The Power of a Decision

Growing up, my mother made sure we got to visit all our relatives on a regular basis. Every once in a while Dad would come too.

I didn’t know it then, but family ties have a great deal to do with how we live our lives, whether it is immediate family or extended. As a youngster I looked up to a lot of cousins, and aunts and uncles, especially those who emulated Christ’s character.

I’ve always wondered what the phrase “family ties” means. At first glance you might visualize all your first and second cousins tied to each other, and to you with one big long invisible thread. Or you may think of the less literal interpretation, the genealogy connection.

Lately I’ve been thinking of “ties” in terms of how our decisions affect the ones we love. Our decisions resemble a rock falling into a pool of water. The circular ripples echo outwardly and touch everyone from our inner circle onward. We forget about how people watch and learn from one another.

I believe that is why Jesus taught us so much about love. If we act out of love for God, for ourselves and others, our ripples are going to create joy, encouragement and generally build one another up (in the faith I hope). If we act out of selfishness our ripples can cause pain, concern and genuine discouragement.

What decisions are you making today that will spur your family on to greatness of character? What choices have you made lately that will strengthen your faith and your family’s?

We cannot hope to be the best we can be for ourselves, and our family without help from God. He gives us grace as we grow, and we must extend that same grace and patience, and prayer generously.

Making sound decisions (based on biblical principles) is a challenge. It is easy to give into status quo.

May I conclude with a sincere warning to those people who are near and dear?

Please watch what you say and do, someone’s future faith depends upon it.

…the bread crumbs

It never ceases to amaze me, the way He supplies our every need, and clears a path for us to grow.

This past week I felt like Gretel, following the bread crumbs.  Only, I found myself at the door of something much better than one built of candy.

I have been attempting to follow in my Savior’s footsteps for years, but only really left the boat just recently, became the fisherman, jumped on the sand with both feet. But the leaving continues, the shedding of my skin, the slippery scales of our society sliding off my eyes that I might see – the soul.  Not just my own, but others.

The woman who sat across the table and shared her heart, as well as humor.  The other who sat nearer so I could read every wrinkle and crinkle of her smile, the lines of suffering, and the glow of triumph.

Then another, on a different day, at yet another table.  My ears applauded her thick raspy tone of voice.  My eyes celebrated the meticulous waves, and curls of her salt and pepper hair, as I looked into her beautiful eyes.

And then the question on the exercise sheet; “What do you think of when you see the word “soul”?”

She left it blank.  She said she wasn’t spiritual, but I beg to differ.

Then the question; “What comes to mind when you think of heaven?”

She hoped there was a heaven, but wasn’t sure.

All the handouts, the paperwork, then a book my husband brought home.  What was God trying to tell me?  Where will all these breadcrumbs lead?  One paper said “self-care”, the book screamed “abandonment”.

“Jesus, sort it out for me, and keep helping me see what you want me to see”.

Help me to live with “…an uncompromising vision for the world as God sees it,….having the attitude of Jesus.” – Phil M. Wagler (from his book Kingdom Culture, Growing the Missional Church)

Philippians 2:5-11