Thursday, June 17, 2010

Role of The Christian Father

On FaceBook, there is a link you can subscribe to called "The Word of God". Daily you receive notes that encourage you as a Christian to live a life that exemplifies and honors Christ. It gives you real life situations and helps you learn how to make the best of who you are as a child of God.

Today's note particularly touched my heart. The role of a Christian father is so vitally important to our generation and our future generations. I have been so blessed that for 38 years I have had the worlds best dad!! His modesty will deny his greatness, but all that know him, know that he is a man who pursues God's heart. He is an amazing provider for our family and he has an unconditional love for all of us. So, I know it is a few days early, but I wanted to wish my daddy, John Rhodes, the best father's day and thank him for his continued love for me as his daughter. I love you Daddy!!

In His Grip~

By The Word of God
Role of the Christian Father

Father’s day is a day to celebrate the goodness of fatherhood. This is a day when we remember and honor our father’s love and commitment. As children, have you thanked your father for his love toward you? We are thankful for fathers’ support, guidance and love. We thank God that He has blessed us with special fathers.

A father is a good provider. As long as he is capable, he is willing to labor hard to provide shelter for his family, and food on the table. However, I strongly believe that Christian fathers are not judged by how much they earn or how many material goods they can provide. What does matter to his children, is how he introduces, educates, and guides them to Jesus Christ and how good a faithful Christian role model he is.

Fathers are very important in God’s plan for the family. Fathers have a wonderful opportunity to encourage, to warn, to teach, to counsel, and to model the Christian life for their children. The most important job for fathers is found in Deuteronomy chapter 6 to teach their children to always love and obey God. Paul said that fathers should raise their children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Christian fathers who do this will distinguish themselves from other fathers and will be obedient to God’s will. God desires that our children should be nurtured by fathers who love the Lord.

A man and his young son were climbing a mountain. They came to a place where the climbing was difficult and even dangerous. The father stopped to consider which way he should go. He heard the boy behind him say, “Choose the good path, Dad; I’m coming right behind you!”..As Christian fathers, are you doing your job? I am not talking about providing a cozy house, food for the table, and high education. By establishing the disciplines of worship, prayer, and Bible study in your own life, you’ll be prepared to integrate these into teachable moments with your children.

A father is the head of his family. A father does this, not out of insecurity, selfishness or pride, but out of the desire to be an obedient servant to God. (Ephesians 5:22) In this day and age when the concept of the family is under attack, and the role of the father is made light of, let us show our support of the institution of Fatherhood by loving and honoring our Fathers, and by being good Fathers; and by remembering and loving and honoring the greatest father of all - God the Father Almighty.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Meg and Mommy

A silent tear fell from my eye as I was going through pictures the other day. As many of you know, I love pictures!! I love to capture moments in my children's lives of them being just them. They are my priceless treasures!

I ran across a picture of Megan when she was two and one of mommy when she was two. The similarity is truly amazing!!! So, for fun...I thought I would share this memory with you...

(Megan is on the Left and I am on the right...I love it!)

And then here below is a picture of us today! I love you Meggie. I love the miracle that you are! I know life is crazy difficult for your young mind to understand...and I promise I am trying to fix it. I love you, your sissy, and bubba! So, even when I fall short...know I'm trying my best!!

Forever Your Mommy and Forever my love!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Total Forgiveness

Forgiveness. An act of selflessness that can be so hard to exercise. Forgiveness requires us to lay our pain aside and truly walk into forgiving others as Christ has forgiven us.

This can be an almost impossible task at times in our lives. When someone has hurt us or broken us, getting past it without bitterness requires that we do forgive them. I've learned that forgiveness doesn't mean that a relationship has to be means that the peace of Christ will consume our hearts over the pain or betrayal and bitterness will flee. It is the only way we will find freedom and release from the offense.

I chose not to share the details of the story behind the unforgiveness that I have harbored in my heart for over a year and a half at the destructive words spoken after one of the most devastating events in my life. But, however, I will share that these words cut like a knife deep into my heart leaving a scar. I have, to be honest, I hated the people that spoke them. I have carried this anger around and it has tainted so many other areas of my life and crept that negative energy into other relationships.

I thought that forgiveness meant condoning the actions that caused pain. It doesn't. It means the release of harbored pain and anger that can effect our emotions, our health, and our relationships with those that had nothing to do with the situation(s). It can also impose difficulty to forgive when the offender doesn't feel the slightest twinge of conscience.

I read recently a quote on forgiveness that states: "The ultimate proof of TOTAL forgiveness takes place when we sincerely petition the Father to let those who have hurt us off the hook - even if they have not hurt only us, but also those close to us". God mandates in His Scriptures that we forgive. Ephesians 4:32 "Be KIND and COMPASSIONATE to one another, FORGIVING EACH OTHER, just as Christ God forgave you."

Think of all the sins in our lives. Deliberate actions that go directly against what God asks us to do. But yet, He gave the ultimate price for our forgiveness. He GAVE His only Son to die for our sins so that we could live in His mercy and that we could walk as His forgiven children. He holds no grudge against those who honestly and earnestly petition forgiveness for our sins. If God gave His Son...can we not give our hearts? Can we not forgive each other and walk in love towards one another?

In reading R.T. Kendall's book 'Total Forgiveness' he explains through Scripture what forgiveness isn't. I think we get blinded by and fear the misconception of what forgiveness is and isn't. This can lead us to not move into forgiveness and the freedom that prevails.

Here is a list of what Mr. Kendall pens that forgiveness is NOT: (from pages 23 - 31 in his book, supported by Scriptures from God's word)

* Approval of what they did
* Excusing what they did
* Justifying what they did
* Pardoning what they did
* Reconciliation
* Denying what they did
* Blindness to what happened
* Forgetting
* Refusing to take the wrong seriously
* Pretending we are not hurt

And to help us understand what total forgiveness is, he helps by explaining through Scriptures how we can walk into this freedom from bondage to past hurts. Total forgiveness IS: (pages 31-46)

* Being aware of what someone has done and still forgiving them
* Choosing to keep no record of wrongs
* Refusing to punish
* Not telling what they did
* Being merciful
* Gracious
* Forgiveness is an inner condition
* It is the ABSENCE of bitterness
* Forgiving God (all of our bitterness is ultimately traceable to resentment of God
or unconscious anger that He would allow this pain to happen)
* Forgiving ourselves

I was relieved to see for once a true list that is backed by God's word that helped me to understand what total forgiveness is and is not. I have been so reluctant to forgive for fear of what it would mean, but now knowing what it is and isn't has opened my heart to explore the pain and earnestly kneel at the foot of the cross first to ask God to forgive my sins so that I could move into totally forgiving others and asking others to forgive me.

This is such a pivotal time in my life. There are many changes going on. Some I have no control over and others that I may be able to influence reconciliation by seeking forgiveness and walking in total forgiveness of others.

It by no means is easy. But I am determined to seek the depths of my heart to rid it of anything that causes me to walk in anything less than God's perfect peace that at times can surpass any understanding!

In His Grip ~

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Trip to Salt Lake City

Wow!!! I can't believe it's been 11 days since I returned from my trip to Salt Lake City to see my big brother~Dave, His awesome wife~Darcy, and my four PRECIOUS nieces!!! I can't begin to tell you how much this trip meant to me!!

The first day I was there, Darcy and I loaded up the girls and headed to the Mormon Tabernacle in downtown Salt Lake City!! I never knew such a thing existed!! Of course I had heard about it, but didn't realize the magnitude of this architectural masterpiece!! Wow! Amazing!!

The grounds were filled with the scent and scenery of Spring. There were brides all over the place having bridal portraits taken ~ families strolling through the abundant gardens ~ couples walking together hand in hand. It was like a paradise dead center in the middle of a major metropolitan city!

Here are a few pics that we took...I don't have all of them yet...(lucky you)...but here is what I have from that day....

The next picture...well, this next picture is so special to me. This is Darcy, my sister in law. She's not only a sister in law, she's the closest girl friend I have. She is an amazing woman...wife...mother...daughter...sister...aunt...and so much more. She has a heart full of compassion and has an inner strength that one can only have through her amazing tenacity. I love you Darcy. I draw strength and advice from watching you...just being in your presence is a safe place where my heart is free to feel. You came into our family by the grace of God and we are all ETERNALLY blessed for that gift! I love you like you were my own sister!!!

And was lunch time...and someone was really hungry...but it is my favorite!!!

Now THIS is a HUGE church!!! Wow!

Needless to say it was the most refreshing day I have had in months and months!! It was perfect!! Perfect weather, perfect company, and stunning scenery.

Little did I know that the next day would be even more amazing. My brother is an orthopedic surgeon there in SLC, but had the 2nd day I was there, off from work. I was so excited to be able to spend some time with him we all loaded up and headed up the mountains for a hike in one of the canyons..... I've seen pictures that they have sent and that my parents have taken on trips to see them...but seeing these majestic mountains and rushing waterfalls...seeing them in person brings to life so many more senses than just visual. It was an adventure that truly was so much fun!!
I would hike this canyon every day if I could. There were so many rocks that paved the way for the rushing creek that was filled with fresh melted many places I would have love to sat down with my notebook and pen and write...the beauty of it all opened in me a fresh breath of air that my lungs had so desperately needed.

My Big Brother and I ~ I love you Dave!! You Rock!!!

It was a great trip! I've never been away from my kids like that and it was hard in that respect...but having time with this precious family truly brightened my heart and lifted the load. I can't thank them enough for the gift of flying me out there to see was a week I will cherish forever!!Here are a few various photographs from various moments in this week...

I hope these pictures made you smile...because they light up my life!

In His Grip!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Missing You

Please, for today, do not tell me to be strong. Please for today, let my heart feel the pain. Please allow me to travel through journey through this in an attempt to somehow find my way...please, for today, let my heart pour the tears that have been so long wanting to fall...please....just for today...let me miss what was...miss what isn't....miss what never will be...just let me...