The first Bible verse I remember having to memorize is Isaiah 9:6 which reads:
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV)
It was the first year I was in a Christian school (6th grade) and we memorized this verse to be presented at our Christmas program. I don’t remember what songs we sang, but I remember the auditorium, where I was standing and how wonderful it felt to have one verse of God’s word tucked away in my heart. Our class was small and many of the others students had grown up memorizing scripture so this wasn’t new to them. For me it was like opening a treasure box.
Over the years that followed, I memorized many other verses from the Bible; some motivated by grades to be earned and others memorized out of hunger and thirst for the Word. Many I can still quote. But Isaiah’s words were planted in an eager young person’s heart and have never left. These seeds that were planted took root.
At Christmas, I am reminded of the awesome miracle in Christ’s birth. I am also reminded that his birth was the beginning of a 33 year journey that includes the hardest times any human could imagine and the most glorious moments that only God could ordain; all of which was revealed to me with Isaiah’s words.
Ok friends, I’ve been posting and you’ve been kind enough to read my writings for five years. As I read back through all the different posts some are more my favorites than others. Below is a list of some that stand out to me (in no particular order). Let me know what you think. Or go through the archives and pick your own favorite. I’d love to hear which one you liked.
And if you haven’t clicked on the follow button yet, please do. You won’t want to miss what’s coming. Besides, in this vast world of the internet, it’s encouraging to know my words aren’t just flying around aimlessly. They have friends to visit. Thanks.
Among young parents there is a growing number who have adopted the “we aren’t going to lie to our children” approach to parenting. This feeling is hovering around the issue of Santa Claus and his friends, the Easter bunny and Tooth Fairy. This mantra makes me wonder about how far this “honesty” goes. There are times when it is not appropriate to tell children the FULL truth. Many times we skirt the question, knowing they are too young for the answer. Where do babies come from?
What made me really think about lying to our kids was that there is no Santa Claus at Christmas and Easter bunny at Easter. Let me say here that I believe that Christmas and Easter were the most important events in human history. Both turned the hope of the world to the Eternal.
Ok, so the Easter bunny is a little odd, but Santa Claus comes from a real story of a priest who made sure that the hungry were fed. He did so out of selflessness and in anonymity; modeling our Savior’s example. I don’t understand why letting a child believe in this saint visit them for a few years is so wrong. And why not mix a little wonder in a time of miracles? Why not let a child know the fun of Christmas while learning the reverence?
If we aren’t going to lie about Santa, Easter bunnies and tooth fairies, then do we take away playing pretend and imaginary friends? There is no tea in that pot, you know. And the cookies taste like nothing because they aren’t really there. Really, you didn’t steal my nose… no imaginary friends; and oh, and Elf on the shelf isn’t really running around the house wreaking havoc. Where do we draw the line between truth and imagination with our children? Where is the light-heartedness and dreaminess of childhood?
Maybe Santa and the Bunny do add something else to Christmas and Easter that needs to be managed with children. Making sure they don’t outshine the birth of Jesus; and certainly being naughty or nice shouldn’t be the threat of the month. But if handled in the proper perspective, they add a little something to the holidays and a child’s innocent heart.
Reality and truth will come along soon enough and shove playing pretend, imagination and fantasy to the background.
The last two mornings I have had the opportunity to see the sun rise. While I’m not a morning person, but the sun rise both mornings was breath-taking. But the thing that struck me most was that both days while beautiful were completely different. The God of all creation painted a colorful picture to ease my early morning “hate to get up for work” pain. It was as if God was saying to me, “Good morning, daughter. I’m looking forward to our day.”
Think about it, twice a day, everyday our great God paints a picture that is miraculous and completely different each time. All we have to do is look up.
A haughty spirit is said to mean “disdainfully prideful”. That’s a lot of pride. The first part of this verse in Proverbs is the one we hear the most, “pride goes before destruction”. But if destruction isn’t bad enough to make personal changes, the completion of the verse states that a “haughty spirit goes before a fall.” So if the destruction doesn’t get ya, look out because more pride just brings more trouble; right?
On the other hand, if striving for excellence, a little pride and making a strong effort goes a long way especially when things get hard. Pride and desire to be great, gives strength in the most challenging times of work, a ballgame or relationships. The human spirit and its refusal to give up and determination to succeed are by-products of pride. In the end, even if success isn’t reached, there are other successes realized; stronger character, more wisdom.