I grew up in a religiously conservative home, so I am gifted at spotting sin. We avoided illicit sex, drugs, and violence, and weren’t allowed to watch MTV or the Simpsons. Continue reading “Two Brothers”
And he began to be in need
And so were some of you..
And some of you once were….
Now the man’s older son was still out in the fields working. He came home at the end of the day and heard music and dancing.
– Luke 15:25 Continue reading “Feel Like Dancing?”
Guest post by Tanya Cliff
scars We all have scars Continue reading “Scars”
“Now at last they were beginning chapter one of the great story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever in which every chapter is better than the one before.” C.S. Lewis- The Last Battle Continue reading “Our Story”
As the scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame”
I can see my daughter standing before you, dressed in white.
It’s her wedding day! But not on this earth.
There she is, in the kingdom of God, where your church is “prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” Revelation 21:2
I pray that day will come for her Lord Jesus!
That day in which she knows with all of her heart that whoever trusts in you will never be put to shame.
She trusted in you once, Lord, and I believe you began a good work in her and will carry it on to completion. Philippians 1:6
I pray that you will move soon in her life to turn her heart from sin back to you.
Let her hear your Spirit speaking to her: “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist”. Return to me, for I have redeemed you” Isaiah 44:22
Let the fog clear and a bright new morning break!
Even when we rebel against you you, you long for us to give our hearts to you.
When we do you take our sins completely away. You cloth us with garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness Isaiah 61:10
You present us holy in your sight, “without blemish and free from accusation” Colossians 1:22.
You have said, “You will forget the shame of your youth” Isaiah 54:4.
And you choose to forget it as well!
You tell us you will remember our sins no more Jeremiah 31:34
Take the shame off my daughter, Lord Jesus! Just as you have done for me.
You promise in your Word, Do not be afraid, you will not suffer shame.Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. Isaiah 54:4
I pray my daughter will understand that when prodigals return you throw a party!
You welcome them with arms held wide open!
Let her know deeply in her heart that there is no shame in being your child.
Let her know that any name she has been called doesn’t matter, because one day, you will give a “new name” to all who are saved Revelation3:12 all who live for your kingdom and love.
May any sin or shame from the past be washed away by your “precious blood” 1 Peter 1:19
May she live so in love with you that others are drawn to You as well!
I know she has a choice to make, and I pray she will make it soon and “choose life” Deuteronomy 30:19 !
I pray she will choose you
From “Prayers for Prodigals”
It’s my life
One of my main concerns about writing a blog was running out of ideas to write about.
I have learned that inspiration can come from unexpected places.
My preference in entertainment leans toward the things most guys enjoy. Sports, war, C.S.I (pick a city), Point of Interest, M.A.S.H, Person of Interest, Revolution you get the picture.
Recently I came across an episode of Castle that provided the inspiration for this post.
If you are not familiar with this program let me get you up to speed. The plot revolves around a famous mystery writer (man) who in the process of doing research for his books befriends the at first reluctant NYC detective (woman). Together they solve crimes, she with her sharp analytical skills, he with unorthodox, outside the box thinking and as a bonus they eventually find themselves in a relationship.
The inspiration came as he was returning home from solving the latest case and finds his daughter suitcase in hand preparing to leave.
“Are you sure this is what you want to do? Why don’t wait a while, get to know him better? (great advice because in a previous episode the boyfriend had been living on Castles couch because he could not find a job or afford an apartment)
The daughter Alexis replies, “If I am making a mistake, you have made mistakes also and you turned out o.k. It’s my life”.
It’s my life…How many times have you heard this statement? From friends, children, yourself?
Although the person making this statement wants to believe otherwise this declaration usually precedes disaster.
It is true that legally and theoretically that it is “your life” but is it only your life your decisions and actions affect? The following is taken from an article in the San Francisco Examiner
How many times have we, as a parent, heard our children say, “I’m an adult now, Mom, I need to live my life, my way,” only to find ourselves picking up the pieces after a really bad decision that the “adult” child made? Emotionally, financially and as a life-disrupting event for a parent, our adult children’s decisions affect us in a big way.
Parents often put their own lives on hold while they help their kids pull their own lives back together. So, whose life was affected by the child’s bad decision? Not just the adult child’s life was affected by bad judgment and an unwillingness to listen to reasoning that might have prevented the bad situation; the aging parent’s life is often greatly affected, as well.
There are certainly those of you among our readers who will argue that everyone has a right to live their own lives, and kids need to make mistakes in order to learn. Of course that’s true. Unfortunately, so often one person’s right to do their own thing and live their own life often means that their loved ones will be left paying the price for it.
The article goes on to say that it is not just the adult child’s decisions that affect family and even society, but adults as well.
“How many of us have cared for dying parents who refused to quit smoking all of their lives because it was “their own choice?” “It’s my life and I’ll smoke if I want to,” is the mantra of most smokers. But is it their life or yours as well, that is interrupted and thrown into a painful saga of treatments, turmoil and sadness when the smoking catches up with them in later years”?
Add to this drug addiction, over-eating, extra-marital affairs that destroy families, sexual promiscuity that produces children with one parent and sometimes no parent?
All in the name of “It’s my life”.
My pastor recently said that the greatest of all idolatry is the “worship of me”.
When life is lived for self alone it becomes a life lived alone. But not without consequences for others.
I was on my way home from work when my wife called. She had picked up our 17 year old daughter from work. There had been an argument over some questions my wife asked her and she jumped out of the car and informed my wife that she was tired of our questions and our interfering with her life. She was not coming home, moving out.
And that is what she did.
We should have seen it coming. It was not the first confrontation but you always want to believe the best about your child.
There were many questions that went through our minds over the next days weeks and months. Most beginning with “why”. Along with the questions, emotions. Denial, anger, frustration, disappointment fear (big one) sorrow, loss.
And you remember. The day she was born so tiny and helpless. Her first steps, her smile and laughter. Her first day of school standing there with her little back-pack trying to look brave, an image captured on film and in your mind forever. Her first play at school, the first tooth she lost. The hugs and her telling you “You are the best mommy and daddy ever I love you so much”. The times you went fishing and camping, the times she wanted to be anywhere you were. Sitting with her when she was scared of the storm, planting a tree in the front yard, when she went to the altar and gave her life to Jesus and the joy you felt as the tears ran down her face and she said “Daddy I asked Jesus into my heart”. The first time she saw the ocean, her first dance, teaching her to drive, all the firsts, all the memories…..
And you remember the time you didn’t take to spend with her, the busyness that you allowed to steal precious moments, never to be gotten back. It is easy in times like this to blame yourself for what has happened, to think “If only I had done or not done this or that, if I had been more strict, less strict. And in many ways you are right. If only…
The truth though is that the one thing God will not control is our will. Not mine, not yours, not my daughters. It is a gift He gave us that at it’s best brings tremendous blessing, and at its worst a horrible curse.
C.S. Lewis said;
“God created things (people) with free will. That means creatures which can go right or wrong. If a person is free to be good they are also free to be bad. Freewill though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes any love or goodness or joy worth having. Of course God knew what would happen if we used our freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk”.
It has been two years since our daughter left home. Early on in our journey I read a story about a another child who left his home
Once there was this man who had two sons. 12 One day the younger son came to his father and said, “Father, eventually I’m going to inherit my share of your estate. Rather than waiting until you die, I want you to give me my share now.” And so the father liquidated assets and divided them. 13 A few days passed and this younger son gathered all his wealth and set off on a journey to a distant land. Luke 15:12-13
Many of you have read this story, how the son wasted all his father had given him in wild irresponsible living. Broke and hungry he found himself feeding pigs, with not even enough to buy food. Broken and alone he decided that being a hired hand for his father would be better than where he was.
” So he got up and returned to his father. The father looked off in the distance and saw the young man returning. He felt compassion for his son and ran out to him, enfolded him in an embrace, and kissed him”.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him” Luke 15:20
Prodigals. All of us were at one time. Some of us still are.
It has been over two years since my daughter went on her journey. Like the father who kept watching for his sons return, I keep watching for her return.
It’s been said that the waiting is always the hardest part. For a parent watching a child go through a prodigal journey this is especially true. As hours turn into days, and days turn into months, and months turn into years, a parent can become frustrated. “It has not changed, it will never change”, we’ll say to ourselves in sorrow and sometimes anger. In these times our feelings become a terrible enemy. But we must keep praying and watching as the father in Luke 15 did—waiting for his beloved child to return. Be still and know that He is God and is able to bring her safely home.
Father it is amazing to me when I realize that Your love for my daughter is even greater than the love I have for her and that the depth of your feeling for her goes even deeper than my own. I am comforted to know that you care for them and that they are always before you. As I watch my daughter and her prodigal journey, I know that though she is now far from you that she is not out of your sight. Lord, help me to persevere in prayer for her—trusting in your ability to bring her safely home.