Wisdom of a Young Wife

I haven’t shared much about my daughter’s wedding because there isn’t much to share.  She and her sweetheart were married in San Antonio while he was in Air Force Tech School.  It was a very small affair, with only a few of his classmates in attendance.  There will be a traditional ceremony eventually, perhaps on their first anniversary, when both families will gather to celebrate their union.  Hopefully, by then her parents will be in a better financial position to fund the occasion.

She stayed about a month in San Antonio, then returned home for the remainder of the summer to wait for him.  They left in September for Great Falls, Montana where he will be stationed for the next few years.

She calls me nearly every day to talk about everything and nothing.  I hear all about their trips to state parks, trips to the video store, furniture shopping, their dinner menu, and both sides of their petty arguments and major disagreements.  Apparently, her husband trusts me to be unbiased, because he’ll have her call me to help settle a dispute.  Not that they fight a lot.  Usually, it’s a minor difference of opinion that gets blown out of proportion.

In one particular instance, she didn’t share with me what they weren’t seeing eye-to-eye on, just that she happened to be proven right.  She said she told him, “Baby, when I say something and it sounds like I know what I’m talking about, you need to listen.”

Wise words indeed.



Filed under Family, Fun

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

Most of us are familiar with the idea that you have to love yourself before you can love others, but the question I posed to my Sunday school class this morning is “Is it Biblical?” I asserted that it isn’t, and that the verses which command us to love our neighbors as ourselves are not teaching that we have to love ourselves first.  That proved to be a very unpopular opinion, even after I pointed out that the only place in the Bible where loving ourselves is mentioned is in 2 Timothy 3:2, as a warning of things to come.  I also reminded them that we had just studied last week that we are not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3), which seemed to be an exercise in futility.  Given more time, perhaps I could have explained my position more thoroughly, but as our class time is limited, we had to move on in order to finish the lesson.

So here’s where I plead my case.

Romans 12:10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves. Love of self isn’t necessary here.  Is it?

Then there are all these verses about humbling ourselves:

Psalm 18:27  You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.

Psalm 25:9  He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Psalm 147:6  The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.

Proverbs 3:34  He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.

Matthew 23:12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Philippians 2:3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Here again, is it necessary to love ourselves in order to consider others better?

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

Then there are verses like these:

Luke 9:24 “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Ephesians 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; “Put off” wouldn’t be another way of saying “love”, would it?

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.”   Now why would Jesus tell us we should hate our own lives if we are commanded to love ourselves?

Ephesians 5:29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— Here’s the clincher.  We already love ourselves!  It is our default position, therefore the command is to love your neighbor as much as you already love yourself. Not “Love your neighbor and yourself.”  Not “Love yourself so that you can love your neighbor.”

My point is this:  The command to love others is like the other commandments, in that we are unable to keep them without depending on Christ.  We are able to love because He first loved us.

1 John 4:7-8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. Better yet, go ahead and read the whole chapter.

My aim is to emphasize the need to measure every thought/idea/belief/teaching by the standard of God’s Word.  Anything we hear/read/believe/imagine must pass this test before we accept it as truth.

It is with that aim in mind that I have decided to rename the blog yet again.  If anyone is still reading after my prolonged absence, the URL hasn’t changed, but you may want to update your link to reflect the new name.


Filed under Doctrine, Faith

At least we’re making progress

Everyone who knows me knows that I have been praying for quite a while about a certain situation with a certain daughter, and most of you have been praying on my behalf for a resolution.  I’ve also expressed my hesitation to get my hopes up at the slightest hint of change, because what usually happens isn’t what I’d expected.  However, I thought I should share with you the most recent development in that ongoing saga because, my friends, prayers are being answered!

Last week about this time, I spoke with the dad-who-will-not-intervene about the daughter-who-will-not-call and asked him once again if he would make the girl call her mother.  I was surprised to find out that he had already (so he said) “had this conversation with her” and that he had warned her that she would find herself living with her mom if she didn’t start doing what she was told.  (Here’s where we pray that he runs out of patience.)

Seriously though, who knew the change we’ve been praying for would be in his heart?  Praise God!

He said if she doesn’t call me, he’ll take her phone (that should put the fear in her.)  I suggested that maybe he shouldn’t let her go anywhere with friends unless she calls me first.  Then I thought if he’d already threatened to send her to me, maybe he’d be willing to follow through.  So I asked if he would, and he actually said that if he was unable to reach her, he’d be coming after her!  (On the other hand, he also said that he didn’t want to make it seem like living with me would be punishment, like I care at this point how she sees it.)

So here’s where we stand:  If she starts calling me, I will have contact with her.  If she doesn’t, I will go get her, and this time, her dad won’t be backing her up (if he meant what he said.)  The best part is I’m no longer fretting over whether she returns my calls or not.  And to be honest, I’m kinda hoping she doesn’t.

Although the issue isn’t fully resolved yet, I am gaining ground – and patience, and for that I am ever so thankful.


Filed under Faith, Family, Praise, Prayer

The Great Sadness of The Shack

Well, I finally picked up a copy of the book everyone’s been raving about.  After reading several negative reviews, I had decided that I wouldn’t waste the money, but I kept running across blogs that had nothing but praise for the novel and curiosity got the best of me.  That, and I thought perhaps I could put my discernment skills to the test.

So now that I’ve read it, what’s my reaction?  I don’t think it’s a story for children.  I was quite put off by The Missy Project – and the idea that this book “offers one of the most poignant views of God and how he relates to humanity that has been written in our time.”  Seriously?  It’s a work of fiction!

Not that it isn’t a good piece of fiction.  But therein lies “The Great Sadness.”  People are reading this fictional story about a fictional god and claiming that they’re finding within its pages a life-changing experience, a better understanding of God’s love, even a deeper relationship with God.  Huh?

Then, when error after error is pointed out, they rush to defend the book, claiming “It is fiction, you know.  It wasn’t intended to be a theology book.”  Can’t have it both ways, folks.

The author discusses his main character’s theological issues and suggests that “Nobody wanted God in a box, just a book.”  How ’bout we slap a dress on him/her, stick her in the kitchen and call her “Papa”?  That’ll fix your theological errors.  Sno ’nuff.


Filed under Discernment, Doctrine, Faith

Behold, what manner of love

While poking through my unpublished posts, I found this little gem.

Ya know what blows my mind? Ya know I’m gonna tell ya anyway. : )

It’s this: when my child pushes the limits of my sanity, oversteps boundaries, breaks the rules, or gives me reason to escort her to the gates of the city to have her stoned (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) – that is when my heart is most tender towards her. Though I may be angry, disappointed, discouraged, hurt, or all of the above; what I feel most is compassion.

And so it is with God, in that while we were deserving of hell, Christ died for us.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.        1 John 3:1 (NIV)

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Filed under Faith, Family

Family Portrait

That’s me, posing as the mom, Hubster posing as the dad, and the kids. . . well, you get the picture.


Filed under Family, Photos

A Novel Gift Idea – WMFW

Edited to add:  Please don’t forget to visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer for more Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas. 

Hello, blog friends!  I’m only popping in just now to ask a favor of all of you, but I hope to return to the blogworld after things around here calm down.  Daughter #1 is getting married, daughter #2 is here for the summer, and I’m up to my eyeballs in real life.  I’ll catch you up on the details later.

Right now, as a bridal shower gift for daughter #1, I’m putting together a book for the bride and groom entitled “Advice for Newlyweds from People Who Aren’t Your Parents.”

I’m asking friends (including you, my blog friends) and family to share some helpful advice for either the bride or the groom or for the couple – whether it be your own wisdom or something someone shared with you that has proven to be invaluable.  You will  be given credit for anything you share, so if it isn’t your own, please cite your source.  It can be a quote, scripture, serious, humorous, things to avoid (like putting toilet tissue upside down on the holder), things you must do (like save money), a sentence, or a paragraph – anything you feel is worthy of passing along to a young married couple.  I’d like to have a balanced perspective, so it would be wonderful if both spouses gave their input.

If you feel comfortable doing so, please use your real name and location (first name only and state only are fine.) 

Thanks for your participation!


Filed under Family, WFMW

Easy Quiz

Imagine you’re a flight attendant. The pilot informs you that due to an equipment malfunction, a crash landing is inevitable. (Or maybe he’s a kamikaze. Either way, the plane is going down.) Your orders are to ensure the survival of all the passengers by giving them the one thing that can save them.

Which course of action do you take?

  1. Speak to each passenger individually, informing them of their pending doom unless they accept the parachute you’re offering. Instruct them to put it on and keep it on, and demonstrate how and when to pull the ripcord.
  2. Try not to alarm anyone. When you offer them a parachute, tell them it will make their flight more comfortable and pleasant. Keep it cheerful.
  3. Calmly explain the situation, but assure them that if they’ve ever had a parachute, even if they aren’t wearing it now, they will not perish in the crash.

Well, that was easy, wasn’t it? Now what if we weren’t talking airplanes and parachutes? What if we were talking about salvation? Does it matter how we present the gospel to a lost and dying world?


Filed under Evangelism

The Lost Son (cont.)

The prodigal’s return is a picture of repentance and humility, turning from and confessing one’s sin and seeking the father’s forgiveness.

The father’s response is a picture of grace, forgiving the penitent sinner, rejoicing at his return, and restoring him to full sonship.

The older brother’s offense is a picture of religious pride, valuing service over relationship.

Heaven rejoices when a lost soul is found.

God’s grace is unmerited. No one deserves it, no one earns it.

We should rejoice when a sinner turns to Christ.

We should be diligent in sharing the gospel with every lost person we know.

Pray for opportunities to share your faith this week.

*next up: Why does it matter what you say to a lost person? Galatians 1

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Filed under Evangelism, Sunday school

We Interrupt this Blog…

Please pardon the interruption, but I couldn’t resist sharing this devotional with you.

Man, I wish I could write like that guy.   Seriously, you gotta read the rest of his blog.  I must warn you, though – you’ll need a tissue.


Filed under Uncategorized