Sounding the Alarm Part 2

It is unfortunate that in our society today, it takes at least two incomes to support a family. That means absentee parents, and children who are left in the care of an older sibling or just to themselves. Often we cannot afford to pay someone to care for our children while they are alone and we are at work.

Then we have single-parent families, which usually means that single parent has almost no time for the children. The children then are left feeling unimportant and unloved. They may seek affection and caring from other sources, which can lead to very severe problems.

I made some typos in part one of this series. Prayer and church attendance are NOT enough to ensure the safety of our children. NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES, WE MUST FIND WAYS TO WATCH OVER AND PROTECT THEM. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Sit down with your child and go over some safety rules about not trusting ANYONE too much. A family member, close friend, neighbor, teacher, anyone has the potential of molesting your child, regardless of gender. We live in a perverted society. It even happens in church groups because no one is perfect, not even Christians. And not everyone who goes to church is a Christian. Some people are just religious. Some people go to church because they are depressed and want to feel better. Some people go to church just because they were raised to do so. There are many other reasons, but you get the picture.
  • Make sure you have a good relationship with your child/children so that they feel they can come to you if someone does mistreat them. Also, know your child well enough to know if they are making it up to get attention, or if they are lying because they are mad at someone and wants to get them in trouble. But ALWAYS be willing to listen. Be willing to check out the accusation, even if you think that person would never do such a thing. We generally trust too easily, too quickly. We never know what’s in another person’s mind. Be sure to emphasize to your child that no matter what threat they have been given to keep them quiet, it is a scare tactic and that it is your job to protect them. Make sure the child understands the importance of NOT BEING AFRAID to tell you about it if does happen, regardless of who the perpetrator is.
  • Give your child/children instructions on what to do if someone does molest or hurt them in any way: a neighbor or friend to contact, how to get in touch with you while you are at work. If someone molests them they need to dial 9-1-1 at the first opportunity and give as much detail as possible to the authorities and have the authorities contact you at work.
  • If your child/children are home alone while you are at work, have them stay inside, play quietly, no loud TV or music, and lock the door, and keep it locked until you return home.
  • Teach them what to do in case of fire.
  • Check out your child’s friends and families. Don’t let them stay with just anyone. It would be better if the child’s friends came to your house so you can check on them, and know what’s going on. When you visit other families, check on your child often. You never know what goes on behind closed doors, with an adult or another child. Most children are molested by someone in the family, or close to the family. Don’t let yourself wear blinders. I know from personal experience that a child who has been molested often carries the emotional scars for the rest of their lives and their lives are filled with bad decisions, resentment, and bitterness that only God can heal.

 

 

Everything Wrong in Life is Not God’s Fault

In the beginning. . . God created a garden that had every fruit tree, every berry bush, every food-producing plant. He decorated the garden with flowers. He was preparing a wonderland for the crown of His creation: man. He provided a mist from the ground to water everything. There were streams of fresh water for refreshment. There were rivers teeming with all kinds of fish. There were woodland animals and fowls in the air, a cocophany of sound to delight the ears. And when God had finished His earthly paradise, He pronounced it good and created two people to populate it and care for it. Everything was blissful and filled with wonder and joy–until. . .

One day a serpent arrived, cunning and crafty, a sly, cunning conman. His specialty was creating doubt about God and His word. When God left Adam and Eve in the garden there was only one rule they had to follow: just one: “Thou mayest eat of every tree in the garden; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which is planted in the middle of the garden, ye shall not eat. For in the day that ye eat thereof ye shall surely die.”

Adam and Eve had intended to obey. They loved God and He loved them. They had everything they could possibly want, including a close relationship with their Creator, who came to the garden every day and talked with them. But when the serpent arrived, he approached Eve first. He started the conversation. He looked her in the eye and said, “Did God tell you that you could eat of any tree in the garden?” He already knew the answer but he wanted to see what Eve would say. Eve replied, “We may eat of every tree in the garden, except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God said if we could neither eat of that tree, nor touch it, lest we die.”

I can almost hear that serpent’s laugh. “You shall not surely die. God knows that when you eat of that fruit, you will then know everything He knows. You will know good from evil. You will be like God.” Then he slithered away to watch the outcome of the little drama he started.

Adam believed God when He said they would die if they ate of that tree. Eve gave some of the fruit to Adam and they both ate. Adam (I believe) knew his wife was going to die and he didn’t want to be left alone. He loved her. So he ate the fruit with her. Once they ate the fruit they became aware of their nakedness and they sewed fig leaves to cover themselves. This was before they began having children. They were ashamed of their nakedness, even though there was no one else to see except themselves.

God came in the cool of the evening and cried out for them. Finally Adam answered, and said they were hiding. “Why are you hiding?” God asked. God knew, but it is important for us to confess our sins before we can receive forgiveness. “Because we were naked we hid ourselves,” Adam said.

God killed an animal, the first death in God’s creation, in order to make clothing of skins for Adam and Eve. Maybe He had to kill two animals; we don’t know. God first turned to the serpent and said, “Because you have done this (caused Eve to doubt God’s word, thus creating eternal havoc on earth), you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life, and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between her seed and thy seed,it shall bruise they head and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Then He looked at Eve and said, “And I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” This was the penalty for allowing herself to be deceived. It was not just for Eve, but for all women thereafter, because, regardless of intelligence and rationale, women are more easily influenced by their emotions than men.

Then God turned to Adam and said, “Because thou hast hearkened (listened) to your wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it ring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return unto the ground;for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Every illness, every trial, every problem we have in this life, is a result of our sin nature, which we are all born with, because of the first man and woman. God didn’t cause it; man did. But God has the antidote, the solution, the love, care, compassion, grace, and mercy to take care of all of it. He first provided it in the garden when He made the clothing of animal skins for Adam and Eve. He continuallly showed his grace and mercy throughout the Old Testament to the people who chose to love, worship and obey Him. As Creator, does He not have the right to bless those who love Him? How many of us show the same love and compassion to children outside our family as we do to our own children?

God sent His only BEGOTTEN son to take our punishment, and die on a cruel cross so that we could have access to God once more, and have fellowship with our Creator. God made a way. What we do with it is our decision. If everything was perfect we would all be so puffed up with ourselves we would see no need of a Savior and we would not acknowledge God. He allows us to have trouble so we will turn to Him for help. He is the one who has the all the answers, and He is the one most able to comfort us and strengthen us in times of trouble.

What Color Is Love?

I was nothing, a zero, the least likely to succeed at anything. I was the ugliest, dumbest thing God ever created. I was lower than the earth, worth less than a grub to eaten by birds. There was nothing about me that anyone would desire.

Hear the cry of the masses:

“I’m too fat.” “I’m disfigured.” “People run when they see my scars.” “People turn away in disgust.” “I have Down’s Syndrome; I’m unlovable.” “I’m stupid.” “I’ll never amount to anything.” “We’re poor and starving. No one cares.” “I’m crippled, but no one pays any attention to my needs.” “My skin is the wrong color so people dont like me.”

There are people in the world who do care and who do reach out and make a difference. I am thankful and grateful for those people, but if you aren’t doing because it’s what Jesus would do, if you aren’t doing it to put a smile on His face, then you’re doing it for the wrong reason, and your reward is the thanks you get in this life. Col_3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

In spite of the efforts of kind, compassionate people, there are many who are homeless, abandoned, deserted, judged by others for the sins and crimes they’ve committed. The prostitutes, runaways, pedophiles, murderers, animal and child abusers, all treated as the scum of the earth. But we don’t know their stories. We don’t know what brought them to those places in their lives. It is not our place to judge. All who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day stand before Him, the supreme judge of the earth, and give an account before they are senteneced to eternal separation from Him in the lake of fire called hell. God will take no pleasure in passing the sentence, for He provided His only BEGOTTEN Son to take their punishment so they wouldn’t have to. It is not their sins that send them to hell, it is rejection of the precious gift God gave. The color of love is red: red for the blood that Jesus shed, not just on the cruel cross of Calvary, but when he was beaten into a bloody mess of flesh and bone by that cat-o’-nine-tails. It was by the blood He shed when the crown of four to six inch thorns thrust into his brow. It was the blood that oozed from His poor battered face when his beard was ripped out by handfuls.

Jesus didn’t have to go through any of that. He could have called angels to get Him off the cross and kill every magistrate and soldier in attendance. He could have gotten Himself off of the cross. Mat_26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Why do we use red as the color for Valentine’s Day? For Christmas? For Santa’s suit? Jesus had a bleeding heart. It bled for humanity, for the depravity, the anguish, the futility and desperation, for the homeless, the poor, the needy, the forgotten, the ignored, the wasted, the destitute, the despairing, the disfigured.

Luk_19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Eph_2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Col_2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

In God’s eyes, we are walking dead people until we realize our depraved state, our need for Him. Until we realize that we are indeed weak and poor, unable to control our own lives and destiny, we are dead. That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be “born again.” We need to have spiritual life breathed into us. He promises to give us new life, new direction, hope, peace, joy, an abundant life.

Does that mean He’ll give us everything we want and we’ll never have another problem? No. If we never have another problem we’ll forget we need Him. He will teach us, through the power of His Holy Spirit (who will take up residence in our hearts) how to deal with the problems that come our way. He will give us the peace that passes understanding (It won’t make sense to the rest of the world.). He will supply our every need.

I have a friend who is living off of Food Stamps and $109 a month. She loves and trusts God. It isn’t easy, but she’s discovering that she can be happy and content without a lot of “stuff” to clutter her life.

One final note: It is vitally important to understand that, regardless of what modern “versions” of the Bible say, Jesus is the only BEGOTTEN Son of God. As Christians, we are all God’s children; we are all sons and daughters. Jesus is the only One Begotten of God. Jesus had an earthly foster dad: Joseph. Joseph was married to Mary and raised Jesus as his own son, but Jesus was begotten of God the Father. The KJV seems to be the only version that has not taken away Jesus’s deity.

When It Seems All Hope Is Lost

What does Christmas mean to a little child? The answer would depend on his or her life situation. A child living in a family that has everything they need would probably be filled with anticipation of lots of presents, toys, candies, family gatherings, and all the food he could want.

But a little girl living in a ramshackle shack with a dad in jail or prison and a mother who had to do who-knows-what due to lack of education, just to put food on the table, wouldn’t have very high expectations. Such was my situation when I was about four or five years old. I don’t know what kind of work my mother had to do back then. I know she was home with me at night. Sometimes she babysat a little boy around my age named DonnyBob. She found work wherever she could.

My father was in jail for public drunkenness and brawling. It was Christmas Eve and we had no food in the house. Our dresses were almost threadbare. There was no tree, no presents. I honestly don’t remember what my feelings were–until the Boy Scouts came. They went to the house across the street first, but those people had left hurriedly (so my mother said later).

The Boy Scouts brought us a Christmas dinner: ham, sweet potatoes, and I don’t remember what else. I do remember there was more than enough food. There was also a doll for me, so there must have been a little girl that lived across the street. There was a dress for my mom and one for me. I guess it was the right size. I remember thinking that all of those things were meant for us until Mom told me about the people across the street. It was a meager but blessed Christmas.

Contrast that to my first Christmas after Mom married my stepdad, who would have spoiled me rotten if Mom had let him. That first Christmas after they married, I got up Christmas morning feeling like Shirley Temple in “The Little Princess.” There was a small wooden table with two matching chairs. There were games, puzzles (I love puzzles), and more clothes than my mom could wrap. I remember asking who all that stuff was for. My dad had the biggest grin I’d ever seen (then or since) on his face. He nodded to me and my mom said, “Honey, they’re yours.”

Looking back, it’s not the gifts, the abundance of presents: it’s the overwhelming love that came from my new dad, love that I had not felt in a very long time from a parent. I really needed a dad, and God gave me one.

A Special Child

I don’t know who wrote this poem. It was clipped from a newspaper but I really liked it.

A meeting was held quite far from earth

“It’s time again for another birt,”

Said the angels to the Lord above,

“This special child will need much love.”

His progress may seem very slow

Accomplishments he may not show

And he’ll require extra care

From the folks he meets way down there.

He may not run or laugh or play

His thoughts may seem quite far away

In many ways he won’t adapt

And he’ll be known as handicapped.

So let’s be careful where he’s sent

We want his life to be content

Please, Lord, find the parents who

Will do a special job for you.

They will not realize riht away

The leading role they’re asked to play

But with this child sent from above

Come stronger faith and richer love.

And soon they’ll know the privilege given

In caring for this gift from heaven

Their precious charge, so meek and mild,

Is heaven’s very special child.

Day 4: I’m Thankful For. . .

The Bible, God’s love letter to me. It’s true that it’s there for all of the human race, if people would only believe. But when I read it, it’s just for me. I wasn’t feeling well last night so didn’t go to bed until late. But the Lord woke me at 6:30 this morning. I wanted to go back to sleep but His gentle urging got me up. My Lord, my Heavenly Father, wanted to spend time with me. How could I refuse? So I read the psalms for today (86-90) and spent as much time praying and worshipping as I did reading. What a blessing, that God would want to spend time with me. I, who am often a lazy servant, complacent, and comfortable with my life, am still loved by a holy God.

I am thankful for Jesus taking my punishment, serving my sentence, that I might go free. I am thankful for His willingness to go through the agony, the separation from God, and to actually become sin. Salvation was free for me, but it cost Him everything.

I cannot comprehend this world that wants to pretend God/Jesus doesn’t exist. I cannot comprehend a mindset that doesn’t want to be loved, and to know its inhabitants were created with a perfect plan for a blessed and fulfilled life. To have a mindset that would rather demand your own way, run your own life, and exalt yourself, just to get to the end of your life and realize it was futile, left no meaningful mark on society, and be in torment for all eternity, all because you didn’t want to be loved by the One who created you for the purpose of showing love, is truly beyond my comprehension. I really feel sorry for those people who fight and scrape for control that they really don’t have anyway. It’s an illusion that ends in destruction. And they stop their ears, get angry, and fight against the author of love. That is the saddest story of all.

I am thankful that my heart was open to receive the love  God has for me. I’m thankful that, even when I’m having a really bad day, God still loves me, and gently but firmly, changes my mindset so I can continue to be the child He wants me to be (at least a little bit). GOD IS AWESOME.