Don’t worry….. Pray to God

Our Wednesday evenings at church I spend in the 3-5 year old room during Teamkid. This week had a great message for the kids and so simple and has really stuck with me….

“DON’T WORRY….PRAY TO GOD.” The children’s simplified translation of Philippians 4:6. What a great message for all of us.

When you are afraid- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are mad- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are upset- Don’t worry, pray to God!
WHen you are happy- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are lonely- Don’t worry, pray to God!

If we could just follow this simple command how much simpler could things be for us? To let go and trust God, He is in control, everything is according to His plan and His purpose. I know and have experienced that He knows what is best, I have learned time and time again His way is SO MUCH better than my way, so why do I spend so much time worrying about things I have no control over??? When I simply just need to follow the advice we gave our little ones this week…Don’t Worry, Pray to God.

This topic was approached from another direction in my ladies group on Tuesday evening, the chapters we study focused on fear and anxiety and goes down the road of identifying worry as a sin, which is a hard fact to ponder and realize. It is so easy to worry and let this worry, turn to fear and lead to us sinning. When we worry we are questioning God, we are not trusting Him when we do this. If we had complete trust and solid faith that He will always provide and be there for us then we wouldn’t need to even consider worrying. But we cannot do this, we are sinners and human and we need God in every area of our lives, hearts and souls. It is not possible to not worry, we are not built this way but we do need to work on obeying God’s commands to us, if we are working everyday to keep in constant communication with God, constant prayer, through every situation, always stay focused on Him and let Him be the center of everything then it will come more naturally to follow the advice and let go of worry and pray to God first and always.

Message for this week is heard loud and clear—-“DON’T WORRY—PRAY TO GOD!!!”

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25-27
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

“Lord thank You for this great reminder this week, I pray for strength, guidance and wisdom to take and apply this to my life. Your words are so clear to me this morning please help me keep this sweet and simple reminder in all areas of my life. Help me to be humble before You. Daily I am faced with challenges, please help to always come to You first, I pray to live out these words and to not worry and always come to You in prayer and supplication. Let the great truth in Your words and Promises continue speaking to me and guiding me. Thank You for all You have blessed me with in this life, thank You for having Your plan be so much better than my own. In Jesus Name- Amen”

 

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Picture Perfect

Here’s a story, about a man named ……… I better stop there before I get a theme song stuck in my head! We all remember that wonderful show that gave us an inside look into one of Americas favorite “Blended Families”. Six perfect kids with a working dad and a stay at home mom with a full time nanny named Alice. Station wagon with wood panel siding and nobody ever fought in the car even on those long road trips to the Grand Canyon! From the outside looking in, they were perfect!

I had someone ask me last week, if our family was as “perfect” as it appeared to be on Facebook? (Insert long pause here)………………. HAHAHAHAHA Sure, it’s perfect I said. Kids never fuss we always smile and our children are about to pass Dougie Houser in early educational achievements (sorry it just fit since I opened up with a sitcom). It is easy to see the smiles and fun looks in pictures. We all do it, take the picture over and over until it’s “perfect” or at least until mom finally utters those long awaited words of “that’s good enough”. We want smiles and happy faces and perfect memories to think about down the road.

Before I continue let me make certain everyone is clear! Our family is “Perfect”! Perfectly Human! James said this in chapter 3:2 “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check”. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I have told one of the kids they better “get themselves in check”. They are human, sinful by nature and in need of a savior. They are our perfect gifts from God and it is our job to lead them back to Him.

The truth is, as much as we joke, we are not the Brady Bunch. We are real, we make mistakes, we have to cut the grass because it’s not AstroTurf and we don’t have Alice to get dinner ready for us (because he moved to Florida). We have good days and bad days, but in each day Ingrid and I strive to show Gods love to each other and our children. We love beyond our faults and we extend grace and mercy. Giving forgiveness openly and even asking for it when we need to. We are prayerfully trying to do what Paul said in Romans 12:10 ” love one another deeply, honor others more than yourselves”.

“Father,
We know we are not “picture perfect”. We are sinners, fallen and broken. We need Jesus every moment of every day. Thank you Lord for providing us forgiveness of sins through your son.
God help us to raise our children to look past the mistakes look past hard times and look toward your love. Help them to show your love and be an example of you to others.
Lord I don’t need our picture to be perfect and for others to think it is, I just ask that all of us would look at each other through your lens. To see us how you see us, redeemed, pure, set apart for you and PERFECT in Christ love.

Amen”

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A new season

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬ NIV)

It’s that season again! Time for football, cheerleading and school will be starting before you know it. Such a busy time of the year and it always seems that there is no end in sight. But, it is that time of year so ready or not , here we go!

Tyler and Josh have just begun the 2014 football season, Tyler’s first year playing I might add. Emily is on her second year of cheering and Ingrid and I are preparing to buy a small coffee farm in an effort to provide enough of the warm caffeine goodness that keeps us going, sometimes!

I’m reminded that this is a season, a season that is here for a while and then is gone. Just like any season, we need to intentionally take advantage of its perks. It may be challenging to think there are many perks during this hectic time of quick sandwich dinners and making u-turns to fetch helmets and shoulder pads that “mysteriously” got taken out of the back of the car by the infamous “it wasn’t me” monster. Well, there are. Like the perk of needing to spend more time praying for our children, or the benefit of having the opportunity to share and show our faith to so many new people we meet.

We also have the opportunity to spend this extra time with our children, talking supporting, cheering for and encouraging them. This is a season where they will be watching our every move and hearing every word. This is a time where we need to be thankful to God for giving us the ability to let our children enjoy activities like this.

This is also a season where we will need to be watchful, mindful and always prepared to give an answer for the faith we have in Christ.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (‭1 Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭15‬ NIV)

With school starting, our children will be bombarded with many more outside influences than we can even think about. Teachers, friends, team mates even text books and other media. We need to be ready in this season to answer the tough questions they will have. We need to be prepared to set a godly example that shows the benefit of living in Gods will, to the best of our ability.

In this season, we all will grow. Growing as players, as cheerleaders, as parents and most importantly, as disciples of Jesus. Jesus is always growing us, growing us to look like him, love like him and serve like him.

“Heavenly Father,

This season we come to you with grateful hearts. Thanking you for the many blessings you have bestowed on us thank you for my wife and her unfaltering commitment to our children and to me. Thank you for our children and for allowing them to play football and cheerleading. Thank you for this upcoming school year. Lord thank you for the opportunity to show and share our faith with others and to continue growing our kids into disciples of Christ.

Lord we ask for your protection over our children both physically and spiritually. Let them not be influenced by this world but rather be the influencer’s to others for your name sake.

Help Ingrid and I not grow tired or weary during this hectic season. Help us to show love and thoughtfulness and dedication to each other and our children in all things. Please allow our kids to see you in us and help that to permeate our home by the power of your Holy Spirit.

Thank you God for all that you do for us.
In Christ name
Amen”