Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ask Dad

At a certain age, boys seem to stop listening to their mother. The simple phrase, “I’ll ask Dad,” pops up more and more every day. Some days I find myself hounding my son, trying to get him to do his chores, clean his room or do his laundry. It’s like trying to nail jello to a wall.

When I realize he’s not going to listen to me, I call his father at work and hand my son the phone. For now, only his dad can move him to action. I have to realize the days of “Because I’m the mom!” are gone. My boy is growing into a young man and I need to let go.

If any of you know my son, you know him as an exuberant, outgoing teen. He dances on the edge most of the time, flirting with breaking the rules and getting into real, life changing trouble. There are days when I hound him, trying to get him to fly right, clean up his life or read his Bible. Again, the jello metaphor comes to mind.

One day as I was dialing my hubby to hand the phone over to my son, God did one of those—HEY YOU moments. (Mind you, I don’t hear God’s voice; it’s more like an elbow to the conscience that makes your ribs hurt.)

I thought, “I should be dialing my son’s Father in heaven to get him back on track spiritually!” So before I get exasperated with his spiritual walk, I have resolved to hit my knees in prayer during the day, as a supplement to my regular prayers. I ask God to bless my son, to put a holy hunger in him for God's word and to keep him from temptation. And you know, I’m handling his behavior a lot better.

Do you have someone in your life that you can’t seem to get through to? Is it a relative, a neighbor or good friend that can’t seem to get back on track? Give our Heavenly Father a call in prayer…and then let God deal with them. In fact the prayer works both ways, you’ll start treating them differently.

Let me know when you start to see a change. Because if anyone can nail jello to a wall, my Heavenly Father can!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Brick by brick

My father-in-law was an expert bricklayer. Even though he was missing a few fingers on one hand. Just after he was injured, he was hired by a man to lay brick.

He tried it for a while, and told the man, “I don’t think I can do this.”

His boss said, “I hired you to lay brick, you take as long as you need to get the hang of it.”

Because his boss believed in him, he persevered and he adapted to the loss of his fingers. He had to handle the brick a different way from the rest of the masons, but with determination and his plumb line—he built a lot of things.

How often do we tell God, “I don’t think I can do this!” That fear always pops up for me when someone asks me a difficult question about faith. Today I felt that prod to go visit a new neighbor and decided to take a s’mores kit—because I noticed they like their fire pit.

All the way down the road, I heard “I don’t think I can do this!”

When you get out of your comfort zone, the enemy will throw all kinds of doubts at you.

We feel that since we don’t have a theological degree, we can’t be useful to God. Did you know that God does some of His best work with people who have weaknesses? Because people will see that the only way we could do it, was with God's help!

I don’t like confrontation and I don’t like speaking to strangers. But somehow God gives me the courage to walk down that road…literally. And if all I do is make them feel welcome to the neighborhood, then I’ve begun the first step. The Holy Spirit will then take that seed and do with it what He will.

It’s not up to me to get them saved; it’s up to me to be obedient when the spirit says, “Hey, how about saying hi to them, they need a smile.”

I want to encourage you to take some time to figure out how to talk to people about your faith. You will have a different way of sharing from mine, because we were made differently. Still not so sure? Why not get with a friend who’s good at it and ask to be mentored? Are you ready to start and need some ideas? Check out

With perseverance and God’s plumb line, the Bible, you can’t go wrong in building God’s kingdom. Together we can get this done, brick by brick!