Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hinds' Feet on High Places

Laura and I have been taking our kids through the classic book, Hinds' Feet On High Places. We speculated that the kids might not like it, but were hoping they would at least tolerate it. To say the least, we have been pleasantly surprised by the level of anticipation each night prior to our reading time. Part of it is the book and the other is the fact we are doing it together as a family.

We begin each night reviewing the previous chapter and then do the same when we have completed the next. This has kept the story fresh and allows us to know they are grasping the basic concepts of Much Afraid's journey to the high places and gaining her hinds feet.

Last night we spent a great deal of time discussing Sorrow and Suffering as guides the Shepherd would provide to Much Afraid. The girls wrestled a bit on why a good shepherd would use Sorrow and Suffering. We were able to use the discussion as a launching pad to a deeper conversation on how the Lord allows such things to come into our lives so that He can develop character, perseverance, and hope. More than anything, for Much Afraid, He would use them to help her gain her hinds feet that she so desperately longed for.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Don't Kill What's In Your Hands

All of us who have or had little monkeys running around, know of at least one time when you handed something that was living and active into there little hands and told them not to squeeze it.

The reason we say things like that is so they won't kill it, or drop it. The last thing we want as parents it to have our kids grow up with some repressed memory of that day at the zoo when they held the little chick too tight and the bird died in their hands! We certainly don't want to walk through life with the regret of not telling our kids to be careful, knowing we played a roll in the death of a little chick!

I have yet to experience one of those death defying moments. I don't remember a time outside of smashing a bug that a life was brought to an end while lying in my hands. My kids have never killed any living creature in such a way, but we still tell them to be careful. After all, they really don't know their own strength, and they do have a tendency to squeeze.

James 1:13-15 is a great reminder to be careful with what you hold in your hands, and to not squeeze too hard or you may kill it.

"When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone: but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown give birth to death."

The word "death" stands out.

With each day I hold a great deal of potential and promise in my hands. I hold my relationships with my family and friends. I hold my virtue, character, reputation, finances, ethics, just to name a few. I get to hold tender moments with others who simply need a gentle and loving squeeze from my hands. I hold the words I can say or should not say.

Time is in my hands, and what I do with that time can result in life or death.

Think about it.

What do you have in your hands?

We are given choices every day to handle with care our thoughts, actions, words.

  • The conversations you will have today - in your hands.
  • Those moments when your focus goes to what you cannot have - in your hands.
  • A tug at your heart to lie a little - in your hands.
  • A momentary bought with lust - in your hands.
  • An opportunity with someone that can truly be a divine moment - in your hands.

Today I will hold the hands of a few hurting people who will begin to confront the reality of the death of a loved one. What a privilege to hand out hope from my hands to theirs.

James makes it clear that each day we face temptations that can lead to death. In other words, we hold in our hands the ability to make right decisions or to squeeze to hard.

Recognize all you have in your hands. Hold it gently. Don't squeeze too hard, and think before you touch! Handle with care those moments that can lead to life not death.