Tag Archives: abide

Prideless Parenting

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

We were having an enjoyable time at the beach when my daughter became frustrated because the waves kept washing away her artwork on “God’s chalkboard” {the sand}.  She was tired, hungry and her patience was slim, therefore she did the only thing she could do to express her irritation: she cried. And cried, and cried.  I discovered the quickest way to clear a beach is having a child cry for ten minutes straight. Now was the test…

What was I going to do?

My flesh wanted to satisfy the captive audience around me, and discipline her in public, my flesh wanted to scream. Actually, my flesh did scream {inside}.  Then I held her close to me and I prayed.  I prayed for God’s Holy Spirit to help us both in this witnessing opportunity.  I prayed we would both look only at Jesus Christ and not at each other or our sins.  I prayed we would be still and remain in Jesus Christ remembering God is already pleased with us because of what Jesus Christ has done, not anything we have or haven’t done.  I prayed we would take full advantage of this opportunity to give thanks to God even in this sanctifying moment.  I rocked her in my arms and felt as though everything and everyone else melted away.  I sang softly to her, and I remember I can act the same way inside when something I’ve worked hard on is destroyed or taken.

“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

I am on a journey of letting go. God is teaching me to let go of pride and perfection.  God is teaching me to deal gently with others, and to be compassionate as our High Priest Jesus Christ is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.  When these sanctifying moments occur I am learning to silently pray and look to God to comfort my children while restraining any temptation to use worldly things to threaten or console them.  I am learning to wait, be still…I’m learning to hide and abide in my Rock Jesus Christ. At one point my daughter disrespected me during her sorrow and I told her:

“you are not allowed to disrespect me, God says children must obey their parents for this is well-pleasing to Him.  I understand being upset for lost work but now you are crossing over to disobedience and that’s not the path you want to be on.”

She nodded her head. She understood.  Another five minutes of praying and allowing God to comfort her through me and the Hulk {in both of us} was gone.  I now had a calm lamb in my arms remembering the words of Jesus, feed my sheep and ‘tend to my lambs‘, reminding me we are all His sheep in His pasture and He is the one that restores our souls. When my children bicker, cry, fight instead of hearing a whining noise I am choosing to hear little lambs ‘baaaing’ because they are turned over and need help to be restored.  Before God can work in and through me I need to be abiding and hiding in Him so His Spirit can work in and through me for His purpose.

I am letting go of ‘striving’ to be a perfect parent and resting in His grace which is sufficient in all things, even a fit at the beach.  To God be the glory…again, His giving, His glory!


For Love, Not Legalism: Casting Down An iDol

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9

 The other day my son and I watched a video clip of several intentional disciples and lovers of Jesus Christ casting their self proclaimed ‘idols’ into a consuming fire. My son immediately cried out:

“I don’t want to throw my Legos into the fire!”

I asked him, “well, do you love your Legos more than God?”

He looked at me strangely and answered flatly, “Of course not!”

I told him, “Well then it doesn’t seem to be an idol. An idol is anything that you love more than God or distracts or keeps you from your fellowship with Him. It is something that becomes a false god and you worship it instead of the One True God.”

I went on to share with my son if he ever does come across an idol in his life he can go to God’s throne of grace to help him get rid of it.

The Hebrew word for idol ‘eliyl  means, “of naught, good for nothing, worthless, false god.”

It is worthless because it can’t do anything, it does not bring true peace, joy or comfort that only God can fulfill.

The second commandment tells us we ‘shall not’ make idols and worship them reminding us nothing deserves our worship other than God.  I must admit casting down idols does not always come easy for me, but since I have placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ I am empowered by Him. John 1:16-17 says:

“For of His (Jesus) fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”

It is true, I am no longer under the law but grace and  I am not condemned in what I eat, drink or do that is not ‘harmful’ to others–I am free in Jesus Christ.

However, I search and destroy idols in my life because I view them as encumbrances in the race of faith I am running. I’m on a journey with Jesus Christ, and as I walk closely with Him, and abide in Him, I love Him more and the things of this world seem to fade away. The times I struggle to unclench the worthless, He gives me the grace to let go. He also teaches me through the convictions of the Holy Spirit what potential encumbrances are in my life threatening to distract me from my first love: Jesus Christ; and my purpose: to glorify God.

I cast down idols not for legalism but for Love.

“Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.” Psalm 119:37

This is one such confession I want to keep as a stone of remembrance so I won’t forget:

Along the way I got caught up in high tech communications like the iPhone leaving me feeling disconnected from the One in whom all good fruit flow from. This confusion and lack of peace had to stop!

My husband would jokingly say there must be a button on my car seat that lifts my phone to my ear the moment I sit down.  He was right.  I was distracted and hardly ever present and instead of prayerfully parenting with grace I saw my children as distractions to conversations I wanted to have. Then by God’s grace, I was convicted and I remembered why I’m here, and the assignment God gave me: to teach His statues diligently to my children all the time and the commission I have been given: to make disciples of all nations as I am going along.

In order to teach God’s statues they need to be on my heart and I need to be present. The Greek word for ‘abide’ menō is explained as, “to remain, not to depart, to continue to be present.” This is the same word Jesus used in John 15:5 when He said,

I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

I am a conduit, not the source.

To teach my children I must be connected to the One who helps me to do ‘something’ of eternal value. Being present means to rest in Jesus Christ, wait on Him, and be content in the moment, not striving for the next moment to come, but seizing every opportunity to speak life into my children and those around me.

In terms of being a ‘present’ parent, that means being available to listen to the hearts of my children and to sow God’s Word into their hearts as He leads.  As He leads…this requires to be prayerfully connected to God in order to know the Words and right moment to speak into their hearts; after all, only He knows the hearts of all men.  He knows the words that will sustain my weary ones.

I have spent four years of my sons life and two years of my daughter’s life disconnected from God and from training them in His ways…I do not want to waste another moment, I want to bear much fruit, I want to be a worker in God’s harvest.  So one month ago I said:

Good-bye iPhone, it’s not you, it’s me.  I have already replaced you with a ‘track phone’ I nicked named ‘wise phone’ as it helps me count the cost, measuring the minutes, and words bringing to my attention any idle word I make. I desire to be a purposeful, present, prayerful, parent and I cannot do this unless I remain connected to my power source Jesus Christ. I want to live an intentional life of a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I must not forget why I am here and iPhone, you distracted me too much…A Dios!”

I lay aside this idol and weight not for legalism but for Love. I desire to be continually connected and present abiding in God’s love through Jesus Christ seeking Him with all my heart.  I desire a deeper love with God, enabling me to pour out His love to those around me in the power of His Holy Spirit, all for His glory and honor.

I’m on my knees for us…

**After this stone of remembrance was written in my heart a fellow blogger shared this song “Clear the Stage” and it is one of my favorite songs this moment**


Christianity is not about doing, it’s a state of being.

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Which came first: the fruit or the Spirit?

I used to have a lot of artificial fruit.  What does artificial fruit look like? Well, let’s just say I ‘faked’ Christianity, I acted the way I thought a Christian would act.  Let me give you an illustration…

When I was 16 years old I received a scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association.  To me, it wasn’t just a scholarship; it was the beginning of a relationship.  These people who didn’t even know me invested in my future education and took me to Washington D.C. for a few days, introduced me to a lot of entrepreneurs, and told me how much they believed in me. The sad part is no matter how much they believed in me or encouraged me, I did not think I deserved this scholarship and it was hard for me to accept it. In fact I didn’t even use it for 7 years! Why? Because for those 7 years I tried my hardest to ‘earn’ that scholarship, believing I did not deserve it. This is exactly what I did with my salvation.

I was told by a number of God’s messengers:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17

OK. God loves me.  He gave His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to pay for my sins and now I can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. A gift! In 1996, I ‘accepted’ this free gift but for 13 years I did not act like I’ve accepted it as ‘free.’ Instead, I did everything in my own strength and I tried to earn my salvation, revealing my lack of faith.

I tried to be a good Christian by being nice to people, changing what I say, I tried to stop drinking, I began to serve, and listen to Christian music…always talking the talk but not walking the walk—not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Then in 2008 I began to read the Bible and on February 12, 2009 I surrendered. I stopped doing and started being.

Here are a just few things I’ve learned along the way:

So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:17-20)

I produced bad artificial fruit for so long to try to earn my salvation, to deserve it.  It is true, I don’t deserve it, none of us do. It is by grace through faith I have been saved, not of myself…not what I’ve done or haven’t done, it is a gift of God. I am no longer blinded and now I see!

Do you see? Do you see the Spirit must come before the fruit?

Are you tired of powerless religion? By ‘power’ I mean walking in your strength and not in the power of the Holy Spirit?  I pray you draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Thanks for reading but please don’t take my commentary for it…read the Bible and interact with God for yourself you will taste and see that He is good!


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