BEDROCK OF THE WORD – MY JOURNEY

2 Feb

In the early winter I asked God for wisdom in what I was to write on my blog.  I received one word “Bedrock” I needed further clarification to write so I continued to seek.  I knew because of an earlier prophecy given to me that I was to lead people in practical ways to live life to the fullest.  That is my main purpose of blogging.

 Part of what that means is, in Christ we have everything we need to live a full rewarding life.  If you read my testimony you can see the instability of my young years.  If I can live life to the fullest now coming from where I came from, anyone can.  I cannot stress strongly enough how the Word of God has impacted my life.  Through it I have been able to overcome. God’s Word is an absolute foundational bedrock to me, but as you will see It has not always been so.

 Through my majors in chemistry and microbiology and especially microbiology, I was taught that Biblical Creation was not the truth.  That added to some already serious doubt about the Bible.  I was not grounded in the Word because I was not raised in a Christian home or did not go to church.

I did have a funny thing happen that I now know was a plan of the Lord that led me later in life to believe there was something special about the Bible.  When I was a child about 10 years old another child told me that if I opened the Bible and on the page was “And it came to pass” I would get what I was wishing for.  I tried that several times with the big black Bible on our coffee table.  I began learning which part of the Bible where that phrase was found.  God began training Me even then to love His Word.

My next encounter with the Word was when I was 12 years old.  My father and stepmother had divorced and my father and I lived together in downtown Mobile Alabama.  I began to get into some minor trouble on the streets and my father had the wisdom to get me out of downtown.  He paid my stepmother’s sister and her husband “Aunt” Pearl and “Uncle” Hollie $7.00 a week for me to live with them.  This was a wonderful experience.  There was a creek, white sugar sand on the creek bank, a large a large fish pond.  It was an oasis.  We had a cow, chickens, dogs, cats and I loved to work outside with Uncle Hollie.  I had never had such relationships with adults.

They thought kids should go to church even though they themselves did not go.  I started to Church that summer in Vacation Bible School.  That was really my first encounter with church and the Bible.  The church let me pitch on the softball team and I liked the kids and all was a good experience.    This new home and church experiences caused me to feel like a “normal” kid.

When I went to Sunday School the Bible was taught and that was a new experience.  My Sunday School teacher said during the very first lesson on Adam and Eve that the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve ate was not really a fruit. But was sexual sin and we girls should avoid sexual sin.  I thought if that story wasn’t really about what it said  maybe the rest of the stories weren’t real either.   So I began to thinking all the strange stories of the Bible weren’t true.

I didn’t understand salvation at all even though it was probably explained properly.  I wanted to be a part of the church where my friends were so I accepted what I had to do to join the church.  I didn’t miss a time we met.  I even decided to read the Bible through.  Even though I didn’t understand it, I followed through on my commitment.

Now go forward when I was 15 years old I moved in with a cousin in another state and she also went to church.  Again I loved church.  I wasn’t acutely aware that I didn’t believe the Bible but looking back that is exactly what was happening with me more and more.  I enrolled in junior college and began majoring in chemistry I stayed in church but it was more about people than my growing in the Word.

I majored first in chemistry and completed all the courses offered by my junior year, I then started studying microbiology and changed colleges to also get a microbiology degree.  It was there with detailed studies in evolution where more serious unbelief deepened about the Bible.   I still went to church but began to think that people in church meant well but they really didn’t know.

Two weeks after I graduated from college I married Ras.  I got a faculty position at LSU while he worked on two degrees.  I asked most anyone in science who was a Christian how they came to believe the Bible, but there were not satisfactory answers.  I began peppering Ras with questions about the authenticity of the Bible.  At first he tried to explain and then as I continued to ask he said, “You just have to believe”.  I tried, but have you ever tried to believe?  You can’t make yourself believe just because you want too.

This may sound silly but it didn’t occur to me I wasn’t a Christian because at 13 I had gone through the whole bit of grasping the back of the pew, going through the trauma of walking down the aisle in front of all the rest of the church.  I thought I was a Christian because I was a Church member.  I tried to believe for a long time because Ras believed and I could tell he really did believe with no doubt.

I was teaching young people in church ages 17-24.  I was afraid to quit teaching because I thought I will completely get away from believing in anything Christian.  I remember asking one of the young people once who was a physic major at Vanderbilt University.  How did she reconcile believing with science?  She said, “I have never seen an atom but I can tell it is there by the results it produces.”  That really made sense to me but I still couldn’t believe.  It helped me because someone from science believed.

God has a sense of humor in dealing with me.  I thought I had to have someone I thought was really smart to explain it all to me.   But this is what He did. We had a revival meeting.  The man who led the revival was a slow talking preacher, I didn’t pay too much attention because I liked preachers who gave the Greek and Hebrew word, and historical background in sermons.  But during his sermon this preacher held up a black bible and said, “This is either the truth or the biggest pack of lies ever perpetrated on mankind.”  I was startled.  That made absolute logical sense to me.  The Bible had so many strange stories, if it was not true it had to be lies.  I know Ras and Mrs. Bell.  a lady I admired, believed it all, and I chose right then and there to do the same.  This time I walked the aisle with purpose and understanding.  It was later on that Sunday night I was baptized.

I had chosen to believe.  I accepted the Bible and all that was in it as the truth.  If any unbelief started again.  I would refuse it.  I would say out loud “NO, I have accepted the Bible as truth.”  I can look back and see what happened.  Revelation slowly started coming.  The Bible began to come alive.  I still couldn’t reconcile it with evolution, but I started accepting and believing.  And God began to work the rest out.  But even then I still was mostly reading the Bible for information, not so much for life changing attitudes.  I thought Christianity was you accepted Christ and then did the best you could.

Go forward about 15 years.  During this time Ras and I were active in Church teaching and filling various mission and other positions, reading the Bible gathering knowledge.  .  God continued to give us a hunger for Him.

We both prayed to be filled with His Spirit and that led us into a whole new depth.  We had moved to a farm out from Nashville Tennessee.  Ras was manager of Broadman Press the book publishing arm for Southern Baptists.

One day a Methodist friend in the little town of Orlinda TN where we lived told me of a plan to read the Bible daily.  She talked about making a thirty day daily commitment to read a short portion of Scripture like it was actually written to you.  Then personally, writing down what it said , like Beverly …   and then ask God.  What do you want me to do?  .  I made the commitment and followed through for 30 days.  I came with no preconceived ideas and heard in my spirit what I was to do.  The results were amazing.    The things I was led to do originated from God and was blessed by Him.  It was life changing.

That later led me to reading a Proverb a day corresponding to the day of the month.  There are 31 Proverbs.  I later added Psalms and read them especially when I was going through an emotional hard time.   There are 150 Psalms and I would read the one that corresponded to the day of the month and if I still needed more encouragement would add the number 30 or 30 again until I got some help.  I later added Acts and then the 4 gospels.   I didn’t read all of them at the same time, but I stayed pretty close to this pattern.  .

I study the Bible at other times for specific purposes, but for me personally I continue this method until this day.  I now have my Quiet Time on my computer.by writing honestly what I am going through and then going to the Scriptures and reading what it says to me I always receive encouragement.  I then ask the Holy Spirit, “What do you want me to do now?”  I then trust the Lord to help me do it.  This is also one of the ways I prepare in writing, “What The Lord Is Saying Today.”

Are there down days?  Yes there are times when I don’t walk in victory.  There are times when I miss the mark but I don’t stop and linger there.  I rely on God’s Spirit to get me in line to go again.  I am grateful that God is conforming me to the image of Jesus.

Just like it says in the gospel of John   The Word became flesh.  The written Word is available to become flesh where ever you are.  It is like Jesus literally walking with us daily leading us to lead life to the fullest.  I challenge you to read God’s Word daily for yourself.  Then ask God what you should do that day.  You will see this will strengthen establish, and enrich your life guiding and helping you to walk in victory.

 

THE BEDROCK OF THE TRINITY

1 Nov

I have put off writing about the subject of biggest bedrock of Christianity… the Trinity because I have thought it so difficult to explain especially in ways that would be helpful or practical to someone…not that I thought I could. But nevertheless God gave the word bedrock to write about so I will try to bring some light to this most powerful of all mysteries.

Here are some descriptive words many theologians attribute to the Trinity
cosubstantial, coeternal and coequal. I looked these words up in the dictionary.

Cosubstantial in the Encarta Dictionary is described as having the same substance as something else, especially another member of the Holy Trinity.

Coeternal in Encarta is defined as Existing together throughout eternity

Coequal in Encarta: Equal in size, rank and status of another

This is good and these words bring meaning to something hard to understand.

In the first Chapter of Genesis and the first three verses we see that the world and universe was created by Father, Son and Holy Spirit It was like the mind of God decided to make the worlds. Jesus the Son spoke it and the Holy Spirit hovered and made it all.
Genesis 1:1-3 (NASB) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
And then later on in Genesis we see that mankind is made in their image, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1:26-27 (AMP) “God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
So to compound the mystery of God being one and also three. We males and females are made in His/Her image. One of the names of God is El Shaddai which is rooted in the word breast and can be translated God The Many Breasted One. (Genesis 45:29) So Father God has many breasts and to Whom we can come for comfort and nourishment.

Now to more practical descriptions. I have heard some describe the Trinity like an egg, with a shell an egg white (albumin) and a yolk. An egg is one complete entity but it is in three parts, and in that way it is much like the Trinity, but there is at least one major difference, the composition. I have heard this analogy for years but it doesn’t quite do it for me, because each part of the egg has a slightly different chemical composition. I have a degree in chemistry and get hung up on that. Because just a small change in chemical composition changes the whole composite. When I think of and study Father God, Son God and Holy Spirit God. I understand they all have the same composition…chemical or otherwise.

One example of this mystery the Trinity to me is a person. We are composed of body soul and spirit as described in the following Scripture:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NASB) “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are one and yet we are three. But that still doesn’t quite get it. Because our person is not equally mature in each of its parts, body, soul and spirit, and The Trinity is equal in maturity

Another way to describe the Trinity is by the river that flows through our City of Fort Worth Texas. Our church Fullness in Christ Church is built on the bank of Eagle Mountain Lake which is a water reservoir for the city of Fort Worth. This reservoir for our city was made along with two other lakes by the damming of the Trinity River. The Trinity River is entirely in the State of Texas. It has its origins in North Texas just south of the Red River which is the dividing border of South Oklahoma and North Texas. It has five branches which make it up and flow eventually into one river. It flows all the way South into Trinity Bay a part of Galveston Bay and on into the Gulf of Mexico. The River was named by Alonzo De Leon in 1690 La Santisima Trinidad (The Most Holy Trinity) But still this doesn’t perfectly describe the Godly Trinity

Another practical way of the Trinity is through a very popular Novel “The Shack” which characterized God as a large African woman named Papa. Jesus (who keeps his name) as a big muscular Middle Easterner (which I can’t imagine a Middle Eastern lumberjack) lumberjack wearing jeans, boots and a plaid shirt. Holy Spirit is a small beautiful colorful Asian woman name Sarayu. At first one may think this book as sacrilegious but before you make a critical assessment, the book is about the Trinity who is shown “taken way out of the box” ministering powerfully to a man who has gone through a horrible experience.

So now I write the way I see the Trinity. But at best this is not a through explanation. But it helps me understand. Take yourself for example…like for example I take myself. I am a person, one complete entity but I have different rolls. I am a wife; I am a mother, a grandmother and now even a great grandmother. Much like the five parts of the Trinity River. I am the one person but have five parts, which flow into each other even act differently when I am operating in each realm. I am the same person but I act in three different ways. I have three different functions at any particular time. I am the same chemical composition. I think the same way but apply my thinking to different situations. Neither part is greater than the other, they just act differently and at the appropriate time as the function or situation requires. This Scripture is one of the best in describing the act in unison and yet they are One.

Matthew 3:16-17 (NASB) “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

It appears to me that Father and Son and Holy Spirit each had their individual times in history. Of God was throughout the Old Testament dealing and loving His people. Then with the beginning of the New Testament Jesus had His time in dealing and loving the people.

Now to the practicality of relationships with the Trinity with us as human beings. I have observed through the years phenomena that are involved with each. If a person has significant father or other authority wounds it is hard to relate to God. If a person has significant sibling or peer wounds it is hard to relate to Jesus. If someone has significant mother or women authority wounds it is difficult to relate to the Holy Spirit. This is not an absolute but worth looking at from an individual’s stance. This again is not an absolute, but worth your investigation.

If this is true in your case allow the wounds to surface and forgive those who have wounded you and watch the relationship grow with Father, Son or Holy Spirit.

They are three and yet they are one. They each have the same substance. None is greater or more important than the other. They work in complete harmony and are a mystery that maybe cannot be completely understood except among themselves. But I understand this. To be blessed by them we don’t have to understand just receive.

THE BEDROCK OF MOTHERS

29 Sep

THE BEDROCK OF MOTHERS

I Don’t like to read things on the internet that are real long, but since Ras gave me his Nook and I now read books on it, I am getting over that hurdle. I started the blog with a decision in writing just a page, but the last blog that I wrote on fathers was a 3 ½ page single space long word file. So now I am getting ready to write on Mothers. I know more about that subject I suppose since I am one. If I get too wordy somebody let me know.

I had to learn to be a mother mostly on my own, meaning I did not have good role models and that is the whole purpose of writing this blog…any one of us can learn to live life in its fullness no matter your deficiencies…those you were born into or with or those you develop. I will tell my circumstances and give the glory to God if I have made a difference at all in my children’s lives. I believe I have as they have both told me so. I need to give some of my growing up testimony so you will understand how much credit God gets.

I don’t want to make my mother look bad or dishonor her in any way, because I absolutely believe she was doing the best she could. I also believe that principle about everyone. At any given time you are doing the best you can. Believing that way means there is no room for anyone to make judgments and it always gives room for people to grow, change and do better. My reason for writing this is to give hope that no matter the circumstances into which you were born or grew up in, God can bring about change and stability in your life.

I was told my mother’s father died before she was born. He was a farmer. The family was not wealthy. My grandmother had to plow and plant the crops with the boys pulling the plow and the girls planting. My mother as a baby had to be tied in a chair in the field while the farming went on. That alone is enough to give a person all kinds of problems later on in life.

I don’t remember my mother smiling or any warmth coming from her. She took her life when I was 5 or 6 years old. I was living with an aunt and grandmother at the time, and was told I lived with them off and on from 3 until 6 years old. I have found most all of this out since I have been adult. My half sister who is ten years older than I told me my mother went to another city to abort me but my aunt went to her and talked her out of it.

My mother had one child born out of wedlock and who my own father is questionable, according to my mother’s family. I have one half- sister who I remember seeing just one time. Another half sister told me she thought that my father killed my mother instead of her committing suicide. To me my father (or the man who claimed to be my father) was not that type of man. He had always been kind to me. The man who my sister said was my father I only remember seeing once, and I was living with him and my mother when I was about 5 or 6 years old. He was hitting my mother and I hit him with a broom. I don’t like to think of him as my father.

After my mother died and I was living with my aunt and grandmother, my (kind) father disguised himself and scouted out my actions. While I was out playing one day I went around the corner, he took off the disguise so I would recognize him, and he asked me if I wanted to go see the squirrels at his house. What 6 year old kid wouldn’t want to do that? So I went. We went across state line into another state to live with him. He had kidnapped me. That resulted in a court case by my grandmother and aunt. My father won the case and I lived with him for the next 6 years. He was married again and divorced again when I was 12 and then remarried later.

The stepmother that my father married when he kidnapped me had a son who was in and out of reform school and I woke up many times with him fondling me. He tried to rape me on one of his times out of reform school. Again there was another trial because of the attempted rape. My father was in process of divorcing that stepmother. This stepmother preferred her son over me and summarily rejected me, talking me into lying to save his skin. I was 12 years old. Even as I sit here writing all of this I thank my God for his love and care and leading me out of all that.

My father sent me to live with another family. I started going to church there because they thought that was a good thing for a kid. My life began to change for the good. It was at this house that I began to see a little of how a mother should act. But even there she took me aside and said I could not have a permanent home there because she had raised her children and didn’t want to be responsible for another child. I could see her reasoning and held no grudge. My father had remarried and I didn’t want a new stepmother. He let me go see my mother’s family which resulted in a cousin asking me if I wanted to come live with them. They had only one child. She was my same age. We became very close like sisters. Her father died months after I moved in and her mother remarried within the year and we lived together alone from age 16 to 21. Both went to high school together and on to college.

We both married at age 21. When I married and was starting a family of my own, I had seen only for a short period of time 2 years anyone act like what I thought a real mother should when I moved in with the family who sent me to church.

So at 21 I married and Ras after about a year he said “Let’s have a baby.” I knew that was right but when I was pregnant, I thought several times, I don’t know how to raise a child. I don’t know how to be a mother. But when Robin was born she was the delight of my life. She was so cute and precious. I was determined to be a good mother. I still I knew so little on how to be one. Our pediatrician told us that Robin would probably not sleep the night I went home from the hospital. Ras and I knew so little that we stayed up waiting for Robin to wake up. Guess what? She slept all night. She was the first baby that either of us had ever held.

I learned the mechanics well of taking care of a baby’s physical needs but I think I lacked compassionate nurturing. I had a hard time feeling like a mother. There were so many things that I grew at in mothering as my children grew, but I still felt like I had so many deficiencies.

I remember when Robin was nine years old. I thought one particular time I was failing at mothering. Incidentally I was the age of my mother when she committed suicide. All year long I made mountains out of mole hills. I felt like I would take my life during that year. This shows you how strongly a curse can affect a person.

One night when I went to bed I thought I had blown it that day in mothering. That night is the only time I remember crying all night long. I said to myself I can’t do this. I don’t know how to be a mother. I felt I could never be a good mother. At that time I knew nothing of the principle of dying to self. All I knew was I couldn’t. About a month later the thought came to me I am being a better mother. I had always taken good physical care of the children, but now I was becoming more compassionate, I was listening more to what was going on in their lives. I was comforting more. I was having a turnaround in my life.

From that day forward I began changing in my mothering skills. Later I had a time of breaking curses and some inner healing in from both my father and mother. Those are stories all in their own right that I will not pursue here. After that session of crying all night and giving up I began the process of dying to myself and listening to God in how to be better at doing for the children whatever they needed. My weakness was becoming my strength.

A few years ago one of Robin’s older friends with children of her own came to me and said her other friends did not have the relationship with their mother that Robin had with me. She wanted to know why that was. She knew some of my story. I told her I don’t interfere with my grown children’s lives unless they wanted advice or I thought they were making perilous decisions. I told them that I believed in them that they have enough sense and had the relationship with God to depend on Him to work out their own challenges in life. I told them as much as often as possible how proud of them I was. In a later writings I will relate how I came to positive reinforcement with my family.

We have two children Robin and Kevin, they married Godly mates. Robin lives within a mile with her husband Jonas. Their children are grown and married. Kevin with Jeanette lives within 5 miles and one child still at home. I observe them with their own children and thank God for what good parents they are. They had to build on what Ras and I gave them. Some of it was good and some was not but we all continue to grow in the ways of the Lord. We have all chosen to forgive each other through the years, and begin again.

The first time I went to church as a young teen was to Vacation Bible School and one of the first Scriptures I heard was in the 10 commandments. It was about the sins of the fathers being passed on to the third and fourth generation. I thought that is not fair. Then and there I determined that my family would not repeat the sins I saw in the previous generations. The change did not come overnight but it came by relying on God and obeying His words. Only later in my Christian walk did I discover the rest of that verse that for a thousand generation God would lavish his love for those who obey Him.

Exodus 20:5-6 (NLT) You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

So whatever your family background or wherever you are in your mothering skills to have ultimate success it takes forgiveness, dying to the flesh and living in the Spirit. Paul said he died daily. (1 Corinthians 15: 31) This is simple but usually not easy. I constantly pray for wisdom and favor and God is so good to give it. We now have four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. One of my chief rolls is to pray for them to live godly productive successful lives. So no matter where you are in the mothering God can make changes for the better in your family. I have said many times, if He can do it for me He can do it for anyone. It takes a supple heart and a willingness to repent, die to self and begin again.

THE BEDROCK OF FATHERS

15 Sep

To grow tall in maturity and reign seated high in heavenly places with Christ you need to be rooted and grounded.  That statement sounds like a paradox…but quite the contrary.  If you build up your house on God, the Rock, the Bedrock and not on sinking sand, by doing what God says, you will operate in wisdom and withstand the storms of life.  I want to write on the Bedrock of fathers.  God has a lot to say about fathers.  .

Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT) “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.  When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Recently our thoughts have been on those who died and the survivors of the heinous acts of terrorism on 9/11/2011 in the USA in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and New York City.   A memorial and museum are now being built on the World Trade Center site in New York City.  These buildings go all the way back down to the bedrock where the site of the original skyscraper’s foundation began.  To build skyscrapers architects and builders have to plan and build foundations on bedrock or the skyscrapers will topple one day.  This leads us to our foundational bedrock…God…the most basic building block of living a successful life and especially being a successful husband and father.

 

My granddaughter recently called.  She asked if Papa (Ras) was here.  I told her he was and she asked to be put on speaker phone.  I did and she thanked us both for being examples, and especially her Papa for being such a good example as the patriarch of the family.  Ras has been quick to say he wasn’t always the best at fathering, but he learned and has become a wonderful father, grandfather and great grandfather.  He is an example to many.

 

The father is the bedrock of the family.  He is the one that God has give the assignment of  protecting, providing for, and telling us who we really are.  Just as the family started with Adam, and with him being the bedrock of all mankind, it continues with every father on earth.  Most of us learn to be the father or mother from our own father or mother just as they in turn learned mostly from their father or mother.  We usually pass on to our children what was passed on to us.  So we need to correct any wrong things that were passed on and accentuate any good and godly thing that we learned.  And of course live before our family as the Scripture teaches us, and we can have healthy families.

 

A woman in Scotland wrote me recently about the recent riots by young people in Great Britain.  She said she believed the basic problem was because for the most part these young people are the evidence of a fatherless generation.  I think she is right.  This could be said of many on the earth.  Of course all of us have had fathers but many fathers have not been there to give us what we need to be good citizens and healthy family members.  So this is a problem.  This is not to blame fathers for the problems of the world, because no father is perfect.  The problem lies at the feet of each of us, how we can halt a downward spin if our father was not a shining example.  Each one of us can stop the problem, and start anew with what the Bible and the Holy Spirit teaches.  I will get to mothers later in my writings.

 

One of the most important reasons to be a good father is because a child’s beginning impressions of who God is correlates to how their father is or was.  Judith and Francis McNutt Christian leaders and speakers when they had a young family were once with us in a conference.  Judith gave this illustration.  She asked one of their children what God looked like and the child said He was tall and thin and smiled a lot.  That exactly described Francis.  This child was learning early about God.

 

If we have a skewed idea of who God is it most likely goes back to the bedrock of how we related to our father.   None of us are perfect and we were not raised by perfect fathers.  Again this is not a writing to blame fathers but it is an effort to tell the truth and help men be better fathers and us all get a better idea of who God is.

 

Let me tell you some of what happened in our family and a little of what I know about Ras’ father, that was passed on to him.  Ras’ father was given away as a boy to another family.  His stepmother did not want him.  She wanted children of her own.  That in itself is a mark against Ras’ grandfather that he would stand for that.  But this gave Ras’ father some serious emotional wounds.   Thus he did know how to be the best husband and father.  Ras father was a farmer but he left home when Ras was a teen ager to find work outside the farm.  He only came home first on weekend and then later stayed away for longer period of time.  That left a void in Ras’ life at an important age for a growing boy.

 

Ras later wrote his father a letter when he was in the Air Force and pointed out some weaknesses his father had.  They had not had a close relationship and that did not help.  But he later talked with his father and forgave him, realizing his father did not know how to father.  That clearing the air and forgiving his father paved the way for them to have a closer relationship.  Similar things happen with daughters and mothers and fathers, and as I have said I will tell some of my journey in this area later.

 

You may not have a situation like Ras had or it may be something similar, whatever it is forgiveness of your parents works.  It is what will begin to set you free at the bedrock level.  Until that is thoroughly done it is likely you will have a skewed relationship with Father God and will have a hard time learning to love your parent, and on the road to being a good parent yourself.

 

 

We have a saying in our family that we have said through the later years, “We don’t live there anymore!”  It is a place of starting over and a turning point so to speak.  So I asked Ras what were the turning points in his life that went in to making him a better father?  It was after he prayed to be filled with the Spirit and made Jesus Lord of his life.  He then relied on the Holy Spirit to teach him to be the father he wanted to be all the while.

 

When our children were preteens God convicted him and showed him he could be a better husband and father.   At the time we were living on small farm in Tennessee, as we wanted to teach our children to work and to learn to be alone.  Ras drove 35 miles to work every day and then came home to do farm work.  We look back now and realize that God led us to move out of the city to the farm for one of the purposes of remaking our family.  Most things were not terribly bad before then, but some changes definitely needed to be made.

 

Ras called the family together one day and said he wanted to be a better father.  He said he didn’t know how to be one but he was going to find out and was asking the Holy Spirit to teach him.  He asked us to forgive him.  He asked us to pray for him and he would do better.  We did both things and that was the start of a new beginning.

 

Later after moving to Texas we went through another difficult time when the children were teenagers.  A physician flew all the way from the East Coast and told us some things that we didn’t know in restructuring the family.  He said all of us should clear the air.  He told Ras to first go to me and list any and everything the Holy Spirit had shown him how he had failed me, and then he asked me to tell him of anything additionally that I knew where he had failed me.  That was the hardest part.  This physician said that I should do the same with Ras, and our children needed to do the same with Ras and then me, and then with each other.  The children were both cool teenagers and didn’t think that was too cool but nevertheless they obeyed.  After we did that, and it was an emotional time,   we continued ask and forgive each other quickly when there was and offense.   We were building more on that bedrock of forgiveness.  We also began reading Proverbs each morning around the table and sharing with each other what God was saying.   That was a real blessing and a building up of each other.  We now do something similar at each birthday that I will write about this later also.

 

God wants you fathers the bedrock of families to be blessed in all you do.  He wants you to have a strong identity of who and Whose you are.  He wants you to feel secure at all levels of life.  He wants you to be a hard worker, a good citizen, a good member of His church, a good provider and lover of your family.  He wants you loving Him, yourself and others the same as you do yourself.   He is the best Father than anyone can ever imagine.  He wants your foundation, strong in Him.  He wants your house of faith tall and able to withstand any storm.  He wants you to know Him like He really is and He wants that transferred into your actions so that you will be the best person, husband, and father that you can be and to pass on character qualities that will help make your family and others strong in Him.  God is a good God and a good Father.  He can teach you to be the best father your family has ever known.  .

1 Samuel 2:2 (NASB) “There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.”

BEDROCK

6 Sep

As I was falling asleep I began thinking about what did God want me to write on my blog. A word came quickly to my mind…BEDROCK.  Strange I though,  but I continued to think and pray. What does that mean, BEDROCK?  I got up and looked it up in the dictionary.  It means: substratum, solid rock, base or foundation.  But what does that mean in relationship to writing How to Live Life to the Fullest?   God what do you want me to say about bedrock?  These are the first thing that popped in my mind.

The definition again:  substratum, solid rock, base or foundation.

First thing I thought of was Father, One God, The Trinity Jesus and Holy Spirit
Not only who He is, who They are but who in relationship to you?

Second The battle of the ages
Between God and Satan, good and evil and what is that to you?

Third The makeup of man spirit, soul and body
How can you be three parts and yet be whole.

Fourth  Our relationships:
Yourself
rest
play
work

others, family, nationally and International

Fifth Eternity
Time and space

I decided to then ask the Leaders class in our church the first thing that came to mind when I said Bedrock.  The results were good and interesting.

7 short and similar – Solid, Foundation
1  Inheritance, ancestry
1 Stable result of intense pressure and fire make principle of foundations
1 Solid foundation in river bottom, keeps water in river
1Building foundation of the world Jesus, solid foundation for all we are meant to be
1 Salvation
1 Sleeping, Flintstones, Jesus is the Rock.

The first thing Ras said was LOVE which to me sums it all up.  All of this may change as a go but I am going to start With God, Father, father,

The Necessity of Flexibility

8 Aug

The Necessity of Flexibility

 I woke up wide awake straight up out of sleep from a dream in which Ras was saying I was to teach on flexibility.  I love those kinds of dreams because I don’t have to think a lot about what it means.   Often I have to have some time to think and mull over if what is happening is of God or is it my own desires or prejudges.  I felt this was an important message and lesson and that I was to write on this immediately.

I believe there is a time coming in the world when we have to make decisions quickly… sometimes right on the spot.  It is probably that way all the time but lately God has been saying that for quite a while to some and is now saying that to many more. Can we hear Him and make decisions instantly or quickly according to His will and for our well being?   Be on the alert I believe we are entering a time now of that kind of training.

But there is also another way of flexibility and that is in long term flexibility.  It is over something we want very badly.  That may be life affecting or even life changing. Think back now.  What is that thing for you?   To me something that comes immediately to my mind.  I want this thing badly for me and mine.  I want it so much that my mind goes there often when I am not doing something else. .  Sometimes it looks like I will get it and other times it looks like it may go a way that I don’t want.  When I was praying God said to me, “Do you want what I want?”  Those words caught me up short.  I was startled.  I hadn’t seen it from quite that perspective.  Then the thought came.  God has always wanted better for me than what I wanted for myself if even at the time I didn’t think so.  With this thing that I had been praying, pleading and yearning for, that thought had not entered my head, but now it had.

So now I am the process of saying and meaning “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done.”   That is a flexibility that we all must get to.  We need that peace of mind and which gives the Holy Spirit freedom to work in our lives and in the lives of others.  Yes Lord I want what You want.

In Psalms 139 verse 16 it saysYour eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”   All of our days have been set out before we were born…the good, the bad and the ugly.  Yes in this life all of that can occur.  I can usually see the blessings that come after the fact when I completely surrender what I want to what God wants.  But I want to be able to do that ahead of time rather that hold what I think that I need in my hand so tightly that God has to pry my finger’s open.

Join with me in being flexible in the quick decisions that have to be made and in the large maybe life changing decisions that you make.  Yes Lord, “Thy kingdom come and not my will be done but THY will be done.   I ask You that the reader and I maintain that flexibility.

More on Spiritual Mothering and Fathering

5 Aug

I recently wrote about mothering and fathering and some of the comments have led me to think more about this and thus write more on the subject.  I think the reason I know a little more is now I am older now than when we first had the encounters with John and Paula Sandford as our spiritual mother and father.  Then Ras and I were of the age when we needed or benefited more from having a spiritual mother and father.  Now I am older thus on the other end of the spectrum…as a spiritual mother.

John told us the way this spiritual mothering and fathering thing works.  He said that he carried Ras and me in his heart.  I can now see that is the only way that it can work.  We lived miles and miles apart and only saw each other on sparse occasions, mostly when we invited them to speak in Fulness Conferences.   We did spend a short period of time with them in their home, and that was a very special blessing.  With both of us having such full schedules it was almost a miracle.  Ras and I now have several spiritual children of our own.  John was absolutely right about carrying our spiritual children in our hearts.  From time to time God brings each to the forefront of my mind and I think on them with fond remembrances and lift them and their family up in prayer.  On occasions we see them.

Once I hurt a spiritual daughter.   I didn’t deliberately mean too but from the results of my response to her request nevertheless I did.  She wanted me to be a grandmother to her children.  They wanted me to meet them and play together at a park.  I did not have that kind of time.  I wrote back an email and probably was too direct in saying I could not do what she asked.  I got an email back that was filled with some anger stating my lack of care.  I was stunned.   Her expectations did not line up with my time.  It wasn’t because I did not care.  I took some time to cool down myself before I responded to the email because I too was hurt.  After more time passed it took a meeting and my explaining what I could and could not do before there was restoration.  There was forgiveness on both parts and now we both are fine, and have a good relationship.  This once spiritual daughter is now a spiritual mother.  We both learned.  Just like any good relationship between a mother and daughter we talked it through and worked it out.

If one day you become a spiritual daughter or son try to have your expectations not too high, and if you are a spiritual mother or father be up front with of what you can and cannot do.  It will save some time and misunderstandings.   And I believe makes for good relationship in what mothering and fathering is about.

1 Corinthians 4:15 (NASB) “For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.”