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Three things that encouraged me today...
This week I've been thinking a lot about agendas. Maybe it was Columbus Day, maybe it was the Iran nuclear talks in the news or all the politicians on TV arguing about our national debt. I just see agendas everywhere shifting our culture in ways that make me uncomfortable. I even see Christians tearing down other churches in our city. I point it out because passions can easily turn into agendas. Sometimes we don't even realize it, but we are hurting people as we push our agendas.
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Today we remember the attack on the World Trade Center 12 years ago. We pray for all children that lost moms and dads. We pray for all the wives who lost husbands. We pray for the families who lost great leaders after a terrible act of terrorism.
Attacks like this shake our confidence in people, and I think that's a big part of why terrorists do what they do. However, a key part of taking control over fear has to do with our foundation.
"Be not afraid of sudden fear, nor of the power of the wicked falling upon thee. For the Lord will be at thy side, and will keep thy foot that thou be not taken." -Proverbs 3:25
The writings of Matthew Mark Luke & John tell the story of Jesus written by people who experienced Christ and his work. When I dig into the stories of how Jesus chose these 12 disciples, I see this deeper story of how God changes hearts and moves mountains for us. These guys set the foundation for Christianity. They started the church, they set the leadership and accountability in place to catapult us forward and save us. They pressed on and when life got really tough, that’s when the church grew the fastest! It works the same way now.
It's so hard to send our kids back to school when we hear about school shootings & bus crashes, but as parents we have to remember that our job is to train up our children to make good decisions. It's our burden as parents to challenge our kids to understand that every decision they make will have a positive or negative outcome. We can't let fear make our decisions for us.
The woman (Antoinett Tuff) who was working in the front office at the school in Atlanta who talked the shooter down, said: "I'm not a hero, I was scared to death!"
Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.” I’m having a hard time being really present anywhere lately if I’m honest. Tim Challies wrote an amazing article in Leadership Journal called “Here and There”, in talking about technology he says he see’s two challenges to presence, to being there in a digital world. ”First, our technologies try to convince me that I can be there even when I remain here, that my presence can be transported through bits, bytes, and pixels, that the essence of who I am can exist on a screen.” Second, the digital world, with all its attractions and distractions, hinders me from being fully here, fully present in life’s best times and places.”
Believe it or not, out of the first 18 years of our child’s life, almost 6 and a half years of that time will be spend in school! That’s over 1/3 of their journey will be outside of our personal care!
That challenges me as a parent to brainstorm new ways to supplement my child’s education and do a better job living out my values. Like Proverbs says, "If we train up a child in the way he should go, when he’s old he won’t depart from it."
We might not have specific control over our kid’s education, but we do have influence & power when we pray for them each day! Carve out the time!
I was listening to the latest song from Sidewalk Prophets: Help Me Find It. These words are so powerful about God's will for our life!