Parenting 101: Raising Little Sinners

watching-the-sun-set-croppedIs there an approach to parenting that is 100% guaranteed to help me raise the type of children I desire? Is there a magic method of getting my children to respect my words and comply with my instructions as a parent?

Grandparenting must be one of the most wonderful roles a person could ever have in life. I LOVE spending time with my grandchildren, every one of them is delightful in a unique way, and they are teaching me so much!

After having my five and three year old grandchildren come for ‘four sleepovers with Granny and Grandpa’, without their parents, I have arrived at a clearer understanding of the word sin and the primary struggle of parenting. Of course I experienced these issues many times in raising my five children, but this fresh immersion into parenting brought some vivid reminders.

Sin is an uncomfortable word for most of us. We don’t easily see ourselves as sinners. The word ‘sinner’ sounds like an extremely heinous description of ‘bad’ people. Sin is actually a lot simpler and a lot subtler; the essence of sin is simply wanting our own way. We are born with a desire to get what we want and to pursue our own desires, with little thought for the needs of others. As we grow older, most of us get trained to some degree or another that we need to also respect other people in our lives, but that does not come naturally.

What does God say about sin? Sin is the thing that separates us from God. Sin prevents us from the loving connection He wants most to have with us. Sin is ignoring God’s sovereignty over us, as our Designer and Creator, and saying, “I have a better plan.” Sin is thinking God’s desires for me will limit me, but I will find happiness through pursuing the things I think will bring satisfaction.

Why is parenting so difficult? Because we are raising little sinners. Little independent people who have their own ideas about what will bring them satisfaction. Some of these little people seem to have a personality that wants to buck every single event or decision throughout the course of a day. Others may be mostly agreeable, but every once in awhile their independence will exert itself. Why can’t children just be agreeable? Why don’t they understand that we only want what is best for them, that we have years of experience that has given us insight, understanding, and wisdom for every decision we make? Why don’t they just eat the healthy food we provide? Why don’t they immediately respond when we have given them warnings and prepared them for the fact that a fun activity must now end? Why do they sometimes randomly physically attack their sibling?

Why do we feel like we are in a constant battle to see who is in charge in this relationship? Why can’t they just accept our authority?

Have I done something wrong? Am I a bad parent? Did I miss a window of “training” at a certain age?

Should I have spanked my children? Should I have spanked my children more? Should I have not spanked my children? Is there a formula for raising compliant “yes, ma’am” children that I missed? Did I read the wrong books? Did I follow the wrong advisors?

What is the answer? Is there actually an answer?

How did God ‘parent’ His people?

God’s kindness towards us leads us to repentance. Repentance is the goal. Repentance means getting off the train heading for “my way” and boarding the train heading to “God’s destination.” Every sermon given by the early followers of Jesus, which we read in the book of Acts, explains the necessity of repentance. As parents, or grandparents, our goal should be to gently help our children or grandchildren to understand what repentance looks like, and why it is desirable.

Having a “see I told you so” attitude, while very tempting, generally doesn’t lead a child toward repentance. Repentance involves a bending of our will towards God’s will. God never forces us. As parents we are often tempted to force our children to our will. This may seem to work for some children, yet this adage is true for adults and children, “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Our goal in training children is not a compliant child. Our goal is a child with a heart that delights in God and obeying Him.

Some parenting techniques may result in a very well behaved young child. However, our goal should not focus entirely on the moment, but should also consider the long term. When I think in terms of raising a well adjusted thirty something adult, my interactions with my child may be significantly impacted. The methods of achieving my goal require a longer commitment. Sometimes having a long-term view can result in momentary embarrassment, especially in a public setting where there are people who may judge my child or me unsatisfactorily. My goal is not to please the public audience around me. My goal is not personal pride in a ‘well-behaved’ little child. My goal is raising a human being with a deep knowledge of His Creator, an understanding of their own propensity towards their own direction, and a humble submission to seeking God and His way.

Parenting with these goals is not an easy task. The other problem I face is that I am also a sinner. I naturally desire my own way. I easily fall prey to pride and judgment. It’s hard for me to see my sin or my pride. I am a sinner, raising little sinners. In my parenting journey I also need to repent. I need to get off my train toward my own perceived destination for my children, and myself and get on the train that takes me towards God’s outcome. How do I do this? Parenting requires a daily surrender and a daily seeking of wisdom from God, through His Word, and laying down my own ways. Parenting is trusting God in the way we desire our children would trust and respond to us. Parenting is modeling for our children what trusting God looks like.

Acknowledging that I will never be a perfect parent and my children will never be perfectly obedient takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. Trying to force perfection on our children or ourselves is a source of extreme stress.

Jesus wants so much more for us. He wants to refresh us with His presence. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19

For Women Only

Toblerone Triangle croppedQuarrelsome or Nagging Wife

It’s better to live alone in the desert
    than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife. Proverbs 21:19

Marriage is difficult. We’ve been working on it for 35+ years and I still have so much to learn! Reading this verse in Proverbs about the nagging wife, usually brings to mind incidents of OTHER women. Rarely have I thought I might BE that woman.

As I listened to the audio Bible of Proverbs 21 last week, I believe the Spirit of God gave me a fresh insight and deeper understanding of the nagging wife.

When we hear the words “nagging wife” or “quarrelsome wife” most of us women, have an idea of what that is. We may also know someone who fits that description. But,

What does a man perceive as quarrelsome/nagging?

In particular, what might your man perceive as nagging?

Having recently read most of the old book with old-fashioned ideas, Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin, I came up with this list of possible things men might perceive as nagging.

Reminders of his shortcomings in any area of life. Maybe even something as simple as reminding him that he left the milk on the counter, or left the garage door open. Additionally, almost every man will feel nagged by any reminder, however subtle or unintentional, that reflects negatively on his current role of provider. For instance, reminding him that you are making great personal sacrifices because you have such a small budget, or reminding him of how little money you managed to spend, etc. While you may genuinely feel your efforts need to be commended, they may come across as reminders that he is not providing the family with the abundance he would like to.

A wife is often the one and only place a man will reveal his deepest thoughts/feelings/insecurities/vulnerabilities. We must guard these as a sacred treasure, not to be shared with others. Never to be spoken of in anything that may be interpreted to be demeaning or belittling. Anything that reminds him in a negative way of the vulnerability he has shared with you will most certainly be interpreted as nagging.

While we must guard the treasures shared with us by our husbands, we must not allow them to burden us. We must release those deep secrets into the care of our Lord Jesus who has only affection for us. We must not hold on and allow our husband’s insecurities to weigh us down. We must learn to answer with faith and encouragement both for the sake of our husband and for our own sake.

Another action that could be interpreted as ‘nagging’ by our husband is any attempt to share information or “teach”. Most efforts to bring information or expertise and share it, usually backfire. Generally a man does not desire to learn anything from his wife. If he does want to learn from you, he will certainly ask you, in which case you must share the skills you have gained in a humble patient way. Never patronize him, or speak down to him for not knowing something you know. Never bring him new information, as if you have something really important to teach him. When we bring new information to a man he interprets that as highlighting his weaknesses. What a man wants to hear from his wife is how awesome he is. He only wants to discuss things that directly relate to him and build him up. Everywhere he turns in the world he finds challenges, competition, complaints and criticism. From his wife he wants bolstering. He wants a viewpoint that sees him as the hero.

Other common things woman may inadvertently do that can be interpreted as nagging include talking to him as if he is one of the children, making any disparaging remark about his academic abilities, his financial abilities or past mistakes, any negative reference to his physical appearance or presentation, and unsolicited reminders of any sort. Even when we have good motivations, he doesn’t want to have his actions questioned, “You aren’t going to eat that are you?” or “You aren’t eating now are you?”

Encouraging is probably the polar opposite of nagging. Our goal should never be maintaining a neutral position, but to be robustly encouraging. Encouragement is not only conveyed through the words we say. Encouragement does not hinge on our intentions behind our words. The litmus test for encouragement is how your man hears and interprets your words and intentions. While every man has the same landscape of hopes, dreams, drives and insecurities (For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn), every man is different and a puzzle for his wife to navigate. Your unique and valuable position as a wife means learning what words and actions your husband finds encouraging.

Learning how to respond in an encouraging, non-nagging manner does not mean squashing all your thoughts and feelings inside. It does not mean disappearing into a non-person state. As a wife you have a unique position and opportunity to be the one light of encouragement in your man’s life. If you see yourself in this position of honor, you will reap benefits beyond your imagination.

Whole FamilyAuthor Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, writer, and speaker, is passionate about health, Jesus, and joy. Becky blogs at http://journeyboost.com and shares health information on her Facebook page. Please like journeyboost on Facebook!

 

Last Days?

DespairIn the last days there will be very difficult times
For people will love only themselves and their money.
They will consider nothing sacred (e.g. the lives of babies and children).
They will be cruel and hate what is good.
They will be puffed up with pride and
Love pleasure rather than God.
They oppose the truth.
They take advantage of people’s fears and weakness.
Evil people and imposters will flourish.
They will deceive others and
Will themselves be deceived.

How do we live in such times?
Seek Jesus Christ through His word, the Scriptures.
You will find comfort and protection from evil. (2 Timothy 3)
God is at work in the midst of this evil generation.
He is raising an army of truth warriors.
“Why are you frightened?”
“Why are your hearts filled with doubt?”
Then Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures
They were filled with GREAT JOY. (Luke 24: 45 & 52)

Becky on stageAuthor: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living!

Unique

DCF 1.0

DCF 1.0

Most religions have one major personality
Or prophet they revere.

Even people who claim to have no religion,
Still revere a major personality, usually, themselves.

The thing that all religions have in common
Is that all the prophets and
Great people that have ever lived, died.
They were buried or burned.
They were reduced to ashes
Or consumed by maggots.

skeleton-1571103-638x464Only Jesus escaped death.

Jesus’ body did not stay in the ground.
He suffered a cruel death.
At the hands of the religious leaders
He died.
He was buried in a cave.
But He didn’t stay dead.

Jesus alone conquered death.
The Scriptures predicted it,
The power of God enabled it.
God raised Jesus from the dead.
Hundreds of eye-witness reports
Confirmed it.

So even if you claim
To follow no particular religion –
Just the right path of your own heart,
One day, your body will also rot in the grave
Or be consumed by fire.

Is your human heart able to guide you to truth?
Are you putting yourself in a position above Jesus –
God’s promised Savior?

A ragtag group of men and women
From a small remote location, Galilee
Started a worldwide movement of God
Based on this fact:
Jesus conquered death.

Becky on stageAuthor: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living!

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Blind leading blindThere are many kinds of people in the world. Perhaps they could be divided into 3 broad categories:

  1. those who never knowingly lie;
  2. those who lie occasionally;
  3. those who deliberately lie;
  4. those who perpetuate a lie because while they actually fall into category 1 above, they have believed a lie from someone who falls into category 3.

Human nature often encourages slight alterations of the truth. We want to present ourselves well. Sometimes we are not even aware that we are communicating a lie.

However, I want to focus on how to recognize those who fall into category 3. In my life I haven’t really encountered too many of this type, but as I am seeking to know and understand TRUTH in a broad range of topics, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are people who are purposefully and knowingly perpetuating lies for some motive which is not always apparent.

History is a great place to discover many lies, but it takes tenacity and digging for real evidence, to understand that some of the short paragraphs in our history books are actually more false than true.

For some time in the US we have been conditioned by our culture to believe what we are told, not to think for ourselves, and to accept the messages given by authorities without question. Dr John Taylor Gatto, a New York Teacher of the Year with over 30 years of experience, wrote about this in Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, which was first printed in 1991 and updated in 2002.[1]

At one time I thought spies and counter intelligence agents were purely fiction. When watching episodes of Chuck with my children, I never dreamed there were real people in the real world in similar operations, but unlike Chuck and Sara, they did not have good intentions, a good conscience, or seek to do the ‘right’ thing.

There are currently government psyops seeking to impact the way you and I think. A psyop is short for “psychological operation”. The people who are given the task of implementing such operations are often referred to as an OP, or operative.

There are some general characteristics of OPs that can help us to analyze information we receive to protect us from getting duped – and thus falling into category 4 above. OPs often do a great job of fitting in, looking normal, and appearing to have the same goals and purposes of the group which they infiltrate. They often seem like ‘the most trusted individuals of all.’

Some questions are too important to get wrong. It seems the number one point to remember is – Question everything and everyone.

If there are people in our country capable of perpetuating a great lie on the entire population, you can be sure that they are also capable of mounting a significant ‘disinformation movement’ in order to lead those who might discover the lie, down a different path – a path of their own making. It is an ALTERNATIVE path, but not a path to the real TRUTH.

Thus, in the maze of alternative information sources we must be careful to question. Just because someone labels himself or herself “alternative” does not always guarantee they are a truth seeker and truth proclaimer.

To be fair, some in the alternative media might be proclaiming lies – unknowingly – as in category 4.

Dr Judy Wood shares an important list of points to consider when evaluating information and seeking to know ‘who can I trust?'[2] This list can help provide discernment to discover if a person’s intent is to mislead, confuse, and divide. Disinformation specialists do not announce their intentions. They try to gain trust and get people to accept their ideas, then subtly lead them astray or cause a breakdown in an effective group. Even if you don’t claim to be a follower of Jesus, you can certainly see the truth of His words to his followers:  “Beware of false prophets, they come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside are ferocious wolves.”[3]

  1. Does this person encourage me to think my own thoughts or do they want to pressure me to accept their thoughts as my opinion?
  2. Does this person support and encourage me to continue working independently or do they try to impede my research efforts?
  3. Does this person share facts and documented evidence or attack those with a different point of view?
  4. Does this person respect me if our opinions differ? Can they tolerate independent thought? Can we rationally discuss ideas when we differ?
  5. Does this person have any financial or career links to the points they are making?
  6. Do they resort to authority? “I’m a nurse” or “I’m a doctor” or “listen to a doctor”

Discussion in the field of vaccine research can be highly emotive. Many parents at one time were in category 4. They were lied to. They believed a lie. They believed vaccines were safe and effective, only to find they weren’t – at least in the case of their own child. They live with the pain of that decision every day of their lives as they deal with vaccine injury. To be fair, maybe their doctor also fell into category 4 – he also thought vaccines were safe and effective. However, doctors have been so conditioned, have been lied to and participated in the lie for so long, that they have a very hard time ever admitting vaccine injury – even when it is right in front of them with a patient collapsing with seizures after a vaccine or not able to walk or talk after a round of ‘boosters.’

MiSTRAL En.inddOur own personal health and safety is up to us. Strong forces stand to benefit more when we accept everything we are told by those in authority. They don’t want us to question for ourselves. That should be a big red flag in and of itself.

I wish strength and health to you and your family in your search for truth. I hope my writing might be a means of facilitating questioning and truth seeking. If you have always assumed there was a rock solid case for vaccine safety, I encourage you to seek to understand your advisor well. What are the motives or the financial ties of those who are giving your information? Don’t fall prey to the blind leading the blind.[4] If you plan on giving some vaccines please read this first. Blessings.

IMG_0423Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, and truth seeker with a passion for health, joy and Jesus Christ.

[1] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down. 2001

[2] This is part of a list developed by Dr Judy Wood, How to Recognize an OP (Operative)  from her extensive search for truth in the 911 maze of information and disinformation.

[3] Matthew 7:15

[4] Luke 6:39 (ESV) “[Jesus] also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?'”

What’s a Parent with a Teenager to Do?

Parenting teens can be challenging. There are no rules, no easy answers. Most of us figure it out as we go. Books and information can be helpful, but mostly we need God’s wisdom to mature us, so we can be the mature parent our teen needs.

All Glory to GodSo what do you say when your teenager storms out of the kitchen after a frantic look into a limited selection of food, saying “There’s nothing for me to eat in this house. If there are no bananas, you know I can’t have breakfast.”

Most of us moms, as the procurement officers in the household, would take that as a personal attack, assault, and an extremely rude, definitely ‘correctable’ behavior.

As a parent I need to be very aware of my own feelings. Am I seeking to defend myself? Do I take the teen’s assaulting words personally as a punch to the gut? Do I immediately want to ‘put them in their place’ and let them know I will NOT tolerate that sort of outburst? Do I fly into a tailspin trying to prepare something for their breakfast in order to ‘make them happy’? Do I allow their strong emotions to control me?

Teenagers, by no fault of their own, are immature. They are developing. They are learning. It is important as parents to recognize that they are a work in progress and reflect on our desired outcome. What is my hope and dream for this teen?

Having my overarching goal in mind will help me respond wisely in the moment.

My overarching goal is that my teen will grow in maturity and develop self-control which comes from a heart which puts Jesus first. Of course, I expect that along the way to learning socially acceptable methods of communication, they will fail. What do I do with the failure?

If I berate them for their failure I am preventing them from learning and understanding. If I punish them for their immaturity I may alienate them from me and push them towards exasperation and rejecting all the values I hold dear. As a child of God I am urged to treat others in the way that I would like to be treated – to love them as I love myself. My teen is, after all, part of the group Jesus called “my neighbor.”

So what’s a mom to do?

I’m not sure this is a prescription for everyone, but this is what I did. I just went on with my task and allowed the teen to have that moment of ‘tantrum’ without it piercing my heart in any way. I chose not to respond. I chose not to be angry or offended. I knew there were a few foods that could be eaten – albeit the selection was extremely limited – but I didn’t accept any guilt. Sometimes life just doesn’t serve us what we desire, and I knew this is a lesson we all need to learn. I’m sure it is a lesson I haven’t fully perfected.

So what happened?

The teen finished preparing for school, returned to the kitchen and quickly fixed something to take for a breakfast on the run. I asked the teen to please keep my negligence in not having food for breakfast quiet as I didn’t want anyone at school reporting me to CPS. I got a smile. All was well.

Influencing Those We Love

New baby heldBabies are so small, so vulnerable, so precious. I have met many parents and grandparents who have spent a lot of time researching and exploring vaccine science and passionately want to influence someone they love in this important decision, whether it is their spouse, their parents, or their adult children.

We love babies and want the best for them. We love our children and want the best for them.

If you have someone you love and would like to figure out how to respectfully share what you have learned about vaccine safety, you might like to join a Master Mind Group devoted to this topic.

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I don’t have all the answers, but I share a passion to respectfully educate others regarding vaccine safety. I believe that in Jesus Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2) and I believe in the power of prayer.

This four-month group will help empower you to share your passion and impact your family and loved ones for good.

For more information complete the contact form below.

 

What Do we Do?

WDWD1When the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on earth who have faith? Luke 18:8

Jesus appeared to His followers many times during the 40 days after His death and resurrection.

In one of these encounters they asked him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” Acts 1:6

They were thinking small. They were thinking of the history they knew. They were thinking of their own personal goals and aspirations. They wanted their country to be restored to its former glory. They thought they understood God’s will.

In the same way, many today are looking to God to restore America to its former glory.

I would argue that the glory of America is gone. The government has been taken over by corrupt entities with an agenda to dominate and control. This agenda is diametrically opposed to the views and aspirations of the majority of Americans.

This is not a situation that will be solved through political maneuvering. It is not going to be remediated through a change of political parties. The agenda of those with control is above politics and exert strong influence on both sides to manipulate towards their ends.

I believe Jesus’ purposes transcends the personal comfort of the American people. He is Lord. He has conquered death to be our Savior and fix our biggest problem, yet if we expect that His agenda is to repair our broken country, or help us to be comfortable, we are as naïve as the disciples.

Jesus answered: The Father alone [knows what is going on] and has the authority to set dates and times, and these details are not for you to know. Acts 1:7 

So what are we supposed to know and do in this crazy world we live in when we are faced with power-crazed domination?

Politics gone crazy, health care that is killing and maiming in massive numbers, poisoning through our food, water, air, drugs and even supposed ‘health and safety’ measures like vaccines? We have been lied to by main stream media, harassed by CPS, children kidnapped from innocent loving parents, spied on by our own government, and more. Is there any wonder we are fearful, untrusting, and suffering from anxiety?

Who do we trust?

Where do we turn for answers, hope, direction, wisdom, and safety?

The early disciples must have had similar fears, tension and anxiety.

Jesus told them: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. You will be MY WITNESSES, telling people everywhere ABOUT ME. Acts 1:7

Today we have the most incredible medium ever in the history of the world to share the message of Jesus.

124 Countries ReachedMy humble blog which is my small attempt to share truth and admittedly not all that impressive, certainly not perfect, just me, a solo operation with a few encouraging friends here and there. I’ve never received any monetary gain. I seek to share truth as God places it on my heart. I research, read and seek to understand. I share stories. I try to share my faith. Just this little blog has so far reached nearly 62,000 views by people throughout our world, accessed by people in 124 countries.

This is spiritual warfare people. (Ephesians 6)

We are in a spiritual battle.

The goal is not a comfortable life.

The goal is not the restoration of a nation you love.

The goal is your soul and the souls of every person on earth.

The enemy is powerful – BUT NOT ALL POWERFUL. Jesus Christ has supreme authority over all things (Colossians 1:15-20). He could immediately vanquish and restore His creation, BUT

WDWD2

WDWD3

WDWD4He has instructed and empowered His followers to share His message in this lost sick world.

The time may be short. Our comfortable life may be in jeopardy. Our mission is NOT to restore our comfortable life, but to help restore lost souls to Jesus.

How can we best respond to this mission?

 

You Feed Them

breadJesus was a walking talking miracle demonstration up close and personal for His twelve disciples for three years while He lived on earth

I’m sure there were many times they might have felt they were riding a roller coaster. Up high one minute, strong twisting jerky twists and turns the next. They never knew what to expect and sometimes had a hard time figuring Jesus out. It can be the same for me.

I learn so much from trying to understand what Jesus was about while He was on earth.

In Matthew 14 there are some big events. First Jesus learns of John the Baptists death at the hands of Herod. He immediately wanted to find a remote area to be alone. I don’t think He was surprised, but He could have been grieving. Maybe He wanted to talk over the implications and explain them to His disciples.

But it didn’t happen. Instead a HUGE crowd inconvenienced them with their presence – even though they had travelled to a VERY REMOTE place. Jesus wasn’t upset or annoyed at this intrusion, “He had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

His disciples might have been a bit more bothered and suggested to Jesus that they send the people away. Imagine that. They have the Son of God in their midst. He has demonstrated His incredible power to heal every sort of malady right in front of them, He has called them and He is clearly their leader, yet they decide He needs them to tell Him what to do!

Before I get too judgmental I need to remember that I sometimes have the same propensity. I like to tell God what He needs to do, like He’s not sure what to do next, but it is very clear to me.

I love this next part. Jesus does not accept their plan to send the people away to buy food. He shoots it right down with one phrase:

“That isn’t necessary – YOU FEED THEM.”

You see, Jesus had compassion on the crowd, to be sure. But He also had an incredibly generous plan for His disciples. His words would have challenged them, but those words were also an incredible opportunity and invitation to them

“YOU FEED THEM.”

Jesus knew everything and could have used any means to accomplish His purposes. He knew exactly what the disciples had on hand in terms of food resources (turns out to be only five loaves of bread and two fish between the twelve of them).

In the same way, Jesus knows exactly what our current resources are. He knows what we have and He knows how limited it seems to us in terms of our ability to follow His passion of FEEDING and HEALING the masses.

My response is something like this, ‘Lord, You see and know everything. You have compassion on the crowds of people who were so confused and looking for hope in the midst of their despair. Lord, there are lost, hurting, sick despairing people today. You see what I’ve got. I can make a list of what I have to show you that it really isn’t much at all. What can you do with what I have?’

Jesus simply said, “Bring them here.” Bring them to me. Bring what you have, even if you think it is very small and insignificant, just bring it to me.

Then He involved His disciples in one of the most incredible fast food conference experiences the world has ever known. He took what they brought to Him and He multiplied it.

He can do the same today. He can multiply what I’ve got to offer. What do I have? What do you have? Your list and mine will be different, but we all have something and Jesus can multiply whatever we have when we offer it to Him. He can also help us to see even more – things we have that we aren’t aware of.

Paul said it like this:

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus… For I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know. I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. Acts 20

giving handsWhat have i got in my hands? This morning I looked at what I have in a new way: my time, my background, my access to information, my life experiences, my internet connection, my social media access, my communication skills, my volunteer opportunities, my training skills, my relationships, etc. I realized I don’t need them to be first class. Jesus just asked for what the disciples had. He knew that what they had was not enough to get the job done. The disciples meager food resources were not fully adequate to feed the 5000 people who were hungry. But when I bring my resources to my Savior, He can multiply them for His glory.

He wants to demonstrate His power to people today and, just like He allowed the disciples to be an integral part of this great demonstration, He generously allows His agents today to be part of His agenda.

I am so thankful that He can take what I have and multiply them. I am so thankful He has invited me to join Him in the work He wants to do in the world today.

What do you have? How can Jesus multiply what you have?

Day 19 of Encouraging people to Seek Jesus: 30 ways in 30 days

If you have been helped in any way through my musings, please give glory to God. If you find anything disappointing or offensive – please let me know so I can improve.

 

Perspective

PerspectiveWhat are you doing today?

A simple question.

Yet every time I heard it for nearly a year I got a paralyzed feeling – ahhhh what am I doing today? Am I doing anything worthwhile or meaningful? Am I just goofing off? Am I being lazy? How can I possibly describe what I am doing today? Have I got anything planned yet? Am I just going to free-flow through my day? As a Stay At Home mom trying to get a business started, trying to figure out ways to produce some meaningful income, transitioning to having more time available, this questions would hit me hard as BIG CRITICISM!

So many thoughts and feelings would go coursing through my brain.

When actually, the question wasn’t a judgment about how I was spending my time at all. It was more accurately something like this:

“Are you doing anything that requires driving today, because, if not, I would like to take the ‘nicer to drive car.’ However, I prioritize you over me, so if you are driving anywhere at all, I would rather leave the ‘nicer to drive’ car for you.”

Wow. The day I figured that out it was a real revelation. Peace flooded my soul. I was not being judged and found wanting. I was being honored and cherished.

The way I figured it out was that the question always came right at the time he was going to select his keys from the ‘key tray.’ So he was asking himself which keys do I need today, therefore his question to me, ‘what are you doing today?”

I like to think of myself as sensitive and sharp. This shows HOW SLOW I really was to pick up on this. It took me nearly a year of this scenario playing out regularly before I finally put it together!

Perspective. Small words made into sentences or questions. HOW we hear them makes HUGE difference!