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MAN-UP


MAN-UP

1Co 13:11  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

2Sa 10:12  Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.

I. TOUGHEN-UP – Life is not always fair nor is it always easy. At best all of us struggle from time to time with experiences that we have beset us. Anger is not a help in negotiating the pitfalls of this life. Time and thoughtfulness and the Word of God applied can get us through any situation. Your way is not necessarily the best way. Attitude and appreciation are two very important items in getting through difficult situation. Sometimes we need our attitude adjusted to appreciate what we have received or the situation we are in.

II. STAND-UP – It is a simple thing to stand up when a woman or the elderly enter a room. This is common courtesy and decency. This item in not about that. It is addressing standing up for what is right and decent and morally acceptable. It also address the idea of when we have done something wrong, stand up and admit it with humility instead of striking out at those that correct you. Babies strike out because they don’t know better because they are, well babies. They suck a bottle. Be a man. Stand up and say – I did it, I am sorry, I was wrong and I deserve the punishment that I will receive. I will strive to do better.

III. GET-UP – Get your day started off right, Get Up and Make Up your bed. That is your first accomplishment of the day. If you can not accomplish that small thing, there is not much else you can accomplish. Get Up and get yourself ready for the task that is at hand. If it is a job first thing in the morning, get up in time to get dressed and eat and get to work 15 minutes early, eager to earn your money. This will be a recommendation to a better job with better pay. Do not be a quitter. When a prospective employer sees a quitter, they know you won’t be long working for them before you quit.

IV. SHUT-UP – Shut up. Learn when to speak and when not to speak. It is never good to react immediately with the first thing that enters your mind. You need to take the time think seriously about your reply. Most immediate replies are defensive replies spit out in anger. They are hurtful and often make little sense. There is a saying – It is better to remain quiet and be thought stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Continual badgering will not influence parents that truly love you. It will turn bosses away from you and bring you closer to being fired. There is always a warm body just waiting for you to get fired so that they can get your cushy job and maybe even do better work than you do. Just SHUT-UP.

V. LISTEN-UP – Listen to others. If you want others to listen to you, then learn that you have 2 ears and 1 mouth. That means listen more and talk less. If someone said, you put your arm between those two wheels and it will break your arm, that is the voice of experience. Experience is the best friend you can have next to your parents. Your parents are the best you can have. What does experience do for you? It keeps you from having broken arms, broken legs and broken heads. Your peers, your friends your age can never give you the guidance and direction that a parent or older person can give. They have traveled this road you are about to travel. They have a wealth of knowledge. They have had the broken arms, broken legs, and broken heads. There is more though. A broken soul. Do you know what a soul is? It is emotions and mental abilities. These can be broken. They can also be fixed if one is willing to listen. They can be fixed if one is willing to be loved deeply and return love. This comes with experience. Parents and old people have that experience of broken hearts and deep felt emotions that bring tears and weeping. They have experienced broken hearts because of children going astray and possibly being hurt and ruin their lives. They struggle each day because of their desire for their children to not suffer what they have suffered and not to hurt the way they have hurt. This is a reason to LISTEN-UP.

VI. WISE-UP – To what is going on around you. There are many pitfalls in life. We must be aware of them. There are characters that say they are our friend but would lead us to destruction. Destruction of our character, destruction of our reputation, and destruction of our very lives. Let me tell you what a true friend is. A true friend cares for you so much that he will not lead you to do immoral or illegal things but will instead warn you to not do those things. A true friend will help you to do the RIGHT thing. A true friend will not be rebellious against the authority of parents, school officials, police officers or those older than you. Surround yourself with good friends and learn from them and make them the best friends you have.

VII. GROW-UP – There is nothing worse than being around a teenager or adult that is a whiny, crying, sullen brat. My dad used to say to me – act your age not your IQ. The assumption that is made is that teenagers are maturing and becoming responsible men and women. Sometimes that is not true. They are remained bottle babies and pout and sulk when they don’t get their way. Your age might indicate that your body is maturing but the mind is still in that stage where you are sucking milk from the bottle. You are a bottle baby. A big body with a baby mind and attitude. It is time grow up and move toward man-hood or woman-hood knowing that when we reach that magic age of 18 that we are ready go out in the world and make it on our own. I find it interesting that so many that are called men and women today that are 18-30 years old are living in mom and dads basement because they could not cope with the real world. A man 30 years old was taken to court by his mother and father to get an order for him to move out of their home.

IX. PAY-UP – Pay what you owe. Pay the Lord first. He is worthy of a minimum of 10% of your income or allowance. One you learn this then pay for the bills you make. I received a ticket one time and told my dad. He said, you got it, you pay it. If you don’t have the money, you spend that time in jail. I knew my dad was serious. If I went to jail, I knew there would be no visits. I knew I would be blessed if dad would come pick me up after they let me out of jail. Dad would not be proud to have a jailbird as a son. As long as you have a job pay up. Save enough to treat the family to ice cream cones once in a while. You driving? Pay for your own gas and pay the extra insurance on the car and be a man about it and quit your belly-aching.

X. DRESS-UP – There is not need to look homeless or like a slob or a jock all the time. Dress-up. A man in a suit is very impressive and shows maturity in choice of dress. A man in a Polo type shirt or a button up shirt with a nice pair of slacks is acceptable anywhere. Dress-up to go to church, that is what a mature man does. It honors God. Dress-up when you go to events and to town. It shows a measure of maturity and an amount of responsibility when in the presence of others.

May we show others our maturity by the way we live our lives. It is a day when slovenliness is practiced and accepted. Let us be a man and model our lives in such a way that other say, – NOW THERE GOES A MAN.

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Father


 

aḇ

 

No examination of the names and titles of God would be complete without considering the title of Father. The Hebrew ’aḇ (H1), which “apparently is derived from such baby sounds as abab,” appears almost 1,200 times in the OT. We should also note that ’aḇ (H2) is the Aramaic form, the basis for the NT usage of abba (G5) that appears three times (Mar_14:36; Rom_8:15; Gal_4:6). Obviously, ’aḇ refers to a biological father (Gen_2:24), but it also refers to the head of a household (Gen_24:40), a grandfather (Gen_28:13), an ancestor (Gen_10:21), or even a patron of a class (Gen_4:20). What does such fatherhood indicate when we think of God as our Father? Let us consider five applications.

 

First, our Fatherbegets us. He gives us life. “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” (Mal_2:10). Spiritually then, through Christ, we are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible” (1Pe_1:23). Having thus been “born of God,” we know God (1Jn_4:7), love God (1Jn_5:1), overcome the world (1Jn_5:4), and guard our behavior (1Jn_5:18, “keepeth” is tēreō [G5083], “keep an eye on, watch over, observe attentively, guard protectively”), and do not habitually commit sin (1Jn_3:9).

 

Second, our Fatherteaches us. We are to “hear the instruction of [our] father” and learn doctrine, wisdom, and God’s law from Him (Pro_1:8; Pro_4:1-4; Pro_5:1). From where do we get our spiritual Father’s instruction? From His Word alone.

 

Third, our Fatherdisciplines us. As an earthly father corrects his child because of love (Pro_3:12; Deu_8:5), so God our Father “chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. . . . for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Heb_12:6-7; cf. 2Sa_7:14). Yes, discipline is painful, but it brings us back to obedience.

 

Fourth, our Fatherprovides for us. Why do we worry about clothing, food, and other basic needs of life? Our “Father knoweth that [we] have need of these things” and He will provide them when we seek Him (Luk_12:28-31; cf. Mat_6:9-11).

 

Fifth, our Fathergives us aname. As one’s family name is a precious thing, God has given us names that should be precious to us. Each of us is a “saint” (Php_4:21), a “Christian” (1Pe_4:16), and a believer (Act_5:14). Let us live up to those names’ lofty standards.

 

Scriptures for Study: How do we become children of God (Gal_3:26)? What proves we are children of God (1Jn_3:10; 1Jn_5:2)?

 

 

 

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Mother’s Inspiring Video About her Blind Baby Boy


Mother's Inspiring Video About her Blind Baby Boy.

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“Thankful For The Thorns”


Sandra felt as low as the heels of her crocks when she pulled open the florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a “minor” automobile accident stole her joy. This was Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant son. She grieved over their loss. Troubles had multiplied. Her husband’s company “threatened” to transfer his job to a new location.

Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit. What’s worse, Sandra’s friend suggested that Sandra’s grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. “She has no idea what I’m feeling,” thought Sandra with a shudder. “Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?” she wondered. “For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life, but took her child’s?”

“Good afternoon, can I help you?” Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk.

“I… I need an arrangement,” stammered Sandra.

“For Thanksgiving? Do you want the beautiful, but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the ‘Thanksgiving Special’? I’m convinced that flowers tell stories,” she continued. “Are you looking for something that conveys ‘gratitude’ this Thanksgiving?”

“Not exactly!” Sandra blurted out. “In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.” Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, “I have the perfect arrangement for you.”

Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer, “Hi, Barbara… let me get your order.” She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed, thorny roses – except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped. There were no flowers.

“Do you want these in a box?” asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the customer’s response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. “Yes, please,” Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. “You’d think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn’t be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again.”, she said, as she gently tapped her chest.

Sandra stammered, “Uh, that lady just left with, uh… she left with no flowers!”

“That’s right,” said the clerk. “I cut off the flowers. That’s the ‘Special’. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.”

“Oh, come on! You can’t tell me someone is willing to pay for that!” exclaimed Sandra.

“Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do, today,” explained the clerk. “She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had just lost her father to cancer; the family business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery.”

“That same year, I had lost my husband,” continued the clerk. “For the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel.”

“So what did you do?” asked Sandra. “I learned to be thankful for thorns,” answered the clerk quietly. “I’ve always thanked God for the good things in my life and I NEVER questioned Him why those GOOD things happened to me. But when the bad stuff hit, I cried out, “WHY? WHY Me?” It took time for me to learn that the dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the ‘flowers’ of my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God’s comfort! You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we’re afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others.”

Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about the thought that her friend had tried to tell her. “I guess the truth is, I don’t want comfort. I’ve lost a baby and I’m angry with God.”

Just then someone else walked in the shop. “Hey, Phil!” the clerk greeted the balding, rotund man.
“My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement… twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!” laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

“Those are for your wife?” asked Sandra incredulously. “Do you mind telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?”

“No… I’m glad you asked,” Phil replied. “Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord’s grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem. The Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny, here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from “thorny” times. That was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific “problem” and give thanks for what that problem taught us.” As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, “I highly recommend the Special!”

“I don’t know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life.” Sandra said to the clerk. “It’s all too… fresh.”

“Well,” the clerk replied carefully, “my experience has shown me that the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God’s providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don’t resent the thorns.”

Tears rolled down Sandra’s cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment. “I’ll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please,” she managed to choke out.

“I hoped you would,” said the clerk gently. “I’ll have them ready in a minute.”

“Thank you. What do I owe you?”

“Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year’s arrangement is always on me.” The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. “I’ll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first.”

It read:
My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant.”

Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author Unknown
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