John 7:38 https://biblehub.com/john/7-38.htm says,we are to be people where God’s love produces living water that pours through allowing us to positively impact others. 2 Corinthians 3:2,3 says, “Our lives are a letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of God’s impact, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
When I read these passages, I realize God wants me to be so filled with His love, that others can’t help but notice it. Think about being on a busy sidewalk in front of shops and restaurants filled with other passers by as well as tables filled with engaged in conversation. Someone comes up with two buckets filled with cold water. They challenge you to walk a block with the buckets without spilling any water much less splashing those you encounter. It is impossible. Even if you didn’t bump someone, a chair, or a table, the water would begin to splash out of the bucket onto others no matter how hard you tried. This is what God says our lives should look like. We are to be so filled with His love that others can’t help but notice your love for them in how you speak or act toward them.
A regular contributor to this blog 🙂 Oswald Chambers, puts it this way. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us. Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us— and we cannot measure that at all. I https://utmost.org/a-life-of-pure-and-holy-sacrifice/ The question for us is our we willing to open our hearts so God can fill us with His living water?
If we are, we can be God’s ambassadors who convey the message that we are to live by faith, not by sight https://www.biblehub.com/2_corinthians/5-7.htm with the hope for what is to come. He has fashioned us for this very purpose and has made it possible through the death of Christ and His Holy Spirit who comes as our helper. Our response needs to be, I am so thirsty for that living water. I no longer want the temporary refreshment that the world offers but instead the everlasting quenching that only a relationship with God can provide. Once we allow the living water to spill into our hearts, we become new creations and our heart becomes so full that it can’t help to burst out like when a grape is squeezed or we try to carry the buckets down a busy sidewalk. Like a mirror, our lives will reflect the love and glory of God allowing us to be the ambassadors who convey the life God want us all to live.
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At the beginning of Lent, I challenged you to think about the 6 weeks before Easter differently than you had before. In that blog post,https://thankfulinallthings.com/how-do-your-return-gods-love-and-favor/ I shared Joel 2:12 reminder on the purpose of fasting. ““Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. So what are you going to do differently during Lent to show God you are grateful that you are His child? How did you do? I hope you were more successful than me.
Like Mark 4:19 “the message of Lent was crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so the fruit of my labor did not get produced.” John MacArthur says it this way. “The more you focus on yourself, the more distracted you will be from the proper path. The more you know Him and commune with Him, the more the Spirit will make you like Him. The more you are like Him, the better you will understand His utter sufficiency for all of life’s difficulties. And that is the only way to know real satisfaction.”
So if this is the case, why do I and maybe 🙂 we find it so difficult? It certainly helps me understand God’s chosen ones who the Pharoah released out of slavery. Before being set free and On their way to the Promised Land, they saw so many signs and miracles from God. Why did they keep on straying away and not trusting that God was in control of every outcome? I can ask my self the same question. The Lord has been with me through good and bad. Yet, even when I make a conscious decision for Lent, I get distracted by what the world throws at me which like the Israelites, causes me to lose my focus on the Lord.
Peter learned the same lesson when walking on the water toward Jesus. As long as His eyes were fixed on Him, he was fine. As soon as he stopped focusing on Christ, he saw the wind and the waves of the storm (like our daily challenges/distractions) had not ceased causing him to sink like anchor. https://biblehub.com/context/matthew/14-28.htm
Lent was not the deep spiritual experience I had hoped it to be but like Peter, I call out to Jesus saying, Help me! Each and every time, He forgives and is there to pull me out of whatever calamity I have caused. Why? Because He is always with me even when I take my focus off of Him because I have chosen to look the other way. As we move into Holy Week, I hope you will make the effort to look for Him. He is there, the Risen Christ who died so you might have a relationship with God for which you were created. A gift from God for the people of God. Ask and you will receive! He is Risen. Hallelujah. May the Lord’s purpose prevail in your life. Proverbs 19:11
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Have you ever become aware that you are not seeing things clearly because of something getting in the way? That things can look a bit distorted and out of focus like the photo above? For those who are regular followers of this blog, you know that 2023 is a year I want to RISE UP/P; to be Resolved Intentional Serving Expectantly so I Unleash God’s Purpose/Passion in my life. https://thankfulinallthings.com/are-you-ready-to-rise-up-p-with-me-in-2023/ I am hoping and praying that I can encourage others to do the same. To truly Rise Up, we need to have a purpose enabling us to have a true Focus on what we are looking at or where it is we want to go. I think that purpose is to follow Christ so that God can provide that clear vision that is not distorted by what the world wants us to think is the way to happiness. It is a vision that is contrary to what many think fulfillment looks like to them.
The veil I talk about here can be removed when we allow ourselves to hear God’s voice and follow him. “Following Jesus means following Him wherever He leads. It is living out an absolute trust in His judgement and plan for my life. Regardless of the hard situations that arise, my faith in Jesus tells me He is Lord of my life. All of it; the easy, hard and in between.”-Busy Blessed Women blog post. https://busyblessedwomen.com/jesus-said-follow-me/ Loving Him with all our heart, Loving others as He loves us, and then trusting Him with the outcome. Unfortunately, most of us cannot understand this until something happens in our life that we can’t understand or have no control over. Our friend 🙂 Oswald Chambers writes, “Troubles always make us look to God, but His blessings tend to divert our attention elsewhere” Isaiah 45:22 exhorts us to “Look to me, and be saved” https://www.biblehub.com/isaiah/45-22.htm
Our church welcomed our new pastor this morning. He preached on 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 https://biblia.com/bible/niv/2-corinthians/4/1-6. Check out this link in the coming days to hear the sermon https://www.trinitycville.org/Sermons-And-Audio
In unpacking these 6 verses, he taught us that we are all heralds who are bring the Gospel (the Good News) into the world. You see the Heralds jobs back in the day were to go places and proclaim what their Master or King wanted their subjects to know. Like what I wrote last week, their words they spoke mattered because of The One who sent them to convey the message. They spoke under and with the authority of the ruler who had sent them. He also reminded us that we are all His servants who are to bring the gospel (Good News) to our family, friends, and neighbors. The picture he described was us being given the opportunity to bring those we love platters of food prepared by a renowned chef. As a servant and a herald for our Father, my words to you are, the feast God offers is so much better. It is a banquet that lasts forever. Not until you allow God to take the veil from your eyes, will you ever see life as He intended you to view it. A life created by Him that can only be truly enjoyed when we live it out knowing “He wants us to pursue the desires of our heart but His are the plans that will prevail forever” https://www.biblehub.com/proverbs/19-21.htm My prayer and hope is that this will help you RISE UP/P allowing you to have God Unleash His Purpose and Passion into your life bringing clarity as to what God intends for your life.
Thanks for taking the time to read what I have written. I truly hope that it will encourage you in some way. Like the heralds, my desire to is to bring a message from the One who loves you that allows you to know you are special and a child of God. Please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already. I can be reached by email at [email protected]
Many of you know I started a golf fellowship group earlier this year. I wanted to being people together who loved Golf and wanted to learn more about life with God. We call it FORE! It stands for Focused on Reconciliation for Everyone. This week was my turn to share what it means to walk with God using golf analogies. My blog post this week summarizes what I shared that led to a great discussion. My thoughts came from reading a chapter in the In His Grip https://www.inhisgripgolf.com/ devotional book, More than a Game.
The golf scorecard and the yardage book brought some ideas to mind. Every time to go out and play, you get a new one. No matter how you played the last time out, you get a chance to learn from the past round so you can improve on the upcoming one. God gives us the same opportunity. The bible in 1 John 1:9 https://biblia.com/bible/esv/1-john/1/9 reminds us when we make mistakes one day, we can start the next day with a fresh slate. As I wrote a few months back https://thankfulinallthings.com/what-golf-teaches-us-about-life/ God’s Word like a golf course yardage book instructs us where to and where not to hit the ball so we stay out of trouble. We get into trouble when we don’t pay attention to the book or think we can do it a different way then how God design life to be lived.
Another golf thought is how crazy is it the a 6 inch putt counts the same as a 300 yard drive. Interestingly, our sinful nature is judged the same way by God. Big or small, A sin is a sin and creates imperfection that only God’s grace and Mercy can redeem. https://biblehub.com/romans/3-23.htm
The third parallel thought is everyone has a different golf swing. The challenge of being a good golfer is learning to be your best with your natural swing. In our faith journey, we are called to be the best person we can be versus trying to be someone else. This is where a golf instructor can be so important.
During a lesson, the pro can figure out the flaws in your swing which allows you to improve. It doesn’t make sense to practice if we are just going out and continue to do the wrong things. In life, we need friends that, like a golf pro, can point out our blind spots. We need folks we can trust to share when we can’t see what we are saying or doing is wrong.
Finally, Golf is both a mental and a physical game. You need to study the course and improve your swing to have a successful round. Life is the same. I believe God’s Word teaches us how to best live our lives. Someone can know the bible backward and forward but if you don’t practice what it teaches, you never know all the Lord has in store for your life. John 10:10 says God wants us to experience an abundant life filled with peace and joy not a mediocre one where we wonder shouldn’t there be more. Read the scriptures and find someone who can guide you along the way. Give them permission to be honest with you. I am confident that only good will result when you do.
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I spent a couple days this week travelling to Hampton, Va. for a company event. I lucked out with my travel plans finding a hotel looking out on the Hampton Marina. While driving down here I saw signs for Jamestown, Fort Monroe, and Fort Story. It got me thinking about what it must have been like to literally live in a fort or the relief felt after crossing the Atlantic especially when facing a storm to find a safe harbor like the one pictured here.
Scripture uses both of these locations to describe how we need a place of retreat allowing us to be refreshed, nourished and encouraged for whatever might come our way. Isaiah 25:4 – “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.” David writes in Psalms 91:1,2 “Whoever dwells in the shelter (fort, city) of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
When we come to God, it is like sailing into a harbor where the water is calm and away from the wind and waves that been battled out in the open sea. For us land lubbers, a fort provides that same kind of feeling. We are relieved to see gates open as we return tired and hungry and feel even better as they close behind us so we feel safe and protected. Psalms 91: 5,6 Where “you will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”
Forts and Harbors are places people go to seek refuge from danger. The Bible time and time again tells us we are to do the same with our spiritual lives. In fact, just in the book of Psalms, its noun and verb forms occur again and again—more than 40 times in all, as in “take refuge in him,” “the LORD is his refuge,” “he is the saving refuge of his anointed,” “be a rock of refuge for me,” https://biblemesh.com/blog/refuge-in-the-psalms/ Our Lord want us to come to Him just like a child comes to a parent when they need to be comforted or feel safe from when in danger. Even yesterday I watched my granddaughter run and hide behind her mom when I entered the room. Uh Oh, here comes that big, scary, MRG 🙂 When we do seek refuge in God, He promises to provide peace that is beyond human comprehension. https://www.bible.com/bible/116/PHP.4.6-7.NLT
I went to a friend’s funeral yesterday. It was a service that left everyone with such hope. Why? Because he and his family had no doubt Lee had gone to the ultimate safe harbor. To a place described in 1 Corinthians 2:9 “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him—”
The service ended with this quote. “And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
May this blog help you understand that God is your mighty fortress. Not matter what challenges you face, may you seek your refuge in Him. Please subscribe to this blog so you can receive email notifications when new content is posted. I can be reached by email at [email protected]
Are you tired? Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually?
I posted this the other day when I realized I was flat out tired in every aspect of my life. It came about because of a 6 week issue w my back, 2 weeks of travel while dealing with work, and relationships that were out of sorts. Needless to say, this fatigue was not making it easy to remain thankful in all things. This got me thinking about the title of this blog post. “How do you deal with tired?” There really are different types of tiredness and fatigue but they all come from not getting enough rest. There are ways we can resolve being tired on our own. Making sure you get enough sleep, maintaining a balance in your life, and limiting stress are a few that come to mind. These are certainly a good place to start but what I am learning is we can’t always resolve what causes fatigue on our own. Trying to handle the emotional and spiritual fatigue by ourselves often times can exacerbate it making us even more tired. It isn’t always about getting away either. As Dottie’s mom used to say, “Wherever I go, there I am.” We can’t get away from ourselves but we can ask others for help.
Max Lucado writes in his book Traveling Light,https://maxlucado.com/products/traveling-light-releasing-the-burdens-you-were-never-meant-to-carry/ “ Weary travelers. You’ve seen them — everything they own crammed into their luggage. Staggering through terminals and hotel lobbies with overstuffed suitcases, trunks, duffels, and backpacks. We’ve all seen people like that. At times, we are people like that — if not with our physical luggage, then at least with our spiritual or emotional load. We all lug loads we were never intended to carry. Fear. Worry. Discontent. No wonder we get so weary. We’re worn out from carrying that excess baggage. Wouldn’t it be nice to lose some of those bags?” Yes, there are burdens we carry that weigh us down. We often times need others to help us carry them or help us realize that we can just leave them behind. I wrote about how we need others in my most recent post. https://thankfulinallthings.com/to-what-are-you-being-held-hostage/ God, sent Jesus to help us ease our burdens as well. Matthew 11:28 gives us the advice, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Think of yourself as the above mentioned weary traveler. How good does it feel when someone says,”Can I help you with those bags” or opens a door for you when your hands and arms are full? My reminder to you is life is not to do life alone. We need each other. Even Jesus sent the disciples not alone, but in pairs. “Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.” Mark 6:7 Like Max Lucado wrote, we need others to help us when we don’t have the strength to carry on on our own.
Reverend Paul Walker summed it up this way in his “almost daily devotional”. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.” (Psalm 92: 1-2) Morning and night. In the morning you might be raring to go, optimistic about the day ahead. You also might be tired fatigued, sluggish, or anxious about what the day holds. Either way, declaring God’s steadfast love is the way to begin and end each day.
“O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of live is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.” (In the Evening – BCP p. 833)
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This week the stars aligned. Well actually, NASA described it this way. “Jupiter and Saturn aligned in the night sky on Dec. 21 in an event astronomers call the “great conjunction” — also referred to as the “Christmas Star” — marking the planets’ closest encounter in nearly 400 years. https://apple.news/AHBOEehUORSyRWvSNsB9wBQ There are many that say this is what the Three Wise Men followed when seeking to worship Jesus after He was born. I was struck by the fact that all around the world people were looking upward to catch this amazing phenomenon. What a wonderful picture analogy of the Advent season where we wait expectantly to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Like us seeing the great conjunction, the Israelites waited hundreds of years to welcome a Messiah who Isaiah prophesied about 700 years before his birth. The difference of course is in a matter of days Jupiter and Saturn are no longer visible whereas the world has never been the same since “unto us a child was born whose name is Jesus, Wonderful counselor, our Immanuel.” Isaiah 9:6
The second similarity that the great conjunction brought to mind is that we are all waiting for Covid19 to release its wretched grip on our lives making it so difficult to be with the ones we love. Like the planets, we look to the availability of the vaccine to be made so all we will be well and life as we imagine it will get back to normal. It certainly feels like the Christmas carol, “a star, a start dancing in the night” that provides us some glimmer of hope that this soon could be over. As I thought about this I happened upon the Season 3 The Crown episode where Prince Phillip watches every moment of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins landing on the moon.https://youtu.be/qLebb96VHJM It is again a picture of looking up at the moon and being amazed at the courage it took to achieve this heroic accomplishment. The Prince was astounded that the astronauts were more interested in Buckingham Castle and what his life of royalty was like than landing on the moon. So often, we think what others have done or are doing is much more important or significant than ours. It can lead to discouragement as we fall into the lie that our life doesn’t measure up to others.
Christmas speaks truth to that lie. Missionary, Doug Coppage, sums it up well in a recent letter to a friend. “My hope does not depend on other people, no matter how religious or corrupt they may be. My hope rests in Jesus alone, and he did a very, very good job of overcoming darkness, despair, death, and every other curse of human life. God did all this through Jesus for us – and for me! This is God’s Christmas lesson for me this year.”
This Christmas, may the eyes of your heart be enlightened, that you may have a deeper “Christmas star” understanding of what it means to love God and to love others. Only then can we receive the best gift God offers Us; His unique divinity, His grace and truth, His indescribable peace. May it make you “Thankful in all Things”
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‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Social distancing is wreaking havoc on us individually and in how we go about loving our neighbors. We were made to be in relationship so to back up, like a turtle pulls his head into his shell, is so contrary to how God wants us to live. Jesus said in John 10:10 that “he came to give us an abundant life” and later in John 15 encouraged us in this way, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” I don’t know about you who are reading this post, but I can say feeling an “abundance and a joy that is full” is not easy to do these days. I wake up many days thinking, “another day, just like yesterday, and the day before. It is magnified as I see so many people enjoying family vacations and, because of my compromised immune system, we cannot. There is a daily choice to be made. Do I slip down into discouragement or choose to make the day a positive one by finding creative ways to love my neighbors? I have found that having a mindset toward acts of service keeps me from allowing my circumstances to defeat me.
The commandment to Love my neighbor literally means to go out and care for those nearby. This moves the exhortation not just to those who live nearby who may look like us or have the same type of lifestyle, but who come nearby as we move throughout our the day, physically or remotely. As I have shared before, even wearing a mask can be a way that we love someone who comes into our proximity. Bishop Claude Alexander in his sermon, https://livingontheedge.org/coffeebreak/july-2020/ says like the Good Samaritan, we need to be willing to not go around an uncomfortable situation. Instead, be called forward so that we go through and into that place. That way we can get close enough to see, feel, and understand what is happening, why it occurred. Bishop Alexander shares that “Seeing, feeling, and understanding will make us realize we must do something about the situation”
When we are moved to make a difference, what does it look like to love our neighbor? The practical application will look differently for each one of us and that is OK. One thing is for sure though. It starts with us getting out of our own comfort zone and entering into a place where we have never been before or haven’t been motivated to make the time. The first step for the Good Samaritan was to see what had happened. He then felt the person’s pain which made him understand he needed to do something. That something cost him physically, (he walked while the injured one rode on the donkey), financially (he paid for a room and for his care, and his precious time ( he cared for the man and then came back later to see if he was OK. What starts with being open to see and responding to others who have a need or just need encouragement. Here are links to three different ministries that started with people like you and me who got shaken into action. https://charlottesvilleabundantlife.org/ https://movementfoundation.org/ https://peaceprep.com/ I share these to show what amazing things can happen when people make the choice to love their neighbors.
Luke 10;36.37 answers the question, What does it mean to love your neighbor? When the expert in the law answered that the one who had mercy on the person who was robbed, Jesus simply answers, “go and do likewise“. As I thought about this blog post this week, this jumped in to my head. What if our love for each other was as contagious as Covid19? I am guessing your life will be filled with the abundance God promised and you will find yourself full of joy. Let’s go out this week and find out. 🙂
The definition of the word divide is “a wide divergence between two groups, typically producing tension or hostility.” These days there are so many places we see division; “To wear or not wear a mask”, “how in the world can people be gathering in large groups”, and “aren’t those people lucky they have a cool place to shelter in place” just to name a few. Of course there are much bigger things like “do Black Lives Matter” and what does it mean to “Defund the police” Where we all don’t have the same answer on how to solve the problem. These challenges whether small and petty or large and Important have created divisions even in families and amongst friends for whom we really care about. The question is are the majority of us willing to stand in the gap in these conversations so that love will prevail vs allowing those who espouse hatred to seize control.
Let me take a little poetic license with one verse in The classic song, “what’s love got to do with it”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGpFcHTxjZs As you read the lyrics, Think about engaging with someone who doesn’t think the way you do.
It may seem to you that I’m acting confused
When you’re close to me
If I tend to look dazed I’ve read it someplace
I’ve got cause to be
There’s a name for it
There’s a phrase that fits
But whatever the reason you do it for me
Aren’t we all confused by how people are acting? Haven’t the tensions and yes, hostilities, left you a bit dazed and tired? There are many names for it and a phrases that fit. Here are a few words that might sum it up: discouragement, fatigue, hopelessness, and despair. Along with Phrases such as : you don’t care, you can’t understand, and I can’t trust you all lead up to feeling divided, one against another with a sense that there is no way to bridge the gap. The reason that I can remain thankful in all things in this very different season of adversity is that I have hope that “love can conquer all things” Why? Because Jesus validates it when asked what are the most important commandments?
We are to 1st “love God with all our heart, mind, and soul.” The 2nd is that we are to “love others as God loves us”. If we can figure out the 1st, our personal inward hopes (closer to Christ, relationships, etc.)” we will experience a freedom to do the 2nd an outward expression of loving others in a way that is useful to the Lord, Making it His work not mine. Can it be so simple that if My desire is to Love Him with all my heart, love others as He loves me (even though I often times am unloveable) leads to being released that I can count on the fact that His plan not mine will be the outcome? If so, I can strive to stand in the gap “pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) The prize these days would be to see divisiveness turned into unity.
Beth Moore exhorts us forward by writing, “True greatness will never come to those who seek to be great. It will come to those who make themselves of no reputation and give their unseen everyday lives, their everyday energies, their everyday faith to serving others amid their own everyday sufferings & unrequited desires.”
1 Corinthians 13 says the 3 most important things in life are Faith, Hope, and Love but the greatest of these is Love. Our faith in each other is wavering which can cause us to lose hope. I began this post with lyrics from a classic Tina Turner song. Let me end it with the chorus of one of my favorite campfire songs by the Youngbloods. Go ahead, take the time to listen to it. 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRbTvoxRNxM
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
James 3:18 says “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” If we choose to go out with an intent to love one another, I believe we can cause others to do the same. In doing so, we can in fact stand in the gap shining light in the dark, letting good to defeat evil knowing and regaining the hope that love will conquer hatred.
My Guillain Barre Syndrome story which is what started this blog can be found by visiting www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie You can contact me by making a comment here on the blog or by emailing me at [email protected]
I wish I could remember what Coach Jensen said that day in 8th grade. I know I admired him, if only because his brother was the great Jackie Jensen. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jenseja01.shtml Jackie played for my beloved New York Yankees and was the AL MVP for the rival Red Sox in 1958. But I digress ? I came home from school that day in 1968 and announced to my mom, “I know what I want to be when I grow up” I wish she was here to wish I had asked her while she was alive what she thought I might say? I do remember her surprise when she nicely asked what it was I wanted to be. “I want to be a coach and a dad!” Given how I felt about Coach Jensen and my Lions Club baseball coaches, Larry Rentch and Tom Proctor, the 1st answer made sense. The dad part took my mom totally by surprise. I have coached folks all my life in sports, business, and personal development but I never worked as a coach. 52 years later, on this my 39th Father’s Day, I got the second part right and nothing I have accomplished in my life means more to me.
Dottie and I are blessed with 3 children (a boy and two girls) who are all now married and have allowed me to reach another goal; becoming a grandfather. The now 7 grandchildren affectionately call me, “MRG or MRGie.” I knew I wanted to be a dad but not until they moved past the toddler or what I called the “physically tiring” stage of life did I realize the great responsibility that comes along with the title, Dad.
I am one of 6 kids and if there is one thing for sure, Mom and Dad did a great job teaching us to find our own way. We are all very different and didn’t always do the right thing nor did we always think the same way as our parents. One thing we did know is we were loved and that our Buppy and Papa, the General were our biggest fans As I wrote in my Mother’s Day blog, we are all trying to live out that legacy they created for us to follow. https://thankfulinallthings.com/mothers-day-how-does-it-answer-the-question-what-does-it-mean-to-leave-a-legacy/
I am not surprised that the Lord would have me reading through Proverbs during the month of June. It started as a challenge to a younger friend who has started his own faith journey. I had shared my thoughts about how we are to Study so we can learn, seek Understanding and then make ourselves Vulnerable in our interactions with others. He had never read the Bible so we decided to read one chapter a day since there are 30 chapters. I thought I was doing it for him. God, my Heavenly Father, had other plans because you see, as a child of God, He wants me to mature and become the man He created. I take seriously the responsibility of doing the same for my kids and now, their kids. For me, there is no better legacy I could leave. The recurring theme in Proverbs is instruction or as Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young sang, “teach your children well”
Here are just a few living and parenting tips that come out of Proverbs. Pay attention. Listen well. Maintain discretion.. Pursue knowledge. Heed Instruction. Know that you are in full sight of the Lord. I am not perfect so don’t make others feel like they have to be. Be grateful for God’s grace and mercy. Offer the same to everyone around you. Love the Lord always and love others in the same way.
As I shared earlier, my parents let us grow up with the thought, “you can be anyone you want.” I am sure Dad would have loved for one of his children to have gone into the military. None of us did but he was proud of and bragged on us all the time. Dottie and I can certainly say the same about JM, Katie, and Becca. Our greatest joy is watching them learn how to be incredible parents. Yes the CTNY song, reminds us to teach our children well. But is also shares to do it well, you must have a code.” Mine comes from the greatest commandment in the bible. “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul. Love your children (inserted for effect here) and everyone else as I have loved you Joshua 24:15 says, “ But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” What is the code on which you stand to teach your children? As you strive to teach your children well, Make sure know the code.
Learn more about the journey that inspired me to write this blog. www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie contact me at [email protected] Please subscribe to this blog so you can get email updates when new posts are added.