This month I’m feeling the squeeze of bills.  ugh!  Two surgeries and a broken arm in 6 months will begin to add up quickly!  Even so, it helps me to remember that I’m in the top 5% wealthiest people in the world.  That’s right.  And you are too if you’re reading this on a computer.  Even the poorest of Americans are some of the richest people in the world.

I am always challenged by Frances Chan.  Many times I have been guilty of wanting this world more than Jesus.  Watch this video and let me know if it challenges you.

Have you been desiring this world over God?  What are your thoughts on the video?

If you have any doubt that the world wants to squeeze your kids into it’s mold, just look at your supermarket magazine rack the next time you’re in the store.  On a recent visit with Rachel, my NINE YEAR OLD daughter, we were looking for a coloring book and visited the magazine rack.

Selena Gomez Covers 'Cosmopolitan' March 2012

On the front shelf of the magazine rack was the recent March edition of Cosmopolitan.  Who’s on the cover this month?  It’s Selena Gomez, one of the Disney stars that my NINE YEAR OLD Rachel sees often on the channel dedicated to children.  She was on my tv, being watched by my kids just this week.  Her picture on Cosmopolitan is surrounded by titles of articles featured inside, such as “Your Orgasm Guaranteed” and “3 Things He Doesn’t Have To Know.”  Of course, cleavage is also featured in the pic.

It seems like these Disney stars think as soon as their contract is up, they have to do something “dramatic” to prove that they are now grown up and available to a more mature audience.  Their handlers aren’t really concerned about any influence their dramatic changes could have on the kids who grew up watching them.   What will we see next?  Barney the Dinosaur peddling Trojans?  This really irritates me.

Romans 2 reminds us “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  The world tries to subtly and directly  squeeze both us AND OUR KIDS into it’s mold.

We have to remember as parents that if we don’t protect and renew our own minds it’s hard for us to shape and protect our children’s minds.  We can’t lead anyone, including our children, to a place where we aren’t willing to go ourselves.  That includes a deeper relationship with God.  If we truly want our children to grown in Christ, we should set the example and desperately seek Him ourselves.

The world is certainly working against us.  We have a real enemy called Satan. He hates us and he hates our kids.   The Bible says that Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8)

We have to keep our guard up and constantly “walk in step” with Christ, as Rebecca recently wrote in this blog.  Letting Him transform us is the key.  Sometimes the attacks or influences can come from unexpected places and we have to be ready… even at Publix and even from Disney.

Does this irritate you too?

My Life Stinks!

February 7, 2012

Ever been in a job or a situation that you hated?  It brings down your spirit just to be there?  Sometimes in those situations there doesn’t seem to be a way out or at least a way out that is soon enough.

Joseph in the Old Testament felt the same way.  His life started off pretty well.  Out of all of his brothers (and he had A LOT of them) he was his dad’s favorite.  His birthday parties were always the best and he got the best presents.  One day all of that changed.

Joseph’s brothers got tired of the special treatment to their snotty nosed little brother and decided to get even.  They didn’t just steal his ball glove or eat his candy.  They threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery to a band of gypsies…. talk about wrecking your day!

His life was filled with ups and downs.  He was a guy that really sought God and did the right things, yet his life sucked.  Thrown in a cistern pit and sold into slavery.  He later was propositioned by his master’s wife, yet he resisted.  His reward for doing the right thing?  She was ticked off at the rejection.  He was falsely accused of trying to rape her and was thrown into prison.  Can things get any worse?

Scripture tells us in Genesis 39:2 and 39:21 that “the Lord was with Joseph.”  Now, if I’m Joseph, I’m doing the right thing, and  all of this happens to me, I might be thinking, “God, go be with someone else so my life might get a bit better.”  Not Joseph, he kept honoring God through all of the trials in his life.

Sometimes in life, we make bad decisions and we have to suffer the consequences.   We “punch ourselves in the face” and ask God why it hurts.  Those situations where we bring hurt and hard times on ourselves are a little bit more understandable than when we are seemingly innocent.Either way, it’s important to seek God and get through the situation while honoring Him.  Philippians 4:13 says that it’s possible to do “all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Keep honoring God no matter what.  It is just about guaranteed that in this world we will go through storms.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.”  (John 16:33)

It’s ALWAYS better to go through the storm WITH God, as opposed to going through it ignoring Him.   As the song says, sometimes He calms the storm but sometimes He calms the child.  Keep trusting.  Keep seeking.  Keep holding on.

Here are some Scriptures that may help you if you are in the middle of a storm:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:76