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Do Over!!!

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“Do over! I wasn’t ready yet,” she yelled out as she rounded the tree laughing. This was the scene following our recent VBS where an impromptu game of tag broke out among the exuberant youngsters. It is the excited request for a do over that is rattling around in my head this morning.PlayingTag

How many times in life have we wished for a do over? Do you ever find yourself wishing you could make a better grade, or buy a different car? Would you invest your money differently or take a different job? Would you spend more time with your family? Come on, can I get a do over? Please?

No, I can’t! We live with the life we have created by the choices we have made.

BUT, there are some things we can do from this day forward.

We can choose to live under the weight of guilt and sin for all of the mistakes we have made OR we can choose the path of renewal each day. It’s true that we may bear the scars and consequences of our past, but that does not mean that those weights and burdens have to overcome us. Consider what the Hebrews writer has to say;

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2)

Truth be told, there is little benefit to being caught up in the past. Beyond learning from the experiences of life, reliving our mistakes over and over just feeds on the negativity they bring, and this  is guaranteed to bring you down. After trying over a thousand filaments for his incandescent light, Edison was asked if he had failed, “No, I have eliminated one more element that will not work for me.” Paul puts it this way;

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Php 3.13-14)

We can use our experiences to help others on the path through life. Children understand, “you are going to make mistakes, but you certainly don’t have to make the same one’s I made.” By being open and transparent about the detours you have taken and curve balls you have missed, you are better suited to help others along the way. Taking that approach to life allows you to take your mistakes and extract good from the circumstances.  This may have been what Paul had in mind when he said, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8.28).

Think about it.

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Crumbling Home Fronts

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America’s ambassador to Japan, Douglas MacArthur II, served as Counselor of the State Department under John Foster Dulles. Like Dulles, MacArthur was a hard worker. Once when Dulles telephoned the MacArthur home asking for Douglas, Mrs. MacArthur mistook him for an aide and snapped irately, “MacArthur is where MacArthur always is, weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and nights – in that office!”

Within minutes, MacArthur got a telephone order from Dulles: “Go home at once, boy. Your home front is crumbling.” (Source Unknown)

 

            In fact, many home fronts are crumbling away across our nation because spouses do not spend enough time with each other or their children. Parents often work two or three jobs while at the same time making sure the homework gets done, the children are engaged in sports, scouts, or other interests. To be honest, they don’t even spend much time in the same room together, and family meals around the supper table have become a relic of a bygone era

           

            A couple can become more like roommates than husband and wife, spending more time with everything else in life than they do with each other.

 

            Love is a decision to be made and nourished, not just a feeling to be shared once and a while (Eph 5.22-23). A husband must love his wife as much as he cares for himself and wives must give respect to their husband in the same manner.

            God instructs couples to enjoy one another (Prov 5.15-19). How can they do that if they do not willingly build their relationship through mutual love?

 

Parents are to love their children and in truth, most do. Their love however, must go beyond providing for their physical growth and driving them to their games before making sure the homework is done and finally collapsing into bed, exhausted.

Godly parents show true love to their children by bringing God into their homes and making Him the center of it (Eph 6.4, Mt 10.37, Deut 6.4-9).

As God’s people, we have to turn to Him and His way for living our lives. We will be happier when we do. It is time for families across the nation to shore up our foundations, strengthen our homes, reunite with our spouses, and provide our children with the greatest gift of all, a personal relationship with God who loves them deeper than we ever could.