Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:10)
Monday this nation honors the man who fought without using violent force for righteousness and justice for black Americans—and all those who love freedom. His name was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Growing up in the turbulent days of civil rights marches led by Dr. King, I did not always appreciate or sympathize with Dr. King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Yet, I later discovered that here was a man who stood upon the truth of God’s Word and the Gospel message. I now believe he was a prophet in his time who faced persecution, discouragement, failures and rejection with patience, forgiveness and hope. How will you use this opportunity to teach your grandchildren the truth about what drove Dr. King to do what he did?
I have a confession to make. I am an addict. My addition? The applause and approval of others. Though I am an introvert by nature, I love the praises of men even if it’s uncomfortable. I’ve discovered something else. I’m not alone in this addiction.
In his Gospel, John reveals this as a widespread human condition. He writes of the those who believed in Jesus but would not publicly confess it for fear of the Pharisees saying, “they loved the praise from men more than praise from God” (John 12:43). Is there anyone reading this who can relate to this addictive condition? Even if we don’t want to be this way, we can find ourselves trapped in the mire formed from the selfish bent of our hearts. How do we escape this trap?
Four Kinds of Grandparents - Part Two
It’s a new year! A time for some new beginnings. I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but there is one resolution I would get behind as opportunity to impact another generation. It’s the resolution of intentionality.
I’m not talking about being intentional about going to the gym, or reading a good book. I’m talking about the kind of intentionality that is part of what Larry Fowler, CEO of the Legacy Coalition, calls four kinds of Christian grandparents. I wrote about this a few weeks ago. Larry has observed that Christian typically fall into one of these four categories: Biblical grandparents, Cultural grandparents, Blocked grandparents and Unequipped grandparents.
Using the term ‘biblical grandparents’, Larry means those who are intentional about putting into practice the biblical roles God has commanded for grandparents. Who doesn’t want to be a biblical grandparent. But it’s not about being perfect. It’s about intentionally watching for opportunities to teach about and display God’s greatness and grace to another generation. In fact, this matter of intentionality is so critical, that I am going to devote most of my blogs for 2017 to the subject of intentionality.
So, how about a fresh start for you in this matter during 2017? Imagine the impact millions of Christian grandparents could have on the next generation if we all lived with intentionality. I’m not talking about good intentions, but a deliberate choice to put into practice was God has commanded us to do so another generation may know Him and walk in His truth.
Do you remember this children’s Christmas song?...
You better watch out, you better not cry,
You better not pout, I’m telling you why,
Santa Claus is comin’ to town…
He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice,
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is comin’ to town.
As a young boy, I found the tune engaging, but I remember struggling with the idea of any naughty behavior factoring in to my gift worthiness. It just didn’t seem to reconcile with my understanding of God’s goodness. In some part of the world the custom is to put shoes or stockings out on St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th) with a similar warning that if you are not good, St. Nicholas may leave you a lump of coal or a switch instead of something nice. What a dreadful thought!
My favorite Christmas carol is Charles Wesley’s Hark! The Herald Angelsl Sing. It’s a carol rich with truth and powerful images of Christ’s glory as the Prince of Peace, and a moving declaration of His divine humility – “Mild He lays His glory by; Born that man no more may die.”
First titled Hymn for Christmas Day, Wesley’s original lyrics for the opening couplet were “Hark how all the welkin rings…” I know, it was my question too. What is “welkin”? Welkin is olde English for heavens, or sky. The lyrics we know so well today were penned by Charles Wesley’s good friend, George Whitefield, renowned evangelist in the mid-eighteenth century. Whitefield made a few other minor revisions in the verses Wesley wrote, but only three of Wesley’s original five stanzas have remained in this classic hymn-carol sung today.
As I read the forgotten stanzas of Wesley’s powerful carol, it seemed to me this is a lost jewel that needs to be returned to its rightful place in the old hymn setting.
- Four Kinds of Christian Grandparents - Part One
- Is Advent Part of Your Family’s Traditions?
- The Tattoo Principle
- Cultivating a Legacy of Remembrance
- This Isn’t What I Expected
- What Shapes Your Legacy of Truth?
- Should You Be a Surrogate Grandparent?
- Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!
- The Price of Foolishness
- How to Make Work a Blessing... Not Just a Job
We need your help to reach our $40,000 Project Goal for 2016 to equip and empower today's grandparents to live out their biblical roles. Our projects include...
- Ministry Partner training and development
- GIA (Grandparents In Action) series, and
- DIY GrandCamp Manual
Because God Stands Within the Shadows01.15.2017 08:49
A Better Resolution01.14.2017 20:57
A Better Resolution01.04.2017 14:02