My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Learning from our Elders
Shameless excuse to place a picture of my granddaughters!
Prov. 1:8 Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,
and do not reject your mother’s teaching;
9for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck.
The proverbs give us excellent practical advice for daily life. Children are to listen to and obey their parents. This instruction is so helpful for life that it becomes as beautiful as an adornment that one might wear.
I spent a few minutes of my morning with my granddaughters who are three and nineteen months. Usually they are such a joy in the mornings, full of sunshine and smiles, but not today. The girls are a bit tired this morning because they were up a little late last night and the older one awakened a little too early. That means that today has a few more challenges than the average day, and some buttons that are easily pushed. I watched on as my daughter told her oldest that she had two options for some quiet time this morning. Neither one of those options was seen as favorable and so the tears began to flow, with an insistence that a three-year-old knew the best option and it included watching “Paw Patrol.” From a distance I watched as this all played out with mother refusing to give in to the little one.
A few minutes later the same testing occurred but brought on by the nineteen month old who was determined that she was finished with breakfast. Soon there ensued the “just two more bites” discussion. At this point the toddler turned into one of the finest actresses I’ve seen at such a young age. She worked really hard to get those tears to start to flow, wrinkled up her face, and thought she’d add some sounds of anguish. This was met by a mother with resolve who simply looked at her and praised her on her acting skills and told her to eat two more bites. She instantly stopped the show, ate her two bites and lovingly smiled at her mom.
I remember the days of being a young mother and the energy that it took to keep instructing the girls, and now I watch my daughter do the very same thing. I watch these two little granddaughters and I realize that if they learn to follow the instructions of their parents (because their dad is just as engaged in their instruction as their mother) they will discover a “fair garland” for their head and a “pendant” for their neck. Even at their very young age they have to decide whether they will follow the instruction of their parents or not, but if they do listen, things will go better for them. It’s the love of their parents that is poured out in instruction so that they will learn how to live well in this world.
Our heavenly Father provides us with instruction for life. There are times when we respond like little children, unhappy about the options and direction that God may want us to go. Sometimes we don’t like the spiritual food, or spiritual experiences that God may be using to shape and form us. We wrinkle up our nose and show our disgust at what we are going through. Our loving Father knows that it’s not always pleasant, but he also knows that what is best for us.
Spiritual children are to hear and heed the instruction and teaching of our heavenly Father. Our Father wants us to be able to live well and follow his leading. This will be visible in the ways in which we live our lives and respond to the difficulties which we will encounter. Instead of being ugly in the midst of a tragedy or frustration, we will become adorned with God’s instruction and teaching which will make us appear to be beautifully adorned. It’s the ways in which we respond when frustrated that will reveal whether we have been coddled and received very little instruction and teaching, or whether we have been disciplined by those who have taken the time to love us well.
Earthly parents are to follow the model placed before us by our heavenly Father. Children are to respond, hearing and accepting that beautiful gift of discipline, instruction and teaching, which is provided for our benefit.
Lord, may my heart be softened in your presence, willingly accepting your instruction and teaching, reflecting your beauty to the world.Amen.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain. Observation:
There is a foundation to the house of this life, and that must be the Lord. Application:
I think it started this week when we got off the plane in Boise. A flood of memories began to overwhelm me as I reminisced about the way that things used to be. Many years ago, when we were living in Russia, we would come back home to the United States on furlough, and that always meant coming to Boise, Idaho. My parents were living here and had built a home with two guest rooms that we would call “home” for three months. Exiting the security area at the airport, my parents were always there, waiting with expectant smiles, for us to finally arrive. I can see my mom, clapping her hands, with a grin from ear to ear, just waiting to wrap her arms around every one of us. This week, I glanced at the waiting area as we exited the security …
Scripture: 1Tim. 5:22 Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. Observation: Timothy may have been a very compassionate and sympathetic individual, but that could have led to problems in the church. There are two ways to see this passage of scripture. One has to do with the selection of leaders who are a part of the church. To avoid scandals, those who are to be in positions of leadership are to be well examined. There should be a process and a period of time in which the life and character of the individual is examined. Ordination is never a right, but it is a covenant of grace bestowed upon an individual by the church. Those who lay hands on an individual to be ordained bear responsibility for the future actions of those who are receiving ordination. This is why the ones who do the ordination must carefully examine and prepare those to be ordained. This is also where the second concern may have occurred, and that relates to individua…
Scripture: Phil. 4:10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. Phil. 4:15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than …