Thursday, August 31, 2006


“My hope is in God…”

Many people think it would be great if their children would grow up to serve God. They seem to think that if their kids go do their own thing, it is no great loss. After all, how can we expect them to live godly lives in this generation? I spoke once with one dear mother of ten, who said, “If just one or two of them turn out for God, then I will be glad!” I thought, Just one or two of them??!!? Which ones are you willing to allow to go to the lions? These kinds of people think that, though living for God is the ideal, it is not really encouraged, nor is it expected. They are surprised when they meet a young person who fervently desires to live his life for God.

In my last post, I mentioned that one of the main helps to me in child training is the absolute necessity of having the help of God! I can not – repeat, can NOT – raise a child for God without His help! If I sense an adverse attitude, I must cry out to Him with an earnest expectation of His help. I do not have another option, there is no plan B.

Then, we must understand that there can be no other option for our children but serving God! Now, I don’t talk to my children and tell them that. I don’t threaten them. But deep down in my heart, I cannot be satisfied with a mediocre Christianity for my children. Whatever they may do with their lives, I want them to be the godliest person they can be. Though they may be a policeman, a plumber, or a homemaker, they must have a living, growing, vibrant relationship with God! They cannot have strength for the journey without it.

Some people seem to think that having children who will serve God after they leave the home would be a great idea. For me, it is an all-consuming passion. It is a day and night, with every breath, vehement desire on my part. This all-encompassing vision drives me to my knees and to the Word of God. I become a student of my students – I study them, searching for slight shades of attitude problems, seeking for guidance from God and godly people. I can leave no stone unturned in my quest to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

This all-encompassing desire has two outlets: 1) my relationship with my children, and 2) the passing of values to my children. I cannot, however, have the second without the first. I must have a good relationship with my children before they will embrace the values I show them from the Word of God. These two important missions are completely consuming to me. For me, there is no other option – there is no Plan B.

It is this principle that has led my husband and I as we have made some very hard decisions in our lives. The Lord has helped us get rid of things, add other things, and basically changed us as parents. He has changed not just what we do, but what we are. We cannot be the “normal” American Christian and expect to turn out great spiritual giants for the Lord. We need to be different, in order to make a difference.

Which brings me to my final point: why bother? I mean, why put all this effort into pouring our lives into our children? Someone needs to make an impact on this society for God – someone needs to reach this godless generation. There are more people in the world now than ever before, and less people witnessing – less missionaries, less pastors, less godly Christian workers. This has got to change if we are ever to reach the world for Christ.

Marriages are failing at an incredible rate. We need a generation who knows how to stay together “til death do us part.” We need a generation who will raise another generation for God. We NEED to raise our children to serve God – there is NO PLAN B!

God does not have another option for reaching the world if we don’t do it. There is no army of angels waiting on the sidelines to take over if we fail. He has given us this Great Commission, and we must accomplish it, or die trying! THERE IS NO PLAN B!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

THERE IS NO ‘PLAN B’! part 1

These next two entries are especially designed for young mothers – those who can most profit from such exhortation. My heart goes out to those godly ladies whose children have gone off into the world. Their plight is one of the most difficult in human existence, and it is not at all my intention to increase their sorrow. Please accept my humble condolences for you during this difficult time, and recognize that for many, the battle is far from over.

Ps. 119:136 “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not Thy law.”

III John :4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

A father of several young adults recently took our family out to eat after church on Sunday night. We enjoyed a blessed time of fellowship, sharing blessings from the Lord and insights from Scripture. During the course of the evening, he began to talk with my sons, ages 18 and 16. I could tell that as he was speaking to them, hearing their aspirations to serve the Lord in full-time capacity, and noticing their fervency for the Lord, he began to get very excited. It was almost as though he had never seen a young person who truly wanted to serve God with his life. He seemed joyously surprised, and troubled at the same time. Unfortunately, two of his three children have gone out into the world, and, though one has “come back” (at least for now), the third may be already pointed that direction, though she has not graduated from school yet.

I was once asked by a missionary candidate what I “do” to “make my children turn out for God.” I thought briefly and told her very pointedly, “I think a good part of it may be because I have no Plan B. There is no other option for me.” (By the way, it’s not what we “do” that makes them turn out to serve God, it is what we are! But that’s another subject for another time.)

First of all, we must understand that if the Lord does not help us in child training, there is no Plan B – we MUST have His help! “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it…” “…for vain is the help of man.” All efforts of pointing children to God must begin with God. He is the One to give us the wisdom, guidance, patience and strength. To attempt to do God’s work without God’s help is foolish indeed. And so, having children has truly strengthened my prayer life – when I sense adverse attitudes or habits, I cry out to God on behalf of my child. Sometimes this must be accompanied by fasting. But my God is strong enough to help, and even change the situation, though many times He changes me first.

Many people seem to have a back-up plan. There is a plethora of written material on child training, from Dr. Spock to Dr. Brazelton, to Dr Phil, and none of it is the wisdom that descends from above. None of it is empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. So to try to raise a child with the world’s philosophies and practices and expect him to turn out for God is quite foolish indeed! “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to choose the good and refuse the evil.” We simply cannot have a back-up plan of worldly advice and still raise children for the glory of God! We MUST have His help!! There is NO Plan B!

Saturday, August 26, 2006


I've been thinking lately about about old age, and its effects on people. My last post was about how many compromise when they get older. This doesn't have to be the case, however. We can live godly lives throughout all our days, encouraging others to do the same. What an impact we can have on the next generation!

Many of our young people lack a purpose in their lives, and thus become fodder for every temptation and wind of doctrine that blows by. They live their lives aimlessly, not considering their future, or having any idea what they could or should be doing with their lives.

This lack of purpose can be headed off by some wise words of influential people in their lives. And who could be more influential in the life of a young person than their mother and grandmother?

How wonderful it would be if godly young ladies would determine in their hearts to do whatever it takes to raise godly children. They can spend their youth bearing children, training them, and loving them, showing them the right way to go. Then when they become grandmothers, they can write – they can write about God’s wonderful works, and about how God helped them raise a godly generation.

Psalm 78:4 says, “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done.” And again, in verses seven and eight, it says, “That they (the children) might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.”

Why did the children of Israel begin to serve other gods? Because they were not taught the marvelous works of the Lord God of Israel! Why do our young people lack purpose to serve God? Because the older generation is not doing their job to tell the marvelous works of God!

You may say, “Oh, but there’s already a lot of information out there, written by people who communicate much better than I do, and it looks better, too.” Maybe so, but no one can write your experiences, and that is exactly what we are called upon to do. Your children and grandchildren would love to know how God worked in your life and brought you through some valleys – it would help them trust in the same God who can bring them through some valleys as well.

Oh, what could be accomplished if godly Grandmas began to write what God has taught them! Oh, what a plethora of tremendously influential material could be written - and that from the eye of experience - how to serve God, how to love our husbands, love our children, and have a happy life raising a generation of godly children.

Lord, give us a generation of writin’ grandmas, that we can raise a Christ-like generation!

Friday, August 18, 2006


Now, I don’t know about you, but I enjoy skating. So, when we got an invitation to go skating with a church, we naturally took them up on it. I’m a kid at heart, so I looked forward to skating as much as the young folks in my home. But I was unprepared for the surprise that awaited me at the rink.

Everything was going fine, until the music started. Some of the songs were recognizable as godly hymns or spiritual songs, but the vast majority of the music was nothing different than the same old rock music I listened to when I was living selfishly as a lost young person. As I was skating my circles, though the words of the songs were “Jesus words”, I still felt the same surge of adrenaline I used to feel when skating to the same old rock music. I thought to myself, This is horrible! If I wanted a rock concert, I would go to one, but I don’t want to subject myself to a rock concert!

I began thinking about the Pastor of the church, and how he used to preach against rock music and contemporary “Christian” music. I thought about how his children grew up listening to godly music, but now they are listening to worldly music, and his grandchildren may be subjected the completely secular rock music. I remembered how, as his children grew older, his music standards began to slide, and I came to a very sobering conclusion: getting older is very dangerous.

It seems to me that as many people age, they get tired of holding onto the godly ways of living. They get tired of the questions from their young people, and get tired of having to explain to others why they do what do. They get older, and they get tired.

How many times have I seen an older person who used to stand for God, and used to live a godly life, who no longer does. Somewhere along the line they decided that they have “learned better,” or have “grown out of it.” Many of these are the same people that had to endure the hardship of family pressure to compromise, but who stood for years to do God’s Will. Now they have relaxed their standards and no longer make a difference in the world around them. They are older. They are tired. They are making very dangerous moves.

I know a preacher that in his younger days stood for the Lord, and preached to live a godly life, but he had a heart attack, became sick, and got tired. His older children are living godly lives, but he is losing his younger children to the world. Though his actions may be entirely justifiable as physical difficulties, he has lost his determination to do whatever it takes to raise a godly heritage for God.

It scares me when I see folks who know better getting older and tired. I see the importance of determination, and I ask God to help me. Lord, don’t allow me to relax until I get to heaven! Rest time is later – now is the time to serve God!

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Of Sharks and Daughters

Earlier I wrote about the professional shark feeder who found out the hard way that a shark is a shark is a shark – it cannot be expected to perform any way other than a shark. I applied this to our relationship to our husbands, and how we cannot expect them to act any way other than the way they are made.

Another thing the Lord showed me through this is my changing relationship with my newly married daughter. If you’ve been reading this blog any length of time, you know that my oldest daughter just married the beginning of July, and I found myself out of a dear friend. It is difficult to be only a phone call away, and even sometimes not hear from her for several days. Maybe I’m s bit spoiled or selfish, but I think of her often and miss her greatly.

Since I hadn’t heard from her in several days, I finally called her on Friday and left a message on her machine. Unfortunately, she didn’t return my call, and I actually ended up calling her on Sunday just to make sure she was still alive! Thankfully, she is, and so I am relieved, of course, but a bit irritated just the same.

Now, my memory jogs me a bit, and I remember times when my mother would call me in exasperation, wondering if I had fallen off a cliff or got wrapped around a tree. I would always be surprised that she was so concerned! And now, here I am, in exactly the same shoes.

My dear daughter is starting the adventure of her life – making her own home and starting her own family. It is a very busy, happy time! Her mind is understandably not thinking about us a whole lot.

And that’s where the difficulty lies. She has entered into a new phase of life, and I am not looking at the hard facts. Just as a shark cannot be expected to act like anything other than a shark, so a newly married daughter cannot be expected to act like one who is not. I must love her for who she is, not what I would like her to be.

By the way, I would not want her to be overly attached to me – it would greatly endanger the new relationship with her husband. She needs all the time with him and attention to him that she can muster to be the proper wife. I must love her for who she is.