Tag Archives: Children

A Thought On Asking “Why”

Unfortunately we live in a world of injustice. We see it all the time, and it’s easy to wonder why there’s such injustice in the world, and why it’s allowed to continue. I don’t know about you, but my thirteen year old girl constantly reminds me that life isn’t fair. She’s right; it isn’t. To be honest, I’ve even echoed that thought in my own mind and heart, and I admit to having asked the question “why” more often than I care to let anyone know. I’d say that if there’s one question that’s universally asked it’s the question of “why.” We ask in a variety of ways. Some of us shout it, some of us cry it, some of us get angry about it, some of us do all three at once, but I’ll bet it’s a rare individual that has never asked the question.

Since I’ve already admitted to having asked it, and more than once, I feel that I’m more than qualified to write about it. As some of you know, I have a debilitating chronic pain condition that affects my ability to walk, and has taken away my ability to work at what I used to do. Now I’m not writing this to garner sympathy. I know there are many people who make what I deal with every day look like a day of just sitting and basking in the light of a warm sunny day, but I do know something about pain, about loss, and about the question of “why.”

Can I ask you a question? When do you most often ask “why?” If I were a betting man, I’d lay odds that your “why” questions are most often asked as a result of something bad that’s either happened to you or someone you love, or that has, in some way, come way too close to where you live. You might think that asking the question of “why” is wired into our DNA, and in a way you’re right . . .

If you think it’s wrong to question the “why’s” of our lives I’d like you to consider (forgive me)-Why-almost all of the greatest literature, the greatest inventions, the greatest works of art, and the greatest of tragedies have all been a result of or come about as a solution to this one question? I know that wasn’t fair, but perhaps you see my point. The question of “why” is a legitimate question, and one that I don’t believe you should feel bad about or guilty over asking.

It’s not asking “why” that causes any damage to us or to God. The damage that so many of us experience isn’t due to our asking, but rather in our failure to receive and accept the answer given. I know that there are many of you reading this who are going to jump all over me and say that there are no answers to some things; that there are no answers to some of the horrific, terrible, tragic things that happen, and you’re welcome to disagree, but I will not back down because I know that just because you can’t see an answer doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

For most of us our dislike of something immediately garners our disapproval, our disrespect, our denial, and our disdain, and thus too often we are blinded to what is right and true regardless of who is saying it, or how it’s said, or as in this case, how it’s written. Sadly, far too often, it’s our own arrogance, our own sense of self-worth that prevents us from seeing answers to our questions that are right in front of us.

I realize that this will be a let down to some, but, in spite of those who know-it-all, the fact is that most of are not and will never be privy to all that is being done in this world nor how it’s being done, but just as we can’t always see someone’s motive nor even understand the ones we do, it doesn’t negate the fact that there is one.

In this life we have to know and understand that sometimes the “why’s” of our lives will be revealed to us not when we want them to be, but when we’re ready to know the answer. When I was a kid I often asked my Dad “why” he did or didn’t do something according to my wishes, and he would say, “because” without any further explanation. I hated it, but it didn’t change the answer-at least not in the short-term-but as I grew older many of those answers came, and with it the knowledge that my father knew better than I did . . . So does your heavenly father.

Can We Take a Moment

In the days and weeks ahead much of what happened in New Town, Connecticut is going to be analyzed and debated. People in the form of pundits, doctors, politicians, and preachers are going to be trying to use this as a platform to herald their views in an attempt to sway opinion.

Before we do that, before we jump on our bandwagons, take our positions, and make our cases can we take some time, a little time, to just think about the people involved in this horrific tragedy. Can we take some time to extend a loving thought toward those who are just now beginning to come to grips with unspeakable grief.

Can we take a moment to remember that there are many, many people who are suffering, who are experiencing pain on many different levels, and that all people no matter color or creed could benefit from the knowledge that someone cares.

So before we address the issues of evil, suffering, guns, mental illness, and all the rest of it, can we just take a moment to remember that the kindest most loving thing we can do for our fellow Americans and people everywhere is simply to love those we meet, work with, and live among with a love shown through our actions.

PRAY FOR AND WITH YOUR CHILDREN BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE TODAY! THIS IS SERIOUS!

PRAY FOR AND WITH YOUR CHILDREN BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE TODAY! THIS IS SERIOUS!.  All of us who are Christians should take it as a matter of course to pray for our children and for the children of others.  These are very dangerous times that we live in as countless stories on the news attest.  Prayer is our first line of defense, and who of us who has children wouldn’t want to do all we can to protect them.  Please make it a point to pray for the children of this country, and all countries.  It’s the least we can do.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Give Your Children These Four Things

    Something every parent should give their kids.

GIVE YOUR CHILDREN THESE FOUR THINGS

     Give your children these four things: (1) Instruction.  “Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children” (Dt 4:9 NIV).  It is not the responsibility of the government or the school system to instill character and convictions in your child; it’s your job!  And God will hold you accountable for it.  (2) Correction.  “Discipline your children while there is hope” (Pr 19:18 NLT).  Children who know how far they can go are relieved of a great burden.  Knowing your authority will stand gives them security.  When they learn that no really means NO, they’ll be able to say it to others, and to their own impulses.  (3) Blessing.  “Joseph said to his father, ‘They are my sons’…And he (Jacob) said, ‘Bring them….and I will bless them.”  Old Testament parents laid hands on their children because they believed the blessing of God was transferrable.  If nobody did this for you then start a new tradition,  for with God’s blessing comes peace, long life, and prosperity (See Dt 28).  That’s why the enemy has attacked you so often; he’s trying to break the link through which the blessing of God comes.  Don’t let him.  (4) Example.  A great preacher once looked into the crib of his infant son, and prayed: “Lord, if ever You made a man, make me one now.  Let my life, my example and my prayers mold him into someoneYou can use.  And, Lord, let me die twenty-four hours before I say or do anything that would cause him to stumble.”

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

     What better time to sit down, and put to paper a few things I’d like for you to know.  The first is that I’m very proud to be your son.  I can’t imagine having a better father.  I feel honored, privileged to be your son, and feel like I’ve been given the greatest gift in having you as the man who raised me.  There are those who might say I worship the ground you walk on, but you and I know that isn’t the truth.  I’ll admit that we’re close, that I love you whole-heartedly, that I’m a fan.  I think you’re admirable in so many ways, and my respect for you is great.  After all, to a very large degree, I wouldn’t be who I am without you, and I know that without your love and guidance I wouldn’t be nearly as good as I am.  I don’t mean that as a brag, but just in that I’m surprised that I turned out so well.  My one regret is that I’ve failed to be a better son.  I thank God for your example, for your consistent example, of what it is to live a life where one is kind, and honest, and truthful, and loving, and hard-working.  You never were and aren’t the kind to talk about love openly; you don’t say the words, “I love you” a lot, but you have said them.  It wouldn’t have mattered to me if you had never said them because you showed me so many times, in so many ways. 
     You’re not perfect.  I know that’s a shock to you, and right here is where you’d say something smart-alec, but it’s true.  You weren’t the perfect father, but you were and are an extraordinary father.  We both know that I required a lot of your time and attention.  I was not an easy child to raise.  I was so hard-headed, so stubborn, so insistent, on having and doing things my own way that the only way to reach me was through the seat of my pants.  Yes, you used the belt on my butt when I needed it, and thank God that you took the “Word of God” literally instead of figuratively.  I know the world we live in now frowns on ‘corporal punishment,’ but thank you for doing what was right.  When I needed the rod of discipline, you applied it, and I will always be grateful that you did so. 
     Of course, the rod wasn’t the only thing you used.  I remember the lectures.  I remember them every one word for word simply because I heard them so many times.  I can’t count the number of times when I wished you would have just given me the rod instead of the lecture, but-and I can’t believe I’m saying this-I thank God for them, too.  My daugther hasn’t come to that point, yet, but hopefully one day she’ll feel the same way.  She’s where I used to be.  Seated at the table, rolling her eyes, staring out the window, doing everything she possibly can to let me know that she’s not listening, but I know she is, and I know that what I’m saying is getting through to her, slowly but surely, because I heard your every word, and they got through to me.  I’m so glad they did.
     Where you shined though was in your example, in the way you lived and live your life.  In the way you worked so hard every year to raise a garden.  No matter the weather, you battled every year to make it the best that it could be, and we always got something out of it.  The way you took care of our home, our yard, our cars; how you always tried so hard to take care of what you had no matter what it was.  All those years you worked on the freight docks, all those years working overnight, then coming home and working around the house and yard, too.  Yet, you always managed to make time for us kids.  I remember our wrestling matches when we were little, and it was only after I’d grown much older that I realized you’d let me win.  How did you ever find the time to do everything you did?  To work so hard, to spend time with us kids, to help other people?  
     There were and are many things about you that I love.  I loved going to church with you, standing next to you, and listening to you as you sang the old hymns.  “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace,” “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus” and so many others.  I loved hearing you sing, and I wasn’t the only one.  More than one person told me how wonderful they felt hearing you sing.  Then, to this very day, I love to hear you pray.  When you pray your relationship with our Father in heaven is so obvious, so full of love.  You’ve used the same Bible, your ‘Scofield,’  since 1968.  I remember when we had it recovered because it’s pages were falling out.  Now they’re falling out again.  Looking through your Bible and seeing all the notes, the under-lined passages, sort of showed me how your relationship with God and your commitment to Jesus Christ developed and evolved.  What a wonderful witness!
     And, Dad, that’s what I truly want to thank you the most for.  I don’t know that I would have ever found Jesus without you.  I don’t know that I would have ever learned who my Father in heaven is without you.  At first, I wanted to be like you, and still do, but then as I grew older I learned that you wanted to be like Him.  I saw how much you loved Him, but even more how much He loved you.  Thank you for not only showing me how to love God, but for showing me how much He loves me.  Of all the many wonderful things you’ve done that is the most wonderful. 

I love you, Dad

From Illustrations & Poems selected by Wayne Augden (Source Unknown)

     Character is developed not by the things that happen to us, but by what we do with the things that happen to us.  It’s what we take from our circumstances, and how we use what we experience to benefit ourselves and others that reveal our character. 

Building a Noble Character

In a great cathedral in Europe, there is a window made by an apprentice out of the bits of stained glass that were thrown away as worthless refuse when the other windows were made; this is the most beautiful window of all. You can build a noble character for yourself, in spite of all the hurts and injuries done consciously or unconsciously by others, with the fragments of the broken hopes, joys and the lost opportunities that lie strewn about your feet. No matter how badly others have hurt and marred you, they cannot prevent you from building a beautiful character for yourself; conversely, others by their best work cannot cause you to build a beautiful character. The fine character of your father or mother is not yours; you’ve got to build your own.