about it. :)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Carnival Time

The latest Christian Carnival is up at Semicolon. Check it out.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Just This One Time

Our middle schooler asked me the other day why I am against a lottery in our state. "Is it because Nana is against it?" he asked. My Mom is a bright woman so it's not that farfetched to follow her lead. But no, I have other reasons. A major reason has to do with the addictive nature of gambling. Many people think they can play a lottery (or blackjack or poker, whatever) without getting hooked, but you don't really know. Some people seem more vulnerable to a gambling addiction than others.

And some fall into alcoholism easier than others. Or pornography. Or drugs. Even sex. Addictions are hard to predict. As mentioned in last week's post, many teens fall hard, often when they leave home and head to college. They are convinced they won't be hooked. Teens tend to have an "it won't happen to me attitude," and then they go ahead and dabble in whatever it is. And when they fall, it is hard to get back up.

For example, have you seen photos of people addicted to meth - aka ice, crank, or speed? They get what is known as Meth Mouth , horrible decay and rotting of their teeth. These people can see the damage they are doing to themselves, they look in the mirror every day, and actually see the horror right there on their faces, and they cannot stop using. I bet, pardon the pun, most victims started out thinking they'll try it just once.

God's Word is like an umbrella of protection. When you obey His commands and live by the wisdom in the Bible, you can avoid many of the worst pitfalls such as a drug habit or a sexually transmitted disease or a drunk driving accident - at least insofar as it depends on you. God promises when you face temptation to provide a way out. I hope you will look for that escape and stay under His protection. Don't fool yourself into believing you can handle it on your own. How much you depend on Him and stay close to Jesus will determine whether you wade through the temptations of life victorious or defeated.

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." I Corinthians 10:13

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Firm Foundation

Our family has been in the process of designing (with professional help) a home. We've learned a great deal about the importance of a good, solid foundation. Pretty paints and light fixtures are great, but not much help if the foundation goes bad.

I've heard some sad stories lately from friends whose children have gone away to college this past year and lost their way. These friends are wonderful Christians, involved in loving relationships with their children, and are at a loss to explain why their children, also committed to Christ, got so far off track. They appeared to have a strong foundation.

So what do you think? How can students best prepare to go to college and face temptations successfully? Many do. But many don't. My heart goes out to the ones that fall. Feel free to post any thoughts on this in the comment section or email me at gracenotes@nc.rr.com.

"In the path of righteousness is life, but the way of error leads to death." Proverbs 12:28