Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Experience of Moving

Moving is such a bittersweet event.  There are many exciting new opportunities ahead, but at the same time there are so many memories of all that has taken place in the past.  Seventeen years we have lived in the same home in the Woodlands.  Great friends have come and gone ahead and even more still grace our doorstep and cul-de-sac on any given night.  Friendships form over time when we get to know one another in a deeper manner, and share life experiences with one another.  The relationships have grown beyond simple acquaintances into a bond that will last well beyond the shifting of physical address.

Tears are shed in my household every night as we think through all that has happened in this house.  My children have developed friendships, scraped knees, learned how to walk and ride a bike within the confines of our wonderful little sub-division.  Trust has developed between us and those around us, to the point that I know those in my neighborhood love my children deeply and will see after their safety and well-being at all times, and vice versa.  I can’t count the times we have sat around our kitchen table with various children from down the street, and shared the Lord’s love and blessing, laughter, fun and great food.  I’ve watched them cry, share feelings and hurts, and laugh without abandon.  Late night movies on the wall or outside on the garage door while sitting in the driveway; have found numerous children gathered around.  How does one replicate that in a new location?

There are those in life that know you so well, they look right past all of the mess and clutter to see the love, the joy and the hurts within.  These are those kind of neighbors.  Friends have stepped across our threshold and provided a shoulder to cry on, a warm hug of understanding and a helping hand when life sometimes gets too complicated.  These are the friends who don’t just talk about loving you, but actually demonstrate it through their actions.  Cookies on the doorstep anonymously, helping to plant trees in the rain, mowing your lawn when you’re away, celebrating the little miracles in life, watching the kids in an emergency situation, loaning money when times were tight, opening up their home when needed; these are just simple examples of genuine love that has been showered upon our family from those around us.  How does one re-create this love, this bond and trust all over again with the new friends that await us?

Jesus, during His ministry, had no home, at least none recorded in the scriptures.  In Luke 9:58 we read, “And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."  He demonstrated that this world is temporary and that our real home is in heaven with the Lord.  We are passing through this life, and leaving pieces of ourselves along the way, while picking up pieces from others to make our lives more complete.  We must learn to take what we’ve learned, experienced and been blessed with for the last seventeen years and find a way to share that with those we will come in contact with over the next seventeen years.  For there will come a day, when those we love and have left behind will be drawn together again in the presence of our Lord to rest forever in His grace and love.  Until then, to all of our friends current and past, thank you so much for all you have done for me, my children, my wife and our family.  You are precious and loved by our family today and always.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Daily Walk

If you were asked about the greatest sin in your life, what would it be?

Adultery, Pornography, Lying, Stealing, Hatred, Greed, Anger, Envy, Self-Righteousness, Murder, Drugs, Drinking, Abuse, Homosexuality, Blasphemy, Cursing, Gambling, Selfishness and Pride; just too name a few.  You must all agree that these are all sinful actions against a Holy and Perfect God, and this is just off the top of my head.  If Jesus Christ came to die as the propitiation for the sins of all men, as stated in 1 Peter 3:18; “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit”; then who are we to say that one of these sins is greater than the other.  For in saying this, then one must expect that there is another action coming by which the greater of these sins is washed away.  Otherwise we have limited and minimized the saving grace offered up by the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Do you then believe that Christ died for your sins (some of those mentioned above), so that you can spend eternity with Him and the Father in heaven; but this same act (Christ’s death) is not sufficient to cover other sins mentioned above?  If your belief is true, than have you not place limitations on the saving grace of our Lord?  Salvation comes from belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, but coupled with the act of repentance.  This means sin no more.  Jesus told the woman caught in adultery; “And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.””  {John 8:11}  We must acknowledge our sinful actions and turn from them, relying on and trusting in the strength of the Lord to overcome our weak flesh and desire to continue in our sin.  This is true with every sin. 

Accept that only through the Holy Spirit can we take hold of our addictions, our transgressions and turn away from them.  This goes for the simplest of sinful action to the greatest.  Continuing in our sinful action suggests that we are still holding onto our fleshly desires rather than repenting of them.  We all have sinned, yes, even you; and must decide if we will continue in our sin or walk from it.  Our choice in this matter says a lot about our desire to live for God Almighty or to live for ourselves.  Before we condemn another in their sinful action, perhaps we should all take a very good look at our own, and where we are in overcoming them.  This is a daily walk with the Lord close by your side to help overcome our weaknesses.