Monthly Archives: July 2012

Political Chicken Sandwich?

Who made eating a chicken sandwich a political statement? The same people who made marriage and the weather political issues. Surprised? Probably not. I encourage you to read Dale Tedder’s piece about it here and his follow up articles and then…Eat Mor Chik’n.

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Filed under Life, Marriage

For Keeps

My wife and I were talking with some friends the other day about our kids’ art work. You know, the stuff you hang on the refrigerator and then file for all eternity. We were discussing what to do with all of it. My wife believes that one day we will give it to our kids and they will say thank you with a tear in their eye and we will all walk down memory lane together holding hands. Beautiful.

I believe most of it is destined for a garbage can, and the sooner the better. Some stuff is for keeps (I’m not that heartless) but practically speaking, what are they going to do with it? Do we plan to give it all to them when they get their first apartment so they can decorate with it? Are we going to present it to them at their rehearsal dinner? Can’t we avoid the hassle of saving it, storing it, moving it, and get rid of most of the stuff now?

I don’t really have to tell you how it was answered do I?

Yesterday I was having lunch with a friend and we were talking about prayer. He mentioned that God saves our prayers. Revelation 5:8, “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” It is kinda thrown in there like an, “Oh by the way” kinda thing, but it’s there. It appears God saves our prayers, in golden bowls no less. Each one means that much to Him.

And then God made the connection for me. I immediately thought back to my kids’ art work. Some artwork is pretty good. Some of it seems incomplete. Some artwork doesn’t make sense. Some of it we use for holiday decoration. Some is framed and hanging on our walls. Some is tacked to the refrigerator, most is stored away in a box. All of it is saved.

Perhaps our prayers are like kid artwork. Realizing that our prayers mean that much to God, should help us realize how much each one of us is loved by Him. Not only does He hear our prayers, He saves them. The good ones, the bad ones, the ones that don’t make much sense, the incomplete ones, the colorful ones, the dark ones. He’s got them all. It makes me want to pray more. It makes me want to pray like a child. My guess is, those are His favorite ones anyway.

Looks like we’ll be keeping the kids’ artwork. All of it. Especially after my wife reads this.

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Filed under Kids, Life, Prayer

Winners

There is not a parent alive who has ever watched their son or daughter step onto the field or court and not begin to pray that they would win. Some kindhearted parents will say they prayed that their child would do their best. But let’s be honest, even they want their child to win. The truth is we want our children to be winners.

I don’t believe that is anything to be ashamed of. I want my kids to win when they play sports. Of course, I expect them to practice good sportsmanship whether they win or lose and I value the character gained from losing and playing again. But I pray for them to win.

And I pay as well. I pay for batting cages, lessons, equipment, travel teams, and booster club fundraisers. I do so willingly and hope that my investment will pay back with several checks in the “w” column. I also pay with time spent at practices, backyard drills, etc. Can you relate? I bet you can because I see what other parents do to make their kids winners and I know I’m not alone.

And it isn’t just sports that we want to see them win. It’s everything from academics, arts, hobbies – anything and everything. We want our sons and daughters to be winners and we train, pay, and pray to make them such.

But what about winners of souls?

The Lord floored me with that thought recently. Am I training, paying, and praying for my kids to be winners of souls? Is that even on my radar screen? I spend time and money working with them and praying for them so they can acheive a trophy that will collect dust. And then I read Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

The crown Paul is seeking is souls. Saving souls is what he’s after. People are what he is trying to win. To the Christians in Thessalonica he writes,, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” (1 Thessalonians 2:19). And to the Church in Phillipi, he calls the people he has won to Christ his “joy and crown” (Philippians 4:1).

To Timothy, who Paul considered “my true son in the the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2) he writes, “I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season” and “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:2,5). Paul was training and praying for Timothy to be a winner of souls and obtain a crown that won’t perish, spoil, or fade.

I’m afraid I have been majoring in the minors. But that is changing. I am now praying each day for my kids to be mighty winners of souls for the Kingdom. I’ll still pray for them during their games and such, but I will also be praying for the Lord to use them to win souls for Him. I will encourage them to be prepared in season and out of season to share the hope they have in Jesus. I will show them how to pray for their lost friends and I will train them how to lead a friend to faith in Jesus. Of course, this means I’m going to have to get in better shape as well. Game on.

I love my kids and I want them to be winners and receive a crown that will last for all eternity. Above all else, I want them to be winners of souls.

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Filed under Discipleship, Life, Prayer, Revival