Monday, March 22, 2010

Stop IT

Stop It!

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11(NIV)

In all my years of working with kids, it doesn't take me very long to determine which kids have no discipline and usually it's based on parents/grandparents who spoil or do not correct their children/grandchildren. Now there are situations where children don't have proper supervision or parents and they lack the love and support of a loving home, but in many cases, love and support are not the problems with kids, but it's parents/grandparents who can't say "NO", or who do not correct behaviors, enforce rules, or look the other way when kids are disrespectful, rude, obnoxious, throw temper tantrums, or misbehave.

Children do not have to be taught how to be bad, it is in their nature. What children do need to be taught is right from wrong, respect, apprecation, sharing, thankfulness, and they also need to learn the value of money, gifts, and generosity. Giving a kid everything is not showing them love, it teaching them to expect everything for nothing. Never telling a child "NO" is not showing them love, it is teaching them they will always get their way and if they don't, they manipulate, beg, pout, throw a fit, cause a scence, or use guilt to get what they want.

It is our job as parents, grandparents, teachers, and adults who have oversight or authority over children to show them true love and that is the type of love God shows and that is unconditional love and that includes a love that sometimes says "NO", sometimes disciplines, corrects, and follows through with correction and discipline. It is a love that they needs, that gives them direction, balance.

Spoiling is not love, it's selfish. It is selfish because we spoil a child for our own reasons. It may be to give them what we didn't have as a child, or to get them to show love back to us, or gain their loyalty, or even be the "favorite" parent or grandparent. Children are sometimes going to be mad at you, not like you, or even act out because they are disciplined, corrected, or told "NO" and guess what? They will survive, they will get over it, and they eventually will learn the concept and over time appreciate the consistency.

Most importantly, you are no longer crippling their attitude and behavior, but you are helping them grow and mature. They learn the value of things, and learn to appreciate gifts, and when they do hear "YES", and they also learn to respect your authority and love you because of "who you are" not because of what you give them or think you do for them.

Godly love for our children is a love that discplines, corrects, follows through with discpline and correction, and learns to say "NO" at times and help a kid develop, mature, grow, and have a realistic view of love, authority, respect, and life. Just think if God gave us everything we wanted or never told us "NO" or never corrected or disciplined us? Would we appreciate Him? Would we appreciate grace? Would we be healthy spiritually? Would we be mature and grow in our faith? Something to think about the next time that kid smarts you off, back talks, or throws a fit when they want something and you are ready to give in.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Blind Sight

Blind Sight

"If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into the pit." Matthew 15:14(NIV)

During Jesus' ministry, He told His disciples the above words when the religious leaders of that day complained because the disciples did not wash their hands and follow their traditions. I am a direct man, so I appreciate Jesus' directness here.

These religious leaders physical had sight, but spiritually they were blind. They were more concerned about themselves and religious tradition than what really mattered. Love, acceptance, grace, truth, and following Jesus and His teaching and truth and not their own selfish agenda or lame religous tradtions. Therefore, though they had sight they were blind, and a blind person cannot lead a blind man, or a blind spiritual person cannot lead others to Christ because they can't or won't see His way.

I work in a new job now where we make optical replacement lenses for people with cataracs who need sugery to have the catarac removed and replaced with this lense that helps give them sight again. (check out picture above, this is what the lenses look like I work with)

That is what Jesus does for people in a spiritual sense. Until we invite Christ into our lives and enter a committed relatiosnship with Him, we are blind. We need Jesus to be able to see. When we move from blind(sin and death) to sight (grace and life) our perspective changes. We are not longer blind to our sin or the sin around us. We look at things and people and situations different. Hopefully alot of things begin to change in our lives.

The important thing is for us to not get so comfortable in our christian faith that we become "blind" again like these religous leaders of Jesus day. Jesus wants us to mature and grow in our faith and not to become stagnant, too comfortable, safe, set in our ways, or even judgemental. Many people somewhere along the way become "blind" again and they start caring more about tradition, opinions, comfort zones, and their own personal preferences instead of caring about what Jesus cares about, like love, grace, mercy, compassion, forgivenss, and freedom.

I want to encourage you to appreciate the "sight" that you have or could have in Jesus Christ. If you don't know Him, get to know Him. If you do know Him, do some self-evaluation and see if your faith is "blinded" by self or "focused" on Christ. The lenses I help produce give many people sight again. Jesus gives us sight that will always help us focus on Him if we choose it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010



There is nothing more frustrating in this life than wanting answers that you may not ever get? We want to know why? Why did that accident have to happen? Why cancer? Why did grandma have to die? Why did my parents get a divorce? Why did my friend betray my trust? Why did my spouse abuse me? Why did my partner lie to me? Why do children die? Why do bad people seem to get by with stuff while good people suffer? Why? Why? Why?

Life seems to offer alot more questions than it does answers. It can be frustrating, heartbreaking, discouraging, and depressing. Not knowing "why?" in certain life situations can cause us to be resentful, bitter, angry, lose trust, lose faith, blame others, and confused.

I wish I had answers for you today. If I had answers for you, then I could answer some unanswered questions in my life. I do not have those answers and unfortuantely in certain situations you may never have the answers or closure that you may want. That person may be gone or deceased. That person may never admit to their wrong or give no explanation for their behaviors or lifestyle choices. That situation may never be solved.

One thing I do know, is that God can provide us with peace, comfort, strength, wisdom, forgiveness, and also enable us to forgive someone who hurt us or get through a difficult situation, trial, or problem without the answers we think we might want or need. Sometimes God is protecting us and we can't see it. Sometimes He may be sparing us from a bigger pain. Sometimes it has little to do with us and it just a result of life or living in an imperfect world with imperfect people making poor choices and decisions that unfortunately affect us.

God also reminds us in scripture that there are some things on this side of heaven that we will not know, but someday we will fully know. God truly created us to be our God. If we choose that relationship, God is going to always be there to give us what we need. He knows us best. He knows our situations, our lives, and our hearts. Instead of asking "Why?" maybe we need to be asking ourselves, "Who?" That answer is easy and always the same, the answer to the "Who?" is God. God is always the answer we need when life hurts. I hope you will learn to trust and turn to Him when life get's hard. I hope you might rediscover Him and His desire to be there for you when you want answers you're not going to get. I hope you will allow God access to you life, the next question will be "When?".

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." I Corinthians 13:12(NIV)