Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Voice

“Mama, Mama!” the little boy cried as he entered the tent. “Another shepherd came in and put his sheep in the pen! Now there are a thousand!”

“I don’t think there are a thousand, Aaron,” his mother gently chastised as she kneaded the bread.

“Well, there are a lot.” Then the boy got a puzzled look on his face. “How will the shepherd get his sheep back? Won’t they get all mixed up?”

“When the shepherd is ready to go, he will come to the gatekeeper and call his sheep and they will come to him. Only his sheep will come because they know his voice. The other sheep will ignore him because they don’t recognize the voice.”

“How do they know his voice?”

“They have spent time with him. They have learned to listen to him. He talks to them and takes care of them and they depend on him to protect them and care for them. They have built a relationship with him. It is the same as me and you. When I call your name do you know it is me calling?”


“If Naomi calls you, can you tell the difference?”

“Yes, she sounds different.”

“The sheep know the difference too. If they hear someone they do not know they will not follow because they do not trust them. They will wait to hear the voice they trust to lead them.”

“Oh,” says the boy. “I’m going to go back and watch the sheep.”

“Aright, I will call you when supper is ready.”

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”  John 10:27-28

Do you know His voice?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mothers – Rejoice or Regret


  Mother’s Day brings different emotions to different people.  If you have a great mother like I have, you like Mother’s Day and the opportunity to thank her for her influence in your life. But many don’t have fond memories of their mother. Many had unhappy childhoods full of neglect and harsh words. How do you thank a mother who was cruel?

For some this day brings back the empty ache of loss: either of a mother never known or a mother no longer with them. Still others reflect on their own position as mothers and wish they could have changed the things they did or didn’t do.

I look back at the short time I had to influence my boys and am always filled with regrets. If only I had been the Christian I am now. I could have taught them to rely on God more, taught them to pray about everything, to trust Him with every situation. Then they would not be struggling with so much now. But I wasn’t, I was just a baby Christian, struggling with my own beliefs.

The truth is our walk with the Lord, while certainly influenced by our upbringing, is a walk we must each take alone.
It is a personal relationship with God himself. And like any personal relationship it can only develop through time, personal time spent together. They must make their own way in this world and with the Lord. I must accept that what is done is done and all I can do is be here now.

We all must deal with memories. Some good and some bad, so how do we handle them? Someone once said “if” is the biggest word is in the English language. I must say I agree. How often do we use it to wonder what could have been or could be? There is some advantage to evaluating the past as long as we don’t spend too much time wallowing in regret.

One of my favorite scriptures is 2Corinthians 10:5
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

We must take our thoughts captive, control them, control where they lead us.
We cannot control what pops into our minds but we can control where it takes us. We cannot change what has been, we can however, change what happens from here forward.  We can make positive changes that will affect our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

So if you have great memories of your mother rejoice and be thankful. If you don’t be thankful that those experiences have made you the person God intended you to be.
 God Is Soverign. God allows free will, parents have the choice to nurture or neglect their children. Neglect is never God’s will. We suffer the consequences of others’ sin as well as our own. We can trust that God can use any situation to develop our character, make us stronger, and draw us closer to Him.
Romans 8:28 says:
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  
Not that he causes all things but that He causes all things to work together for good.  We can trust that He is ultimately in Control.
So if you have great memories of your mother, be thankful. If you don’t, be thankful that those experiences have given you the opportunity to see God in a unique and precious way and have made you the person He created you to be. Rejoice and be glad.

What are you thankful for this Mothers Day?