Sunday, April 30, 2006

Kids and Contrasts

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have Him touch them,but the disciples rebuked them.When Jesus saw this,He was indignant.He said to them,"Let the little children come to me,and do not hinder them,for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.I tell you the truth,anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."And He took the children in His arms,put His hands on them and blessed them.~Mark 10:13-16 NIV
Those of you who have or had children will readily agree that their personalities show up very early in life and can be as different as say apples and oranges(I bet you thought I was going to say night and day,did'nt you?:-) ).Though my husband and I never had our own children as a couple we've had plenty of opportunity to observe his 2 kids(both adults now)and his granddaughter(now just over 5 1/2 years old).We've also observed stranger's kids in public.Plenty of opportunity for watching kids and how different they are.We saw just how different recently.A few weeks back we went to the local Hollywood Video to rent some movies.Yes,our town of 7,505 is big enough for such a store.:-)We chose our DVD's and made our way up to the counter.Surrounded by enough candy to keep all of Oregon's dentists working for plenty of years we noticed a little boy in front of us.With his mom(we assumed).Now,my husband's day is not complete unless he has given someone,anyone, a hard time.He's said his goal and purpose here is to make people laugh.Even strangers.Or their children.He saw this little boy of about 3 or 4 and began to make faces at him and talk to him.This little boy clung tighter to his mom so my husband tried harder to make him laugh.The little boy finally found his voice and said to Steve"Are you going to steal me?"We wre both a little stunned.My husband recovered long eneough to tell him "No,I'm just playing with you."He then told the boy's mom who was by now paying close attention that we have a granddaughter a little older than her son.She attempted a sincere smile but I could tell she was really more annoyed and wary of us.I found that whole scenario sad and have thought about it often since it happened.That we live in a world where children are fearful of being stolen.I thought about it again this weekend as we were out garage sale-ing.We'd stopped at one sale to look at couches for our son who is getting his own place soon(YIPPEE!).She had two of them for$20.00 each.She invited us to sit on them and try them out.As we sat in her living room her little son woke up and came out to where we all sat chatting.He came and stood by me(I was seated on the white leather sofa and Steve was across from me on the black leather sofa).I looked at her son and he at me and we smiled at each other.He was about 4 I guess.Dark hair,dark eyes and a winning smile in his pale little face.I continued to chat about the sofas with his mom and my husband.The next thing I know this little boy is standing right next to me and has taken my right hand and asks if I want to come see his room?Of course I said yes.It was a mess for sure.:-)Boy toys scattered everywhere.But he did'nt care it was his room and I was a willing stranger.Not to be outdone his red haired sister had to show me her room next door.What a contrast.Her room was definitely all girl.Pink and purple everywhere and neat as a pin.She even invited me in for tea.:-)Though I had to decline her offer I thought about both experiences we'd had with these children.One boy thought we were there to steal him from the video store.A few weeks later another one invites us to look at his room.One trusting.One distrusting.I imagine that's how some of the children were that day that Jesus rebuked the disciples and called the children to Himself.Some came readily while others maybe held back.I bet some of us are like that too as adults.We hold back instead of implicitly trusting the One we know will always be there for us no matter what may come.Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us.Trust HIM today for all that worries and concerns you.He can be trusted.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bragging Rights?

Steve and I did something this morning we had'nt done in awhile.We watched some morning news.They had a segment on the newest trend in bragging rights among families.It was"How busy are you?"I commented that I thought that was an insane thing to be proud of.Just hearing about their hectic schedules wearied me.But apparently these families thought it was praiseworthy to be completely exhausted 24/7.We then went about our day.Later on the topic came up again as we had lunch.I still thought it was insane to be that busy. :-)I like time for reflection myself.Quiet time to think.To listen to God.To pray.As I did some baking I thought about bragging rights.We've all had them at one time or another.Perhaps you grew up in a prestigious family and felt that gave you bragging rights.For a young man or a middle aged one even it may be the car you drive.Perhaps it's really cool,really fast and really expensive.Or perhaps it's just really loud.Bragging rights again.Or perhaps you are a woman who has been blessed with lots of children from your own womb.And you feel that is worth some boasting.Or perhaps you're a student or one that's just graduated from an important(in your estimation)university.You've covered your walls with awards received including your recently obtained diploma.Something to glory in.Or perhaps it's your appearance.Natural beauty that needs little if any cosmetic help.Reason to be boast for sure.As I pondered all of these things I thought to myself that these are all normal things.Good things.Blessings from God for sure.But do we dare to assume bragging rights when these are all gifts from God(see James 1:17).Any good that comes our way is purely a gift from God to be enjoyed for a season or maybe even a lifetime.We are but caretakers of His blessings.I like what His word says in II Corinthians 10:17"But,let him who boasts boast in the Lord."All of these things are but a vapor,a mist compared to Him.
"Thus says the Lord;"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,let not the mighty man glory in his might,Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;But let him who glories glory in this,That he understands and knows Me,That I am the Lord,exercising lovingkindness,judgement,and righteousness in the earth.For in these I delight,"says the Lord.~Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV