Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Gift of Children

English: Jesus Christ with children
English: Jesus Christ with children (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.

Psalm 127:3

New International Version (NIV)

       When I hear stories like the one about the recent abortion clinic doctor, I have to wonder about the minds of the people who were so willing to terminate a life that God had put into their bodies.  Who were these children who had their lives ended before they even had the chance to begin living?  What could they have become?

        I am so thankful for my own children.  Sharing their formative years was like a reward to me.  They will be the ones to carry on my legacy for whatever it may be worth.   Now my daughters are giving me grandchildren and I am filled with so much gladness when I see those little ones or talk to them on the phone.  I give part of myself for all of them--children and grandchildren- to carry with them into the future.  

         How long will my memory live on after my body ceases?   I have given my children their childhood and they gave me back my childhood.  The young help to keep us in a younger state of mind.  I want to embrace that so I can be ready for the Kingdom.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Matthew 19:14

New International Version (NIV)

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

What Does the Bible Say About Swearing (Profanity)?

King James Version of the Bible
King James Version of the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

King James Version (KJV)

        In recent weeks on my main blog Tossing It Out I have been offering a Monday series on the topic of swearing and the use of profanity in conversation.  This series came about as a result of some conflict during the Blogging from A to Z Challenge from bloggers who like to engage such language into their blog posts and were upset that the A to Z organizers had asked them to label their blogs with adult content warnings.

        Several bloggers--including some who proclaimed to be Christians--expressed that they had no problem with hearing others use profanity or for some even using it themselves.   Some of them stated outright that the Bible doesn't say anything about profanity being wrong while others asked where in the Bible the admonition against profanity was made.   A few conceded that there is clear censure of using the Lord's name in vain, but didn't see any problem with other types of crude language. 

        I don't think any of these people have been reading their Bible very closely if at all.  As is often the case, many people will cite what the Bible says based on what they think it should say, what they want it to say, or what they've heard others say that the Bible says.  So where does the Bible say that speaking and even reading certain types of language is wrong?

       Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

New International Version (NIV)

        One can find many instances in the Bible that not merely suggest, but pretty clearly state what our language should be.  It seems to be the vogue of our age for many to take Bible verses and inject them with more liberal interpretations.  Some might say that those verses were written in the olden days and no longer apply to our modern times.  What do you think?

          Here's a final thought on this:   Words mean something.  Words have histories, inferences, and connections.  When something is said a mental image is created.  That's what words do.  If we are saying something we are planting seeds in our minds and the minds of others.  Even if the Bible didn't say anything about the use of indecent language, sheer logic should tell us there is a problem connected with the use of such language.

           These days it seems that logic is often the offensive term.  

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29

New International Version (NIV)

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thank You, Mom (and Dad)

Me with my parents in 1951

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

King James Version (KJV)

        I was sometimes a stubborn and rebellious child, but I guess by the standards of some I was a pretty good kid.  I'll have to thank my parents for that.

         My parents were decent people who taught their kids well.   We had our sassy and disobedient times, but my siblings and I knew limits and were taught well about respecting other people.  None of us ever went to the extreme of getting into really bad trouble or letting our parents down too much.

         Making my mom and dad proud was a priority for me as I was growing up and remained so into my adult years.  My mother was always a big supporter of whatever I tried to do in life and still is to this day.  It seems kind of funny that I have kids and grandkids of my own and still I think about making my mother proud of her son. 

        She was always there for me when I was growing up.   My mother was a good companion and helpmate to my father until the day he died.   The family stayed strong and we siblings went on to try to make our own strong families as best we were able to do.  What we learn at home is what we carry with us through life for better or worse.   

         Thank goodness my parents showed us what loving parents looked like.

Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

Colossians 3:20

New King James Version (NKJV)

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Remembering God

English: Miriam and the Israelites Rejoicing, ...
English: Miriam and the Israelites Rejoicing, illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They did not remember his power—
    the day he redeemed them from the oppressor...

Psalm 78:42

New International Version (NIV)

         Sometimes when somebody asks me if I remembered such and such that happened in my past I will jokingly reply, "I can't even remember what I did yesterday."

         In some cases this might be true.  Days often pass by that are filled with rather mundane activities that are basically repetitious and in no way outstanding.  I might have to start thinking pretty hard to remember details about a day that was similar to many previous days.

          When amazing things happen then it becomes easier to remember the past, but still we might not always have a clear recollection about what happened.  Of course it should seem like we should remember clearly when the amazing things have come from God.  Who can forget a miracle or a message from God?

           The Israelites did it all the time.  How many times did God come to the rescue of His people?  How many amazing feats were performed that were forgotten within a short period?  Or perhaps forgotten is an incorrect term.  Maybe we should say disregarded or somehow altered in their minds.

          A certain number of Biblical facts are fairly widely known by those in the United States and other places that are predominately Christian.  This knowledge is often passed off as myth or something that doesn't apply to us in the modern age.  Yet much prophecy is directly aimed at our times.  Many things have even already happened but many people don't want to attach any prophetic significance to these things.  Many scoff at Jesus and would rather not think about anything to do with Him.

          The warnings have been given.  The resources are widely available to us all--for the time being.  This may not always be the case.  Are you listening?   Have you been paying attention?  Can you remember what you have heard?  

Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Revelation 3:3

New International Version (NIV)

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

2013 A to Z Challenge Reflections: A Few Words

         Of my four blogs entered in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, this was the one that I was most intent on seeing through to the end.  With A Few Words I was on a mission.  This was the blog that contained the most important message that I wanted to convey to the world.

          My daily visits were few with probably an average of five or so comments per day and 150 visitors each day.  I did not make note of my new followers but I don't think I got any more than 20 or so new followers in April.  Last year I presented videos on this blog, but this year with posts of text only I received about five hundred more visitors during the month than I had in 2012.

          Considering the amount of promotion this blog receives, I am not displeased with the amount of visits I had during April.   I will assume that most of my visits came directly from the A to Z Linky List though there were a few links on other blogs from which visits came. My thanks to Pam Williams at 2 Encourage for providing a link that brought this blog several visitors.

           I'm sure many faith bloggers share my situation of few blog comments and visits when compared to blogs of other topics.  We are all on a mission that is not always appreciated by many who stop by, but when our message falls upon one who most needs the message then our work is not in vain.

           The A to Z Blog Challenge offers an opportunity to reach a few more bloggers who would not normally find us.  This April work is not wasted if it plants one seed in the heart of a searching soul or helps to make a life change for someone who needs to be lifted up.

           Thank you to all of you who regularly gave me your encouragement and support.   Praise God for the blessings that He has made available to all who will receive them.  God's goodness will reign for eternity.

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