Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#29 - The Time is Now

Happy 4th of July from The McCart's! 

Freedom, Unity, Patriotism, Love, Faithfulness, Sacrifice, Service, Duty, Independence... Some Gave All.
Veterans, we honor you, we love you, we thank you. 
The Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave. 
Happy Birthday U.S.A.

Good morning! It's a beautiful day here in South Carolina on this Tuesday morning! The week will end with a bang because my parents and niece Kassidy will be here! YIPPEE!!! :) Tyler Jr is excited to see them! Tell me, is that boy in the pix cute or what?!? Doll baby! That's all I've got to say. I wish he was smiling, but that's ok. :) 

So... you got past the "censored" post from yesterday?!?! Whew!!! Today's post will definitely be one that isn't so ..... hmmmmm.... what would we call it...... borderline?! Well... we are all adults here, and for those who watch TV or listen to secular music we hear and see the world talking about things all the time.... so from a Christian point of view, I think it is good to look at what the Word says about every topic. The world can often make things look polluted or perverted.... but like one comment said yesterday, God meant it for good! 

Let's go ahead and jump into things this morning....
Proverbs 6:20-22 - My son, keep your father's [God-given] commandment and forsake not the law of [God] your mother [taught you]. Bind them continually upon your heart and tie them about your neck. When you go, they [the words of your parents' God] shall lead you; when you sleep, they shall keep you; and when you waken, they shall talk with you.
Proverbs 31:11 - The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.
Who is our Proverbs 31 friend? She is a mother, a daughter, a wife, a grand-mother. She is the Matriarch. The female leader of her family. In submission to her husband (if she is married), she leads the family in many areas. The children answer to the mother. The mother answers ultimately to the father, her husband, the Patriarch of the family. 

With our Proverbs 31 woman, why is the idea of "submission" not an abused term in her household? Because her husband trusts in her confidently. He not only trusts in her, but he relies on her. Even the idea of "relying on someone" shows a sign of dependence. He can not do everything on his own, nor does he want too. There are responsibilities and obligations that he is expecting & needing the help of his wife. This Matriarch of the family. She has strengths that are not his own. She moves with grace. She astounds her husband and he is utterly thankful for her. As a mother & wife, she not only is moving around taking care of the children, feeding them, nurturing them, caring for them, but she is also doing the same for her husband. 

Our Proverbs 6 verses discuss that of our Proverbs 31 mother teaching her children the ways, disciplines & attributes of God. She is teaching her children the law of God. Our Proverbs 31 woman is a teacher to her children. She TEACHES them the ways of God. She teaches them what it means to walk with the Lord. She TEACHES them spiritual principles. The busyness of life does not get in her way of TEACHING her children what is most important. And her husband is RELYING ON her to teach them. He knows of her depth in her relationship with the Lord, he knows that she is more than capable to teach their children, he completely TRUSTS IN her ability to teach them and raise them up in a godly manner. 

Teaching children is not merely a "Sunday" activity. It does not say, "Mother's allow the Sunday School teachers to teach your children each week at church." It is a responsibility given to the mother's & father's. It is something to be done continually. So much so that the Holy Spirit and the Word is a constant reminder to you as you go about your daily dealings. Imagine a big necklace or hanging a book around your neck.... you would be constantly reminded as it flops and moves as you go about your day. That is how the Word should be. The goal would be to get to a place in your walk with the Lord that you have spent time meditating upon His Word. As you move through your day, you hear the "checks" or see the "red flags" as the Holy Spirit is prompting you and moving you to do what HE wants. You are communing with Him all day long. You are listening to His Voice all day long. You have planned out your day, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and when or if there are any cross roads in your day, you are automatically able to look to Him for guidance. He is your Guide. If you had never been on a safari in a jungle, you had never experienced wild animals, tigers, snakes, bears, wild boar, gorilla's, hippo's... if you had never come in contact with them, you would most definitely listen to your guide, the expert. One who has studied, lived about them, experienced them. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. He already knows the end before it even begins. He knows the best way to get there IF you are willing to "hang it about your neck." Keep HIM at the forefront. Do a HS check. Randomly in your day, take a moment to ask Him, "Is this the direction I am suppose to be going right now? Would you change anything? Should I do or go somewhere else right now?" If you practice the art of listening, you will hear His Voice. 

BENEFITS: I'm going to include some of the Hebrew text here in parenthesis. "When you go, they shall lead (to lead, guide) you. When you sleep, they shall keep (to guard, protect, save life, perserve, to keep oneself, obstain, reserve, celebrate) you. When you awake, they shall talk (meditate upon, put forth thoughts, sing, study, commune) with you." 

Imagine, the words of the Lord that you choose to put into your heart can save your life! These words can help you be celebrated in your life. These words will give you direction, they will guide you when you may be unsure in your "SELF" which way to go.... these words will lead you!

Benefits to following! Definitely. 

Mom's (and Dad's).... take the time to teach your children throughout the day. Maybe begin to incorporate a family Bible study. It may be talking to them about God at different points in the day. It may be teaching them some Bible stories and telling them or asking them how they think the lesson could be applied in their lives. Get them thinking. It may be something as simple as praying with them when they wake up & when they go to bed. Asking God to give them a great day, praying Psalms 91 protection, praying that God would teach them and speak to them and draw them into a closer walk with Him throughout their day. Mom, it calls you to be the TEACHER. Take responsibility to teach your child. Sunday School is the "cherry on top." You do not have to be a "Bible Scholar" to teach your child. Check out your local Christian bookstore. I'm confident they have resources that can assist you and open up dialog with your children. A family devotional. Reading stories with them from books like the "Dream-Giver"... your children will look forward to it! Story time with mom! :)

Grandma (and Grandpa).... did you miss it with your children? Or are they just out now, on their own. It is not to late to continue to make a difference. How can you help? Take time to pray for them. Prayer changes things. If you are able, share with them what you are learning in the Lord. Ask them if there are things that you can pray for them about. Draw them in to a closer relationship with the God you know. Are they not raising their children up in the Lord? Grandma, take the opportunity to share stories with your grand-children when you are with them. Share about God's love. Share about God's grace and mercy. God's blessings. Share stories that will raise their belief & hope. Your grandchildren will look back when they are older and remember the stories that grandma told about Jesus. About the 10 talents. About Ruth & Naomi. About Boaz. They will look back and remember wanting to go to grandma's house so that she could finish reading about Ordinary and the Land of Familiar ("Dream-Giver"). Help create a hunger in your grandchildren. 

Now is the time to make a difference. Now is the time to teach your children. Now is the time to teach your grandchildren. Because, as the Word promises in Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

Train them up. Teach them the way they should go. The time is NOW.


Deb Ellis said...

Great blog today! Proverbs 22:6 has always been one of my favorite verses and I held fast to that verse many times as you kids went off to college and fell away from the Lord. I reminded God daily that He promised that since I trained my children up in the way they should go, that when they are old, they will not depart from it. And I am thankful that ALL 4 of you kids are walking with God, serving God, sharing God with others in one way or another.
It also helped me to see that I can play a greater role in teaching my grandchildren the truths and Bible Stories from the Word. All of my grandchildren love to hear stories and will almost always sit on my lap and listen to a story. What a great time to share a Bible Story! Teaching the practical principles of God's Word from a true Bible Story sure beats Saving Nemo or Cinderella.
I have noticed how much my grand-daughter Kaci pays attention to everything that is going on. She can repeat a story almost verbatim. It made me realize how much we, as adults need to guard our words. Little ears are listening and little eyes are seeing. Wouldn't it be wonderful for our children/grand children to repeat things they see and hear in our home that will really edify others. We should be willing to live our lives as though we are under a microscope, allowing others to see us close up and not be ashamed. I know I have alot of improvement but I am working towards that goal.
I, for one, want to be a positive influence on my children and grand-children so they will one day say 'I learned that from my Grandma/Mom and she taught me what it means to live for God'

D. J. Barry said...

This was a wonderful post today. I had two thoughts go through my mind as I was reading it. I am single (only 26 years old, LOL) and no children of my own, so I was wondering what can single people do to prepare themselves for this kind of responsibility?

Just this morning I found myself at work, tired and still trying to wake up. You could imagine the silence as the store was yet to open. Every now and then you could hear footsteps pass upon the linoleum floors and a brief hello. Then there she was. Only 20 years old, but a look of exhaustion weighted upon her countenance. Many mornings this young girl would come up, a bright smile, cheerful "hello" and another beautiful picture of her 2 year old girl to faun over (a mother's pride). But today would be different nothing more than, "I am too tired and I missed my chance to be with my daughter as she saw her first fireworks." And then the tears. I set down my work at that point and bought us some Starbucks, sat down at the table and asked, "So tell me how your holding up?..."

So my question is this: What do we say to the single mother or father who struggle to make ends meet, but find themselves tired and spent when they arrive home to their eager children? What happens when faith meets life? What counsel can be said when one must face raising their young ones alone? I find this to be one of life's perplexities.


One of the fondest memories I remember as a child was waking up early in the morning to make waffles or pancakes for my family. The sun would be just filtering through the blinds. As I gathered the ingredients for breakfast, I would always be surprised to find my father out on the back porch. He would be sitting on the white lawn chair, a pencil in hand with a pad of paper and his Bible opened up. Being little at the time, I would get off my wooden stool and open up the back door to ask him how many pancakes he wanted. Eventually my curiosity would get the best of me and I would wander out to see what he was reading. I remember his face always lighting up when he would share the Scripture passage. I would remember my father smiling over God's Word.

As for my mother, my fondest memory began after the alarm went off. It was always a rule that us kids would have to wash up and fix our beds and then go check to make sure our mother was awake. My sister and I would take turns doing this, but it was every now and then when we would catch our mother praying at the edge of her bed. I remember when my sister for the first time caught my mother praying. She came running into my room, jumped on my bed and said, "Mom is sad!" Afterwards, her and I snuck up to my parents’ door and peaked in. My mother's hands would be folded together and her head would be bowed with a look of profound peace upon her face. I whispered, "Mom's just praying." At which point my sister replies, "So mom is happy?" LOL.

I only share these illustrations because even if we don't say much with our words, our actions do. What we often see, we remember. I applaud every parent who has made a commitment to raise their children. I can only pray that God will bless my labors when the time comes to raise a child.

To Mrs. Ellis, in the very brief time that I have had in coming to know more about your son and your daughter (I am guessing that it is Amy); if children are the fruit of the parents’ labors then you have done well. You have a lot to be proud of and God has richly blessed your endeavors. What an amazing legacy. God bless both of you. :)

Amy Shaner said...

I just started reading your blog yesterday. I found you through your brother James who I actually saw in a magazine and became "friends" with on FB. Obviously, I don't know him personally, but look what he has brought into my life! I am the single parent of 4 children and I worry everyday about what my kids see, hear, and read as I can not be with them every moment. I can only hope that I am teaching them the way that they should go and give them the tools as my parents gave me. Thank you for giving ME something to take throughout my day! I love it!

Amy J. McCart said...

DJ -
Great stuff!! I loved your memories of your parents. How awesome the imprint they left on your heart and life by the little things we so often take for granted! You should tell them about those things! I bet it would bless them.

Well, as to your first question... as a single, not married, no kids... what is your responsibility now? Well... now is actually some of the if not THE most important time for you!! I heard a pretty successful business man and Christian say it just this week.... I thought of you, it's perfect! He said, "You aren't going to change your kids until you change you." I think the most important thing we can do if we want to be a positive role model to our children or future children is to work on ourselves! Work on our own spiritual growth. If someone never moved on from being a baby Christian... they just continue to drink "milk" and never moved to "meat... they could only give that to their children. You can not give what you do not have. So, I think the most important thing is to GROW YOU. To work on YOU. To develop YOUR relationship with the Lord.

As far as your second "series" of questions... wasn't sure if they were actually questions... or if they were the "hypothetical" ones that the preacher asks. :) But... if it were a question... I would have to say, I'm not exactly sure. I have never been a single mom, but I know that many people have done it, and raised amazing kids. I think it still really boils down to the "single" mom just digging into the Word. Really digging in, getting down and dirty and seeking out the Lord. I believe, in doing that, the Lord can and will reveal ideas... as it talks about in Proverbs "witty inventions." I believe the Lord could show this mom, who is seeking Him, something that the market needs. Or where she could provide a service that involves doing something she loves. Or maybe involves her kids... more time at home.... writing books, being a speaker... getting out of her job. Could be a number of things. But as it says in Psalms 37:4, the Lord gives us the desires of our hearts... I think that begins with seeking. If it works for one, it will work for any. God is no respecter of persons. I have said a prayer for your friend. May God really not only comfort her, but give her new energy to pursue Him, and pursue her passions. To pursue what is deep down inside her the reason she was put here on earth. God has a plan and a purpose for her. She was formed, created and God KNEW her before she was even in her mother's womb. He created her to accomplish and complete a calling that only SHE can complete. Now, it is her job to seek Him out to find out what it is.
May God bless her. And may God bless you for being a friend to her. I'm sure during that time of sadness, that was what she needed the most. Someone to listen, and someone to maybe just cry to, or pour out her heart too.

Bless you DJ. :) Thanks for the wonderful thoughts you shared! :)

Amy J

Amy J. McCart said...

Amy Shaner...
I just want to say... "Shaner Shaner!" Do people ever call you that?? Shaner Shaner! :) It's fun!

Anyways... glad that you have found me! I am out here for you! :) And, I must say, you do have a pretty JAM-UP name, so we are automatically friends! hehe! Anyways. So glad that this blog could be a blessing to you, that is my intention. The Proverbs 31 woman is so much more than many of us every thought! I know it has been like a board between my eyes! She is amazing! And, she is attainable! God called and destined us for greatness! He called YOU to greatness! The mother of 4 kids! He called you to be Great and to DO great things!!! He certainly has special things in store for you. Keep pursuing and seeking after Him. Keep seeking after the heart of our God. He will reveal and direct and we can believe that by faith because HIS WORD SAYS IT!

Bless you! Thanks for following. So glad that my brother, unbeknownst to him, was able to connect us. It's a small thread, but God sure does know what He's doing!

Keep following, keep commenting. I love hearing what you say. :) Blessings to your kids! Do you have any pictures of them online??
xoxo to you Amy...

Amy Jo
(ps, what's ur middle name?)

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