Mickey Mantle, one of the most famous baseball players in the history of the sport, lived a very troubled and reckless life. For all the acclaim he received for his accomplishments on the field, Mickey Mantle was also an alcoholic and womanizer off the field. He openly admitted later in life to the damage his merciless and often cruel behavior caused family, friends and fans.
His friend and teammate, Bobby Richardson, was a major influence in Mantle becoming a born-again Christian later in life, resulting in a dramatic change. Still, his body had already suffered the consequences for choices made during his career. In 1995 he had a liver transplant due to the ravages of his alcoholism and newly discovered cancer.
One account of his life reported that after his liver transplant someone asked him if he would ever donate one of his organs to someone who needed it. His reply surprised everyone.
As water reflects the face, so a man’s heart reflects the man. –Prov. 27:19
Caleb had every reason to be discouraged. He had been snubbed by the majority, even though he believed God and knew His promise was sound. Because the majority would not submit to God’s plan, they wandered in a desert for forty years. No one from that generation, except Caleb and Joshua, lived to enter the Promise Land.
Now at eighty-five, it was time to claim the promise God had made to him forty years earlier. For most men, this would have been a good excuse to sit back and turn the helm over to the young bucks in the group. But not Caleb. Listen to his own words: “I am just as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me the hill country that the Lord promised me that day.” Wow! I want to be like Caleb.
How is it that Caleb could say such things and be so vigorous at eighty-five? Because, as the record clearly states, he followed the Lord his God wholeheartedly. What does it mean to be wholehearted? As it turns out, this is one of the next two hallmarks of a guarded, and blessed heart that Jesus taught that we will be examining. A wholehearted heart also implies a heart that is absolutely submitted to God and His commands. So, let’s look at these two qualities of a heart after God’s own heart.
Grandpause: Blessedness does not lie in externals. -Thomas Watson
Her name was Susan Walker. We were both in the fourth grade and I was gobsmacked by her beauty. She was my first crush and I was obsessed by thoughts of her. At least until I turned on the Mickey Mouse Club program after school and the angelic face of Mouseketeer Annette Funicello appeared on the screen. My heart pounded when a camera zoomed in for a close up, and I forgot all about Susan Walker.
As kids our hearts were in a constant tug-o-war with new things and people that competed for our heart’s attention. A nine-year old doesn’t often think about whether the tug at his or her heart is a good or not, or if it is something that will last. He’s just responding to a strong, exciting emotional pull that he may not have experienced before. It’s hard to resist.
"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Dt. 4:9
“Our strategic calling as grandparents requires that we stay connected, emotionally engaged, and personally involved in our children’s and grandchildren’s lives.” – Tim & Darcy Kimmell
For four years Jim and Gwen participated in our GrandCamp in Colorado with their four grandchildren. When Jim’s health made it difficult for him to cope with the altitude, undeterred they began planning for their own special “Cousins’ GrandCamp”. They were determined to continue what they considered to be a rich tradition that was having a positive impact on their grandchildren, who are now all teenagers.
They prayed that God would truly use what they had learned from previous GrandCamp experiences to remind their grandchildren about God’s grace and truth, prepare them for the challenges ahead, and equip them to live as wholehearted followers of Christ. They are currently planning their fourth annual Cousins GrandCamp filled with morning to evening activity, all purposefully orchestrated to maximize their time together. And the grandkids can’t wait. It’s one of the highlights of their year every year.
Why would grandparents go to such lengths to plan such an involved event?