Sunday, January 29, 2006

Who wants to...?

There is a text that was in part of my study this week, Matthew 18:2-5. It's about when Jesus put a little child on His lap and said that we had to be like that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

We've often thought (and rightly so) that it means we have to have that simple child like faith, implicit trust in Jesus, in order to be with Him in heaven.

Well, I've come to the conclusion that it means much more than that. It's exuberance! Unashamed to admit it enthusiasm! That's the key that children have, that we need to have as well. Think about it. When I ask my children, "Who wants to eat pizza?" The responses are never, "oh, if we have to." No, the kids are practically bouncing off of the walls. Hooray! Their squeals of delight can be heard throughout the house, not to mention the homes of the neighbors as well. Their faces turn a joyful bright gleaming color and they may even make up a little jig on the spot! They will even start squealing in unison and the littlest two will even start chanting, pizza, pizza, pizza, as they come up with their own little choreography of sheer joy.

Is that what it is like for us when we think of being with Jesus? Are we so excited that we don't care who is watching or listening, we are going to let all of our exuberance be clear and unmistakable?

Who wants Jesus to come back soon? Me!!!!!!! Hooray!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Okay, I realize that this is a touchy subject, but I just have to ask - does the fact that Jesus is coming back soon mean we have to play all of our hymns and other musical pieces as if they were funeral dirges?

I mean, it's supposed to be an exciting thing to think about "When We All Get to Heaven" and other such songs. This is supposed to be HAPPY! Jesus is coming back to take us to heaven. That is incredible. Shouldn't we be excited about that?

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that our excitement is proportionate to the volume of the music, but a song about looking forward to Jesus coming again shouldn't sound like you are in the local funeral parlor.

If we want to tell others that Jesus is coming soon, we need to do it with a little more excitement in our voices, or else we are doing more harm than good in fulfilling the gospel commission.

Friday, January 20, 2006

For Such a Time

This is from the junior devotional by Dorothy Eaton Watts called “Getups!” I’ve copied from the devotional on January 20th, and my thoughts are at the end.

For Such A Time

“Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Thousands of spectators were gathered on Capitol Hill the cold, clear morning of Inauguration Day, January 20th, 1961. Some had been there all night in 22 degree weather in order to assure themselves a good look at the thirty-fifth president of the United States as he rode up Pennsylvania Avenue.
A crew of 3,000 had worked all night to remove eight inches of snow that had fallen the day before. As the hour of noon approached, all was in readiness.
The sun was glittering bright at the ceremony began. Bareheaded in spite of the cold, John F. Kennedy removed his overcoat and stepped to the lectern.
Conversation in the crowd stopped as he placed his left hand on the open Bible, raised his right hand, and repeated after Chief Justice Earl Warren: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States.”
Millions of people around the world were stirred as they heard him say: “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do no shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation.”
Suddenly people were glad to be living at such a moment, glad for the challenge to sacrifice and the devotion given by this youthful president: “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

Today, in the year 2006, we also live in a time that is amazing. Natural disasters have taken on greater proportions than many have seen in their lifetimes. For the first time, we ran out of letters for names in our alphabet, and had to start using letters from the Greek alphabet for naming the tropical storms heading our way. Technology is making possible the fulfillment of the Great Commission, to tell the good news to everyone in all the world. Then, Jesus is coming back in glory and majesty. We should be glad to live in this great moment. We should be thrilled to be part of this time in the world’s history! And we are here, for such a time as this. Can God count on you and I to do our part and tell the world that Jesus is coming soon?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

To your Health!!

A friend of mine has started a blog about health. I think it's great, because we often don't realize how integrated our physical health is with our spirituality. So, stop by and visit this blog. Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I Want It! I Want It!

Tug of War is an interesting game. It becomes even more so when it is with a half asleep two year old and the "rope" you are tugging between you is her lunch plate. This isn't the first time that Greta fell asleep in her feeding table. And I'm sure it won't be the last. This time, however, her hands were resting on her plate as she slowly drifted off to sleep.

It is true that Greta is much more comfortable on the couch or in her bed than trying to sleep in her feeding table. Usually, she begs to be out and go to the couch to rest. This time, she was defending her plate. For some reason, letting go of the plate was the most horrible thing that could happen to her. So each time I tried to gently remove the plate, so I could clean up her peanut butter and honey mess and put her on the couch, she threw a horrible fit and grabbed the plate and cried out with determination "I want it! I want it!" So I would let go of the plate, and she would settle back in to her sleeping position.

After giving Greta a few chances to release the plate of her own free will, I had to take it away and clean her up. For someone who had just seconds before been snoring, she was thrashing about like a cat being put in a pool of water. It took a while to calm her down and let her know that I did want her to get her rest, but she didn't need the plate to do it. Finally, she slept comfortably on the couch, and of course, didn't want to wake up when nap time was over.

I think God must go through tug of wars like this with us as well. He can see we are really needing something. He wants to help us reach our goals, but there is something in the way. There is something we need to let go of in order to let Him help us reach our goals. Our lack of faith, or perhaps trust that God does indeed know what's best in EVERY aspect of our lives, prevents us from seeing that if the "plate" is taken away, we'll get to our goal! God, in His mercy, gives us many chances to let go on our own. Sometimes, He has to take the thing away from us and we kick and scream until we realize that the desired goal is right in front of us, thanks to God's leading.


Sunday, January 8, 2006

Broken Scissors

How good is my word? My four year old seems to be wanting to test it to its limits. And when he is done, the 2 1/2 year old chimes in. So, the test came with a pair of scissors. Matthew had previously cut Greta's hair (twice)as well as one of his new shirts that was a special gift from Grandma. Scissors had been off limits to him for a while, even and especially those little child safety scissors (since they can still cut hair and clothes)!

So, after Christmas, Matthew has a new pair of safety scissors, and begged to be able to use them. I told him that the scissors were only for cutting paper, and only his paper, no books and no paper belonging to someone else. I also told him that if he cut anything else with the scissors, I would break them and throw them away. The serious look in his eyes told me he understood, as well as the verbal, yes mommy.

We had company yesterday afternoon and evening. Matthew tried to cut the shoelaces of one of our guests. I didn't want to follow through, but Matthew needed to know right then, the first time, that I was serious. So, reluctantly, I took the scissors and broke them right in front of little Matthew. There were gasps from those who did not understand the behind the scenes parent/child battle that led up to this. I reminded Matthew of the terms of our agreement and how he had broken it, so I broke the scissors and threw them away.

I held Matthew in my arms and assured him that I still loved him, but that I mean what I say. I started to wonder. How many pairs of broken scissors have their been in my life? How many times has God told me something and I don't listen or try to do things my way? Jesus has given us many words of encouragement and many promises. He keeps His word. He means what He says. He is coming back soon. It will be unexpected for many, who haven't believed that he means what He says.


Monday, January 2, 2006

Cleaning Windows XP

In a house with three children, I do a lot of cleaning, and supervising of cleaning. I allowed the two littlest to breathe a little air on to the dining room window, and be fascinated with what appeared. But then, they began, as most children do, to write in the fog they had created. I asked them not to write on the window with their fingers, as it would make it dirty. Then back to my cleaning in the kitchen.

I'm wiping down counters and putting away things and preparing for the next assault on the kitchen, when Matthew starts in with a question only a child could ask. Does XP clean windows? I wanted to enjoy the beauty and innocence and chuckle of his question, little realizing the effect my enjoyment would have. He repeated his question, does XP clean windows, and I continued to revel in this childhood innocence, and preparing what I might say when the next thing to leave his mouth absolutely floored me: "I thought so."

Matthew had assumed that my silence was a yes. Since I did not correct him, it must be true. So I hurried to explain that Windows XP was a program for the computer and that XP did not clean the windows like the one in the dining room. And I began to think more on this. How many times do we as parents not answer our children according to "their" timeline? How often do they interpret this as a "yes" answer. If no one corrects them, than it must be true, right? But what if it is false? What if it is wrong? Who will stand up and say "No" when a question is asked?

Then I had to ask myself an even harder question. How many times have I been this way with God? How many times have I asked God for an answer to a question that I had already formulated an opinion about? Have I taken His sometimes silence as a yes? Have I felt that if I am not corrected in the way I feel I should be that it must be true?

God's Word says that He is not slack concerning His promises, as many of us understand slackness to be. I cannot mistake silence for a yes. Just because I do not perceive an immediate answer, does not mean that the answer is therefore yes. Out of the mouths of babes. Little Matthew taught me much today.

Sharon Leukert