Family Functions

While reading articles on the web; I could not help but notice the repeated theme about how families can handle the stress of family get-togethers. Why are family functions some of the sweetest times of our holiday, but also some of our most stressful? Well, every family has problems, tensions, and dysfunctions, and those don’t take holiday breaks. It requires a lot of energy to care for a crowd, no matter how much we love them. Even the godly Martha became overwrought when Jesus brought His disciples for supper.

Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Luke 10:40

Here are two suggestions to keep you from being swept away by the stress of family:  

First, don’t be afraid to establish healthy boundaries. Give yourself permission to duck out of the room, escape the mob, and let them fend for themselves. If we’re the ones dropping in on others, sometimes it’s best to get a hotel room rather than crash in the spare room.

Second, make sure you don’t skimp on your devotional time with Christ. Martha needed to take a lesson from Mary’s book and sit at Jesus’ feet a while—and so do you. We love others best by loving Him more.

 

 

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Friend (s)

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The world often judges us by your friends but not everyone who says they are a friend is a friend. Samson/Delilah. Jesus /Disciples. The truth is we have many acquaintances but few friends. (This especially true among men.)

Most everyone wants friends but don’t expect to have friends if you are not friendly. If you have a good friend – you are blessed.You will always a friend in Jesus.

What does it take to be God’s friend? James 2:23 God does not need a friend but am I getting close to being God’s friend?

1. Abraham had his priority straight. Abraham chooses God over a property. Lot – Genesis 13. Seek first the Kingdom of God – Matthew 6:33

2. God and Abraham did not always agree. Good friends will listen to other. Sodom and Gomorrah. God listened and agreed not to destroy the city.

 

Are You Different?

One of the strongest hindrances to the Christian life is peer pressure. No one wants to be different than those around us.  Teens have to wear a certain brand of clothes. Why? Because “everyone” at school wears that brand. People will ask when invited to a party/dinner what is “everyone” wearing? Why? We don’t want to stand out in the crowd. Peer pressure sometimes causes people to do things that go against their beliefs or values; just to be accepted. 

Even people in Old Testament times faced the ‘herd mentality.’ The nation of Israel didn’t want to be different, so they asked Samuel to give them a leader. … Now we want a king to be our leader, just like all the other nations. (Emphasis added.) God warned them they were about to make a big mistake but they insisted. The Bible repeatedly gives us scripture warning us not to give into peer pressure.

  • Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world…”
  • Psalm 1:1 “… do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners or join in with mockers.
  • 2 Chronicles 13:7 Then a whole gang of scoundrels joined him, defying Solomon’s son Rehoboam when he was young and inexperienced and could not stand up to them
  • Galatians 2:13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.

Jesus didn’t call us to blend in, but to stand out—just like He did.

The Gap

Most Christ-followers would like to have a better prayer life. Try this with me. Think about where your prayer, physical, financial, or family life is. Now, think about where you want it to be.  What is in between? If you are normal, there’s the infamous gap! [Not the store!] It’s the same gap that occurs when the exterior doesn’t match the interior. The gap between knowing the truth and implementing the change.  It’s the gap between discipline and regret.

Proverbs 25:28 NLT says A person without self-control (discipline) is like a city with broken-down walls.  No matter the area you need to change, you must make a choice and this choice calls for discipline. Where are the gaps in your life? What discipline is the Holy Spirit leading you to commit to in order to make the change?

You must choose between discipline and regret.

We Don’t Want This Man!

People do not change very much over time. Indeed, they are pretty much the same as they were 2000 years ago. The same reaction to Jesus we find back then is what we also find today. It is really just the same old story. Consider just one passage of Scripture about this.In Luke 19, Jesus tells a story about a prince who was soon to be crowned king. The prince in this story is clearly speaking of Jesus. The people’s response?

Verse 14 “We don’t want this man to rule over us!”

I know that president-elect Trump is not Jesus Christ but people’s attitude toward authority is still the same. If they disagree or dislike a person in authority; they make it known. I cannot understand why mature (?) men and women are going to boycott the Presidental Inaguration just because their candidate did not win the election! It sounds like children on the playground. If you don’t play the game I want to play; then we will not play at all!

Aren’t these the same people that were elected and took an oath to represent their constituents? They were not put in office to serve their political party nor were they elected to pass legislation that benefits large corporations. 

I cannot understand why the two political parties consider each other as enemies. “If you are for it; I am against it.” Why can’t they cooperate instead of compete? Both parties say they only want to do what is best for the country. If that is true, surely the solution cannot be that difficult. 

What’s In The Box?

 

Dutch manufacturer Vanmoof’s bicycle business was really growing but unfortunately many bicycles were damaged during shipping. Creative director Bex Rad wrote on the company’s blog, “Earlier this year our co-founder Ties had a flash of genius. bike-in-boxOur boxes are about the same size as a (really really reaaaally massive) flatscreen television. Flatscreen televisions always arrive in perfect condition. What if we just printed a flatscreen television on the side of our boxes? “And just like that, shipping damage to our bikes dropped by 70–80%.” Apparently the shipping company assumed, by the picture on the box, there was an expensive TV inside.

How many times do we assume a person’s worth just by looking on the outside? The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  (1 Samuel 16:7)  We cannot truly know a person without opening their “box.” It is only as we discover what is on the inside that we see a person’s worth and true value.

Living in Unity

 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3

One of the most difficult aspects of any relationship is maintaining unity. No matter if it is in the home, church or business unity is hard to achieve and even harder to keep.  

The church at Ephesus was composed of Jews and Gentiles, which was a perfect storm for disunity. I believe that unity is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only as we “walk in the Spirit” are we able to yield our “rights” and do what is best for the whole.

But there is another option. You could move to the town of Unity, Oregon (population 70). And in the truest sense, you COULD live in Unity.