No One Is Automatically
A Friend Or Enemy
Not Even Family
It’s very easy to think of friends and family as two different things. We inherit family and we chose friends, but can they migrate? Can one ever be the same as the other?
The Bible mentions three different categories of individuals other than family:
- Everyone else in between
But the relationships we have with people are dynamic. No one is born a Friend or Enemy. Instead everyone starts out in the middle, neutral, and then moves one way or the other. We might illustrate it like this:
Family isn’t represented on this graph and rightly so. No family member automatically fits into any one of these categories. There’s overlap as the following illustration shows.
Obviously, we tend to think of family members as “like” friends, but are they really? We also never associate family with enemies even when the comparison is justified. Read more
God Uses Illness
To Heal Us
In Different Ways
Mention John chapter 11 and most people think of Resurrection. No surprise there. The chapter records Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and most sermons on that chapter focus mostly on that event. It’s the dominant topic. It’s hard to study the chapter and not think about resurrection but it’s also obvious. Maybe there is something else in the chapter we should look for.
If we poke the context a little other lessons might surface. Read more
A Great Mother
Need Not Be
A Perfect Person
There are many great examples of motherhood in the Bible. Sara, Jochebed and Hannah always come to mind but what made them notable was their great faith.
Not faith in the general sense of the word. It was the faith associated with Motherhood. The faith required to become a mother, i.e., get pregnant, or to be a mother. Some struggled with both kinds of faith but all of them wrestled with the kind of faith it takes to shape the life of a child.
The distinction is important. Faith isn’t the same for every person.
But, here is the question. We can make endless observations about the Motherly skills of these ladies from what we read in the Bible but what would be interesting, is to know what their children might say about them.
For example: Read more
Mom’s Voice Is Always Heard
Even When She Is Gone
We celebrate “Mom” only one day a year but her influence is evident every day in the lives of her children. Through them she’s everywhere. She rubs off. Her influence is subtle but the effects are very real. Sometimes she’s intentional and sometimes not, but she always leaves a mark.
For those who doubt this, the following observations are offered as proof that Mom really gets into your head.
Mom Is Universal, Timeless and 24/7
Mom is not a localized concept or historical trend. She doesn’t come and go. She is everywhere and for all time.
There’s never been a generation where Mom-hood wasn’t relevant. There’s never been a person who didn’t have a Mom. There’ never been a person who didn’t love a Mom. If not their own then another.
The only two people who didn’t have a mother were the first man and the first woman. Mom is the soil in which every life germinates, literally. She is the first person we touch and through that touch we share feelings, nutrition, experiences – both good an bad, and if science is correct, she shapes our taste for food and music even in the womb. And all of that before we are born. Read more
Rewards And Consequences
Of The Same Coin
This post is part 2 in the discussion of rewards, the fourth of 4R’s in the series on Good Parenting and focuses on the natural law of cause and effect. What our kids do is a cause. Good parents will help them appreciate the effect.
You can find part 1 here.
Rewards Counterbalance Consequence
You can’t really develop a concept of rewards and ignore consequences and vice versa. One effects the other. They are two sides of the same coin. If we do away with one, rewards or consequences, it is only logical to eliminate the other.
The two ideas need balance. Eliminating or under emphasizing one creates an imbalance and it can work both ways, with rewards or consequence. over emphasizing consequence can be just as damaging as over emphasizing rewards. Maybe more so. Read more